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I Just Learned About NFTs A Week Ago: A Newbie’s First Impressions

About a week ago, I was working on a project that, honestly, I just wasn’t all that jazzed about. 

I’ve been writing for a while in the tech space, mostly covering topics like cloud services, cybersecurity, and JavaScript optimization—things that may not be super exciting to most people but that I’ve got enough exposure to via my training as a developer to discuss with some level of understanding. 

On this particular day, though, my work had more to do with legal and regulatory requirements in an area barely adjacent to my primary areas of interest. Yay.

So, in a highly predictable moment of distraction, I found myself on Twitter, where I came across this tweet by one of my favorite content creators, Gary Vaynerchuk:

Passionate seems a little strong for something I know nothing about, I thought. And yet…

I was intrigued. So, being the voracious Googler that I am, I dug a little deeper. 

After I finished what I was originally working on, of course.

Anyway, over the next few days, I went and found everything I could about NFTs. What follows is one tech enthusiast’s take on an incredible new(ish) technology that might have some pretty wild implications for the future.

What even is an NFT?

I’m not going to take up too much time here defining NFTs, because there are plenty of resources about that (and here’s one!,) but it’s good practice to let you know that NFT stands for “non-fungible token.” 

Still, as one introductory guide to NFTs put it, “trying to understand an NFT through the expansion of its abbreviation is like answering the question ‘what is an mp3?’ with ‘it’s a MPEG Audio Layer-3.’” 

The key word here, then, is “fungible.” 

A fungible asset is something that is mutually interchangeable with something else of its kind. 

There are plenty of these on the blockchain; Dogecoin is a fun example. So, if I sent you one Dogecoin from my wallet, and you sent me one of yours at the same time, nothing really happened aside from the two of us paying some unnecessary fees. What makes NFTs special, though, is that each one is unique. No two people can own the same token, and they can’t be divided into smaller units. 

This doesn’t mean you can’t exchange them, of course. But if you do trade one NFT for another, you do so knowing that even if they both command the same price on a certain day, the value for each is determined only by the demand for it.

But rather than getting into the technical and financial details, let’s have a look at a couple of interesting contemporary use cases.

Digital Art
Everydays: The First 5000 days – Beeple (Mike Winkelmann) | via Makersplace

One of the most popular applications of NFTs at this particular juncture in spacetime is digital art. 

Even outside of the digital world, the art space has always struck me as a funny one. There’s no way exactly to quantify what a piece is worth — though you would expect it to be at least the cost of the materials with some consideration for the time taken in its creation. But what about the time taken before that, in learning how to create it? And then, what if it has some particular cultural relevance or encapsulates a moment in history? 

All this comes into play when art collectors determine how much they’re willing to fork over for a piece, and they’re going to want some kind of proof that they’re dealing with the original work. This part is tricky because people have become quite adept at producing fakes. 

With NFT art, however, the ability to verify authenticity is baked into the blockchain. The technology is designed for meticulous recordkeeping, making the owners and creator of a particular work decidedly unquestionable. 

So yeah, I can copy and paste Beeple’s Everydays: The First 5000 Days until my computer crashes — which it might, because at a whopping 319 MB, it’s pretty beefy for a JPG. But unless I hit up Christie’s auction house with a digital boatload of Ether come auction time, my newly-conceived dreams of legitimately owning this historic piece will, for now, remain just that: Dreams. 

Trading-tokens
Steph Curry 3 Pointer | Via NBA Top Shot

Sports memorabilia has come a long way since the early days of trading cards back in the late 1800s. Collectors still covet both antique and contemporary cards, but NFTs have allowed a newcomer to step onto the scene — officially-licensed “Moments” from NBA games via Top Shot.

A “Moment” is a high-definition highlight from a particular game —often from several different angles—along with details about that highlight, such as player stats, box score, the game scores, the number of tokens of its kind, and more. If you look at the Moment shown in that gif of Steph Curry, you’ll get a better picture of what this is all about.

The thing that makes this incredibly dope to me is that it seems to be what sports cards always wanted to be. Bringing together HD footage with 3D animation and a nice soundtrack seems like the perfect way to immortalize the best highlights of NBA history going forward, and more broadly, moments from other sports and live performances as well. 

What comes next?

I could go on (and on and on) about awesome things happening with NFTs right now. Still, as someone deeply interested in the technology itself, I can’t help but think about some of the more practical applications for something like an NFT. 

For example, what if the title deed for a house lived on the blockchain in the form of an NFT, supported by a smart contract? This guy who had to take a 400km round trip twice to have a deed reprinted could’ve saved himself and his family a lot of time on the road.

Or what about ticketing systems? Digital technology is already eliminating fraud in the NFL, but NFT tech could take what’s already been done a step further by allowing purchasers to see a clear chain of ownership. 

I can even see governments adopting the tech years from now in the form of state-issued identification. How cool would it be if NFTs were used as secure, verifiable driver’s licenses, vehicle registrations, or social security cards? You’d never have to worry about leaving them behind or losing them again!

It only seems natural that as the world moves more and more away from physical paperwork, the only thing stopping us from digitizing important documents like these is the problem of authenticity and security. After spending the last week learning about NFTs, I believe we’ve found a solution.

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Digital Artist FEWOCiOUS is Hitting it Big With NFTs

Getting one’s name and work to generate mass interest in the art world can be laborious, but the respect and notoriety that comes with reaching that goal are unmatched.

An 18-year old visionary from Las Vegas named Victor aka “FEWOCiOUS” managed to do just that through his astonishing digital artwork. Things are certainly looking up for Victor, to say the least—one of his most recent art pieces sold for $35,000 (22 ETH.) Victor’s penchant for creating striking digital illustrations has diversified his creative options and given him the chance to produce custom sneakers with Artifact Studios. A clothing drop from the burgeoning artist is also on the horizon, plus he’s making plenty of headway within the NFT medium.

The young pop surrealist sat down with ONE37pm’s Tyler Schmitt to discuss his early origins as an artist, how he got into selling his work online, and his introduction to the booming NFT industry.

ONE37pm : When did everything begin for you as an artist? When did you consider yourself an artist?

FEWOCiOUS: I feel like there was a point in middle school where I was just drawing all the time. Kids would see me with my sketchbook and be like “can I see it?,” and I’d be like “first of all, this is really personal. But fine!” At that point, it was just other kids that would be like “yeah, that’s the artist kid.” Or I’d be in lunch (I didn’t have friends), but kids would be like “hey that’s the artist kid. Check out his sketchbook.” Then they’d look through my sketchbook and I was just like “I guess I’m the artist person.”

ONE37pm: Do you have family? Was it crafty around your house? Where was your inspiration to start drawing?

FEWOCiOUS: My family is not supportive of art. They don’t like art, they wanted me to be a doctor. And it wasn’t even like they were indifferent or they didn’t care. If I was painting and they saw that, they’d like “what are you doing? That’s ugly. At least if you’re gonna paint, do a landscape or draw an animal.” My grandma would insult it so much every time she saw it. It was a non-no to be doing that.

ONE37pm: [in regards to his family’s unsupportive nature] Do you feel it was because you were good?

FEWOCiOUS: My mom tried to start a business and she went down her rabbit hole. My grandparents saw my mom’s failure and spiral into drug abuse. Maybe they didn’t want that for me. But that turned into actual toxicity.

ONE37pm: What was the first thing you ever sold?

FEWOCiOUS: When I was 12, I used to do Minecraft thumbnails for random people. Five bucks a pop. That’s how I learned to do PhotoShop and computer programs. And then I saw all the popular Minecraft videos no longer were graphic design, it was like drawings. And I was like “Well, I wanna be the best-selling Minecraft thumbnail person. I need to learn how to do it.” And then I learned digital and obviously didn’t know it would turn into my life.

FEWOCiOUS: No. I just start. I think with physical…It’s just I express myself in different ways. Like, I can make a mess and it’ll make sense. I can see the texture and can build off of that. But in digital, you can make a pretty mess. But it’s more like, I don’t like it as much. So I like doing my lines on digital. But if I wanna make a crazy whatever, then I’ll go paint.

ONE37pm: When you create physical vs. digital, is there much of a difference in how you’re approaching it?

FEWOCiOUS: No. I just start. I think with physical…It’s just I express myself in different ways. Like, I can make a mess and it’ll make sense. I can see the texture and can build off of that. But in digital, you can make a pretty mess. But it’s more like, I don’t like it as much. So I like doing my lines on digital. But if I wanna make a crazy whatever, then I’ll go paint.

FEWOCiOUS and Tyler’s lengthy discussion broaches a number of other introspective topics, so be sure to check out the full interview. Be sure to follow FEWOCiOUS on Twitter and Instagram, so as not to miss out on anything going on in his world.

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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

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A Guide to Sorare: The Proper Football NFT Platform

If you haven’t heard about NFT’s over the past few weeks, then where have you been?

A lot of the focus has been on NBA Top Shot, but we are here to tell you about Sorare, the next NFT sports platform exploding right now.

