What is an NFT?

I don’t really think this analogy really works. A signature isn’t valuable for its ink content or it’s penmanship, it’s valuable because its authentic, rare, and signifies individual/special attention placed on it by the author in question. An NFT can meet all of those criteria.

Ok, tell me where I gave contradictory info regarding Money laundering.

But NFTs are not a “pretty good tool”, no more than shell companies, horses, art, real estate, gold coins, bullion, or any of a thousand things that can be bought and sold at fairly high amounts.

So, this is incorrect. Layering does not necessarily use dubious forms of purchases. In fact, legit forms work far better. It can be used, but there is nothing to indicate that is the primary purpose of NFTS, just like today the primary mover of Bitcoin is speculation, not dark web or illegal funds.

Now, if one could pay for NFTs with larges bundles of used bills- then indeed NFTs could be a great tool.

Mind you NFTS have been used, it is one of many things that can be used:

Chainalysis found “small but visible” money laundering activity in NFTs, according to its new report. In the third quarter of 2021, funds sent to NFT marketplaces by illicit addresses “jumped significantly,” Chainalysis wrote, surpassing $1 million worth of cryptocurrency. In the fourth quarter, that amount hit just below $1.4 million…Though the amount of potential NFT-based money laundering in 2021 is a “drop in the bucket” in comparison to cryptocurrency-based money laundering overall, Chainalysis said, it’s worth pointing out."

So it is a “drop in the bucket” and “small but visible” but it still happens. Hardly the primary use of NFTS however.

Mind you - who knows what will happen? I predict that NFTs may well become like Bitcoin. (In my first seminar in Bitcoin, the FBI agents there said it was used about 90% for illicit activities. Now, while criminal activities still certainly occur, more like 90% is used for speculation).

I expect one of the seminars in one of my conventions will cover NFTs. If they do, and I attend, I will report back. The subject is interesting.

Are they fools? Was the dude who paid all that money for a Banksy art that was immediately shredded a fool? Hmm.

You think money laundering is less likely than using NFTs to lure people to use an image they didn’t create so they can be sued? Got any evidence whatsoever that’s ever an issue?

I do not understand your question. Please see my cite above.

I’m referring to Sitnam’s post, which is what my “more likely immediate purpose” was referring to.

You mean this? I have no idea at all what the buyers wanted to do with one particular NFT. Please let me know if you uncover the reason. My guess would be speculation.

I have given you a cite which spells out that using NFTs for money laundering is a " “drop in the bucket” and “small but visible”" %.

Keep up the good work.

I literally just had a co-worker show me today his receipts for an NFT he bought a month or so ago for ~$1000, that he resold today for ~$10,000. A tidy little profit which he said he did just as an “experiment.” I hope he doesn’t end up down a rabbit hole, but in the meantime tulip mania seems to cover it.

I’m imagining some accountant trying to explain to Pablo Escobar that he just laundered fifty million dollars of his money by buying non-fungible tokens.

I understand that an NFT is a way of registering an allegedly ‘certified unique’ item of artwork in a public ledger (the blockchain). This is done by generating a unique number, a ‘cryptographic hash’, that is related to the digital file of the artwork, and then logging that in the ledger.

Okay, fine. But there’s one thing that I’ve never been able to get a straight answer to…

What prevents me from making a bit-for-bit copy of the file? Such an identical copy would have the same cryptographic hash, right? Then there would be two files out there referenced by the unique entry in the public ledger.

The artwork is not (necessarily) unique. The receipt associated with the artwork is unique.

Yeah, it’s as dumb as it sounds.

Addendum, because I thought about your question a bit more and I think I understand better what you’re asking: One component of the NFT is identifying where the associated asset is stored. So if you make an identical copy of the source and put it somewhere else, it won’t be hashed the same way.

In other words, the uniqueness of the asset is irrelevant. What’s unique is that the NFT points to a particular instance of the asset. (This is simplified, but not by much.)

This doesn’t make it any less dumb.

For those unaware the ‘Line Goes Up’ video covers not just the technology and mechanics of how crypto and NFTs work but also the history, culture and the ‘market’ around those things as well. The presenter also details his brushes with actual NFT groups and explores the cult like fervor that seems to have taken hold in the ecosystem. He also talks about offshoot projects that grew out of NFT’s like the ‘play to earn’ games that have popped up in various places. (Just about one of the scummiest things I think I’ve ever seen.)

Could it be shorter? Probably yeah. You could probably cut 20 to 30 minutes out of it and not really lose anything. And if your just interested in the mechanics you can stop after the first 30 minutes or so. It really is a fascinating exploration of the entire phenomenon if you don’t mind the time sink. It plays like a full on documentary.

Final addendum: I realize too late that I’m in Factual Questions and I shouldn’t be editorializing. In anticipation of a possible mod note, I apologize, and please mentally redact my opinions as not relevant. The other stuff stands.

I don’t really understand NFT’s but I do have at least some understanding of copyright. I’m doubtful that what you say here is totally or practically correct.

Owning an NFT does not inherently confer copyright ownership. However, if (say) an artist produced an image and sold you an NFT of it, they could also sell you the copyright in that thing (or provide you with a licence conferring certain rights) with the NFT acting a means of proving your rights. If they did so, then (a) they couldn’t sue you for using it and (b) you may be able to sue someone else for using it.

Further, in the absence of a (distinctly odd) explicit arrangement to the contrary, if an artist sells you an NFT of an image “to use on your website” it would be implied by law that they have licenced you to use that image on your website and they couldn’t sue you for doing so. That isn’t an inherent feature of an NFT as such, but it is an inherent feature of dealing with IP in the manner you propose, involving an NFT.

Pro tip: he talks slow, so watch it at 1.5X normal speed (use your < and > keys to change the playback speed); your total viewing time drops to 90 minutes, and he’s still completely understandable.

That’s external to the NFT system. Without it the NFT system is nothing but buying real estate on the moon, or naming a star after your mom.

True but not very relevant. The process of selling an e-book also has no inherent copyright effect. However, implied copyrights nonetheless arise

So if you move the file, the NFT breaks?

Typically, yes. The NFT is actually of the URL of the file. They don’t even store a hash of the image, which would at least give you some proof of “ownership” if the link broke. But you don’t even get that.

I vaguely wonder if the people buying NFTs are even old enough to remember when people carefully curated their web bookmark lists, only to find years later that almost all of them are broken.