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Finance NFT

A Beginner’s Guide to Staking Crypto

Any active crypto investor should be familiar with the concept of staking, aka winning bags for HODL. Let’s learn more about what staking is, why you may want to do it, and how staking can help optimize your portfolio.

In web3, there are many opportunities to automate your alpha. When I think of staking, I think of the age-old adage: let your money work as hard for you, as you work for it.

While I wouldn’t consider staking an aggressive investment strategy, it is a relatively safe and easy way to actively earn interest on your hard-earned money.

What is staking?

In crypto, staking is the process of committing assets to a blockchain network. By committing assets, you allow block transactions to be validated. The more staking occurs, the more robust a blockchain becomes.

So by improving their reliability, networks are willing to reward you with more coins for staking, thus earning you interest for basically just hitting a button and walking away.

How does staking work?

Your commitment to an asset is used to confirm transactions and provides stability to a network. When the protocol chooses your commitment to confirm blocks of transactions, you are rewarded with more cryptocurrency as the validator of that transaction.

Proof-of-stake currencies rely on staking as a means for validating transactions. Proof-of-work blockchains, like Bitcoin, do not permit staking and instead rely on mathematical puzzles to reward validators.

The benefits of staking

When it comes to staking, there are many benefits you may discover, such as:

  • Earning interest on your cryptocurrency
  • Low barrier to entry (no hardware, expensive tools, or technical expertise needed)
  • Requires less energy than mining crypto

So if I stake ETH, I don’t have to be a programmer, I don’t have to gobble up carbon, and I earn interest? What’s the catch?

Well, for networks like Ethereum, you need meaningful holdings to be eligible for staking. You couldn’t buy 1 ETH and expect to win rewards as a validator. More on that in a sec.

What cryptocurrencies can I stake?

To stake, a cryptocurrency must support a proof-of-stake model. For example, Bitcoin only allows proof-of-work (here’s the exception to bitcoin staking).

Ethereum, on the other hand, incorporates a hybrid model of proof-of-work and proof-of-stake and plans to go full stake with Ethereum 2.0.

Here are some popular cryptocurrencies you can stake:

Ethereum

The OG programmable blockchain, Ethereum allows staking with returns as high as 17 percent, but you need a minimum of 32 ETH to qualify. With that said, platforms like Aave and Polygon, built on Layer 2 Ethereum, enable staking of their tokens with no minimum required.

Staking MATIC (polygon) and AAVE is an easy but effective way to put ETH-universe dollars to work. These platforms allow you to quickly exchange your ETH for L2 tokens, earn interest, and bring it back to L1 in minutes. Now we just need to lower gas fees.

Tezos

Tezos incorporates a proof-of-stake model, known for its energy efficiency compared to Bitcoin’s proof-of-work. You can stake Tezos with solid returns on platforms like Everstake. Tezos has proven its reliability over the years and there are a lot of new projects launching on their network.

Solana

Solana, Ethereum’s main scalable competitor, has several wallets that support staking such as phantom.app and solflare.com.

Solana rewards as much as 6.35% APR as of September 2021.
You can learn more about staking Solana here.

Cardano

Staking Cardano is comparable to a traditional savings account, whereby holders can stake their assets with the click of a button and expect positive long-term results.

Even after staking, you can move your ADA freely and take it out of staking completely if you’d like.

Polkadot

Staking on Polkadot requires a minimum of 120 DOT and they have a set maximum of nominators at 22,500.

You can not transfer your tokens on Polkadot while they are bonded. The current annual yield on Polkadot is around 10%, according to Ledger.

How to stake crypto:

Using an exchange

Crypto exchanges can be used to stake cryptocurrency. Bear in mind that you do not actually hold the cryptocurrency to earn rewards for staking. Rather, you are providing liquidity for the exchange to stake on your behalf.

Coinbase would be a popular example.

Using a wallet

Some wallets also permit staking. LedgerLive is one of the most popular choices for users looking to stake cryptocurrency directly from their web3 wallet.

Staking-as-a-service

If you are worried about slashing (losing your funds due to price drops), you can employ a staking service provider that will closely monitor your funds around the clock to avoid that doomsday scenario.

DeFi staking

As mentioned, an L2 Ethereum defi protocol like Aave allows you to easily stake cryptocurrency. There are a plethora of defi platforms that enable staking.

Similar to an exchange, when using a defi platform, you are lending your cryptocurrency to the protocol. The most secure way to stake an asset is directly on a cold-chain wallet. Defi protocols, however, are popular because of their ease of use.

Some tools like Binance offer flexible versus locked staking. If you choose flexible staking, you earn lower APYs but can more easily liquidate your funds.

Ultimately, there are many options for staking in the Defi space. It’s up to you to decide which option is right for you and understand the risks that are involved in the staking process.

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Finance NFT

The ENS Airdrop is Here: Why It’s Important and How To Claim Your Tokens

What is an ENS?

An Ethereum Name Service (ENS) domain is equal to a DNS domain but offers a decentralized and secure way to map your name to your Ethereum wallet address. ENS domains end in .eth and can be bought, sold, and traded on the Ethereum blockchain. For more info, read up here.

If you own a .eth domain, you have the ability to deploy smart contracts that let you set up your own subdomains to correspond with a Dapp to make it user-friendly. ENS launched on May 4th, 2017 and each domain has to contain at least 7 or more characters.

What is the ENS Token drop?

The $ENS token is an important step in further decentralizing the governance of the ENS protocol. The $ENS token empowers the community members to guide its development, community treasury, and technical framework.

At 7pm ET Nov 8, 2021 the ENS governance token $ENS launches and the token claim site opens up to start claiming your tokens. If you owned an ENS domain on or before October 31, 2021 when the snapshot was taken, you are eligible to claim $ENS tokens based on the formula calculated on the history of your wallet address. Here’s what’s included in the formula:

  • Age of .ETH address
  • Expiry dates (longer registrations get more $ENS) 
  • Owners who have set their Primary ENS, formerly called the Reverse Record, get a 2x multiplier
https://ens.mirror.xyz/

Based on these factors, $ENS tokens will be distributed to all .eth holders wallet addresses. Keep in mind that the distribution is per wallet holder, not per ENS name. There will be a total of 100 million total $ENS tokens, and the distribution is as follows:

  1. 25% airdrop to .ETH holders (>137k accounts) 
  2. 25% to ENS contributors (>100 individuals and groups, plus hundreds of Discord users) 
  3. 50% to the DAO community treasury
How to claim your ENS tokens

If you own a .eth address and you’re eligible to claim $ENS tokens, follow these steps to claim your $ENS tokens:

  1. Go to https://claim.ens.domains/
  2. Connect your wallet
  3. Select Start Your Claim Process
  4. Review the ENS info, then click Next
  5. Constitutional Vote – Help shape the community by voting off-chain on an initial set of guidelines using Snapshot (you may vote for or against the guidelines). Once you have finished voting, submit your votes by confirming with your wallet.
  6. Choose a delegate – select a community member to represent you, keep in mind you can change who represents you at any time.
    • You can choose from a delegate applicant
    • You can select a delegate not listed by entering their .eth address
    • You can delegate the voting power to yourself by entering your own ENS name
  7. Review your claim amount and delegate choice, then select Claim. This transaction is onchain so it will require that you pay the gas fee to submit the transaction.

NOTE: The claim website is open until May 4th, 2022 so you can claim at any point between now and then. If you would like to wait for the gas fees to decrease, you can wait up until May.

If you don’t own your own ENS domain, you can purchase your .eth name on ens.domains, however, you won’t be eligible for the token drop since the snapshot of ENS and wallet addresses were taken October 31, 2021, for determining the token distribution.

Can you buy $ENS toknens?

If you would like to purchase your own $ENS tokens, Coinbase will soon be offering $ENS tokens for trade on their platform.

Stay tuned and make sure to follow @ens.eth on Twitter for updates.