If Proper Football, sports cards, fantasy sports, or FIFA Ultimate Team are your jam, this is the NFT for you.

So what is Sorare?

Sorare is a Football (Soccer) NFT platform blending licensed Digital Collectibles with the gamification and reward potential of Fantasy Sports, all built on Ethereum blockchain.

Where NBA Top Shot purely focuses on collectibility in typical sports card fashion, Sorare changes the game, allowing users to not only build their sports card collection but become ‘managers’ and use their cards to compete each week for rewards and prizes.

For example, this Kylian Mbappé unique sold for $65.6k (on November 29th, 2020), but should actually reward the buyer for 10 + years based on Mbappé becoming one of the world’s best players and therefore helping return healthy in-game rewards, as well as accumulating stored value based on scarcity as per the world of NFT’s.

Sorare

Each Sorare card holds the same attributes as other NFT assets; the token cannot be copied or taken away from your possession.

Sorare already has official licenses with 126 clubs including the likes of Liverpool FC, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, and Juventus, and are adding more all the time, meaning you can buy some of the world’s best and most recognizable players straight away on the platform!

The Hype

You thought NBA Top Shot was big? This is the leading NFT platform for the most popular sport globally—catering to the 3.5 billion fans of football worldwide.

Sales momentum is growing. In the past week, it hit over $1.8m in volume, but compared to NBA Top Shot which hit a sales volume of $17m in the last 24 hours alone (according to cryptoslam.io), the hype for Sorare is only just beginning, and the potential is huge.

There have been some pretty impressive sales on Sorare recently, including a Cristiano Ronaldo Unique card selling for $102k

There is a little more to get your head around than with NBA Top Shot, so here is everything you need to know.

How can I get started? Building your team

Head to Sorare, create your account and login.

When you start you are awarded with 10 common cards to build your team.

You can then purchase players in a number of ways:

‘New Market’ auctions – these are cards minted by Sorare and you will be bidding against other Sorare players

Transfer Market – here, you can directly purchase players other Sorare Managers have put up for sale, whether through the buy it now listed price or through direct offers to owners

*Pro Tip: This may not work for much longer, but I have found a few auction bargains in the early hours (GMT time) whilst others have been sleeping. Stateside you may be able to use this to your advantage!

There are 4 card levels: Common (these cannot be sold on the marketplace), Rare (100 cards exist), Super Rare (10 copies exist), and Unique (you guessed it, just the one!)

This means that there are only 111 player cards of value minted per season, and released gradually during the season!

If a player leaves their real world team, and joins another team in a league that Sorare analyzes from a data perspective, your card will continue to earn points.

Bruno Fernandes is a great example here. His cards were minted in the 19-20 season when he was playing for Sporting, a team under license by Sorare.

Only 11 Fernandes cards have been minted as he left Sporting to join Manchester United in January 2020, and as such no new Fernandes cards have been minted since as Manchester United are not yet under license by Sorare. 

Players who own his 19-20 Sporting card still earn points each game week, but no new cards are being introduced into the market, so these cards are absolute gold.

You can buy players using your credit card or with Eth by connecting a Metamask or Coinbase Wallet via WalletLink.

It goes without saying the rarer the card, the higher the price, and whilst the superstars we all love and know can be deemed as expensive, there are plenty of hidden gems for you to unearth just beneath the surface.

If you think a young player is going to break through and become a football superstar, put your money where your mouth is and pick him up early for cheap – Timothy Weah for me – I’m still hoping he can emulate his Dad!

If you are right, the rewards could be massive.

Entering Leagues

As a new manager, you will be able to enter the Rookie League which will reward you with Common and Rare player cards based on results.

At this stage, you will need to compose a 5-a-side team with your cards with your choice of formation – 1 Goalkeeper, 2 defenders, 2 midfielders, or attackers

Points are attributed to your card based on real-world performances, scored up to a maximum of 100 per card and your position in the league will be ranked against other managers.

Each week your cards earn XP points that can add multipliers to the cards in-game, and allow you to compete in higher divisions and win rewards.

You can also assign a Captain, who will earn bonus points so pick carefully.

Gameweeks run Tuesday to Friday, Friday to Tuesday and you can compete in the Rookie League for eight game weeks, after which you have to put on your big boy pants and enter the regional and global divisions.

