Categories
NFT Sports

Now Is a Good Time to Start Practicing Patience with NBA Top Shot

It’s OK to go fishing.

That’s what Jack Settleman, noted NFT enthusiast and contributor to this very website, said last weekend when discussing the state of NBA Top Shot on a YouTube livestream.

Settleman’s statement crystallized a lot of what I’ve been feeling about a platform that has had a rapid rise, and is now creating frustration, confusion even, from a lot of its users. 

FUD is high for Top Shot, with optimists pointing to the NBA Playoffs—still a long five weeks away—as a near term opportunity for another exciting time in the marketplace.

But despite the negativity, this is a community, an ecosystem, that’s still engaged. Really, really engaged.

In the month of March, when “undercutting” rose to prominence and many moment’s lowest-asks cratered 50% or more, contributing to a decreasing overall marketcap, new users continued to come in and explore the platform. While many may have been relying on pack drops and not investing through the marketplace, all indications remain that when registration is open, new users will continue to sign up at an impressive pace.

Even further, existing users didn’t let up on their overall engagement.

Top Shot has spawned an incredible ecosystem. With much of its transaction data and activity publicly accessible, and its entire premise built on an entirely new way to express your NBA fandom, moonlighting podcasters and data analysts have given way to and endless amount of resources and information to speculate and discuss what’s going on with Top Shot—every minute of every day. 

The frenzy has been unrelenting.

In fact, since December, daily user sessions and average session time on NBATopShot.com outpaced that of two prominent investment platforms, Fidelity.com and Schwab.com, according to SEMRush.com. Yes that’s right, people are probably checking their Top Shot collection value and the marketplace more frequently than their equities portfolio, the latter of which is quite literally a window into what makes our world go around.

Websites like MomentRanks.com and LiveToken.co, new staples in the Top Shot ecosystem, are still too new to obtain reliable data, but you can probably assume they’d further confirm how frequently the Top Shot community is checking in and feeling a forced need to take action themselves, whether they really need to or not.

https://www.semrush.com/
SEM Rush

It’s all great as an indicator for future growth and success, but it asks the question if the amount of consumption is necessary, or even wildly unhealthy?

If you enter a new position on a stock, set up your dollar cost average strategy on Bitcoin, or buy a sought after Ja Morant rookie card, it’s very unlikely you are looking at their value incessantly (unless you day trade), with the intent to flip or, in the case of what’s happening too often in the Top Shot Marketplace with very little justification, panic selling for an immediate loss or small gain due to fear and impatience. 

The speed and immediacy inherent to Top Shot certainly can be a good thing, but it’s brought with it a contagious reflex that if something exciting isn’t happening right at this minute, or the next minute, that Rome might start burning. And we might have too many people around to hint at that, and too many more to spread the news ourselves.

Collectibles shouldn’t be like that.

My suggestion? Practice some patience!

Maybe even embrace periods of boredom or de-prioritizing Top Shot. Look at the marketplace as a space rich with moments with cool stories built around them. Buy what you want, sell what you don’t, maybe check your account value a few times a week, then go on with your life. You’ll be blissfully ignorant to the the dangerous pump and dumps, quick price drops, and be better off for it. Top Shot will still be there, along with all those Sam Merrill’s Top Shot Debut moments.

I don’t believe Dapper Labs built this with the intent to demand your constant attention as a requirement to enjoy the platform and experience. The market may stabilize, FUD may diminish, and our general feeling about what we’re investing in may improve… if we just go fishing.

Categories
NFT Sports

Are NBA Top Shot Challenges Worth It? Yes and No!

NBA Top Shot has taken a bit of a dip in user activity over the last few weeks. There have been some major news splashes with Dapper Labs (the team behind NBA Top Shot) raising over $300M, valuing the company over $2B. The investor group featured Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant, and others, an understated bullish sign that NBA Top Shot is here to stay.

Challenges have become a staple of activity among collectors in the NBA Top Shot community. Many have struggled to identify whether challenges should be completed. That has turned out to be a difficult question to answer for many reasons.  

