No one could have predicted this

But look at the craftsmanship, the beauty, the awesome skill in the work!

Unbelievable. I can’t imagine this. NFTs are worthless.

A new report shows that the non-fungible token (NFT) market has essentially collapsed, and nearly all NFTs are practically worthless.

As seen on Insider, dappGambl’s study investigated 73,257 NFT collections, 69,795 of which have a market value of zero ETH.

“The hype around NFTs peaked in the 2021/22 bull run that saw nearly $2.8 billion in monthly trading volume recorded in August 2021. From this, NFTs captured the collective imagination worldwide with multiple news reports of million-dollar deals for sales of certain NFT assets,” writes dappGambl.

You mean that hype and histrionics don’t add immense intrinsic value to abstract vapor? So many capitalist entities just shuddered with the sensation that someone is walking over their grave.


  1. Matt G says

    Wait, are you telling us an obvious pyramid scheme in fact turned out to be…a pyramid scheme?? How is that even possible?

  2. birgerjohansson says

    Ironically, the paper money (and the digital units you pay most things with) do not have much intrinsic value either, but there are huge government agencies dedicated to maintaining the public trust in the currency.

    My brother has invested in gold, but I figure if the global economic system goes kaput, I will perish in the system collapse regardless of whatever I invest in.

  3. birgerjohansson says

    For entire nations getting swept up in pyramid schemes, check the recent history of Albania. But the NFT foolishness enveloped the whole world.

  4. anonymous3 says

    @#1, NFTs aren’t a pyramid scheme. They’re a greater fool scam. It’s important to properly categorize your flim-flam.

  5. Louis says

    Ha! Just you wait! I will make millions from my new venture: Token Non-Fungibles.

    This range of valuable products will exploit racists and opponents of equal access by utilising their bigoted rage regarding what they call “tokenism”. I will point out entirely fictional equal opportunity phenomena to hate-mongers, get them good and angry, take their money in a non-returnable manner, and claim its use will “prevent” one of these utter fabrications. I shall also give them a hand-drawn picture of a dick as a receipt.

    All profits will be actually used to fund scholarships for traditionally oppressed groups. Minus my entirely reasonable “administration fees”, of course. Administration fees will compensate me for acceptable expenses like paper and pens for the drawings of wangs, postal costs, mega-yacht hire, and sundry trivialities.

    Can’t lose.


  6. seversky says

    Schadenfreude is a dish best served cold.

    How can so many otherwise smart people not grasp that the value of anything – or lack thereof – is just what we think it it, nothing more? NFTs were worth millions when there were chumps prepared to fork over those amounts. Now those same NFTs are worthless because nobody in their right mind wants to buy them

  7. whywhywhy says

    Am I the only person that immediately thinks of mushrooms when hearing the word ‘fungible’. Specifically, venison and a red wine sauce with mushrooms…

  8. wzrd1 says

    So, those Trump NFT’s aren’t worth anything? Who’da thunk that?
    Oh well, maybe he can raise money to cover his legal expenses by selling Amway shit.

  9. johnson catman says

    wzrd1 @12: The Orange Grifter already got his money from the NFTs he sold. It is the idiots who bought them from him that are holding the worthless tokens. Here’s hoping he wasn’t able to sell many of them and has to eat his setup expenses.

  10. quotetheunquote says

    Narrator voice: “In fact, practically everyone could have predicted this.”

    This story makes my day – well, except for the fact that some very nasty people (c.f. those Trump cards) made a profit on the scam.

    RE #7: I must have the wrong idea about pyramid schemes, because my impression is that they are just a variation of the “greater fool” grift.

  11. says

    Ironically, the paper money (and the digital units you pay most things with) do not have much intrinsic value either, but there are huge government agencies dedicated to maintaining the public trust in the currency.

    Bullshit. State-supported currencies have far more value than NFTs or crypto because nearly everyone — not just “huge government agencies” — needs them for purposes that won’t be changing anytime soon. It takes a lot of really bad events, and a lot of incompetence, to make a state-supported currency lose value like NFTs just did.

    My brother has invested in gold…

    And how is he going to profit from that? If civilization crumbles or whatever, the price in gold of whatever he’ll need to buy will go up, just like the dollar prices of the same things would, so it’s not much of a “hedge against inflation.” And if civilization doesn’t crumble, he’s gonna have a hard time buying things with gold; and he probably won’t get a better dollar price for his gold than he’d paid for it — unless he can find someone else who still thinks civilization’s gonna crumble and buying gold will make him safe.

