NFTs: The Gathering

(of my thoughts)

Revelations 3:16

So then because thou art lukewarm,
and neither hot nor cold,
I will spew thee
out of my

– God

I’m no longer religious, but the above scripture keeps coming to mind when I consider my relationship with digital collectibles.

I sometimes worry that I’m lukewarm, but really, hhhhh, fuck all that. I’m cold. I’m ice cold. I wish I could love them. I really do. I wish I cared. I wish it mattered to me. I wish I got a rush out of the supposed innovation, the janky art, the tech novelty, the clever nonsense, and cheeky inside-coolness mania. But I just don’t. Aside from all the pedestrian criticisms, I’m just not a collectoor. And there’s no real way around that fact. Trust me, I could probably make a fair bit of money at it, even. But in the end, my heart is elsewhere.


Everything boils down to 3 primordial facts: 

1. The collector mindset is just inherent in some people and… it can’t be re-wired (no matter how much disdain you heap upon it)

2. If you don’t have that collector’s mindset, digital collectibles will strike you as utterly pointless. And as much as I agree with you, and despite my next point, if you don’t like it, you gotta find a higher road or a more strategic tack.

3. A LOT of newer people feel like they missed the ‘bitcoin get rich boat’. They contract blockchain fever, and are willing to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to make bank. This unfortunate fact drives an unsavory galaxy of insatiable grift and inexhaustible nonsense that clouds other sincere efforts at education and adoption (and by this I mean sincere bitcoin adoption and, I am reticent to say, sincere NFT adoption).

Not to Put Too Much of a Point On It But

  • I can even forgive the genuinely ignorant, desperate, clamoring noobs in point #3 above. Lord knows the global fiscal cards are stacked against them, but the VCs and OGs that capitalize on this opportunity…yick. What a strange place to focus your efforts (still, see original point #1. Leopard < spots).
  • I mean, maybe there’s a wonderful world of collectibles that *needs to be built right fucking now or else*, but I tend to believe that maybe the comic book and baseball card community didn’t 1000x overnight, and maybe, just maybe, a bunch of people stumbled upon a new way to gamble? Maybe? Hmm

In Defense of the Digital JPEGGERS

I’d also like to mention that without acknowledging original points #1 & #2, you risk becoming a right-click clucker: forever uninsightful, forever tedious.

  • Maybe go hang out at some board game cafés and scream at the customers. They love it when you do that.

If you don’t want to play the game,
you don’t have to play the game.

Room to Chill

  • Aaaall that said, and as someone who works in and around bitcoin all the time, the irony is not lost on me when I say this: if NFTs and the like are all you talk about, then it can get to be a bit much. I can see why it attracts detractors and cluckers. It’s an all too easy target. It’s not quite like this Shatner moment from the old SNL sketch, but it’s pretty fucking darn close:

NFT as Distraction

  • So, in the end, I think I’m just disappointed. We’re trying to build a rocket to the moon and some people want to strap fancy box kites to the fuselage. It’s annoying and a pain in the ass because it adds a fuck ton of noise and makes explaining the main crux of this invention all the more difficult to convey.
  • “But phneep, it’s just a unique parallel phenomenon. And art is zany! The people are wiiiild, and building communities is fun and cooool! We’re creating a moooovement”
  • Oh. Oh great. Well that’s nice.
  • It’s just that…hhhhh…a *lot* of people are *right there* but can’t see the need to prioritize fixing the money. I know, it sucks and is kind of baffling in a way. But you might as well go complain to a blind person about VR goggle shortcomings if that makes you feel better.
  • Collectoors might argue that by promoting NFTs they are in fact promoting ‘blockchain tech’. This argument is a bit suspect from my pov, but also impossible to refute, from a collectoor’s pov. Hence the agony of this entire blogpost.
  • Disagreements arise because, on one hand people are learning about unique cryptographic hashing, bro! Uh huh. And that’s about as charitable as I can get. Because on the other hand, it could be argued that pushing NFTs seems to carry a higher upside, dollar-wise, than educating about bitcoin. Whaddyagonna do. I think it’s called ‘pumping your bags’. I say change your denominator. Again, Leopard < spots. Yay art!
  • Anyway, I’ve become reconciled with the fact that NFTs are an inevitable by-product. Bitcoin is a language, NFTs are a dialect. Not everyone speaks it. Some bastardize it. Fuggin’ box kites etc.

– – – I N T E R M I S S I O N – – –

Time Travel Steel Man

  • While I don’t collect, I do appreciate the implied value of embedding information on an append-only data structure in perpetuity. It’s a way of saying “I was here”.
  • We can’t go back. We can never go back. But we can mark the moment. I get it. It’s frozen in time, and time is the most precious thing we have.
  • The further into the future we go, the past can seem more and more meaningful. It’s very personal and metaphysical. Acknowledging and commemorating these feelings is only natural. I could never hold this desire for time travel against anyone.
  • To this idea I would say: find a way to make your mark genuinely, rather than low-effort hashing it into a bitcoin block. Go a level deeper. Beyond time-stamping. Grab me. Reach out to me. I dunno precisely how of course, that’s for you to surprise me! And yes, use a fucking blockchain. Do it! Make a real difference somewhere, somehow. Figure it out! Leverage that shit! Here’s an example: locking value beyond your own lifespan. Now THAT is fucking ART. But yeah, it wouldn’t make you any money 😒
  • If you can’t, well, sucks to be you.


  • “But it supports artists, man!”
  • I mean, sure, I guess, okay, for a while? It’s just that in a digital world where online content is king, and you have to constantly pump stuff out to stay relevant, that’s a bit at odds with the scarcity aspect of good art.
  • I guess what I’m trying to say is: just be mindful of your reasons for fawning over what might, in a non-blockchain context, be seen as just a ‘cool drawing, bro.’ Adjust your bids accordingly.

And Another Thing!! (lol)

  • It’s possible the ‘normie class’ will rampage onto the scene en masse and throw billions of dollars around, but I’ve just seen too many ‘digital assets’ bleed out slowly over and over and over and over and over and over again without a proper raison d’être.
  • Just promise you’ll come up for air once in a while and honestly try to discern whether you’re one of the true investment geniuses or the greater fool.

Respect for Different Chains

  • I think most other blockchains are misguided, but I’ve also realized that being negative in my art always leaves me feeling a bit hollow, so I’ve evolved to just focus in positive ways on solutions that I believe in (i.e. run a bitcoin node). In this way, maybe I’ll set an example.

Innovation / Utility

I had a lot of bullet points here, but really, just see me as the jogging man in the following bandwagon image:

In Closing

So much of the magic of art, be it cave paintings, Rare Pepes or a Cézanne, is that the artist was most likely doing it to just express themselves. The adulation is secondary. I guess my point here is that artists and collectors alike should strive for the humility to be here for the right reasons, or you risk debasing everything, including yourself.

So much of this issue boils down to personal priorities and investment of energy. I feel very similar to when I sold my last bleeding altcoin – it was a relief because I could just focus on what engages my intellect most: bitcoin.

For now, I bid you a fond adieu.

One last dig. How grown men look,
talking about digital collectibles: