I was trying to buy an NFT Garden Olive. All I get is heartburn.

I want to withdraw my $20, but OpenSea doesn’t accept credit cards. I need to buy some crypto Ether to complete the transaction. Okay! I am the game. Having Ether in hand (or, more accurately, a wallet), I went back to OpenSea and tried to make a purchase. Except for the moment I was ready, the initial drops seemed to have sold out. Prices have gone up. Uplink. Secondary sellers, who have probably seen the same Twitter thread I saw, are now trying to flip their OG NFTs. With grim resignation, I bought some more Ether and tried again.

That’s when I discovered gas fees, a service fee charged by miners to verify transactions. I have lowered the cheap price. My transaction never went through. The price of Olive Gardens continues to rise. I tried again this time, paying at the market rate. Success! Katie will be very happy.

Except… have you ever tried giving someone an NFT? I need to pay more gas fee to make the money transfer. In a nutshell, a jokey purchase that I thought would initially cost me $20, and then re-evaluate could be $75, ended up setting me back close to $300.

But hey, my friend Katie is now the owner of a JPEG photo of an Olive Garden in a shopping mall in Louisville, Kentucky, on the Ethereum blockchain. What a wonderful gift!

That’s it to be a wonderful gift until just over a week later, when the reality Olive Garden’s attorneys sent OpenSea a takedown notice, and all those irreplaceable Olive Gardens disappeared into the crew. Stupid.

Like I said, money is weird now. And so this problem dive into how technology is shaping our financial future.

Whether it’s a Universal cryptocurrency based on biometrics meant to underpin Web3, city ​​built with Bitcoindigital currencies cash alternativeor the road iBuying is transforming the housing marketTechnology is fundamentally changing the way we buy, spend and save money. Even the way we gamble.

We hope you like it this problem, and it reveals something new to you about the present, helping you better understand and prepare for the future. Even if it’s just budgeting in your gas charges in advance.

Correction: An earlier version of this story cited a copyright notice, which is actually a trademark infringement notice.

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