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So, NFTs?


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13 hours ago, JonL said:

... Or it can not be, as the marketplace is infested with bad actors and there is no meaningful oversight.

But, has this ever been documented?  Also, I'm unclear why ANYBODY would want to sh1t in their own living-room that way:  one verified report of non-unique tokens sold as "unique" and the entire scheme suffers massive loss-of-trust!  I would have expected this kind of ... forgery? ... would be prevented by the blockchain technology itself (although, as I think about it, the distributed nature of blockchain seems unlikely to have any large "database of URLs."  Maybe the hosting site can have a mirror chain, of all NFTs pointing to it?  (spitballin' here, in case it wasn't obvious) )  .

Still, unless this fraud has been seen "in the wild," it feels uncomfortably-close to the same sort of hypothetical handwringing I see on the USA's far-right about how vote-by-mail &c "can be" abused for electoral fraud.

On the gripping hand, there's the obvious trifecta of the $BIGMONEY motivator, lack of meaningful oversight, and "bad actors" in the scene... so yeah, I expect someone has (or will) exploited most any branch of the get-rich-quick tree.

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14 hours ago, jenh said:

... You can argue that a Pollock painting and speculation around that is predicated entirely on greed...

Actually, I would argue it's predicated mostly on ostentation, conspicuous consumption, &c.

The actual art thieves -- stealing the overpriced paintings -- that's greed!  😉
(also the big investment-houses who diversify from stocks, land, etc into art)

(Damn... now I'm wanting to run an "art heist" RPG ! )

 

14 hours ago, jenh said:

In order to buy the NFT, you have to buy into the cryptocurrency. In order to mint the NFT, you have to buy into the cryptocurrency. Both of these bump up the value of the cryptocurrency. So people with cryptocurrency want more and more people to make NFTs and buy NFTs, so that they can sell the cryptocurrency that they have for a lot more than they bought it for. Now a whole bunch of new people have cryptocurrency, because they want to sell it when the price goes up. That requires that other people buy cryptocurrencies. Your profit depends on more and more people buying into the scheme.

OK, so this issue of crypto -- that it divorces a "currency" from an "economy" or any other real-world basis, that it's really a "speculative / investment" instrument and not a "currency" at all -- is a real issue.

But I honestly don't see that "mining" crypto drives up the price -- it's the hype and the speculators doing that.  If anything, classical economics says that new crypto-coin on a given blockchain should drive the price DOWN (by making it less-scarce)... particularly for a "commodity" so divorced from any real-world foundation such as "the price of gold" or "orange-crop futures" or "full faith and credit" of a gov't.

 

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11 minutes ago, g33k said:

But, has this ever been documented?  Also, I'm unclear why ANYBODY would want to sh1t in their own living-room that way... one verified report of non-unique tokens sold as "unique" and the entire scheme suffers massive loss-of-trust!  I would have expected this kind of ... forgery? ... would be prevented by the blockchain technology itself (although, as I think about it, the distributed nature of blockchain seems unlikely to have any large "database of URLs."  Maybe the hosting site can have a mirror chain, of all NFTs pointing to it...?  (spitballin' here, in case it wasn't obvious) )  .

Still, unless this fraud has been seen "in the wild," it feels uncomfortably-close to the same sort of hypothetical handwringing I see on the USA's far-right about how vote-by-mail &c "can be" abused for electoral fraud.

On the gripping hand, there's the obvious trifecta of the $BIGMONEY motivator, lack of meaningful oversight, and "bad actors" in the scene... so yeah, I expect someone has (or will) exploited most any branch of the get-rich-quick tree.

Okay. We see examples of people getting their digital art stolen and minted as NFT's without their consent. A lot of people who complain about it are being met with "you should have minted it yourself - otherwise it's basically free real-estate" - there's a big community of people who have decided copyright laws doesn't apply *unless* it is connceted to crypto.

The entire idea about an NFT is that the code on the blockchain does not actually have the picture, but only a link to a server where a picture is laying (rending all claims of a "decentralized network" moot - because the image in question is still only on one server)

(I think this was already answered Upthread)
Then, we get into the idea that owning a picture without a contract is not even legal! Your NFTs are not protected by any sort of DRM, because it is STILL just a single Image on a random server somewhere. Which is one of the problems NFT developers have tried to sue people over.

Thing is, the reason why there's a lot of evangelizing on the virtues of both cryptocurrency and NFT's is that unless they keep adding people to the interest pool and having them pay either as much as you did for your Crypto, or more if you don't want to break even, there's not much else you can *do* with Crypto.
What was tried here was to add some value with NFT's being a "thing to buy" for your crypto; but the technology around NFTs are not anywhere near what is claimed to be. In Chaosium's case, it was AR Images, which in and off itself is nice, but having artificial scarcity in a hobby that is already built around imagination being limitless, the use for AR Tokens with Unique Numbers is pretty low.