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Finance NFT

The Past Week In Crypto: October 20th to October 27th

Welcome to the new edition of “The Past Week in Crypto Adoption,” a weekly recap of companies, institutions, organizations, and individuals who are beginning to adopt crypto as a payment/work platform. With the crypto industry becoming more and more dynamic, this weekly report is meant to help you stay in the loop. The last few days saw crypto becoming more mainstream and being implemented by some of the world’s most prominent organizations across different industries.

1. FTX buys ad space in the upcoming Super Bowl

FTX, the cryptocurrency exchange that is the name sponsor of the Miami Heat as well as a sponsor of Major League Baseball, has announced they will buy ad space in the upcoming Super Bowl. FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried stated that this sponsorship is natural since “Sports fans are 2x more likely to buy crypto, while avid sports fans are almost 3x more likely to do so”. Super Bowl is one of the most-watched sporting events in the world, with over 90 million viewers. The ad space will reportedly cost $5-6 million. With a plethora of crypto companies such as FTX sponsoring sports teams and events, crypto adoption is likely to become even more mainstream.

2. Adobe adding “Prepare as NFT” button in Photoshop

Adobe has announced that they will launch an option that will make it possible to verify NFT creation authenticity. Named “Content Credentials,” the feature will allow NFT creators to link their Adobe ID with their crypto wallet to verify that they are the creator of an NFT. While this does not prevent someone from minting an NFT with the same image, it clarifies who the creator is. Considering that authenticity is a big part of any NFT’s value proposition, this feature can be useful and shows that more companies are adapting to the crypto/NFT industry. 

3. Mastercard to enable banks to offer crypto services.

Banks represent one of the biggest industries in the world and are a critical aspect of the everyday life of people around the world. One of the world’s biggest financial services companies, Mastercard, has announced that it will integrate crypto services into its network. In cooperation with crypto company Bakkt, Mastercard will enable banks in its network to offer programs such as having loyalty program points for hotels or airlines be converted to cryptocurrencies. Banks adopting cryptocurrencies and offering crypto-based features is a turning point for both industries and signals potential future growth for the crypto industry. 

4. FDIC Chairman says that regulators are exploring ways to make it possible for Banks to hold Bitcoin.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has announced that a team of US regulators is working towards “Providing a more straightforward path for Banks to hold Bitcoin. We need to allow banks in this space because if we don’t bring this activity into banks, it will be created outside of it. Then the federal regulators won’t be able to regulate it.” stated Chairman Jelena McWilliams. Suppose banks in the US end up holding Bitcoin. In that case, it will serve as a positive signal for a huge part of the potential buying market that is waiting for traditional institutions to embrace cryptocurrency. 

5. Twitter planning to use Bitcoin to facilitate commerce in its platform

Twitter CFO Ned Segall has stated that “ Bitcoin will be a great way to facilitate commerce on the platform.” Twitter is a social media platform that has over 200 million users. Jack Dorsey, the company’s co-founder and CEO, has repetitively stated his belief in Bitcoin and Blockchain and has announced several products related to this field. These products include “Bluesky,” a decentralized social network, as well as “Tips,” the feature that allows users to tip each other through Bitcoins Lightning Network. The fact that Twitter, a social media app with over 200 million daily active users, considers Bitcoin a key part of its platform shows that there is a belief in the acceptance that its users/customers will have for Bitcoin and crypto-related products. 

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Finance NFT

“Probably Nothing” Educational NFT Podcast Launches Today October 21, 2021

As society begins to better understand Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and the value they hold, curiosity spikes. This curiosity leads people to search for a resource where they can find out more about the technology and all the opportunities that are so abundant in the NFT space.

Alexis Ohanian, Founder of Seven Seven Six and Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Reddit, is teaming up with Tiffany Zhong, Founder and CEO of Islands to launch a new one-stop podcast for NFT news, in-depth analysis, and interviews with industry leaders and market experts.

The Probably Nothing podcast pairs two different perspectives from leading voices in the NFT space. Gen Z Whisperer (Tiffany Zhong) and Millennial (Alexis Ohanian) come together to talk about the future of content, community, commerce, culture, and anything else related to NFTs.

Probably Nothing will serve as an educational and NFT-news focused media brand determined to deliver thoughtful commentary and entertaining interviews with some of the most respected experts and enthusiasts in the industry today. Even more so, Alexis and Tiffany will be letting listeners in on all the latest NFT trends and projects across the space.

There is a lot of information and data when it comes to NFTs. According to data collected by NonFungible.com, NFT sales range anywhere from 15,000 to more than 250,000 per week with $244m in sales in this past week and $1.84b in sales in the past month. That’s why the Probably Nothing podcast aims to be your go-to resource for information on projects and case studies.

“The technology behind NFTs is very real. What we’re seeing right now is one use of this technology—a canvas—and the emerging community of collectors that has already had a huge impact on the art world. I’m asked every day by people—from emerging artists and technologists, to A-list celebrities and multi-billion dollar brands—about how they should be thinking about the space,” said Alexis Ohanian. “Working with Tiffany, this podcast will educate the public on the current trends, dive into the history of NFTs, and bring guests on to help us define where this is headed.”

Alexis Ohanian has years of experience not only with collecting and investing in NFTs, but also with the companies that support the development of NFT communities and creator monetization platforms.

Tiffany Zhong, founder and CEO of Islands, a technology company that builds economic infrastructure, is also a big NFT collector and crypto enthusiast OG, planting her roots in the space all the way back in 2017. Tiffany is also a leading voice as the Gen Z Whisperer, providing valuable insight on trends and market behavior. 

“NFTs have applications everywhere from games to fine art to collectibles and everyone is trying to become the next big thing in the space,” said Tiffany Zhong, Founder and CEO, Islands. “Probably Nothing gives you a front-row seat to where the industry is going. We keep you informed of the latest trends across NFTs and serve as an interactive portal to the most interesting minds in the space and highlight some of the coolest projects and case studies happening right now.”

Upcoming guests on the podcast includes several notable NFT leaders and enthusiasts such as:

  • Bobby Hundreds – Entrepreneur, Founder of Adam Bomb Squad (NFT Project) and The Hundreds 
  • Rachel Webber – CMO of Playboy 
  • Keith Grossman – President of TIME 
  • Michelle Phan – Entrepreneur, YouTuber, Influencer, Investor 
  • Wengie – YouTuber, Influencer (30M+ global followers), Founder of Nyan Heroes (NFT P2E Game) 
  • Noah Davis – Christie’s NFT Lead  
  • Justin Aversano – Artist, Founder of Twin Flames (NFT Project with $15M+ total volume) 
  • Cooper Turley – Founder of DAO called Friends with Benefits $FWB, DAO Creator and Community Leader 
  • Farokh Sarmad – NFT Investor & Influencer 
  • ThankYouX – Artist, Phillips auction with Hans Zimmer 
  • Jacob Martin – Prominent attorney in NFTs and DAOs, Founder of ReadyPlayerDAO
  • Gmoney – NFT Investor & Influencer, GP at Delphi INFINFT (NFT Fund) 
  • Zaptio – Founder of RTFKT (NFT Project & Company with $15M+ total volume)

You can find all the new episodes which will air weekly and be hosted at https://itsprobablynothing.xyz/.

If you have been searching for the next best resource regarding valuable information on NFTs, Probably Nothing is it! Join Alexis and Tiffany as they take you on their own journey through the NFT space, and share others’ stories along the way.

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Finance NFT

12 NFT Business Ideas You Can Start Today

NFTs are swiftly becoming the new standard when it comes to social signaling. Spend a few minutes on crypto twitter and you will notice that everyone’s profile picture is some sort of avatar. 

This isn’t just some hyped up fad that will soon blow-over. Rather, it is a shift in culture as well as the way that humans interact and conduct transactions between each other.

