Vitalik Buterin – known for his role in creating Ethereum, the largest altcoin on the market and arguably bitcoin’s biggest competitor – isn’t a huge fan of non-fungible tokens or NFTs, as they’re called for short. In a recent interview, he warned against NFTs and claimed they were “dystopian.”
Vitalik Buterin Doesn’t Like How Big NFTs Have Become
Ethereum is largely responsible for giving way to NFTs. These tokens require smart contracts, which up to one point, was technology only compatible with the Ethereum blockchain, though newer networks like Solana and TRON also bear these capabilities.
Many of these NFTs represent stakes in something larger. For example, you can buy an NFT of the Mona Lisa, and this is meant to represent a slight bit of ownership in the actual painting, which if purchased would probably go for several million dollars. The NFT represents a portion of ownership in the Mona Lisa without paying for the whole thing.
But the NFT space has grown to boast a valuation of several billion dollars. The space is becoming extremely popular, and many of these tokens are selling for hundreds of thousands at the time of writing. Tokens issued by the Bored Ape Yacht Club, for example, are known to sell for at least $300K or more. These assets are owned by celebrities such as Jimmy Fallon and Paris Hilton.
Buterin is concerned that the NFT industry is getting a little out of control. He commented:
Crypto itself has a lot of dystopian potential if implemented wrong. The peril is you have these $3 million monkeys, and it becomes a different kind of gambling. There definitely are lots of people that are just buying yachts and Lambos.
Just last year, NFTs sold for a combined total of more than $25 billion. There are clearly a lot of people out there with too much money on their hands, and they’re looking for ways to spend it and potentially build their wealth, though Buterin isn’t convinced that these tokens are going to do all they’re slated to do in the coming future. Right now, NFTs largely represent pieces of media, images, videos, and even land in virtual worlds or games.
Are Sales Dying Down?
According to Dapp Radar, NFT sales are slowing down in 2022, suggesting that perhaps the hype is coming to an end. While it cannot be said for sure that NFTs are ending altogether, it’s likely the craze that we saw in 2021 is being infiltrated by small bits of reality. Buterin believes this, stating:
The goal of crypto is not to play games with million-dollar pictures of monkeys. It’s to do things that accomplish meaningful effects in the real world. If we don’t exercise our voice, the only things that get built are the things that are immediately profitable, and those are often far from what’s best for the world.