blockchain and cryptoart: how we get free? or how we get fucked (as usual)?


apparently all the commotion about the gamestop microrebellion (which, its safe to say now, was rlly nothing more then right-libertarians asking to see the manager of the nyse and getting shooed out) as lead to a new popular interest in cryptocurrency and blockchain, and one the major things now is selling non-fungable tokens, lil packets of crypto data that are non-currency and are made one-of-a-kind for artificial scarcity. this is has been getting hype and debated furiously in the fine art world for apparently a while now, but now its coming ahead to music with the announcement of this edm artist 3LAU (who i enjoyed a lil bit before in my edm years) selling NFTs of his new album, first of its kind

mind u, this isnt even the artist selling u portions of the ownership of the publishing or recording copyrights, thats still controlled by 3lau, like most of the fine artists selling their work thru this. nah, this is the artist selling u an NFT associated with the art. its trading card collecting. thats all it is. u own the special limited edition rookie card of ultraviolet by 3lau. maybe if that album becomes a massive critical classic in the next 10 years, maybe that digital card will be worth a lot of BTC and ETH in the market. maybe.

i think the most overt display of the snake oil of all this is youtube star, amateur professional boxer, and beloved exploiter of dead japanese suicide victims logan paul selling, i shit u not, a PNG of a shitty deviantart-core anime drawing of him holding rare pokemon cards for $2k a pop. mind u, this guy, and a lot of the youtube elite (which steve aoki is a part of now as well, apparently), have been inflating the pokemon trading card market with unboxing videos of decade old packs in search of capturing rare cards and “a piece of my childhood back” (shut up fuck you), so this is def eyeopening on multiple levels.

so what do yall make of this? because this is not to dismiss the possibities of blockchain on making music industries more equitable outright – dryhurst has been p openly skeptical of the nft trading gifs thing, but points to possibilities for blockchain to help sort out instant mechanical rights payment for in(ter)dependent artists in their tracks’ use in dj mixes on the radio and in the club (and richie has spoken about this as well). i think mat kinda said it in the best way to lead of a wide discussion here:

Imagine we had twitter during the 90s .com boom. Yes you’d have a ton of grossout scammy companies, shills and marketing language to poke fun at. You would also be incorrect to assume the world wasn’t about to be completely transformed for better and worse. Train your gag reflex.


I have no clue where the discussion about Blockchain is at the moment and I can’t remember how many times I thought I’ve understood how Blockchain works and artists can use it for their mechanical rights actually …

Doesn’t it still depend on the will of DJs and broadcasters to send back the information at one point? For example upload a list of played tracks of a set through the DJ-software or another app, even when it’s encrypted in whatever blockchainy thingy? Or will this happen automatically? And if then where is the money coming from? From the DJ?

I have no idea what’s going on with all BTC ETH stuff. Seems like massive scam to me that destroys even more nature because of crypto-mining as shitty capitalism is doing already …


i don’t understand none of this shit and no one seems to be able to explain it in a simple manner - and that keeps me massively uninterested


I don’t fully understand it either. However I see a lot of visual art ppl who’ve done work for music selling their art as NFTs for ETH. I’m 100% certain they’re all doing it for a quick easy crypto buck, which makes sense. Go get that bag.


… at the same time, there’s valid criticism about NFTs. Environmental issues, lack of intuitive design imo, and artificial scarcity.


I saw stuff about this in the documentary about Pepe the Frog (which wasn’t that interesting), with a “Rare Pepe memes” auction. Just seemed like some very odd bad nerds who had somehow got their hands on too much money. Bad people coalescing around nothing of value.

The technology may well have interesting consequences in the end, but I’m not that interested in futurology tbh for whatever reason. I’ve seen Plastician talk about this kind of thing a bit on twitter but frankly I’ve not got a clue what’s going on. If you have the knowledge to get a piece of a quick buck then go mad, but I can’t see the value for those of us who aren’t interested in the tech or whatever speculation scene is popping off atm.

Trading card stuff is just profoundly boring to me. I have some similar impulses for buying records (trying to get complete sets of labels etc) but I mostly try and suppress it as a pointless and destructive impulse and a waste of money in a time where money is tight. I am happy to spend money on rare stuff if it has some use value (music you can’t find elsewhere). But don’t really think the trading card mindset is healthy - but ymmv of course.


Internet in a nutshell :stuck_out_tongue:

I remember the hype that surrounded bitcoin in 2017. I was even hearing about it on a near daily basis IRL around… October I think. Hype or not, it’s here to stay.
Also, going through Mat Dryhurst’s tweets makes this more philosophically palpable.

also yeah, spending millions on GIFs is ridiculous. But I don't think crypto created the habit of vulgar displays of status, it is however making it more transparent. I'm inspired by the other positive stuff that's coming

— automat (@matdryhurst) March 1, 2021

Was also looking at an article posted by the EDM artist mentioned in OP, it talks about how sentimentality and emotions plays a large part within NFTs.

Although the term “digital art renaissance” is a whole load of fuckin malarkey.


Wish I’d fucking heard of it then! Though tbf I’d just have become one of those sad cases with £5m worth of Bitcoin I’d forgotten the password to.

If there was some NFT I could get into or understand the market for I would give it a go. But there isn’t and you only get one life so I’m not going to spend it trying to access some speculative market I don’t understand and won’t succeed in beating. Can’t read that NYT article on my phone but with anything this hyped eventually there will be some good primers. Particularly when the more interesting aspects of the tech become a bit clearer.


yeah i decided we are fucked. again. thanks everyone


RIP lol didn’t think it would last that long anyway


Basically paraphrasing tweets but at this point anyone chatting about getting into NFTs has either an angle or a grift. Hope it’ll fade away from the mainline public sphere sooner than later just like cryptos. And then after that is the next trend…

Hopefully there can still be something positive about NFTs even though it’s being run into the ground as we speak.



Being from both the art and music worlds I can see a lot of positives and negatives for this tech. Like if you are a digital artist who exhibits work with a gallery being able to buy a work from you exclusively for their collection for instance. But like you wouldn’t keep a copy for yourself right? Blows the whole idea of exclusivity down right there ha ha. With music it’d be cool to be able to do one off versions of songs and sell it to one person. Noise acts Madonna used to do that with releases back in the day, and there is something kinda cool about the idea of being the only person in the world with a copy of something I must say. Can’t go past good bragging rights. (Come to my house and I’ll show of my Aphex vinyl hesdone a scratch tag on the run out of. No really, its awesome…:stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:)

That said though I’ve been watching this from when I heard about the whole gif art market thing a few years back and just thought what an extraordinary waste of technology it was. And it just stinks of silicon Valley largesse tbh. Blockchain has awesome potential for rights and publishing management but, although the logistics of it still have a long way to go imo.

I dunno, its gonna be interesting to watch either way I think.


I like the trading card analogy, I reckon that’s pretty bang on hey


dubplates. ur literally just describing dubplates. this isnt a new concept, and even then, ur supposed to get one by being a good pal and supporter to the artists. i thought we were already hating the second-hand discogs inflation stuff, i dont see how this makes it any different then that, except u dont even get a one of a kind physical object with it.

is this what u are talking about :stuck_out_tongue:


Ha ha awful noise that, meant to say Masonna ha ha, bloody auto correct :man_facepalming: and yeah, I am totally feeling you on this whole thing hey - I’d rather have the actual dubplate for sure. If it was me I’d just give NFT’d up songs away to people for supporting my stuff. I also think if Covid hadn’t happened that all this bidniss wouldn’t be happening either.

Also $10 bet Kanye drops an NFT album in like the next month and it’ll cost a squazillion bucks. He’s probably melting down that he wasn’t the one who did it first haha


does a NFT slap in the dance?

can it get a reload?


feels like a bubble to me. the latest crypto gold rush. the fact that it is connected to art is just a convenient way to get press and hype.

that said, would be very pumped to be proved wrong and big up to any artist that has secured the bag™ with it so far.

(post about some lad’s thoughts on NFTs, even says he minted one in 2016)


Fun times with cryptoart right here. Kinda awful actually: