Categories
Grind Money

Get to Know CryptoStache: A Beacon of Information In The CryptoVerse

Navigating the wide world of cryptocurrency can be quite daunting for newcomers. You can do all the Google searches in the world for the terms Basic Attention Token, NFT’s, Ethereum, etc. But without proper guidance, you’ll quickly find yourself overwhelmed by the constantly evolving crypto space and its latest trends.

If you’re desperate for a savior to make sense of all this, then allow us to introduce you to Shea Newkirk aka “CryptoStache.” The crypto guru runs a personal blog where he gets into the nitty-gritty of all things bitcoin and crypto. Besides offering readers a treasure trove of worthwhile advice to follow, CryptoStache also dishes out useful information and insightful podcast sessions on his growing YouTube channel. 

To say that CrytpoStache is a man of many talents would be a severe understatement – his Twitter bio describes him as a bitcoiner, blockchain gamer, content creator, entrepreneur, musician, and designer. And he sports a pretty sick handlebar mustache to boot. His cryptocurrency knowledge reaches far and wide, which is why our very own Tyler Schmitt spent some time picking his brain and learning about his interesting backstory.

Tyler kicked his conversation with CryptoStache off by letting him provide us all with a brief breakdown of who he is and what he does in the crypto world. “All NFT roads lead back to ‘Stache. That’s how I set it all up, guys. For years, I’ve been laying the tracks and now the time has come. I’m all about stashing my crypto. And the tagline is not just clever, it’s literally what I built my educational platform on from the very beginning when I first started doing it. It’s an underlying ethos to what I’m doing here in crypto. I got started in the industry in really 2013, is when I really slowly took a look at Satoshi’s [Nakamoto] [The] White Paper. And that’s when it was like BOOM!”

CryptoStache went on to explain how he initially got put on to the cryptocurrency scene. “The first time was like early 2012 and I was just surfing around on Reddit’s and news forums out there. And I saw a link where someone was talking about magic internet money. And I was like ‘that’s weird. Magic bitcoin money? Alright…’ So I clicked the link, go to the website, and it’s like right there. Hey, buy Bitcoin!”

Tyler then asks if CryptoStache considered himself a techie at that point in his life. “I’ve been a techie my whole life. I started building computers when I was like 14 years old. I taught myself how to code at 16 and do graphics, HTML, and all that good stuff.” CryptoStache also delved into his teen years and noted how he didn’t look like your average nerd. “I look cool. I don’t look like a nerd. I was always good at really hiding it. Because in high school, that was not the cool thing. I did sports too, so when I’m at home I’m computing. It was a crazy kind of juxtaposition.” As the interview goes on, CryptoStache covers a wide range of topics, such as his working past in the field of architecture, his crypto know-how, and his interest in blockchain gaming.

Be sure to listen to the full conversation between Tyler and CryptoStache to fully immerse yourself in all the goings-on playing out in the cryptocurrency medium. And do yourself a favor and give CryptoStache a follow on Instagram and Twitter.

Categories
Finance NFT

Get to Know CryptoStache: A Beacon of Information In The CryptoVerse

Navigating the wide world of cryptocurrency can be quite daunting for newcomers. You can do all the Google searches in the world for the terms Basic Attention Token, NFT’s, Ethereum, etc. But without proper guidance, you’ll quickly find yourself overwhelmed by the constantly evolving crypto space and its latest trends.

If you’re desperate for a savior to make sense of all this, then allow us to introduce you to Shea Newkirk aka “CryptoStache.” The crypto guru runs a personal blog where he gets into the nitty-gritty of all things bitcoin and crypto. Besides offering readers a treasure trove of worthwhile advice to follow, CryptoStache also dishes out useful information and insightful podcast sessions on his growing YouTube channel. 

To say that CrytpoStache is a man of many talents would be a severe understatement – his Twitter bio describes him as a bitcoiner, blockchain gamer, content creator, entrepreneur, musician, and designer. And he sports a pretty sick handlebar mustache to boot. His cryptocurrency knowledge reaches far and wide, which is why our very own Tyler Schmitt spent some time picking his brain and learning about his interesting backstory.

Tyler kicked his conversation with CryptoStache off by letting him provide us all with a brief breakdown of who he is and what he does in the crypto world. “All NFT roads lead back to ‘Stache. That’s how I set it all up, guys. For years, I’ve been laying the tracks and now the time has come. I’m all about stashing my crypto. And the tagline is not just clever, it’s literally what I built my educational platform on from the very beginning when I first started doing it. It’s an underlying ethos to what I’m doing here in crypto. I got started in the industry in really 2013, is when I really slowly took a look at Satoshi’s [Nakamoto] [The] White Paper. And that’s when it was like BOOM!”

CryptoStache went on to explain how he initially got put on to the cryptocurrency scene. “The first time was like early 2012 and I was just surfing around on Reddit’s and news forums out there. And I saw a link where someone was talking about magic internet money. And I was like ‘that’s weird. Magic bitcoin money? Alright…’ So I clicked the link, go to the website, and it’s like right there. Hey, buy Bitcoin!”

Tyler then asks if CryptoStache considered himself a techie at that point in his life. “I’ve been a techie my whole life. I started building computers when I was like 14 years old. I taught myself how to code at 16 and do graphics, HTML, and all that good stuff.” CryptoStache also delved into his teen years and noted how he didn’t look like your average nerd. “I look cool. I don’t look like a nerd. I was always good at really hiding it. Because in high school, that was not the cool thing. I did sports too, so when I’m at home I’m computing. It was a crazy kind of juxtaposition.” As the interview goes on, CryptoStache covers a wide range of topics, such as his working past in the field of architecture, his crypto know-how, and his interest in blockchain gaming.

Be sure to listen to the full conversation between Tyler and CryptoStache to fully immerse yourself in all the goings-on playing out in the cryptocurrency medium. And do yourself a favor and give CryptoStache a follow on Instagram and Twitter.

Categories
Grind Money

Beeple’s “Everydays — The First 5000 Days” Sells For Nearly $70 Million

If you haven’t started investing in, or even learning about NFTs, now would be the time to start doing so. Mike Winkelmann, aka the digital artist Beeple, has sold his piece “Everydays — The First 5000 Days” for $69.3 million, shattering the record for digital artwork sales and making it one of the biggest sales in the history of Christie’s Auction House.

For those unfamiliar with NFTs, here is a comprehensive breakdown of the phenomenon and how these “non-fungible tokens” are a potential gamechanger in not just the world of finance but also the arts, culture, gaming, and beyond.

“Everydays — The First 5000 Days” is a JPG file that contains a collage of images that was created by Beeple, so while most art sales are for one single painting, this contains practically everything that the artist has created since he first began posting his work online in 2007.

Beeple is known for creating surreal pieces of art that reflect the culture of the time, whether that be politics, culture, music, and everything in between.

This is also not the first time that Beeple has made a killing from an NFT sale. Back in February, his piece “Crossroads” sold for $6.6 million in Ethereum. It’s clear that people love Beeple’s work and see that it has more value than one might think at first glance.

In another first for Christie’s, “Everydays” was the first NFT sold by the auction house and was also the first piece to be purchased using Ethereum.

