为什么NFT艺术有价值?

Quantstamp Labs
April 19, 2021
April 20, 2021

The recent explosion in interest of NFTs by predominantly new adopters of blockchain begs the question, why? What value beyond price drives new users? There have been many opinion pieces asking these same questions. How can a “rare digital picture of a cat” hold value if you can copy then save the underlying jpeg-file? Or even why would something unique have value in an illiquid market? 

Essentially the argument is that intrinsic value is fundamentally irrational, NFT markets are irrational because they don’t have wildy accepted use-value. They are non-fungible, they, generally speaking, require sufficient user action to determine the initial price—much less continued price action when market liquidity is not guaranteed. 


Center image of a Charizard Pokémon card


The argument that a uniquely coded MoonCat is not functionally different from a JPEG of the same cat—or another MoonCat with equally rare traits—is valid. Its “unique” quality has no use-value in the real world. A picture would suffice for any reasonable digital use it may have. Thus the value of MoonCat NFTs are irrational in nature because they don’t have any reasonable use. This is a correct assertion. But this is not taking into account the very real inarguable value that the macro-social landscape has agreed:

So it comes back to the idea that a rare item is only one axis to judge value. Its timestamp, and cultural significance in Ethereum history add to the base value. 

Most people apply emotionally-based intrinsic value on things regardless. Though rarity can have a play, a new Charizard Pokemon card will still fetch a good price simply because Pokemon is a beloved cultural phenomenon. Fans have collectively decided that Charizards hold more legitimacy and thus monetary value than other cards.



It’s important to accept that not everyone sees value in monetary terms. Art on your wall may just be some reproduction painting of the Mona Lisa to fill space, but many others want an original piece that they will likely never sell. They have a different system culturally by which they derive value—generally, most people make emotional decisions rather than rational—in contrast to profit maximizing. 

In fact, the Mona Lisa only has monetary value through its cultural legitimacy and constant reproduction; its popularity is enough for someone to put a price on the original. Its intrinsic value extends far beyond itself because of its history and cultural significance. It is in the very fabric of cultural life for many people, largely western audiences. This mechanic can be applied to music. If someone sells their song as an NFT, the owner of the song is actually incentivized to both give away copies and market the song’s playing in the hope that it catches on in legitimacy within a cultural fabric. 

Differentiating factors that drive cultural furver around NFTs are very likely going to be meta-data or meta-associative in nature. Like people buying a house once owned by a celebrity, this parasocial relationship will eventually extend to historical address ownership of an asset, like homes with historical past owners. Paris Hilton has an Instagram to show off her NFT art and Marc Cuban has a simple web platform for others to show off their NFT art. The fact is, culture will likely value an NFT well if it is widely known that a particular NFT was once owned by Snoop Dog. 

What if that NFT happens to be an NBA Top Shot moment purchased because it reflects that celebrity’s court-side attendance to the game, watching the game-winning slam dunk? This idea of “owning a moment” reflects a monetary value, on-chain, valued by its meta-associations and culturally intrinsic significance. Its value is relative to the group of people interested in it and reflected externally via price, in a universal way that many audiences can interpret, only adding to its legitimacy.



Known artists typically cultivate fanbases. If an artist can cultivate enough fervent fans, they will often buy, collect and trade works amongst each other—referred to as the 1000 true fans theory. Zora’s platform is designed to specifically address this and provide tools for artists to further cultivate their community of fans. At the same time, they are incentivized to provide value for their fans, not necessarily being monetary in nature. This community acts as a market for the artist’s brand, incentivizing them to grow both the community and their brand. The game theory here is that mainstream culture changes over time and the bet is on an artist’s staying power in an internet space that is generally global and diverse.

Eventually some of this value can be reflected in a traditionally rational form like an index of its base value. An index is helpful as it can be used externally by a wider audience showing basic fluctuations in price and thus markers of legitimacy. Just like, for example, the value of a DAO governance token that is also reflected in its price in fungible form for use in DeFi. There are technical factors that can lever a price up or down, like supply or liquidity, but ultimately the social value—whether marketed or not—is tied to the density of its participant network of the index. More culturally-intrinsic value by a community = more incentive = more participation = more use value via the index.

Because art NFTs are generally intrinsic, there are opportunities for community-designs to include curation roles. Naturally over time, ancillary activities such as reviews, influencers and “tastemakers” will help to transmute a dynamic environment of “illiquid art” to rational on-chain value, pushing mainstream adoption of rare digital goods.

So why do NFTs have value? Because by design they mirror human’s inherent nature to assign personal value to things on a network many people can access. It’s a medium that generally non-math people understand.

If on-chain “markers” of historical moments and cultural legitimacy are future drivers of accessible sources of “useful value”, via NFTs—on a network with money-like properties, specifically Ethereum—then the future will be far less siloed, far more accessible and more dynamically connected. A world outside of existing socio-economic frameworks, globally.


Quantstamp 实验室
2021年4月19日
2021年4月20日

最近,以区块链新用户为主的NFTs兴趣大增,这就引出了一个问题,为什么?价格之外的什么价值驱动了新用户?有很多舆论文章也在问这些问题。如果你可以复制然后保存底层的jpeg-文件,那么一张"罕见的猫咪数字照片"怎么会有价值?甚至在一个缺乏流动性的市场中,独特的东西为什么会有价值? 

