[Intro] Stan: Hey guys… Just a quick disclaimer
before we start – we are not registered investment advisors, everything
we say is our opinion alone. There are risks involved in investing
in cryptocurrencies or in anything. None of the information presented here is intended as financial advice and should not be
relied upon for investment decisions. Everything you're going to hear is for
informational and entertainment purposes only. Marshall: Para pa para pa pam – para… Hey, Stan.
So, we don't have a password for this Zoom meeting and that doesn't worry you that there will be bad
people who come into the room and wreak havoc? Stan: No, I have to let them in. Marshall: Oh. So, they can't just get
in, they've got to have permission. Stan: Zoom forces you to choose
at least one security option, that's either a password or a waiting room. Marshall: Okay, good. Then
we're safe. Oh, that's great. Stan: We're safe from people seeing
what we're recording publicly. Marshall: Cheers to you on this beautiful day. Stan: Cheers. Marshall: Hey. Well, this
is your episode, isn't it? Stan: Yeah, I’m gonna be teaching you about NFT.
Marshall: NFT. Don't tell me – Don't tell me… Stan: And blockchain.
Marshall: Let me see if I can guess what it means. Stan: Okay. Marshall: Is it Newfoundland
territory, eastern province of Canada? Stan: You got it, that's right. Marshall: I think it's to simplify
purchase, so it's no frills transactions. Stan: I guess, some people could – Marshall: Let me try a few – I might
get it. North Fraternity Terrorists.
Stan: Whoa! Marshall: No? Stan: I guess all of those could be
real opinions people have about this – Marshall: Never Fly Tanks.
Nancy Finishes Thackeray. Stan: How long are you gonna keep
going with this until you let it down – Marshall: until I get it. Stan: Get it, come on. You
already know what it is. Marshall: I actually don't, I thought it was New
Funds Transfers or something like, that. But it's Non-Fungible Tokens.
Stan: Yeah. So, you do know it. Marshall: Let me tell you
everything I know about it. You told me that this is going to
be a way that artists can control their intellectual properties and make
money from their intellectual properties. Stan: That is one small use case of
the blockchain technology, correct. Marshall: Okay, yeah. I’ve got a lot to learn. Stan: As far as I know. Marshall: Then the next thing is a day
or two later, somebody else told me the same thing and was very excited
about this. And then a week later – Stan: Okay. Marshall: All I heard was
how controversial this is – Stan: Yes, is very controversial. Marshall: And how it will destroy the planet
which in some views, would be a negative thing. Stan: I think by most views,
that's a negative thing.
Marshall: Well, it would include
in the destruction the people who destroyed the planet, so
there'd be that advantage. Stan: Correct. I think, yeah. I mean the, you
know, the people that don't care about dying don't care about the environment dying either. Marshall: Okay. How about if I play the student. Stan: Yeah. Okay, so there's so much to unpack
here, Marshall. This might be a long episode. I’m gonna try to go through these things and
make them as simple as possible for everybody because it is a really complicated thing. I’ve been going down this rabbit hole
for a very long time. I’ve been following blockchain, Bitcoin for I don't know,
five years now or something like, that. Marshall: Wow! Stan: It's evolved a lot, it's always
changing and it's very complicated and it could be dangerous for people. People
could lose money because it's so complicated. I’m gonna save all my warnings to the end. I
have a lot of things to say about like, if you do plan on doing this sort of thing, there's
a lot of things you got to be careful about.
Because it's not just kind of like, a, "Hey,
let's go try it out and see what happens." like, no. like, there's some – this is a thing
that requires personal responsibility. Marshall: Well, Stan, I do
not even know what Bitcoin is except that it is a way of exchanging
money that's different from the way people exchange money. I’ve never used
Bitcoin, I just don't know about it. Stan: First of all, the main topic here is
Blockchain is the new technology that's been around for a long time. Along
with that, come a lot of implications. It's kind of like, the internet, was a
new technology and from the internet, you got all these other things that you can go
down – all these other rabbit holes of what the internet is, what's possible with the internet.
Okay? That's kind of the same thing here. NFTs are one way you could use blockchain, currency is another way you could use
blockchain. There's many implications, people are gonna just get really creative
here and it's gonna keep evolving. The beliefs are polarizing. Some people believe
that it is amazing, it's the next great thing. It has the power to change the fabric of our society
and bring power back to the people, equalize.
You know, bring back classes. you know, the separation
of classes and wealth and all that stuff. And then some people believe
it can cause World War III, and that it is a pyramid scheme, and that it could
destroy the environment, okay? So, there's these very polarizing things about this technology and
so either way, this is a very important thing – Marshall: Indeed. Stan: That people need to start
researching and participating in. Marshall: Well, with an introduction like that,
you've hooked me.
You have told me, you know, before the internet, if we could have known
what was going to happen with the internet, we would have seen all sorts of horrible things
that would happen with it which have happened. And we've seen all sorts of things that –
all sorts of stuff was going on that could be kept in the shadows, that could
no longer be kept in the shadows. So, there's – yeah. You have
definitely piqued my curiosity. Stan: And I want to say that both sides of
this controversy, of this debate, are right. They both have things that they are right about.
And then there's a lot of uncertainty on both sides about how will this evolve. Sometimes
this debate it's like, there is no answer yet. Marshall: Okay. Stan: So, first of all, I want to briefly
summarize what we're going to talk about because some people listening have probably
already started doing some research and it's confusing.
You've been hearing words like,
blockchain, NFTs, Smart Contract, Fungibility Metaverse, digital scarcity, decentralization,
a ledger, proof of work, proof of stake, proof of history. And is like, all these words and
it's like, "what does it mean?" And I’m gonna try to cover all of those things and I’m gonna try to
explain it to you in a way that you understand. Marshall: Yeah. Stan: So, here it goes. First, we're gonna
start with what is blockchain because this is really where it all begins. In a
simple way, it is a public ledger. Let's stop there… What is a ledger,
right? That's another key word here you need to understand. A ledger is
basically where records are kept.
Marshall: Okay. Stan: If something happens, a transaction,
you need to keep a record of that transaction. A ledger is where that's recorded. A
blockchain is literally just a chain of records that something happened. The reason
people think this is an improved way of doing a ledger is because one, it is
immutable, which means it cannot be changed. The reason it cannot be changed is because
it is decentralized.
It means there's no single authority that is writing to that ledger,
there's literally just like thousands of computers that are keeping these records and
they're spread out and anybody can become one of these – anyone can own one of these
computers that adds to the records of the chain. And anybody can – you, right now, can go online
and look up a transaction that happened any point in history that was recorded in
this chain. So, it's transparent, it's not controlled by one authority that can,
you know, tinkle with – tinker with it. Marshall: Yeah. Stan: There's not one blockchain,
by the way. Bitcoin was the first, Ethereum came around after that and made
some improvements and now there's hundreds of them of newer ones that are always like,
making improvements to this technology.
And each of them is basically – it's going to be
a separate chain but eventually, I think they're all going to talk – and they do already actually
all kind of intermingle and talk to each other. But they all kind of have different
purposes because they run on different technologies, different ways of doing things… They do – some are better for some
things, some are better for other things. And so quickly, I will just explain that the
biggest difference between these is the way they allow people to write to the ledger. Bitcoin uses something called Proof of Work
where the computers are all competing to solve a really difficult cryptographic problem and the
first one that solves it, gets to write to it. There is kind of a little hint at what we're going
to talk about later which is the environmental impact, when all of these computers are, you
know, trying to solve all these difficult cryptographic problems, you get warehouse
sized computers with giant air conditioners using up a lot of electricity and that's bad.
So, that's Proof of Work. Ethereum
and a lot of others use Proof of Stake which is more – it's not – not everybody's
doing the work to solve a problem in order to get access to write to the ledger.
Now, they're just – they can write to the ledger based on how many coins they own
– how much share of the network they own. And then there's other ones like,
Proof of History. We're not going to go down that rabbit hole because that
could be several hours of conversation on like, technical developer stuff.
the point is, it's always changing and improving. And the problem right now, I think with the
community that people are talking about is that most of it is run on Ethereum. All of these
NFTs that people are talking about, it's on Ethereum which is not very efficient and it has
a lot of problems and I’ll talk about them later. But the great thing is, there's a
lot of other ones that are way more efficient and are not nearly
as bad for the environment. Marshall: Okay, blockchain, I
understand is a different thing from an NFT. Blockchain is a ledger, it's
a record of what happens, what's an NFT? Stan: Okay, so an NFT is one use case for the blockchain and so,- to understand it
you need to understand a smart contract, which was kind of like, you had Bitcoin
which was just a bunch of transactions and then Ethereum came around and Ethereum allowed
you to add a smart contract to the transaction.
So, it allows you to add different things
to it; you can attach a file to it, you can attach a link, whatever.
It's like a – it's little contract. So, that opens the doors now to what
you can call 'tokenizing' something, right? It's more than – let's
just simplify this even more. Marshall: Okay. Stan: Basically, let's just focus
on the artists here. What a smart contract will allow artists to do is
attach their art to the transaction.
Marshall: Okay. Stan: So now you actually have this thing. When
the transaction happens, something moves from one wallet to another. And now it's not just like,
one Eth or one coin, now it's one piece of art. Marshall: Okay. Stan: Right? Now it's more than this
dollar or penny or dime or whatever you're moving. Now it's actually something.
And so, now let's talk about "fungibility" because NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token. And fungibility is really –
it's just exchangeability. So, you could call it non-exchangeable token. Marshall: Okay. Stan: And that's really what the difference is of
what I just said. The difference between a penny and a piece of art. A penny can
be exchanged for another penny, right? If you need to pay me five
cents, you can take out any penny from your wallet and give it to me.
I don't care which one you give me. Marshall: Is it interchangeable in their value? Stan: Yeah, they're
interchangeable, they're fungible. Marshall: Okay. I got it. Stan: That's what that word means.
you collect baseball cards and there's a thousand of these baseball cards that are
printed and they're the same baseball card, those baseball cards are not actually
fungible. They're not interchangeable because as soon as they're made and as soon as they're
spread, out they all have their own history. They all have their own quality, they age
differently. Somebody puts them in a plastic casing, another person puts theirs in their
wallet and it just like, gets ruined over time.
If you own a baseball card that's
really rare and very valuable and you kept really good care of it, you
don't want to exchange that baseball card with the same one but somebody else took care
of it not as well as you took care of it, right? Marshall: Okay, I got it. Stan: It's not exchangeable because you could sell yours for much more money
than this really crappy one that is ripped up. Marshall: It's unique, I’ve got it. Stan: Makes sense? Marshall: Yes. Stan: So it's not like a penny, even though your
penny could be really dirty. Even maybe like a car ran over it or
something even scratched it up but mine can be brand new, super shiny
but they're both worth a penny, right? So, does that make it clear what fungibility is?
Some things can be exchanged, some things cannot.
Marshall: It is honoring the
uniqueness of this token. Stan: Exactly. Marshall: And it's owned by a particular person. Stan: Yeah. So, this ledger, the
blockchain records who owns what. Now, what you can have, is you can have a
digital piece of art and you as the artist could attach that to a token and say
"this is the one, this is the original JPEG of my art". Let's keep it really
simple right now, no complex contracts. Just "there's a JPEG in this contract
and this is the original one and I’m gonna put it on the blockchain"
and that's it.
It's there forever, it's a history that this was the one I made
– that I 'minted', I published to the chain. And now anybody can check on the blockchain
and see that like, "yup, there's that one that was minted". And so what that creates
is scarcity and like, proof of ownership. Marshall: Doesn't that exist
already? I mean, I can prove in copy, if I copyright something or
even if I don't copyright it, I can show that I’ve created the – here's the
pencil drawings, here's the dates on these files, of these psd files that show when I
created them and when I last altered them? Stan: Not really, no. No. That's not – a JPEG
file, you can alter the code in a JPEG file. Marshall: If I want to sue someone who is
using my image, I can prove that I did it and I have the legal right to that image. Stan: Yes, absolutely. Marshall: Yeah. Stan: And that's not what this is about. Marshall: So, how is it different? Because
it sounded like, that's what this is about. Is that you can prove that it's your
Well, I can prove that it's my image and I could prove that it was my JPEG. Stan: You're talking about you, you as the
artist, can prove that you made that art. Marshall: Yeah. Stan: But if you sell a
"digital painting" to someone, not the rights to it, you sell
the digital painting itself. Marshall: Yeah. Stan: How do they prove that they
owned it? That they bought it from you? Marshall: Because there would be a
contract that we've both agreed to. Stan: And how can anybody see this contract? Marshall: Because somebody
takes somebody to court. Stan: No, I mean like, how do you prove to your friends?
You gonna show your contract to your friends? Marshall: Yeah. Stan: No, you're not. Marshall, you're not. So, there's the problem with digital
art as being owned by someone, you can't buy someone's – let me explain it
another way and I think it'll be more clear. When you send me a JPEG by email,
you're not sending me the same file. The server that you're connected to
makes a copy of it and sends it to the server that runs my email and now
there's a copy of that JPEG on both servers.
Marshall: All right. Stan: Right, you're not sending me the original.
You still have that JPEG – a copy and now I have a copy and now I could send that JPEG to someone
else, and now they have a copy. These are fungible things. Those JPEGs are – you can exchange
them, they're exactly the same, doesn't matter. Marshall: They're like, pennies. Stan: They're like pennies. They're just
JPEG files, they're exactly the same. Marshall: Okay. Stan: None of them are proof that I own it.
When you publish that same exact JPEG as a token on the blockchain, you are proving that token is
Anybody could check. So, if you send me from your wallet to my wallet that token,
it is no longer in your wallet. As the artist that created it, you no longer possess that JPEG
token. It is now in my wallet. You don't have it. Marshall: Really? Stan: Anybody could scan, look at the
ID of that token, look it up and say, "Yeah, that's the real one". It happened
at this moment in time, it's recorded. Marshall: It's really unique but then we have
the same problem we had with museums before there were good reproductions of printing.
You'd have to go to the museum to see it. If I own that JPEG and anybody looks at it on
a screen, can they not simply scream grab it or even take a picture of it? Stan: Great question. Wonderful question, Marshall, you're
asking such amazing questions today.
Marshall: Thanks, I’m so confused that
I hope these are useful but that is one reason why I’m confused is it isn't unique
if it's showing up on everybody's screen, everybody's seeing it which means that
it's easy to put it in your pocket. Stan: Absolutely. So, you can take a photograph of that JPEG – but you don't even need
to take a photograph of that JPEG, you could take a screenshot and it's
literally the same set of pixels. Marshall: Yeah. So, what do we do with that? Stan: But yours is a copy whereas the original
one is the original one that is in the ledger that's shown and it's proved as
the original and you are the owner. Let me give you an analogy of why
that even matters because it's like, well "who cares if I own it. I can still
look at that JPEG and I can appreciate it". Marshall: That's right. Stan: That's the question, right? Marshall: Yeah. Stan: It's like, okay, so this is the best
analogy I’ve heard so far, okay? Back to the baseball cards – you own this $250,000 baseball
card that is super rare and very valuable, and people have agreed that this piece of
paper, for some reason is worth $250,000, right? Anybody could look at this baseball
card, anyone can take a picture of it. I could even duplicate – replicate that exact
same baseball card for like, a hundred bucks. Go to a manufacturer that prints baseball cards
and they could replicate it for like $100, make it identical to that
same one that cost $250,000.
But does my replica, which is literally the
exact same thing, cost $250,000? No. Why? Marshall: Because it's not the real thing. Stan: It's not the real
thing, it's not the original. So, the value is not actually
tied to the physical thing. Marshall: It's tied to the ownership. Stan: It's tied to the mental – our knowledge of
it, our idea of what it means to own something. This whole "value" thing is just a human
Like, if you try to like bring it back down to like physics,
it actually makes zero sense. Even the real world, just the way we value things, just begins to actually make zero
sense. But to us, it's real. Emotions are real. You can buy fake Nikes that are made in the exact
same warehouse as the real Nikes, the same people made those Nikes so they're literally the same
thing, but they're not approved by Nike, right? They were made illegally without Nike’s
knowledge and then they were put into the market. And if you as the owner, you got these Nikes that
you think are worth a lot of money, and you're like, "Man, I love these" and then you found
out, "oh no, these are just Chinese knockoffs".
How are you gonna feel? Marshall: I can see how people
would feel ripped off. To me, I don't know that it would make
a difference but I do understand. Stan: Exactly. Okay, there's
a great point right there. So, most people don't care about that $250,000
baseball card, they would never pay $250,000 for that baseball card. They could just look at
it on the internet and be like, "Cool card man!" With me, same thing – I don't
care about those awesome Nikes, those rare Nikes. I would never pay more than 100
something bucks for a pair of shoes and really, to me, they need to have some kind of
utility to actually have $100 in value. They can't just be signed or autographed by somebody, to me, that actually doesn't mean
anything. But to some people, it really does. Marshall: I know. Stan: And it's the collectors. The people that
care about this thing, to them it does. And those are the few people that say, "yes, this baseball
card is worth $250,000". And all you need is a few people that think it's worth that much that want
to own it for it to actually be worth that much.
So, the same thing goes with NFTs. You can make a
digital copy of that JPEG and you could look at it and you can appreciate that art but you're not the
owner. And to most people, that doesn't matter. Marshall: Okay. Stan: They will appreciate that JPEG just as much. Marshall: That's right, to most people, I think. Stan: But to some people, it does and
some people want to own the original and they will pay thousands of
dollars to own the original. Marshall: I had a friend, Stan, who
collected vinyl albums back in the 80s and he had a room devoted to
all of these historic albums and it was amazing. It was air-conditioned
specifically to keep them in a cool dry place. And I remember asking about a particular
album, he pulled it off the shelf, it was still in the wrapping and I said, "Ah,
it's still wrapped? If you play…" He said, "Oh, I would never unwrap this. I would never play it." And I felt there's something that to me, I know
the legitimacy of that, that you're preserving history.
But to me, it just felt wrong to
take a piece of music and museumize it in a way that you're not even gonna hear the music.
You're just gonna say it's in there somewhere. But that's me. And I know that there are
people and that they are important people, sometimes really are important people
because they've got enough money to make a difference in how things go. So, part of this is like, telling a kid about
grown-up pleasures – the kid just can't get it and doesn't really understand
why all the fuss about that. Stan: Yeah, it's bragging rights.