Just yesterday, the NFT called “Crypto Punk 7804” was sold 4,200 ETH, which is the equivalent of $7,566,173.88, thought to be the largest transaction involving NFTs up to that point.

If that sale and today’s auction of “Everydays” is any indication, it’s the world of NFTs and digital art will constantly be in flux, and this sale might not be top dog for long.

Categories
Art NFT

Beeple’s “Everydays — The First 5000 Days” Sells For Nearly $70 Million

If you haven’t started investing in, or even learning about NFTs, now would be the time to start doing so. Mike Winkelmann, aka the digital artist Beeple, has sold his piece “Everydays — The First 5000 Days” for $69.3 million, shattering the record for digital artwork sales and making it one of the biggest sales in the history of Christie’s Auction House.

For those unfamiliar with NFTs, here is a comprehensive breakdown of the phenomenon and how these “non-fungible tokens” are a potential gamechanger in not just the world of finance but also the arts, culture, gaming, and beyond.

“Everydays — The First 5000 Days” is a JPG file that contains a collage of images that was created by Beeple, so while most art sales are for one single painting, this contains practically everything that the artist has created since he first began posting his work online in 2007.

Beeple is known for creating surreal pieces of art that reflect the culture of the time, whether that be politics, culture, music, and everything in between.

This is also not the first time that Beeple has made a killing from an NFT sale. Back in February, his piece “Crossroads” sold for $6.6 million in Ethereum. It’s clear that people love Beeple’s work and see that it has more value than one might think at first glance.

In another first for Christie’s, “Everydays” was the first NFT sold by the auction house and was also the first piece to be purchased using Ethereum.

Just yesterday, the NFT called “Crypto Punk 7804” was sold 4,200 ETH, which is the equivalent of $7,566,173.88, thought to be the largest transaction involving NFTs up to that point.

If that sale and today’s auction of “Everydays” is any indication, it’s the world of NFTs and digital art will constantly be in flux, and this sale might not be top dog for long.

Categories
Grind Money

NFTs Are Changing the Music Industry Right Before Our Eyes

Special thanks to Cooper Turley of Audius and Jeremy Stern of Catalog for feedback. 

An NFT by electronic musician Jacques Greene recently sold on Foundation for 13ETH — over $23,000 US. 

The audio-visual clip teases out a few seconds of an unreleased song of his called ‘Promise’.

https://foundation.app/jacquesgreene/promise-640
Foundation

But this purchase is for more than just the artwork itself. As Jacques writes, “this NFT represents not only a 1of1 AV but the publishing rights to the song upon its release, in perpetuity.”

Now this, to me, is an incredibly exciting thing to see. And not only because Jacques and I are both musicians and both from Montreal.

But because this is one more early example that nudges us ever closer to the following hypothesis: That we are at the beginning of a massive overhaul of this thing we’ve collectively decided to call the “music industry”. And that every facet of said industry will feel the aftershocks of this tectonic shift.

Welcome to the Stone Age

I recently wrote a beginner’s guide to NFTs and spoke of how they are about to change pretty much everything. This article both zooms out of NFTs and into the wider edges of what we can call the web3 revolution, and it zooms in on where these changes meet music. 

To create a succinct story around what this future of music will look like would be a fool’s errand. We are just beginning to touch these new tools for the first time. It’s like we’re in the Early Stone Age, and we just accidentally made the first hammers ever. We’ve just picked them up, and we’re feeling their weight; we’re hitting them against things and seeing if something goes boom. 

So instead of speculating on exactly where this all goes, this article walks through five examples of people, projects, and platforms that are giving these brand new hammers a good smacking. 

This is in no way an exhaustive list. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of experiments underway. 

My hope is that these examples begin to outline for you the possibilities of what’s to come. I encourage you to use the infinite landscape of your imagination to color in the rest. 

Alright, back to Jacques Greene

In his tweet thread announcing the ‘Promise’ NFT drop, Jacques Greene said that he recently “got out of a long, pretty bad publishing deal.” Now that he’s an independent songwriter, he’s elected to sell the publishing rights to this song to whoever wins the auction. 

That could theoretically be anyone. It could be a fan, a friend, another publisher who feels they could do better with his music. Maybe a music supervisor who already has some placement ideas for ‘Promise’ and wants more skin in the game. 

By creating an NFT around these rights, they become not only verifiably ownable but also tradeable. Once the song is released, the demand for these rights may go up as the song grows in popularity. Maybe the NFT changes owners. Maybe it changes owners a hundred times. 

The NFT could also theoretically be fractionalized, meaning it could be cut up into smaller pieces and sold to multiple owners. Maybe a fungible token is created that represents fractional ownership of the NFT, enabling hundreds, thousands, millions of people to participate in the publishing rights of this one song.

Of course, these different scenarios might be discussed and decided upon in a separate agreement between Jacques Greene and the primary buyer. While the proof of ownership of this NFT will be stored on the Ethereum blockchain, the actual flow of rights and royalties is not baked into the smart contract.

But you can begin to see a future where they are baked in. What happens when agreements that were once paper contracts turn to code? Suddenly the flow of rights and royalties becomes way more agile, flexible, malleable. Suddenly the options a creator has with the ownership and therefore incentives tied to the success of their work approach near infinity.

A custom built NFT Shop by 3LAU

We just saw how your superfan could, in theory, become your publisher. Clearly, the roles and relationships between artist, core team, and fan are beginning to blur. 

Another artist is committed to the continual blurring of these lines in 3LAU. 

The electronic artist has been immersed in the crypto scene for many years and has been essentially carving the path for musicians into the realm of NFTs. 

After a number of successful NFT drops, 3LAU — along with the team at Original Protocol — has now built his own custom NFT auction and marketplace. On Thursday, February 25th, the bidding will open for 33 rare Vinyl NFTs that represent his best-selling album Ultraviolet

The winner of these NFTs will also receive access to unreleased music, limited edition physical vinyl, and the top bidder will win the opportunity to create a custom song with 3LAU himself. Talk about an intimate connection with the artist.

https://nft.3lau.com/
3LUA

In a recent Clubhouse room announcing the project, 3LAU shared his vision of creating a long-term, close-knit relationship with his collectors. He plans for these NFTs to have ongoing utility, providing access to future exclusive content and closer access to him and his work. 

Because he’s built a custom marketplace, 3LAU truly gets to create whatever he wants. The art of the project extends past the actual music and into open questions like “how can I provide more value and access for fans, and how do I want to monetize that value?”

In a lot of ways, this release format gives the best of both worlds to creators and collectors. 

3LAU gets to own his platform and marketplace. But the actual NFTs live on the Ethereum blockchain, and therefore transcend the digital “walls” of his website. They can be moved about the wider Ethereum network — showed off in a VR gallery-like GeniusCorp’s Cryptovoxels vinyl shop, or bought and sold on Opensea or other marketplaces. 

It’s like owning a game skin, but the game’s environment is the entire (new) Internet. The use cases are truly endless.

Catalog: The Bandcamp for NFTs

Not everyone is going to build their own NFT shop. Catalog gets this. So they are building out the Bandcamp for audio NFTs. 

https://catalog.works/
Catalog

Set to launch within the next few weeks, Catalog allows artists to press 1-of-1 digital records as NFTs. These NFTs do not represent the rights or royalties associated with the song (like we saw with Jaques Greene’s) but act more like a canonical representation of an artist’s work on the blockchain. As the team puts it, 

“Catalog records represent the true original version of your work online. These are unique, one-of-one records that exist on the internet forever, beyond the limits of our platform, and can be traded in open markets.”

