Episode interview with Dennis Porter, find his twitter Dennis Porter
[0:54 – 3:29] Dennis got involved with Bitcoin in 2017 by starting with mining and trading. When the shutdowns occurred in 2020 he decided to join the new Clubhouse App and quickly became addicted to talking about Bitcoin. Soon after he started his podcast called Smart People. Then switched to Twitter full time. Dennis refers to himself as a Bitcoin maximalist and claims that NFT’s themselves are not scams. Recently he held a debate with Udi Wertheimer. Udi found one tweet where Dennis accidentally referred to NFT’s as a scam and thought Dennis’ view to be mute moving forward.
[3:29 – 5:26] While what anyone says in one tweet is not really the basis for an argument. Dennis’ argument against the NFT being that you don’t own the copyright to the what NFT is. If you buy an NFT that an artist has released, you’re just buying the NFT. The copyright always stays with the artist. He does not agree with the way it is being marketed. Dennis tries to educate the average investor so that they’re aware of what they are purchasing.
[5:28 – 8:27 ] Sabretooth points out that the copyright on an NFT is not any different than other physical objects such as paintings, collectibles, comic books which all hold value without copyright. Dennis finds that the difference between digital art and physical art is that digital art can be copied perfectly by anyone at any time. He also points out that with digital art you can not control the actions of others. There are no rules when it comes to copying or uses. He believes that it is important to ensure that copyright and IP is included when buying these items to be able to ensure control.
[8:28 – 13:16] Sabretooth discusses the framework of ownership being redefined for blockchain, cryptocurrencies, both fungible tokens and non fungible tokens. How ownership as a construct is purely man-made and has no meaning outside of what humans give it. Ownership in a cryptographic sense you have control of the the private key basically, that’s what ownership means. He believes a large part of the disagreement is actually the usage of these words. Dennis’ difficulties with ownership and NFTs lay where in order to have true ownership it needs to be enforced by the laws.
[13:18 – 19:00] Sabretooth points out that the perfect replication of digital art is an advantage of NFTs over physical art because you can have perfect duplication without affecting the provenance of the original. With the ability to track things using a timestamp is truly a concept that does interest Dennis about NFT’s. Just like with his tweet that Udi used against him, he takes back the tweet and apologizes to anybody who thinks that he is lying. His position has evolved dramatically since that tweet went out. He thinks that it has potentially great work to be used as a utility and real world, but when talking about having the NFT, can it be similar to a physical item? Dennis is a firm believer that NFTs can not link to physical items.
[21:23 – 28:36 ] Sabretooth talks about how NFTs are still constantly improving and is a work in progress, especially with respect to how the image is generated and stored. Dennis points out that NFTs still rely on an external party or group which, even with the IPFs, certain artworks have been temporarily missing. Artists like Grimes, Deadmou5, and Steve Aoki work has gone missing. Even though it was restored, the fact that NFTs rely on external parties is a big problem. He does not think that it is totally figured out and people are not being totally educated on the fact that the ownership is not enforced. There is a discussion on onchain generative artworks that do not have any external storage requirements.