  12. johnson catman says

    re Raging Bee @15:

    It takes a lot of really bad events, and a lot of incompetence, to make a state-supported currency lose value like NFTs just did.

    Good description! coughRublecough

  13. chrislawson says


    Some people argue that a pyramid scheme has to recruit members while the NFT/cryptocurrency shuffle only needs buyers. But that’s not a big difference to me. Both systems rely on new members/buyers outnumbering old members/sellers, which eventually hits the limits of exponential growth. Both systems rely on fear of missing out to deflect skepticism and watchful waiting. Both systems rely on inflating the value of their portfolio/tokens in a feedback loop driven by the investors/buyers themselves.

  14. says

    Ironically, the paper money (and the digital units you pay most things with) do not have much intrinsic value either…

    Bullshit. State-supported currencies have far more value than NFTs…

    Both and. The value of a trading token is entirely dependent on how that value is guaranteed. Yes, state-supported currencies are much more reliable than NFTs, but they are that way exactly because they are guaranteed by the same huge government agencies that control farmland, factories, and other essentials; the same ones who can put you behind bars if you don’t play by their rules.

    I’m not an economist, but there is an argument that part of the point of taxes is to ensure that there’s always a demand for the local currency. No matter who you are, when the tax man comes, you need the state currency or it’s all over.

  15. weylguy says

    But…but… does this mean the thousands of dollars I spent investing in Trump’s hero-based digital collector cards will never pay off?

  16. birgerjohansson says

    Raring Bee @ 15
    It is perfectly possible for a country to self-immolate without external factors.

    I have followed the developments in Britain closely ever since they voted for Brexit. The delusional politics increased sharply after Boris Johnson became prime minister and peaked during the forty-nine days Liz Truss was PM.
    On one occasion, the national bank had to intervene with hours to spare to save the currency.

    As Sunak became PM the delusional politics continue, but at a slightly more discreet level.

    The ruling clique are supported by client media that praise everything they do, and their supporters have de facto taken over the news division of the BBC. The majority in parliament has no respect for laws. They are as unhinged as the worst Roman emperors and have demonstrated again and again how easy it is to destroy a modern country.

    If any western industrial nation has what it takes to utterly ruin confidence in their currency and political system, it is Britain.
    And if it can happen there, it can happen anywhere.

  17. birgerjohansson says

    Other things no one could have predicted:
    -If nations appease aggressive dictators, they will invade neighbouring countries.
    -If you remove the checks and balances of the banking system, the banks will take dangerous risks to bring up profits.
    -if you allow big campaign donations, politicians may become corrupt.

  18. tacitus says

    @22: If any western industrial nation has what it takes to utterly ruin confidence in their currency and political system, it is Britain.
    And if it can happen there, it can happen anywhere.

    So Britain is simultaneously the most likely and the least likely to have its currency collapse? I don’t think you thought that paragraph through.

    Thing is, without government, what is there to stop people from losing confidence in their currency, regardless of the system? As we saw with Bitcoin — the very model that cryptobros claimed was designed to prevent such problems — without government, the currency reserves would simply end up being aggregated by a handful of private corporations owned by the oligarchs anyway (banks, exchanges, etc.) and collapses come even more suddenly, brutally and damaging.

    So, as always, it comes back to government being the best of a bad lot and it’s up to us, the people, to make it better, no matter how hard that turns out to be.

  19. says

    birgerjohansson @2:

    Paper money and it’s digital counterparts have a lot of intrinsic value: they’re the only things you can pay your taxes with. That may not be intrinsic in the post-apocalyptic sense, but in the here and now if you can’t convert your assets to cash you end up in a whole lot of trouble.

  20. snarkhuntr says

    I’m paraphrasing a tweet here, but it’s totally unfair to call Bitcoin/Crypto a ponzi scheme. Such an allegation greatly understates the true potential of these systems. We’re not just talking Ponzis here; crypto enables a whole vast panoply of different species of fraud. From true ponzis to man-in-the-middle thefts to outright fraud to greater-fool schemes to money laundering/terrorism/CSAM/drugs/murder-for-hire, the universe of crime enabled by these groundbreaking systems is far more varied than just “a ponzi scheme”. That’s reductive and insulting. Some of the kinds of crime being committed in/on/by the various DAOs doesn’t even really have a name yet. This is groundbreaking stuff. Sure, it’s fraud – but fraud of a sophistication and elegance not before seen/

    The ransomware scammers demanding payment in Crytpo aren’t engaged in a ponzi scheme, they’re just using this revolutionary means of exchange to collect ransom. People buying and selling drugs (and much worse) on darkweb markets aren’t part of a ponzi scheme either.

