LONDON (Bywire News) - EXCLUSIVE - An anonymous artist is celebrating the anniversary of Satoshi Nakamoto&rsquo\\\;s famous Bitcoin white paper publication in a novel way: by burning a whole lot of cash.
The controversial new art series will be launched via OpenSeas.io (a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace) on Halloween. Fiat&rsquo\\\;s on Fire is a collection of NFT videos showing the burning of more than $10,000. It all kicks off with a hundred $100 bills being burned from various angles until they are all reduced to nothing more than ash.
The collection is part of a wider, combustion themed series, designed to highlight the growing inequities within our current financial systems.
&ldquo\\\;40% of the total US dollar supply in existence has been printed since the start of the pandemic. Money printing is essentially financial doping, it is like pumping the economy full of steroids. Because rich people can access capital in a way that poor people can only dream about,&rdquo\\\; explains the artist. &ldquo\\\;Fiat&rsquo\\\;s on fire, both figuratively, and literally.&rdquo\\\;
COVID-19 has been better for some than others. If you&rsquo\\\;re Jeff Bezos (founder of Amazon.com), for example, you&rsquo\\\;ll have seen your wealth grow all the way to space.
America&rsquo\\\;s billionaires saw their wealth grow by a staggering $2trillion during the pandemic. For them COVID-19 was a virus made of gold. They are the winners of capitalism, and their spoils are proudly on show. \\\; \\\;
As for the rest of us? Well, we&rsquo\\\;re gearing up for winter of discontent 2.0. Bills are surging, wages are stagnating and more and more of us are finding it impossible to make ends meet, each week.
The World Bank \\\;estimates that 97 million people were driven into extreme poverty around the world during the pandemic. The global poverty rate leapt from 7.8% to 9.1%. 163 million people are now living on less than $5.50 a day.
Unchecked capitalism, the artist believes, is destroying the prospects for the young and the planet they depend upon.
&ldquo\\\;All paper money will eventually revert to its intrinsic value &ndash\\\; zero.&rdquo\\\; The anonymous artist assures us.
With trust in traditional financial institutions plummeting, many people are turning to alternatives in the shape of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain. The anniversary of Nakamoto&rsquo\\\;s white paper, therefore, seems an appropriate time to launch this scathing attack on a corporate establishment which seems bent on getting rich as the world burns.
Notwithstanding the artists use of grammar in the collection&rsquo\\\;s title, &lsquo\\\;Fiat&rsquo\\\;s on Fire&rsquo\\\; does, at least, seem to be authentic in its economic/political messaging. However, you wish to frame the notion of quantitative easing, it is almost certainly the reason why buying a home to live in, in London, while earning the UK&rsquo\\\;s average salary, is impossible. \\\;
Like all good anti-capitalists, or to be more precise, one who creates capitalist realism, their work is for sale, but you can only buy the NFTs with the cryptocurrency Ethereum. There is always an interesting, and somewhat silly juxtaposition with those artists who destroy value, to demonstrate the dangers of inflation, which is effectively de-valuation. Over production coupled with a failure to stimulate enough demand for a country&rsquo\\\;s currency is what leads to hyper-inflation, and the artist isn&rsquo\\\;t alone in raising this fear. \\\;Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter recently tweeted:
Why the artist chooses to remain anonymous is also somewhat bizarre, until of course you consider that burning US currency is illegal. Then, perhaps, the obvious Banksy copycat mould theory starts to crack a little. The artist is anonymous because carrying out their chosen work is high-risk. Therefore, will that make said artwork particular rare? Especially if their civil disobedience continues. Should this be the case, then at the very least, we get to have some interesting whodunit content to deck the Christmas halls with boughs of gossip. Either that, or Bitcoin crashes and it&rsquo\\\;s all just FUD-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la.
(Writing by Tom Cropper and Michael O&rsquo\\\;Sullivan, editing by Michael O&rsquo\\\;Sullivan)