The opportunity to build something great is upon us, which is likely the reason why various celebrities and Fortune 500 companies are investing both personally, and in a way to leverage their own brand.

Fortunately, we can all use NFTs to start our own business as well. Here are the top 12 NFT business ideas that you can start today:

1. Build an NFT Investment Firm

Although NFTs may be a new avenue to grow your investment portfolio, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a ton of deep-pocket investors looking to put their fiat into something new, innovative, and exciting—such as non-fungible tokens.

Keep in mind that people nowadays are busier than ever. Most of us don’t have time to sit around and study the NFT market all day. That’s where you come in: the NFT investment firm.

Essentially, investors would give you their money so that you can invest into NFTs with your expertise, in the hopes of a profitable return on their investment. For your services, you receive a percentage from the profit and call it a done deal.

If you are someone who is passionate and knowledgeable about the NFT market, then this business idea may be an excellent fit for you.

2. Grow your own NFT investment portfolio

Maybe you are a great NFT investor, but you’re not interested in handling other people’s assets. That’s okay. Fortunately for you, you can simply invest in your own investment portfolio. With NFTs, there are a couple ways you can play it.

Short term NFT investment (the quick-flip) is when you buy an NFT with the intention of holding onto it for a brief moment and then quickly selling it for a profit. If you can do this many times over, then you can turn into a profitable business for yourself.

Long term NFT investments (diamond hands) are investments that are intended to be held for a period of at least 5 to 10 years, in my opinion. The long term investments should be considered extremely risky however.

3. Open your own NFT restaurant

Do you really enjoy food? Then opening an NFT restaurant is something innovative you could do. No one has done this yet, but that’s not to say there isn’t already an NFT restaurant in the works.

In order to give you a better idea on how to accomplish such a task, I will use Gary Vaynerchuk as an example. Gary will be opening the very first NFT restaurant in Fall of 2022 in New York City. 

To experience the restaurant, guests will require a membership, which will be purchased as NFTs. Gary is planning to offer three different levels of memberships, all offered in the form of a non-fungible token. This may seem far fetched now, but this is only the beginning.

4. Create NFTs for the metaverse

In the macro, the metaverse is an up-and-coming system of virtual worlds that are linked together on the blockchain. Within this virtual world lies a whole lot of opportunity for creators and consumers alike.

Metaverses such as Somnium Space and Cryptovoxels allow users to create their own virtual assets and monetize them. From virtual wearables, to games and events, creators have an opportunity to put their creative talents to work. As a metaverse asset creator, you can sell and trade any virtual assets that you create.

As the metaverse continues to scale upwards in terms of popularity and social acceptance, so will the demand for virtual assets. The multitude of people who visit the metaverse do so to consume and connect. The concept is no different than hanging out at the mall with your friends.

I know there are many creators in the NFT community. So if you are looking to hone in on a new creative skill and maybe even turn it into a business, there’s no better time to start than now.

5. Build a brand as a full time play-to-earn NFT gamer

Earning money playing video games is becoming a more common phenomenon with influencers and sponsors joining hands to build a completely new perspective around the gaming industry. We’re witness an emerging perspective that gaming is much more than locking yourself in your bedroom for 12 hours a day, with nothing to show for it.

Today, gamers run ads, share affiliate links, and earn sponsorships from brands in order to earn a full time income and build their own brand. However, imagine playing a game where you are able to collect valuable in-game assets as you play.

These assets aren’t only for in-game use mind you, they are virtual assets which are stored indefinitely on the blockchain and can be sold on secondary marketplaces for real currency.

If you are a gamer who is not yet gaming on the blockchain, I highly recommend you look into it. For more guidance on creating a business out of NFT gaming, make sure to give Swole’s article a read: How Gamers Can Monetize with NFT Technology.

6. Structure an online NFT course

Some people are exceptional teachers. You know those people. The ones who appear to have a natural act for guiding someone through any task, whether large or small.

If you love teaching/coaching and you just happen to be good with NFTs as well, then you should consider offering your expertise to folks who are looking for it.

Regardless of whether you are an NFT artist who has built a strong community around your personal brand, or even if you are an avid NFT collector, both of these useful skills can be taught to others for a fee.

Depending on your client’s goals, you can offer multiple rates with varying levels of depth and coaching. Perhaps for your higher paying clients, you can offer live support 3 days a week, for example.

Ultimately, it’s your NFT course. You can structure the course however you think will best suit your clients needs.

7. Write a book covering NFTs

Books are full of information. Considering NFTs are so new to society, we can assume that numerous people are seeking to increase their knowledge by studying books and educating themselves on the NFT space. 

There are a lot of ways you could go about publishing your own NFT book. You could go super niche and just cover the buying and selling aspect of the NFT industry, or you could write an “NFTs For Dummies” type book.

Now, if you’re passionate about writing but you don’t want to deal with the headache of producing physical copies of your novel, then you could always offer your audience an Ebook.

An ebook covering NFTs would be simple to sell, convenient for both parties, and beneficial for your customers as long as you provide an insane amount of value in the book.

8. Be an NFT freelance writer

If you love writing but you aren’t sure you want to take on writing an entire novel, I don’t blame you. In that case, building your own NFT freelance writing business may be a great option for you.

With an increasingly large number of websites trying to cover all the NFT and crypto related news in the space, offering your writing skills to these brands could potentially be very lucrative.

As well, considering the NFT community is overflowing with news and updates every day, it’s safe to say that you could keep busy if you put in the effort to find writing opportunities.

I think one of the best things about becoming an NFT freelance writer is the freedom you have to express yourself and your knowledge, as well as having the ability to work from anywhere, anytime.

Seriously, if you enjoy writing and you like NFTs, then starting your own freelance NFT writing business is only one article away.

9. Make an NFT app (DApp)

Considering there are already millions of apps which consume our lives on a daily basis, it should come as no surprise that building a decentralized app, aka a dapp, is a solid business idea. The main difference between an app and a dapp is the backend coding. 

With a dapp, the backend coding is on a decentralized peer-to-peer platform known as the blockchain. The dapps are controlled by the logic written into the smart contract technology, giving the dapps a truly decentralized platform to build from.

As of today, there are not nearly as many dapps as there are apps, but that’s a good sign for opportunity. Some possible categories of dapps you may want to consider creating would be anything related to gaming, social networking, collecting, and—of course—NFT marketplaces are huge right now.

10. Become an NFT influencer

Everyone wants to be an influencer, but have you ever thought about niching down and becoming an NFT influencer? As an NFT influencer, you are able to build your personal brand all while providing your community with valuable and helpful content.

Once you build up a large enough following, you can start monetizing your own products and services. If you aren’t interested in creating your own products or offering your services, then you can just as easily reach out to other brands and let them pay you to represent their brand on your influencer profile.

To be fair, becoming an NFT influencer isn’t an overnight task. However, considering that the NFT community is so new, I believe this means that there is huge potential to start early and get ahead of the pack.

11. Use NFTs to raise capital for a startup

Maybe you don’t want to necessarily build a business around NFTs, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t at least use NFTs to help you raise capital for your future business endeavors. Believe it or not, many small startups are already doing this.


If you have bought any of the several 10k PFP NFT projects available, then you have helped someone raise capital. Many of the NFT projects that drop are taking their money they earn from the drop, and reinvesting it back into the business. You can do the same thing.

Although, I must warn you that as time goes on and the supply of NFT projects increases, so will the competition.

12. Become a metaverse DJ

The metaverse is a virtual universe containing smaller virtual worlds within. In these worlds are virtual assets in the form of NFTs. These assets range from virtual land to wearable goods for your avatar.

Virtual assets aren’t the only thing you will find in the metaverse though. The metaverse is a virtual space where people come to hang out and socialize. I’m talking about virtual parties, conferences, and other events similar in nature.

