Of Lindsay Lohan, Canine Cartels, and NFTs
Celebrities, gang references, and questionable measures of affluence are not the typical fare for a furry fandom news site. However, this trifecta from the underworld rose from the earth on the 30th of September in the year of 2021.
It all started when a celebrity known as Lindsay Lohan made a tweet prompting a pack of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) called the Canine Cartel, using a dog character designed for her which is being put within this 10,000 token pack. With each of the individual tokens being put up for auction, including her own.
Reception by the fandom has mostly been negative. Some pointing out the lack of ears on the character's art, some showing agitation on having anthro characters being used to promote NFTs, others indicating that this was just a celebrity doing some arms-reach appreciation of the fandom while avoiding actually working with those in the fandom.
Today we’ll go over this event, furries' relationship with NFTs and crypto, and why this event may not be as furry as people in the fandom and media are making it out to be.
Why Furries tend to be in an uproar over crypto
It's official, I'm a Friend of The Cartel!! 🐶 It’s the first NFT the @CanineCartelNFT is minting for the collection and you've got a chance to own it!
Auction runs for 72 hours! 🔥https://t.co/k85RHYToRc
Best of luck! 🥰 pic.twitter.com/6UNsFWsQxB
— Lindsay Lohan (@lindsaylohan) September 29, 2021
Non-Fungible Tokens are tied to crypto currencies. Crypto currencies are bits of code that have a dream of being used as a replacement of governmental currencies one day. At the current time, though, they have proven currently to be a bit too unstable to be a reliable form of daily transaction when compared to the currencies of most governments. This volatility has led crypto to be utilized in the same way as stocks and equities would be, without the benefit of owning any part of a company, but instead a piece of purposefully finite computer data.
Some individuals who have made billions on trading stocks over the past half century have noted their repulsion of what they deem is money chasing nothing, one such investor Charlie Munger stating:
I [do not] like just shuffling out of your extra billions of billions of dollars to somebody who just invented a new financial product out of thin air. I think I should say modestly that the whole damn development is disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization
To which most crypto fans would respond to the wealthy mogul with, “Okay, Boomer.”
Furries tend to have their own misgivings over the currency. It usually has to deal with the amount of electricity generation it takes to mine for the currency in the blockchain. It also takes a nice chunk of juice to even complete a transaction using it.
According to CNET, mining for these tokens has taken up more energy than the entire country of Argentina uses over the past year. Also a single transaction using Bitcoin, the current most popular crypto, can use the same amount of energy as the average household uses in 53 days. Or perhaps, to put it more simply than CNET does, the amount that 53 average households use in a single day. Remember this is for one transaction that takes moments.
Given these environmental issues, Elon Musk, yet another billionaire, pulled back in accepting Bitcoin as a form of transaction for Tesla products until he can be assured that these currencies don’t create environmental harm. Probably after environmentally conscious investors wondered why make electric cars if you’re going to use the grid on coins instead of wheels.
Though, it must be noted, there are furries who trade in these new chains on the block, in spite of the implications and lack of popularity in the vocal fandom. Feel free to comment below if you do trade crypto as a furry and I’m sure it will end just as well as any other Flayrah comment thread does. This dry humor when talking about finance is brought to you by Patrick Boyle on YouTube, blame him for that one.
Why furries tend to be mad about NFTs in particular
If we define crypto as a sort of pseudo-currency, we can describe NFTs as a pseudo-collector’s coin of that currency. But unlike the limited edition quarters that news and shopping channels try to sell to retired grandparents, these are directed at the more technologically savvy young consumer. Whether these youngsters are more financially savvy than those older folks who just bought a $0.25 piece for $20 has yet to be seen.
But putting that aside, let’s imagine that one of these coin minters could randomly just take artwork from people without permission to sell a one of a kind collector’s coin.
This is the second strike for furries around the concept of NFTs. When the concept was introduced to the internet, there were greedy individuals stencilling crypto tokens with art and assets that did not belong to them in the first place. This was particularly a heinous act towards those artists for two reasons:
- If the artist is pro-NFT then they could not create their own token(s) to sell unabated.
- If the artist does not want to support crypto transactions, they would find their art involuntarily placed onto the currency against their wishes.
In the case of the second situation, what makes things more egregious is that not only was property stolen, but it creates a theft of agency in what the artist’s work supports.
First impressions are lasting ones, and while the tokens may not be fungible, the early crafters of NFTs were treating ownership of digital works on the internet as if they were fungible to make a quick buck. And that first taste left many a furry artist quite sour. I guess we will give the Canine Cartel that much credit, their work is… original at least.
But in the end, it actually isn’t about furries…
While it is great to see that the media has caught up on what a furry character is, it seems they are starting to play loose with the word fursona. It is important to note that neither Lindsay Lohan nor the Canine Cartel have called their tokens ‘fursonas’. This was something that the mainstream media tied together in their headlines, and yes maybe some furries did themselves no favors on our own media accounts helping the media make said connection.
However, while a furry character is indeed an animal with human characteristics, a fursona is a character that takes features that are specifically to represent the owner of the character. While the media has called this Lohan’s fursona, Lohan herself made no such statements. However, it’s not her job to correct the media when the entire point of the tweet was to bring attention to the canine tokens to begin with, and furry’s predictable Hulk-like social media outrages are easy to manipulate into free publicity.
So then what is with the dogs? Well, in the crypto world dogs have become somewhat of a staple species to use in promotion these days. This is because a joke crypto called Dogecoin which was based on a meme of a Shiba Inu using bad grammar. Just after the NFTs came around, it seemed that memes were seen as the new fashionable tulip. In April of 2021 the fools were kings. Thus the meme dog-based coin caught on fire, until it hit 69 cents per DogeCoin in early May. It was then the memes declared it was time for Doge to die, much to the chagrin of those who no doubt held and hoped for $4.20.
Why, internet, just why?
But anyway, ever since the dog based coin went up from a fraction of pennies to almost a dollar, the canine has been the choice animal to try and give hopes of bullish sentiment in crypto spaces. This is the case with these 10,000 dog tokens. They were not meant to be fursonas. They were meant to be cheap dog art to get a good profit margin by encouraging people to pump into the underlying crypto that the NFT creators are probably already invested in. Get a celebrity on board to promote the pumping of your currency of choice, and hey, even better.
Let’s just hope for those bright eyed pup collectors that this Canine Cartel isn’t as into dumping Ethereum as much as the actual Cartel is into dumping bodies (allegedly). Ethereum being the underlying currency for this particular token set. But I guess in the end, that’s just a prisoner’s dilemma, so don’t lock yourself into something without acknowledging the risks involved. Seek financial advice from an advisor before making any investment, and only risk what you are willing to lose, and other boring advice like that.