NFTs represent a first step in the securitization of digital assets. They turn digital data into speculative financial instruments. That shift has enormous implications because computers are in everything, and that makes anything a digital asset—your bank records, your Fitbit data, rings of your smart doorbell, a sentiment analysis of your work email, you name it. First the internet made it easy for people to conduct their lives online. Then it made it possible to monetize the attention generated by that online life. Now the digital exhaust of all that life online is poised to become an asset class for speculative investment, like stocks and commodities and mortgages.(…)
It is, in a way, the most honest turn of the internet epoch. From the start, online businesses have presented themselves as making culture, even as they really aimed to build financial value.
Now, at last, the wealth seeking is printed on the tin.