Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are like Bitcoin Marmite—you either love ‘em or hate ‘em. Some, like digital artist Beeple, who recently sold an NFT at auction for $69.3 million, are understandably enamoured. Others, such as digital currency sceptic David Gerard, have serious doubts.
Josh Petty, CEO and co-founder of Twetch, has seen the trend first-hand. He recently launched NFTs for 101 Twetch hats, which sold out in under a minute. The hats are embroidered with an individual number and come with a digital trading card to represent them.
— Twetch (@twetchapp) February 23, 2021
“The Twetch hat is a very special type of digital item because it actually comes with the physical peg,” Josh says. The hats, which first sold for $100 to $420 and are currently trading at $2,000, are just the first step for Josh. He says, “The hat is a very simple, primitive example of the direction we’re going where the property that you have in real life or the digital life, those things are interacting.”
On this week’s CoinGeek Conversations, David Gerard admitted he was impressed by Josh’s initiative but said he still had concerns about NFTs: “A lot of my objections to NFTs are not so much the future possibilities of what you might be able to do with this construct as with a lot of the grim realities we’re seeing here in March 2021.”
David is unimpressed by customer service issues on NFT markets run by Ethereum. He says there are “enormous amounts of problems that they really haven’t done a lot of homework to work out how to sort out. Just customer service issues like you sold me an NFT that wasn’t minted by the artist and I feel ripped off.”
Because an NFT doesn’t require people to own the copyright of something to mint tokens for it, it’s a market ripe for fraud. And there are other possible problems too: Josh admits that “there’s even been cases where people are going to an Ethereum based NFT website, they buy this piece of art, the artist later just goes to the website and uploads a different image of a rug.”
But Josh explains that it’s easier to build verification into the blockchain on Bitcoin SV and show where digital property is minted. On Twetch, “Somebody can actually prove they own it, and they can prove it’s the thing that they have, that digital item and it’s built into their ownership and we’re solving that problem where no one else really is.”
Josh also criticises Ethereum’s high minting fees, saying, “the price of purchasing an NFT—the minimum is so high on Ethereum that small artists that want to sell something for twenty dollars or less aren’t going to be able to have any income from this at all. On BSV we can do this.”
BSV’s low transaction fees and capacity for scaling mean that budding digital creators can offer tokens at a higher margin. On Ethereum, new entrants are hit with high transaction fees and unexpected marketplace costs, restricting their earning potential.
Josh believes BSV offers accessibility to young artists. He plans to “build a better platform that actually empowers people to be able to sell and trade things and make actual money from it.”
The conversation was more of a meeting of the minds than Josh and David expected. David agreed that “there’s a world in which NFTs are this sort of fun, interesting thing you can play with and that’s good.” But he stressed that “the burden of proof is on you to show that it’s a significant, worthwhile thing.”
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, NFTs look set to be a hot topic for many months to come.
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