from the when-fads-turn-toxic dept
There’s surely some utility buried somewhere underneath the monumental piles of bullshit, hype, and outright scams. But with cryptocurrency values tanking and the public losing interest, the NFT craze appears to be retreating just as quickly as it arrived.
That’s bad news for the numerous companies that — after bumbling through the bureaucratic process of new product approval and design — are only just releasing their NFTs now. Reddit, for example, last week launched (to the collective sound of a million yawns) “collectible avatars.” Said avatars are on the blockchain and most definitely NFTs, but in its announcement Reddit avoids the word like the plague.
Data clearly indicates that gamers aren’t really interested in NFTs and blockchain games. That doesn’t seem to matter. It didn’t matter when Ubisoft jumped into NFTs and was greeted with a response ranging from disgust to total apathy. And it didn’t matter to GameStop, who thought last week would be the perfect time to launch a big new NFT marketplace to gain some relevance not reliant on r/WallStreetBets.
Meanwhile, Sony is planning to launch “digital collectibles” which are “3D rendered representations of things like figurines of video game characters and past Sony devices” that will be “ultra rare and hard to obtain.” The company had to go out of its way to tell the Washington Post these weren’t NFTs, which pretty much tells you everything you need to know about the state of NFTs:
“It’s definitely not NFTs. Definitely not. You can’t trade them or sell them. It is not leveraging any blockchain technologies and definitely not NFTs,” Chen said.
Again, there’s are some interesting applications when it comes to digital collectibles, even those on the blockchain. But they’ve been hard to see because they’ve been absolutely buried by a parade of cult-like opportunistic scammers and bullshit artists. That’s forced companies looking to explore digital collectible innovation to highlight at the very top of their marketing pitches not what they are, but what they aren’t.
A semi-novel idea was basically imploded by opportunists, now everybody involved in anything even tangentially related will have to spend the next two years first clarifying what their new product isn’t. That’s an obstacle you could maybe overcome if your idea is truly transformative, but it’s a hard sell when your big idea basically involves tethering some half-assed gifs to the blockchain for no reason.