These events already take place within the metaverse. Considering how popular these virtual events may become in the near future, it may be an excellent idea to bring your DJing skills to the metaverse. You can build your brand around your avatar as the best DJ and perform at events all across the metaverse.

I understand that some of these business ideas may seem a little out of this world, and that’s because some of them are. Remember though, that’s how everything starts at first. Look at dial-up internet, or the very first computer.

It all seems infeasible at first, until it isn’t. I believe this is exactly where NFTs fall in terms of businesses surrounding the technology. If you are reading this article, congratulations. You’re still early.

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Finance NFT

How NFTs Are Transforming The World As We Know It

NFTs are all the hype right now in the crypto community. So hype in fact, that even some big-name influencers have started to create and collect their own NFTs in an attempt to jump aboard the ship, and ride out the NFT wave.

As these digital assets pave their way as the new technological boom since web 2.0, more people outside of the crypto realm are beginning to take notice as well, leaving many wondering: are NFTs changing the world, and if so, how?

Non-fungible tokens are changing the world through their ability to digitize literally anything and everything. Not only do NFTs digitalize assets, they create a platform where we are able to transact in a trustworthy and transparent manner, with anyone, anywhere, and at any time of the day, while also being able to prove ownership via the blockchain.

Let’s take a look at all the various ways I believe NFTs are changing the world.

1. Digitalization

NFTs are digital assets that can be created from literally anything. The ability to digitize anything, be it a house, a vehicle, or even an experience, is really something we’ve never been able to do.

This digitalization allows for individuals, brands, and large-scale businesses to offer their consumers anything they want to, even before the physical product or experience is ready for production.

What’s even crazier to think about is the ability to display anything and everything you own, all from the security of your digital wallet, which is displayed for the public to see.

So, let’s say that elegant house you just bought in Miami also came in the form of an NFT. This NFT also includes the contract for the loan on your house, and even allows you to make payments from your wallet, all while being displayed in your wallet as proof that you own that loan for that specific house.

This is just one example of how NFTs allow us to digitize assets, such as a house. But just imagine for a second, the ability to turn anything digital, sell it, market it, and earn a living doing so.

This, my friend, is all very realistic indeed. Plenty of folks are already making a living digitizing their work and offering it up for sale in the form of an NFT, all from the comfort of their home.

2. Decentralization

One of the more obvious traits which NFTs are known for is their decentralized state of being. NFTs live on the blockchain; the blockchain acts as a digital ledger that proves ownership, tracks every transaction, and cuts out the middlemen, aka the government.

I believe that many people, especially a large portion of the crypto community, are pushing for a more decentralized world where individuals are able to benefit directly from their own work by ridding the middleman, and offering their skills directly to the consumer.

In a decentralized world, the quality of life for people such as yours and mine could change drastically—giving us the capability to earn more from our hard work and transact more efficiently than ever before. With transactions happening directly between two parties and no middleman to interfere, there’s no buffer time, only frictionless and transparent agreements.

Moreover, decentralization means that there is no permission needed to post something or sell anything from a specific authority, but instead, there are numerous nodes (stored in systems all across the network), with no single “shut-off” button.

3. Transparency

Thanks to blockchain technology creating ultimate transparency, we can transact with trust between all parties.

Web 1.0 gathered and organized information, web 2.0 was used for creating and distributing content, and web 3.0 is known as the decentralized web, which is built on blockchain technology. Because the blockchain acts as a digital and permanent ledger, the ability to view any transaction is all available to the public.

This kind of transparent relationship between people benefits everyone. When it comes to web 3.0, there is no more lying about what you own, who you are, or what your interests are, because everything you own is displayed digitally for the world to view.

Both businesses and consumers can appreciate the transparency provided with every transaction that occurs on the blockchain, when using NFTs.

4. Proof of ownership

With proof of ownership, we are able to prove exactly what we own, when we got it, and who it came from.

Proof of ownership and transparency go hand in hand. NFTs allow people to prove their ownership of any asset they hold. With everything being stored on your personal wallet address and recorded indefinitely on the blockchain, proof of ownership has evolved into a super easy way to and frictionless way of verification.

This ease of verification can be applied to something as simple as a concert ticket, or something as intricate as a contract for purchasing an entire business.

5. Access

In my opinion, one of the most beneficial aspects of non-fungible tokens and blockchain technology is the ability to transact 24/7, 365 days a year. Considering that the blockchain is always in operation and people are transacting at different times of the day, all around the world, NFTs allow creators and consumers to interact directly with each other at all hours of the day, and night.

To my point, NFTs give creators the means to offer any product and/or service to anyone, anywhere, and at any time, benefiting both parties by simplifying the transaction and forming a more personalized experience all together.

As well, smart contracts—which can be written into NFTs—give creators the option to add additional value through utility, perks, terms, and everything in between. This is the access we have all dreamed of.

6. Social Signaling

As humans, we love to communicate our interests and passions to others. Social media was the most recent platform that everyone used to communicate what it is they do, as well as, portray their version of themselves. Whether that person portrays themself authentically or not has always been up for debate, until now.

Non-fungible tokens are the new form of social signaling. Except with NFTs, you better be ready to handle the truth, because that’s all you are going to get. As NFTs continue to transform the way we communicate truthfully, it’s safe to say that the people will follow the truth seeking herd.

Spend one day on crypto Twitter and you will see many users flexing their PFP NFTs like it’s everyone’s business. It’s true now more than ever; the NFT community is so small that you are able to tell someone’s status and knowledge in the space simply by taking notice of which NFTs they have collected and who they choose to support.

This type of social signaling is not a new behavior at all, but NFTs give it a new truth. The fakers will not benefit from this new truth, but rather they will be exposed. Likewise, the authentic ones will greatly benefit from remaining honest and proving their authenticity through the adoption of NFTs.

7. Royalties

Non-fungible tokens are granting creators a new perk: the allowance of receiving royalties from secondary sales on any of their original work. Creators are able to implement royalty percentages into their work at their own discretion and continue to gain from their efforts, even after the initial sale.

When Vincent Van Gogh originally crafted his masterpieces, such as the famous “Starry Night”, he didn’t make much money, if any, for his artwork, which would easily go for hundreds of millions of dollars today. I don’t know about you, but to me it doesn’t seem fair that artists can pour their blood, sweat, and tears into their work early on in life, only to not benefit from their labor as time goes on, assuming that they already distributed their work and no longer have possession.

This is where NFTs are able to help creators get what they deserve, even if time has passed and the asset has been given to someone else. If the creator sets a royalty percentage however, not only will they be able to earn money from their original work, but the collector is still able to sell the piece for a profit, as well. A true win-win scenario, wouldn’t you say so?

8. Collectability

Personally, collectability is what makes the most sense to me right off the bat. In terms of changing the world, the collectability aspect of NFTs is amazing. I’m positive that NFTs have not only been presented to me from a collector’s perspective from the get-go, but to most of the community.

With NFTs’ ability to turn anything digital, it means we can collect more, flex harder, and display to a wider audience. In my experience, when something has a collectible characteristic, in combination with a following of some sort, it turns the entire transaction process into a more enjoyable experience, because collecting things is fun and there is true value to be had. It’s that simple.

It’s true, there is a lot to think about when it comes to understanding how technology, such as non-fungible tokens, can change the way humans interact and transact with each other. If you’re still confused about what is happening to our world due to the implementation of NFTs and the overall culture shift into a world of transparency, continue reading on.

Note: These are the main points I want to make on how NFTs are changing the world. This is my macro belief and observation, but as time progresses, so will the way we use and interact with these digital assets.

How can NFTs help us?

NFTs do not have the best reputation when it comes to being green or conserving energy and resources, mainly due to the amount of energy it takes for the systems to solve complex, algorithmic equations that some of these blockchains have in place in order to function properly. So with that being said, how is it that non-fungible tokens can help us?

NFTs can help us all by allowing us to transact with trust and transparency between all parties and not having to report to a centralized governing system in order to do so. Moreover, NFTs allow creators to unlock more value by being able to supply their consumers with exactly what they want, when they want it.

In the macro, NFTs make transacting, holding, and viewing assets fun and frictionless, which correlates to more time for us. Time is priceless, so the fact that NFTs can give us more time is equally priceless in my humble opinion.

Why NFTs all of the sudden?

To some, it may seem like NFTs were waved into existence by Satoshi Nakamoto (Bitcoin Developer), himself—making way for this new trend of collecting jpegs and FOMO’ing into the next “best” animal project. Just to be clear, no one waved a wand to my knowledge, and Satoshi did not make the first NFT. So, why are NFTs such a big deal all of the sudden?

The emergence of NFTs into society’s eyes was propelled by the Covid-19 quarantine mandate, which occurred on March 11, 2020. With everyone working from home and spending more time exploring the digital world, NFTs quickly grew into something that many became aware of, especially after the sale of Beeple’s $69M NFT, “The First 5000 Days,” which made national news.

Beeple’s sale is undoubtedly a moment in NFT history which will never be forgotten, but it’s not the only facet that has created all the hype surrounding non-fungible assets. This sale, along with many other big-number sales have helped pave the path for NFTs to thrive and continue to supply value to you and me.

As more businesses and influencers begin to incorporate non-fungible tokens into their every day plan of action, the community of these popular entities will follow.

All of these elements are the reasoning and thought behind my thesis on how NFTs are changing our world. Anytime there is attention put on something, the masses tend to follow, and when the masses follow, everyone considers it to be the new norm without even giving it a second thought. It has been proven with the internet, phones, and of course social media.

Now it’s time for non-fungible tokens to prove their worth to the world. Will you be a part of the movement? Or will you sit-back and let opportunity pass you by? The choice is yours.

Categories
Finance NFT

A Career Rescued by NFTs — A Conversation with 12

NFTs are changing lives and it’s inspiring to hear all of the stories that have emerged over the past few months. As many new people are learning about cryptocurrencies and NFTs, it’s important to provide education and practical optimism through these stories. I had the chance to sit down and interview 12, better known as 12yr Old w/ Credit Card on Discord (no, he’s not actually 12 years old). 

Because of the pandemic, 12 found himself down to his last $500. He was spending $5-$6 per day on food and needed a way to improve his financial situation. He originally thought about stock trading, but without a lot of money to start with, he ultimately decided to learn about cryptocurrency. 

This is his story of building a seven-figure portfolio in a matter of months and using what he learned to build infrastructure for NFT projects to develop merchandise and distribute to asset holders.

Choosing Crypto Over Stocks and Spending 2 Months in Deep Learning Mode

12 noticed that crypto people seemed rich, and a stock return of just 7% wouldn’t turn his $500 into life-changing money that would rescue him out of his situation. 

During a two-month period of bad weather and lockdowns from the pandemic, he stayed at home and went to work learning about cryptocurrencies. He read every white paper he could find and dedicated that time entirely to crypto research as if it were his full-time job. 

Note: It may not be obvious from an outside perspective, but there are many people who dedicate full-time hours to cryptocurrency and NFT research. It’s exciting to read about success stories, but keep in mind that much more work went into them than meet’s the eye. 

The majority of this effort was spent in decentralized finance, learning about curve finance, and 12 ultimately turned his initial $500 investment into $100,000 within 5 weeks. 

However, in May, he lost most of that money, going from $100,000 to $10,000. 

Despite the setback, he explained that he got a detailed understanding of the “back-end” of crypto, something that would serve him extremely well as he pivoted into the NFT space. 

Please remember, this is not financial advice. There are many risks that come with cryptocurrency and NFTs. It’s always important to do your own research and never spend money you can’t afford to lose.

Pivoting into NFTs and Building a 7-Figure Portfolio

12 describes NFT as the “front-end” of the cryptocurrency space. Armed with his back-end knowledge of decentralized finance, he started to purchase NFTs in June and July, only after spending serious time in Discord groups learning from others. 

He recalled buying an NFT for 1 ETH and selling it for 7 ETH in the same day but was made fun of for selling too early. He used this as motivation to learn everything he could about NFTs, so he bought a “bunch of food” and didn’t leave his computer for about 2 weeks straight. 

He used that time to get into the details, for example, learning the price of every Art Blocks project. He never had crazy 100x returns, but he was making six figures each week by buying and selling NFTs. 

“When you put in a lot of work, you build intuition. Crypto gives you a lot of opportunities where you can make a lot of money in 5 mins, but you have to be able to just do it.” — 12 

The work and detail he put into NFTs compounded, giving him guided intuition and a strong conviction about certain projects that felt “predictable” to him. 

He also crossed the chasm of becoming emotionally connected to NFT art as some pieces he owned became difficult to sell. This added another element to his understanding of collectibles markets and why some NFT assets hold value. 

In about 180 days, he built a 7-figure portfolio through relentless work and detail. He went from having little money to a decentralized finance trader to an NFT trader and now wants to use all of this experience to become a builder.

Building the Cryptoadz Socks Exchange: A Model for NFT Merchandise Delivery

As of this writing, the CrypToadz by GREMPLIN NFT project is sitting at a 14.5 ETH floor. Just a few weeks ago, the floor was under 25 ETH. The project features a collection of 6,969 toads by an artist who contributed to the very popular Nouns DAO NFT project. The artwork features a collection of Toads, but they pay tribute to other NFT projects like Fidenzas and CryptoPunks with traits seen in those projects. You can read a more in-depth breakdown of the Cryptoadz Project here

12 immediately recognized the potential of this NFT project based on a few factors — it was created by a native NFT artist who reminded him of Keith Haring, it riffed on other well-known NFT projects, and the community was strong and passionate. 

He started connecting with other holders in the CrypoToadz Discord group and an idea started to form. One of the traits featured in the Toad assets are socks. What if he and the group bootstrapped a company that releases fashion linked to NFT tokens for free, starting with socks for CrypToadz holders? The CrypToadz Sockz exchange launched on 9/27 and provided an NFT asset to all token holders of the CrypToadz NFT project. Holders of the token could choose to redeem/burn the asset for a free pair of socks or sell it on the secondary market.

Sockz / OpenSea
https://opensea.io/collection/sockz0

The current floor price for a Sockz asset is .13 ETH (~$390) and each sale pays a royalty back to the creators in order to self-sustain the free merchandise model. 

As NFTs grow in popularity, there’s so much innovation that we have yet to see. 12 has taken his deep experience and built another layer of value in a merchandise company that can help NFT projects with design, creation, and distribution to holders of their assets. 

Entire economies can be built off of NFT projects and this is just 12’s first step in the process. He told me wants to “build 100 projects” and he has the experience, understanding and capital to do so.

Key Takeaways

12’s experience in cryptocurrency and NFTs were rocketship growth, but it didn’t come without sacrifice, commitment, and risk-taking. It was a bold move to take his remaining $500, bet on himself (and the market), and come out on the other side with phenomenal returns and success. 

What’s critical about his story is that the knowledge and intuition he developed across decentralized finance compounded into NFTs, and that NFT expertise compounded into his ability to think through and lead the development of a bootstrapped merchandise company. We hear all the time that we are early in the NFT space. We will see much more innovation on top of the existing infrastructure. 12 is one of the people leading that innovation and he’s done it by being deep in the space. Everyone who wants to get involved with cryptocurrencies or the NFT space has to learn to think for themselves (and choose their own level of risk), but you can develop expertise in a short period of time if you remain committed to learning, interacting, and participating in the market.

Categories
Finance NFT

Choosing The Right NFT Project For You

When I first began my journey into the realm of non-fungible tokens—better known as digital assets—I had no idea where to start or how to figure out which of the projects would be the right choice for me. After being in the space for close to a year and collecting numerous NFTs, I believe I have discovered a good way to choose the right project for you and your long-term investment goals.