The first thing you need to decide is whether you are a collector or investor. An investor is going to be looking for the highest EV opportunities to put their money into. On the other hand, a collector is someone who plans on holding their moments long-term (3+ years) and does not mind losing out on EV.  

I consider myself to be a bit of a hybrid. I own moments that I do not plan on selling anytime soon. Those moments mainly consist of moments from Nets players and a couple other high-end moments I believe will appreciate in the future. Participating in challenges allows me to participate and engage in the NBA Top Shot community. For every challenge I can afford, I of course am looking for the most optimal time to buy in and collect the required moments for a challenge. 

NBA Top Shot

Over the past month, a lot of people involved in Top Shot have taken a few steps back. Prices have plummeted from all-time highs, there is less chatter in the discord, and the euphoric hype that we saw throughout February has seemingly subsided. While some people blame challenges for encouraging people to dump their current moment, I believe that the challenges are keeping the community engaged outside of pack drops while we wait on the NBA Top Shot ‘game’ that is rumored to come later down the road.  

Being involved in the Top Shot community is another way to grow your brand, learn new information, and most importantly meet new people. I have been able to make great friends and connections in the community, some of which would not have been made had I not adopted the concept of NBA Top Shot early on. Challenges can keep you in the game in what feels like a half-time.  

On the other hand, investors who are strictly looking to make a profit off NBA Top Shot will need to do a lot more research into challenges. With prices steadily dropping for the past 5-6 weeks, the viability of profiting off challenges may be tougher to grasp.  Check out the Seeing Stars 1 challenge that has already been completed, courtesy of OwnTheMoment.

NBA Top Shot / Own the Moment

As you can see, with the steady decline in average price, the best time to buy in the Seeing Stars 1 challenge was at the last moment—no pun intended.  

There is some manual calculation that goes into determining the expected value of the challenge reward. It’s a task that requires a lot of speculation and analytical work. OwnTheMoment does a great job breaking down that information for followers, and I recommend giving them a follow.

Another thing to consider when completing a challenge as an investor is that serial number will play a MAJOR part in the value of the challenge reward. For example, from the latest Holo Icon drop, the #1 serial LeBron James is valued at over $100,000.  5 figure scores are quite common when landing a #1 serial and while unlikely, is something that an investor will need to keep in mind.

For the time being, the larger number of completions in a challenge has indicated to a lower expected value of the challenge reward. Anyone looking to invest in NBA Top Shot for profit will need to be looking to complete the higher-end challenges that not many collectors can complete.

I believe the latest Tyrese Haliburton Holo Icon challenge will be completed for +EV.  The maximum number of completions for the challenge is capped at 99 because the challenge requirements are /99. 

NBA Top Shot

With this knowledge we can assume that 20-50 people will have the capital and decide to complete the challenge. This creates one of the scarcest moments on the platform with a rookie year and rookie mint badge. Consider that a lot of people who received the challenge requirements in today’s pack drop will be looking to flip, and the Tyrese Haliburton buzzer-beating 3-pointer looks like an amazing opportunity.

As I mentioned earlier, it is critical to identify yourself as an investor or collector when considering whether to pursue an NBA Top Shot challenge. I encourage those of you with the funds to participate as they are an amazing way to stay engaged with the platform and community! Also, the sweat for a great serial number is right up there with the pack drop queue. 

If you have any questions regarding NBA Top Shot challenges, feel free to reach out to me via Twitter DM: @Bobby2Nicee.  Happy collecting!

Categories
Art NFT

Async Art, NFTs and the Programmable Media Movement

Greater utility gives NFTs greater value.

In previous articles, I discussed a couple of NFT use cases, namely the ability to display NFTs within virtual worlds, and the ability to use NFTs as access passes for exclusive content. In this post, I’d like to further explore NFT utility in the form of programmable artwork.

