Bud Light NFT holders are debating gender theory
"I think the world is trying to rug BL"
Editor’s note: Barring any huge developments in the anti-trans Anheuser-Busch InBev/Bud Light situation, I’m going to let this be my last coverage of it here, because after today I think I’ve exhausted all the angles I’m interested in. (For now, at least.) I’m also taking a small vacation for the rest of this week, so this will be the last edition of Fingers until Tuesday. See you then!—Dave.
In 2021, with the mainstream frenzy over cryptocurrency, non-fungible tokens, and other Web3 technologies in full swing, Anheuser-Busch InBev enthusiastically jumped into the fray. Working in tandem with partner Vanyer31, the macrobrewer released one NFT collection after the next, themed around existing, real-life beer brands like Budweiser, Stella Artois, Goose Island, and Bud Light NEXT. It was a weird time!
I reported a bit on these moves in late 2021 and early 2022, and took a closer look at the fairly pathetic reception of tokens themed to Goose Island’s (not-pathetic-IRL) barrel-aging program this past May, but I never got around to doing a comprehensive follow-up on like… how things have been going for all the people who bought these “digital assets” for $400 apiece in cold hard cash.2 Maybe I will at some point.
In the meantime: as you may recall from the feverish heyday of tokenomics and “smart contracts,” one of the big reasons corporations like ABI made moves into NFTs because of the idea that they could be a vessel to establish, grow, and eventually maybe transact with online communities of token-holders that oriented themselves around digital simulacra of IRL goods. As such, both Budweiser and Bud Light launched servers on Discord, a messaging platform popular with Web3 types, and invited NFT holders and other enthusiasts to join. Because I’d reported on this stuff before, and figured I might again, I joined both servers, then mostly forgot about them. But with the Bud Light discourse raging on traditional social media platforms like Twitter, reddit, and Facebook (and 4chan, which is kind of its own thing), I spent the morning lurking in the company’s servers to see how their NFT holders—people who have tied hundreds if not thousands of real dollars up in digital receipts for fake renderings of beer cans—are dealing with the right-wing siege against the brands they’ve figuratively and literally bought into.
Some notes and quotes from the Discord discourse I soaked up after scrolling back to April 1st (the day trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney published the video that touched this whole thing off), in the Bud Light Discord’s Biergarten channel, which is sort of the general chatroom for the server: