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Hype & Money Are Testing The Idea of NFTs

NFTs continue to pop up everywhere. There’s a lot of hype around them and a lot of money is involved in the NFT and Web3 ecosystem.

Technologies Mature

Believe it or not, the hype part is a common pattern for technologies. Research & analysis company Gartner has a famous research methodology around, “The Gartner Hype Cycle.”

Simply put, new technology comes on the scene, there’s a ton of hype, massive frustration, then gradually it settles into reasonable usage.

Not all technologies make it through the hype cycle but we learn something from every one that tries.

NFTs are nearing the top of the their hype…hopefully.

Nothing For You?

A NFT is just a data file recorded on a blockchain. This data file follows a standard that lays out the minimum requirements.

That standard states that at its core, an NFT is just a name, description, and a link to something.

That doesn’t magically grant you a license or ownership over something. Other mechanism or tools do that.

I am not a lawyer but it’s actually the terms and conditions of the NFT project that dictate what the NFT signifies. Reading through these contracts are critical.

Sing Another Tune

Recently, a project called HitPiece claimed to be selling unique NFTs for music. The project promised a one-to-one relationship between an NFT and a hit song.

They promised that artists would earn royalties every time an NFT changed hands and that owners of the NFT would gain “access and experiences.”

Of course there was immediate outrage. This project had nothing to do with the artists whose work it was trying to sell. Within hours the site was taken down and now displays the message, “We Started The Conversation And We’re Listening.”

Now, the Record Industry Associate of America is taking legal measures against the project.

Buyer Beware

HitPiece is one of all-to-many scams associated with cryptocurrencies and NFTs. While we’ve seen lots of hyped up technologies fail spectacularly, we’ve never seen this much money and this many people be hurt by those failures.

That doesn’t rule out the future or potential utility of NFTs.

But as with any technology, we need to move through the hype cycle before we see that potential realized. If you view these early efforts as experiments, that might help you better evaluate the risks.