Programmable art is a new, experimental art movement that first broke onto the scene in February 2020 with the debut of the first rare, programmable art platform – Async Art. Leveraging the power of Ethereum-based smart contracts, Async Art empowers creatives to create new types of artworks that can evolve over time, and react to its token owners.

https://async.art/art/master/0xb6dae651468e9593e4581705a09c10a76ac1e0c8-0
First Supper

To display the capabilities of this new technology, Async Art launched with the first-ever programmable artwork—a collaborative piece that features the work of 13 different artists, aptly titled First Supper. The artists involved include: Shortcut, Josie Bellini, Sparrow, MLIBTY, Vans Design, Alotta Money, Twisted Vacancy, Coldie, Hackatao, XCOPY, Matt Kane, Rutger van der Tas, and myself, Connie Digital.

How Programmable Art Works

Understanding how programmable art works requires understanding how the artwork is composed. On the Async Art platform, each piece consists of a Master composite and Layer images. Both the Master and the Layers are individual NFTs. The Master is the single edition (1 of 1) composition of the dynamic work of art. Layers are all the visual elements that make up that Master. As an example, First Supper is the Master artwork which consists of 22 Layers (individual parts created by the artists involved).

Layers have unique abilities that are determined by the artist at creation. Some of these abilities include: changes in state, scale, color, rotation, opacity, and more. Owners of Layer NFTs have exclusive control over these abilities and can make Layer changes to alter the visual look of the Master. This means when a collector purchases a Layer NFT they have the opportunity to directly influence the artists’ work.

Greater utility gives NFTs greater value.

Artists are excited about the possibilities of programmable tools because they allow for the creation of extremely dynamic works. In fact, some artists have experimented with creating autonomous artworks that change based on various sources of information. One such example is time-based NFT artworks that change based on day and night cycles. Another example involves conditional rules for Layers that change based on bitcoin price fluctuations, or special annual events like birthdays.

Milestones and Programmable Music
Async

In October 2020, Async Art collaborated with the world’s leading auction house Christie’s to auction-off Robert Alice’s programmable NFT – Block 21. This marked the first time in history that an NFT was sold by any major auction house, fetching a price of $131,250. Since then, Async Art has gone on to release a browser Tab Extension to showcase artworks, an Apple TV app for displaying works on larger screens, and the team also secured a $2M+ round of funding.

With new funding secured, the next focus for the platform appears to be onboarding more creators—including musicians. In the same way smart contracts and programmability have forever changed art, these tools also have the ability to forever change music. And my bet is that it will.

Programmable music will work similarly to programmable art with each piece being composed of a single Master Track NFT and multiple Stem NFTs. Stem NFTs are effectively the same as Layer NFTs. They have the ability to alter what the Master Track both looks and sounds like.

Async / Connie Digital

This is because the Master Track cover art is also an Async artwork. Activating different Stems means the cover art will change according to the artists’ programmed design. Stem NFTs also give their owners the power to determine which variant of that Stem is being played in the Master Track (the current live song).

Imagine vocal Stems with up to 9 different lyric variants that collectors can mix and match against 9 different beat variants. Each possible combination of the Stems adds a richer meaning to the full track, while at the same time providing a fun experience of ‘unlocking’ different versions of the song.

With programmable music, fans can now become active participants in the listening experience. They can interact with the sound and the musician in ways that were not possible before. They effectively have the power to decide which version of the Master Track the world hears.

Greater utility gives NFTs greater value.


Async Music will launch in late April with a diverse spectrum of musical genres, including works from Verdigris Ensemble, HMLTD, Connie Digital and Mighty33, and one yet to be announced artist. You can get all the launch details by following Async on Twitter.

Categories
Music NFT

Ill-Esha’s “CRYPTOWAVES” is a Crypto Sound Design NFT Experience

One of the most sought after Underground “Godmothers” of Bass music and exquisite sound design is pioneering a new form of creativity in which she interfaces multiple layers of collaboration with interwoven blockchain codings and crypto synthetic visual stimulation.

Elysha Zaide is a Canadian born electronic music artist, producer, singer and DJ known for her work in the bass music world, as well as her unique style of singing and DJing simultaneously. She produces music as “ill-esha” and teaches sound design at Berklee College of Music in Valencia, Spain. During my time in bass music culture, I was lucky enough to cross paths with her and come in as direct support on several occasions at various music festivals and clubs across the United States. I have known her inspirational sound for over a decade now. In 80% of my DJ sets between 2009-2018, it’s a guarantee that there were always at least a few of her well crafted bangers mixed in. 