This means that fans can now own the original pressing.

McKenzie Wark

The future of collecting may be less in owning the thing that nobody else has, and more in owning the thing that everybody else has.

https://www.e-flux.com/journal/85/156418/my-collectible-ass/

As we spoke about in the guide to NFTs, this is a bit of a mental jump for us. We’ve learned to think of digital content in a certain way, but the perception of stuff on the Internet as tactile, distinct goods will increase as we venture deeper into the web3 renaissance. And with that, the verifiably original pressing of “Hotline Bling” for instance will hold tons of value. 

The same way we learned last week that the Nyan Cat meme is worth 300ETH to someone.

Another inherent aspect of Catalog NFTs (as with all the NFTs we’ve discussed) is the artist or creator fee. This is a percentage that the artist sets at the time of minting, which is paid to the artist every time that NFT sells on the secondary market, in perpetuity. 

This is another huge shift for artists, allowing them to capture the increasing value of their work overtime. An artist on Catalog will be able to capture the cultural value of their art as it grows, over and above the traditional royalties earned. 

Catalog intends to become a community-owned project, which means its artists and collectors will eventually control the majority of the network and its decisions. They are also building on top of the Zora Protocol, which has created a type of NFT structure (called a zNFT) that bakes the actual market into the NFT itself. This means that Catalog doesn’t take any transaction fee, and as a zNFT moves about the Ethereum ecosystem, so too does its market. 

This is truly “platformless media”.

Audius: The web3 Steaming Model

Alright, so we’ve covered a bunch of NFT projects and technologies that are just bursting with potential. 

But what’s about streaming music? Does that fit into all of this? Or are we stuck with the same old “Spotify model” forever?

Streaming platform Audius intends to give that last question a resounding “no!”

https://audius.co/
Audius

Audius is building a decentralized streaming platform. What this means is that the actual content uploaded to the site doesn’t exist on servers that are owned and operated by Audius itself. Instead, distributed “operators” are incentivized to run nodes that store the content and metadata on the platform. This allows for a whole lot of fun stuff, which we’ll get into shortly. 

The beauty of Audius is that, while all this is running under the hood, the average user has no idea. Using Audius feels like using any other streaming platform you’re accustomed to. You just…play music. Make playlists. Do the things. 

Because of its ability to abstract away all of the friction that usually comes along with a lot of early crypto tech, Audius has seen a huge wave of early adoption — with over 2.6 million monthly active users. Every user on Audius has a crypto wallet, and most don’t know it yet.

But the power of this decentralized library of content and code is immense. First, the content transcends the platforms. Much like the “platformless media” of NFTs, this means that the music and its streaming data are not beholden to the continued existence of Audius itself. If the website disappears tomorrow, the content is still there so long as the nodes stay online. This content is also completely open and permissionless, meaning anyone can build anything that “hooks in” to it.

You and I can build another frontend website that takes all the same content as Audius, but ours is better because we really like the color pink, and our whole website is pink. (If you wanna do this, please DM me.)

Or, in a more impactful example, we can build out ways of monetizing this content in up-until-now completely unexplored ways. 

And this is exactly what Audius itself is attempting to build. With the rollout of their native token $AUDIO, artists, curators and fans alike will be able to play in the experimental sandbox of earning and trading coins on the platform. Audius’ vision is to have its platform and the eventual uses of $AUDIO be community-led. 

But make no mistake, if we, the artists, don’t like how things are going down on Audius, we can build our own new frontend. That’s the beauty of it! No siloed control means more freedom for artists and audiences alike. 

Right now, Audius is completely free, and artists are encouraged to upload content, build playlists, and establish their following. The longer-term vision is to roll out monetizing products that allow artists to get really creative with their rollouts. And because the idea is to be a community-led initiative, it is the artists themselves who get to ideate and vote on what gets built. 

How about an album that charges listeners a set amount once they’ve listened through the album twice? Or a song that changes endings when you tip the artist? How about a song where the first 100 listeners get a percentage of future earnings? Or, a favorite example of mine from a podcast with the Audius founders, what about a gated album that can only be streamed at a certain altitude? Mile high club just got a whole new meaning. 

Up until now, we’ve been given very few options in how to distribute and monetize music. Highly centralized and opaque systems like Spotify and Apple Music get to essentially dictate what a song is worth. But this is a rather flat and boring way of doing things. The world of music is diverse. An artist’s catalog itself is filled with all sorts of different flavors and sounds. Why can’t the distribution and monetization of that music be just as eclectic?

Tokenized Communities and $RAC

We’ve looked at a lot of the ways that content online is changing, and we’ve begun to outline how the distribution of this content can create stronger ties between artist and fan. 

Now let’s dig a bit deeper into how online communities are about to take on a whole new level of meaning in our lives. 

The grammy-award winning artist and remixer RAC has been dipping into the world of crypto for quite a while, leading highly successful initiatives with his audiovisual NFTs and redeemable token drop $TAPE.

In October of last year, he announced the creation of his own artist token $RAC. He included an initial distribution plan of $RAC to his most loyal audience — Patreon supporters, Twitch supporters, etc. 

https://blog.ourzora.com/home/introducing-rac
Zora

A social token like $RAC allows the artist to create strong ties with his community that transcend any one platform. Up until now, we’ve been building our Instagram followers and our YouTube subscribers and the like. But these relationships are truly owned by the platform itself and not the creators. 

A community token allows you to attribute value to your online family and allow that value to flow through that family in any number of ways. These are the building blocks for creators and communities to build their own online worlds. 

One growingly common use-case for a social token is to act as admission to a gated Discord community. To access certain locked Discord channels, you’d need a certain amount of $RAC. Another popular community doing this is Friends With Benefits, which currently requires you to hold 55 $FWB in your crypto wallet to gain access. 

But Discord entry is just the beginning. This provides a community with the power of its own economy. As the community grows, so too does the value of its economy and, therefore its token. This value can then be used to incentivize those within the community and those who want in — in any manner of direction. The ways a social token can be used are thus limited only by the creativity of that artist and community. 

The $RAC token is built on Zora’s protocol. Platforms like Mintgate and Seed Club are a few others playing in this social token space. 

We just covered a whoooole lot.

And yet, we’ve barely begun. We didn’t even touch on how this stuff leaks into live events and ticketing, PROs, data flow, and tons more. 

One could go through all of this and say, jeez, we are really on our way to turning the arts into this hyper-financialized space that’s all about money. 

That’s one perspective. But this is how I see where we are currently at… 

The arts are now entering the blockchain ecosystem, a space that has in a lot of ways been shaped by those who got here first. The DeFi (decentralized finance) space exploded in 2020 and laid the cultural groundwork within this new world. 

But now artists are coming. And the culture is shifting — the words we use are changing, the ways we design and build things are changing.

In a recent YouTube Live, Jon-Kyle of Mirror said, “it’s not ‘let’s make the world feel like we live in a bank’… it’s ‘let’s make the rest of the world feel broken’”.

