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WTF Are NFTs, And Why Should You Care? Find Out In This Video

By Gary Symons

TLL Editor in Chief

If you’ve read recent articles in TLL about the rise of NFTs, or Non-Fungible Tokens, you’d know I am not a fan of the technology, nor how it is being used in the art and licensing industries right now.

The main reason for that is the shocking amount of energy used by the cryptocurrencies that are at the heart of NFT technology. As of last week, the electricity demand for Bitcoin alone was more than all the electricity used by Sweden. If Bitcoin was a country, it would be ranked 27th in the world for overall electricity demand, consuming well over half a per cent of all the electricity generated globally.

And Bitcoin is far from being the only cryptocurrency, so the total demand for Bitcoin plus Ethereum plus Flow, and so on, is much higher.

Nevertheless, the popularity of NFTs exploded this year due to a number of well publicized sales of digital artwork, including the truly ludicrous sale of Beeple’s collage ‘Everyday: The First 5000 Days’, in which the NFT sold at auction to a cryptocurrency company for $69 million. You can see more background on NFTs in our Special Report at THIS LINK, or some examples of how they are being used in the licensing industry HERE.

More recently, two other panelists and I converged at the virtual RAVE ArtExpo on April 24 for a session called WTF Are NFTs. It’s a hot topic in the art world right now, as digital artists have long sought to establish some means to increase the value of digital artworks, when they are so easily copied or downloaded.

The panel featured yours truly as the dark cloud raining on the NFT parade, but also included Jon Stock, an entrepreneur and consultant with a focus on emerging technologies including augmented and virtual reality (XR), the Internet of Things, and Blockchain. Jon is also the co-founder of Corridar, an XR-commerce platform which fuses augmented and virtual reality with digital shopping environments, and he is very passionate about tech’s impact on the future of art, entertainment, and commerce. The third panelist was Craig Kausen, a man from the world of art who also understands technology and licensing.

Kausen is the grandson of the artist and animator Chuck Jones, and currently works as President and Chairman of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity and Chuck Jones Galleries. Kausen received a Bachelor of Science degree from UCLA in 1985. He held various teaching positions at Orange County colleges in digital/computer sciences while pursuing his scientific career with Hughes Aircraft and MAI Basic Four, but for the past 18 years he has been in the fine art business and has been involved in art publishing, opening and managing art galleries, artist management, and many other art business related endeavors.

The panel was ably moderated by Eric Smith and Hannah Smith of the Redwood Art Group, which organizes the ArtExpo events.

The full video is above, or you can see it on the RAVE ArtExpo site at THIS LINK.


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