Leveling Up

There are three global leagues for you to participate in:

  1. Rookie League: Only eligible for your first eight-game weeks
  2. All-Star League: Made up of four divisions
  3. Under 23 league: Made up of four divisions, and players have to be under 23 

Card level criteria differ for each league, meaning you have to think strategically about how to level up and if you want to compete in higher leagues—bear in mind, higher leagues will mean less but potentially more fierce and experienced competition!

You can also submit players to the Training League to level up XP!

Sorare

There are also regional leagues that open up based on enough licensed teams from that region playing in a given game week:

  • European Champions League: Player cards have to represent teams in the top five European football leagues
  • American Champions League: Players have to represent licensed teams covering MLS, Superliga Argentina, Liga MX, Colombian Primera A & Brasileiro Serie A
  • Asian Champions League: Players representing teams in the J-League, K-League & Chinese Super League
  • European Challenger League – Players from outside the top five European leagues

As you build your card collection, you can actually enter multiple leagues in the same game week.

 *Pro Tip: As football is the global game and Sorare’s are mopping up licenses around the world, it means seasonality is less of an issue. 

Consider building your team to take advantage of leagues such as the J-League & K-League, where other managers may miss opportunities. Who doesn’t want a vested interest in Kawasaki vs. Yokohama?!

The Tactics

You can take a few approaches to play Sorare:

  1. Play to earn based on scaling up your team via the fantasy rewards structure 
  2. Invest and speculate: You could buy players and flip for short term profits or hold youth prospects for long term value 
  3. Hybrid: The purest form of the game and what I enjoy – I’m building my team to earn my rewards now and create a long term store of value

*Pro Tip: Sorare has an awesome community, so follow the Discord or Telegram where people will be happy to help get you started as well as regular AMA’s!

Sorare’s Potential

With sports cards still booming and the world of NFT’s taking hold, Sorare takes the NFT structure and makes it engaging, exciting, and brings you back each day for more. This tied in with my belief that platforms based on official IP will be the dominant forces in this space; I think Sorare is just getting started 🚀.

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The Top 10 Most Expensive NFTs Sales So Far

These are the top 10 NFT single sales in 2020-2021. These stats were taken from CryptoArtPulse.com & Cryptoslam.io and are judged based on the ETH prices.

Note: the NFT market is moving incredibly quickly; by the time you read this article, it is possible some of the items on this list will have moved around.

#1 — CryptoPunk #6965
CryptoPunks

This CryptoPunk #6965 sold on the 19th of February 2021 for 800 ETH currently worth about $1,608,032 valued at $2,010 per ETH.

#2 — CryptoPunk #4156
CryptoPunks

This CryptoPunk #4156 sold on the 18th of February 2021 for 650 ETH currently worth about $1,306,526 valued at $2,010 per ETH.

#3 — CryptoPunk #2890
CryptoPunks

This CryptoPunk #2890 sold on the 24th of January 2021 for 605 ETH currently worth about $1,216,074 valued at $2,010 per ETH.

#4 — CryptoPunk #6487
CryptoPunks

This CryptoPunk #6487 sold on the 21st of February 2021 for 550 ETH currently worth about $1,105,500 valued at $2,010 per ETH.

#5 — Hashmask 9939
OpenSea

This Hashmask #9939, with the name ‘sex,’ sold on the 3rd of February 2021 for 420 ETH, currently worth about $844,216 valued at $2,010 per ETH.

#6 — CryptoPunk #2140
CryptoPunks

This CryptoPunk #2140 sold on the 22nd of February 2021 for 400 ETH, currently worth about $804,000, valued at $2,010 per ETH.

#7 — Genesis by TrevorJonesArt & Jose Delbo
TrevorJonesArt / Jose Delbo

Genesis by TrevorJonesArt & Jose Delbo was sold on the 17th of October 2020 for 302.5 ETH, currently worth about $608,037, valued at $2,010 per ETH.

#8 — Nyan Cat by @nyancat
Nyan Cat

This artwork, ‘Nyan Cat,’ sold on the 19th of February 2021 for 300 ETH, currently worth about $603,000, valued at $2,010 per ETH.

#9 — Hashmask #6718
OpenSea

Hashmask #6718 was sold on the 4th of February 2021 for 300 ETH, currently worth about $603,012, valued at $2,010 per ETH.

#10 — CryptoPunk #2681
CryptoPunks

This CryptoPunk #2681 was sold on the 19th of February 2021 for 277 ETH, currently worth about $556,781 valued at $2,010 per ETH.

