NFTs: Hype, mainstream growth - & implications
Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:
How wild is the NFT art world? And are there any loopholes behind the trend?
Well, to start with for me, the prices are insanely wild. It looked like a small circle of already wealthy fans are enjoying this new type of speculation. And while I love art, I think there's a world of difference between the Bored Apes and Van Gogh. And I have not quite discovered any appealing cutting-edge creativity in the NFT space. And meanwhile, the loophole are many, there is unauthorized use of images for NFTs, but also risks of money laundering and inflating prices artificially. And the whole hype reminds me a bit of Tulip mania, when in the Netherlands between 1634 and 1637, bulbs were sold for as much as 10 times the annual salary of a skilled artisan.
How will NFTs reshape our ways of living?
Well, since there's so much money exchanging hands, it's understandable that people want in on it. We see social media platforms accommodating NFT sales and their use. For example, Twitter offering the option of an NFT as an avatar, and venture capital investors are jumping on the bandwagon. Nike now looks to offer the sale of virtual shoes in the metaverse, and Bored Ape characters are expected to feature in the Super Bowl halftime show next week. So, it looks like NFTs are going more mainstream, but there's also question of regulation. They are currently not considered as securities in the US and I'm sure that regulators will be catching up to avoid some of the harms from this unregulated market. So ultimately regulation is also going to be very defining in the future of these investments.