A thread for discussing the impacts that things like bitcoin, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and blockchain based technologies might have on music...

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Perhaps this isn't the first post here on this topic, but I've done a few searches and haven't found anything.

neilasimpson, Wednesday, 21 April 2021 15:55 (eight months ago) link

this is certainly the one thing that would make me stop consuming music

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Wednesday, 21 April 2021 16:05 (eight months ago) link


To me, it looks like a way of monetizing, or at least of verifying provenance on, digital things. Why hasn't it been used for music before now?

neilasimpson, Wednesday, 21 April 2021 16:06 (eight months ago) link

1) it’s not
2) it has.


bobo honkin' slobo babe (sic), Wednesday, 21 April 2021 16:11 (eight months ago) link

Talk to me when Jack White finds a way to fill it with liquid and glitter so I can buy it on RSD

Evan, Wednesday, 21 April 2021 16:13 (eight months ago) link

1) it’s not
2) it has.

Can you be more specific?

neilasimpson, Wednesday, 21 April 2021 16:21 (eight months ago) link

I already refuted 100% of your examples

bobo honkin' slobo babe (sic), Wednesday, 21 April 2021 16:24 (eight months ago) link

NFTs haven't been used for music before now because they're a scam & a fad that only briefly caught on ~2 months ago in general and the market for them has already crashed

ufo, Wednesday, 21 April 2021 16:27 (eight months ago) link

“You say you’re having trouble making money as a little known musician. Well what if you sold your farts in jars?”

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Wednesday, 21 April 2021 16:28 (eight months ago) link

this is a pretty wide-ranging and excoriating piece that touches on it


Vapor waif (uptown churl), Wednesday, 21 April 2021 23:23 (eight months ago) link

I'm extremely anti-NFT and generally hate discussing anything blockchain-related. But, I do have some sympathy for independent musicians who have good-faith hopes to replace some of the revenue lost from streaming (really thinking of one friend in particular and the arguments we've been having).

I just wish it didn't involve blockchain, but of course that's the only reason anyone's interested in it right now. I agree that it feels like a scam and a fad at the moment, or maybe I hope it is. I guess the utopian vision of it is, what, they work out all the environmental and security issues, and then your hardcore fans will want to buy 'exclusive' digital tchotchkes, and you're not so dependent on big tech platforms and algorithms, except for the part where you need to people to hear your music and become hardcore fans somehow?

change display name (Jordan), Thursday, 22 April 2021 00:33 (eight months ago) link

plus you actively want to destroy the biosphere

bobo honkin' slobo babe (sic), Thursday, 22 April 2021 01:23 (eight months ago) link

yeah i think the idea of trying to escape the problems of capitalism through terrible techno-libertarian solutions that just make existing parts of capitalism even worse is hopelessly naive

ufo, Thursday, 22 April 2021 06:04 (eight months ago) link

I just know that Kings of Leon were the first established group to offer their new album as an NFT because of course they would.

blue whales on ambient (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 22 April 2021 06:31 (eight months ago) link

I’ll take “obnoxious digital trends from the early XXI century that everyone forgot about” for 100, Alex

✖✖✖ (Moka), Thursday, 22 April 2021 06:53 (eight months ago) link

I guess the Wu-Tang Once Upon A Time In Shaolin stunt was a precursor to this model.

Siegbran, Thursday, 22 April 2021 08:06 (eight months ago) link

These seem custom-designed for an Amanda Palmer grift.

i bought biden some thin mints with my stimmy (PBKR), Thursday, 22 April 2021 12:37 (eight months ago) link

just finding out the Merzbow car story is only semi-true


Camaraderie at Arms Length, Thursday, 22 April 2021 12:50 (eight months ago) link

The Wu Tang Clan / Martin Shkreli thing is (unfortunately) real though.

Camaraderie at Arms Length, Thursday, 22 April 2021 12:54 (eight months ago) link

These seem custom-designed for an Amanda Palmer grift.

NG linked cautiously to an NFT featuring one of his characters or s/t in the first week of the craze ("Is this cool? I think this is cool"), then went "sorry sorry I'm trying to delete it" after fans screamed at him for a few days.

Then weeks later linked to an OFFICIAL AMERICAN GODS TV SHOW NFT ™, and when ppl yelled at him again, said "oh I'm just pointing out that this thing exists, not endorsing it"

bobo honkin' slobo babe (sic), Thursday, 22 April 2021 19:27 (eight months ago) link

Here's a general explanation and summary of some of what's been happening in the last 6 months or so


neilasimpson, Friday, 23 April 2021 18:55 (eight months ago) link

two weeks pass...

I’ve read several of these articles/explainers, and I still don’t get what it means to “own” an NFT. It’s basically just a file on your computer (which could be deleted, so you have to make sure that doesn’t happen)? And it’s linked somehow to a piece of digital artwork or music, which could be endlessly reproduced, but somehow the NFT makes yours more “special”?

There’s also mention of NFTs being linked to the right to receive copies of physical things – or a limited number of tickets to a streaming event, etc. – but I don’t get what makes this different from the usual way such things are already auctioned/sold on a limited or exclusive basis?

