Actions speak louder than think pieces. So these recent actions by Tesla and Mojang are just one of many signs of the great implosion of crypto/NFTs/Web3/etc.
First off, Minecraft developer Mojang won’t allow NFTs in the game and second, Tesla just did a big crypto sell-off.
I especially liked what Mojang had to say. Essentially NFTs are anathema to the experience that they try and provide with Minecraft. They put their finger on what is wrong with all of that technology. Good for them.
As for Tesla, they were huge proponents for cryptocurrency until recently. For them to dump most of their holdings is a sign — among many signs out there — that crypto winter has set in and will likely stay that way for some time to come.
Thanks to The Verge for both of those pieces.
There are certain zombie ideas that arise from time to time that cannot be killed. “Micropayments are good and we should have them everywhere” is such an idea. Like many zombie ideas, something new will come along and suddenly they rise up from the grave and start wandering around again. In this case, what has revived this particular zombie idea is Web 3.
I get why this idea gets revived. IT people love it because it is in their wheelhouse. They can imagine writing code to create small payments for any transaction, and once you have millions or billions of transactions, it adds up to some serious money.
This is not to say micropayments is always a bad idea. Micropayments happen in limited ways right now. Every time you use something like ApplePay or GooglePay, a very small transaction cost goes to those big providers of the service. What makes them acceptable is
- they are invisible
- they are very small
- the service provided outweighs the cost significantly
When I see IT people talking about micropayments, they are describing something that is none of those things. And so instead of being beneficial, they just become annoying and lead to their downfall.
In IT when decentralization gets painful, centralization occurs. In business, the pain of many small payments gets removed by turning into ac bundle. Bundling usually works out better for the provider in many cases. Spotify could charge you a penny a song you listen to and likely still do well, given it pays artists a small fraction of that. But by charging people one fixed price, they can aggregate their users and make more money that way than if they charged you per stream. Plus its more customer friendly I think. Most people don’t want to worry about managing many small costs: bundles help with that.
For more on this, here are two pieces that support my thinking: