The Atlantic has some good writers and contributors. So after Meyer above, we’re going there again, this time with Ian Bogost. The subtitle gives a good summary; “the internet has always financialized our lives. Web3 just makes that explicit.” However, I’m sharing the piece not necessarily as a critique, which is often how it was framed when making the rounds for a couple of days, but rather for the use of financial products as a lens to understand the eras of the internet and how Web3 is evolving. In other words, don’t just read it as ‘on your side’ or not, but as a useful perspective when considering the Web3 moment.
Let’s call things what they are: 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. […]
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. […]
Regulation notwithstanding, anything that can be construed as an asset can become the basis for a security. And if anything can become the basis for a security, then why not JPEGs? Before software ate the world, finance already had. […]