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The “Furry Lisa,” CryptoArt and The New Economy Of Digital Creativity

Over the last year, I became the proud owner of “The Furry Lisa,” among several other one-of-a-kind digital creations, often referred to as “crypto art” or “NFTs” (non-fungible tokens — a special type of cryptographic token and digital contract that represents something specific and unique as opposed to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and tokens that are fungible). But before I explain the personal significance of “The Furry Lisa” (and break down the major players in this space and the mind-blowing broader implications), let me start with a bold proclamation:

This NFT world is likely the greatest unlock of artist opportunity in 100+ years. This isn’t a suboptimal or fringe version of the real-world art economy, it is a vastly improved one.

Whether you are an artist of any kind, investor, or consumer of anything creative, you will be impacted. But before we explore the far-reaching implications, let’s understand why NFTs up-level art in profound ways.

8 Reasons Why Crypto Art Beats Art

(1) Crypto Art cannot be counterfeited. Every piece of art that is “minted” in this world is forever chronicled on the blockchain (a permanent ledger of owners, transactions, and other information), eliminating all doubts about the authenticity and rightful ownership.

(2) The provenance is based in transaction, not spin. In the fine art world, the historical record of an artifact — past owners, fabled bidding wars, museum exhibitions, and an artist’s activity — are often represented by self-interested gallery owners, art buyers, and industry insiders. In contrast, the “provenance” of an asset (the source of truth for its storied history) is memorialized in the blockchain and can be represented by novel interfaces in all kinds of creative ways.

(3) More transparent and better-merchandised scarcity. Let’s face it, collectors want to know they own a one-of-a-kind — or at least something rare. Look no further than the CryptoPunk phenomenon to understand the value that real-time transparent scarcity drives. While the old school fine art world is littered with impossible to audit limited editions and artist proofs, Crypto Art has solved for this.

Scott Belsky
My cryptopunk crew, three of the ten thousand unique and trackable inaugural artistic use-cases of NFTs.

(4) Portability and liquidity. While the fine art world often relies on luxury shippers, insurance brokers, auction houses, and expensive art advisor coordination to achieve portability and liquidity, Crypto Art can be transferred between owners in minutes and listed on various marketplaces and spaces simultaneously. Again, so long as these assets are represented on the same underlying blockchain (still some dust settling here), they have a ton of surface area for discovery.

(5) 10x more meritocracy and artist opportunity. Gone are the days of needing to be blessed by a particular art critic or granted a degree from a particular art school. Sure, “signal” from particular collectors and marketing by the artist still drives value, but the equal opportunity across the globe for any talented artist to “mint” a piece of work on a particular marketplace and be discovered is step-functions more empowering. And, once their work is purchased, that transaction is the ultimate signal of value for other collectors — unencumbered by industry politics and gallery affiliations. But this hasn’t stopped traditional auction houses from trying to get a piece of the action…

https://onlineonly.christies.com/s/first-open-beeple/beeple-b-1981-1/112924
Scott Belsky
This piece, by famed NFT artist Beeple, is liable to make history as a “cross-over” moment when “EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS” is auctioned off by traditional auction house Christie’s on Feb 25th.

(6) Transformative economic model for artists via NFT contracts. This is perhaps my favorite advantage of all — the ability for artists to automatically gain a percentage of every sale of their work in the secondary market in perpetuity. I mean, can you imagine!? Artists can evolve from getting ~50% of the initial acquisition price of their work in a gallery to a new world where they get 80%+ (depending on the marketplace they use) of the proceeds on their initial sale plus 10–15% of every secondary sale forever! Imagine the families of artists anywhere receiving residuals for generations much like the world’s greatest bands as their work continues to grow in value and trade hands. F’ing transformative. Vincent Van Gogh only sold one painting while he was alive, and not for much. Oh how far we‘ve come.

(7) Creativity without bounds. Now I’ll insert my bias, but bringing more digital experiences to the fine art world unleashes an entirely new medium of creativity that the fine art collecting world has never fully appreciated. Suddenly the seemingly-fringe creative explorations of algorithms and multi-media mashups are on par with any other piece of Crypto Art. As we shed our bias for stuff made of atoms and embrace stuff made with bits, the aperture of love for and inspiration by art opens widely.

Scott Belsky
A few highlights from my collection, including “Release” by UK-based Digital Artist mbsjq (who i’ve followed on Behance since 2009 where his work has 5M+ views, and now on Instagram as well) who is fascinated with all things iridescent & outer space. I purchased one of mbsjq’s genesis series featuring “Astro & The Universe” for 3.3 ETH, and his latest on SuperRare was just acquired by another collector for 35 ETH (~$69,000)!

