Edward Snowden warns against NFTs

Sun 05 Dec 2021 ▪ 14h44 ▪ 3 min read — by Susan McCormack

At the BlockDown 2021 online conference NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has stated that he is concerned about how some privileged individuals or companies may use non-fungible tokens (NFT) in the gaming industry.

Horrible, heinous, tragic

Edward Snowden, a former employee of the National Security Agency (NSA) and a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) subcontractor, said that NFTs could pose a significant threat to ordinary users. The expert believes that gamers should be wary of a situation where an artificial deficit will be created in the interests of a narrow circle of investors.

Snowden is concerned about how NFT tokens are infiltrating games. He has also noted that the community is so enthusiastic about the new Metaverse that it doesn’t even think of the “horrible, and heinous, and tragic” aftermath they might stumble upon in the future. Snowden believes the whole concept of Metaverse to be aimed solely at extracting financial benefits from users.

“We have people that are trying to [inject] an artificial sense of scarcity into a post-scarcity domain,” he said. “I think the community should very much be trying to bend the arc of development away from injecting artificial, unnecessary scarcity entirely for the benefit of some investor class.”

Gavin Wood doesn’t share Snowden’s opinion

Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood doesn’t agree with Snowden. Wood considers NFT tokens in the gaming industry to be the same intellectual property as music NFTs.

“I don’t have any issue with game developers restricting access to their product in the same way that they already have for decades before. I see NFTs as a more agile way of restricting access to their product,” said Wood.

Snowden believes works of art and NFTs to be two completely different things. He has stressed that gamers don’t get a guaranteed product, but simply get a chance for potential benefits in the future. In his opinion, this approach leaves an opportunity for exploiting these people.

There is a lot of controversy and discussion around non-fungible tokens, as recently gaming firms have been creating a wider network for digital assets and NFTs. Andrew Wilson, CEO of a major video game company Electronic Arts, projects that the industry’s future belongs to NFTs. 

This spring, Edward Snowden sold his own NFT for £4.16 million. The token was sold on the Foundation platform to @PleasrDAO. All proceeds went to the Freedom of the Press Foundation.

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Susan McCormack

How many crypto nerds does it take to fork an altcoin? I may be a failed comedian, but crypto is no joke! I want to share my knowledge and help others to see the bright future ahead. #buybitcoin

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The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and should not be taken as investment advice. Do your own research before taking any investment decisions.

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