(I have no interest in participating in this trend, but I feel like I should at least be able to understand how it works…)

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (CBTL) stan (morrisp), Tuesday, 11 May 2021 06:19 (eight months ago) link

an NFT isn't stored as a file on your computer, it's stored on a blockchain (typically the ethereum one, it's the second most popular cryptocurrency behind bitcoin) which is a distributed ledger, so it works in the exact same way as other cryptocurrency stuff works. the blockchain records all transactions so you can see who currently 'owns' the NFT and who has owned it in the past and who created it etc. the NFT itself on the blockchain is usually just a link to an image file (or whatever the artwork is) which may not even be reliably hosted or anything and there's been a lot of problems with this already lol (https://www.theverge.com/2021/3/25/22349242/nft-metadata-explained-art-crypto-urls-links-ipfs). so you're really just paying for a digital certificate of ownership that points to a fixed url (with no guarantee that whatever's there will remain hosted). really a ridiculous scam

you're completely right about that NFTs being linked to the right to receive physical copies of things or limited tickets to a streaming event aren't meaningfully different to the way things are already auctioned or sold, they're just using NFTs due to the buzz around them. it's a shitty gimmick for that and nothing more


unrelated but everyone here except anohni sounds so stupid. even those saying 'oh once the environmental problems are solved this will be great!' like these sort of terrible tech solutions can save art?

ufo, Tuesday, 11 May 2021 06:33 (eight months ago) link

Thanks, that's the clearest explanation of NFTs that I've ever read.

joni mitchell jarre (anagram), Tuesday, 11 May 2021 08:12 (eight months ago) link

imogen heap has long been attached to the crypto ecosystem, this is just the latest potential cash-in for her

intern at pepe le pew research (Simon H.), Tuesday, 11 May 2021 12:14 (eight months ago) link

yeah she seems to unfortunately be a true believer who's been messing around with daft blockchain-based ideas for years now

ufo, Tuesday, 11 May 2021 12:25 (eight months ago) link

Thanks, ufo. So you’re literally just buying… a link?

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (CBTL) stan (morrisp), Tuesday, 11 May 2021 14:43 (eight months ago) link

yeah basically. just a blockchain token that contains a link to something and you can point to the token to say "i own whatever's at this link" but of course that doesn't actually mean anything on its own really. ultimately a way of creating artificial scarcity for something digital.

the reason they don't say, put a whole jpg on the blockchain directly, is space & cost concerns. embedding data on a widely used blockchain like that is very very expensive & while people did experiment with that in the very early days of bitcoin it's since become totally infeasible (due to rising bitcoin prices etc., maybe some other factors too idk)

ufo, Tuesday, 11 May 2021 14:56 (eight months ago) link

I’m sure this is a mega-obtuse observation, but… every URL is technically unique; why not just make it a link to a static URL on a server somewhere, and eliminate the whole blockchain angle? (Obviously you’d have to rely on that server being maintained, but it sounds like the same issue applies here anyway.)

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (CBTL) stan (morrisp), Tuesday, 11 May 2021 15:26 (eight months ago) link

then you don't get the proof of ownership and proof of authenticity (you can see who the creator is so theoretically NFTs not verifiably created by the actual artist shouldn't be worth anything but...) that comes with blockchain stuff, or the ability to directly sell the token in a cryptocurrency transaction

like pretty much all blockchain stuff, it would be possible to recreate the functionality of NFTs without blockchain, just in some sort of centralised manner instead of blockchain's distributed one, but no one would really care because the only reason anyone cares about NFTs is ~blockchain~ hype and people deliberately driving that hype to inflate the prices of bitcoin and ethereum, with artists just being the latest to fall victim to this stuff

ufo, Tuesday, 11 May 2021 16:07 (eight months ago) link

three months pass...


Pictures of randomly generated lists of RPG inventory are selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

adam t. (abanana), Friday, 3 September 2021 07:28 (four months ago) link

So you don't even need short sellers and hedge funds to have fun on the internet creating short-lived bubbles that everyone knows have zero future. Each time I'm just wondering who has that kind of speculative money and what age they are (they're all 16 right ?). When they say that "items" (representing randomized fantasy gear names) going for 20 or 46K, does that mean there's an individual buyer ? Otherwise, how do you sell your item again if it's a pool of buyers - owning 0.1 fantasy item is not exactly like owning 0.1 bitcoin, is it ? I had fun making a thousand dollars on ETH a couple months ago, but that's another level.

Nabozo, Friday, 3 September 2021 08:23 (four months ago) link

Fake Banky NFT sold through artist's website for £244k


only just heard this story on the World Service, if i was in a laughing mood i'd be rolling on the floor

pings and noodles (Noodle Vague), Friday, 3 September 2021 08:25 (four months ago) link

two months pass...

NEWSFLASH: UMG’s next-gen label 10:22PM forms 𝐊𝐈𝐍𝐆𝐒𝐇𝐈𝐏, the First-Ever Group Consisting of NFT Characters from Bored Ape Yacht Club.🐒 pic.twitter.com/zMSAq4HI2Z

— Universal Music Group (@UMG) November 11, 2021

wonder if any music is actually going to come from this nonsense

ufo, Sunday, 14 November 2021 01:21 (two months ago) link

While I can see the potential to have such technology to verify authenticity, it seems this is the f'n craziest 'emperor has no clothes' Pog BS that has come down the binary yellow brick road.

But hey, I am impressed perhaps jealous that people have seemed to turn a fancy software cookie into some real world cash.

earlnash, Sunday, 14 November 2021 17:09 (two months ago) link

one month passes...

Oh my god, Dave pic.twitter.com/qwUCGDMsGZ

— kerry xmas (says your text message) (@spiraltastic) January 1, 2022

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 1 January 2022 18:23 (two weeks ago) link


this is entertaining just for how much he has absolutely no idea what he's talking about and how little sense most of them make even if you accept the premise of 'blockchain can do this'

ufo, Thursday, 20 January 2022 04:54 (eighteen hours ago) link

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