When choosing the best NFT to buy for yourself and hold long term, it is crucial that you follow these three simple rules:

1. Always invest in NFTs that you like

First and foremost, you should always invest in NFTs that spark your interest. I mean, what’s the point of purchasing something that you don’t actually enjoy? Don’t just look for the “next best” NFT, search for the next best NFT that suits your interests.

Not everyone has the same interests, and not everyone will be able to make the same knowledgeable choice about any one NFT project because we all have different levels of understanding of the category we are choosing to invest in.

For example, if you really enjoy soccer and you know a lot about the players and the teams, it’s safe to say that a soccer NFT project would be a good category to start doing your research on. Or, if you really appreciate modern art, then you should be digging deeper into modern artists and their NFTs.

This first step is the foundation of your decision for choosing the best NFT project for you and your investment portfolio.

2. Do your own research

Who doesn’t love a little research? After you have found an NFT you are interested in, it’s time to get your hands dirty and learn everything you can about that specific NFT. Researching NFTs isn’t as easy as going to the “reviews” section and reading everything that other consumers have posted, but it’s close.

When you sit down to research any NFT, here is what I recommend you try to find as much information on as possible:

  • The creator(s)
  • The community
  • The project (brand)
The creator(s)

I think it’s important to understand that when you invest in a non-fungible token, you are actually investing in the human behind the project. Similarly to when you are betting on your favorite sport’s team, you are betting on the player’s ability to execute, not just a random team of people.

There are a few things that I personally look for when examining the creator behind a project; their past performance and ability to execute, their social status, and their ability to build brand awareness.

If you find a project where the creator has a good track record, a positive social status, and a team that seems to understand how to build a brand, then you are likely on the right path to finding the best long-term NFT for your collection.

The community

Don’t forget about the community! A good NFT project will have a healthy community following them. Signs of a healthy community include an overall positive vibe, helpful people, and a whole lot of communication from the project manager. This communication should include project updates, alerts, and assistance with any problems that community members may face.

Okay, so now you’re probably wondering where you are able to find out more about a project’s community; the answer is simple: everywhere. Allow me to elaborate.

Wherever an NFT project has a presence, you should be there observing, listening, and asking any questions you may have about the project. Some common places where you are able to observe a project’s community is on various social media platforms, Discord, and other media outlets such as blog posts and videos.

Spending a majority of your day simply observing a community is not a waste of your time at all. In fact, I would argue that it is an excellent use of your time that can help you decide if an NFT is right for you or not.

The project (brand)

Finally, the main piece of the puzzle: the project itself. The project—or as I like to think of it, the brand—is arguably one of the most important pieces to the NFT puzzle. The brand is what draws people in and keeps the demand for their assets high.

Branding is generally what draws you into a project, and it is what will continue to command your attention as more and more projects enter the space. When you do your research on a brand, make sure you like the brand and support what they stand for. Also, you should ensure that you thoroughly enjoy the products and services that the brand offers to its consumers, such as yourself. Once you have determined these three important aspects of research check-out, you are one step closer to discovering the best NFT for you and your long-term investment goals. Remember, ALWAYS do your own research.

3. Don’t invest more money than you can afford to lose

The final piece to uncovering the best NFT for your personal situation and interests should not only be considered a rule but an absolute must! Do not invest more money than you can afford to lose. In my opinion, there should be no exception to this rule.

If you invest all your savings into a project with no money to fall back on, you may be putting yourself and your family in a hard spot. Especially if you were to lose all your hard-earned money on an NFT project that ultimately ended up having less value than you had originally thought.

Personally, I try to buy into every project with the thought that the project could go to zero. I know, nobody wants to think that the project they are investing in could go to zero, but that is just the reality of the market.

In my experience, if you follow these three rules, then you will be on the right path to finding the best NFT project for you. The greatest part about following these rules is that you will feel confident and happy with your investments, and you’ll know that you have made the best choice for yourself.

Will NFTs hold their value when investing long term?

When thinking about investing in non-fungible tokens to add to your long-term investment portfolio, you may be contemplating the longevity of NFTs in the macro—rightfully so. This brings us to one of the most commonly asked questions regarding these tokens: are NFTs here to stay for the long term?

NFTs are digital assets that are minted on the blockchain, where they remain indefinitely. These digital assets are exploding in growth and utility across various industries. Social media platforms, influencers, and even big-name brands such as Budweiser, are all beginning to incorporate NFTs into their business.

In my opinion, the fact that these reputable brands are utilizing non-fungible tokens to their advantage is a huge sign pointing towards the continuance of use across all the different industries. Moreover, I believe that the market has already proven that NFTs will remain valuable for the long haul.

The number of people who are aware of NFTs and their potential value is still very minimal. I bet if you were to ask anyone within your inner circle about NFTs, they would look at you like you are crazy. That’s not to take away from the fact that NFTs are here to stay.

My point being: even though many folks are unfamiliar with this technology as of right now, the market is still booming with sales. Not to mention, many of these sales are from unknown individuals who don’t have a reputable brand backing their work, so imagine what will happen when these large companies who have unlimited resources begin integrating non-fungible tokens into their businesses.

In time, it is very likely that more and more people will look to invest in digital assets. As NFTs begin to prove their worth in the business world, the demand to collect these assets will also increase as a result.

In conclusion, finding the right NFT for you and your long-term investment portfolio is important. Remember, before choosing which NFT is best for you, make sure to follow the three simple rules: find what you like, do your research, and never spend more money than you can afford to lose.

Categories
Finance NFT

From Part-Time Construction Worker to Full-Time in NFTs

Introduction

The NFT market is growing at a rapid pace. Even a small amount of time spent on Twitter gives the impression that a lot of people are making life-changing money with NFTs seemingly overnight.

However, if you dig deeper into some of these success stories, you’ll often learn that a lot has happened beneath the surface for those people to get where they are. It’s critical that we share these stories to help people adjust their mindset and get inspired to put in the work instead of rapidly spending money in hopes that something will stick.

In this article, I detail the story of Ezrawithacamera, a 24-year-old videographer originally from the small town of Webberville, Michigan. Ezra was able to build up a portfolio of NFT assets that have given him a large enough safety net to leave his rewarding videography career at Thrive Realty Co—a cutting-edge real estate brokerage—to pursue NFTs full-time.

For those feeling left out of the NFT rush, or ones wondering what to do next to level up their NFT journey, Ezra’s journey highlights the fact that many of the “overnight success” stories were actually years in the making.

Communicating Your Passions Can Be Enough to Put You on The Right Track

“You’re one person away from changing your entire life trajectory.”

 —  Ezra

After dropping out of college while studying computer programming, Ezra started working in construction to make money while figuring out his next move. He had always loved computers and knew that technology would be a big part of his life, but he wasn’t yet sure how that would play out.

He explained that he would often share his passion for computers with his co-workers, which would later prove to be the catalyst for his ensuing career in crypto and NFTs.

One of his co-workers first introduced him to Bitcoin, but quit to start his own company before Ezra could learn more. About 6 months later, by pure coincidence, Ezra ran into his former co-worker at a gas station while filling up ice for his crew. That co-worker had started his own Bitcoin mining operation, which motivated Ezra to research more about cryptocurrencies.

As he started the process of self-education, Ezra decided to follow Gary Vaynerchuk’s advice and attend a meet-up group about Bitcoin. It was about an hour away, and even though he almost didn’t go because he was tired from a day’s work at the construction site, it was yet another pivotal moment in his journey.

When he arrived at the meeting, he began showing some of the members a mining computer he built on a bamboo shoe rack:

Ezrawithacamera
twitter.com/ezrawithacamera

After showing it to a few people, someone introduced him to Jake Herbert, a former Olympic wrestler. Herbert was looking for partners to mine Bitcoin and after learning that Ezra had built a computer, the two decided to work together.