----------

And now we get to the big issue.

The reason why prices do not go down as there's more an more crypto mined? The costs are rising exponentially alongside the estimated value. It's a volatile speculatory market, that I am not even halfway to understanding why it works like it works.

I think NFTs were an attempt to have a solution where you could spend your crypto, but it just reinforced a lot of the problems with it.

Søren A. Hjorth
- Freelancer Writer, Cultural Distributer, Font of Less Than Useless Knowledge
https://thenarrativeexploration.wordpress.com/

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7 minutes ago, KungFuFenris said:

Okay. We see examples of people getting their digital art stolen and minted as NFT's without their consent. A lot of people who complain about it are being met with "you should have minted it yourself - otherwise it's basically free real-estate" - there's a big community of people who have decided copyright laws doesn't apply *unless* it is connceted to crypto.

Well, THAT needs to be stepped-on, hard !
 

( n.b. there is a LOT of Stupid going on in Crypto.  IIRC there was a consortium that bought a real-world collectible edition of Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone, NFT'ized and destroyed it... then claimed to own the (c) to HPatSS based on their NFT'ized ownership !  I am guessing there was a scammer who made bank, somewhere in there, roping-in bunch of clueless investors; but maybe it was just some clueless investors doing a self-pwn ) .
 

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4 hours ago, KungFuFenris said:

The reason why prices do not go down as there's more an more crypto mined? The costs are rising exponentially alongside the estimated value. It's a volatile speculatory market, that I am not even halfway to understanding why it works like it works.

The prices keep going up because demand continues to exceed supply even as the supply increases. Of course since there aren't many things you can directly purchase with it, the demand is driven largely by money laundering, black market transactions, tax evasion, ransomware payoffs, and (more recently) NFTs.

4 hours ago, KungFuFenris said:

I think NFTs were an attempt to have a solution where you could spend your crypto, but it just reinforced a lot of the problems with it.

I do believe that Dash and McCoy were sincere in their efforts to make something analogous to signed & numbered print runs or limited edition LPs in the digital media space when they came up with the concept. Many of the people who built that up into the current mess were absolutely looking to gin up demand for their hard-to-liquidate assets though. 

Edited by JonL
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JonL said: "Or it can not be, as the marketplace is infested with bad actors and there is no meaningful oversight."

5 hours ago, g33k said:

But, has this ever been documented?

Yes? There are numerous examples in the video, or you can read the never-ending stream at https://web3isgoinggreat.com/

Rather than assume that everything is surely fine and that there must be lots of legitimate and good uses of NFTs and cryptocurrency out there, perhaps find examples where everything is good and above board and not an environmental disaster scam with no upside for non-scammers (whether witting or not).

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1 hour ago, jenh said:

...

Yes? There are numerous examples in the video, or you can read the never-ending stream at https://web3isgoinggreat.com/

...

Thank you:  that was roughly the sort of thing I was looking for!  Fascinating sorts of fraud, malfeasance, &c on display there.

I quoted @JonLbadly, though (it was specifically the replication of non-unique tokens (being presented as if unique) that I meant to be asking about).

 

1 hour ago, jenh said:

...

Rather than assume that everything is surely fine and that there must be lots of legitimate and good uses of NFTs and cryptocurrency out there, perhaps find examples where everything is good and above board and not an environmental disaster scam with no upside for non-scammers (whether witting or not).

I wasn't assuming that; I was asking in good faith about known problems (which I mostly haven't been seeing (but then, mostly haven't been looking for)).You presented such a resource, so thank you !

But then you miscast me into the role of "assume that everything is surely fine and that there must be lots of legitimate and good uses" -- I am not doing that.

I am observing that NFT's are proliferating a lot; I am observing that there is a fair amount of neutral-to-favorable press coverage... which currently seems to be the main channel to educate oneself about them; I am observing that a lot of mainstream actors (many of whom care about their reputations, q.v. Disney, who wants a purer-than-the-driven-snow image, so "NFT as scam" would seem anathema to their Board of Directors; and Harvard, to whom "academic integrity" is an essential need) are in the NFT marketplace.

None of that proves NFT's are OK.

I am coming to see that the "unwitting" are a big component of the problem.

But please understand: there is no widespread societal consensus on the badness of NFTs, and lots of people (including me) are still learning about them.