She has always been on the front lines of ground-breaking soundscapes, telling stories with tantalizing melodies and harmonies layered on top of crisp bass lines and drums that knock just right. Her first NFT project is an experience that breaks all boundaries and gives the listener a brand new audio experience.  

Her upcoming NFT release, titled “CRYPTOWAVES PT. 1”, is a 4 track moment in time based on the story of a character known as “The Orphan”.

She states in her recent post on Medium.com: “Crypto is blowing up like crazy—what does that sound like? I wanted to take the excitement, the rush, the revolution, the complete overthrowing of the system, and in spirit of making something unique, I wanted to weave a rich story, a puzzle with clues scattered throughout.  So I set some guidelines for this journey:

  1. I would make a four track EP, telling a story both universal and completely encoded with crypto terminologies.
  2. Every sound on the EP ( aside from my voice, or few environmental sounds taken in the creation process) would be sourced entirely from wavetables generated using 2021 first-quarter charts for four cryptocurrencies.
  3. Every song title would both represent a chapter in this hero’s journey, and correspond to an actual finance term. Lyrics would also have these phrases and words deeply embedded into the storyline.”

This NFT will launch onto the auction block on April 19th via Staxe.Io with a LIVE Album release party in collaboration with the auction ending. This will be streaming as a LIVE VR event as well. 

Staxe is a DeFi/Blockchain-based platform focused on the tokenization, financing and investment of live and online productions. Staxe’s goal is to enhance economic opportunities in the live and creative industries via blockchain technology. To do this, it links and safeguards the interests of creatives and investors under an automated and secure platform.

The company recently developed its ‘Staxe NFT Launchpad’, which combines an NFT drop with a live performance, whether during a concert/show, streaming or VR performance. The Launchpad showcases artists and creatives in a live performance during the final moments of their NFT drop auction, boosting the NFT collection in a highly interactive and unique new way in order to enhance the resulting value captured by an NFT drop with the power of live events.

I spoke with ill-esha about her current creative endeavor on the newest episode (#14) of “The Music Ministry Podcast”. Check it out here.

I’m looking forward to the future of what unfolds within the evolution of this astonishing creative and tech renaissance for all of the amazing artists that will rise from the shift taking place.

Categories
Music NFT

Tycho Announces TYCHO : ISO50, a Combined Visual-Audio NFT Project with Perks

There’s no denying NFTs have become a catch-all solution to monetize any and all creative work.

Buried throughout the ocean of high-profile individuals flocking to crypto art as a get-rich-quick scheme are those who embody the spirit and ethos of permanent digital media.

This post spotlights one of those very actors—Scott Hansen—as he dives headlong into web3 through a foundation that was seemingly developed exactly for this future.

Setting the Stage

Having spent the past two decades creating visual art as ISO50 and music as Tycho, Hansen is taking his first step into crypto art with his forthcoming TYCHO : ISO50 collection on Nifty Gateway on April 15th.

Starting his career as a graphic designer, Hansen fell in love with creating cover arts under the moniker ISO50. The name references a type of slide film, personifying his passion of giving audio a more physical, real experience through visual art.

This portfolio—now housed at iso50.com—has started to resurface in recent weeks. Detailed throughout his collections are commissioned works, show posters and cover arts from projects past. Having won accolades such as the FWA awards, ISO50 was an industry leader—making its way to everything from corporate clothing apparels to niche communities like Pretty Lights.

https://iso50.com/
Courtesy of Tycho

It’s no surprise that Hansen soon tried his hand at audio to accompany his visual works. The birth of Tycho was a direct output of the ISO50 operating system, acting as the soundtrack for the imagery and visual world that is ISO50. 

“If it wasn’t for ISO50, Tycho probably wouldn’t exist,” notes Hansen.

Offering a nostalgic edge, Tycho’s sound is meant to capture a moment in time. As the vague approximations of time shift and evolve, Hansen’s creative output offers a bedrock to immortalize a timestamp in the listener’s life.

