To prove it's crap, Signal founder traps an NFT with a poo emoji

As the founder of the popular encrypted messaging service Signal, Matthew Rosenfeld, better known by his pseudonym Moxie Marlinspike, is one of the most prominent cryptographers in the world.

Yet, as he explains in a recent post on his blog, the developer is not a big fan of the “crypto” world and du Web3, promise of a truly decentralized internet, free from all-powerful platforms like Facebook or Amazon.

Marlinspike has therefore decided to create an NFT. In the vast majority of cases, it is not the image that constitutes the NFT that is hosted on the blockchain, but a URL that refers to this image. The .jpg file is therefore on a classic server.

“Anyone with access to this machine , or the future owner of the domain name, will be able to change the image, name or description of the NFT, whether or not he “owns” the token” , explains Marlinpike .

To illustrate this, Rosenfeld’s NFT changes depending on the medium used to visualize it. Thus, on OpenSea, the most popular NFT buying and selling platform, it is a drawing on a green background. On the Rarible platform, it’s another drawing, this time on a blue background. On the other hand, when the owner of this NFT wants to consult his purchase in his crypto wallet, he can only see a emoji poo.

Troll and 💩

As Moxie Marlinspike points out, this NFT is nothing particularly different from others: “Many of the most expensive NFTs could become a 💩 emoji any when, I just made it explicit.”

This experience became even more overwhelming when OpenSea decided after a few days to delete the NFT. This also led to its disappearance on Marlinspike’s Metamask wallet (a popular crypto wallet): amazing for a supposedly decentralized system.

The reason for this is that wallets often just show data provided by third-party software (APIs) which themselves interact directly with the blockchain. However, these APIs are actually few in number.

In this case, MetaMask uses the OpenSea API to show the NFTs. If Marlinspike’s work still exists in the blockchain, its removal from the platform therefore also leads to its disappearance from MetaMask.

Internet users are dependent on intermediary companies, which offer to interact for them with blockchain. These companies therefore adopt a role of central platforms, and the revolutionary Web3 ends up resembling good old Web 2.0, speculation added.