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A big part of the unwitting-ness is engineered by outfits like VeVe doing their best to present an image of a greener more legitimately operated marketplace for folks like Disney or Chaosium to have a plausibly ok partner with whom to answer the call of the easy money. And I'm not prepared to say that anyone I've just named is acting in bad faith. I expect  that Chaosium sincerely accepted VeVe's attestations as valid redress for the many problems with NFTs, and in that light looked at the partnership as similar to what they do with Red Bubble. 

Hopefully they're continuing to listen and learn as well.

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A kicker on the efficiency claims though: VeVe is not wrong that their use of the ImmutableX blockchain is many times more efficient than transacting directly with the Etherium chain would be. They effectively use IX as an intermediate store and then regularly batch many (low power) IX transactions into a single (high power) Etherium transaction. Perhaps whatever offsets they buy to offset that energy use are actually sufficient to counter the impact of these transactions. There still remains a significant externalized impact: the expansion of the Etherium chain itself.

Even if VeVe is meaningfully offsetting their own power use, the batches of data they regularly add to the end of the Etherium chain make  every other Etherium transaction that anyone ever makes thereafter that much bigger, and thus more compute/power intensive. While it's good that VeVe minimizes their Etherium transactions, nothing they can do can reduce the impact of their additions on Etherium as-a-whole's ever increasing hunger for electricity. 

Edited by JonL
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48 minutes ago, JonL said:

... nothing they can do can reduce the impact of their additions on Etherium as-a-whole's ever increasing hunger for electricity. 

Well, no; not nothing.
They could buy offsets for (their contribution to) the ongoing Etherium energy consumption.

I'm not sure how large that would be; I presume non-trivial, though...

And, as-noted in thread, it's entirely unclear "carbon offsets" actually mitigate as-claimed, or are an appropriate tool for crypto.

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1 hour ago, JonL said:

A big part of the unwitting-ness is engineered by outfits like VeVe doing their best to present an image of a greener more legitimately operated marketplace for folks like Disney or Chaosium to have a plausibly ok partner with whom to answer the call of the easy money.

Be on the lookout for "We believe" statements in publicity releases.  They're generally attempts to deflect responsibility by intoning fallibility.  "We believe X to be true based on what we were told, though we understand that it may prove otherwise upon rigorous examination."  Businesses trading in carbon offsets allow such statements to be made plausibly true in spirit, if not in actual practice.

!i!

carbon copy logo smallest.jpg  ...developer of White Rabbit Green

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I am a long time RQ fan. Not so much CoC. I've got enough issues with depression that facing down inevitable doom and consuming evil is just not all that amusing, thank you very much.

But I am VERY[!] disappointed that my favorite game company has gotten into the NFT nonsense. Foisting a non-product that doesn't exist for very real currency that very real people expended very real effort to earn is patented crypto bullshit. As every person who's ever worked for a boss knows, it only takes one 'Aw, shit' to fuck up a thousand 'Attaboys'. And Chaosium has just stepped in a steaming pile of shit.

Have I emphasized that enough for you?

Edited by svensson
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On 2/17/2022 at 1:38 AM, jenh said:

In order to buy the NFT, you have to buy into the cryptocurrency. In order to mint the NFT, you have to buy into the cryptocurrency.

Is that truly the case?

The "mining" of the transaction does create crypto-currency, agreed, as they piggy-back on Ethereum. A couple of "miners" spend resources (and waste energy) for one of them to be rewarded by a virtual token that probably will be traded.

Does the purchase, though? I cannot see any indication that you need Ethereum to waste your money on such a certificate.

Not that I am even considering to make "in-app purchases" for an ostentation app I wouldn't use, but as far as I can see, VeVe uses an "in-app currency" like many online games, converting dollars to donuts or whatever they are called. There is no call to buy Etherium or any other such collectible pseudo-currency.

Money-laundering can be done with any kind of transaction. Transferable in-app currency for a 3D-representation of something like a book you cannot (virtually) open and read, or a statuette of a made-up entity, is no different from purchasing some non-standard appearance for a virtual entity in a multi-player game. Pretty pointless from a materialist point of view, a rush of oxytocin for people who feel good from ostentation.

Greenwashing aside, a certain energy expenditure for feeling good is accepted practice in our society, and if enough people do a thing it becomes culture. I don't have to agree that e.g. House music or the success of a soccer team is a cultural achievement, as long as enough other people see value in that, that value exists. Enjoyment of any kind will. Most enjoyment will use up resources that would sensibly go elsewhere, like this forum.

 

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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54 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Is that truly the case?

The "mining" of the transaction does create crypto-currency, agreed, as they piggy-back on Ethereum. A couple of "miners" spend resources (and waste energy) for one of them to be rewarded by a virtual token that probably will be traded.

Does the purchase, though? I cannot see any indication that you need Ethereum to waste your money on such a certificate.

