" The internet is more free, like the streets. Street Art and NFT's, means the same for me, freedom. "
A jpeg promises a jpeg, sitting in the static 1s and 0s of the present. But a social token promises whatever opportunity people want it to signify. As Tina He intimates above, a social token is literally the right to a dream.
NFT projects like Nouns will often keep their own NFTs in a treasury or multisig wallet for future use. But their value is indeterminate, their allotment is generally small, and they may require semi-lengthy sales to convert into a currency that the project can use as money. By contrast, social tokens are money. They are money written on the wind, usually backed by nothing more than a community’s commitment to drawing more people to buy the token.
NFTs are better than social tokens at building a community, a culture. An NFT may not be worth much as a jpeg, but it is worth quite a bit more as social capital, as a demarcation of tribal identity, a wink that rewards the viewer for decoding its meaning—not even for anything it says, necessarily, but for signaling that the viewer is “in the know,” operating in the same cultural code.
Do we want ownership over the products of our labor, or do we want them to be open-source for anyone to use?
On the one hand, NFTs represent creators finally getting paid directly for their work. On the other hand, this ownership is clearly a social construct over an infinitely replicable jpeg that is very much open source.
In other words, NFTs give us one vision of what it can mean for creators to own the means of production (their art) and capture the full value that they produce, even while the work itself is not private property at all but open to all.
NFTs abolish ownership to enable it for creators—for workers.