Plenty of investors will lose money buying digital assets, says RACHEL RICKARD STRAUS – but I have no doubt there will be a lasting legacy
Remember the ‘Charlie bit my finger’ video? Today, 14 years since it was uploaded to YouTube and 881million views later, it will be deleted.
The short clip of Charlie, one, biting the finger of his older brother, Harry, three, made history when it became one of the first videos to go viral.
Now the Davis-Carr family, who own the video, plan to auction it online as a non-fungible token (NFT) this weekend and the footage will be taken down when it closes.
NFTs are essentially digital receipts proving ownership of something online, such as a piece of art, song, or even a tweet. In this case, the new owner will receive a digital receipt that will be stored on a virtual ledger known as blockchain. This is the same technology that cryptocurrencies use.
Mind-boggling: Non-fungible tokens are essentially digital receipts proving ownership of something online, such as a piece of art, song, or even a tweet
Every day, there are more stories like this, which reveal how block chain and digital technology are changing the world we live in.
We hear of cryptocurrency investors making and losing millions of pounds overnight, and of NFTs of digital racehorses and clothes being bought and sold.
Earlier this year, even the Bank of England revealed it may launch a digital currency.
To me, much of this sounds at best mind-boggling, at worst completely ridiculous. But I think we dismiss these digital trends at our peril.
It is amidst these strange developments that big ideas which will shape all of our futures are being forged – ideas about what money is and who can create it, about what value is, and about what ownership is in a world of digital assets.
Many of the trends may fade away. No doubt plenty of investors will lose a lot of money buying digital assets that they would not have touched if they had remembered the cautionary message of the Emperor’s New Clothes.
But I have no doubt that there will be a lasting legacy. What will remain is a shift in the way we see money, value and ownership. I may not be interested in investing just yet, but I still want to join in the conversation.
That’s why I won’t be bidding for the Charlie Bit My Finger NFT. But I will be logging on with interest to see how much it sells for.
How does your bank treat fraud victims?
Very few people bother to change current accounts, even though it is easier than ever to do so. But that could be set to change.
Today, consumer watchdog Which? is giving banks until Friday to disclose how they treat their customers who fall victim to fraud.
I know from speaking to fraud victims that there are huge discrepancies between banks.
Some give full reimbursements, others don’t hand over a penny.
I don’t know about you, but how my bank treats fraud victims is a deal-breaker. I want to be with a bank that would support me if I were scammed out of my life savings.
If I found out that my bank had a poor record of reimbursing its customers, I would switch to another with a good one.
Which? is absolutely right that banks must reveal their reimbursement data. That way, we can switch if we don’t like our bank’s record.
And banks will be incentivised to help their customers, or risk losing them to more sympathetic rivals.