As you dive deeper into these new technologies, the current online world does start to feel entirely broken. And boy, oh boy, does the music industry feel broken… 

In December 2020, I — like all artists on Spotify — received my 2020 Artist Wrapped analytics. The number that struck me most was that 170 listeners streamed my catalog more than any other artist on Spotify. I was blown away. Like, there are a lot of artists on Spotify. And you listened that much to Lil’ ol’ me? 

https://open.spotify.com/artist/70JkpECHBzs79FOYemfHwk?si=gswjhntvRVKqemEB8lk0Bw
Spotify

Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for the discovery tools that Spotify has built for artists like me to find fans. But don’t you find it strange that I have no idea who those 170 people are? That I have no way of finding them, reaching them, telling them “thank you, I love you, let’s be best friends”? 

Doesn’t that feel broken?

We are still in the Early Stone Ages of the Internet. 

And we just made the first hammers ever. What will we build?

Bonus Round: EulerBeats

Getting into all this? Good. Here’s a little homework for ya if you want to go deeper…

Step 1 — Read this tweet:

Step 2 — Now read this tweet:

“DAO” stands for a Decentralized Autonomous Organization. We’ll get more into what those are in a future article. 

Step 3 — Visit eulerbeats.com, and good luck getting any other work done today.

https://eulerbeats.com/
EulerBeats

Categories
Music NFT

NFTs Are Changing the Music Industry Right Before Our Eyes

Special thanks to Cooper Turley of Audius and Jeremy Stern of Catalog for feedback. 

An NFT by electronic musician Jacques Greene recently sold on Foundation for 13ETH — over $23,000 US. 

The audio-visual clip teases out a few seconds of an unreleased song of his called ‘Promise’.

https://foundation.app/jacquesgreene/promise-640
Foundation

But this purchase is for more than just the artwork itself. As Jacques writes, “this NFT represents not only a 1of1 AV but the publishing rights to the song upon its release, in perpetuity.”

Now this, to me, is an incredibly exciting thing to see. And not only because Jacques and I are both musicians and both from Montreal.

But because this is one more early example that nudges us ever closer to the following hypothesis: That we are at the beginning of a massive overhaul of this thing we’ve collectively decided to call the “music industry”. And that every facet of said industry will feel the aftershocks of this tectonic shift.

Welcome to the Stone Age

I recently wrote a beginner’s guide to NFTs and spoke of how they are about to change pretty much everything. This article both zooms out of NFTs and into the wider edges of what we can call the web3 revolution, and it zooms in on where these changes meet music. 

To create a succinct story around what this future of music will look like would be a fool’s errand. We are just beginning to touch these new tools for the first time. It’s like we’re in the Early Stone Age, and we just accidentally made the first hammers ever. We’ve just picked them up, and we’re feeling their weight; we’re hitting them against things and seeing if something goes boom. 

So instead of speculating on exactly where this all goes, this article walks through five examples of people, projects, and platforms that are giving these brand new hammers a good smacking. 

This is in no way an exhaustive list. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of experiments underway. 

My hope is that these examples begin to outline for you the possibilities of what’s to come. I encourage you to use the infinite landscape of your imagination to color in the rest. 

Alright, back to Jacques Greene

In his tweet thread announcing the ‘Promise’ NFT drop, Jacques Greene said that he recently “got out of a long, pretty bad publishing deal.” Now that he’s an independent songwriter, he’s elected to sell the publishing rights to this song to whoever wins the auction. 

That could theoretically be anyone. It could be a fan, a friend, another publisher who feels they could do better with his music. Maybe a music supervisor who already has some placement ideas for ‘Promise’ and wants more skin in the game. 

By creating an NFT around these rights, they become not only verifiably ownable but also tradeable. Once the song is released, the demand for these rights may go up as the song grows in popularity. Maybe the NFT changes owners. Maybe it changes owners a hundred times. 

The NFT could also theoretically be fractionalized, meaning it could be cut up into smaller pieces and sold to multiple owners. Maybe a fungible token is created that represents fractional ownership of the NFT, enabling hundreds, thousands, millions of people to participate in the publishing rights of this one song.

Of course, these different scenarios might be discussed and decided upon in a separate agreement between Jacques Greene and the primary buyer. While the proof of ownership of this NFT will be stored on the Ethereum blockchain, the actual flow of rights and royalties is not baked into the smart contract.

But you can begin to see a future where they are baked in. What happens when agreements that were once paper contracts turn to code? Suddenly the flow of rights and royalties becomes way more agile, flexible, malleable. Suddenly the options a creator has with the ownership and therefore incentives tied to the success of their work approach near infinity.

A custom built NFT Shop by 3LAU

We just saw how your superfan could, in theory, become your publisher. Clearly, the roles and relationships between artist, core team, and fan are beginning to blur. 

Another artist is committed to the continual blurring of these lines in 3LAU. 

The electronic artist has been immersed in the crypto scene for many years and has been essentially carving the path for musicians into the realm of NFTs. 

After a number of successful NFT drops, 3LAU — along with the team at Original Protocol — has now built his own custom NFT auction and marketplace. On Thursday, February 25th, the bidding will open for 33 rare Vinyl NFTs that represent his best-selling album Ultraviolet

The winner of these NFTs will also receive access to unreleased music, limited edition physical vinyl, and the top bidder will win the opportunity to create a custom song with 3LAU himself. Talk about an intimate connection with the artist.

https://nft.3lau.com/
3LUA

In a recent Clubhouse room announcing the project, 3LAU shared his vision of creating a long-term, close-knit relationship with his collectors. He plans for these NFTs to have ongoing utility, providing access to future exclusive content and closer access to him and his work. 

Because he’s built a custom marketplace, 3LAU truly gets to create whatever he wants. The art of the project extends past the actual music and into open questions like “how can I provide more value and access for fans, and how do I want to monetize that value?”

In a lot of ways, this release format gives the best of both worlds to creators and collectors. 

3LAU gets to own his platform and marketplace. But the actual NFTs live on the Ethereum blockchain, and therefore transcend the digital “walls” of his website. They can be moved about the wider Ethereum network — showed off in a VR gallery-like GeniusCorp’s Cryptovoxels vinyl shop, or bought and sold on Opensea or other marketplaces. 

It’s like owning a game skin, but the game’s environment is the entire (new) Internet. The use cases are truly endless.

Catalog: The Bandcamp for NFTs

Not everyone is going to build their own NFT shop. Catalog gets this. So they are building out the Bandcamp for audio NFTs. 

https://catalog.works/
Catalog

Set to launch within the next few weeks, Catalog allows artists to press 1-of-1 digital records as NFTs. These NFTs do not represent the rights or royalties associated with the song (like we saw with Jaques Greene’s) but act more like a canonical representation of an artist’s work on the blockchain. As the team puts it, 

“Catalog records represent the true original version of your work online. These are unique, one-of-one records that exist on the internet forever, beyond the limits of our platform, and can be traded in open markets.”

This means that fans can now own the original pressing.

McKenzie Wark

The future of collecting may be less in owning the thing that nobody else has, and more in owning the thing that everybody else has.

https://www.e-flux.com/journal/85/156418/my-collectible-ass/

As we spoke about in the guide to NFTs, this is a bit of a mental jump for us. We’ve learned to think of digital content in a certain way, but the perception of stuff on the Internet as tactile, distinct goods will increase as we venture deeper into the web3 renaissance. And with that, the verifiably original pressing of “Hotline Bling” for instance will hold tons of value. 

