‘Piracy’ website offers NFT art as free downloads

An Australian artist and programmer has created a website that claims to let people download "every NFT" on the Ethereum blockchain in one go.

NFTs are digital tokens that proponents say can prove ownership of digital items – including artwork.

Many have sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars, even though anybody can view the attached artwork.

Geoffrey Huntley, who created the NFT Bay "piracy" website, said he wanted to show people what they were buying.

As reported by the tech news site Motherboard, Mr Huntley's website is modelled after the Pirate Bay, a well-known software and movie piracy website.

The NFT Bay purports to offer "all NFTs from Ethereum and Solana" – two cryptocurrency networks – in a whopping 17 terabyte (TB) file.

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Critics of NFTs point out that anybody can access, download and copy the digital artwork attached to the "token of ownership".

"NFT art right now is nothing more then directions on how to access or download an image. The image is not stored on the blockchain," said Mr Huntley.

However, proponents of cryptocurrency say owning the NFT carries clout and bragging rights – and that simply right-clicking and saving an image is not the same.

While the NFT Bay download contains images of NFT artwork, it does not contain any of the digital tokens that "prove ownership".

Mr Huntley hopes the website means "future generations can study this generation's tulip mania" – a reference to one of the most famous examples of a financial bubble.

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