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Dan Olson’s video “Line Goes Up - The Problem with NFTs” is an excellent critique of crypto generally and NFTs in particular. It is well worth its two-hour runtime. The crypto economy, he argues, is just replacing a bad system with a worse one. NFTs represent another step toward the financialization of everything.

What I really appreciate about the video, though, is the context in which he places the crypto phenomenon. The true believers, he says, are those who saw the enormous clusterfuck of the Great Recession and turned against the financial system - not in order to liberate people from the power of finance but in order to take Wall Street’s power for themselves. To “be the boot.” History feels like it is narrowing and the crypto evangelists intend to grab what they can while they can.

He concludes:

Our systems are breaking or broken, straining under neglect or sabotage, and our leaders seem, at best, complacent, willing to coast out the collapse. We need something better. But a system that turns everyone into petty digital landlords, that distills all interaction into transaction, that determines the value of something by how sellable it is and whether or not it can be gambled on as a fractional token sold by a micro-auction - that’s not it.

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