Reading through some articles on tech this morning (not looking for anything specific), I ran into the concept of Non-fungible Token or NFT. According to the article, “NFTs are a form of digital currency that establish the sole ownership of a digital asset.” In other words a token that proves provenance of a digital asset. In this particular article, the original source code for the internet is being auctioned by Sotheby’s later this month (June 2021).
This is a fascinating concept mainly because that code is accessible for free. But there is something to be said for having the original creator, hand you their code along with the provenance. Blockchain is behind the ability to do this, but used in “reverse”, so instead of interchanging as a like for like, blockchain here maintains the original token and does not change it as it gets traded, proving that “asset” is the original.
I am glad for two reasons: (1) my own patents can be a digital asset not as code, but as a concept with potential historical value. In my case that value is negligible, but it is still pretty cool and (2) we can now have museums and historical archives that lets us see, as humans, our progress in technology and seeing the actual original creation and know it is the original.
I would argue, and know it is true for me at least, that looking at an original Monet masterpiece is as awe inspiring as looking at the code that changed the world (world wide web) and know it was provided by its creator.
There is something very human about wanting that connection with the original mind that created that art, or code, and I am glad that there seems to be a process to give the world access to the digital creators out there as well.
I hope that along with the digital asset, they include some footage of the creator. We have that ability and it would be a special add-on. Can you imagine have clips of Monet as he talks about his garden? His view on how to paint? His view on the use of light in a composition? Or Sir Isaac Newton talking about writing Principia?
And before you scoff too much, Beeple just sold a piece through auction for $69,000,000.