Founder of BitMEX: The beauty of NFT art is the source of the sense of belonging in the online community


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BitMEX founder Arthur Hayes analyzed the NFT encryption art from the perspective of emotional value. He believes that Metaverse will create the underlying support for the art form of NFT, so that its value can increase explosively because it can create a community.

Original title: ” In this era, your emotions are very valuable
Written by: Arthur Hayes, Founder of BitMEX Compilation: Rhythm Research Institute

Sense of belonging, participation, happiness, accomplishment, etc., these emotional values ​​have been considered mysterious “metaphysics” since ancient times, because these values ​​are difficult to quantify and vary from person to person. Humans are emotional animals and cannot escape the daily joys, angers, sorrows, and joys. Everything they do is to serve their emotional perception. You can use substances to directly satisfy your material desires to stimulate your nerves, thereby obtaining a sense of satisfaction; you can also enter a certain circle through hard work, money or some way to obtain a sense of integration and accomplishment. These perceptions come from the emotional output obtained after the input of a certain resource, so they actually contain value support, but it is difficult to quantify.

The author of this article, BitMEX Lianchuang and former CEO Arthur Hayes, analyzed the NFT encryption art from the perspective of emotional value. NFT Labs under the Rhythm Research Institute translated the original text:

Those digital art NFT works (hereinafter referred to as NFT) on the public chain have made people think about “what is art and what is garbage”. When some less wealthy people see someone spending huge sums of money to buy pictures made of simple lines or pixels, they will feel that this is a waste of money. When a group of traditional rich people witnessed the newly rich pay for another new art form that breaks the convention to show their money status, these people will feel that these “upstarts” have no taste. Because their definition of “taste” is that these “nouveau riche” should continue to tout the artworks owned by the traditional rich, and then let these artworks continue to appreciate.

A few days ago, I showed off to my son a “sad frog” NFT that I thought was very attractive to me. The reason why I chose “Sad Frog” is that there are rumors that some rare “Sad Frogs” will be auctioned at Sotheby’s. He replied to me that I should buy a famous artist’s work, even if you don’t know anything about this artist. My answer is: “I won’t buy the things that old people like to buy.” Because I want to maintain my own digital community, it is the support of the community that allows me to continue to buy these pictures with cryptocurrency. The conversation with my son, my experience of watching the US Open and a dinner party made me more convinced that the art form of NFT will be a huge change in art history.

For some people, “hype” pictures are currently profitable. But even if speculation is the only way, at a certain point, these speculators will have a positive impact on the entire industry. How can these wealthy people in the crypto world spend their money on NFT instead of the works of celebrity painters such as Monet? Will people who hold cryptocurrency use the money they earn to buy those “things that the elderly like to buy”, or will they insist on collecting a new generation of art?

The city supports the arts

As a person who has been crazy about tennis since I was a child, I really enjoyed the recent US Open. When you start to think deeply about tennis or any other professional sports event. You will quickly feel the endless potential in this field.

The Arthur Ashe Stadium can hold up to 24,000 people. How did these people get to the stadium? Most of them chose to drive, ride motorcycles and other transportation methods that consume resources. The advantage of taking a car is that you can enjoy the beautiful scenery along the Queens area. Of course, some people choose to take the subway, but this also consumes resources.

The stadium is made of reinforced concrete with sharp edges and corners, and people use rackets to hit green tennis balls back and forth. From the point of view of resource consumption, the experience of watching a tennis match and the consumption of the construction site are completely unequal. However, tennis and other sports bring people a sense of community identity. For example, if we were farmers or slaves forced to work in a factory from a small village, we would not feel this “sense of identity.”

Baseball is a very traditional sport in the United States. The American professional baseball league was established as early as 1871. Just imagine what the UK would be like without football? I firmly believe that your imagination depends entirely on your views on this sport. You might think that England without football will be better or will not change, because after the penalty shootout of the European Cup in 2021, many English fans were disappointed by the team. But what you need to know is that the English Premier League was born in 1888 and was the first of all leagues of the same level to come out.

