“Pssst. Hey, buddy. Wanna buy an NFT of Jack Dorsey’s first tweet? Special deal. Some moron paid $2.9 million for this, but my guy got it from him super cheap. For you? $280 bucks.”
Before you jump at the deal, you might want to look a little closer at what you’re getting. And that, of course, is the catch for any NFT.
When you look closer, it looks exactly like any digital copy would look because … it’s just a digital copy of something.
So if you saw the NFT of Jack Dorsey’s first tweet (which really did sell to some moron for $2.9 million and was later resold for $280) and took a screenshot, you’d have what the NFT owner paid $2.9 million for.
Well, not exactly.
You wouldn’t have the blockchain proof that you ‘own’ the digital copy of that tweet. You’d only have the digital copy of that tweet.
Are you following this?
If so, you might be wondering why anyone would pay for something so easily copied. We certainly don’t pay a fortune for a copy of Van Gogh’s Starry Night, not when you can get a poster for $3. In fact, here is a digital copy for you for free:
Yeah, I know it’s not remotely the same as the original, which is why we still have museums.
And, yes, an NFT of Dorsey’s tweet is exactly like the original digital tweet, except that it isn’t the original; it’s a digital copy, indistinguishable from the original.
Seeing The Starry Night, the real one that has been hanging in the Museum of Modern Art in New York since 1941, is thought by many art lovers to be a transcendent experience but viewing a poster of the painting is not. Not everyone thinks the difference is worth millions of dollars, but most people agree that the painting is substantially different from the poster.
That is not the case for NFT art. The ‘poster’ and the ‘painting’ are the same.
The jury is out for buying NFTs, certainly, but I couldn’t care less. NFTs are so far from the world of investing that I live in that they might as well be an illusion of an asset.
Oh, wait a sec. They are an illusion of an asset.
“Pssst. Hey, man. I’ve got this bridge NFT I want to sell you super cheap….”
Phil Town is an investment advisor, hedge fund manager, 3x NY Times Best-Selling Author, ex-Grand Canyon river guide, and former Lieutenant in the US Army Special Forces. He and his wife, Melissa, share a passion for horses, polo, and eventing. Phil’s goal is to help you learn how to invest and achieve financial independence.