Somebody comes over who shares this excitement over something with you, somebody
who also loves baseball cards and you're like, "Look what I got." And they're like, "Oh,
You got that, that's amazing." And you got that, you know, you got these
bragging rights. It's like, you're cool now. And the thing is like, there's less chance
of counterfeit on the blockchain than in real life. Actually
makes it even more valuable. Some people believe that NFTs become even more
valuable than physical collectibles because you can't counterfeit them, you can
easily check what's real and what's not, anyone can, very quickly and there's
no damage. That's the third one, right? Physical things, you could damage
them in a fire, you could lose them. Marshall: What about for those of us who don't
care about bragging rights? What about the thing that attracted me to what you were telling me
about them a few weeks ago in the first place, which is that it would be a way to simplify
a claim of ownership for money rights? Stan: For money rights, what do you mean by that? Marshall: I don't care about bragging rights but I do care about trying to collect money
that was due to me because I owned that.
And that can happen anyway if I’m willing to take
the time to prove in court that this is mine. Stan: You as an artist are already protected
by that, you don't need the blockchain to prove to the courts that you are the artist
that made this. This is not about copyrights, this is about ownership of an asset. Marshall: Of an original, unique
asset that nobody can counterfeit. Stan: Yes, there's a difference here. Marshall: So what would be the – what's
the appeal for me and also for people who are listening? What is it that they're
listening to this and saying, "why would I want NFTs?" Is it so that people who want bragging
rights of my work, will put a lot of energy – Stan: Are you talking about for artists? Marshall: Yeah, for artists. Why
would artists be attracted to this? Stan: Digital artists would be more attracted to
it because finally, there is a way to sell digital art to people – to their fans and have
them feel like, they own an original. I mean, it's as simple as that.
Marshall: Okay. Stan: Now, one other thing about like the reason
why people would even want to pay money for it. I mean one, is they actually like, the thing
they're buying. They actually like, the artist, they want to support the artists, they want
to own this thing which is "collecting". The other thing which is real, is
investing. And a lot of artists are kind of against this thing and – but whatever.
like, this is a real thing in the art world, people invest their money into art and whether
you like, it or not, it's something that happens. So like – I don't know if you know, but a lot
of really expensive art like, the Picassos – when people buy those for millions of dollars
like, a lot of times they never even claim it. Marshall: How do you mean? Stan: They don't hang that – they
don't hang that art in their house.
Marshall: They just own it. Stan: I mean, some do, of course. Yeah, some
do. Some that really want that thing to hang in the house so they can see it, they do, they
hang it. But it is very frequent for people to buy this art for millions
of dollars simply to store their value because it's a better store
value than money in a checking account which will depreciate, whereas art,
traditionallym appreciates. It grows in value. Marshall: So, this is for investors? Stan: Yeah. So, for investors that
want to store their value, their money in something, they buy art, physical art, and they
keep them in these vaults in Switzerland and they don't actually claim the art. All they're doing
is just – it's like, a bank account for them.
Marshall: Okay. Stan: And that's a real thing, it's an asset
that has value. So, that's one more thing but most artists probably listening to this don't care
about that. But I just did want to point that out. Marshall: But what artists would care about is that I want an investor to invest in
my art knowing that it will go up. Stan: Yes, exactly. Marshall: And this is a way to do it
with a digitally created work of art. Stan: Yeah. So, the blockchain, you kind of get
it. It's a ledger, it's where we keep records. Blah blah blah, okay? Boring stuff. Let's get on
with the environmental impact because I think a lot of people listening to right now kind
of want to hear about this and I want to – The biggest thing I want to say about
this is that the two sides – like, I’m seeing a lot of hostility. I’m seeing a lot
of people arguing. And it's like – you know, how when people talk face-to-face, one-on-one, you
tend to be a little bit more respectful, right? like, even if you disagree, you could see
their face, if you hurt them, you feel bad. So, you kind of tone it down a little bit. Once you take that to like a bar and now
you have multiple people, the one-on-one is taken away a little bit and so now, you
can have a bar fight and you know, a brawl.
Then you multiply that a little bit and now
you take a thousand people on the streets or in a stadium that are in a disagreement and
that can escalate to a riot, right? And now you multiply that to millions of people on the
internet, and now it's like, a full-on war, okay? It's like, that one-on-one
interaction and that respect for people is like completely gone and that's
what I’m seeing here. Is just like, we need to realize that we – like we all
really kind of want the same thing here. And now I’m talking specifically about artists
with NFTs and the environment thing. So, like, I don't think anybody's trying
to like hurt the environment or at least the majority here, are
not trying to hurt the environment. And also, I don't think anybody who's
trying to protect the environment is trying to hurt artists' ability to make a living. Like, both of these sides want the same thing,
they want a healthy clean environment and they want artists to be able to make a living.
they both want the same thing but – they disagree on a technology and we will go down a
better path if we listen to each other. And if we understand that both sides have a point
here and that there are improvements that need to be made and that the concerns are real… and
then the people who say that, you know, "hey, what about these things that are horrible?", also
need to realize that this is a new technology that needs to evolve. And it will evolve and it will be
better and you have to listen to the people who, on that side, who are saying what is possible
with this and what benefits it could bring.
And so, both sides need to work together to lead to a better outcome. If you keep
fighting, and you keep, like just trying to piss each other off, it's going to lead to
a worse outcome. Because you're just going to make both sides hate each other more and
not care about the other opinion even more. You're actually going to create people that
are now saying, "you know, what? screw the environment. I’m all in on this thing". And
then on the other side, you're going to say, "well, you know what? screw blockchain. Take
the whole thing down, I don't care about all the good things that can happen from it. Take
it down because it's bad for the environment". And it's like, you just create this war when you know, if you just have mutual respect for
each other and you talk to each other like people, you can actually learn some things
and start making improvements. So, that's my big thing here, is like, both
sides need to start listening and stop yelling.
Marshall: Well, Stan, that was – that was
well put and if I was gonna summarize, it would be "let's find a mutual goal that
we both agree on and then see the problems on either side of it to get us there".
One is there are environmental concerns, the other is – artists are trying to
make a living and own what they do. Stan: Exactly. And both, I think, can agree on that. That those are both
good things to be concerned about. Marshall: There's another concern besides the
environment and that's the elitism of it. Is that it takes money. The ones with the most money
are the ones who are most able to make money. Stan: Oh yeah, absolutely. So, the
elitism thing is, I think, connected to – I saw a post, and I think a
lot of people are sharing it, it's about how the whole NFT thing
for artists is like a pyramid scheme.
They listed all the things
that the SEC says is a sign of a pyramid scheme, right? And there are
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 things that the SEC says – Marshall: Yeah, the characteristics
of a pyramid scheme. Stan: I’ll quickly read them off and I’ll go
through them one by one, because these are the, like I think, big concerns here. Number
one: there's no genuine product or service. Number two: promise of high returns in a short
amount of time. Number three: easy money, passive income. Four: there's a buy-in required (You have to put in money to make money).
Five or six, wait, 1,2, did I skip? Oh, I think there's seven. Who cares about the
numbers. There's a buy-in required and then another one is recruitment. So, it's like,
you're insulted for not being part of it. Interestingly, I actually
looked up the actual list on SEC and the Tweet that people put out, say that you know, NFTs check all the boxes but then they
left out two of the things that the SEC listed. So, I don't know, it doesn't actually check all
the bug and so, I do want to point that out.
There are two missing from the Tweet and those two
are no demonstration of revenue from retail sales. So, it doesn't check that box. And complex
commission structure, and it's not complex at all. So, let's go through the ones that it does check because I think they're actually
really good – really important concerns. Marshall: Okay. Stan: The first one is "no genuine product or
service". The counter argument that I’ve seen to that is like, "why isn't digital art
a genuine product?" And then also like, the service that you're getting is the
transfer of authentic digital ownership. The next one was "promise of high
return in a short amount of time". And absolutely, like – this is one
of those warnings that I want to give to artists is that like – or anybody who's
like, trying to buy crypto currency, right? Currency is not NFTs, currency is money.
It's another form of – another way to use the blockchain.
And people who are putting money
into this because they're hearing how other people are making a fortune off of it, if you're doing
this for the short term, you will probably lose. It is very volatile. This is not a mature market.
When people give investment advice online, people say, like, "watch out". like, if you're doing for
the short term, you better know what you're doing. You're not gonna make a buck. So, the promise of high return in a
short amount of time as an argument, I think it's really only the media that's
making that promise and so we gotta watch out for who we're listening to. It's not like,
there's some central pyramid of scheme authority that's like promising this stuff.
about like – the general public is just like, seeing people making money and then they
come to the conclusion that there's a lot of money I can make and then they don't do the
research. They enter and they lose money, okay? That's a real thing that
can happen. You could lose a lot of money. It's not a short-term strategy. Marshall: Okay. Stan: You put in $1,000 and Bitcoin the next day
drops 30% in value, which it does all the time. You just lost $300 in a day, right? And so, it's
a much better long-term strategy, is what people say.
Because over time, you know, Bitcoin is like,
this, but over time it's consistently growing. It's very steadily growing, it's just like 30% up 30% down. 40% up, 30% down. 40% up,
you know, what I mean? It's like, ugh. Marshall: Okay. I got you. It's a
person who gets ill every other week and then casts manic highs every
other week but they live to be 90. Stan: Yeah, okay.
Yeah, sure, there you go. Marshall: Don't gamble on a two-year-old
because their moods change constantly, gamble on someone who's
proven themselves responsible. Stan: Sure. Marshall: Okay. Stan: Yeah. Easy money, passive income. Passive
income is the other check of a pyramid scheme. Yeah, agreed. There's a lot of, like hype around
and how like Bitcoin is growing so much. Well, not just Bitcoin, like all the blockchain
coins are growing so much and you can make so much money. And this literally just
like happens every four years, okay? There's a cycle where it's like, Bitcoin or Ethereum, all these coins they just
like, shoot up 1000% in price.
And everybody who is not participating in the space for
the past four years starts hearing about it because it's like this crazy thing that just
happened, and all these people made money. And so they have FOMO, which is Fear Of Missing
Out, right? And so they start jumping in and that makes the price go up even higher
and everyone's like, "what's going on!" And then, all of a sudden, it's way overvalued, right? Because all the hype just like made it
go way too high and then it just collapses. And then people are pissed because they didn't
get their short-term gain. And then people forget about it for four years, right? But the people
that are in there for a long time were still there and it's slowly getting back and then all
of a sudden four years later," boom! Oh, again. Oh, my God, It grew another 1000%" and
then people come back into the space and then they get pissed.
And it's the same cycle
literally happened like five times already. Or I think it's four? I think four
cycles. And so, the "easy money" is just this perception that because you hear
about Bitcoin for six months every four years, and then you forget that like,
well, the four years in between was not easy money. It was a slow
investment over a long period of time. So, that's – yes, agreed. The media, the hype
gives us this perception that it's like, this easy money. Be careful, it's not. Passive income, so
this is a big one. So, with NFTs, these platforms that allow you to sell NFTs, they say that you
can do resale. You can get resale royalties back. So, every time your art, your digital art sells again after you've sold it, you get
a royalty actually from that sale. So, let me explain, give you an example. You sell your
painting for $1,000 today and then that person sells it 10 years from now when you're a bigger
– when you're a bigger artist, bigger name for $100,000, right? Because you have a much bigger
collector base, your stuff is worth more money.
Well, now you're gonna get a 10% commission off
that $100,000 and you get $10,000 back and so, you made actually ten times more
than you did in the original sale. And then if that person then sells it for $1005,
it only appreciated a little bit. Only $5,000 more. Well, now you still get ten thousand,
what? 10,050 or something dollars again. And so, if it changes hands a bunch
of times in a short amount of time, you are actually going to make a bunch
of money from all those re-sales. And if you have a lot of artwork
floating around like that, potentially, you're constantly making resell royalties. So, that's kind of the "promise" that these
platforms are making and one thing that is important to keep in mind is it's – right
now with the technology, it's only really possible if it resells on that same platform. If somebody takes your NFT to a different
platform, it's not – and that resell royalty is not supported by the other
platform, you actually don't get anything. So, it's a misconception and it's like,
"yeah, it sucks".
Like, people just don't read into this stuff and these platforms don't
do enough to actually explain how this works. So, very legitimate concern and
artists need to know about it. What I think is gonna happen is
that as these platforms mature and they start working together, there's
going to be standards in the industry and every platform is going to start supporting
the same metadata of royalty structures. Marshall: Okay. Stan: So it's like, if you transfer
your NFT from one platform to another and there's a resell royalty attached to it, the other platform will still honor that
resale royalty and do the same thing.
So, they're all going to have these standards.
And the platforms that don't follow those standards are going to be known and people
are just not going to put their stuff on it. Marshall: So, right now, one of the concerns is that there's a tendency for
this to prey on the ignorant. Stan: Kind of, yeah. And I’m not sure if they're
actually trying to prey on the ignorant or if they're just trying to create standards that will
benefit the artist. There's two angles to this. Marshall: Okay, I got you. Stan: Right? And I’m sure that some platforms
probably are trying to prey on the ignorance and some are probably just like, "well we
want to add resell royalties so artists could make more money". So, there's
like, a good and a bad side to it. But the point of it is like, "well, let's
push for standardization of this stuff" because when it's standard then
it's not even a problem any more. Marshall: Okay. Stan: Moving on to the next
point – buy-in required. Okay, the gas fees.
Have you heard of Gas Fees? Marshall: No. Stan: Okay. Marshall: I haven't heard of any of
this. I am your kid who doesn't know and it's, "Pap, tell me again about
NFTs and blockchain technology." Stan: Okay, Gas Fees. So, this is more,
literally just with Ethereum pretty much. Which is the main blockchain that NFTs
are currently sold on. It's congested. Ethereum does not allow for a lot of transactions
every second and so, the more demand there is for running a transaction, the
more it costs – the more reward these validators are getting – the miners
are getting for approving transactions. And so, like if you want to run a transaction
through the system, you're just gonna have to pay more than the other person that wants to
run a transaction, right? Makes sense, kind of? It's just kind of a weak point in the technology.
It's like nobody's trying to prey on anybody.
It's just that like, when the technology's limited
by how many transactions it can run, well, now there's too much demand and very little supply
and that's just like basic economics, right? Prices just skyrocket and in order to just like
publish an NFT, it costs you $50. Just to publish it, not even to sell it. Just you publish it.
And then when someone wants to buy it from you, well, now they have to pay a Gas Fee
as well. Another $50 or whatever it is. Marshall: Why is it called a "Gas Fee"? Stan: Because in order to like drive from
one place to another, you have to pay gas. Marshall: I see. Stan: So in order to move this NFT
from one wallet to another wallet, that movement requires some gas. Marshall: Okay. Stan: And the "Gas Fee" depends, one,
on the gas price, which is determined by like supply and demand. And two,
how far you're going, kind of, like, that's the analogy. It's like, if you
have to go farther, you need more gas.
And so, the complexity of the smart contract might require more gas. And so NFTs have
a smart contract in them. And the more complex that smart contract is, the more
gas you're going to need to get to it. And right now, the biggest problem isn't that
these smart contracts are too complicated, it's just that the gas price is really high
because there's just congestion in the system. Marshall: Okay. Stan: The like, buy-in required, yes, but it's
only on Ethereum. Like these newer blockchains like, Solana which I’m invested
in, I’ve invested my money into it, Solana allows for currently
50,000 transactions per second. Marshall: This means it's cleaner? Stan: No, that specifically doesn't mean
it's cleaner but it is a lot cleaner. It is a lot cleaner because
of other things but, no. The speed actually does –
I don't think is related. All it really means is that
there's no congestion in the system so there's no gas fees. Like, with Solana,
I think it's something like, 0.00001 penny per transaction. So, if you want to publish
an NFT, you're literally paying like, nothing.
So, there is no gas fee. So, like, this whole
gas fees thing, it's an Ethereum problem. Marshall: I see. Stan: I think the solution for this,
like the thing people need to focus on together as artists, because artists don't
want to pay $50 to post their NFTs, and for the environmentalists who want to, you know, help
the environment, they need to focus on cleaner, more efficient blockchains and push
these platforms to support them. And not just rely purely on Ethereum which
is the oldest smart contract blockchain. The last one was recruitment insults – you're
insulted for not being part of it. I think the counter argument is that the
insults are coming from both sides. Like, it's just hostility on both ends. Like,
it's kind of an interesting point to make here that's like, I was insulted for not being
part of the community but like, but you just insulted the community for even existing.
course, they're going to insult you back, right? So, both sides here are just being very immature. Stop insulting each other.
Yeah, so that's the whole pyramid scheme – Marshall: Response, yeah. Stan: That's the response, is that
like, a lot of these concerns are real and a lot of the counter
arguments to them are also real, and there needs to be progress that needs to be
And let's do that, let's make that progress. Marshall: I want to see if I’ve got my
head around the takeaway that's important. And the first thing I’m getting out of this
is that it's more complex than I had any idea. And one way it's complex is that
there's different parts to it. That there is blockchain technology and there are
multiple kinds, some more destructive, some less destructive. And that there are NFTs which are
trying to solve a problem, but right now what people are seeing is that they create problems or
at least the blockchain technology that they do.
They're trying to solve the problem
of ownership of what I do digitally, but they're creating other problems like,
elitism and environmental destruction. And so, to look into this, which is a melee
of complexity, it could help to pull the parts apart and say "here's the culprit, here's where
the problem is, here's where several things that relate together create a problem that we would
not have known from any one of them individually". The main thing I’m getting out of this,
Stan, is that this is much more complicated than I knew and that I don't yet have a
grasp. Right now I feel like when you have an older sibling who really wants to get
involved in something, playing football. Football is great, you get a chance
to exert energy, it's good exercise, it's rough and tumble. I’m young my
body wants to go into conflict but look at the knee injuries and the
head injuries and everything else.
And there just came a point where I
thought, "I don't want to play football". It's just there's too much risk with it,
but I didn't doubt the excitement of it. So right now, I feel so alienated by the complexity of what's going on
with this that I want to wait and see what comes of it. But while waiting, it means that I’m
not really contributing anything to whether this needs to be championed, destroyed or worked
with to be adjusted into something that's better. Stan: Yeah. AD: Are you feeling down, worried about the
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Go to MarshallArt.com for details. Marshall: Okay, so the smart contract idea it's a non-controversy if there's no damage
to the environment or so little to not care. Stan: Yeah. Marshall: And there's across-the-board access to
it like there is to using the internet that is not just for the elite. Are those the two – those
are the two big issues that are blocking this… Stan: Yes.
The third one is that
there's like it costs money to get in to like, pay to play sort of thing.
Which is like, the gas fees. Marshall: Which is elitism. You still have
to – if you're going to have the internet, you still have to have a computer. You
still have to buy – there's a way in, but it's much more leveled out that
only the "elite" get to do these things. Stan: And already there are solutions and
blockchains that are saying that you could mint an NFT for pretty much no cost.
no elitism, you know, you don't have to pay to play. Once it's easy to do that for artists,
I don't see what anyone will complain about. So yeah, the environment, the
elitism and the pay-to-play. Marshall: And that's part of the elitism. So, I – Stan: Yeah, it's part it. Marshall: Yeah, now I understand. Now,
if those were not issues, then we'd say, well, then why would I even be a –
so what? I wasn't going to damage the environment one way and I’m not going
to damage the environment this way and anybody can get involved with
this, I want to get involved in it. It seems like, it's to say, here's what I created
digitally and there is no question that I own it. It gives it an extra value so that people want to
collect it and also it makes – it makes collecting simpler and easier, I assume, than
having to go through the courts? Stan: Yes, exactly.
So, yeah, the simpler
and easier is a very good point there. Because if you want to sell your baseball card,
like, first you need to somehow prove to your buyer that the one you have is not a fake. So, you
need to get it, like inspected by some house that inspects and approves card and you
know, says "yep, this is real". And then you go on eBay or
whatever and you sell it. And then you usually give a pretty big
royalty and then you have to ship it, and you have to probably insure that
shipment if it's a really valuable card. And all of this like takes a lot of time
and effort and a lot of cost. So it's like, well in a way, is that elitism? In order to sell
a real thing, you have to do all of this stuff? Marshall: Some people would define it as
such and other people wouldn't, and yeah, I don't know. Yeah, everything has a price. Stan: Right, exactly.
Just like, what
is currently happening with NFTs – some people will define it as elitism and some
people are just defining it as like, – Marshall: Responsibility. Stan: Economics – responsibility and,
you know, technical challenges. like, one reason some people can't get in is like they
don't understand the technology and how it works. And so it's like you don't know how to do it.
So, one argument about this whole elitism thing is that like the platforms are – a
lot of these platforms are curating, right? They only select which artists they
want to accept into their platforms, right? So, that that's elitism, right? Like, you know,
"you're not allowed in.
You can't participate". But it's not that the blockchain itself is
behind closed doors and you can't participate. It's that you can't participate in this platform
that simplifies the process of making an NFT. It's a curated site that it's kind of like,
a gallery really. All it is a gallery that connects you to the buyers. And so, it's
like – it's kind of the same thing as saying "I can't get into that gallery in New
York. It's elitism because they're curating and they won't let me sell to these
customers that are buying from that gallery". But people don't say that,
right? I don't think they say it because you could still sell your
physical art to whoever, right? You don't need to be part of the gallery to sell
paintings. You could find your own collectors and you could use social media, and you could
grow a following and sell directly to them.
So, it's not like it's closed door.
It's not like art sales are closed off just because this one gallery wants to
only have 10 artists in their collection. So, the same thing applies to the
platforms – all they do is they provide a service which makes it easy
to mint your NFT to the blockchain. You could still mint your NFT to the blockchain
without the platform, you could do it on your own.
Marshall: If you knew how. Stan: The problem is, if you knew how to code,
right? It's all code. You just like send this thing to the network. But like you have
to learn something to do that. You have to understand how it works. So, you
know, just like you would have to do something to sell your art to a collector
on your own – You have to grow a following, that takes a lot of time. And you have
to figure out how to market your stuff. Like, it's not free money. Like it's not a
thing that you're guaranteed like success with. You have to work.
You have to understand
how things work in order to drive and to make sales, to find collectors and to
publish your thing in this new technology. But, if you don't want to learn
and you want to be part of the platform, that does it for you – well, now you
have to follow their rules. Does that makes sense? Marshall: It does make sense but you're also
curing me of any interest in pursuing NFTs. Because I feel like it opens a world of complexity
of need to understand, of "I don't really want to start a restaurant because I know some people
have started restaurants and I know how much work there is involved in it".
And yeah, some of
them do really well with it, but it's not for me. Stan: Good, Marshall, I’m glad. I’m
glad because now anybody that wants to go in it for an easy buck hears this and
says, "Oh, I don't want to put in the work" and now they're not going to waste
their time to make an easy buck. Marshall: Good. Stan: Things in life take effort. Oh my God! Don't do this if all you're doing
is trying to make some money very short term. This is a real thing. You're
not going to start a restaurant because it's an easy buck. It's really hard. Marshall: It is really hard. Stan: It's very, very difficult.
You're not going to become an artist because it's a way to make an easy buck. Marshall: I should have used that as an
example instead, is that I want to be an artist so that I can make a lot of
money just for drawing a few pictures. Stan: Yeah, this doesn't change anything.
do this long term, like, once this crazy hype settles down, the technology will still exist
and then in order to really be successful on it, you're still going to have to be a good
artist that people want to buy their work. Like, it doesn't change anything. All it
does is just slightly improve the means of transacting in the art. Marshall: But I got the impression that
it would greatly improve the means – Stan: It could, greatly, it could.
Marshall: Okay. I’m seeking an
analogy to help my kid mind. Stan: For smart contracts or for blockchain? Marshall: For blockchain. And here's the best I can do and I know that this analogy
is not going to fit in some ways. But you've got engines and some
engines are run on really dirty fuel, some of them on cleaner fuel, some among
sunlight and you're looking for the things that will do the least amount of damage to
the environment, and also yield a product. And that's why NFTs can be something that
is fueled by or put into any one of varying blockchain technologies. Stan: Yes. The ones that support smart contracts. Marshall: Okay, well this helps – Stan: Bitcoin, as from what I know, it
does not actually support a smart contract. Marshall: There's a whole spectrum of good and
bad ways to do this, is what I think I’m getting.
Stan: Yeah. So, Bitcoin because it's so dirty,
because it requires so much electricity. Typically it's considered not to be something
that you're going to run a lot of transactions on. In fact, it only supports like, nine transactions per second or something like.
It's like, a ridiculously low amount. Like, imagine if we were trying to process,
you know, buy coffees with Bitcoin. Like, it would only support nine
people per second to buy a coffee. Marshall: What a rough world that would be. Stan: It's not plausible, that
would suck. So, it's very slow. Bitcoin is not meant to be that
and so people think of it as like, gold. Where people will just kind of store
their value and not transact very often with it. But because of – it is actually – I think people
think of it as something that's a lot more secure, because the way it works. Let
me give you a different analogy.
So the internet is the blockchain – Marshall: Okay. Stan: And an NFT is a post on a
social network, right? It's like, it's just one small thing
you can do on the internet. Marshall: Okay. Stan: The internet is
something that allows much more than just posting on a social network as you know. Marshall: But there's this
one thing that you can do. Stan: But there's that one thing and that one
thing is actually really cool and very powerful, right? You can post to a social network. Like, that alone now allows you to do so much. You
can communicate, you could sell, you can market. I mean, a post is a very simple part
of the internet but it's not lame. Marshall: It's changed the world.
Stan: Yes, exactly. For good and for bad. You
could say that posting on social networks has done some real damage to our society, our culture.
And it also has greatly improved it in other ways. Every new technology comes with bad and
good and hopefully, you know, this is a very big conversation that hopefully technology leads
us to better quality of life rather than worse. You know, you can ask like, you know, do you want
to be riding a horse right now or would you rather ride your car? And it's like, yeah we went
through 100 years or so of really dirty cars but now hopefully, it's going to evolve
to be cleaner energy and you know, we'll see how long it takes us there. But technology goes through some bad
times and then in the end, we solve those things and quality of life is better.
And you know, now instead of 50 million people dying from pandemic, it's how many
has it been, two million some? What is it? Marshall: I don't know the latest numbers.
Stan: I don't know the latest
numbers. Yeah, so technology improves, generally, I believe quality of life.
But there are bad things and they need to be talked about and they need to be
solved and worked on all the time. So. Marshall: Okay. Stan, where do we go from here? Stan: With new technology, there's good
stuff and there's bad stuff, right? Marshall: Yeah. Stan: And we should try to decrease the
bad stuff and increase the good stuff. Marshall: Well, great attitude. Stan: And I think that opting out is an option
for some people that are scared, they don't know, they don't feel comfortable with technology.
Opt out, don't go in and get hurt with it.
But opting out because you're against the technology itself, I feel is not
the best strategy to make a change. Marshall: Why? Stan: You're gonna end up being the
grumpy old dude that was left out, that didn't participate and knows nothing about
it. And you know, as this technology evolves and everybody who participated grows with it, you
who opted out because you didn't agree with it, are now left out and you're old and grumpy
and have no power to change anything.
If you go in and you learn as much as
possible about it and you participate in the creation of it, you have a
much bigger impact on where it goes. Marshall: It's like, opting
out of voting. That if you opt out of voting, you have no right
to complain about what has happened. Stan: Exactly. If you opt out, you have
no right to complain. So, go in there, learn as much as possible how it works and what
are real things we can do to improve this thing. Right now, you could say you can
go to the platforms and you can push them to start supporting more efficient
blockchains that don't have these ridiculous gas fees for artists and that are
not this bad for the environment.
You know, do your research. Figure out what
are these new blockchains that allow you to post NFTs for 0.00001 penny, and that
can scale to run the entire internet. That could do more transactions per second
than visa can, in a cleaner way than visa does. Like, do this research and push this
change because it does need to happen. If you opt out and you say I’m out,
well, then the people that don't care about these problems are the one making
the decisions. Like, what does that do? Marshall: So there's a proactive
way to be involved which is to make the investment and support
those who improve the system? Stan: Yes. Because here – look. Listen like,
these platforms right now, they're the ones kind of empowered to allow people to post NFTs.
Who are they going to listen to? The customers, the people who are on their platform. Not the
people who are yelling to get rid of the platform.
They're not going to listen to those
people, they're not their customers. They're going to listen to
the people that support them. Marshall: Okay, that makes sense. You've got to
be a participant in this country to vote in the elections. The ones that are going to make
a difference are the ones who are involved. I think I get that. I mean, I want to
opt out because I just don't know enough. Stan: Yeah and that's totally fine. Marshall: I’ve never played the lottery
and I’m just not the type to get involved – Stan: It's not a lottery. Marshall: – in a pyramid scheme. Stan: Come on, stop it. Marshall: Because the promise of quick
riches just does not grab me like, it grabs some people. But that's not opting out. It's
opting out partly because I just don't know enough to know what to think,
that's why I’m listening to you. Stan: So one thing we were talking about is how
like, ownership is a thing for people that want to feel like, they own that one scarce
thing, right, and they feel special. But for most people, it's more actually about
the utility of most things they buy, right? Marshall: How do you mean? Stan: You want to actually do something with it.
Marshall: Yes. Stan: I’ll give you several examples. Shoes. You
want to wear shoes because they actually serve a utility, they have a purpose. They keep
your feet warm, they keep your feet clean, they keep your bones healthy while
you're running or whatever it is, right? They keep your skin from getting scratched up
while you walk, they have a purpose.
And so we pay you know, anything from $20 to $150 for a
pair of shoes simply for the utility of them. Marshall: Okay. Stan: Depends on what you really want
from those shoes. Anything beyond that, is you're no longer paying for the utility. Like, if you pay $500 for shoes, now you're
paying for like, the brand, right? It's more for just like, I want
bragging rights that I own this like, specific shoe. Yeah, so the other example with, other than shoes, let's say with artists is
like, prints. It's not the original piece of art but it's a print of it, it's a copy and that
does serve a utility for most people that buy it. Like, you know, you do hang it on your wall and
you do like to look at it. It gives you pleasure just by seeing it, it decorates your house, whatever it is.
And you could do that
for just like, you know, a $20 print. Most people would do that, they'd buy prints
to hang on their wall, right? It does serve a purpose. It's not about the ownership in that
case, right, because you don't own the original. You just have this thing that decorates
your wall, that's there's a function to it. How that applies to NFTs is that there actually
will be a utility or could be a utility in NFTs. This is kind of exciting. I always like to look
to the future and it kind of, it excites me. Do you know, what the Metaverse is? Marshall: No. What is the Metaverse? Stan: Have you seen the movie or
read the book Ready Player One? Marshall: I know of the book and the
movie and have a friend who helped help storyboard it but no, I don't
know enough of the story so help me.
Stan: Okay. So, the Metaverse is
basically kind of like, a digital world that, you know, in Ready Player One there's
like, dystopian future where most people live actually in like, a VR world not in the real
world. Because the real world is so messed up. Hopefully we don't get to a dystopian future
but like, the Metaverse is something people are working on, really excited about. It's like,
a world you can enter and there's real things happening in there. You could you trade real
things, NFTs, you have a player that can die and communicate and own things like,
land and build structures and do things.
You know, have a museum where you show your
art. It's like, a real world but it's digital. Marshall: So you could be
rich or poor or privileged or not privileged in this virtual world. Stan: Yeah. It's like, the same world. Marshall: It is real even though
it's virtual. You really do have those privileges in that world or not. Stan: Yes and the only reason it's real is
because the people who participate in it all agree that it's real. Marshall: They take it seriously. Stan: Yeah. So, if you don't participate in
it because you think it's not real, well, to you it's not real.
you could say that our real world is not real and say I don't want
to participate any more. Yeah. Marshall: It's the reason that ownership and law
and geographical boundaries which aren't real, are real because – Stan: Exactly. Marshall: – they're, yeah. It's
the rules that we live by. Yeah. Stan: Exactly. And so this Metaverse
is basically just a digital world. And so now comes this idea of in-game
assets and this could be applied to the Metaverse or just any video
game actually. This already happens. In video games, you can buy assets. You
could buy a weapon, you could buy a vehicle, whatever it is and you own that now in this
game, right? Have you ever heard of that concept? Marshall: Yes, I have heard of that concept, yeah.
Stan: Right. So, with NFTs, you have real
ownership over these assets. Let's say you buy an NFT Nike shoe and Nike presents you with the real
pair of shoes and also the digital version of it. And there's a 3D model of it and now you can bring
it into this game and put it on your character and now your character owns
this rare digital asset. And people in the game see it, they scan it
and be like, oh whoa, that's the real one. You own the $100,000 Nikes that, you know,
Michael Jordan used to own in this game? You know, it's this world where it's like, hey, this one character did this thing with
this NFT and they defeated something. They set a new world record with this pair of shoes
on and then they sold it and now you bought it and now you own those pair of shoes that
this person may set this world record in. And that those pair of shoes, even though they're
digital, have value because they were sold to you by this other person that did this thing
with that specific NFT that has a specific ID.
So it's real. Like, this is
value that the people in this – Marshall: Metaverse. Stan: – game agree. Or Metaverse or
even just a single game, agree on that. Like, these items have value. Marshall: That's what a Metaverse is, it's
a world beyond this universe that you can enter and that you take seriously, that people
take seriously so there really are benefits. Stan: Yes. Marshall: Okay. Stan: Pretty much. But it's all – and
that's also the concept of in-game items, which when you apply that
with the blockchain and now you can own one thing in one game and you could
now carry it over to a different game.
It's not an asset that's owned
by the video game company, it's an asset that's owned by you the person
that bought it. Because it's not recorded on the server of that video game, it's recorded
in the blockchain which is owned by nobody. And so any video game that connects to
the blockchain and interacts with it, now allows you to bring in your
own NTFs to these video games and you have real items that you
really own in this video game. Marshall: You get to bring
in your valuable show horses to the different arenas because you own them.
Stan: Exactly. Marshall: This applies to things other
than shoes and show horses and artwork. Stan: Yeah. Marshall: This applies to
songs and performances and anything that can be packaged and
called an intellectual property. Stan: Tickets to something, tickets to an event. Marshall: Oh wow. Stan: Your DNA.
Marshall: Your DNA? Stan: What if you sell your DNA sequence? Marshall: And people have been
selling their DNA sequences, right? Stan: Have they? Oh.
Marshall: I think they have. I think that
when you when you when you sign the contract for ancestry and those kind of things, I’m
told that you are signing a contract that is giving up the rights to your or sharing
the rights, I’m not sure how it works. But if that's the case – Stan: Yeah, interesting. So, I don't know. I
mean these are just like, crazy ideas. Like, what, okay what if I sell my DNA now. It's like,
you pretty much – somebody else pretty much owns me, my structure.
It's like, my structure is
gonna be worth less than Barack Obama's, right? Like, somebody would pay a lot more for his DNA. The reason I brought it up is
just like, there's literally like, an infinite amount of use cases for this. It's
what, you know, it's what you can come up with. Marshall: Yeah. When the iPhone
came out, everybody was saying, 'Wow.
All sorts of things will come out of this'
but that nobody knew there'd be millions of apps to solve all sorts of problems with a smartphone. And the fact that it's sensitive to gravity, well how can we use that? And so on. So,
it's unpredictable where this will go. Stan: Yeah. Marshall: I’ve got another
question. Is there any chance that this will go away? That it's defeatable
if people say we don't want it. Will it be? Can it go away? Can it
disappear? Or is it inevitable? Stan: So, I don't know. I’m not
an expert in that, specifically. There's a lot of like, political stuff with that,
I’m not an expert in that but like, I can tell you what I’ve heard so far. Is
that because it's so decentralized and it's spread out throughout a lot of the world, it is
going to be very difficult to make it go away. Marshall: So it's like, once nuclear technology
is understood, once fission can be done, it's going to be done. It's just if you can make
laws against it, but it is not going to mean that nobody's going to use anything, to do anything
nuclear from now on because we decided against it. So it's there is a way in which
it is the cat is out of the bag, Pandora's Box has been open.
Now what do we do from here. Stan: Yeah, the biggest threat right
now to it is countries just making like, Cryptocurrency illegal. And I think China
already did, if I understand correctly. But like, it didn't go away just
because China did it, you know. And if the United States makes it
illegal, it's still not gone.
Like, there's still a huge part of the world
that's still going to be like, well, we like. So I think that the countries that make it illegal
will eventually probably make it legal again and then they're just gonna miss out on a
huge technological advancement and they're not gonna be the big players in the game and
I think the United states understands that. So far from what I’ve heard people saying,
who are in power, who have a lot, you know, a lot of power to make these changes and to
convince politicians, they're saying that the US needs to try to be the leader in the space instead
of trying to like, outlaw and bring it down. And I, like, I don't see any sign
of the United States outlawing it. Like, it's gonna be very difficult. Like,
there's so many big institutions now coming in into cryptocurrency specifically.
happens if the United States all of a sudden outlaws and there's already trillions of
dollars in it. Like, what does that mean? And it's legitimate money that's in it as well.
It's legitimate money that we're already paying taxes for. Like, you know, like, anybody
that owns crypto is paying taxes for that crypto. So, it's like, if the government is
collecting taxes on it and then they say, oh no, this is illegal. Like, are
they gonna return all that tax money? Right? Like, it's gonna be – it's very
difficult. It's already intertwined, it's so intertwined into the financial systems that,
like, it's gonna be so difficult to outlaw it. I personally don't see it happening
but I’m not an expert, so. Marshall: Okay. And I’m not only am
I not an expert, this is so far – Stan: But I’m also not interested. Marshall: – it's so far over my head
but it does, it does prompt questions. Because as soon as you say, I don't see the US
outlawing it, then my mind goes in two ways. It goes to the benefit of that, is that they
can embrace the technology and make it better.
The bad thing about it is that
the money involved and saying, no, we don't want to outlaw this, we want to
exploit it. Is so often, money that does not have the better interest of people at heart so
much as they have their claim at heart. So I am aware that any direction
you go, there will be monsters there and that the warnings are not just to scare
you away, although some of them are. Let's scare them away from going there so
that we'll go in and take that land. And also there will be opportunities
that will make things better. I just don't – I can't sort
through all this and understand it. Stan: Yeah, Marshall, this topic is
something that you really cannot grasp in an hour or two. It is something that you
slowly study over time and eventually you kind of pick up on it. I mean, it's a – this is
a technology that is all, like, already like, there's several billion dollar companies
running, you know, working on this stuff. Or who are billion dollar companies because of
It's a very complicated thing and it's kind of like, trying to learn
how the internet works in an hour or two. You're not gonna do it, it's difficult. Marshall: How does this relate to me or any of
our listeners who are not that entrepreneurial or business oriented or understanding political
structures and technological structures? Because this could take – this is an art form in
itself to understand it and if I were a science fiction writer and I was really interested
in this, this would – you are an optimist. I don't know if you're an incurable optimist
but you're certainly an optimist because when you see new technology you say,
'Wow, hey. Wow, hey, yeah, wow, hey.' And many a science fiction writer can see that
but they can also see what horrible things would go with this and they spend a good deal of
their energy balancing between the dystopian and utopian vision of where this can go and
contriving it for they're spinning a yarn. Like, the prophets of where the world is
going now that this change has happened. So, but I’m not a science fiction writer and
so I have to ask, what is, are there practical steps to this for those of us who are hearing
about it and wondering how does it affect me? Stan: So your question was how does this affect me, someone who
doesn't care about technology and – Marshall: Politics.
Stan: – and politics and money – Marshall: And business and – Stan: – and business. Marshall: – and abstract
systems that fit together. Stan: So you're essentially asking
me how did these running shoes affect me, someone who has arthritis and has no interest in exercising and actually doesn't
even have legs. How can I benefit from them? Marshall: How do these shoes relate to
a person who lives their life barefoot.
Stan: Wait, wait. Come on. Marshall: Well, no. Actually I do. I do care about
making a living and I am still working to make a living so that's what attracted me to this. Is
that this could be a way that instead of always working, that passive income can be part of it.
To work and then to have something pay me money and that not that I do it and then people just
steal it and you never get the money from it. Is there a way that this actually
makes a difference to artists and people who own art piece? Stan: If that's your only reason, the
resale royalties idea, that's literally the only reason that you're interested in this,
I would say it's probably not worth your effort.
Marshall: Okay. Well, then I’m gonna
watch and see what happens. This may not be relevant but let me tell you what
ten years ago when vape cigarettes came in. One guy I was working with was smoking vapes
and I didn't know it was electronic cigarette. Wow, the steam that comes out of it is
not nearly as cool looking as smoke. The only thing that was the negative about it,
is that it's giving into the nicotine addiction. Which I’m told is not as bad for – not nearly as
bad for you. Is the tars and all the carcinogens. So I thought that's great. That means that
you've got pretty harmless cigarettes and then people said no, these things ruin you. Here's
what I thought. You go into a steam room for a half an hour at a time, five days a week,
do it for years doesn't seem to do any harm.
How is it that steam is gonna harm your legs?
And then I thought, hey there's another thing. There are companies who manufacture tobacco,
that have gazillions of dollars that would not want this to encroach on their territory.
They're spinning lies against it and – Stan: Yeah, that's – Marshall: – that's what I was thinking. So,
I think, vape, man, I might take up smoking. And then in a few years, we started to find
out that there were too many studies and too much consensus among people I trusted who
said vapes do a lot of damage to human lungs. And that was – but it took time to know
that and I wasn't involved and I wasn't vaping or smoking. I was just watching it and
thinking and maybe that this was a solution, and it one way it was and
in another way it wasn't. So I don't know and I’ve got to reserve
judgment until there's more data. Stan: This whole – this is a really
The vaping thing. Marshall: Well, yeah, I know. That's why – Stan: I mean – Marshall: – I know it's a bad analogy
but it was the only thing I could grip. Stan: It's a really, it doesn't actually make
any sense at all. I don't like, try to make an analogy between vaping and the internet. Put
yourself back in the 90s and make that analogy.
Marshall: Yeah, well, we might be – Stan: You can't. It's such a stupid analogy. Marshall: We might be trying
to get more out of the analogy than I intended. The thing I’m intending here is
that as soon as I hear about NFTs, they're going to make it so that you can make a living as a
teacher and people won't steal your stuff, great. And as an artist. Really? Yeah, I’m in.
And then in a matter of a week and a half, if you get involved in NFTs, you are
contributing to the destruction of this planet. Whoa, which way do I go? And it's like, why don't you just stop right here
and let other people figure this out because I – Stan: Yeah.
Let other people figure it out. Marshall: – can't figure out whether
vapes are damaging or beneficial. Stan: They're damaging, Marshall. Vapes
are bad. It's a horrible analogy, stop it. Vapes are bad for you. Marshall: Okay, we know it now Stan: I mean, I think a lot of people
knew it from the very beginning. I mean, I was warning my friends from the very beginning.
I was like, do you really know what's in it? Marshall: Yeah.
Still, when I’m really in
the mood, a nice hot cup of something that's steaming and to go, 'Ah'. It just seemed like,
the you know, the concentrated version of that. Stan: Cool. Marshall: Sorry, it was a lousy
analogy but I did my best. Stan: It's a very shallow, I think, analogy. Marshall: Sure. Stan: It's a focus on, like, this tiny piece. Marshall: Yeah. Well, no it isn't
a tiny piece. It's the great big division of will this lead us to a better world or a ruined world. I mean that's how I’m
understanding that it's being framed. And again – Stan: Oh, well. Marshall: – I don't know. I mean we've got
the same issues with almost everything. Stan: Kind of. But like, with vaping, there was
– it's this company that's trying to make money. With the blockchain, there is
no company trying to make money from you to be involved in the blockchain.
Marshall: Well, that's where more knowledge of the political environment
of it. Who is against it and who is for it. The people who are going to be for it are often
the people are going to profit from it, the people who are going to be against it are going
to be people who their profits will be damaged. And so the battle becomes not ideological, the
battle becomes simply territory for I want more control money and a stake in this.
able to sort through are the tobacco companies maligning vapes because it's going to hurt
their business or is there really a danger? You just don't know when you're
on the innocent side of it. Stan: Yeah. Marshall: As one of my friends told me this week, he said it used to be that you had 15 minutes
of fame in your life now you get 15 minutes of innocence before you have to take a side on
something otherwise the other side will kill you. Stan: Yeah. And that's kind of
the problem isn't it? That like, literally everything we're doing is bad. Marshall: Well, yeah. Not everything but almost
every. You're right. Everything has some – Stan: Pretty much.
Marshall: Yeah. Every food you eat there, the
more they study it, they're going to say it's good for you, it's good for you. Because, woop,
here we know it isn't good for you. And that just the more knowledge we have, everything
is killing us and killing other people. So I just don't know what the answers are to that. I don't want to become Amish but I’d kind of
like to have access to my computer and access – Stan: Yeah. Marshall: – to the things that I
love and that I find a convenience in, but also have a bit of a longing
for something that does not get on this treadmill where you have to constantly contribute
by purchasing stuff that damages the environment. Constantly on a treadmill of
upgrading and upgrading and upgrading, there is something about it that I feel like – Stan: Yeah. There's obvious bad things
for us about any kind, you know, all these technologies. But it's like, you
can't, I don't see how you could possibly live on either extreme.
like, if you choose to be like, the Amish and reject technology,
and you – well, not even the Amish. Let's just go to the even more
extreme and just say no technology, stop progress in technology. You're basically
saying, okay, no more medicine, because you know, I mean medicine is improving a lot
because of all this digital stuff.