In 1900, the proportion of citizens of various countries living in cities with a population of 5,000 or more was 35.9% in the United States, 67.4% in the United Kingdom, and 30.4% in Europe as a whole. When Western Europe and the United States adopted and rapidly improved the inventions of the first industrial revolution until today, more than 80% of people in most developed countries live in cities of all sizes.

In order to make full use of the new inventions of mechanization, we need material input, manpower, and machinery to concentrate. This means that the original female and unskilled labor no longer need to farm, but work in assembly line factories. In order to make these workers abandon their familiar agricultural lifestyle, they paid a lot.

This obviously caused a social conflict between the politically powerful landlord class and emerging businessmen. Businessmen who supported economic progress eventually won the victory, but the road to victory was not easy. No powerful group wants to see its labor force betrayed because of better choices (money, freedom). In 1865, do you know what happened?

Henry Ford is one of the founders of this factory. He thoroughly rethinked how to work and how to improve work efficiency. He opened the era of mass production at his first factory on Mack Avenue in Detroit.

In cities, the wages of workers engaged in mass production of goods have risen steadily. Although the working environment may be bad, you can still get better pay if you move to the city. This has also led to a rapid increase in the number of people living in concrete jungles around the world.

Urbanization has completely changed the way human beings organize communities. When you move from a farm to a crowded rental house in an industrial city, it means that you have cut off contact with the people and things that once brought you a sense of self-worth. So now, in this ruthless city, how should you establish contact with the people around you?

High-paying factory work creates a lot of leisure time for you, which is not available in agricultural life. If you consider the combination of disposable income, time, and lack of interpersonal communication due to the nature of personal work, you will understand why most of the professional sports leagues and teams were established at the turn of the 20th century.

This team becomes your identity and the common language of the people in your city. You can build strong relationships with strangers, and treat them like your fellow villagers in the village. This is because you both love Yankees. From the perspective of social control, professional sports help to strengthen the relationship between people, thus forming a city’s unique identity. Those with a sense of belonging will not challenge the underlying power structure.

Therefore, although it is worthless from the perspective of energy theory, professional sports provide an extremely important social control mechanism. This is why cities spend billions of dollars to build new stadiums for their teams. Yes, the stadium will bring tax revenue and provide employment opportunities for locals, but at a deeper level, it will make people feel strongly attached to the city-as if the city gave birth to you.

The development of the professional sports industry will promote economic development. These stadiums are like large factories built in the center of the city. When we think about the significance of work in the Internet digital economy, we will understand that it is not surprising that e-sports has become the world’s most mainstream leisure sports activity. According to data from Newzoo, Comscore, and IFPI, the lottery industry’s revenue in 2019 reached 145.7 billion U.S. dollars, while movie box office revenue and music revenue in the same year totaled only 72.7 billion U.S. dollars. The desire to join the digital community has created the basic conditions for the rapid growth of the number of game players worldwide.

The rapid development of the city is also accompanied by a surplus of money, which also makes people interested in art. The city government will be very happy to spend money to build the best museum to make the city full of vitality and cultural atmosphere, which will make the whole city look more elegant and more prestigious. Coastal cities such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Doha were not worth mentioning before the extraction of oil and gas energy, but now they have become shining. However, these glamorous metropolises lack hundreds of years of cultural accumulation. They also realize this, so they don’t hesitate to spend a lot of money to host sports events and build art galleries.

If the only attraction of a city comes from low taxes, then its residents are unfaithful and have no sense of belonging. On the contrary, cities such as New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, etc., although the tax is terribly high, both the rich and the poor will willingly pay, and this is precisely because of cultural accumulation. Sports, drama, live music, and exquisite food experiences can all be found in these cities, and residents are happy to pay high taxes and fees in order to immerse themselves in these experiences.

