Categories
NFT Tech

ERC-721 vs. ERC-1155: The Great Contract Debate

These days, Twitter is abuzz with a divide as wide as the grand canyon on whether one should mint an NFT on a contract nicknamed the “gold standard,” aka ERC-721 or a contract labeled “lazy minting,” aka ERC-1155.

It seems nearly everyone has a strong opinion on this matter. So let’s delve into what the difference is between the two and why it does or does not matter.

ERC-721:

ERC-721 was the first standardized interface for creating NFTs. It’s the most widely used. It is immutable, transparent in ownership and security. Hence it is Non-fungible, a true NFT. It can’t be divided and represents a single asset that is in interchanged. It’s great for creating and tracking unique NFTs. Although transferable, trying to transfer an entire collection with it can be slow and inefficient.

However, the biggest issue with ERC-721 is that when gas fees are high, it can cost an artist a tidy sum in Etheruem to mint an NFT. Therefore, when you need to mint NFTs en masse, it doesn’t make much sense to use this contract.

ERC-1155:

ERC-1155 is a unique token that supports non-fungible (NFTs) and fungible tokens. It’s faster and more efficient to use in batch token transfers. Developed by Enjin, it is called, “the next generation multi-token standard.”

ERC-1155 can use a single contract to make various types of NFTs. Gas fees are cut by 90%, making it an affordable way for anyone to start minting on blockchain. The only real draw back is that the NFT is harder to track in terms of ownership—to save data stored on blockchain ERC-1155 has specifications on the Etheruem logs that have less robust information.

They both appear to be great contracts that can be used for non-fungible tokens, so why the big debate?

Is it just personal preference?

Which one should a new artist choose?

In a nutshell, it simply comes down to your use case for them, that’s all.

So while you may wonder what to do, there is no right or wrong answer. Some collectors will only choose to buy an NFT minted on ERC-721 and others will not have a preference about the issue. Your use case will usually determine which one is the best fit for minting your NFT.

As an artist in this space, I mint on both. I understand newcomers being drawn to platforms using ERC-1155 as they are open, easy and affordable. Many support their decisions if they choose this minting standard and believe their work should not be viewed as lesser than those who have been in this space longer and choose to mint only on ERC-721.

As a community, we should be a welcoming space for all to grow in. Artists should never be shunned for which contract they decide to mint with. In support and solidarity for all who wonder if choosing the “lazy minting” was the right thing to do or not, I minted my own Anatomy Shapes Collection on OpenSea under such a contract.

Regardless of what you choose to use, above all, remember to have fun. 

Categories
NFT Tech

Enjin Announces Jumpnet, a Step Towards Democratized NFTs

The biggest headache for NFT users today (other than explaining the acronym 50 times a day) is gas fees. Luckily, the folks over at Enjin have provided a solution:

The problem with gas fees:

Imagine your grandma sending you a birthday card with $5 in it. How would you feel if she told you “My mail route so busy today I had to pay my mailman $60 to send the card”? 

You’d probably go looking for a mailman to “just talk”. 

No one messes with grandma. 

Take that ridiculous upcharge and apply it to sending NFTs. It can cost you upwards of $50-$60 in the crypto currency Ethereum (ETH) to send a $1 item. 

Enjin’s newest product Jumpnet makes Gas Fees as obsolete as late night Blockbuster runs.

What does Jumpnet do?

Jumpnet lets users mint (create NFTs with enjin coin) and send items to others without having to pay any ETH gas fees. 

Game developers and others adopting NFTs have had to calculate ridiculous exploding gas costs to distribute items. A single giveaway could cost thousands of dollars in Gas Fees. Not to mention people who want to trade with their friends. They’ve been subjected to the crazy Gas Fees too. 

Free to play games can now breathe easier knowing that they can distribute their items to players without having to manually check Gas Fees beforehand. Jumpnet allows companies to create easily scanned QR codes that they can post on their announcements and other social media. Once a user has scanned the code, their Enjin will receive a NFT of a random rarity from the person who created the “Drop”. 

This much more cost effective environment will create a new wave of content creators, gamers and brands that want to experiment with NFTs. It’s also a stepping stone for the future Enjin product, Efinity, which will grant Enjin NFT holders the ability to earn passively—but that’s for another article!

For future updates and showcases of people utilizing this tech, be sure to follow me on Twitter and the folks over at Enjin to keep up to date on what they’re cooking up.

Categories
NFT Tech

The Future Of Ethereum May Be Gasless

Blockchains.

They’re a hot topic.

The NFT craze has exploded into popular culture, and with it comes conversations around blockchains. The conversations about what they are, how they work, and what their potential holds for our future. 

The “how they work” part is only dimly understood by a non-technical person like myself. And that’s okay, as I don’t really need to know how every aspect of the piping works. I don’t need to know how to code in Solidity or write a smart contract. I just need it to work. 

But the story of blockchains is still a very young one. As such, it seems my understanding does have to extend deeper into the plumbing than say the World Wide Web. I have no idea for instance what the “http” protocol is, and I don’t need to know. I type a website URL in, and it takes me there. It just works. 

In blockchain land however, things don’t work as well just yet. They’re clunky, slow, and still have a long way to go. 

One of the key points of clunkiness for many of us is this thing called “gas”. 

You go to Opensea to buy an NFT. You find something you love that is within your budget, click buy, and boom! You get hit with this transaction fee called gas that’s just obnoxiously expensive. 


In a lot of ways, the Ethereum blockchain does work. There are lots of applications being built on it today that are fun to use and have many people using them (which adds to the fun). Where it gets real clunky is at the point of transaction. They simply cost too much and take too long.

Things like gas, wait times and token standardization are the type of things that eventually get abstracted away from the end user who, like me, just wants to buy some art. 

So how do we get there?

Getting To Gasless

Well, this is the billion dollar question. The problem of scalability is one that many many people are working tirelessly to solve. 

So how do we solve this? 

Well, there are a bunch of potential answers to that question. But most of them can be boiled down to two different routes: 1) build better blockchains or 2) make Ethereum better.

Option 1: Build Better Blockchains

One set of people say the answer is different blockchains. That the scalability problems of speed and cost will be resolved through the use of application-specific blockchains that are built for specific use-cases. For example, blockchains for buying and selling NFTs will be built in such a way that makes those behaviours seamless. 

These answers tend to fly in the face of Ethereum’s intent to be the settlement layer for all applications. To subscribe to this view is sometimes referred to as an Ethereum maximalist viewpoint. 

This debate goes deep and has many facets to it, with technical depths that reach far beyond my paygrade. (For a more technical discussion of the environmental impacts of ETH, check out this piece.) That said, here is what I do know… 

For most of us, blockchains are pretty boring. Most people do not care to know how the settlement layer beneath their favorite apps work or even what settlement layer they’re on. They just care that it works. That it’s safe, dependable, and trustworthy. 

The same way people don’t really care how the search layer of the Internet works. They just care that it works. And Google works. 

Yes, there are other search engines. Some of those other search engines may in fact be better for certain use-cases. But that hasn’t stopped the world from mostly just using Google. Everyone is there. If there is a way to make search engines better, we just want Google to do it. We don’t want to start using 17 different search engines for all our needs. Is this Google maximalism? Perhaps. It’s also simply the state of the world. 

So, does this Google analogy perfectly port over to Ethereum? Well, I’m not entirely sure. Again, I don’t have a deep grasp of the technical layers of this stuff. It’s also too early to tell how this will all play out.  

I just know that in these early days, from a user’s perspective, many aspects of Ethereum seem to just work. So if that is true, then the solution to our scalability problem may be to simply make Ethereum better. 

Option 2: Make Ethereum Better

A lot of people and projects are working on just this — to make everything on Ethereum, namely transactions, work a whole lot better. 

Perhaps the biggest solution in the works today is Ethereum’s plan to move to a Proof-of-Stake system with Ethereum 2, better known as Eth2.

https://ethereum.org/en/eth2/
Ethereum.org
https://ethereum.org/en/eth2/

This change, along with a number of other technically-complex changes that the ETH2 update brings, are meant to make transactions on the blockchain faster, cheaper, and cleaner for the environment. 


While Phase 0 of this upgrade launched in December 2020, network-wide deployment of  Eth2 is still years away. At the rate of adoption we are now seeing, years away feels a lot more like decades. We need solutions today.

Layer-2 Solutions

The other place these problems are being chipped away at are known as Layer 2 solutions. Currently, when you make a transaction on most platforms — say you buy an NFT — that transaction is recorded and validated directly on the blockchain, which we could also refer to as Layer 1. All the costs associated with that transaction are incurred by you, the user, in both gas fees and wait times. 

Layer 2 solutions allow transactions to take place a layer above the blockchain. These layers use math and cryptography to validate transactions securely without sending as much information to the blockchain. It’s like batching together a thousand transactions for the cost of one, without giving up (too much) security. 

There are many different versions of these Layer 2 solutions. Some examples are Zero-Knowledge Rollups, Optimistic Rollups, Plasma etc. Each of them come with different tradeoffs. Some are faster than others, some are more ironclad secure than others. 

As these solutions are implemented and proliferate across the entire Ethereum network, we can begin to see a future where all of these complex things are abstracted away from the end user. Transactions simply become free, instantaneous and safe. 

Not only are we headed there, but some of these solutions are already in place. For instance, Loopring uses Zero-Knowledge Rollups (or ZkRollups) to make exchanging tokens on its exchange platform free and instant. Their platform has been live for over a year now, and more decentralized exchanges are now adopting these solutions. 

Next up is solving this problem for NFTs, and it sounds like this may just be right around the corner. Immutable is building the “first layer 2 solution for NFTs on Ethereum”. They recently announced that this technology will be rolling out onto Opensea soon. I’m definitely watching this closely..   


When these solutions reach any and all NFT platforms, then we’re in for a whole new world. 

Categories
NFT Tech

What is BitClout? Diving Into the Social Crypto Exchange

Note: This article is not intended to be formal financial advice. Always do your own research before investing.

The latest love-it-leave-it controversy to hit Web3? It’s called BitClout. Here’s a really simple explainer for you: BitClout is a social crypto exchange built around tokens for famous people.


OK, now that you’re still reading, let’s take that a little further.

Each BitClout account is linked to a Twitter account. If you are one of the top 15,000 Twitter profiles, you can gain access to your BitClout profile by tweeting out your public key at any time. Your account was already made for you. Once you access your account, you are entitled to a percentage of your creator coins, if anyone bought and sold them.

See the controversy now? This is a crypto exchange that makes rich people richer based on how famous they are. Well, sort of. Speculators can also make tons of money by picking profiles that increase in value. So the money is not exclusive.

Clout go ↑ Price go ↑

Everytime someone purchases a creator coin, the price increases. In fact, the price of BitClout doubles for every million BitClout sold. So, if you pick a B-list celebrity that ends up getting really famous really fast, you may see some profits.


If a creator is already doing well on BitClout and they haven’t claimed their profile yet… they’re sitting on free money. For example, Ariana Grande is featured on the BitClout homepage as a fast-growing account, but she hasn’t claimed it yet.

How did this all get started?

The cool thing about crypto and the reason people love it so much is, unlike Facebook or Twitter, decentralized networks are open-source. Open-source means anyone can see the code. Anyone can see it = full transparency.

Thanks to smart people on Twitter, we get a further breakdown of how BitClout came about and why celebrity coins are spiking in value:

The thread is really long and it gets super technical, so TL;DR: the BitClout team created a better mousetrap. They created a system that pumped up the value of celebrity creator coins, people saw that value going up, other people started buying more, eventually the celebrities took notice and started verifying their accounts (which they can only do by sending out a tweet) and thus the vicious (perhaps genius?) BitClout cycle began.

Now keep in mind: this is a growth hack. I’m not ready to discredit the ability of anyone to make profits on the platform. Sure, you can make a million bucks. You can also lose all of your money. It’s just interesting how this whole thing came about.

How BitClout Works

If you’re still reading this far, you probably want to learn a little bit more about BitClout before you go jumping in and trading Bitcoin for elon coins. And if you’re a crypto noobie, you should learn about Bitcoin and Altcoins before diving in.

BitClout works similar to Bitcoin. There is no real company behind it — it’s just coins and code. The open-source project has its own native cryptocurrency, called BitClout. You can use BitClout to purchase creator coins linked to your favorite celebrities/twitter accounts.

When BitClout was first created, it auto-populated the top 15,000 Twitter accounts into their platform. It was then up to 1) the free market and 2) the creator to start exchanging and claiming rewards.

Also important to note, everyone with a Twitter account can make their own creator coin. It may not be worth much, depending how fire your Twitter game is. But there’s more to coin prices than just Twitter followers.

According to BitClout’s one-pager whitepaper, the idea is to connect someone’s social clout to an asset. If, let’s say, Lebron James rescued a bunch of puppies, his coin price should theoretically go up. On the reverse, if Lebron James found himself in a cheating scandal, his coin price would go down. By purchasing someone’s coin, you are not only investing in their Twitter game, but also their social reputation.

