Someone created an NFT version of the Pirate Bay search engine with the intention of teaching everyone a lesson about the truth of Blockchain-based digital collectibles.
Can you imagine being able to have any token non-expendable (NFT) you want without having to pay millions of dollars? Or better: without having to click the right mouse button tirelessly to save hundreds of JPG files to your computer.
This is already possible thanks to a new hacking website called The NFT Bay, an NFT version of the famous website Pirate bay, a search engine Bittorrent that allows you to download almost any multimedia content – yes, illegally. The news portals Vice (Motherboard) and Kotaku reported first.
The NFT Bay: no mince words about NFTs
With an aesthetic that imitates the well-known piracy seeker, The NFT Bay is the latest project from Australian artist and programmer Geoffrey Huntley where anyone can download nearly 20 terabytes of JPEG from popular NFT-based Ethereum and Solarium. This translates into the ease of having all the CryptoPunk, the Axie and the Bored Ape Yatch Club, all within the reach of a click.
The objective of the initiative is merely educational, as explained by the author himself in a frequently asked questions document. “Did you know that an NFT is just a hyperlink to an image that is usually hosted on Google Drive or another web 2.0 server?“.
Basically, I hope people learn to understand what they are buying when they buy NFT art, which is nothing more than instructions on how to access or download an image. The image is not stored on the Blockchain and most of the images I’ve seen are hosted on web 2.0, which probably ends up as 404, which means that NFT has even less value.
In case you haven’t heard of them yet, NFTs are rare blockchain-based digital assets that have become the latest big thing in the digital art and collectibles space. NFTs can represent basically anything from a JPG image to songs, tweets, videos, DNA, emotions and who knows what else.
Its charm is in the smart contract technology, which basically certifies and provides immutability to the part, but the best thing is that it allows to demonstrate the ownership of a digital object. That is, no matter how much you can copy and paste a JPG, tokenization is what guarantees or certifies that this piece belongs to one collector and not another.
A market that this year has exploded, proving to be very lucrative, has also generated various discussions about the authenticity and copyright of digital creations. And, for some skeptics like Huntley, this technology does not represent a valuable innovation, but a mere speculative trend that takes advantage of the notion of scarcity to increase the value of something simple like a JPG.
An art movement to fight back… art?
It is for this reason that the Australian computer scientist has decided to confront the movement with art, as he himself called The NFT Bay in an interview with Vice. Kind of a way to give tech-savvy artists a spoonful of their own medicine.
Huntley, who called the NFT projects scams, told that outlet that his inspiration for the website had been the art of the Australian LGBTQ community in the 1990s. In particular, the work of the music artist and activist Pauline pantsdown.
“There was a politician who was gaining popularity and his views are (still to this day) quite harmful to the LGBTQ community“, said. “In response, one of the community members responded by creating art that managed to change the course of Australian politics.“.
“People are spending millions on instructions on how to download imagesHuntley said, and went on to explain the purpose behind his initiative:
This is why you can right click ‘Save As’, because they are standard images. The image is not stored on the blockchain. The image is not stored in the Blockchain contract. As web 2.0 webhosts are known to go offline, this handy torrent contains all the NFTs so that future generations can study this generation’s tulip mania and collectively say ‘WTF? We destroy our planet for THIS ?!
Metaverse and NFT are still dreams without substance
Despite his skepticism, the artist shared with Vice that believes that there is a future for NFTs, although he does not believe that they need the technology Blockchain. Instead, he stressed that the utility and value of NFTs “will be created through social media platforms“.
Stepping into the promises of the metaverse, Huntley emphasized that the value of digital representations, avatars, or digital property, will become tangible when social networks such as TikTok or Twitter deploy capabilities to verify the membership of these elements. “That will be a turning point“, He opined.
We see how people go crazy over Twitter’s blue check mark; Now think about how social media will change when they have the ability to show verifiable proof of membership versus adding the words to a bio on social media. All of this, however, could be achieved without the Blockchain.
The Australian is not wrong. In fact Twitter recently announced that it is working on a functionality that will allow users to verify their NFT profile images. This in order to avoid those lovers of the click right: Save. Even Adobe photoshop it is integrating a kind of author stamp for the files that are transformed into NFT. However, it is difficult to think how the ownership of a JPG could be confirmed without the help of the blockchain.
Huntley seemed to coincide with the privileged place that NFTs are gaining within the video game industry and the metaverse; however, he believes that for now these initiatives are “great dreams that have not materialized “.
Dreams remind me of the Internet in the 1990s. What is fascinating here is that the communities are very strong and can self-finance the discovery phase.
Article by Hannah Estefanía Pérez / DailyBitcoin
Image from Unsplash