The same way we learned last week that the Nyan Cat meme is worth 300ETH to someone.

Another inherent aspect of Catalog NFTs (as with all the NFTs we’ve discussed) is the artist or creator fee. This is a percentage that the artist sets at the time of minting, which is paid to the artist every time that NFT sells on the secondary market, in perpetuity. 

This is another huge shift for artists, allowing them to capture the increasing value of their work overtime. An artist on Catalog will be able to capture the cultural value of their art as it grows, over and above the traditional royalties earned. 

Catalog intends to become a community-owned project, which means its artists and collectors will eventually control the majority of the network and its decisions. They are also building on top of the Zora Protocol, which has created a type of NFT structure (called a zNFT) that bakes the actual market into the NFT itself. This means that Catalog doesn’t take any transaction fee, and as a zNFT moves about the Ethereum ecosystem, so too does its market. 

This is truly “platformless media”.

Audius: The web3 Steaming Model

Alright, so we’ve covered a bunch of NFT projects and technologies that are just bursting with potential. 

But what’s about streaming music? Does that fit into all of this? Or are we stuck with the same old “Spotify model” forever?

Streaming platform Audius intends to give that last question a resounding “no!”

https://audius.co/
Audius

Audius is building a decentralized streaming platform. What this means is that the actual content uploaded to the site doesn’t exist on servers that are owned and operated by Audius itself. Instead, distributed “operators” are incentivized to run nodes that store the content and metadata on the platform. This allows for a whole lot of fun stuff, which we’ll get into shortly. 

The beauty of Audius is that, while all this is running under the hood, the average user has no idea. Using Audius feels like using any other streaming platform you’re accustomed to. You just…play music. Make playlists. Do the things. 

Because of its ability to abstract away all of the friction that usually comes along with a lot of early crypto tech, Audius has seen a huge wave of early adoption — with over 2.6 million monthly active users. Every user on Audius has a crypto wallet, and most don’t know it yet.

But the power of this decentralized library of content and code is immense. First, the content transcends the platforms. Much like the “platformless media” of NFTs, this means that the music and its streaming data are not beholden to the continued existence of Audius itself. If the website disappears tomorrow, the content is still there so long as the nodes stay online. This content is also completely open and permissionless, meaning anyone can build anything that “hooks in” to it.

You and I can build another frontend website that takes all the same content as Audius, but ours is better because we really like the color pink, and our whole website is pink. (If you wanna do this, please DM me.)

Or, in a more impactful example, we can build out ways of monetizing this content in up-until-now completely unexplored ways. 

And this is exactly what Audius itself is attempting to build. With the rollout of their native token $AUDIO, artists, curators and fans alike will be able to play in the experimental sandbox of earning and trading coins on the platform. Audius’ vision is to have its platform and the eventual uses of $AUDIO be community-led. 

But make no mistake, if we, the artists, don’t like how things are going down on Audius, we can build our own new frontend. That’s the beauty of it! No siloed control means more freedom for artists and audiences alike. 

Right now, Audius is completely free, and artists are encouraged to upload content, build playlists, and establish their following. The longer-term vision is to roll out monetizing products that allow artists to get really creative with their rollouts. And because the idea is to be a community-led initiative, it is the artists themselves who get to ideate and vote on what gets built. 

How about an album that charges listeners a set amount once they’ve listened through the album twice? Or a song that changes endings when you tip the artist? How about a song where the first 100 listeners get a percentage of future earnings? Or, a favorite example of mine from a podcast with the Audius founders, what about a gated album that can only be streamed at a certain altitude? Mile high club just got a whole new meaning. 

Up until now, we’ve been given very few options in how to distribute and monetize music. Highly centralized and opaque systems like Spotify and Apple Music get to essentially dictate what a song is worth. But this is a rather flat and boring way of doing things. The world of music is diverse. An artist’s catalog itself is filled with all sorts of different flavors and sounds. Why can’t the distribution and monetization of that music be just as eclectic?

Tokenized Communities and $RAC

We’ve looked at a lot of the ways that content online is changing, and we’ve begun to outline how the distribution of this content can create stronger ties between artist and fan. 

Now let’s dig a bit deeper into how online communities are about to take on a whole new level of meaning in our lives. 

The grammy-award winning artist and remixer RAC has been dipping into the world of crypto for quite a while, leading highly successful initiatives with his audiovisual NFTs and redeemable token drop $TAPE.

In October of last year, he announced the creation of his own artist token $RAC. He included an initial distribution plan of $RAC to his most loyal audience — Patreon supporters, Twitch supporters, etc. 

https://blog.ourzora.com/home/introducing-rac
Zora

A social token like $RAC allows the artist to create strong ties with his community that transcend any one platform. Up until now, we’ve been building our Instagram followers and our YouTube subscribers and the like. But these relationships are truly owned by the platform itself and not the creators. 

A community token allows you to attribute value to your online family and allow that value to flow through that family in any number of ways. These are the building blocks for creators and communities to build their own online worlds. 

One growingly common use-case for a social token is to act as admission to a gated Discord community. To access certain locked Discord channels, you’d need a certain amount of $RAC. Another popular community doing this is Friends With Benefits, which currently requires you to hold 55 $FWB in your crypto wallet to gain access. 

But Discord entry is just the beginning. This provides a community with the power of its own economy. As the community grows, so too does the value of its economy and, therefore its token. This value can then be used to incentivize those within the community and those who want in — in any manner of direction. The ways a social token can be used are thus limited only by the creativity of that artist and community. 

The $RAC token is built on Zora’s protocol. Platforms like Mintgate and Seed Club are a few others playing in this social token space. 

We just covered a whoooole lot.

And yet, we’ve barely begun. We didn’t even touch on how this stuff leaks into live events and ticketing, PROs, data flow, and tons more. 

One could go through all of this and say, jeez, we are really on our way to turning the arts into this hyper-financialized space that’s all about money. 

That’s one perspective. But this is how I see where we are currently at… 

The arts are now entering the blockchain ecosystem, a space that has in a lot of ways been shaped by those who got here first. The DeFi (decentralized finance) space exploded in 2020 and laid the cultural groundwork within this new world. 

But now artists are coming. And the culture is shifting — the words we use are changing, the ways we design and build things are changing.

In a recent YouTube Live, Jon-Kyle of Mirror said, “it’s not ‘let’s make the world feel like we live in a bank’… it’s ‘let’s make the rest of the world feel broken’”.

As you dive deeper into these new technologies, the current online world does start to feel entirely broken. And boy, oh boy, does the music industry feel broken… 

In December 2020, I — like all artists on Spotify — received my 2020 Artist Wrapped analytics. The number that struck me most was that 170 listeners streamed my catalog more than any other artist on Spotify. I was blown away. Like, there are a lot of artists on Spotify. And you listened that much to Lil’ ol’ me? 

https://open.spotify.com/artist/70JkpECHBzs79FOYemfHwk?si=gswjhntvRVKqemEB8lk0Bw
Spotify

Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for the discovery tools that Spotify has built for artists like me to find fans. But don’t you find it strange that I have no idea who those 170 people are? That I have no way of finding them, reaching them, telling them “thank you, I love you, let’s be best friends”? 