    NFTs aren’t a ponzi scheme at all – they’re at least two different kinds of scams:

    The secondary NFT scam is money-laundering, a way to transfer currency between people and obscure the true things being paid for.

    The other, primary scam of the NFT industry, was a classic pump-and-dump stock fraud, similar to many a penny-stock bubble. Often this scam was run by people explicitly banned from the stock and securities markets for doing exactly that before. How wonderful that they were able to deploy their dubious talents in another sphere. Those folks always knew that there would be a time horizon for this scam, so they created, pumped and dumped and moved on. What’s left of the NFT market is just bagholders trying to keep the pump going long enough to convince even more gullible retail investors to buy in.

  21. says

    I’ve been expecting this! I knew sooner or later the bubble would burst, so I’ve been ready to pounce, prepared to buy up scores of the NFTs at the new, low prices.
    Unless there’s something I don’t understand about this new digital economy. You know, I spent all day yesterday downloading pictures of sandwiches. Why am I still hungry?

  22. birgerjohansson says

    Tacitus @ 22
    As usual , I write too fast to catch poor word choices-
    what I should have written is, in 13 years of mismanagement, Britain has gone from being one of the most outstanding industrialised countries to being a basket case.
    All it took was a consistent embracing of populism over integrity.
    Consistently choosing party over nation.

    And -as we have seen in Hungary, Italy and USA- the phenomenon can pop up everywhere although the details of the process obviously differ, and the pace has been different.
    -To revisit the destruction of economic resources, this is even worse than a pyramid scheme, as those run their course relatively quickly. Here, we see delusion as ideology.
    (BTW now I have drifted far from the topic of NFTs. I will compensate PZ by paying him in Dutch tulip bulbs or Trump artwork)

  23. wobbly says

    I once had the privilege of listening to a crypto-bro and a goldbug argue in circles about how their preffered financial hobby-horse had more inherent value than the other in the case of societal collapse.

    It was an enlightening experience of watching pots and kettles assess each others particular shade of black.

  24. Howard Brazee says

    The number 1 thing for any collector is to ask whether it would be worth that money if you were the only person who wanted it.

  25. Brian Lieske says

    “NFTs captured the collective imagination worldwide”
    By which you mean, a bunch of suckers, who were repeatedly warned that they were being suckered, lost a great deal of money to a con that was so transparent that the only reason it worked was because so many vocal suckers shouted so loudly that it wasn’t a con enough people who listened to the shouting thought it wasn’t a con.

  26. outis says

    Well, if we are looking for definitions, here’s a pretty good one:
    says it all really.
    What irks me is, as many commenters here pointed out, that the scam was bloody obvious from the start, as a simple glance at the definition of the “product” could attest.
    And yet we had to listen to zillions of fools everywere looking down their supercilious noses and prattling about “the need to educate oneself”, how “the blokchain is a game chnger”, how “this will supersede hopelessly old-style banks” and so on and so forth.
    You really can fool some people all the time.

  27. tacitus says

    I meant to say this earlier, but those who bought worthless Trump NFTs will never admit to taking a shellacking. “We did it to support President Trump” will be the response, and they will believe it.

    Years ago I wrote a scathing blogpost about the infamous Infowars “Super Male Vitality Formula” being a ridiculously overpriced waste of money. Unbeknownst to me, my post ended up on the first page of the Google search results for the product, and when I next logged in a few weeks later, the comment section was filled with irate (and insufficiently masculine?) Alex Jones acolytes claiming they didn’t care how overpriced the supplement was, they were more than happy to contribute to keeping Infowars on the air.

    Such will be the case for the Trump NFT owners.

  28. tacitus says

    No worries, we all do it, although…

    What I should have written is, in 13 years of mismanagement, Britain has gone from being one of the most outstanding industrialised countries to being a basket case.

    I think you’re way overselling the state of Britain was in before the Tories began their period of misrule. New Labour was a big improvement over Thatcherism, but Tony Blair got us into the shame that is Iraq, and they did very little to reign in the excesses of Thatcherite capitalism and sowed the seeds for further decline once the Tories got their grubby little hands on government again.

  29. says

    Johnson @16: Actually, the ruble has lost some value recently, but it’s nowhere near losing ALL value. There would have to be very serious long-term political as well as economic collapse inside and throughout Russia for that to happen (as in, say, another Russian civil war); and even then, Russians would still need something to buy stuff with, and, well, what else would there be?

