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👋 Hi, I'm Geoff. I stole off all your NFTs.

I respectfully ask that you don't quote me as “$company person Geoffrey Huntley said” – if I speak for a company, I will publish on its channels. My full name is "Geoffrey Huntley" please use that and not "Geoff Huntley".

I can be contacted via https://ghuntley.com/media/

Why do this?

Art.

Can you tell me a little about yourself?

Hey, I'm Geoff. After many previous adventures involving cycling through many countries on a unicycle [0] I now live a minimalist lifestyle in a van [1] that is slowly working its way around Australia. In a previous life, with friends, we had a small business running computer gaming LAN's and we ran the first eSport competition in Australia. Somewhere inbetween that I ran one of the first ever video [2] blogs.

Was it harder to cycle through many countries on a unicycle or assemble all the NFT’s from Solana and Ethereum?

It was easier to put together the torrent than it is to ride a unicycle.

Were you surprised to get so much attention for the NFT bay project?

I knew the art project was something special when after sharing sneak peaks with folks in the infosec community gained reactions such as:

  • "legendary shit lmao"
  • "You mad bastard that is bloody brilliant"
  • "I’ve been building stuff NFT stuff for the last few months. Feeling very dirty. I needed a good laugh. Thank you"
  • "Yeah I have space on my homelab cluster to help out"
  • "I'm giggling"
  • "you're a GOAT bro."
  • "YourAnonNews is gonna share it."

In a possible twist, are you afraid that this artwork may become a NFT without your consent

It’s been quite entertaining watching the evolving interaction between you and VVD.

It already has and we are now into inception territory. VincentVanDough NFT'ed the website and commented that if the sale was to pass six figured he would buy [1] me a new van. Unfortunately I won't be getting a new van because the transaction closed at a mere $17,645.42 USD. In response to this I've [2] NFT'ed his NFT with funds being diverted towards Outreachy [3] Internships.

Are you creating anymore NFTs

"The collector becomes the collected" [1] is the only NFT I intend to ever mint. The feud with VincentVanDough is :chefskiss: level meta art.

How did this idea pop-up? Did you have an eureka moment?

Shooting the shit with Stephen Diehl [1]. We have both seen a programming language become over indexed in the cryptocurrency space and if things were to ever go belly up I'm not sure Haskell would ever recover. I came up with the idea and did all of the execution but Stephen came up with the name "The billion dollar tarball" from that point onwards it was non-stop cackling intermixed with sleep deprivation to get the project launched.

What's the server situation?

For authenticity I was going to host at [1] PRQ but unfortunately they don't offer servers with enough disk space. The seedbox hosting the torrent has 4 x 10TB Sata drives configured in RAID0 and the website is humming along just fine even though the website is going insanely viral. If you like what I'm doing and want to see this expand, consider a small donation to the wallet listed at the bottom of www.thenftbay.org.

Which was the precise Twitter Space for NFT’s which triggered you and finally pushed you to create The Billion Dollar Torrent?

2021-11-21_02-10-51

How long did it take to complete the project?

About three days from beginning to launch.

Will the ~17 GB of the The Billion Dollar Torrent be expanded? Will it update as new NFT’s arrive?

This is a one time thing and will be soon uploading the project in it's entirety to the Internet Archive [1] for future generations to study.

Are you planning to create further actions in the crypto scene or your craft is now complete?

One of the co-founders [1] of Razor1911 [2] stumbled upon "the scene release" and had the following to say:

Hah.. awesome dude, fantastic work. I stumbled across this on pure chance. I was one of the snotty 13-14 year olds starting Razor 1911 back in 85.. - Insane TTM

I'm done (for now at least) but will be hanging around web3 space. If people want to keep up to date with what I'm doing the best way is via my newsletter at https://www.ghuntley.com/newsletter. In a couple weeks time I intend to author up a retrospective blog post that recaps the entire timeline and peoples reactions.

ps. someone actually thought Razor1911 came out of retirement - https://twitter.com/lordnarfz0g/status/1461431048802213891

Do you see this as more of an art piece? What do you see as the role of art in society?

You understand the creation of The Billion Dollar Torrent as an artwork which wishes to change the course of the NFT art sector. What would be your ideal scenario if successful?

