Awkward moment between Paris Hilton and Jimmy Fallon highlights the absurdity of NFTs

Few modes have captured the attention of the rich and famous quite like NFTs; aside from the notable exception of Keanu Reeves, several celebrities have ventured into the weird world of non-fungible tokens with dollar signs in their eyes.

NFTs work much like digital receipts, with proof of ownership verified by blockchain technology, burning an agonizing amount of energy In the process; while said proof cannot be “stolen”, the artwork itself remains endlessly reproducible, like any other image downloaded from the internet (if you’re still scratching your head over this obscure technology, check out this excellent explainer, “The line goes upby YouTuber Dan Olson).

An excerpt from Paris Hilton’s recent appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, intended to promote NFTs, recently went viral online, but not for the reason Hilton and Fallon intended. The clip shows the two sharing an awkward discussion about their foray into the NFT market, their stilted enthusiasm impossible to ignore.

The clip seems almost designed to emphasize the existence of the “applause” sign, as the two celebrities show off their investments, and inspire a moment of awkward silence, followed by a reluctant succession of applause from the audience.

Both Hilton and Fallon bought ‘Bored Apes’, which are randomly generated, swapping hair, colors, facial expressions and clothes on an identical model – almost like clicking ‘randomize’ on a screen. character creation, then spend more than two hundred thousand dollars on the resulting avatar.

The two struggle to discuss the merit of their NFTs, settling for simply describing the monkeys’ appearance to the audience, focusing on their imagined resemblance to themselves, seemingly followed by another menacing flash of the “applause” sign. .

The clip perfectly embodies the wide divide between NFT believers and those who see nothing but an energy-guzzling pyramid scheme.

Tech giants, however, are starting to embrace the fad, as Twitter recently allowed users to use NFTs as their profile picture, with a distinctive hexagonal shape to distinguish them from standard circular profiles; Facebook and Instagram are about to implement something similar. Notably, Twitter’s decision was criticized by crypto enthusiast Elon Musk.

Clearly, those who invest in non-fungible tokens want their purchase known – NFTs, especially Bored Apes, have become a surreal status symbol, like a gleaming wristwatch or a sports car, minus the functionality , even physics.

Drawing boundaries around the internet where none exist, especially in the act of sharing images and GIFs, seems to go against the very nature of the internet, or at least the version envisioned by Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web.

Like a Profile of Vanity Fair note: “Berners-Lee understood that the Web had to be free of patents, fees, royalties, or other controls in order to thrive.”

Spending thousands of dollars on randomly generated monkeys probably wasn’t what Berners-Lee had in mind, but Paris Hilton and Jimmy Fallon seem to believe their money was well spent.

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