All About NFTs

Who is this NFT guide for?

I’m making this post for two groups of people that have been talking to me about NFTs.

With Group 1 (the much larger one), the conversation has revolved mainly about what NFTs are. What do they mean? What does someone buy when they buy an NFT? What are NFTs comaprable to? I can understand and empathize with this confusion. If I had a nickel for every time I didn’t know what was going on…I’d be like “why do I keep getting all these f***ing nickels?”. Still, in my peer group I’m usually the person who takes the brunt of these questions, due to my being involved in the “crypto” space the longest. I decided that making a quick guide to NFTs would be quicker than answering the same questions over and over.

The folks in Group 2 (the smaller but much noisier) tend to skip right past these questions completely in favor of just one: how to make money with NFTs. In most cases these people seem to have no artistic skill or brand whatsoever. They ask about the quickest way to get rich off of NFTs, to which I’d reply “You invited me out to this crowded restaurant in the middle of the third COVID wave to ask about this???” This group saw the explanatory guide made for Group 1, and kept asking why I wasn’t putting as much effort into how to make money from these NFTs starting completely from scratch.

Roughly how most of these Twitter DMs go.

My answers about how get-rich-quick schemes and money-laundering are poisoning the proverbial NFT well, and how there’s tons of more useful and more noble applications for NFTs, tended not to stick. So, to shut up Group 2 and their requests for a “guide” for getting rich off of NFTs, I decided to “oblige” their requests. To show exactly how seriously I was taking the requests from Group 2, I decided to meet this absurd request by recycling an equally absurd personal project from years ago, and then release the full combined guide on April Fools day.

What was this absurd personal project being turned into a “getting rich off of NFTs” guide? Funny story. Three years ago, Stephen Wolfram wrote an April Fools day essay called Buzzword Convergence: Making Sense of Quantum Neural Blockchain AI. He tied all the concepts individually back to his personal physics project: a model of phyics that frames the universe as an emergent phenomena from hypergraph automata. A few of my physicist friends claim this is far from the most bizzare thing Stephen Wolfram’s written about.

I swear this meme-dump gets more original.

Meanwhile, a few friends and I started brainstorming the ultimate buzzword project. This would be a nonsense programming project specifically designed to produce the ultimate clickbait title on Hacker News and/or make a typical San Francisco tech investor drool. For a while, I kept the files for this archived (I had much higher-priority things to worry about for almost the entirey of these past 3 years). But now, Group 2 has given me a chance to dredge up again this unholy amalgam of wasted bleeding-edge technology once again.

This NFT guide is divided into three sections. The first two sections (the actually helpful part) give an overview of how NFTs work and what makes them valuable to some people. The final section is intended as a middle-finger aimed at those wanting to use NFTs for get-rich-quick schemes or money laundering. It’s a middle finger constructed out of other bleeding-edge technologies companies (either pretending to use them or using them for frivolous reasons) name-drop to boost their valuations.

Here we go:

1. What are NFTs, and how do you make them?

How NFTs work, and what you're actually buying when you bid on or purchase one.

2. What guides the value of an NFT?

Why NFTs can be so expensive, and what motivations could make someone spend so much on them.

3. Quantum Neural Blockchain AI for NFTs

Just in time for April Fools Day: How to make NFT artwork for definitely-not-money-laundering (no artistic talent required).

References

Thanks for reading!

Cited as:

@article{mcateer2021allaboutnfts,
  title   = "All About NFTs",
  author  = "McAteer, Matthew",
  journal = "matthewmcateer.me",
  year    = "2021",
  url     = "https://matthewmcateer.me/series/all-about-nfts/"
}

If you notice mistakes and errors in this post, don’t hesitate to contact me at [contact at matthewmcateer dot me] and I would be very happy to correct them right away!

See you in the next post 😄

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