Doesn’t that feel broken?

We are still in the Early Stone Ages of the Internet. 

And we just made the first hammers ever. What will we build?

Bonus Round: EulerBeats

Getting into all this? Good. Here’s a little homework for ya if you want to go deeper…

Step 1 — Read this tweet:

Step 2 — Now read this tweet:

“DAO” stands for a Decentralized Autonomous Organization. We’ll get more into what those are in a future article. 

Step 3 — Visit eulerbeats.com, and good luck getting any other work done today.

https://eulerbeats.com/
EulerBeats

Categories
Grind Money

How to Buy a Cryptopunk

Mark Cuban called Cryptopunks “the rookie card of NFTs”.

And it’s true. 

While NFTs are now blowing up seemingly overnight, Cryptopunks were released all the way back in June of 2017 — which in crypto terms is like saying 50 B.C.E. 


Cryptopunks is an NFT project released on the Ethereum blockchain by Larva Labs, and consists of 10,000 unique pixelated characters. Some are human, some aliens, some zombies and some apes. Each punk has certain attributes that are of a different level of rarity amongst the entire fleet. For example, exactly 961 punks have cigarettes in their mouths. And only 44 have beanies.

Cryptopunk #9442
https://www.larvalabs.com/cryptopunks/details/9442
Larva Labs

Cryptopunk #9749
https://www.larvalabs.com/cryptopunks/details/9749
Larva Labs

There will only ever be 10,000 original Cryptopunks in existence. As they gain in popularity, so do their prices. At the time of this writing, the least expensive Cryptopunk for sale is listed at 13.25 ETH (~$26,500). In fact, after refreshing my browser, the floor has already moved up to 13.30 ETH. It could very well be higher by the time you read this. 

If you believe this trend upwards is here to stay, then now would be the best time to get your hands on a punk. Here’s a walk through on how to go from fiat currency (e.g. US cash) to owning your very own cryptopunk…

Before we jump in, know that there are several cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets to choose from when entering the crypto market. The following are simply examples using some of the most commonly used products. Also, cryptocurrencies and NFTs are very volatile in price. Please be aware that this is not financial advice and we encourage you to do your own research.

STEP 1: TURNING YOUR CASH INTO ETH

Cryptopunks are bought and sold in Ether (ETH) — the native currency to the Ethereum blockchain. So first thing’s first, you need to turn cash into ETH. 

There are many different options when it comes to “onramps” into Ethereum — a fancy way of saying that you’re buying ETH and taking one step further into the Ethereum ecosystem. One of the easiest places to do this is on a popular cryptocurrency exchange called Coinbase. 

Coinbase is a centralized exchange, meaning your money is “in their vault” so to speak. But Coinbase is a large and highly trusted company, and you will soon be moving your newly purchased ETH into your own (digital) hands. 

That said, there are a lot of different onramps that come in all shapes and sizes — some are decentralized, some have higher fees, some lower fees, some that allow you to buy ETH directly “inside” a digital wallet. Be sure to do the research and find what onramp works best for you.

Setting up your Coinbase account

Once creating your account and verifying your identity on Coinbase, you can then buy Ethereum with a debit card, bank transfer or wire. These differ depending on your location. Typically linking your bank account is the quickest way to get things up and running.

Coinbase

With your bank account hooked in, you can now buy ETH. Choose the amount you want to buy, and you’ll then see the full price after Coinbase’s fee.

Coinbase

Coinbase

STEP 2: MOVING YOUR ETH INTO A CRYPTO WALLET

Now you’ve got Ethereum in your Coinbase account. Amazing. 

But in order to play on the Ethereum blockchain, you need to move that money into a digital wallet. That’s when you become the true owner and operator of your own cryptocurrency, and that is what leads to the many exciting new freedoms that this world brings about. 

It’s kind of like in the olden days when you had to go to your bank and take out cash in order to pay for things. Coinbase is like one of those banks, and they’ve got this big vault with tons of crypto in there. And now you’ve come along and bought some Ether. So in their books they say, cool, Person A now owns X amount of the ETH in our vault. 

But now you want to take that crypto out into the streets of Ethereum. You want to walk around, peruse, buy things. Once you transfer your funds to a digital wallet, you are no longer interfacing with the Ethereum blockchain through Coinbase. You yourself are interfacing with the blockchain, and that’s when things get really interesting. 

The most popular digital wallet is Metamask. Again, there are a ton of options in this space. Some other wallets options include Argent, Rainbow, Exodus and Loopring. Be sure to do your own research and find the one that works best for you. 

Setting up your Metamask

Metamask acts as Chrome browser extension, iOS app and Android app. It connects with most if not all websites built on the Ethereum network. You can interface with these platforms through your wallet in order to do things like sign up, verify your identity, buy things, sell things, hold your token inventory, and many more. 

Metamask

To setup your Metamask, first download and install it to your device. We will use the Chrome browser extension in this example. Once downloaded, click on Create A Wallet. You will then be asked to setup a password, and then you’ll be given what is called a Seed Phrase

A seed phrase is a string of random words that acts as your last backup piece of security. Should you forget your password, or even if Metamask the product disappears off the face of the Earth, your seed phrase is your forever password to restore access to your wallet. So, keep it safe. It’s rather important.

Once inside, you can click on Account Details to retrieve your wallet’s address. Copy it to your clipboard, as you’ll need this to send your ETH from Coinbase to your wallet.

Sending your ETH from Coinbase to Metamask

Head on back to Coinbase and hit Send/Receive. You’ll get a popup like this. Paste in your wallet address that you just copied from your Metamask account, and choose how much ETH to send over.

Coinbase

Once you hit send, the transaction may take a few minutes. Soon your ETH will populate into your Metamask wallet. 
You are now ready to rock n’ roll. Correction, you are now ready to punk.

STEP 3: CONNECTING TO LARVA LABS

Now you’ve got your very own digital wallet, and a chunk of ETH sitting pretty. Time to buy a punk.

Larva Labs

The primary and secondary market for Cryptopunks exist on the Larva Labs website. But let’s be clear, even if the website larvalabs.com was to go down tomorrow, you and everybody else would still own and be able to trade their Cryptopunks. A platform built atop the Ethereum blockchain is simply an interface between you and the chain. So rest assured, these punks aren’t going anywhere. 

Once on the Larva Labs site, there will be a link to connect your wallet to the site. Once you hit that, a dropdown will appear from your Metamask asking if you are sure you want to connect to the site.

Metamask

Click Connect, and you are now able to buy a punk with your wallet. This. Is. Huge. 

Once connected, a box on the right side of the screen will show part of your wallet address in pink. Click that and you get to your Account Details — this is where you’ll be able to see the punks you own.

Larva Labs

Here you can see all Cryptopunks currently up for sale in the secondary market. You have the choice of buying these at their listed prices right away, or placing a bid any of the 10,000 punks. 

Take some time, feel it out, find the one that speaks to you. But maybe don’t take too long. The speed they’re selling at these days is kinda crazy.

STEP 4: MAKING THAT PURCHASE
Larva Labs

Alright! You’ve found your punk. Time to buy!

Larva Labs

When you hit the Buy button, another window will drop down from your Metamask to review and confirm the transaction.