(8) Crypto Art is art made for the future. As our walls become screens and our field of vision becomes enhanced with augmented reality, we will seek precious and meaningful objects to surround us (just as we always have). Whether in the much anticipated “metaverse,” the many digital worlds and games we frequent, or in our own living rooms and peripheral vision, this new generation of art is made for our future.

The total growth and total market cap of the fine art world are on the cusp of an explosive moment. SuperRare announced early February that they had exceeded $10 million in total sales ($7.87 million Primary Sales and $2.19 million Secondary Sales). You can also track some of the most expensive pieces sold across NFT marketplaces on cryptoart.io. And, speaking of transparency, you can track volumes of transactions across top decentralized marketplaces using products like Dapp Radar and Dune.

https://dappradar.com/rankings/category/marketplaces
cryptoart.io
And here’s Dapp’s count, as of 2/21/21, on top seven marketplaces by volume transacted, updating here (click the image).

Dune
Dune’s report of SuperRare in particular, notice the turning point in just the last few weeks.

What Comes Next?

Much like Uber did for transportation and Airbnb did for hospitality, the blockchain is transforming and expanding the market of art and digital experiences of all kinds. The only distinct difference about this digital transformation from many that came before: it is empowering the careers of creators themselves more than everyone in the middle.

Packy McCormick described this quite well is a detailed piece about the next generation of the web and what he called the “value chain of the open metaverse.

The New “Alt” Economy Will Reach Us All
https://www.notboring.co/p/the-value-chain-of-the-open-metaverse
Not Boring
From Packy’s excellent newsletter aptly called “Not Boring”

As McCormick explains it, “The movement is really about doing one of the most capitalist things there is: cutting out the middleman. It means that instead of value accruing to the Aggregators, there can be a more direct connection between suppliers and consumers. It’s not about taking money out of the system, it’s about moving the money around to the people who create and the people who consume, and to the people who maintain and improve the network itself. And it’s about attaching each user’s data and money directly to them (Self-Sovereign Identity), creating a public record that they own what they own (blockchain) and letting them take it with them, and profit from it, wherever they go on the web (Interoperability).”

So, what opportunities might this new world and economy unleash? Let’s have some fun exploring the biggest implications for this wild new world on work and life as we know it!

No doubt, our captivity during COVID and the infusion of fed funds into the economy have helped fuel our open-mindedness to buying and trading alternative assets (the resurgence of baseball cards is a great proof point). But I imagine a time when everyone will have “long-tail asset digital wallets” of fractional ownership units of everything they love. New marketplaces like Otis (founded by a Behance alum!) and management tools like OnlyAlt (starting with sport cards but with a very ambitious agenda!) will allow you to collect, value, and trade such assets.

This will all give rise to “Holistic Assets”
https://www.withotis.com/
Otis
You can buy fractional units of culturally-relevant and scarce assets on Otis right now.

Imagine buying an NFT asset, like a piece of crypto art, that is not only digitally available and memorialized on the blockchain, but also entitles you to real-world assets and experiences. I have come to call these “Holistic Assets” because they can be (theoretically) packed with all sorts of entitlements yet still be verifiable and tradable as any other NFT is. I even see a world in which every real-world purchase, from Gucci suits to a new Chevy, are accompanied by an NFT that establishes you as an owner and unlocks a series of entitlements, from Snap filters to Fortnite skins, for as long as you are the rightful owner.

https://superrare.co/artwork-v2/the-v01d—034-003-19038
Joshua Davis
A screenshot of the mulit-media piece “the V01D / 034–00,” a generative program written using processing (JAVA) + GLSL shaders, by Joshua Davis.

At least two of my purchases on SuperRare were followed by an overture by the artist to send along a physical print. Joshua Davis (aka Praystation) offered me to pick any frame in “The V01D / 034–003” and ship me a signed physical copy. But imagine what a musician or other celebrity “minting” a piece of their work for ownership might offer or entitle to its owner? Perhaps a private audience or some other special experience? Perhaps you get a VIP treatment forevermore? When you play this out — and the opportunity to fractionalize such offerings — this could be bigger than the business of live events. Perhaps you no longer go through middlemen and centralized ticketing or brokerage industries for such experiences when you can simply own a piece of the artist’s work and get direct access in exchange?

A new stack of technology and participants will emerge.