While they didn’t make much money with the operation, Ezra learned a lot and developed a strong conviction for Bitcoin and the concept of cryptocurrency. It took getting into the weeds to help him fully understand it, but now he was ready to do what it took to purchase the asset.

Taking $8,000 in Salary to Buy Bitcoin

The reality is that any investment comes with risk, which is why it is important to never spend money you can’t afford to lose. If you have conviction in a project, an asset, or other investment, it sometimes requires sacrifices to get them.

After leaving the mining operation, Ezra landed at a real estate company as a videographer and storyteller, but he couldn’t get Bitcoin out of his head and made a very real commitment to helping grow his portfolio:

Ezra approached the owners of the real estate company and asked to take just $8,000 of his salary, with the rest invested in Bitcoin.

To do this, Ezra had to live on just $133 per week. You read that right, $133 per week.

He had developed enough belief in Bitcoin to make a move that most other people wouldn’t be willing to do. He explained that he lived with a co-worker and her boyfriend who were generous in the rent they charged him because they knew about his passion and the rest of his expenses fell into place.

It may be easy to look in from the outside and call this luck, but the reality is that it was a bet placed with conviction, using money that came from cutting expenses to the bare minimum. Please keep in mind that this is not financial advice, it’s merely an illustrative example of the lengths Ezra went to make sure he could invest in an asset that he had a deep understanding of.

How Ezra First Discovered NFTs

Ezra first discovered NFTs on May 8th of 2020, when he applied to be a SuperRare artist, as he needed money after foregoing most of his salary. He had been doing art and was looking for a way to monetize his work, which helped him begin to understand NFTs. While he was ultimately rejected by SuperRare, he sensed the NFTs could become a big market but didn’t rediscover them until the following year with NBA Top Shot. At that point, Ezra had 1.8 Bitcoin available from his earlier savings and investment. He decided to put half of that money into VeeFriends during its launch and was even able to convince his bosses to buy a VeeFriend.

Ezrawithacamera
twitter.com/ezrawithacamera
This photo of Ezra was captured while he purchased a Very, Very, Very, Very Luck Black Cat VeeFrind and Patient Panda VeeFriend at the same time. 

When he told his mom she would be going to VeeCon, she suggested he buy more VeeFriends so his siblings could also attend. It turned out to be one of the greatest pieces of advice from a mother to a son. Ezra was also able to buy into Cool Cats during this time.

On July 4th, while he was alone dog sitting, he finally had time to go deep on NFT research and came across Curio Cards, the first art NFT on Ethereum. He understood the landscape and was able to buy/sell NFT assets with his experience from Cool Cats and VeeFriends.

At the time, Curio Cards were significantly cheaper and have since produced significant returns for Ezra to provide him with a safety net as he thought about his next move. It even enabled him to put money towards the down payment of a home.

Although he didn’t envision investing in NFTs when he started mining and investing in Bitcoin in 2018, his sacrifices paid off by putting him in a position to afford these assets at likely one of the best times in the market.

What does being full-time in the NFT space look like?

Ezra plans to continue taking risks with conviction. He spoke highly of his team at the real estate company, even going so far as to call them a family. Leaving that position was hard, but he knew he had to do it just 4 days prior to our interview.

He explained that he knew for a long-time he wanted to go full-time in the NFT space, but after organizing a Michigan meet-up for VeeFriends holders, it clicked that he had a large enough safety net to take the leap.

While he isn’t stepping into a new job that pays him a salary, he’s trusting that fully following his passion will lead to a good outcome. He explained that he will do six things every single day to help him find his way to a tangible role in the NFT space:

(1) Make connections in the NFT space every day — he’s taking a page out of his real estate company’s book by trying to make 20 connections per day.

(2) Study Innovation and Market Movements — there are a lot of new NFT project launches, which cause both market saturation and an opportunity to learn. Ezra now has the time to study the market, what’s working, and what isn’t to further develop his intuition.

(3) Create Educational Content for Beginners — there were just over 412,000 buyers across the top 4 Ethereum NFT peer-to-peer marketplaces in August (with over $3 billion in sales volume). There are many people who haven’t gotten involved in the space and need to overcome the technical hurdles to do so. Ezra has a track record of demonstrated success so far and plans to help others with his knowledge.

(4) Create Content for His Personal Brand — personal brand matters no matter what field you are in, but given how NFT success forms around the community, this is a critical component of Ezra’s full-time NFT life. As more people enter the space, they will look for reputable advisers and educators who have strong personal brands and reputations.

(5) DAO NFT Sales — Ezra is part of a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) with other Very Very Very Very Black Cat VeeFriend holders. A DAO is effectively a decentralized investment group. People pool together money and vote on the best ways to spend it. This offers more buying power for savvy investors to place smart bets and split the returns with those who participated.

(6) Create Art — he’s already done 533 days straight of daily art creations (which has since halted due to his new commitments), but this effort will help him think like an artist. It’s likely he will try and create an NFT project, but for now, he’s in learn mode to understand what the market might respond to.

He concluded by saying that he “has something to share and contribute to this space” and that the last time he “fully followed” his passion, it turned out well for him.

Key Takeaways

Ezra’s journey was years in the making and required significant sacrifice to get where he is today. It started with him recognizing his passion and following up on it through action, by attending a meet-up, joining a Bitcoin mining operation, and ultimately giving up a significant portion of his salary.

He did all of this without knowing what the other side would look like, which is the hardest part. NFTs are a lot of fun but require a serious conviction to get involved because the market changes rapidly.

His story should be a reminder to those of you who want success in any field that it takes time to develop. There are certainly people who have made significant gains due to the rapid rise of NFT values, but many who have benefitted from that have stories that go beyond holding an asset for a few weeks.

As Ezra mentioned, he is looking to connect with as many people as he possibly can in the NFT space. He’d love for you to set up a time with him to chat or help make connections to others on a similar path. If that interests you or someone you know, you can reach out to him via Direct Message on Twitter. Or, if you simply want to follow Ezra’s journey leaving a job he loves to pursue a deep passion, you can give him a follow on Twitter.

Categories
Finance NFT

The Best Place to Buy Crypto

Cryptocurrency is starting to hit mainstream headlines more frequently. Investing platforms, institutions and the government are all starting to consider what value should be attributed to cryptocurrency. Many investors are debating whether or not to allocate a portion of their investment portfolio to cryptocurrencies.

Cryptocurrency is one of the riskier asset classes to consider investing in, and there still is no clear picture as to which cryptocurrency is the right investment. As reported by Gemini in their 2021 The State of U.S. Crypto report, the average age of those invested in crypto is 38 years old. As of 2021, the average number of people invested in cryptocurrency is only 14% of the sample that was polled. However, in the rest of the group, 63% reported that they are curious about investing in cryptocurrency. Since the early days of Crypto, Bitcoin (BTC) has been the most popular conversation starter. In Gemini’s report, 95% of the overall group polled were familiar with Bitcoin, but only 23% knew about Ethereum (ETH). As for the rest of the top cryptocurrencies, even less was known by the majority of those who were part of Gemini’s research. A key takeaway from the report is that those who are crypto-curious prioritized understanding the space.

It is widely known that investing in crypto comes as a high-risk, high-reward investment. Both Bitcoin and Ethereum are volatile investments and are known to lose 80-95% of their value in less than a year.

What is a Crypto Exchange?

A cryptocurrency exchange is an application, platform, or business that allows customers to buy, trade, and sell cryptocurrency or digital currencies for various assets. In the past year, we have seen the rise of NFTs—which are most commonly purchased through the use of cryptocurrency. These exchanges allow users to convert fiat currency (money that is established as currency by a government regulation, i.e. the U.S. Dollar) for digital currencies. 