Not that I am even considering to make "in-app purchases" for an ostentation app I wouldn't use, but as far as I can see, VeVe uses an "in-app currency" like many online games, converting dollars to donuts or whatever they are called. There is no call to buy Etherium or any other such collectible pseudo-currency.

 

 

VeVe's specific model is a bit unusual. They are sitting on a very large pile of OMI tokens, a digital currency created by their parent company. When you buy gems in-app with regular money, they don't sell you any OMI as such, but they do set aside the equivalent value in OMI from their reserve to cover any transactions you make. When you use those gems to buy something, they use the reserved OMI to process the blockchain transaction. The more OMI get tied up in VeVe purchases (as buyers have no easy way at present to sell their purchases on outside of VeVe's marketplace), the fewer remain in circulation overall - which they think is going to raise the value of OMI over time. Somehow. Many VeVe enthusiasts seem to also hold OMI independently, hoping to ride along with its hoped-for eventual rise.

tl,dr; VeVe gems aren't crypto-currency exactly, but more like a bank-note or store gift-card backed by crypto-currency.

Edited by JonL
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Reports on Twitter about VeVe’s AMA on its official Discord server earlier today suggest that Chaosium is still planning NFT drops and that the suspension is merely temporary:

image.jpeg.da45b132d0990bd329647ee8827a3668.jpegimage.png.04e5316cf857162e16174da2aed5ffff.png

image.thumb.jpeg.e657ff34bea3c3055c399ec98ee8f24e.jpeg

 

edit: I believe the Alex mentioned is Alex Gonzalez, Veve’s Senior Director of Marketing & emphasis added.

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So it seems the Chaosium announcement of suspending plans was in fact because they believe that we're all confused and bewildered, but will either stop fussing and learn to love NFTs, or just quieten down so they can get back to being part of this horror.

Is that about right, Chaosium?

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On 2/19/2022 at 3:14 AM, Travern said:

Reports on Twitter about VeVe’s AMA on its official Discord server earlier today suggest that Chaosium is still planning NFT drops and that the suspension is merely temporary:

...

edit: I believe the Alex mentioned is Alex Gonzalez, Veve’s Senior Director of Marketing.

Well, that’s me done with Chaosium. 

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To be fair, this appears to be VeVe stating their position on Chaosium's recent publicity release, not an update on Chaosium's intent.  They have appearances to maintain in the face of bad press.

But it's also fair to observe that "suspending" trade in NFTs is still an equivocal position to take while committing to no particular action.

!i!

Edited by Ian Absentia
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On 2/19/2022 at 8:01 AM, Ian Absentia said:

To be fair, this appears to be VeVe stating their position on Chaosium's recent publicity release, not an update on Chaosium's intent. 

I’d like to know more about why apparently a VeVe marketing exec said (according to that Red Circle account) that Chaosium “did not handle the situation well and listened to their gaming community and acted hasty.”

But the upshot of VeVe’s AMA is that they wanted to emphasize that the Chaosium’s NFT suspension is only temporary and another drop is still being planned.

To provide an insight into why VeVe may have tried to mollify its restive customers, here’s a representative selection of the angry replies to Chaosium’s tweet announcing their NFT suspension:

image.png.0f49f17aeeb4f38cdd69ccaaa0445243.png

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A landscape dominated by 1s and 5s.  Though I do appreciate the irony of this comment regarding a company in the business of entertainment: "So you will let your fans dictate what kind of product you should or shouldn't release?! Pathetic."

The desperation to continue pumping hot air is exquisite.

!i!

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3 minutes ago, Kloster said:

The comments on Veve are making me sure that in the (very) unlikely possibility that I will purchase NFT, it will not be through Veve.

That's pretty standard for the NFT/Crypto world. It's a big reason some of us don't want it contaminating TTRPG gaming. 

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So. Now we're in the weeds.

This is a TimeStamped to VeVe's AMA where the question was asked.

"Helping with educating"?
I am not sure if they've been listening to the feedback so far, but I think the reason why people are not eager with getting Chaosium involved in this is *exactly* because they're educated on these topics.

Planned drops in Q2. Huh.

So. Are we gonna have to have this dance in two months again?

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Søren A. Hjorth
- Freelancer Writer, Cultural Distributer, Font of Less Than Useless Knowledge
https://thenarrativeexploration.wordpress.com/

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I rewinded back to 9:10 to get all the talk about NFTs in regards to Chaosium. And, they sound just more and more like a cult, when I hear them talk.
They are talking about people not understanding what NFTs is about, but  NOTHING of the common concerns that they bring up, are misunderstood to most people.
This is just terrible.

And he does say "They have suspended for now the planned drops they had for us in q2", so I am not thinking they will be back on in 2 months.
 

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