NFTs are a waste of time, money and brain cells.

Charlotte Ury, Editorial Board

NFTs. AKA “Non-fungible tokens.” AKA the drawings of monkeys you keep seeing celebrities and second cousins promoting. AKA the bane of my existence.

To briefly sum it up, NFTs are a unique digital format that cannot be traded for something similar. Think the opposite of exchanging a quarter for another quarter, or a bitcoin for another bitcoin. The idea is, as many tech bros have condescendingly explained to me, buying NFTs is like collecting art. Sure, you can own a copy or a print of a Picasso artwork, but only one person has the original. 

But does the “original” truly matter if anyone online can copy and paste the new artwork into their desktop and rename it as “Mine?”

It’s true that anything that society places value on has value. But someday, that market will crash. While the market did spike impressively in March of 2021, only a few months later the NFT marketplace went down 80% from 650,000 people visiting the site to 128,0000 people (Forbes). Nothing can last forever, certainly not pictures that are only relevant to those who understand the current culture, and soon those NFTs that people paid millions for will be worth $4.50.

However, NFTs don’t just harm wallets: the average NFT has a “carbon footprint equivalent to more than a month of electricity usage for the average person living in the European Union” (​​CBS News). Due to the computers that make NFTs using high amounts of energy to bid, sell, cancel, mint, and transfer, the environment is suffering.

Despite my complaints, however, NFTs are taking the world by storm. Sure you might expect that frivolous billionaire to buy into them. But your favorite celebrity? The nice couple down the street? Your grandma? Really??

That’s the scary part. People who buy NFTs aren’t just kooky celebrities with money. A lot of them are gullible people spending money they can’t afford on a short-lived craze that will leave the rich richer and the poor poorer.

I’ll admit, NFTs sound like an interesting and inventive way to spread art. Artists should be getting paid more, and this seems like a really great way to ensure that. But this is not the reality of NFTs. 

I’m not going to tell you how to spend your money. Maybe my two years of DECA have failed me, and NFTs are actually a worthwhile investment. Maybe in thirty years, you’ll pay for your Starbucks drink with half a BoredMonkeyTM and a picture of your grandma. But all I know is that you should think twice before you spend your money on a picture of an ape that can be right-clicked and saved.

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