Enter Web3

Naturally, this is where NFTs come into play.

“Video has never found a meaningful home, until now” comments Hanen. His first foray into the space—Element—offers a glimpse into the past, present and future of TYCHO : ISO50. The collection showcases four unique locations, each earmarked with a specific natural element and a score of unreleased music.

“I’ve always been drawn to the intersection of audio and visual and have spent my career creating works that seamlessly melds the two,” commented Hansen. “This story showcases the natural evolution from visual to audio—offering a glimpse into the future of how these mediums live in harmony thanks to web3.”

Whether you’re a Tycho fan or not, there’s no denying that the mending of these two worlds is the exact audio visual experience that many collectors have come to know and love. With the winner of the 1/1 auction receiving lifetime VIP (+1) passes and a virtual studio tour, his first release teases a growing ISO50 virtual universe—one which this writer is stoked to be a part of.

And what use might that lifetime pass have? Tycho just sold out his first 6 shows of 2021, bringing his talents to the scenic wine country of St. Helena in early June. To the winner of the 1/1—the first TYCHO : ISO50 shows in 10 years are just a bid away.

Until then, fans can rest assured that Tycho is starting a new chapter, one in which the community ownership takes center stage.

If there was ever a time to become a Tycho superfan, it’s now.

Be on the lookout for more information from Tycho in the coming days as he frequents Discord server, Clubhouses and chat groups near you.

To the artists out there, let this story show that audio visual work has found a home in web3, and creators like Scott Hansen are bound to show why this page in history is sure to leave a mark.

Categories
Art NFT

KidSuper Brings CryptoSupers to the NFT Landscape

Artists are coming up with new ways to create NFT projects every day. Although traditional visual art has made a lot of headlines in the past few weeks, almost any form of art can be converted into something mint-able as an NFT. So couldn’t a sculpture be an NFT?

It absolutely could. Iconic brand KidSuper Studios, helmed by Colm Dillane, is auctioning off 3 NFT animations of some absolutely mesmerizing sculptures today, April 12th on Nifty Gateway. The stop-motion style animation project—titled “CryptoSupers”—features three caricatures: Bodega Man, BallonGirl and The Wandering Traveler. Even Elon Musk has thrown a bid down on a KidSuper NFT! Each of the NFTs also comes with a physical asset, in addition to the sculpture’s personal superpowers.

Bodega Man
https://niftygateway.com/itemdetail/primary/0x04f20e4767ed1bf7cb3d08385b9bfe8bc0726c70/1
KidSuper

The Bodega Man NFT comes with an absolutely amazing superpower: “Ability to talk to anyone about anything with the utmost confidence.” Just like your neighborhood bodega man. The NFT also comes with real life collectible resin cuboids with 1/1 CryptoSuper fossil. This one is my personal favorite.

The Wandering Traveler
https://niftygateway.com/itemdetail/primary/0x04f20e4767ed1bf7cb3d08385b9bfe8bc0726c70/3
KidSuper

The Wandering Traveler has a pretty killer super power as well: “The constant nomad, ability to survive in any scenario.” The little animation with accompanying bindle sack (and an entirely fresh fit) also comes with the aforementioned resin cuboids with 1/1 CryptoSuper fossil.

BallonGirl
https://niftygateway.com/itemdetail/primary/0x04f20e4767ed1bf7cb3d08385b9bfe8bc0726c70/2
KidSuper

The BallonGirl, like the other two, has a super power of her own: “Ability to float high up into the sky without an ounce of fear.” Her balloons and flowery dress are a show-stopper. Her NFT also comes with the aforementioned physical items.

For some information on the process of creating the figures, check out this video from KidSuper’s IG:

The auction ends today, so make sure to take a look at the collection on Nifty Gateway if you’re in the market for some killer NFTs.

Categories
NFT Sports

Topps Baseball Cards Enter The NFT Space

The Topps Company announced their foray into the NFT space, with the release of 2021 Topps Series 1 Baseball NFT collectibles set to launch on Tuesday, April 20th. The MLB-licensed digital collectibles are “digitally enhanced and creatively reimagined” from the physical cards, including themed animated backgrounds and 3D team cubes.

