Listen (17 min): What has real value? Invisible art, NFTs, and the ongoing craze for crypto
A narrated version of the article
Over the last couple years it seems like we’ve all become obsessed with crypto. Talking with people about it, I’ve been struck over and over by the fact that, behind all the excitement, everyone’s just trying to get something for nothing. While economists say such self-interest runs the economy, when you look more closely at crypto (which is just a big pyramid scheme based on pure self-interest) it tells a very different story.
I decided to write about it when I came across a couple amazing stories from the art world: one about the “Mona Lisa of NFTs,” and the other about how the sale of “invisible art” back in the 60s continues to make waves today. On the surface, these things seem like perhaps they’re also just a form of gambling for imaginary values… but are they? Or is something different going on? How does the value of the imagination differ from the imaginary value of crypto?
This is a recording of an article from May 5th, 2022. You can find the written version of the article here.