Metamask

Here you will also see a transaction fee called the “Gas Fee”. This is the amount it costs to run your transaction on the Ethereum blockchain, which fluctuates according to the transaction congestion across the entire chain. Gas prices are quite high relative to what they were not too long ago, and the minimizing of this fee in the future is a huge topic of conversation in the space. 

For now, this is the price to play. It does move up and down throughout the day though, and there are resources to watch if you want to snag it at an opportune moment. 

Once you hit Confirm, the transaction will begin and — depending how much gas you paid — will take a couple to more than a couple of minutes to go through.

And then, well, you’ve got yourself a Cryptopunk. Congratulations! 

Btw… what are you selling it for? Asking for a friend. 🙂

Categories
Art NFT

How to Buy a Cryptopunk

Mark Cuban called Cryptopunks “the rookie card of NFTs”.

And it’s true. 

While NFTs are now blowing up seemingly overnight, Cryptopunks were released all the way back in June of 2017 — which in crypto terms is like saying 50 B.C.E. 


Cryptopunks is an NFT project released on the Ethereum blockchain by Larva Labs, and consists of 10,000 unique pixelated characters. Some are human, some aliens, some zombies and some apes. Each punk has certain attributes that are of a different level of rarity amongst the entire fleet. For example, exactly 961 punks have cigarettes in their mouths. And only 44 have beanies.

Cryptopunk #9442
https://www.larvalabs.com/cryptopunks/details/9442
Larva Labs

Cryptopunk #9749
https://www.larvalabs.com/cryptopunks/details/9749
Larva Labs

There will only ever be 10,000 original Cryptopunks in existence. As they gain in popularity, so do their prices. At the time of this writing, the least expensive Cryptopunk for sale is listed at 13.25 ETH (~$26,500). In fact, after refreshing my browser, the floor has already moved up to 13.30 ETH. It could very well be higher by the time you read this. 

If you believe this trend upwards is here to stay, then now would be the best time to get your hands on a punk. Here’s a walk through on how to go from fiat currency (e.g. US cash) to owning your very own cryptopunk…

Before we jump in, know that there are several cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets to choose from when entering the crypto market. The following are simply examples using some of the most commonly used products. Also, cryptocurrencies and NFTs are very volatile in price. Please be aware that this is not financial advice and we encourage you to do your own research.

STEP 1: TURNING YOUR CASH INTO ETH

Cryptopunks are bought and sold in Ether (ETH) — the native currency to the Ethereum blockchain. So first thing’s first, you need to turn cash into ETH. 

There are many different options when it comes to “onramps” into Ethereum — a fancy way of saying that you’re buying ETH and taking one step further into the Ethereum ecosystem. One of the easiest places to do this is on a popular cryptocurrency exchange called Coinbase. 

Coinbase is a centralized exchange, meaning your money is “in their vault” so to speak. But Coinbase is a large and highly trusted company, and you will soon be moving your newly purchased ETH into your own (digital) hands. 

That said, there are a lot of different onramps that come in all shapes and sizes — some are decentralized, some have higher fees, some lower fees, some that allow you to buy ETH directly “inside” a digital wallet. Be sure to do the research and find what onramp works best for you.

Setting up your Coinbase account

Once creating your account and verifying your identity on Coinbase, you can then buy Ethereum with a debit card, bank transfer or wire. These differ depending on your location. Typically linking your bank account is the quickest way to get things up and running.

Coinbase

With your bank account hooked in, you can now buy ETH. Choose the amount you want to buy, and you’ll then see the full price after Coinbase’s fee.

Coinbase

Coinbase

STEP 2: MOVING YOUR ETH INTO A CRYPTO WALLET

Now you’ve got Ethereum in your Coinbase account. Amazing. 

But in order to play on the Ethereum blockchain, you need to move that money into a digital wallet. That’s when you become the true owner and operator of your own cryptocurrency, and that is what leads to the many exciting new freedoms that this world brings about. 

It’s kind of like in the olden days when you had to go to your bank and take out cash in order to pay for things. Coinbase is like one of those banks, and they’ve got this big vault with tons of crypto in there. And now you’ve come along and bought some Ether. So in their books they say, cool, Person A now owns X amount of the ETH in our vault. 

But now you want to take that crypto out into the streets of Ethereum. You want to walk around, peruse, buy things. Once you transfer your funds to a digital wallet, you are no longer interfacing with the Ethereum blockchain through Coinbase. You yourself are interfacing with the blockchain, and that’s when things get really interesting. 

The most popular digital wallet is Metamask. Again, there are a ton of options in this space. Some other wallets options include Argent, Rainbow, Exodus and Loopring. Be sure to do your own research and find the one that works best for you. 

Setting up your Metamask

Metamask acts as Chrome browser extension, iOS app and Android app. It connects with most if not all websites built on the Ethereum network. You can interface with these platforms through your wallet in order to do things like sign up, verify your identity, buy things, sell things, hold your token inventory, and many more. 

Metamask

To setup your Metamask, first download and install it to your device. We will use the Chrome browser extension in this example. Once downloaded, click on Create A Wallet. You will then be asked to setup a password, and then you’ll be given what is called a Seed Phrase

A seed phrase is a string of random words that acts as your last backup piece of security. Should you forget your password, or even if Metamask the product disappears off the face of the Earth, your seed phrase is your forever password to restore access to your wallet. So, keep it safe. It’s rather important.

Once inside, you can click on Account Details to retrieve your wallet’s address. Copy it to your clipboard, as you’ll need this to send your ETH from Coinbase to your wallet.

Sending your ETH from Coinbase to Metamask

Head on back to Coinbase and hit Send/Receive. You’ll get a popup like this. Paste in your wallet address that you just copied from your Metamask account, and choose how much ETH to send over.

Coinbase

Once you hit send, the transaction may take a few minutes. Soon your ETH will populate into your Metamask wallet. 
You are now ready to rock n’ roll. Correction, you are now ready to punk.

STEP 3: CONNECTING TO LARVA LABS

Now you’ve got your very own digital wallet, and a chunk of ETH sitting pretty. Time to buy a punk.

Larva Labs

The primary and secondary market for Cryptopunks exist on the Larva Labs website. But let’s be clear, even if the website larvalabs.com was to go down tomorrow, you and everybody else would still own and be able to trade their Cryptopunks. A platform built atop the Ethereum blockchain is simply an interface between you and the chain. So rest assured, these punks aren’t going anywhere. 

Once on the Larva Labs site, there will be a link to connect your wallet to the site. Once you hit that, a dropdown will appear from your Metamask asking if you are sure you want to connect to the site.

Metamask

Click Connect, and you are now able to buy a punk with your wallet. This. Is. Huge. 

Once connected, a box on the right side of the screen will show part of your wallet address in pink. Click that and you get to your Account Details — this is where you’ll be able to see the punks you own.

Larva Labs

Here you can see all Cryptopunks currently up for sale in the secondary market. You have the choice of buying these at their listed prices right away, or placing a bid any of the 10,000 punks. 

Take some time, feel it out, find the one that speaks to you. But maybe don’t take too long. The speed they’re selling at these days is kinda crazy.

STEP 4: MAKING THAT PURCHASE
Larva Labs

Alright! You’ve found your punk. Time to buy!

