Tom Compagnoni (YouTube)

NFTs (or non-fungible tokens) have been the talk of the town over the last year, rapidly accruing supporters even as the technology’s reputation tanked. And while most of the backlash is confined to social media jokes about “stealing” NFTs by way of right-clicking and saving the (usually terrible) artwork associated with the blockchain-minted (and thus incredibly harmful to the environment) tokens, major figures in the gaming industry have also taken notice.

Last month, Steam banned games that had anything to do with NFTs or cryptocurrency, prompting 26 developers to send Valve what my colleague Luke Plunkett aptly described as “a very sad letter” whining about the company’s decision. Xbox boss Phil Spencer more recently called NFTs “exploitative” during an interview with Axios. But sadly, for every Valve, Xbox, and independent dev turning down NFTs, there’s also an Ubisoft, Sega, and Square Enix happily getting in on the grift.

“[NFTs] are only valuable as tools for money laundering, tax evasion, and greater fool investment fraud,” wrote computer scientist Antsstyle in a scathing criticism of the technology, the long version of which is perhaps the most comprehensive breakdown of the ills posed by NFTs, cryptocurrency, and the blockchain on which they operate. “There is zero actual value to NFTs. Their sole purpose is to create artificial scarcity of an artwork to supposedly increase its value.”