I’ve written once before in this space about the ridiculousness of NFTs. To some degree, I guess I am not surprised that I am doing so again but I kind of am … particularly in the context in which the topic arises. As well as the timing.
As to the timing, if you haven’t been living under a rock then you’ve heard a little about some different acronyms (FTX and SBF) that ought to be part of most conversations where anyone utters NFT) and the rapidly unraveling sweater of any semblance of legitimacy to crypto markets. So, it was with aspects of that story still fresh in mind that I read the story of a New Jersey personal injury firm who got themselves what they must think to be good PR in the form of a Law360 story about how they gave NFTs that could be used by employees for mental health teletherapy sessions as a year-end bonus.
Because the firm still thinks this story is a “win” for them, you can read the full PDF of what would be the subscribers only article from Law360 at this link.
Mental health and wellness are extremely important. And kudos to any law firm out there that is taking real steps to encourage their employees to take care of their mental health. But real steps would be to do it by providing better health insurance coverage or providing real monetary benefits to make it possible.
Giving each employee an NFT that can be redeemed for mental health teletherapy sessions is not a “real” step. And before I spend any more time trying to argue with you about whether it is real or not, let’s just digest what we are talking about here:
[The law firm’s founding partner] found a partnership linking ownership of NFTs called CryptoMories with free access to mental health services from the provider Impact Suite.
The NFTs gifted [by the law firm] were minted by CryptoMories and are digital images of skeletons — the company’s name comes from the Latin phrase “memento mori,” or “remember that you die.”
Seriously, I’m going to venture a guess that anyone reading this who can imagine themselves on the “receiving” end of this bonus would be inclined to say NFT. (“No F’ing Thanks.)
If the employees are lucky, then maybe in 6 months CryptoMories will still exist and these tokens might be honored at some possible value. But I sure wouldn’t bet on it if I were them.
In the meantime, the surest sign that the whole gesture is just about PR for a Web3 enthusiast is the fact that none of the employees have even been given their token yet, much less gotten any actual mental health care because …
[the firm] has purchased the NFTs but hasn’t distributed them yet because the firm is helping its employees set up the digital wallets needed to hold the assets first, Grungo said.
So, a full read of the story reveals that the firm paid somewhere between $4,200 and $6,000 for some PR and the employees have not as of yet actually gotten a weird digital thing literally designed to remind them they are going to die and that (given how things are trending) will quickly be worthless in the normal course or inaccessible depending on how good they are at keeping up with a digital wallet they didn’t need to have in the first place.
Memento mori indeed. How about instead: “remember that you die but NFTs are much more likely going to predecease you.”