I wanted to withdraw my $ 20, but OpenSea does not accept credit cards. I will have to buy part of the cryptocurrency Ether to complete the transaction. Good! I am a game. Ether in hand (or wallet, to be exact), I went back to OpenSea and tried to make a purchase. With the exception of when I was ready, these initial drops had already seemingly sold out. The price had risen. Up. Secondary vendors, who may have seen the same Twitter topics I had seen, were now trying to reverse their OG NFT. With grim resignation, I bought some more ether and tried again.

Then I discovered gas charges, a service charge charged by miners to check transactions. Since I’m cheap, I relaxed. My transaction was never completed. The price of Olive Gardens continued to rise. I tried again, this time paying a market price. Success! Katie would be so happy.

Except … have you ever tried to give someone NFT? I had to pay even more gas fees to make the transfer. In the end, the ridiculous purchase, which I initially thought would cost me $ 20 and later revalued to maybe $ 75, eventually returned me almost $ 300.

But hey, my friend Katie already owned something like JPEG in a picture of Olive Garden at a mall in Louisville, Kentucky, on the Ethereum blockchain. What a great gift!

It is it was great gift until a little over a week later when on real Olive Garden’s lawyers sent OpenSea a download notice, and all these irreplaceable Olive Gardens disappeared in, uh, ether. Poof.

Like I said, money is weird now. And so this question is immersed in the way technology shapes our financial future.

Whether it’s a biometric universal cryptocurrency designed to support Web3, bitcoin-built cities, digital currencies that replace cash, or the way iBuying is transforming the housing market, technology is fundamentally changing the way we buy, spend and we save money. Even the way we bet.

We hope you enjoy this issue and that it reveals something new about the present that helps you better understand and prepare for the future. Even if it’s just pre-budgeting your gas charges.

Correction: An earlier version of this story cites a copyright notice, in fact it was a trademark infringement notice.

https://www.technologyreview.com/2022/05/18/1052377/i-tried-to-buy-an-olive-garden-nft-all-i-got-was-heartburn/