Buying crypto through a crypto exchange usually requires the user to register an account and provide debit, credit, or bank account information in order to acquire digital currency. Some of these exchanges require different forms of identification, along with processing fees, and several days to verify the account information you provide. Even for those who do not seek to invest in crypto immediately, it is good practice to have a crypto exchange account so that when you want to invest there are no 3-5 business day processing delays. 

What features are important to look at when deciding on an exchange?

When considering which crypto exchange to invest with, there are several factors to consider. One of these factors is what commission each exchange will take on the buying, selling, trading, and transferring of assets. Some exchanges charge a flat rate while others take a percentage of each transaction.

Another important factor to consider when selecting a crypto exchange is to look at whether or not the platform is centralized or decentralized. A decentralized platform allows the decision-making to be done by teams within the community, and the power is distributed among the individuals who participate in using the platform. Meanwhile, centralized exchanges make decisions based on the senior board or selected leaders of the company. Decentralization is an important component of the crypto world due to the fact that cryptocurrencies are built on the blockchain where information is shared and stored on a public ledger. This allows the individual to have control over their own digital assets and currency—when an exchange is centralized it limits the freedom the user has over their own money.

What’s the difference between a crypto exchange and a crypto wallet?

Many crypto exchanges offer the user the ability to buy, trade, and sell cryptocurrencies, but they do not allow the user to have entire control of where they send their digital assets. Meanwhile, some crypto exchanges provide the user with a crypto wallet which enables the customer of the exchange to send their digital currency to other crypto wallets that are not exclusive to the exchange’s application. One of the most common examples is Coinbase’s wallet, which allows the user to transfer their purchased crypto to another wallet like Metamask.

For those curious about investing in crypto, here are some of the most popular exchanges to buy, trade, and sell cryptocurrencies.

1. Coinbase

One of the most popular exchanges for buying and selling cryptocurrency is Coinbase. Founded in 2012, the platform set out with the goal of providing ease of access to their users to securely send and receive Bitcoin. Since then, the company has grown to be one of the most widely used exchanges and offers a variety of currencies that span the broader crypto-economy. Recently, the company had its initial public offering (IPO) on the NASDAQ in Spring 2021. With over 68 million users across over 100 countries, the platform trades more than $462 Billion USD each quarter. 

Coinbase offers one of the easiest to use platforms and offers many crypto options. Along with their platform, Coinbase provides a custodial wallet that allows users to transfer their digital assets to other custodial and non-custodial accounts. This makes Coinbase one of the preferred platforms to acquire crypto assets, which can then be sent to purchase NFTs. 

Although Coinbase is accessible, it is not decentralized, unlike other options like Bisq, meaning they do not allow users to control complete custody of their crypto. This puts users at risk of a hack or unexpected freezing of assets. 


Trading Fee: The fee charged is between $0.99 and $2.99 depending on the dollar value.

2. Gemini

Founded in 2014 by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, Gemini offers more than 30 cryptocurrencies on their platform and has an easy-to-use interface that is popular for crypto trading. The company prides itself on the trust it is building with its customers and asking permission before forgiveness. The application can be used in all 50 of the United States and also boasts the ability for peer-to-peer and crypto-to-crypto trading. Their application allows you to send any of their approved digital assets to another crypto wallet via their own custodial service. Like Coinbase, Gemini is also a centralized application that limits the control you have over your assets, but provides the flexibility to acquire cryptocurrencies and then move them to a decentralized or non-custodial application. 


Trading Fee: The fee charged is between $0.99 for smaller transactions and up to 1.49% for anything larger than $200.

3. Binance

Binance was founded in 2017 and currently supports more than 100 cryptocurrencies. Some of their most popular currencies are Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and its own BNB coin. Users in over 180 countries can trade on Binance, but only 43 states can use Binance.US, excluding Connecticut, Hawaii, New York, Texas, Vermont, Idaho, and Louisiana. The exchange is reported to be currently supporting more than 100 million users this year. Binance provides a variety of charting and indicators for those who are interested in trading cryptocurrencies. Similar to Coinbase and Gemini, the platform is not decentralized.


Trading Fee: 0.02% to 0.10% purchase and trading fees, 3% to 4.5% for debit card purchases, or $15 per U.S. wire transfer.

4. Bisq

Founded in 2014, Bisq is a peer-to-peer trading network that differentiates itself from other websites and apps that are centralized services. Bisq enables users to run their software on their own hardware, which allows the user to control their own assets. This network also allows users to be connected to others who are running the Bisq software to facilitate trades. The Bisq network is open-source and community-driven. 

Users may download the software on desktop and mobile devices. The user does not need to provide identification in order to use the software, unlike other platforms that follow Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations. The software is decentralized and has payment support for over 26 different options. On the downside, users will experience slow speeds on some of the payment methods and the transactional volume is low. 

Trading fee: Makers pay 0.10% and takers pay 0.70%.

5. Kraken

Created in 2011, Kraken is available in 47 US States and 176 countries. Their crypto exchange supports 40 different cryptocurrencies. As one of the largest crypto exchanges alongside Coinbase, Gemini, and Binance, the daily market activity allows for liquidity. In addition, the platform is notably safe to trade on as it has never experienced a hack. Users can use MasterCard, Wire Transfer, and Bank cards to acquire digital currencies. Kraken has a mobile app, and provides analytical tools which are helpful for traders. There is a daily maximum trading amount of $100,000.

Trading Fee: The fees vary from 0.16% to 0.10% for 30-day transactional volumes of between $0 and $500,000.

6. eToro

In 2007, eToro was founded as a trading platform for those looking to copy trade from the experts they follow. The platform allows users to trade stock, securities, forex, CFD, and crypto-assets. This allows beginners to trade with less experience in the assets they want to trade by copying a trade that is being done by a professional trader. 

The exchange supports 94 cryptocurrency trading pairs, and the eToro mobile wallet app is a custodian wallet that uses a multi-sig scheme for crypto users. The exchange provides a range of charting and technical indicators for trading. For those looking to get into cryptocurrencies but also stick to conventional trading, eToro provides a wider range of options. 

Trading fee: 0.75% for trading crypto. For fiat to crypto, the conversion fee is 5%. eToro charges 0.1% for crypto-to-crypto exchanging or conversion.

7. Robinhood

Founded in 2013, Robinhood began as a platform for the day-to-day retail trader and investor. Their commission-free model for trading allowed retail investors who could not afford the fees that other brokerages charged to start their trading and investing journeys without a barrier to entry. Robinhood has always put the smaller investor first and has offered many opportunities that benefit investors that are new to the stock market. Robinhood began letting users dabble in crypto investing by buying Bitcoin within their platform. This allowed users to get exposure to cryptocurrency but did not enable the users to do anything with their crypto except buying and selling it within their centralized app. 

In September, Robinhood announced that they would officially be entering the crypto market as a competitor with their fully integrated wallet application that will allow users to transfer cryptocurrencies in and out of their exchange—similar to Gemini and Coinbase. The wallet update for Robinhood currency has a waitlist sign-up, but once it is launched Robinhood will be making a big step by allowing investors to have a little more control over their cryptocurrency. 
Read more about Robinhood’s wallet announcement here.

8. Cash App

Square launched Cash App services in 2013, which is meant to compete with peer-to-peer payment services like Paypal’s Venmo and Google Pay. Like many other peer-to-peer payment apps, Cash App allows users to transfer money using their smartphones. Since their launch, they have expanded beyond peer-to-peer payments. Users are now able to receive direct deposit payments, ACH payments, invest in stocks commission-free, and buy cryptocurrencies. 

At the time of this article, Cash App’s crypto exchange allows users to buy and sell crypto within the app, and currently only supports Bitcoin. The max transactional limit for BTC users is $100,000. 

Cash App is easy to use for beginners looking to get exposed to purchasing crypto but until further updates by the app, there are a fair amount of limits to what users can achieve. 

Trading fee: Free for sending and receiving via banks, 3% fee charged on credit card payments, and 1.5% for bank instant deposits.