cryptbrocurrency: my brother the nft aficionado

by marquettazuckerberg

I have an older brother who was gracious enough to speak with me about his involvement with NFTs and cryptocurrency. He wishes to remain anonymous as he is rather ashamed of the environmental impact of NFTs. I have decided to hide under the cloak of watertower anonymity, I could have used my own name, but alas, then I would have had to regard the interviewee as a simple acquaintance, a friend, rather than a person with whom I share most of my DNA and childhood memories. And pseudonyms are always fun! 

In one sentence, what is an NFT?

NFTs are the first step in the future of digital ownership and royalty rights for artists. 

Please elaborate upon what NFTs are to the best of your ability.

NFTs are non fungible tokens. Right now they are digital projects with unique tokens, unique drawings, some of them are short songs. NFT art trading uses the same process as cryptocurrency, you can compare it to bitcoin or ethereum. Cryptocurrency is fungible, you can exchange it immediately for its dollar value. NFTs are one out of one pieces that you cannot exchange for monetary value. 

What is cryptocurrency, and what is the blockchain?

The blockchain consists of transactions on specific legers that are approved through mining processes, there is no bank, it is all automated. It is moving towards the decentralization of money, moving away from big banks.

So NFTs and bitcoin are libertarian?

Sort of like that, in a way.

How much time do you spend researching crypto and NFTs?

20-25 hours a week. 

When and how did you start getting into it?

I played a bunch of online poker sophomore year of college (2017-2018) and got into bitcoin and ethereum. The past year I got more into it. I can be involved with it right now because I am in the position to take risks, I have income from my job and not a lot of expenses apart from rent and bills. My pension isn’t riding on it. It’s definitely a young man’s game, most people in the community are 16-30 year olds.

What’s your biggest flip? And describe the image?

In August 2021, in the peak euphoria of flipping NFTS, I saw on twitter that there were Moondogs: Odyssey minting, cartoon dog images, I hopped on and minted 7 for around 0.5 ethereum, which was around 250-300 dollars total. One of them was super rare, in the top 10 rarity, and if you pull one of those you kind of hit the lottery. I bought that one for $40-50, two days later the project was picking up steam, I talked to a guy on discord and sold it for 7 ethereum, $21,000. That was the craziest thing in the world for me. The next day the project was starting to tank pretty hard and I was thankful I got out so quickly. The image was a cartoon dog, it was swirly, it had a very long tail and it was wrapped up in a little ball. Now it’s worth pretty much nothing. I feel weird, I wanna reach out to the guy I sold it to. Like a casino, you gamble, hope you get something good, flip it for a lot of money. I’ve held that 7 ethereum from the sale in my wallet, now it’s about $32,000. 

How do you feel about the possibility that at any moment the public could suddenly become uninterested in NFTs and ethereum and you would lose all of your money?

I feel that about NFTs a decent amount. The market has been going down quite a bit. It’s too big a market for the top 2% of projects to fail, that is what I try to put my money into. I don’t think about it so much with ethereum. There is so much money in it, the market cap is 20x all of NFTs. 

How do you feel about the fact that your personal environmental impact as a result of your engagement with and ownership of NFTs is on par with that of a hydraulic fracturing unit?

That’s a genuine concern that I see and that I try to do more research on, a lot of the projects dropping now are going carbon-zero on the minting process. Every transaction needs a certain amount of electricity, with the blockchain technology. I think the technology behind it is super important, at this stage right now it is totally wasteful and I’m aware that I’m making a quick buck on that. It has given me and a lot of people and a lot of artists a source of income that they haven’t had. But it is hard to make sense of a dog image using more energy than an iPhone.

How much are your assets worth right now?

Probably around $110,000. I’m gonna keep most of it in ethereum, just because I believe in ethereum more than I believe in NFTs. I have a job, I pay rent and bills with that money. I’m fine with having most of my net worth in cool cat pictures. Even if they go to $0, it was a good ride. 

Got any tips?

I would say if you’re trying to get into it, get on twitter, see what people are saying. There are a lot of smart web developers, artists, people in the space trying to make it better and carbon neutral. Right now it’s a great way to make a decent amount of money. Do a lot of research before you get into it, don’t just start buying stuff randomly. It takes a little while to understand what makes a project valuable.

Categories: nov. 9, vol 25, wilt

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