In what seems like a parody but isn’t, economist, gold proponent and vocal crypto skeptic Peter Schiff has unveiled a collaborative nonfungible token (NFT) art collection on the Bitcoin network that will soon go up for auction.
The reaction from the crypto community has been mixed, with people generally baffled, amused or welcoming — especially Ordinals proponents — with some keen to point out the apparent hypocrisy.
For years, Schiff has actively bashed crypto — especially Bitcoin (BTC) — at any chance, with his arguments revolving around BTC being a Ponzi scheme with no inherent value.
Despite all of that, Schiff unveiled the “Golden Triumph” NFT collection in a May 27 Twitter thread in collaboration with one of his “favorite artists,” who goes by the pseudonym “Market Price.“
“This collaboration features the original painting ‘Golden Triumph’ as well as a series of prints and Ordinals inscribed on the Bitcoin blockchain,” he wrote.
Golden Triumph consists of one physical painting on an oil linen canvas depicting a human hand holding a bar of gold, 50 prints on archival paper depicting the same image, and 50 digital versions inscribed as Ordinal NFTs on Bitcoin.
The collection will be sold via a two-part auction starting on June 2 and ending on June 9. For the Ordinals, the highest bidder will receive #1 of the collection, with the next 49 highest bidders receiving #2 to #50 in descending order.
It appears, however, that Schiff hasn’t done a complete turnaround on BTC, but has woken up to a use case for blockchain technology: verifiable ownership of assets such as art via NFTs.
Commenting on Schiff’s tweet, Twitter user LoneStartBitcoin asked: “So... it’s valuable to put your ‘gold’ inscriptions on Bitcoin, but bitcoin [BTC] itself is not valuable?.”
“Correct,” Schiff responded.
Alongside his disdain for crypto, Schiff has also criticized NFTs on several occasions in the past.
In a blog post from March 2021, Schiff described NFTs as “fake assets” that offer nothing other than ownership of a digital image that can be “replicated endlessly” online.
“But even as the owner of the image, you won’t be able to control access to it. The file has been copied thousands of times, so anyone with access to the internet can look at it as much as you,” he wrote.
The sharp change in sentiment follows in a similar vein to former United States President Donald Trump, who has also aggressively slammed crypto on multiple occasions before getting involved with NFTs.
In December 2022, Trump teased a “major announcement” that supporters thought was politically related before unveiling the Trump Digital Trading Cards collection.