It has been reported that things took an unexpected turn earlier Tuesday after the artist changed the images associated with each token from computer-generated portraits into photos of literal carpets.
I just pulled the rug at my NFT collection on @opensea . Nobody got hurt. It is pretty easy to change the jpg, even if it does not belong to me or it is on auction. I am the artist, my decision, right? A thread from somebody making his living with art irl about the value of NFTs. pic.twitter.com/LNAZqPpDMZ — neitherconfirm (@neitherconfirm) March 9, 2021
However, it’s a knowing comment on a DeFi token exit scam known as a ‘rugpull’ where a little-known token suddenly collapses when liquidity disappears, metaphorically pulling the rug out from under victims’ feet.
The report said that the art pieces, which originally featured people and animal faces in a seemingly stained-glass style, are now nothing more than an expensive metaphor for why you can’t trust the store-of-value proposition of any asset that maintains an aspect of centralized control.
“All discussions about the value of NFTs are meaningless as long as the token is not inseparable from the artwork itself. What is the meaning of creating an unforgeable token on a highly secured network if somebody can alter, relink or destroy your possession? As long as the value of your artwork is reliable on a central service you do not own anything.”
Likewise, the current price disparity between the artist’s seemingly similar rugs seems to lend some validity to their claims. The top bid on many of the NFTs is for under $1.00, while one (which currently has no offers) is listed for an astonishing $139 quadrillion or around 80,000 times the market capitalization of the entire crypto space.
Neitherconfirm has since implied that they have received more offers on their rugs than they did on the original portraits.
Ok, I get it: You guys really like rugs. Just be careful, as atlas II & atlas III are still unapproved by @opensea . This means, they could be a scam!https://t.co/T9MGdMT9B6https://t.co/5Y76n4O7uK pic.twitter.com/vCl1synVeI — neitherconfirm (@neitherconfirm) March 9, 2021
Though the artist’s identity is unknown, they stated on Twitter that their full-time job is “making sculptural art” under a top-selling artist that regularly sells pieces for more than $10 million.
I am in Bitcoin since 2014. My 9-5 is making sculptural art. For more than a decade I work with a large team for one of the top selling artist worldwide. Some artworks we produce are selling in the double digit millions. — neitherconfirm (@neitherconfirm) March 9, 2021
It’s not clear if Neitherconfirm created unique computer-generated rug images to prove their point or simply found pictures of carpets online and turned them into NFTs.
The crypto space is currently experiencing a massive boom in the quantity and value of NFTs. While crypto artists were auctioning their works for up to $130,000 late last year, 2021 has seen NFT prices inflate to once-unfathomable amounts.
Thus, in February, the owner of an NFT created by Mike Winkelmann, also known as Beeple, resold the piece on Nifty Gateway for a record-breaking $6.6 million.