Marshall: That's right. Stan: AI right now is solving a lot of
really difficult problems in medicine that humans have a really hard time solving. And
it's like, well, that's not possible without, like, the internet and without running these giant
servers somewhere to process this information. The thing is like, if you choose to say no
more technology, there's still going to be a majority of the world that says, well,
I’m going to use technology.
And what are you going to do about that? Like, there's still
going to be people destroying the environment. Like, I don't see a way out of technology. Marshall: No, I don't either. And polarizing
it to the two extremes of zero no technology or always on the cutting edge is helpful to
see the most extreme black and white divisions and say what's the advantage
or disadvantage of each. But of course – Stan: Yeah. Marshall: – somewhere in the
middle, leaning one way. Somewhere, you know, this way when it comes to computers,
this way when it comes to the clothes I wear, this way for how I order products. Whether
I order them locally, this way not.
Some people that I’ve known that
introduced me to the term permaculture, have caught my attention because it seems like,
they are seeking together. How do we do better. But you know that this
conversation inevitably goes up the abstraction ladder to political systems. Stan: Yes. Marshall: You can't keep from it
because that's the difference between capitalism, socialism, communism. Where the laws, who makes the laws, all of that stuff.
It's always going to be a complex mesh.
Well, I feel adequately confused to watch
you and other people in my life and see where it goes and render whatever opinion I
have on it. I hope I haven't given any opinions during this because I really don't know what
to think of it, but I do want to understand. Stan: The only opinions you gave is that it's too
complicated to be involved. That was an opinion. Marshall: Too complicated
for me to be involved, but – Stan: But that's an opinion of – your opinion. Marshall: Yeah. But I do know of some people who
I just I think that their brains work well enough and that I trust them ethically enough to
where they would be ones that I’d listen to. I’ve listened to you for a while here and I
am interested in it because when this came up you, like you mentioned you've
spent years looking at this and I haven't and I’m not likely to look at it
closely for years because I’ve got other jobs.
But where this goes, what do we do for the
audience? What do we do for the Draftsmen listeners? For what we care about from them is
that what kind of execution would you recommend for people who oppose or embrace NFTs or
should we find something more balanced? Stan: For the people that oppose it, I would
say like, I said before, try to be proactive about it. Try to jump into the belly of the
beast and actually make a change. Go ahead. Marshall: I got a good question
for people who oppose it. Stan: Yeah. Marshall: What would need to be different to where you'd embrace it and limit
it to three things if you can.
Stan: Yes, that's good. Marshall: That way you know that we're
not playing a game of just fighting. That we're saying if this, this and this, then
not only will I – I will either not oppose it or I will embrace it. And the people who are
running with it and in favor of it and saying I’m going to be ordering my life around
there, what questions do we have for them. Stan: Yeah, no, that's a good place
to start. What needs to change? Identify first what really needs to
change. Like, I think it's very difficult, it's gonna be very difficult to just destroy it
completely, okay? I mean some people – and like, if you really still want to destroy
it completely, go ahead keep trying.
Now what I’m gonna say is not for you. So, for those people that want to actually make
a change that's possible, identify what needs to change and start trying to drive that
change. And prioritize your actions too. Like, you can attack individual artists
on Instagram who are selling NFTs, but that's a waste of your time, I think. The bigger
issue, the better use of your time is to go to the larger institutions that have
control to actually make a difference.
Like, if you attack every artist that mints an NFT and then
every artist stops making NFTs, you know what's gonna happen? Blockchain still exists. It still
uses the same amount of energy. You know why? Marshall: So you only hurt the artists. Stan: You're just hurting the art community.
That's literally all you're doing, is you're hurting the artists from
being able to use the technology. But the currency part of it still exists, the
trillions of dollars of trading still exists. And so who is able to benefit from this?
The investors, the people with the money. So, if you're attacking the
artists and you're saying get out, like what's the point of
this? That's not gonna help. Marshall: Yeah. Stan: You're wasting your time. Go to the people
with the power to actually improve the technology to make it more efficient. Because the artists
have no say in that, they can't make that change. So, stop hurting their ability to make a living.
That's my say in it. Like, I’m all for what the,
like, what everyone's saying about it not hurting the environment. I completely agree with that.
And I will also align myself with that cause and do things to make it better and push the
technology to stop hurting the environment. Marshall: Okay. This helps me to understand why
I was having a hard time finding a question for people who are excited about NFTs, is that
a person's motivation to invest in them is not what can I do this week to help the
environment. I know, I’ll invest in NFTs. That's not their motivation. Stan: No. Marshall: It is to benefit myself. So,
the question for the person who's pursuing this would be, what three common concerns
from your critics can you take seriously and move in the direction of not contributing
to the things that will make things worse. It would be to listen to your critics.
can you listen to your critics and adjust your actions. That's where I’d start anyway. Those
may not be the best questions. I do like the one for the critics which is let's boil it down to
the things that would no longer be obstacles. Since it's gonna move forward – Stan: And prioritize your actions
to get to those goals as well. Marshall: And prioritize your
actions is don't attack artists. Stan: Don't hurt individuals. Marshall: Don't hurt individuals. Stan: Try to target the root cause of all of
this stuff. Okay, so that's for the critics. That's for the critics. Now for the
people that support it, I would say listen to the critics because they have
legitimate concerns. And the faster we can get to the point where there's less to criticize,
the faster that the community is going to grow. So it's not a very good use of your time, people who like
the blockchain technology. It's not a very good use of your time to just attack the critics and
say they're wrong and that they're stupid.
It's a better use of your time to listen to them and
start trying to make it go into that direction. Marshall: If blockchains are
inevitable and they've been around and they're here and they're not going away,
you could liken them to sunlight. In that you can say sunlight is the best thing in the
world, it's the thing that all life comes from. You can also say sunlight destroys
you, it gives you skin cancer, you get caught in the desert for an
afternoon, it's going to kill you. And so, at some point rather than
angelizing or demonizing sunlight, it would be better to understand it and why it's
dangerous and how it could be used for good. But that might be too big an analogy but at least
it's helping me to understand that this is not something that is inherently
malicious or even beneficial. Stan: It's not, yeah. Marshall: It's something that is a tool that
is a really pervasive big inevitable tool, that what are we going to do with it. Stan: Exactly. Now that's actually, I
think, a really good analogy.
Is it's not something that's good or bad it,
could be both. And because it's like, decentralized, there's a lot of personal
responsibility here that needs to take place. There's no essential authority protecting
you from your own carelessness, your own naiveness, naivety? Navitality? Marshall: Naivety, yeah. Stan: Naivety? Yeah. Like, that's
the thing. Is like, if you carry cash and you lose that cash, you know, there's
no bank that's going to be like, oh okay, here you go. You can have it
back, right? You lost your cash.
It's the same thing with blockchain. There's
no bank that's holding it for you. If you lose your wallet address in the blockchain, you don't
have access to it, you just lost all your money. Marshall: Well, thank you Stan, for taking
the time to help your – a six-year-old wouldn't understood any of this. 11 year old,
maybe. I was a 16 year old during this and – Stan: Now you're 17. Marshall: Now, yeah. Now I’m a little smarter. Stan: Who doesn't want to become an adult. Marshall: Enough to say I’ll stick around for
another year and watch whether I’m going to go to college or not. Whether I’m going
to major in one thing or another, yeah.
Stan: And then you're going to go through college
and you're going to hate it. You're just going to want to keep partying and being a little kid
but then eventually, you're going to grow up and you're going to realize that you need to
take personal responsibility and do some things. Marshall: I will. I will
when I’ve seen where it goes, not I’m not going to early adopt here.
What do you want to talk about next week? Stan: Oh geez, I have no idea.
But can I plug something? Marshall: Yeah, go ahead. Stan: So I’m thinking of starting my own
podcast where conversations like this will go. Marshall: Good thing to bring up right now
because we may have some people who've stayed all the way through this
and they said I want more, and a lot of people want and so they
can they can go indulge with you. Stan: Yeah, the people that are already
left like, you're probably not going to like this podcast and I’m not even sure
if I’m going to start it.
But if I do, it'll probably be on my own personal website.
It'll be on my, you know, it'll be my thing. And it's going to be mostly conversations that
I personally want to have, it's not going to be for art students. Like, this podcast is for
people that are learning how to draw and paint. This podcast would be more for
people who align with my interests and then if they don't, it's really it's
just not for you. And my interests are art, technology, innovation, business.
Shoot, what else is there? Marshall: Art, technology, innovation, yeah. Stan: Oh, education.
Education is another
big one that I like and I'm thinking a lot about. But it'll be mostly conversations. I'm
going to bring on guests who I want to talk to. Marshall: Good, yeah. I'm glad you plugged that. Stan: Yeah. So, there you go, I
don't know where it's gonna be. Yeah, it's just an idea and it might not happen. Marshall: Alright. Stan: But look out for it. Follow me
and I'll announce it if it happens. Marshall: Those of you who
endured this, thank you. Stan: Thank you to the small minority
of people who stuck to the end. Thank you and I'm sorry
for putting you through it. Marshall: Yeah, but now you know than to – if you
see a title like what you saw this was titled. You know, stay away.
That's for the other
people and subscribe to that next week. Stan: Now you know better to click on titles. Marshall: Okay, see ya. Stan: Alright. Bye guys..