A site called The NFT Bay has debuted to make "all the NFT's [sic] on the Ethereum & Solana blockchains" available to download via the visitor's torrent client of choice.
The idea behind non-fungible tokens (NFTs) is that someone can purchase a piece of digital art — which includes anything from a portrait to the World Wide Web's source code — using the same blockchain technology as cryptocurrency transactions. That way the artist can get paid for their work and the buyer has proof they own the NFT.
Here's the problem: The artwork associated with an NFT is just a file. There's nothing stopping anyone with a web browser from right-clicking on the NFT and downloading a copy of that art to their system. Now people won't even have to do the right-clicking themselves; all they have to do is torrent a bunch of art from The NFT Bay.
💀OMG WHO RIGHT CLICKED ALL OF THE #NFTs?☠️🛳🏴☠️ https://t.co/o0YRK78AkL 🏴☠️🛳👀 pic.twitter.com/g74TFqzX0nNovember 18, 2021
Buying an NFT is like purchasing bottled water even though a fountain offers the exact same water for free. The buyer is spending money they don't need to spend (and, because minting an NFT requires compute power, inflicting more damage on the environment) in exchange for nothing but theoretical ownership over that water.
Or as The NFT Bay creator Geoffrey Huntley explains in the site's description: "As web2.0 webhosts are known to go offline (404 errors) this handy torrent contains all of the NFT's [sic] so that future generations can study this generations [sic] tulip mania and collectively go... 'WTF? We destroyed our planet for THIS?!'"
The site otherwise appears to be a faithful, NFT-themed replica of The Pirate Bay, a website that we at Tom's Hardware have only glimpsed in screenshots. It purports to contain 14.9 TiB and 4.2 TiB of NFTs taken from the Ethereum and Solana blockchains, respectively, but we haven't verified the authenticity of the files.