This is where BitClout gets interesting

Putting all of the vanity behind glorifying celebrities aside, BitClout actually has some real-world use for high-profile Twitter accounts and content creators. The technology, for example, allows creators to limit comments to accounts with a significant stake in their coin. Want Will Smith to respond to your DM? You have to own some Will Smith coins first.

Sponsored posts for top stakeholders, premium social content, AMAs with top fans, these are all easily achievable under BitClout’s platform. Sure, you can already do all of these things on other platforms. But through BitClout, every subscriber has a vested interest in your success.

This could (and should) be the future of social media. I’ve always found it hard to understand negative comments on milquetoast content. Just keep scrolling, bro.

Well, under these rules, trolls have to invest in their victim to get a voice. Would you pay $100 to cyberbully?

BitClout may or may not be ‘the next big thing’, but the idea is certainly appealing. At first glance, it sounded terrible. No one wants to stake hard-earned money on the success of rich people. But we already kind of do that… It’s called the stock market. Instead of companies, we stake our bets on people. What’s the difference?

Categories
NFT Tech

NFT Gaming Platform Enjin Announces Efinity, a Next Gen Blockchain

As the NFT boom continues to escalate, one of the biggest names in blockchain gaming has announced their very own blockchain built specifically for NFTs. If you don’t know Enjin, read up on them here. The possibilities allowed by their tech are truly endless, especially in the gaming space. There are numerous reasons why Efinity, the brand’s new parachain built on Polkadot, is unique compared to other popular blockchains; we’ll unpack them below:

First of all, any NFT from any other chain (like Ethereum, for example) can be transmitted to Efinity.

“Digital assets should exist in a metaverse of blockchains. Opening up liquidity across multiple blockchains and use-cases will connect a broad ecosystem of creators, buyers, and sellers.”

Witek Radomski, Enjin CTO

This will further increase the accessibility of trading NFTs, opening up more opportunity for a cross-platform marketplace. Efinity is built on Polkadot, which wasn’t built with the intention to replace ETH, “but to improve and complement it.” Whereas ETH runs at around 15 transactions per second, Efinity will process up to 700-1,000 transactions per second.

Another interesting feature of the new tech is how the community will be incorporated into determining future moves. According to the press release from Enjin: “Community governance will enable EFI holders to submit and vote on proposals to steer the future of the network.” Pretty cool!

If you want to read more about what Enjin is up to and how Efinity will change the NFT marketplace, read all the details on their website.

Categories
NFT Tech

Telegram and NFT Creators: A Perfect Pair

Where do you spend your time on the internet, and how do you communicate with people? The answers to these questions define our interactions, relationships and experiences in this postmodern digital galaxy. Since the NFT revolution, I have found myself spending most of my time on Telegram, a cloud-based instant messaging service that has the ability to allow users to send multimedia while making video calls. In the most recent update, the app allows for group chats within communities, along with the option to record conversations.  

What is Telegram?

Founded in 2013 by Nikolai and Pavel Durov (founders of the Russian social media platform VK), Telegram was built with the intention to out-play “WhatsApp” by allowing users to access accounts from multiple devices. Encryption makes the app far more secure than its Facebook-owned competitor. Private chats are available, where messages are stored on individual devices rather than in the transparent cloud. There is also a message self-destruct option similar to that of Snapchat and the Signal app.

In my time on the app, I have made connections with multiple groups connected to the Phantasma Blockchain and the Ghost Market NFT marketplace. What I love about this interface is that it allows for multiple communities to be created that each focus on their particular niche. For example, I find myself in the “Phantasma Chain” group with 6000+ people that love that particular blockchain. Then I find myself in the “Souldiers” group, which is focused more on the cryptocurrency $SOUL (Phantasma governance token), as well as  the sub groups for Ghost Market “Music”, “Art”, “Photography.” There is also a secret group with a design team of developers working on the VR side of the evolution.  

How I’ve used it:

Due to this technology, I have been able to connect with like-minded people from all over the world. I can’t ever remember a time in my life when this was such an easily accessible process. There have always been the “long distance carrier fees” and the systematic filing of territories through social media constructs. But now, I am immersed on a daily basis in global  communications and interactions; we are learning, connecting and continuously growing as a global family from over 40 different countries. 

This ease of sharing art, music, ideas and business strategies in one streamlined app has been a wonderful blessing for all of us, and has undoubtedly facilitated the expansion of the NFT revolution to all corners of the globe. There are scores of other communities experiencing the same global coming-together, creating new connections, experiencing new cultures, and shattering the notion of “us and them.” Instead, technology is proving that we are indeed an interconnected global community, with similar desires and motivations to make the world a better place through music, art and technology.

Telegram is one of the 10 most downloaded apps with over 650 million active users. It’s the fastest messaging app on the market, connecting people via a unique, distributed network of data centers around the globe. A Telegram group can carry up to 200,000 members. Unlike so many of the dominating forces in tech, Telegram does not sell ads, and states: “making profits will never be an end-goal for Telegram” According to Business of Apps: “Access to personal data gained by advertisers would go against its ethos.” As most all major social media company’s have faced security breaches by hacker groups, Telegram has certainly fallen prey to ill intentioned behaviors as well. The app does not include end-to-end encryption, and communications technology is never 100% secure. Nevertheless, this app is far more secure than most, and thus far my time with the app has been phenomenal for connectivity, growth, and collaboration opportunities with creative people from around the world. I look forward to the growth of the good that will come from facilitating the interconnection of our global family. 

Check out the newest episode of The Music Ministry Podcast, where we discuss our experiences with the Telegram app.

Categories
NFT Tech

The Most Important Word in NFTs, According to Jack Settleman

When I first wrote about NBA Top Shot, one of the reasons I was, and still am, so attracted to the product is the utility of it. There are so many different uses for NBA Top Shot and the league is constantly looking to expand the integration of the product. 

So, utility

That brings us to digital horses. 

I can’t believe I am writing that out loud.

When I was growing up, I would go to Dave and Busters quite a bit. Good ol’ D&B. My favorite game was Derby Owners Club.

It was a horse racing game. You could breed, train, and jockey. When you were done, you could store the information of your horse on a ticket. When I returned back to D&B, I could plug my ticket back in and all of that information was saved. I had a horse. I had my jockey. I could pick up where I left off from during my last trip to Dave and Busters. 

This week, everything came full circle. 

Some of you may have seen that I have been tweeting heavily about digital horses and a site called zed.run.

Zed.run has the breeding. Zed has the racing. And the third element is that you can bet on the actual races with fake money, but in the future, the assumption is that you will be able to bet with real money. 

Instead of going out and buying an actual horse, hiring a jockey, and needing a ridiculous amount of money… I could own a digital race horse. 

This is a GREAT example of the importance of utility in NFTs. People want to be able to use and/or incorporate their investments into something useful. 

Like most other NFT market places, there are still problems with the sites themselves. As I said last week, it is early. 

Zed had a drop where you could buy new horses this past weekend and sold out in just a few hours. There were some small hiccups along the way, but that shouldn’t come as a complete surprise. 

This blog isn’t about zed. This is about utility in NFTs. Every week, there is a new way for people to understand how NFTs work. As more and more inclusions to the NFT space are welcomed, I am going to stay focused on that singular word: utility. 

What can I do with it? 

So as we continue to navigate through the early days of NFTs, I want to encourage everyone to keep utility at the forefront of it all. 

Categories
NFT Tech

The Story Behind Bitcoin and Tesla You Might Be Missing

Elon Musk announced in a tweet that you can now buy a Tesla with Bitcoin. By mid-day, it garnered over 600,000 likes. But this wasn’t Musk’s biggest tweet of the day.

There was nothing surprising about Tesla picking up Bitcoin. Elon Musk is one of the largest proponents of cryptocurrencies in the world. So large, that some crypto heads speculate that he might be Satoshi Nakamoto himself.

So for anyone following the Tesla-Bitcoin saga, this move was predictable and inevitable. What’s the real headline here?

In the thread of his viral tweet-announcement, Musk wrote that “Bitcoin paid to Tesla will be retained as Bitcoin, not converted to fiat currency.”

Wow. That has major implications. Bitcoin maximalists have long pointed to the need for Bitcoin to be treated like a currency, not an asset. That means people need to buy and sell things using Bitcoin. Not only that, but we need to stop comparing its relative value to fiat dollars.

I don’t care how many dollars Bitcoin is worth

When you obsess over Bitcoin’s price relative to US dollars, you treat it like a security (or a stock), not a system of money. That limits Bitcoin’s growth.

