Brian Eno weighs in on NFT craze: “Now artists can become capitalist a**holes as well”

Brian Eno 2016 solo shot against a dark background
(Image credit: Shamil Tanna)

If you're confounded by the numerous stories floating around the web regarding the matter of musicians offering NFTs to fans, you're not the only one. It turns out Brian Eno isn't too thrilled about the new craze either.

NFTs, formally known as non-fungible tokens, are unique digital pieces of artwork that run via blockchain technology. Got it? No? Good. But confusion aside, NFTs are serious energy-drainers and have been widely criticised for their negative impact on climate change.

Speaking to The Crypto Syllabus, Eno has explained his belief that NFTs are merely a way for artists to become “little capitalist assholes”. Expressing his thoughts on the subject and on why he hasn't released anything on the format as of yet, he says: “I’ve been approached several times to ‘make an NFT.’ So far nothing has convinced me that there is anything worth making in that arena. 

"‘Worth making’ for me implies bringing something into existence that adds value to the world, not just to a bank account.”

Eno added that if he “had primarily wanted to make money I would have had a different career as a different kind of person. I probably wouldn’t have chosen to be an artist.

“NFTs seem to me just a way for artists to get a little piece of the action from global capitalism, our own cute little version of financialisation. How sweet – now artists can become little capitalist assholes as well.”

When asked whether he would be open to changing his opinion on NFTs, Eno replies “I am trying to keep an open mind about these questions. People I like and trust are convinced they’re the best thing since sliced bread, so I wish I could have a more positive view but right now I mainly see hustlers looking for suckers.

"And lots of bright-eyed artists willing to play the latter role. Forgive my cynicism… I’m not feeling too positive right now.”

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.