The NYT, Guardian, and Rolling Stone all ran lengthy articles on NFTs – why?

  • This week, we saw three lengthy–and well-written–articles published on the growing fascination with NFTs. One by Kevin Roose of the New York Times, who charmingly described the odd dynamics of the weeklong conference NFT.NYC. One by Rosanna McLaughlin on the rise of NFTs, including with the reemergence of Paris Hilton as a key figure (perhaps an even more unlikely second act than the Winklevoss twins). And one by Samantha Hissong on the creators of the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection.
  • Why? Why is so much attention being devoted to NFTs?
  • No doubt the huge sums of money being spent to buy NFTs, plus the even larger amounts of money being invested in startups and Big Tech companies to develop platforms for the so-called metaverse (in which people use and collect NFTs), are part of the reason.
  • Also attention-getting is the “rags to riches” stories of struggling artists, like Trevor Jones, who are now selling their artworks as NFTs for millions of dollars, virtually overnight.
  • More fundamentally, NFTs are news. NFTs are a new technology disrupting art, business, our conceptions of ownership, and society. Just as the World Wide Web disrupted daily life at the end of the twentieth century, NFTs, along with the whole decentralized blockchain ecosystem, are disrupting how we buy and experience things, from art to brands to music to real estate.
  • Sure, many people still don’t know what an NFT is. It’s reminiscent of when Bryant Gumbel asked on the Today Show in 1994: “What is Internet anyway?” Just wait, folks. One day, the question about NFTs will be as silly to to ask as that one.