  30. Rich Woods says

    @Raging Bee #34:

    Russians would still need something to buy stuff with, and, well, what else would there be?

    Knock-off vodka distilled in a garage. That’s the traditional Russian way.

    Sometimes they even leave the car engine running to warm the place up. Other times, the garage just blows up.

  31. says

    They can always try drawing art at furry conventions…

    HAW HAW HAW HAW Please. There’s plenty of decent-to-damn-good art at furry conventions already. There’s no way any of those crypto-losers will get a toehold in that market. (Although it will be hilarious to see their faces when they’re told their “non-fungible” art is nowhere near as unique as they’d been pretending it was.)

  32. jrkrideau says

    @ 34 Raging Bee
    Actually, the ruble has lost some value recently, but it’s nowhere near losing ALL value.

    IIRC it took a beating back in March/May, 2022, stabilized at roughly the old exchange rate and then has gone up and down more or less as any currency does against the US dollar. This week it is a bit low against the US$.

    I doubt that it is something to cause a panic at the Bank Of Russia though it is likely to get their attention. Russia is too close to being self-sufficient and is switching, in many cases, to currency swaps or barter to really need to worry much about the Russian Ruble -US dollar exchange rate.

    A poor exchange rate may suit the Russian Gov’t as it can encourage the substitution of locally produced goods for imported ones. I believe The Russian agri-food industry prayed everyday that the US/EU sanctions from 2014 would be maintained. The cheese industry, alone, has seen massive growth though I have read that taste quality may not always match some of the Western European cheeses.

    Last I read, about a week or so ago, the IMF is predicting a RF growth rate of +1.0% after some retraction in 2022.

  33. John Morales says

    Last I read, about a week or so ago, the IMF is quite the outlier in regards to its claims about Russia, which takes propaganda at face value.

    Other, more reputable analysts and institutions are more realistic about what’s going on.

    The rouble is plunging, and the easy steps to stabilise it (which were taken in three tranches since the beginning of their short, sharp special war) are now over and those resources are gone. The numbers are massaged as much as possible, but half their forex assets were frozen pretty much instantly, and since then their sovereign fund and gold stacks have depleted.
    Easy enough to buy rubles when nobody trades in roubles (note that Russia gets pain in yuan for oil sold to China, in rupees for that sold to India, both at significant discount rates) so that there is hardly any demand for them.

    Pretty easy to see that the ruble shall soon enough be under $US0.01, (0.011 currently). What was it at the start of their little war of aggression, again? ;)

    Pretty easy to cross-reference various indices, even using official Russian figures, and to see things don’t add up.


    A poor exchange rate may suit the Russian Gov’t as it can encourage the substitution of locally produced goods for imported ones.

    True, but any goods to be had in the general, open world market are usually in other than rubles, and the lower the ruble to whatever currency, the less its purchasing power. It’s dropped vs. all normal currencies, including the Chinese and the Indian. They pay more for the same products, others pay less.

    Note also that manufacturing is a chain process with inputs; unless every link in the chain is Russian, there will need to be external inputs or processing (say… computer chips). All those will likewise become less affordable as the currency drops.

    Simple economics.

    Bonus video:

  34. StevoR says

    Could we say now that the value of the rouble has been reduced to rubble – like so manyplaces inUkraien due to Putin’s terrible misjudged and counter-productive and, oh yeah, murderous and genocidal decision to invade that neighbouring nation?

  35. minnemooseus says

    What I’d like to know of, is an example of a NFT that IS worth something. And why it is worth something.

  36. John Morales says

    Raging Bee, it’s currency is weakening steadily, Russia spends more than it earns, and things are getting shittier. But sure, it is not (yet) Venezuela.

    Slow and steady immiseration, that’s the ticket!

    (In due course, their forex will run out, their wealth fund will run out, their stashes of ex-Soviet materiel will run out, and things will come to a head. I give them 18 months more before the crunch)

  37. says

    Golly how this story makes me think of tulip bulbs. Huh. Though strictly speaking if you plant a tulip bulb and treat it nice it’ll divide and next year you have two tulip bulbs. Not really like NFTs. But the craze to buy bulbs for crazy amount of gulders, that’s the bit that seems similar.

    Yes, it’s the greater fool scheme. If homo economicus were real then it would never work – except of course there’s always someone to defend the greater fools for allegedly being rational.
    https :// www. digitaljournal. com / tech-science / foolhardy-or-rational-the-rise-and-fall-of-nfts / article

  38. birgerjohansson says

    John Morales @ 43
    Even the crash comes, it will be ugly.
    As usual, the poorest will suffer most.