“The partnership between Major League Baseball, MLB Players, Inc. and Topps has delighted collectors and fans for generations, celebrating the legendary players and iconic moments that have defined America’s Pastime,” said Tobin Lent, VP & General Manager of Topps Digital Sports & Entertainment at The Topps Company. “Our MLB blockchain NFT series debut marks a historic moment in the modern evolution of collecting for both traditional and new collectors. We’re excited to bring almost a decade’s worth of digital collectibles innovations to 2021 Topps Series 1 and provide another fun avenue for fans to collect their favorite heroes and moments with secure digital ownership on the blockchain.”

In a special promotion, the first 10,000 people who signed up to receive alerts from Topps were eligible to receive a free Topps MLB Opening Day NFT pack. They successfully reached those 10,000 sign-ups within hours of the announcement. 

wallet.wax.io

For those who would like to purchase a pack, the first “Series 1” drop will take place on April 20th at 1pm EST, with 50,000 $5 “standard packs” (containing 6 cards) and 25,000 $100 “Premium Packs” (45 cards) being offered. Buyers will have a slightly better chance of scoring rare collectibles inside of the “Premium Packs”. 

wallet.wax.io

They’ll be available through the WAX Cloud Wallet, which also offers NFT collectibles for brands such as Street Fighter, Godzilla and Topps Garbage Pail Kids. For fans of NFT sports collectibles who are familiar with basketball’s wildly popular NBA Top Shot, the difference here is that Topps will not be minting digital highlights, but will focus instead on digitizing their printed cards. The borders and backgrounds will move, but the players will not. 

wallet.wax.io

This is not the first time that Topps has offered digital collectibles, as they have been in that space since 2012, including their flagship baseball app Topps Bunt. In 2018, Topps launched MLB Crypto Baseball, which were cartoon bobbleheads that were traded on the Ethereum blockchain and never really took off.

Topps also recently announced on April 6th that chairman and former Disney CEO Michael Eisner is taking the company public in a SPAC deal that valued Topps at $1.3 billion. 

Categories
Art NFT

RTFKT and FEWOCiOUS Are Back At It, Pushing the Envelope with NFT Drops

If you’ve been keeping up with digital art NFTs at all, then it’s likely you know the name RTFKT. The next-gen studio has released some of the sickest pieces of digital art in the past few months, but more than that, they’ve constantly tinkered with mechanics of releasing, making every single drop a unique experience. Their previous Among Drip collection was released in a loot box style and, before that, their sneaker drop with FEWOCiOUS gave collectors the opportunity to actually get a physical shoe as well.

Well they’re back at it again, this time with FEWO WORLD’s 1st Forging Event. Taking place today, April 10th at 10am PST, the event offers an opportunity for owners of the FEWO SHOES to cash in on even more bonuses, like physical shoes and this incredible ledger. This collab is a game-changer again; although new NFTs drop every day, by including physical assets and other opportunities for collector interaction, RFTKT has created a living, ongoing art piece.

RTFKT

If you were lucky enough to nab one of the FEWO SHOES, then make sure to attend today’s event to grab some more gear from the killer studio and burgeoning digital artist. FEWO WORLD is focused on merging virtual and physical craftsmanship, providing collectors with dope physical assets and upgrades thanks to their BLUEPRINT NFTs. The first event will include:

  • The physical shoes and a premium full print box full of FEWO artworks.
  • Custom Limited Edition Ledgers Crypto Hardwallets
  • Premium Limited edition stickers
  • Tie Dye and Long Sleeve Tees
  • Decentraland Wearables sneakers
  • And more…

This is just the first of many forgiving events that will take place throughout the year, with RTFKT using different themes and innovating the mechanics each time. Take a look at the ledger and sneakers available to FEWO SHOES holders below, and make sure to check their website for more info on all the items:

RTFKT

RTFKT

RTFKT

Categories
Finance NFT

The 10 Best Crypto Wallets To Try in 2021

Looking for a new crypto wallet? Looking to start your first one? Here are ten recommendations for the best crypto wallets in 2021 (no particular order). If you don’t know what a wallet is, you should learn more about bitcoin first.

