Australian programmer creates ‘piracy’ website for NFTs in order to allow ‘future generations can study this generation’s tulip mania’
An Australian artist has created a “piracy” website for NFTs.
Artist and programmer Geoffrey Huntley said The NFT Bay, modelled on well-known piracy site The Pirate Bay, is intended to show people what they are really buying.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are stored in a blockchain as proof of ownership of a digital work, such as an artwork, a Twitter message or lines of computer code.
Buyers have spent millions on some NFTs, but critics call the trend an economic bubble.
Proponents of the format say it provides cachet and a sense of ownership.
Huntley told news site Vice he was inspired by artworks created by activists in the 1990s.
The NFT Bay is mocked up to resemble The Pirate Bay, and includes a message formatted in ASCII text to resemble those circulated by software piracy groups.
“Did you know that a NFT is just a hyperlink to an image that’s usually hosted on Google Drive or another web 2.0 host?” Huntley says in the message.
He said the website preserves “all” the NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain, and includes a torrent allowing users to download these images in a single 17 terabyte file.
Huntley said that since the actual artworks referred to by NFTs aren’t stored on the blockchain, they are likely to become dead links in time.
Therefore, he hopes his website will mean “future generations can study this generation’s tulip mania”, a reference to a famous economic bubble of the 1630s.
Aside from artworks, NFTs have been used to sell Jack Dorsey’s first message on Twitter, for $2.9 million (£2.2m), and Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s original World Wide Web source code, for $5.4m.