Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, as they're known, are essentially a way of using a special distributed ledger to digitally keep track of who "owns" a piece of digital artwork. That can be a colorful squiggle, a drawing of a monkey, or in this case, videos of bits of exploded Lamborghini. Yes, an artist blew up a Italian supercar, filmed it, and is now asking people to pay for videos of the fragments, as reported by AutoTrader.
The artist in question, that goes by the name of Shl0ms, worked with a team of approximately 100 people to destroy a Lamborghini Huracan with explosives. 999 fragments from the explosion were then recovered and filmed to create a rotating video for each one. NFTs were then created for purchase, that allow buyers to say they "own" the video in question. 111 of those NFTs have been given to people involved with the project, with 888 available for auction.
If it sounds confusing, it is. The general idea of an NFT is to have a public record that says you own a piece of digital art. The NFT doesn't actually stop anyone else from copying that piece of art by downloading it and making a copy. It merely indicates to people that you are the "owner" of the given artwork.
Enthusiasts and celebrities have been paying the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of dollars, or more, for the right to say they own digitally-generated pictures of apes and other artworks. Critics have lambasted the technology for enabling money laundering, using it as an explanation for why buyers would pay huge sums of money for seemingly-valueless certificates of ownership for random drawings. A recent example is the Melania Trump NFT, which appeared to have been purchased for a huge sum by its own creators.
If you're interested in getting involved, though, bidding on the Lamborghini explosion NFTs starts at 0.01 Ether, the equivalent of approximately $25 USD in Ethereum cryptocurrency at current exchange rates. When the auction begins on the 25th of February, Shl0ms will release the full video of the actual explosion for public viewing.
The NFTs relating to videos of the largest bits of shrapnel are considered the most prized, and will go to the highest bidders on the auction. If you want to own a video of a big chunk of exploded Lambo, you'll want to put in a seriously high bid, then.
There appears to have been some creative work involved in the launch video, as well. The video for the project shows a gloved hand retrieving a single dusty camshaft from the ground. It's difficult to imagine any explosion neatly blasting the camshaft out of a Huracan's V10 engine, especially without bending or denting it on its way out of the block.
One suspects some disassembly may have gone on after the explosion itself. Single frames from the promotional film appear to indicate that NFTs are available for videos of the camshaft (numbered #0017) or a single valve (#0922).
As reported by Fortune, The used Huracan, which would be worth somewhere over $200,000 in typical condition, was blown up as a "more general criticism of greed and short-termism in crypto," referring to the cryptocurrency market. The artist claims that proceeds from the NFT auction will go towards public art installations in future.
Whatever your opinion of NFTs, the artist obviously got money from somewhere to purchase a Lamborghini and blow it up in the wilderness. Good work if you can get it.
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