What do you actually get when you buy an NFT token?

Don’t buy NFTs or create them. That’s all.

bitcoin

I’m a vocal critic of NFTs (non-fungible tokens). I think they stink and they’re a serious moral and environmental hazard. Earlier today, I saw a Twitter thread about what you get from an NFT token and, well, it caused the tweeter’s eyebrows to break the laws of physics and biology:

@jonty tweeted: Out of curiosity I dug into how NFT's actually reference the media you're "buying" and my eyebrows are now orbiting the moon

I recommend you read through the thread but the key part is: whoever sells you the NFT keeps all aspects of the NFT and you get a file that references the digital file you pay for that can be lost if the server hosting it disappears. In essence, they’re worthless.

Short version: The NFT token you bought either points to a URL on the internet, or an IPFS hash. In most circumstances it references an IPFS gateway on the internet run by the startup you bought the NFT from. Oh, and that URL is not the media. That URL is a JSON metadata file

Second tweet from the thread

I’ve seen a suggestion that NFTs can help marginalised artists make money from their art in an easier way. But how many marginalised artists are making $70m from a JPG like this monstrosity?

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