It's an educational art project. Back in the 1990s in Australia there was a politican that was gaining popularity and their viewpoints are (still to this day) quite harmful to the LGBTQ community. In response one of the members of the community responded by creating art which was successful in changing the course of Australian politics:

Earlier this morning I was hanging out in a Twitter space for NFT's and the host was:

  • "we wanna launch this project"
  • "once launched we gonna get the merch store out"
  • "merch gets more people interested in the NFTs"
  • "more people buy the NFTs and you'll get rich"

Fundamentally, I hope through http://thenftbay.org people learn to understand what people are buying when purchasing NFT art right now is nothing more then directions on how to access or download a image. There is a gap of understanding between buyer and seller right now that is being used to exploit people. The image is typically not stored on the blockchain and the majority of images I've seen are hosted on web2.0 storage which is likely to end up as 404 meaning the NFT has even less value.

Do you think some malicious actors may use the data of The Billion Dollar Torrent to exploit non savvy users?

No. I am comfortable that this won't happen.

Are you afraid of possible legal issues for creating this torrent from art owners or law institutions?

From what I've seen many artists are quite [1] [2] [3] happy with the website. If someone wishes for content to be removed then there the DMCA takedown process is documented in the footer of https://thenftbay.org

What's your general take on NFTs?

The NFT market is vast, there is clearly a hype surrounding this new market as of course scams hunting for new victims or pump-and-dump schemes, but, don’t you think it may be too unfair to condemn the whole industry? Do you see noble actors in the NFT space?

The utility (and value) of NFT's will be created through social media platforms. For many digital representations is > physical representation and (if/when) Twitter/TikTok (discord backed away from it) roll out the ability to display flair on a social media profile that will be a turning point. We see how bananas people go over the Twitter blue verified checkmark - now think how social media will change when people have the ability to display verifiable proof of membership (early investor of Uber, Forbes 30 under 30) vs adding the words to a social media bio. All of this however could be achieved without blockchain.

What people dream to build with "web3" is quite amazing but the greed/scamming going on is sickening. The dreams for a different future remind me of the internet in the 1990s. What's fascinating here is the communities are very strong and can self-fund the discovery phase whilse searching for application. The early internet was built on a gift economy (ie hippies) yet what people seek to build now is capitalistic and full of pump and dump schemes. Perverse incentives related to money are well understood and at this time I don't quite, yet, see how the industry is going to resolve problems created by money.

Are you highlighting the same unsafe properties of NFT’s as discovered by Jonty Wareing back in march, in which he pointed out unsafe properties of the NFT token of the famous Beeple NFT artwork Crossroad as an example? In general, would you say NFT’s are safe or unsafe? Thread in detail: https://twitter.com/jonty/status/1372163423446917122

I was unfamilar with Jonthy Wareing's work - thanks for sharing. Anyone trading/speculating with NFTs should only be doing so with play money that they are willing to lose as there is lots of shady stuff and liquidity issues behind the scenes.

See https://twitter.com/GeoffreyHuntley/status/1461693603835564038

good morning, I'm oscar, Study to be programmer, I took a buck i had saved and invest in half a coin of solana, I have many financial problems, sometimes I have no money or to eat right, wanted to know in relation to the billion dollar, please.. Can you help me? I want to change my life, change the life of my family, have a better condition, please help me, I can not speak English, sorry if there are any mistakes. I am from brazil.

I replied back to this email with:

Don't invest in crypto. Invest in yourself.

https://github.com/jwasham/coding-interview-university

I too have been homeless. Make wise decisions (study above) and change your path. If I'm ever in Brazil then happy to grab beers. Find me in the future when you break into software development.

You got this, Geoff

Oscar replied with:

I don't have a good computer to focus on my studies, it limits me a lot

I replied with:

Here is a unique 3 month coupon (redacted) that's just for you. With this you will be able to study software development via powerful computers (https://www.gitpod.io) on any device in the world. Again, use this opportunity wisely and report back in 3 months. I'm happy to extend the coupon once again when progress has been made.

How can users check thoroughly that their NFT is really on the blockchain and not hosted in an unsecure Web2.0?

There's a couple tools out there such as https://checkmynft.com which essentially looks at the contract defintion. If you wish to learn how to this then Richard Gaywood has an excellent thread which walks through how to do this at https://twitter.com/PenLlawen/status/1461340111807729668

Do you see a future in web 3.0 or simply another buzzy word being exploited as it was blockchain years ago?

I'm optomistic that people will discover an application for web 3.0 but the community needs to self-regulate before government financial regulators steps in for them. The launch of https://thenftbay.org caught the attention of two countries and their departments that regulates the financial systems including banks and insurance companies. Again. The community needs to self-regulate before government financial regulators step in otherwise the applciation for web 3.0 may never be discovered.

2021-11-21_02-08-26

@edo9k

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@edo9k edo9k commented Nov 18, 2021

Preach! 🔥 🤘

@Nekromateion

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@Nekromateion Nekromateion commented Nov 18, 2021

This is the highest peak that humanity will ever reach.

@lucasdcrk

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@lucasdcrk lucasdcrk commented Nov 18, 2021

Absolutely brilliant

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@noah427 noah427 commented Nov 18, 2021

The NFT bros not getting the point (they ate the onion) on twitter is honestly making my day. Thank you for doing this, hours of free entertainment.

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@dylanbeattie dylanbeattie commented Nov 18, 2021

Geoff, this is a work of sublime genius. Brilliant stuff.

@3x0dv5

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@3x0dv5 3x0dv5 commented Nov 18, 2021

Hey mate! Where is your little "support me" button? I want to buy you a beer!

@nanakisan

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@nanakisan nanakisan commented Nov 18, 2021

The fact you recreated TPB so perfectly makes this wonderful. Thank you for the top quality laugh.

@zekth

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@zekth zekth commented Nov 18, 2021

This gist should be an NFT

@stortzm

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@stortzm stortzm commented Nov 18, 2021

now do the same for team fortress hats

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@elie222 elie222 commented Nov 19, 2021

"people learn to understand what people are buying when purchasing NFT art right now is nothing more then directions on how to access or download a image."
clearly that's not what people are buying. the directions are right click save if you want the image. no one needs to pay for that, and no one thinks they are paying for that

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@HybridEidolon HybridEidolon commented Nov 19, 2021

based project. but all forms of social capital are bullshit

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@mythicalpizza mythicalpizza commented Nov 19, 2021

"people learn to understand what people are buying when purchasing NFT art right now is nothing more then directions on how to access or download a image." clearly that's not what people are buying. the directions are right click save if you want the image. no one needs to pay for that, and no one thinks they are paying for that

If you've ever taken any sort of programming class, they will define code as "a set of instructions for the computer". A hyperlink is binary code still, and the image it returns is still downloaded with an HTTP get request. It is, definitively, a set of instructions on how to download the image (just for the computer, he never claimed it was for you). You misunderstanding what he wrote only further proves his point with this project, as correct, nobody things that is what they are buying, but that is what they are buying. Hence this project.

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@Webreaper Webreaper commented Nov 19, 2021

Reminder (also for the journos)
image

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@pgambardella pgambardella commented Nov 19, 2021

this is SO brilliant. I love it!

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@Tararan Tararan commented Nov 19, 2021

You seem like smart dude so I want to chime in.

"more people buy the NFTs and you'll get rich"

While purely profit driven NFT projects are not my bag of tea, I can see that speculators and apes drive adoption by funding projects that usually wouldn't get funded.
You have said it yourself that this is like early internet.
And there are arguments to be made that development of early internet was primarily driven by speculators and bubbles because people were putting money wherever hoping to get high rewards. Some struck gold with amazon and most didn't.
It is unfortunate, but people paying for NFT's now are driving partially development of Ethereum.


The image is not stored on the blockchain

There are issues with the way some NFT's are minted and you are right about that.
This doesn't apply to all of them and I have no data on how many suffers from this issue.
As in if servers go down, nobody will be able to know what exactly that NFT was as stated by people smarter than me here:
https://twitter.com/cloudonshore/status/1372226628844150788?s=20


what people are buying when purchasing NFT art right now is nothing more then directions on how to access or download a image

I spoke with people who bought NFT's and that doesn't matter that much.
For collectors what is required is that they can verify chain of previous owners.
In standard art circles if you can track all previous buyers of artwork, that artwork is a lot more valuable.
Knowing the history of that art increases its value.
So collectors like the fact that they can just glance at the blockchain and see that this indeed is original Beeple, or Lux or [insert your favourite artist/project here]


All of this however could be achieved without blockchain.

It can, but it's better.
It is similar in a way to saying that instant messaging can be achieved without internet.
Yes, SMS exists but sending message online offers better UX and it is virtually free.


What's fascinating here is the communities are very strong and can self-fund the discovery phase

This is absolutely true and I have seen this in many Ethereum communities.
There is a strong will for decentralisation and strong revolutionary spirit among many Ethereum communities.
Community ownership is preferred way or organising communities and wealth sharing is celebrated vitrue.

I didn't come here for a debate, just for clarification.

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