从本质上讲,这个论点是说内在价值从根本上讲是不合理的,非自由贸易市场是不合理的,因为它们不具有野生的公认使用价值。它们是不可替代的,一般来说,它们需要足够的用户行动来决定最初的价格,更不用说在市场流动性得不到保证的情况下持续的价格行动了。 


夏利德神奇宝贝卡的中心形象。


独一编码的MoonCat与同一只猫的JPEG文件--或另一只具有同样罕见特征的MoonCat--在功能上并无不同,这种说法是成立的。它的"独特"质量在现实世界中没有使用价值。一张图片就足以满足其任何合理的数字用途。因此,MoonCat NFTs的价值在本质上是不合理的,因为它们没有任何合理的用途。这是个正确的论断。但这并没有考虑到宏观社会格局已经认同的非常真实的无可争议的价值。

所以这又回到了一个观点,稀有物品只是判断价值的一个轴心。它的时间戳,以及在Ethereum历史上的文化意义会增加基础价值。 

大多数人无论如何都会对事物施加基于情感的内在价值。虽然稀有度可以有戏,但一张新的夏利扎德口袋妖怪卡仍然会卖出一个好价钱,只因为口袋妖怪是一种受人喜爱的文化现象。粉丝们共同决定了查里兹卡比其他卡拥有更多的合法性,从而拥有更多的货币价值。



重要的是要接受并不是每个人都以金钱来看待价值。你墙上的艺术品可能只是一些蒙娜丽莎的复制品,以填补空间,但其他许多人想要的是他们可能永远不会出售的原创作品。他们在文化上有不同的系统,他们通过这个系统获得价值--一般来说,大多数人都会做出感性的决定,而不是理性的--与利润最大化形成对比。

其实,《蒙娜丽莎》只有通过其文化合法性和不断复制才具有货币价值,它的知名度足以让人给原作定价。由于它的历史和文化意义,它的内在价值远远超出了自身。它在很多人的文化生活中,主要是西方观众的文化生活结构中。这种机制可以应用到音乐上。如果有人将自己的歌曲作为NFT出售,那么歌曲的拥有者实际上会受到激励,既要赠送拷贝,又要推销这首歌的演奏,希望它在文化结构中获得合法性。

围绕非自由贸易区推动文化皮毛的差异化因素,很可能会是元数据或元关联性的。就像人们购买曾经拥有名人的房子一样,这种寄生关系最终会延伸到历史地址的资产所有权,比如有历史过去主人的房子。帕丽斯-希尔顿(Paris Hilton)有一个Instagram来展示她的NFT艺术,马克-库班(Marc Cuban)也有一个简单的网络平台让其他人展示他们的NFT艺术。事实上,如果广为人知的是某个NFT曾经是Snoop Dog的所有权,那么文化将有可能很好地重视一个NFT。 

如果那个NFT恰好是NBA的Top Shot时刻,因为它反映了该名人在球场边参加比赛,观看制胜扣篮而购买的呢?这种"拥有一个瞬间"的观念,反映的是一种货币价值,在链上,以其元关联和文化上的内在意义为价值。它的价值是相对于对它感兴趣的群体而言的,并通过价格从外部反映出来,以一种普遍性的方式,让很多受众都能解读,只会增加它的合法性。



知名艺术家通常会培养粉丝群。如果一个艺术家能够培养出足够多的狂热粉丝,他们往往会相互购买、收藏和交易作品--这就是所谓的"1000名真正粉丝理论"。Zora的平台就是专门针对这一点而设计的,并为艺术家提供进一步培养粉丝社区的工具。同时,激励他们为粉丝提供价值,不一定是金钱性质的。这个社区作为艺术家品牌的市场,激励他们同时发展社区和品牌。这里的博弈论是,主流文化会随着时间的推移而变化,而赌的是艺术家在一个普遍全球化和多元化的互联网空间中的持久力。

最终,这种价值的一部分可以以传统的合理形式反映出来,如其基本价值的指数。指数是有帮助的,因为它可以被更多的受众对外使用,显示价格的基本波动,从而标记合法性。就像,DAO治理代币的价值,也可以通过其价格以可变现的形式反映在DeFi中使用。有一些技术因素可以使价格上升或下降,如供应或流动性,但最终的社会价值--无论是否市场化--都与其指数的参与者网络的密度有关。一个社区更多的文化内在价值=更多的激励=更多的参与=更多的通过指数的使用价值。

由于艺术品非流通性一般都是内在的,所以社区设计有机会加入策展角色。自然,随着时间的推移,评论、影响者和"品鉴者"等辅助活动将有助于将"非流动性艺术"的动态环境转化为理性的链上价值,推动稀有数字商品的主流采用。

那么为什么NFTs有价值呢?因为从设计上来说,它们反映了人类固有的天性,即在一个很多人都能访问的网络上,赋予事物以个人价值。这是一种一般非数学人士都能理解的媒介。

如果历史时刻和文化合法性的链上"标记"是未来"有用价值"的可访问来源的驱动力,通过NFTs--一个具有类似于货币属性的网络,特别是Ethereum--那么未来将少得多的孤岛,多得多的可访问性和更多的动态连接。一个超越现有社会经济框架的世界,在全球范围内。


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