With ‘NFT Bay’, digital artworks now have a piracy site

Posted on November 19, 2021, 2:23 pmUpdated November 19, 2021 at 3:11pm.

Why pay millions of dollars for an image from CryptoPunk when all you have to do is right-click, “Save Image As…” to own it? For those who escape the logic of NFT (Non-fungible Tokens), as well as the principle of digital artwork, Australian developer and artist Geoffrey Huntley offers a new meeting place: “NFT Bay”.

The site adopts the old logic of illegal downloading of movies and music: if the work is out there, its copy will also be online and it will do the trick, especially since it is free. To attract attention, the portal mimics the popular Swedish BitTorrent link site “The Pirate Bay” – which is now banned in many countries. The search engine lets get NFTs – well, the jpegs you’re referring to, and that’s where the whole controversy lies. There is also a 17.96TB archive with all NFTs from the Ethereum and Solana blockchains.

Risk of error 404

The interest of the approach escapes you more than the objectionable phenomenon? Jeffrey Huntley has an explanation, which he shares in a post on GitHub. “Basically, I hope that with The NFT Bay, people will start to really understand what they are buying with the NFT business. These are nothing more than instructions on how to upload an image. The image that is not hosted on the blockchain. The majority of servers I’ve seen are stored on Web servers. 2.0, which will likely one day end up in a 404 error page.” To him, that means “NFTs are less valuable.”

According to Steve Mitobi, founder of WestCoastNFT interviewed by the specialized site “CoinTelegraph”, “the standard for most NFTs is the use of Arweave technology or IPFS.” A protocol (Interplanetary File System) is a distributed, peer-to-peer file system that does not depend on central servers. So it is a guarantee because the pictures are not all in the same basket.

Right click, Save As

“NFT Bay” attracts the curious. Half a day after its launch, the site has already attracted 1.2 million visitors, according to its creator. Under the announcement of its launch on Twitter, two clans have opposed: those who see it as evidence that NFTs are useless, because they have now been hacked, and those who remember that the value of these digital assets lies not in the image itself but in the title deed.

As the NFT market grew ($10.7 billion in the third quarter of 2021, according to DappRadar, up from $1.2 billion a year earlier), netizens started mocking holders of non-repeatable tokens by downloading popular photos and then posting them to social networks. . 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 back off before those opponents protested.

video. How NFTs are revolutionizing the art market

Twitter profile picture

In the opposite camp, token holders do not fail to confront this digital usurpation on social networks. And that’s exactly where Jeffrey Huntley comes from. For him, “The benefit and value of NFTs will be created across social networks. For many people, digital representation equals physical representation and when Twitter or TikTok allows them to be shown on their profile, we will be at a tipping point. And that’s what Twitter does.”

The social network recently tested NFT integration, via a profile picture or tab to present its collection – without requiring the tokens to be authenticated themselves, but instead by contacting authorized Coinbase or Metamask wallets. I’m not sure that calms the debate. But in the end, isn’t it in these competitions that the idea of ​​art is born and with it the value of the NFT?

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