You bought horse armor. You bought loot crates. You'll buy in-game NFTs.

I’m fascinated by the imagination of grifters. And it never ceases to amuse me how they use the future tense framing to wave away current state challenges with solutions forever looming off the horizon.

I would expect that they’re using, or planning on using, some sort of voice cloning tech.

However, I can tell you from my own experience in doing exactly this, that the current state of the art does NOT really produce good voices automatically from speech samples. In order to create good speech synthesizers, you need to do a lot of manual work.

There are some cool voice cloning techniques that use speaker encoding on top of pre trained synthesizers, but as I said, they don’t work real great… For SOME voices, they work pretty well. For others, they work very poorly. Even for the ones that generally work pretty well, and sound like the original speaker, the synthesis tends to be somewhat domain dependent, and certain words or phrases will break the synthesizer.

It’s cool tech, and I suspect in a few years it will actually be in a useful space. I’m personally working on improving this tech. But I feel like these NFT guys don’t actually know anything about any of this tech… they’re basically just marketing/grifter douches, talking a big game without knowing how to make anything work.

Anatomy of a scam? Not sure if it’s a scam but it’s at least a good example of the absurdity of these weird tokens, liquidity pools, and bot trading. You’ll have to click through and read the thread. 58 ETH is about $190K.

It seems like the grifts surrounding NFTs and Crypto in general are accelerating and becoming crazier… I wonder if that’s because such stuff is just going more mainstream, or if its accelerating towards some catastrophic collapse, or both.

I love how with liquidity pools and gas fees the crypto world has recreated the exact things the cryptrobros claim to hate about conventional finance - middlemen, dark pools/HFT and what amounts to payment for order flow (there is also literal payment for order flow in crypto now).

It seems like the crypto folks are simply creating shittier, insecure versions of the existing financial banking system.

When the world gets flooded with NFT’s, their value will plummet as people realize how worthless they truly are. It’s currently a unique experience, but with a shelf-life.

Since this is kind of a general-purpose NFT discussion thread, I’ve read a few of this guy’s posts on crypto and NFTs and found them pretty clear-headed: The Case Against Crypto

There are fundamental limitations to the scalability of blockchain-based technologies, and every use case is better served by another simpler technology except for crime, ransomware, extralegal gambling, and sanctions evasion

I like this guy a lot. This is close to what I’ve been saying for a while:

So if you sell your crypto and make a profit in dollars, it’s exactly because a greater fool bought it at a higher price than you did. So every dollar that comes out of a cryptocurrency is because a later investor put a dollar in. They are inherently zero-sum by design, and when you take into account the casino (i.e. exchanges and miners) taking a rake on the game then the entire structure becomes strictly negative-sum. For every winner there are guaranteed to be multiple losers. It’s a game rigged by insiders by hacking human psychology.

For cryptocurrency to have any real utility, the volatility needs to cool off. If that were to happen, there would be little reason for the public to speculate on cryptocurrency prices, given that there would no longer be the potential for massive returns.

There’s another post from Stephen Diehl, the engineer thatdudeguy links above, that so deftly summarizes what has and hasn’t happened with the blockchain since its inception that I’m going to cheerfully cross-post it to all three block chain threads. Some highlights:

To the overwhelming majority of us in the software engineering profession who live closest to the metal, we see blockchain as a technology that barely works and whose use cases (if any) are vanishingly small and niche. Blockchains are a solution in search of a problem, but in the meantime we’re expected to pre-invest in “tokens” while the decades roll by with seemingly no progress on the fundamental question of “For what?”. It all looks like a form of reverse-innovation where discovery precedes purpose. …

If there is any innovation in crypto assets it’s not in software engineering, but in financial engineering. … You don’t need to file a S-1 or have a coherent prospectus about attracting customers or business or revenue. Hell, the company doesn’t even have to have a business model at all, and in fact the best performing crypto assets are the ones that literally don’t do anything at all. They just need to tell a good story. …

After looking at this phenomenon for the last decade, I’ll give what I believe is the first rough draft of history. Silicon Valley ran dry on large breakthroughs in software, so we decided to invent the “blockchain”, a simulacrum of innovation that organically fermented from the anti-institutional themes in the Western zeitgeist to spawn an absurdly large asset bubble with absolutely nothing at the center.

I’m hearing more and more of these “the emperor has no clothes” cries over the last few months. Though as Stephen Diehl mentions in the post above, I’m not sure that they will prevail: there are whole lot of people with a whole lot of financial incentive to yell louder.

So it’s like the stock market?

Only if you believe owing a receipt that says “you own this receipt” is the same as owning shares in a company that produces goods or services.

Last I checked when you purchase stock you purchase part of a company that actually produces something.

Sure. It’s also full of those things. Tons of manipulation and grift

Yes, I wish the SEC actually functioned.

But that’s not the job of the SEC, their job is to provide the facade of regulation. In that sense they fulfill their job rather well.

Stocks are classically fungible though.

I was referring to @jpinard’s quote. Everything he said applies to the stock market.

Stocks are less risky and there is some sort of reason for their valuation usually, but owning a stock doesn’t mean you can’t lose everything tomorrow because of info you had no way of knowing, owner or not.

The companies I own stock in pay me dividends.

Ok, and a bunch don’t. A bunch are overvalued and don’t truly represent the company behind it.

I know it’s not the same, all I was saying is that quote’s arguments could be said about the stock market.