We’ll see a cohort of highly curated galleries emerge, like SuperRare. We’ll see other sites that simply act as sources of truth for all that’s going on or serve as open marketplaces, like OpenSeaShowtime, (and perhaps Behance might help in a more platform capacity as well from a portfolio perspective, as its 25M+ members discover CryptoArt?). We’ll see new variants and alternative blockchains like how Flow is being used for NBA Top Shots. And we’ll see plenty of “picks and shovels” type companies emerge to power functionalities like Magic Link for payments, NiftyKit for independent “minting” of assets, Bitski that allows big brands/creators to mint NFTs along with certain entitlements and media, and the list goes on.

This Will Yield Entirely New Uses For Creative Tools

While I’ve committed my life to empower creators of all kinds — from artists and product designers to entrepreneurs — to overcome the obstacles to make ideas happen, my day job is running products at Adobe. So what’s the role of Adobe and the creative tool space in all this?

I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few months connecting with top crypto artists and learning about their workflow and challenges. Guess what? Most of them are using Photoshop and Illustrator on desktop, and some have discovered the latest iPad/Tablet apps like the (quite groundbreaking) Adobe Fresco and the newly reimagined Photoshop and Illustrator on iPad. My hope is that creative career opportunities, like selling your content and creating crypto art, among others, become better integrated into the tools overtime to make these capabilities more user-friendly and accessible. I also think digital toolmakers have a responsibility to understand the new and growing needs of the world’s best crypto artists.

But at the end of the day, art is about meaning.

And all of this analysis brings us back to where we started: The Furry Lisa.

Scott Belsky

This piece has special significance to me for a few reasons. Primarily, at a moment when the boundaries (and prejudices) of art’s physical and digital divide are finally crumbling, I saw the “Furry Lisa” as a great representation of the cross-over moment — the idea of making the creation and collection of legendary pieces like the vaulted Mona Lisa more inviting and accessible (literally soft to the touch). I love the added dose of irony that this creation cannot be touched given its digital existence, and yet FEELS so approachable. And its creator, Istanbul-based designer Murat Yıldırımhas been active on Behance (the platform i founded over a decade ago), since 2015 and has since minted a few more in this series for purchase on SuperRare. His second addition to the six-piece series, “Furry Night,” was recently purchased at auction by a collector named “Radar” for 17 ETH (equivalent of ~ $33,198 at time of purchase). And voila, the world of fine art does its thing. Full circle.

Scott Belsky

Welcome to the new era of digital art, one that finally transcends the traditional “lowest common denominator” aspects of the web and both elevates and rewards some of the greatest artists the world has ever seen. As always, art — and creative experimentation more broadly — is just the bridge between the old way and a better way. So much more to come in this space.

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5 NFT Projects You Need to Know About

As the conversation about NFT’s continues its meteoric rise, there is a lot of talk about the digital collectible. For those newcomers who are choosing to delve a little deeper than NBA Top Shot, they’re quickly learning that the NFT space is already relatively crowded with a lot of interesting projects. As all of you start to delve deeper into the scene and discover a myriad of experiences that put on display the creative way NFT technology can be approached, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and identify the ones that you should truly be paying attention to. 

Thankfully, you’ve got me. As a digital collector for the past 6 years, I’ve seen the industry evolve in a lot of interesting ways, and being able to identify a project’s trajectory is never a sure thing. However, there are some key attributes that I look for when I’m choosing where I am going to invest next.

What do I look for?

It’s important to note that when I say invest, I don’t mean just financially; I also mean emotionally. (To be clear, this isn’t financial advice) Those two main ways in which I connect with a project, whether that’s a game, digital collectible, or art, are key pillars in choosing the next community I jump into. 

Community, in fact, is another metric that I pay close attention to. A project with a strong community presence is typically a good sign. When a project lead and their team are active on social, quick to respond to inquiries, clear in their intent and goal, it brings a dynamic that is severely lacking in AAA experiences and exactly why it means so much in the decentralized space.

Where should we start?

Now that you know a little bit of the how and why, what is it about these five projects that stand out the most? In all cases, I see longevity, strong community, and a strong ‘IP.’ For specifics, let’s break them down!

Note; this list is intended for those relatively new to the space. There is an abundance of excellent NFT experiences, but honestly speaking, the barrier of entry to most is a bit clunky and difficult at this time. I intend to shed light on easily accessible projects that I think apply to a wide audience, specifically those with a low barrier of entry. If you’re already comfortable with what you’re doing, check out my BONUS mention at the end for advanced collectors.

5. Ben Mauro’s EVOLUTION – A Collectible Card Game on FLOW

Ben Mauro is a legendary concept design artist. Working on massive IPs like Call of Duty and The Hobbit Trilogy, it’s exciting to imagine just what such a creative mind will bring to NFTs. With little information available, I’m sure you’re asking why EVOLUTION made my list. 

