Non-fungible tokens are unique—that’s the whole point, and the reason why some NFTs sell for millions of dollars.
But one of the foremost NFT artists, pplpleasr, said the NFT industry is overly reliant on trust—despite the “trustless” blockchain technology upon which it is based. There’s nothing to stop artists from minting the same file as an NFT on multiple platforms.
That “kind of defeats the purpose of NFTs,” she said at Ethereal, the blockchain conference powered by Decrypt, on Friday.
Most NFTs are currently “hosted” on a Web3 protool called the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS). Decrypt also uses it to host our content. But IPFS is a way to reference the location of a piece of data rather than store it.
The actual location of the .gif, .jpeg or .mp4 an NFT points to could be stored anywhere, and most of the big NFT marketplaces store the NFTs themselves.
So it’s perfectly possible to mint the same image as two different NFTs on two different marketplaces. Pplpleasr, for instance, minted her NFT on Foundation, but she could have also minted the same file as an NFT on another platform.
But she didn’t. NFT artists, she said, “have been respectful of that, and nobody’s violated [trust],” she said.
Decentralization is at the heart of Pplpleasr’s short NFT career. In March, she sold an NFT bearing a flashy advertisement for decentralized exchange Uniswap for $525k.
The buyer was PleasrDAO—a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) that her fans set up to pool money through smart contracts.
PleasrDAO has moved on from its sole devotion to pplpleasr’s artwork; last month, the DAO bought Edward Snowden’s NFT for $5.4 million.
Pplpleasr, like the PleasrDAO she inspired, is committed to decentralization. But neither she nor the PleasrDAO can shift the market alone. “You have to take into consideration collectors and fan base, all this kind of stuff,” she said. “You have to go where they are.”
“Everybody’s so centric about Ethereum and ERC-20s, so it’s really hard to migrate [to another platform],” she said. “Even with high gas fees, Ethereum’s the way to go.”
check out the avatar/NFT I designed and created for the crypto Metaverse, and how @strangechances is changing the NFT game and upgrading the whole architecture
(NFTs can be so much more than just uploading a file — read his thread!) https://t.co/S5BJjetLFk
— pplpleasr (@pplpleasr1) November 20, 2020
But she hopes the NFT space will branch out. And it’s certainly made a lot of progress already, she said—when she minted her first NFT on Rarible, the platform didn’t let her include audio and restricted the file size to 10MB for .gifs. That’s certainly not in line with her videos, which NFT platforms now support.
have you seen the latest @picklefinance video yet?
(ft all hand drawn assets by urs truly )
— pplpleasr (@pplpleasr1) November 16, 2020