Research firm The Block, which analyzes the cryptocurrency market, declares that 2021 is “the year of the NFTs”, a digital business that contains real-time data. According to a 2021 Market Report launched by DappRadar, the market for non-fungible tokens last year was worth over $ 23 billion. The market value of the top 100 list alone is estimated at $ 16.7 billion.
But with this expansion, NFTs have also become an electric rod. In addition to concerns about their environmental impact, some have promoted topics such as racism, Nazism and pornography.
In February, the Twitter account @MetaSlaveNFT accused of racism for selling pictures of black people, in a book called MetaSlaves (in translation, “metaslaves“).
The device is hosted by OpenSea, one of the largest vendors for NFTs in the world. There are also symbols with images of Adolf Hitler and the swastika, as well as paintings and sculptures.
The songs are also being sold without the permission of their authors. Website HitPiece featured tokens extracted from popular songs and some even by small performers.
The page has been removed, but the question remains: what is the policy of the new sector?
Decentralize or control?
How to prevent this violation, or even the necessity of drawing on others, there are no state procedures or agencies to establish the rules? It remains to be seen whether the market is happy with the deal – and whether the government is ready for it.
Tiago Amaral, 29, founder of the Inevitable platform, which offers training courses on Web 3.0 (as the internet of the future has been called) and NFTs, said there were issues written by NFTs available, part, because “who can create them.” them “.
For him, the path to fair business comes through management. “Many people in this crypto world are prone to decentralization. They want everything to be fair. I think the basis of the idea is interesting, but in the In the real world, accessibility is difficult, ”he said.
For Amaral, the controversy still has a long way to go, but managing the entire business of this measure is “impossible.”
“If you have an entire business venture, including writing that leads to publicity or hate speech, like this [MetaSlave]who will post below?
Professor Eduardo Ferreira dos Santos, professor of research and research at the Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie, It is believed that there is no correlation between the distribution of NFT tokens and illegal content in tokens.
“It’s not that there is no oversight. On the contrary: as the network does not engage with anyone, it is overseen by everyone,” he said. For him, Blockchain makes it easier to identify a person with NFT discrimination “than someone who puts it on some internet server.”
Conflict of virtual slaves
In the case of MetaSlave, OpenSea itself has removed the content – but only after the case has created serious grievances of the relationship.
The collection sells NFTs with photos of black people and selected numbers. In all, there were 1,865 items: the same year according to the proclamation of the 13th Amendment to U.S. Law, which abolished slavery.
Initially, the Twitter account responsible for the job acknowledged itself by saying it supported the Black Lives Matter movement and praised George Floyd, the black man he was killed by police. for many attacks in America and around the world.
He later claimed that the NFTs also focused on “remembering history to prevent it from happening again”. They come to register as “hard work” and “blood money”.
Finally, the account tweeted that the project would indicate “everyone is a slave to something.” In the end, however, it was eliminated – as well as the collection of tokens for sale.
Lots of inappropriate content
OpenSea also removed documents related to Nazism, such as those written by Adolf Hitler Kunst (“paintings by Adolf Hitler”, in translation), which resulted in several works by the German president. . Self-portrait is set at 1.1 ETH (approximately R $ 15,000).
A pixel art swastika, set on the platform on January 28, is still more expensive: 199 ETH (approximately R $ 3.2 million). The price was removed soon after, but you can still see it in the “Toys” page.
Also in the collection is a collection of pornographic images called “Gay Niggas” (the second term is considered racist in America).
The description states that “85% of the proceeds will be donated to foundations supporting Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ + mobilization.” But if the writers themselves do not want to make this commitment transparent, there is no way for the buyer to confirm it.
On its help page, OpenSea explains that the token can be removed from the platform (although it cannot be removed from the blockchain) if it interferes with the device intelligence, encouraging execution. self-harm or self-harm, doxing, incites discrimination, harassment, vandalism, or prohibits violations of the Site Terms of Service.
However, until the end of this notice, the platform has not responded to requests for comment from tilt.
Another controversy raised by the NFTs industry is the environmental impact. This is because mining cryptocurrencies (used to buy tokens) and minting (converting an item into NFT) use a lot of electricity due to the use of heavy equipment.
The cryptoart.wtf website examined 18,000 NFTs and found that, on average, a token contained more than a month’s worth of electricity per person per European Union. However, the developer has disrupted the site due to improper use of the data.
According to Tiago Amaral, the store was looking for a solution. An example is Polygon (a network designed for the enabling of Ethereum cryptocurrency), which uses a Stake Proof (PoS) mechanism, with low power consumption.
Professor Eduardo Ferreira agrees. It refers to, for example, the trade of carbon credits for Blockchain. “Today, the market is very special. It is very difficult to produce and sell these scores. indeed, sell it “. An example is the Air Warehousedeveloped by the World Bank.
“The technology of NFTs, in itself, is changing. There are many things that can change many industries. But we must teach people to adapt to this new world. , “Amaral said.
* With information from Vice and Wired.