Well-known online art portfolio platform ArtStation has given in to pressure from artists and eco-conscious users after announcing a series of non-fungible tokens (NFT) from several notable artists.
On March 9, the platform announced that the program should begin today. It included works by artists such as Halo Infinite’s art director Nicolas “Sparth” Bouvier, retired NASA astronaut Nicole Stott, Assassin’s Creed franchise art director, Raphael Lacoste, painter Craig Mullins, and Magic: The Gathering Illustrator Alena Aenami.
After an angry bombardment of criticism, all mentions of the announcement were withdrawn and replaced with a short message on the website stating, “Given the critical reception on social media regarding NFTs, it is clear that this is not the time for NFTs is on ArtStation. “Despite the setback, the company didn’t quite shy away from the technology, hinting at a possible future use:
“We are very sorry for all the negative emotions this has caused. Despite our attempts to validate our approach, we clearly made a mistake and admitted mistakes. It was our bad. We believe NFTs are a transformative technology that can make meaningful, positive change for digital artists. “
The founder and CEO of Dapper Labs, Roham Gharegozlou, said the decision to let up was “short-sighted” and added that “on the one hand, blocks are being mined anyway – on the other hand, the criticism does not apply to the detection of blockchains like flow blockchain . ” [used by NBA Top Shot]. ”
Woo hoo, we bullied ArtStation not to sell NFTs! https://t.co/rZb3LnVUC0
– Michael Klamerus (@MichaelKlamerus) March 9, 2021
ArtStation’s original plan appeared to use the ERC-721 token on Ethereum, which will remain a performance-hungry proof of work blockchain until most transactions switch to the more efficient proof of stake blockchain Eth2. It’s unclear if the platform is considering other blockchains that NFTs can host at a fraction of the power.
That apology only appeased part of the community, however, as artists like Ashley Grace returned to Twitter to voice their concern over the post’s apparently inconclusive wording and likening NFTs to an “ecological nightmare pyramid scheme.”
Glad to see the backpedaling (lmao) but the “now is not the time” obviously means you still want to do it, just not now while everyone is freshly pissed off. simply not? do it at all ??? nobody wants to be token in some goddamn ecological nightmare pyramid scheme https://t.co/MAYIPPDntP
– Ashley Grace / previously a.g.irish (@willowsquest) March 9, 2021
Prior to pulling down the initial announcement, ArtStation tried unsuccessfully to calm the push back, adding that it “will help offset the cost of the carbon footprint of any particular digital artwork being handled on the platform”.
Twitter user “Bleached Rainbows” stated that “ArtStation goes in NFT and says” but don’t worry! We pay for carbon offset payments. This corresponds to lighting a house and placing a single potted plant on the burned property as “compensation”.
The backlash added to other controversies, including rumored sexism and adult content, with artists threatening to cancel their subscriptions. Other issues included the unregulated nature of the NFT space and the possibility of fraud occurring, and criticism that the move was a win-win for the platform and its best-known artists.
If the totally unsupervised front page, rampant sexist bullshit, and literal porn on a supposedly professional portfolio website weren’t enough, now we have it
I cancel my sub and Artstation can eat it pic.twitter.com/IZVTeHEqtn
– Xavier (@ xavierck3d) March 8, 2021
Despite the fierce controversy, NFTs continue to find widespread support with Beeples Everydays: The First 5000-Day Auction on Christie’s Heating. Kinetic founder Jehan Chu tried to join but was outbid for $ 7.25 million and it remained two days.
I just outbid my maxbid … with 2 days left it seems early for people to bend so hard! Christmas comes early for @beeple and @ChristiesInc pic.twitter.com/uuJk5RuHoJ
– Jehan Chu (@collectionist) March 9, 2021
The highest bid is currently $ 9.75 million.
Nine hours after ArtStation canceled the NFT launch, Rob Gronkowski announced his new NFT collection of four cards for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to represent his four championships. The tickets will be auctioned on March 10th via Opensea.