With “The NFT Bay”, digital artworks have now got their pirate side

Posted November 19, 2021, 2:23 pmUpdated November 19, 2021 at. 15.11.

Why pay millions of dollars for an image from a CryptoPunk when all you have to do is right-click “Save Image As …” to own it? To whom the logic of NFT (non-fungible tokens) escapes, as well as the principle of digital artwork substantiated, Australian developer and artist Geoffrey Huntley offers a new venue: “The NFT Bay”.

The site takes up the old logic of illegally downloading movies and music: If a work is found, its copy is also on the internet and it will do the trick, especially since it is free. To catch the bulls’ eye, the portal even mimics the famous Swedish BitTorrent links site “The Pirate Bay” – now banned in several countries. A search engine makes it possible to grab the NFTs – yes, the jpeg images that refer to them, and therein lies the whole debate. There is also a 17.96 terabyte archive with all the NFTs from Ethereum and Solana blockchains.

The risk of the 404 error

The interest in the approach escapes you even more than the reviled phenomenon? Geoffrey Huntley has an explanation that he shares in a post on GitHub. “Basically, I hope people through ‘The NFT Bay’ will start to understand what they’re actually buying with NFT works. This is nothing more than instructions on how to upload an image. Image not hosted on blockchain Most of the ones I’ve seen are stored on Web 2.0 servers, which will probably one day end up on a 404 error page. ” For him, this means “that NFTs are even less valuable”.

According to Steve Mitobe, founder of WestCoastNFT, interviewed by the specialized site “CoinTelegraph”, “the standard for most NFTs is to use Arweave or IPFS technology”. The protocol (InterPlanetary File System) is a distributed peer-to-peer file system that is not dependent on centralized servers. It is therefore a guarantee because the pictures are not all in the same basket.

Right-click, Save As

“The NFT Bay” attracts the curious. Half a day after going live, the site has already attracted 1.2 million visitors, according to its creator. During the announcement of its launch on Twitter, two clans are opposed: those who see it as proof that NFTs are useless because they have now been hacked, and those who remember that the value of these digital assets not in the picture itself, but in the owner’s letter.

As the NFT market grew ($ 10.7 billion in Q3 2021, according to DappRadar, up from $ 1.2 billion the year before), Internet users began mocking holders of weekly tokens by downloading and then posting the famous photos on social network. They formed an informal movement known as “Right Click, Save As”. This should not be taken lightly. When the CEO of Discord indicated that the voice chat platform would support NFTs, he had to retire before the outcry of these opponents.

VIDEO. How NFTs are revolutionizing the art market

Twitter profile picture

In the opposite camp, the holders of tokens fail to take offense at these digital usurpations on social networks. And this is exactly where Geoffrey Huntley comes from. For him, “the usefulness and value of NFTs will be created through social networks. For many people, digital representation equals physical representation, and when Twitter or TikTok allow them to be displayed on their profile, we will be at a turning point. And that’s what Twitter does.

The social network has recently tested the integration of NFT, via the profile picture or a tab to present its collection – without claiming to authenticate the tokens themselves, but rather by connecting to Coinbase or Metamask-authorized wallets. Not sure it calms the debate. But in the end, is it not in these competitions that the concept of art is born and thus the value of the NFT?

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