    I hope the oligarchy/cleprocracy and its natiolalist ideology will be thoroughly discredited, otherwise there will just be some new corrupt elite.

  39. StevoR says

    @ ^ John Morales : Cheers. Intresting but looks like the flag of Sakhalin has a couple of rips in it.. You’d think they could’ve shown an intact one! ;-)

    Also wonder if theres any connection between the Isle of Man ( and Ingushetia and why Arkhangelsk Oblast seems to have basically copied Scotland.. even if kinda reversed in colours. I do like the Camel flag of Chelyabinsk but a meteor would’ve made an apt update there!

  40. John Morales says

    Point being, what we call Russia (the Russian Federation) is what remains of the Russian Empire. Used to have a shitload more, Putin got twitchy and tried to get Ukraine back into it — after all, it had some success in Georgia and Chechnya.

    A bit embarrassed in Azerbaijan,but hey.

    BTW, jrkrideau, how’s Russia doing so far? Their might is barely holding on to their occupied territories, right now. No prospect of more, they’re impoverishing their country while they try to hold on to their brief conquests.

    (Tell me more about Russia’s might)

  41. Louis says

    @birgerjohansson #20

    The delusional politics increased sharply after Boris Johnson became prime minister and peaked during the forty-nine days Liz Truss was PM.

    Peaked? Peaked? PEAKED!?

    You, sir, underestimate us. You mock wond’rous Albion with your paucity of faith and understanding. We are GREAT* Britain for good reason.

    Britannia will be unchained, for Britannia waives the rules.

    Louis (Singing Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory)

    Very much like countries with “Democratic” in their names are democratic, Great Britain has “Great” in its name.

  42. says

    The way I see it, buying into Cryptocurrency essentially requires you to rely on a vague promise that someone else, somewhere, will match the value of something you destroyed. Instead of the bank keeping all your money in a vault, they want you to film yourself setting fire to it; and then each frame of that film, representing proof of the destruction of some fraction of that total, becomes a value token which they promise to exchange proportionally (i.e., if it takes 1000 frames of film to record the burning of £20 000, then each frame is now worth £20).

    An NFT is just like an A4 souvenir photograph of you burning some money, in a posh frame with a brass plaque bearing your name and a unique serial number, saying how much you paid for it. It must be special because it’s a limited edition.

    And as long as people are buying in, this has all the appearance of a solid investment ….. Plus, you can easily cash-out at any time by simply finding someone who wants to make an investment, and giving them your film footage directly in exchange for their money instead of them burning it — ignoring the inconvenient fact that that film didn’t really represent the actual money you burned, but merely an I.O.U. for the same amount, signed by the head of the bank.

    Which is all fine and dandy ….. until the supply of actual, real pound notes becomes exhausted because everyone who wants to invest has already burned theirs, and everyone else who doesn’t want to invest in the scheme (and that includes shopkeepers, who might be selling stuff you might require, but only for real money) is keeping well away.

    From this inflection point onwards, everything depends on how prepared other people (over whom you have no control) are to accept little squares of celluloid in payment for things you really need (as in will die if you do not get them). This, of course, is more or less the same as the situation that already exists with government-issued metal discs and pieces of paper; only without the government standing behind it and doing whatever is necessary to ensure its value is respected.

    Until we actually get to that point, though, it’s quite possible for someone who doesn’t have too many qualms about it to make more than enough money to live on, simply by selling matches to would-be money-burners. The people selling the matches will naturally be subjected to the heaviest scrutiny by cautious investors who are convinced the match-seller stands to benefit unfairly by somehow appropriating a portion of the expensive firewood for themself; and when they are found beyond reproach, the investors will not question the banker who originally promised to match the value of the deposit made in such an unusual manner. I paid for those matches, fair and square, VAT and all. I didn’t steal any of their money. It’s not my fault if some other scammer was already taking advantage of them — which, remember, they’d still have done anyway, with or without my involvement. Nor is it my fault if they were so shocked by my honesty, they forgot to make sure no-one else was scamming them. And for all I know, they could just have been wanting those matches to light cigarettes with, or maybe the ignition on their cooker is broken. I’m in the clear.

  43. antigone10 says

    If you’re worried about society collapsing, then something that requires electricity and satellites to operate sounds like a bad idea to invest in. Shiny rocks such as gold also sound really stupid.

    If society is going to collapse? Water filtration systems, water storage tanks, books, seeds, and medicine seem like the things to stockpile to me. But I’m going to go with the “I’m probably just going to end up dying in the turmoil with most people” odds.