(This is an abridged response to a comment in my mailbox.)
I get that humans are hunter-gatherers and there’s a natural instinct to collect random bits and bobs, but it’s not the *collection* that has value; it’s the *discovery*. Cryptokittes were sort of fun because you could breed two cats and hatch an egg (wtf), and the result was a surprise. It took a modicum of effort to find a rare Kitty.
Humans love surprises; that’s why slot machines are so addictive. And that’s why baseball cards became popular. Kids would go to the corner store for their daily pack of cigarettes, and maybe there would be a Honus Wagner card inside the package. The modern-day equivalent might be the Pokemon toy you get in a McDonald’s Happy Meal. The cigarettes were probably healthier, but McDonald’s prizes are better.
We admire someone’s art collection, or baseball card collection, because it represents a proof-of-work. There’s something impressive about seeing the complete set of McDonald’s Pokemons. Like, someone plowed through a LOT of cheeseburgers to acquire that collection.
The liquidity of NFTs ruins the fun of collection, in that it cheapens the discovery process. Friction has value; that’s why Shopify is able to exist in spite of Amazon.
But maybe I’m jaded by post-capitalism. Back in the olden days, money was a sort of proxy measure for work, so a display of wealth was in theory a proof-of-work. Now that money magically arrives in the form of stimulus checks, does work even have value?
Bitcoin as a Display of Wealth