Larva Labs

When you hit the Buy button, another window will drop down from your Metamask to review and confirm the transaction.

Metamask

Here you will also see a transaction fee called the “Gas Fee”. This is the amount it costs to run your transaction on the Ethereum blockchain, which fluctuates according to the transaction congestion across the entire chain. Gas prices are quite high relative to what they were not too long ago, and the minimizing of this fee in the future is a huge topic of conversation in the space. 

For now, this is the price to play. It does move up and down throughout the day though, and there are resources to watch if you want to snag it at an opportune moment. 

Once you hit Confirm, the transaction will begin and — depending how much gas you paid — will take a couple to more than a couple of minutes to go through.

And then, well, you’ve got yourself a Cryptopunk. Congratulations! 

Btw… what are you selling it for? Asking for a friend. 🙂

Categories
Grind Money

Meet Art Blocks: One of the Most Unique Platforms in NFTs Right Now

Art Blocks is a generative art platform that allows collectors to mint tokens without knowing what they will get ahead of time. The artist writes a code that is plugged into the platform, which will generate different combinations of the variables at random. The creator, Snowfro, came up with the idea when he was claiming CryptoPunks back in 2017, and he thought it was unfair that he got to claim a bunch of zombies. Over the next few years, he sold over 20 zombies to fund the development of Art Blocks.

Much like sneaker drops, project releases on the platform happen at different times featuring different artists. Collectors will then go to the project page and mint the tokens from there, not knowing exactly what they are minting until it is minted.  To date, there have been 13 curated projects and six uncurated projects released on the platform.

Snowfro ultimately sees Art Blocks as a platform where artists can do a drop that would be affordable for collectors that might otherwise be priced out of the artists’ work.

Chromie Squiggle by Snowfro

Chromie Squiggle is the project by Snowfro, the creator of the Art Blocks platform. For the purposes of this article today, I will focus on Squiggles. By far the largest project currently on the platform, the 10,000 mints was a number he felt would be good for a long-term project’s health and community.  When discussing why he chose the shapes and colors he did, Snowfro said that he was fascinated with color in general and loved that the squiggles could capture multiple cycles of a spectrum or a very limited segment of the spectrum. The shape of the squiggle itself was created to provide enough randomness so that no two pieces could be the same.

Minting ended to the public in early January at around 9,000 mints, with the rest of the mints to be used as a reserve fund for marketing in the future.  Currently, the only way to buy them is through Opensea.

Below is a table of the different Chromie Squiggle traits so that you understand what each one looks like when you are looking at them.  The cool thing about Chromies is that when you are in the gallery view on the Art Blocks website, and you click the Live view, you can see the colors moving throughout the Chromie.

Art Blocks Discord

Now that we know the different traits, we can look at how rare each one of those is. In the tables below, we can see the rarities of each trait. Hyper rainbows(121) are the rarest trait, but digging into those, you can see that hyper rainbow combo’s with other traits are even rarer, with the hyper-pipe(4) being the hardest Chromies to find.

Art Blocks Discord

The numbers so far are not absolute, as there are still 911 Chromie Squiggles left to be minted.  So while the rarity numbers will change, this serves as a pretty good estimate of the distribution of each trait.

How to Trade Them

The best place to browse, buy, and sell them is by going to the Art Blocks section on OpenSea. From there, you can scroll down, and you can select the specific drop you want from the left-hand menu so that it filters to that project’s specific pieces.  Once you select Chromie Squiggle, you can then filter further based on the traits you wish to search for.

Pricing

Chromie Squiggle floors are currently at around .12 eth, almost 3 times the original mint price (($235 at time of this writing). Considering how much other NFT projects have been appreciating over the last few months, it seems that this project may be undervalued. It is the first project on the Art Blocks platform (project ID 0), which is the leading platform for generative art in the blockchain space. 

Besides focusing on traits, collectors have also focused on the color spectrum, as well as low mint numbers or important years.

As collectors have initially gravitated towards the initial top-tier NFT’s, many have glossed over Chromie Squiggles because of a lack of understanding. This is giving keen investors an opportunity to get in at great prices.

Categories
Art NFT

Meet Art Blocks: One of the Most Unique Platforms in NFTs Right Now

Art Blocks is a generative art platform that allows collectors to mint tokens without knowing what they will get ahead of time. The artist writes a code that is plugged into the platform, which will generate different combinations of the variables at random. The creator, Snowfro, came up with the idea when he was claiming CryptoPunks back in 2017, and he thought it was unfair that he got to claim a bunch of zombies. Over the next few years, he sold over 20 zombies to fund the development of Art Blocks.

Much like sneaker drops, project releases on the platform happen at different times featuring different artists. Collectors will then go to the project page and mint the tokens from there, not knowing exactly what they are minting until it is minted.  To date, there have been 13 curated projects and six uncurated projects released on the platform.

Snowfro ultimately sees Art Blocks as a platform where artists can do a drop that would be affordable for collectors that might otherwise be priced out of the artists’ work.

Chromie Squiggle by Snowfro

Chromie Squiggle is the project by Snowfro, the creator of the Art Blocks platform. For the purposes of this article today, I will focus on Squiggles. By far the largest project currently on the platform, the 10,000 mints was a number he felt would be good for a long-term project’s health and community.  When discussing why he chose the shapes and colors he did, Snowfro said that he was fascinated with color in general and loved that the squiggles could capture multiple cycles of a spectrum or a very limited segment of the spectrum. The shape of the squiggle itself was created to provide enough randomness so that no two pieces could be the same.

Minting ended to the public in early January at around 9,000 mints, with the rest of the mints to be used as a reserve fund for marketing in the future.  Currently, the only way to buy them is through Opensea.

Below is a table of the different Chromie Squiggle traits so that you understand what each one looks like when you are looking at them.  The cool thing about Chromies is that when you are in the gallery view on the Art Blocks website, and you click the Live view, you can see the colors moving throughout the Chromie.

Art Blocks Discord

Now that we know the different traits, we can look at how rare each one of those is. In the tables below, we can see the rarities of each trait. Hyper rainbows(121) are the rarest trait, but digging into those, you can see that hyper rainbow combo’s with other traits are even rarer, with the hyper-pipe(4) being the hardest Chromies to find.

Art Blocks Discord

The numbers so far are not absolute, as there are still 911 Chromie Squiggles left to be minted.  So while the rarity numbers will change, this serves as a pretty good estimate of the distribution of each trait.

How to Trade Them

The best place to browse, buy, and sell them is by going to the Art Blocks section on OpenSea. From there, you can scroll down, and you can select the specific drop you want from the left-hand menu so that it filters to that project’s specific pieces.  Once you select Chromie Squiggle, you can then filter further based on the traits you wish to search for.

Pricing

Chromie Squiggle floors are currently at around .12 eth, almost 3 times the original mint price (($235 at time of this writing). Considering how much other NFT projects have been appreciating over the last few months, it seems that this project may be undervalued. It is the first project on the Art Blocks platform (project ID 0), which is the leading platform for generative art in the blockchain space. 

Besides focusing on traits, collectors have also focused on the color spectrum, as well as low mint numbers or important years.

As collectors have initially gravitated towards the initial top-tier NFT’s, many have glossed over Chromie Squiggles because of a lack of understanding. This is giving keen investors an opportunity to get in at great prices.