Different types of wallets

Before diving into my favorites, let’s distinguish between different types of crypto wallets. Cold wallets are made from hardware. They are physical devices where you can “cold” store your crypto. “Hot” wallets operate through software or web-based applications. They require an on-grid connection (in most cases). There are certainly other wallet types, like paper, for example. But those are the main wallet types most beginner or intermediate users end up using.

Good Cold Wallet: Ledger
https://www.ledger.com/
Ledger

Platforms: Mac OS, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android

Coins: 1,000+ (all the big ones and more)

Ledger is one of the most popular hardware crypto wallets available, boasting over 1,000,000 devices sold. These handheld devices are perfect for anyone looking for secure storage of their cryptocurrency. There is an LED display for payment validation and PIN required for access. There is also a two-factor authentication option for increased security. The device runs on its own OS called Ledger Live, compatible with Windows (7+), Mac (10.8+) and Linux. There is also a mobile app version available on iOS and Androids. Ledger Nano S runs for about $59.

The original model, the Nano S, does not have bluetooth compatibility. The main perk of the Nano X version (double the price) is the ability to connect your wallet anywhere you have a mobile phone and internet access.

Good for beginners: Coinbase
https://www.coinbase.com/
Coinbase

Platforms: iOS and Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux

Coins: 20 (Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, TRON, and BAT)

Coinbase is an easy solution for users looking to purchase Bitcoin. In crypto, there is a slight barrier to entry for users with US bank accounts (regulations are slowly evolving). Coinbase makes it easy to link your bank account, buy crypto, convert your crypto to fiat and send it back to your bank account. It sounds simple, but the more you immerse yourself in the world of blockchain, the more you’ll appreciate a product that can efficiently accomplish that. Coinbase is also a large player in the space, so you can trust their customer support and infrastructure.

Good for mobile use: Coinomi
https://www.coinomi.com/en/
Coinomi

Platforms: Mac OS, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android

Coins: 125 cryptocurrencies and 382 tokens (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, etc.)

With millions of active users and no hacks reported to date, Coinomi is a convenient option for both mobile and desktop users. There are no flat fees so you can get different rates depending on the market. The interface is customizable, and they offer plenty of coins to build a diverse portfolio.

Good cold wallet: Trezor
https://trezor.io/
Trezor.io

Platforms: Windows, Linux

Coins: 1,000+ (Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether, Dash, etc.)

Trezor, made by Satoshi Labs, Inc, is another widely popular wallet. Trezor operates either as a Desktop app or through their website. There are thousands of coins available on their platform. The hardware is secured through a user-generated pin on an LED display. You can plug your Trezor into your device via USB. The good part about Trezor is its integration with other popular tools like MetaMask. You can reap the benefits of both cold storage and many third-party apps.

Good for web users: Blockchain.com
https://www.blockchain.com/
Blockchain.com

Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux

Coins: Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash, and Stellar Lumens.

Blockchain.com started out as a block explorer, but it’s quickly become a large company with a wide range of financial services. Boasting over 40 million users, Blockchain.com has low commission fees and proper security measures. The trade-off? The verification process is as rigorous as it gets, so users looking for anonymity should look elsewhere. There is also a limited number of tokens available on their platform: Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash, and Stellar Lumens.

Affordable cold wallet: SafePal S1
https://www.safepal.io/
SafePal

Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux

Coins: 20+ blockchains and 10,000+ tokens

The SafePal is shaped like a credit card, so it fits right in your regular wallet. It does not rely on WiFi or Bluetooth to connect, but rather a local QR connection. This enhances security. Users can access their crypto using the SafePal app. SafePal has thousands of cryptocurrencies available on their platform, making it easy to store all your portfolio needs. 

