Writing can be expensive, but not for the reasons I initially thought. There’s no substitute for learning by doing which sometimes necessitates spending money.
For my recent novel YOLOsapiens I make many claims about how easy it is to mint and sell your own NFTs. I did this based mainly on YouTube tutorials from high school kids with more dollars than sense. To get to know this community, I had to embed myself, become an ape, and discover what all the fuss was about. It was eye-opening.
The “NFT” community breaks down into artists, beggars, traders, and collectors from what I have seen. I think there are sub-groups that are a lot more varied but this is what I observed when following the global “NFT” keyword. At the top of the food chain are people who own Bored Ape (Bored Ape Yacht Club, Mutant Ape, etc.) NFTs and use them as their Twitter avatars. They like posting videos of their VR pods displaying all the expensive crap they bought. These people are flashing so much digital bling it attracts followers like moths.
They also seem to like making posts along the lines of “like and follow for a chance to win XYZ.” Of course, these are lies, but this brings me to the next group: the beggars. The beggars retweet all the collectors and post their crypto addresses in every giveaway thread. Since almost all these giveaways are rigged, it’s a fool’s errand. This group is highly passionate about NFTs being the future of everything even if the technical aspects escape their discussions.
The sad part is, the beggars seem to be looking for community. Social connectedness comes from this group-think of “The world hates NFTs, so if we all love them, then we must all be friends!” At least Tweeting about it is free.
Traders know how to sniff out the hype and flip valuable NFTs. They are the true winners here because they can capture their profits and won’t be left holding the bag if the whole house of cards falls. The final group, “The Collectors,” seem to have vast amounts of cash to burn and probably won’t be hurt that much when it all goes belly up. They buy these things to get instant cred in an increasingly “meta” world. Why buy a yacht with ongoing maintenance when you can buy a picture of a monkey with a melting face and 3d-glasses?
To learn all this, I had to go through the process of creating my own NFTs so I could explain to my readers just how easy it is. It turns out it’s easy, but the license to mint and list unlimited items (at least on OpenSea) has about a $200 to $500 barrier to entry, depending on the current gas fees. This amount of money coincidentally is the amount most average Americans cannot raise for an emergency… It’s almost like it’s priced to keep out the poor, so they can’t fully participate… hmmm.
Anyway, food for thought. Speaking of food, check out my NFT collection. Maybe they will be worth a million dollars one day (or zero.) It’s all so exciting!
Feel free to screenshot them, that’s really not what it’s all about.