Lord Henry flung himself onto the divan and said to the beautiful Dorian Gray, “Mr. Gray, the aim of life is self-development. We must remember what we owe ourselves. I stumbled upon this thought on OpenSea one fateful day when I found a picture of a monkey.”
“Was it beautiful?” Dorian inquired.
“Beautifully expensive,” Lord Henry continued, “it was a non-fungible token; I knew it would be worth millions not long after I purchased it.”
“Stop!” faltered Dorian Gray. “You bewilder me. Did you purchase the picture itself?”
“Um,” said Lord Henry.
Lord Henry flung himself into an armchair and said to Basil Hallward, “I must congratulate you, this is the finest portrait of modern times. Have you considered minting an NFT of it and expending roughly the sum amount of electricity generated by the entire world to this date?”
“It is not my property,” Basil said.
“Ah, but we don’t really concern ourselves with antiquated concepts such as ownership,” Lord Henry said.
“It’s Dorian’s, though,” Basil replied.
“I shall mint an NFT, Henry,” Dorian murmured. “It shall never grow old. It will flit about the blockchain as an eternal fairy, never older than this day. I would give my soul to be as like that.”
“That’s the great part, Dorian,” Lord Henry enthused. “Your soul is given up the moment you mint the NFT!”
“How efficient,” Dorian fluttered.
“Um,” said Basil.
Lord Henry flung himself into Dorian’s new Secretlab TITAN gamer chair. Dorian paced in front of him. “Harry,” Dorian mused. “Why does nobody on Twitter wish to hear me tell of the great applications that NFTs can have?”
“They are all ugly shills, Dorian,” Lord Henry assured.
“I agree,” Dorian affected. “In the future, these NFTs could certainly solve problems that already have solutions, but they could do it less efficiently and enrich the people with significant financial interests such as myself! It is nothing but upside! How do these people not see my NFT profile picture and realize that after minutes of research I am an expert on this?”
“Poor fools,” Lord Henry morosed. “And I mean that literally and figuratively. All they can do is right-click and complain about nonsense such as ‘viability’ and ‘long-term value’”
“I will buy ten more monkey NFTs,” Dorian resolved. “That will soothe my savage breast.”
“Um,” said Lord Henry.
Dorian flung himself at Basil. “I don’t think you’re truly considering the benefits of a decentralized blockchain,” Dorian said with a manic glint in his eye. “It’s just like a database, except a lot slower and everyone can see what’s on it and that matters for some reason!”
Basil shook Dorian off. “You frighten me, Dorian,” he muttered. “Why did you have to listen to that horrible Lord Henry? Why had you not simply taken ownership of the portrait and avoided taxes through valuation and auction scams like a normal person? I fear that you are close to madness.”
“The portrait!” Dorian cried. “That’s it! I shall destroy the portrait, leaving the NFT the only trace of its beauty! That creates scarcity, which, according to my friends on Discord, is the only reason anything is expensive.”
Dorian pushed Basil aside and, with a confident slash of his knife, cut the portrait in twain.
Dorian and Basil stood there.
“What was that for?” Basil inquired.
“I figured it was the source of my everlasting beauty or something,” Dorian considered.
“What are you, stupid?” Basil sneered. “Your curse of eternal beauty was part of the NFT, which is just a digital receipt of ownership with no connection to the portrait.”
“Um,” said Dorian.