There is no denying that the majority of NFTs look horrendous. From CryptoDickbutts to Rektguys there are countless examples.
But you are probably wondering. Why do they look so bad?
Don’t worry. In this article, I will be going over 9 reasons NFTs look so bad. So without further ado, let’s jump right in.
NFTs, look bad because people do not value aesthetics. Rather there is an emphasis on community and speculation. Moreover, the large number of hacks and scams have discouraged reputable artists from entering the space.
1. Low minting cost
At the end of the day, the cost of minting an NFT is next to nothing. Therefore, creators can churn out countless low-quality collections with hopes of one of them gaining traction.
Ultimately, this creates an ecosystem that values quantity over quality.
2. Emerging market
Another reason that NFTs look so bad is that the industry is in its infancy. The space is less than a decade old and as a result, it has not had time to mature and develop.
When compared to the traditional art industry it does not have the same network effects. Instead, it is dominated by a smaller group of artists many of whom don’t have a strong reputation.
Therefore, the total pool of quality assets is much smaller overall. As a result, there are fewer desirable NFTs to choose from.
3. Irony & speculation
The creation of collections such as CryptoDickbuts and Rektguy is simply ironic. Ultimately, they are created as a joke.
These NFT collections are not aiming to be the next Picasso rather they create silly images in hopes of creating a community of light-hearted individuals.
Furthermore, the culture surrounding NFTs is composed of a group of “degens”. This popular term coined by the crypto community refers to a group of degenerates who like to gamble without research or due diligence.
Therefore, a large part of the demand is based simply on speculation.
If you have browsed NFT marketplaces you have probably seen countless copies and derivate NFTs. With the rise of popular collections such as Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks, it has spawned numerous ripoffs in hopes of capitalizing on their success.
5. Poor education
As the NFT industry is in its infancy, artists have little knowledge of how to mint NFTs. The technology is relatively complex which has discouraged many reputable artists from entering.
Oftentimes, artists want to capitalize on this emerging market but don’t know how. The creation process is not intuitive as it requires users to set up wallets as well as accept various cryptocurrencies.
6. Hacks & Scams
There is no denying that the space is dominated by hacks and scams. Oftentimes NFT collections are created with no long-term goals or aspirations.
Furthermore, scams such as pump and dumps and rug pulls are extremely common. Ultimately, a large number of projects artificially pump the price to generate hype and then dump it on their community. Moreover, they stop support once they have extracted as much value as possible.
Not to mention, plagiarism is rampant due to the lack of regulation and the anonymity of creators. In a recent, Twitter thread OpenSea stated that over 70% of NFTs were either fake or plagiarised.
Consequently, artists with a strong reputation and portfolio of work have stayed clear as they do not want to damage their credibility while spawning dozens of fakes.
7. People value community over aesthetics
At the end of the day, community is the new currency. Rather than valuing aesthetics, people want to be part of an active community of people with a similar mindset.
The NFTs act as digital passes. This fosters collaboration, discussion and provides a sense of exclusivity. In most cases, this trumps the appeal of certain compositions, color pallets, and characteristics.
8. AI-generated art
Thanks to the advent of AI, NFTs have harnessed this to produce randomly generated images. As a result, it creates assets with traits that don’t complement each other.
At the end of the day, most NFT collections are based on an algorithm to generate them rather than having an artists touch when compiling the traits. Consequently, they can become mismatched with poor aesthetics.
To understand the aesthetics of current NFTs we have to delve into their inspiration. First of all the main source of their inspiration started in 2017 with CryptoPunks as shown above.
Founded by John Watkinson and Matt Hall it features a collection of 10,000 randomly generated avatars. Each punk is characterized by pixelated humans, apes, or zombies all with a unique set of traits.
These include jewelry, hat, and the color of the background to name a few. Ultimately this set the precedent for NFTs to come and now the space is rife with similar assets. To learn more, click here.
Overall, there are several reasons that NFTs look so bad. On the more sinister side, we have hacks, scams, and out right fakes. On the other hand, communities create them as lighthearted joke.
Nevertheless, as the industry continues to develop so will the quality of NFTs. I hope you found this article useful and thanks for reading it.
Want to learn how to evaluate NFTs? Click here to read my previous article.