Despite Bitcoin becoming the world’s third largest currency, the media keeps quantifying its success in US dollars. Bitcoin needs to become successful as a standalone currency. What limits Bitcoin from mass use? Technical barriers to entry, gas fees, slow transaction rates, etc.

By keeping assets tied to Bitcoin, Musk is expediting the process of solving Bitcoin’s largest problems. Tesla highlights the exact headline Bitcoin needs to become more widely adopted.

Going beyond cash reserves

Many companies like Square are replacing their cash reserves with Bitcoin because they see the value in that. But companies need to do more than just hold and sit. This isn’t AMC or Gamestop (HODL!).

The real explosion will come when businesses start transacting Bitcoin with other businesses.

The scary part about Tesla’s Bitcoin bump

The government is coming!

President Biden recently announced he will be spending trillions of dollars on clean energy over the next few years. That comes after a historic stimulus bill passed with money spent on—depending who you ask—frivolous research (like lizards on treadmills, yeah look it up), international affairs, and some thousand dollar checks.

Money printer go brrrr. The more companies like Tesla turn to crypto, the less important the US dollar becomes. And no one in the government is making the case for us to feel any different. They just keep printing money like it’s worthless. The only industry left clinging to dollars is the oil industry, and we’re sort of trying to move away from that.

Someone at the Fed right now read that Musk tweet and panicked. The scary part? In my opinion, regulators and bankers are going to do everything they can over the next few years to control the crypto genie that popped out of the bottle. But it may be too late to take control. And if that’s true, they may try to stop it.

I don’t know if they can. But if a bunch of major companies and consumers decided to start exchanging Bitcoin in place of dollars, and no one cared about the value of dollars anymore, it would be really hard for the government to step in and ask for the bill.

This fight is far from over

I know people love to hate on crypto, but this is the real counterculture. Sure, Musk might be a secret military-industrial complex spy plotting to take over Mars, but the moves he’s making right now directly contrast the hopes and wishes of the establishment.

The SEC already went after Ripple in December, attacking it as an illegal security. Secretary of Treasury and former Fed Chair Janet Yellen criticized Bitcoin for its inefficiency.

More optimistically, the SEC commissioner said there was no way to ban Bitcoin, and insisted that it was not a security. She even opened up the conversation about opening a Bitcoin exchange-traded product (ETP). If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em?

There seems to be no clear messaging coming from the government right now as they set to launch their own Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) next month.

Half the room seems to be saying Bitcoin is a breeding ground for terrorist funding and needs to be stopped, while the other half insists (perhaps regrettably) that Bitcoin is here to stay. The latter will try to build infrastructure around crypto to make it more productive for governments as we approach this new, uncertain global financial system.

Categories
NFT Tech

Discussing the Environmental Impact of NFTs and Blockchain Tech

On this week’s episode of Huh?, Tyler Schmitt speaks with Sillytuna, a longtime crypto/NFT enthusiast who pretty much understands the space better than anyone. Their conversation, keeping in step with the wider discussion culturally right now, is focused on the environmental impact of NFTs. “The environmental impact of NFTs” is actually a bit of a misnomer, as Tuna makes very clear during the conversation. There are certainly environmental impacts created by Ethereum, the primary blockchain technology used for minting NFTs, but the process of minting itself absolutely does not have an independent negative effect on the environment.

Sillytuna begins: “We work in an area that is immensely complicated with a lot of nuance.” In the discussion of the impact of NFTs, a lot of that nuance has been lost. Speaking on the blanket statement that NFTs are “bad” for the environment, Sillytuna says: “It is actually true… to an extent. The problem is, there’s a lot of detail to that. And it’s quite hard to understand that detail unless you’re prepared to sit and listen to it.” The conversation moves on to how, so often, the responsibility for mitigating climate change falls on the consumer, when the consumer really contributes a miniscule fraction of pollution. “The vast majority of the pollution is done by large corporations, manufacturing, governments not dealing with plastic recycling properly or allowing too much plastic to be manufactured. Corporations have worked very hard to make sure that consumers take the blame,” he says. 

Sillytuna covered a lot of what’s discussed in this episode in this tweet thread of his:

Back to NFTs. He puts it concisely: “NFTs do not pollute the environment.” As mentioned before, the conversation is nuanced; he adds: “So if you’re minting an NFT on Ethereum, although your NFT doesn’t use energy, you’re sitting on a platform that does.” But here’s the thing. The ethereum blockchain can only perform 12 transactions a second. That load is full and has been full for a long time. When minting an NFT, you’re just trying to get into one of those slots which will be used regardless of whether or not an NFT is minted. Using a passenger train as an analogy for the Ethereum chain, Sillytuna says: “If we removed all NFTs from Ethereum, it would make no tangible difference on how many people get on that train.”

There are other options of other blockchain technologies people can use to mint their NFTs, but none of them have the same size community or longevity. Anyone is welcome to use other platforms, but here’s the thing. Ethereum already has plans to move away from their current model, which is based on “proof of work,” which requires an immense amount of energy. By continuing to use Ethereum, we can actually put pressure on the creators to expedite their process of moving to a new system. In the meantime, you could put some money into carbon credits or choose other avenues to offset the environmental impact of Ethereum. 

It’s important for ETH to move to a new system successfully, “because the bigger energy users need to see ethereum make that change.” Almost all contemporary blockchain technologies do not use proof of work, but many of the older ones (Bitcoin, Dogecoin, etc.) still do. “If and when Ethereum proves that it can work, migrating a major chain to a new system, there is no excuse for proof of work to exist,” Sillytuna says. 

There are also misrepresentations floating around that Ethereum is some large, faceless corporation. In reality, it is a community of developers who are incredibly transparent about all of their work, are not beholden to any sort of board and who have built the entire project with the intent of “creating something of utility for its users.” So as users demonstrate that the environmental impact of Ethereum mining is bad (as it is), they developers have begun to look for other solutions.

A throughline throughout the entire conversation? Harassing artists for minting NFTs is simply unproductive and uninformed. We should aim to change systems, not harass individuals online who are just trying to distribute their work. 

The short answer? NFTs do not independently hurt the environment. For the long answer, listen to the full episode, it’s truly one for the books. 

Categories
NFT Tech

Leonard Nimoy Takes Memorabilia Where Few Have Gone Before

Star Trek’s heroes have always led the way. In space, they boldly went where no one had gone before. And now in cyberspace they’re exploring new worlds and seeking out new civilizations. 

Or rather, they’re showing how civilizations can use the latest blockchain technology to develop a new kind of collectibles market.

Fittingly, it was Captain Kirk who led the way. Last July, actor William Shatner made some of his personal memorabilia available in digital form on the WAX blockchain. The 10,000 packs containing 125,000 digital shards of Shatner—which could be combined to form photographs—sold out in just nine minutes, a demonstration of the blockchain’s ability to give fans tradable collections.

Now Mr. Spock is joining Kirk on the bridge of this new enterprise. The family of co-star Leonard Nimoy, who died six years ago of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), is raising money for COPD research by issuing their own collection.

“We’ve looked at different opportunities of ways we can we can honor his memory and his legacy and at the same time draw awareness and attention to lung disease, which was so important to him before he passed away,” Nimoy’s son-in-law David Knight told The Nifty Show. “So when we did find out about Bill Shatner’s collection, we started thinking this is a great opportunity.”

Like Shatner’s release, Nimoy’s collection will consist of photographs from both his career and his personal life. Collectors can own images of the Spock actor, movie director, and theatrical performer in high school, in the army, and with his family. The images are chronological, starting with shots of Nimoy in the 1940s, and ending with the last picture taken of him with his family at his home in Malibu.

The first series will consist of 255 unique trading cards in six levels of rarity. Uncommon images blur and twirl; rare cards flip and pixelate; ultra rare editions come with a golden sheen. 

The collection will also use the trading system employed successfully by William Shatner. Cards are divided into three “shards” which have to be combined to display both the card itself and its rarity. Buyers will be able to sell their cards on a secondary market where prices for items on the WAX blockchain have reached as high as $65,000.

Purchases can also be made using credit cards, opening the NFT market to regular collectors as well as to blockchain enthusiasts.

While other digital art platforms have been plagued by the high transaction rates charged by the Ethereum network, WAX doesn’t have gas fees. The low purchase and trading costs have made WAX the go-to platform for collectibles such as Topps’s Garbage Pail Kids and even Atari video game boxes

The addition of Leonard Nimoy’s personal memorabilia to the blockchain space might not be a giant leap for mankind. We’ve already had that. But it does represent the continued migration of collectible memorabilia into cyberspace. The project will be available on March 25th at this link.