They can also choose other similar ways to spend their leisure time. For example, in our meta-universe economic city, people can go to the digital art gallery to enjoy NFT artworks. People’s attachment to communities and virtual cities revolves around NFT. The community will give real value to the NFT art form at the macro level, so that an artist’s work can earn high income in the form of cryptocurrency.

The business model of manufacturing has promoted the growth of urban population. With the demise of existing community ties, a new community has emerged around activities that can only be profitable in densely populated urban environments. Professional sports is an example of this. Regarding this as a psychological model, it is obvious that Metaverse will create the underlying support for the art form of NFT, so that its value can increase explosively, because it can create a community.

NFT salon

I recently attended a small dinner at a delicious Filipino restaurant. My companions are all cryptocurrency enthusiasts and venture capitalists. Of course, we talked about the NFT field, and an investor who is very optimistic about the NFT field talked about his book for a few minutes.

Before learning about Bitcoin and Ethereum, he was an art dealer and worked as an art commissioner for a period of time in a mainstream auction. He is very optimistic about NFT and has bought a lot. In his view, the biggest difficulty is how to turn the endless bubble of NFT into something of value.

His core point is that a small circle of digital artists will create the highest quality NFT works, because they are the first batch of artists to participate in the practice, and their professional level is sufficient. After that, NFT promoters can go to traditional auction houses and trendy museums to auction and collect these works. Although I do not agree with the view that NFT needs to be recognized by people in the field of traditional art, his view is still very convincing. This is the power of salons.

When someone with a relevant background and “looks” smart can justify himself when discussing that a work can be called “art”, people will agree that it is an “artwork.” Because those “nouveau riche” who have already spent a lot of money to buy this “art” do not want others to think that they have been deceived like a fool.

This process is inherently reflexive. Human psychology believes that when you own an asset with ambiguous value, you will have a “confirmation bias.” Why would you buy an expensive picture in JPEG format simply to show off to your peers? This is of course because you can take this opportunity to proudly declare that your 0x address contains the works of future digital art masters. As more and more people begin to become players in the game, the common goodwill for NFT, an art form, will give birth to the Rosenthal effect, which is self-fulfilling prophecy. This is why a judging panel composed of like-minded people can either lift something to the altar or let it fall into the abyss.

With the continuous development of online and offline dialogues across the country, a group of arrogant and arrogant owners of zero-to-zero works have also emerged. This in turn gave birth to the HODL culture among some star NFT artists. Just like the real world, the digital community also needs someone to distinguish high art from low art. But now, I can say with certainty that all NFT art works will be able to survive, because too many people don’t want to believe that the JPEG works they bought at a high price are actually a bunch of digital garbage. Given that most of these people are highly respected, their participation in the NFT ecosystem itself has provided sufficient credibility for the continued development of NFT.

Dead art

Realistic art has existed for thousands of years. No matter how the metaverse develops in the future, it will not affect people’s pursuit of real art works. However, the high prices of some artworks are simply because people of a certain age exchange their surplus legal currency into something that they believe is acceptable to the public, beautiful and pleasing to the eye.

People born in the baby boom era began to deal with their assets, or give them to their children and grandchildren, or sell them directly to enjoy their old age. Many almost perfect art works ended up becoming trendy brand T-shirts. This is the art of baby boomers. A gallery owner who looked dignified, but was using fancy words to coax them into buying “art” and keeping the value. However, young people of the Internet generation build communities on the Internet, and their knowledge of the community will not allow them to spend their money (BTC and ETH) on physical objects that have nothing to do with the meta-universe.

It can be admitted that the art form of NFT itself is beautiful, but there are always individuals who use it to make ugly, vulgar, and hollow works. Sharing and experiencing the beauty of NFT art is our original intention to create a sense of belonging in the community, and we must not let the works of these people destroy it. The construction of this sense of belonging will also make us rethink. Is it really meaningless to let us cheer and empathize while watching a tennis match?

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