When Keanu Reeves was asked about NFTs while promoting The Matrix: Resurrections, he famously laughed at the idea, as most people tend to do.
That down-to-earth quality is integral to Reeves’ charm – he comes across as a humble dude, who, somehow, didn’t let the ego-expanding elements of celebrity get to him. But seemingly, the crypto-bros did.
Reeves, along with his partner, Alexandra Grant, are now acting as advisers to a program called the “Futureverse Foundation,” a project from Non-Fungible Labs; the foundation aims to improve “the digital and physical worlds through the support of diverse artists and creative communities.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the project aims to make NFTs more “inclusive,” and will guide traditional artists into converting their pieces to NFTs, so they can be put up for sale in the metaverse. After all, the most important thing about maintaining a pyramid scheme is ensuring that there’s a constant supply of fresh victims, primed to buy into the ever-expanding scam; weaponizing inclusive language seems to be the latest recruitment tactic.
For those not in the know, NFT stands for “non-fungible token,” which are, essentially, digital receipts, claiming digital ownership over images and GIFs, both of which can easily be replicated with a simple right-click and “save.”
While the insidious attempt to build paywalls around free internet space is bad enough, NFTs are also staggeringly bad for the planet, as the process of minting and trading NFTs consumes massive amounts of energy, during the worst environmental crisis humanity has ever experienced. Totally worth it, right?
Funnily enough, Reeves is jumping in on the terrible trend just as NFTs are beginning to die – NFT sales are plummeting, especially in the wake of the crypto crash, while outspoken celebrity enthusiasts are quietly deleting their NFT profile pics; Jimmy Fallon, Travis Barker, Shonda Rhimes and Meek Mill are among the celebrities who have abandoned their overpriced, energy-intensive avatars.
As disappointing as Reeves’ sudden pivot is, at least he isn’t using his brand to sell NFTs to the public – yet. Many celebrities happily used their influence to boost the price of their NFTs, the most high profile example being Jimmy Fallon and Paris Hilton, who were widely mocked after a bizarre attempt to promote their Bored Ape NFTs on The Tonight Show, a tense, awkward clip which some commentators compared to a hostage video.
Despite the best efforts from crypto-bros, NFT artists and celebrities, NFTs remain a niche interest; the general public don’t seem taken by the concept of paying gargantuan amounts of real money to “own” an easily replicated digital asset.
While Reeves has since fallen to the “Dark Side,” the image of him laughing at the idea of NFTs is difficult to shake off. As the Futureverse Foundation announced the involvement of Reeves and Grant on Twitter, the question, “Did he change his opinion about NFTs?” was quickly posted, along with a clip of Reeves laughing.