Good for security: KeepKey
https://keepkey.shapeshift.com/get-started/
KeepKey

Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux

Coins: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, Dash, Dogecoin, Litecoin

KeepKey separates itself from top competitors like Ledger and Trezor through increased security. KeepKey does not use an operating system, making it near impossible for malware to occur. As a USB-enabled device, it is also super easy to use. This is a good option for more passive wallet users, since KeepKey has only 35 cryptocurrencies available.

Good for on-the-go users: WalletGenerator
https://walletgenerator.net/
WalletGenerator

Platforms: Windows, Mac

Coins: 197 (Bitcoin, Cashcoin, Litecoin, Emerald, Dash etc.)

WalletGenerator is a paper wallet. What does that mean? It’s a crypto wallet… made of paper. You can access WalletGenerator on GitHub and open the index.html to generate a public address. In order to store and use the coins, you have to improve the private address on a client provided on their website. You can then print out a sheet with a QR code and take it with you on the go. You don’t have to depend on any device to make a transaction as long as the other party has a way to send or receive the crypto. This is a great option to prevent malware, the only downside is the risk of losing your paper wallet, since it is a physical asset!

Good for desktop: Exodus
https://www.exodus.com/
Exodus

Platforms: Windows, Mac, and Linux, iOS and Android

Coins: 70+ cryptocurrencies (on native app)

Exodus is an ideal wallet for desktop users. The app is anonymous and can be used to exchange crypto. You can see real-time charts and Exodus provides round the clock support. Like some other exchange apps, Exodus is compatible with Trezor wallets. You can also link up your Exodus on mobile to get regular updates on your wallet.

Good for Bitcoin: Electrum
https://electrum.org/#home
Electrum

Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux

Coins: Bitcoin

This is a good choice for Bitcoin beginners. Electrum is one of the oldest wallets in the game, forming in 2011. It operates around 10% of all Bitcoin transactions, charging 0.2 mBTC per transaction. In some instances, you can reduce that fee. The interface is easy to use and navigate, making it an easy choice for first-timers looking to get some skin in the game. Electrum is entirely web-based, meaning you can connect anywhere to get on. There are compatible mobile apps as well.

There are thousands of wallets available on the market. What works best for you largely depends on what you are looking to get out of your crypto wallet. Some people just want to buy coins and let them sit, whereas other folks want to regularly make transactions on-the-go. I’d recommend choosing companies that have already built a solid reputation (look for subreddits, discussion forums, reviews). That’s my list of the ten best crypto wallets in 2021. What’s yours?

Categories
NFT Sports

Jack Settleman’s Thoughts on the Current NFT x Celebrity Landscape

If you wanted to make a quick cash grab with NFTs, that ship has sailed.

Being first in NFTs is over. 

If you’re an athlete or celebrity who wants to cash in on the NFT craze… I’m here to tell you, you missed the boat on being first. 

Over the last few weeks, we have seen a ton of athletes and celebrities jumping into NFTs. They want to create their own and snag a quick buck. They normally collaborate with someone, but it is owned by them.

I don’t blame people for hopping in. If I could release an NFT for a million dollars today, I would. But I truly don’t believe the short term mentality will win. 

If you want to separate yourself from the others, you will need to do more.

Those who are thoughtful about community, access, and technology will win in the long term. 

If a celebrity wants to release a digital sports card, at least make it cool. You need to make it a cool piece of art. Just making one for the sake of making one won’t cut it anymore.

AGAIN – I WANT TO CLARIFY – I GET IT. 

If I could make a quick buck right now, it would be awfully tempting. 

But those going for the quick cash grab are very obvious.

However, I think there is a way to enhance the art. 

The next step would be to create value by offering access and adding to your community. If you own 1/50 NFTs that I release, I will follow you on IG. Or I will give you a signed jersey. 

Let’s continue to go to the next level.

If you grab one of Post Malone’s digital cards, he could offer you backstage access to his concerts. That way, it comes with a community engagement dynamic.

One thing I feel passionate about is that consumers are too good at seeing through the bullshit. The hype of your favorite athlete coming in is starting to settle. It has become clear that people can tell if you are trying to build community or if you are trying to cash out. 

That is why these cash-outs are coming to a halt.