While it’s not an existing property like many of the other offerings coming to FLOW, EVOLUTION has all the makings of an exciting IP. The teaser images show an extremely high-quality character design. Combine top-tier art in a digital space with the gamification that collectible cards can provide, and I think that EVOLUTION positions itself well to hit the ground running with a launch on a blockchain that has little friction in purchasing and no transaction/gas fees for buying/selling/trading.

EVOLUTION is the only project on the list that has yet to launch, but it’s definitely one that I would sign up for now, so you know exactly when the project launches. If there’s one thing you’ll learn quickly about this space, it’s that being early is VERY important.

4. Decentraland – A Metaverse

While it does require an Ethereum wallet to take full advantage of Decentraland, anyone can hop in and explore the Metaverse right inside their web browser as a guest. With an aesthetic that is sure to bring mass appeal, one of the coolest features of the experience is DCL’s Wearables. When you first see an Avatar inside of this world, there’s no telling what they may be wearing. And in this way, we are seeing just the beginnings of an existence where we can express our true selves in a digital way that feels very natural. 

Cool hats, dope sneakers, and outfits that span genres are just the beginning of what we will see as the integration of fashion and NFTs become deeper. While I don’t believe we’ve seen wearables by big-name brands just yet, I’m sure they’ll show up soon. In the meantime, we are seeing digital fashion designers emerge who are doing excellent work and cementing themselves into the foundation of this movement. 

I think DCL is an excellent first experience and introduction to the concept of a Metaverse. But it’s not the ONLY one. There are other Metaverse experiences that should be explored as well; Cryptovoxels, Somnium Space, and The Sandbox. Each of these has its own unique aspects that make them worth digging into; CryptoVoxels is a familiar voxel-based experience and easy to use. Somnium Space is visually stunning while also technologically advanced, and The Sandbox has some major IP partnerships coming to their experience, just to name a few. 

3. Bitcoin Origins – The history of Bitcoin told through a collecting experience on WAX

The first thing you’ll notice about BTC is its rabid community. For those who follow the project closely, the story being told through these collectibles is one they return to daily. Why? Story. Hiding inside the cards are hints and clues that have led collectors down a rabbit hole that some compare to ARGs’ niche ‘game’ experience. Alternate reality games are, at their basics, experiences that take place both digitally and in the physical world. For example, you get emails from game characters to meet somewhere in the real world at a specific time. When you get there, it’s a group of other players, and you’re all given a scavenger hunt mission to engage in. 

With Bitcoin Origins, players have received messages and private DMs from a mysterious source that provides breadcrumbs they follow because at the end of this trail is a prize. And what’s that prize, you ask? One. Bitcoin.

When people ask me why NFTs matter, my answer is always the same. Because they allow us to dream big and then bring those crazy dreams into reality, this technology connects its users in a way I’ve never seen before. The only thing even remotely close is gaming. It’s the use of high-quality collectibles, leverage of community, and connection to the experience through storytelling that allow the Bitcoin Origins experience to transcend the ‘card’ and take it to another level. 

The @BitcoinOrigins Story can be followed on Twitter, and their collectibles can be found here.

2. KOGS on WAX

A digital recreation of the 90s ‘milk cap’ craze, otherwise known as POGS, hit the WAX blockchain in August of last year and has been one of the most consistent properties on that chain ever since. 

Leaning on experienced game dev Arclegger, real name Adam Clegg, the team at RedFOX Games set out to create one of the first fully on-chain experiences in gaming. With a very well-thought-out drop structure, the First Edition of KOGs was crafted specifically for collectors. Rarities, Sets, and different ‘classes’ of collectibles, KOGs and Slammers, mean there are plenty of ways for a collector to get in and get engaged. 

Implementing a staking mechanism where you lock in different sets to gain rewards, combined with a mobile game currently in beta, as well as other aspects like using these tokens in other game experiences in the future, sets KOGs up to be a long-standing brand in the space. 

Collect KOGS on WAX.

1. Nifty Gateway

With the lowest barrier of entry next to NBA TopShot on Flow, Nifty Gateway is easily the number one pick for this list. Seeing an amazing increase in revenue over the past six months has solidified them as the space’s top platform. Just last night Mad Dog Jones, a digital artist of many years who has never made much money off of his work, broke records and sold over four million dollars worth of digital assets… in nine minutes. 

At an astonishing rate, Nifty is constantly pushing the industry forward in new and exciting ways. I’d suggest two reasons, on top of ease of use, to why they’re seeing such a meteoric rise. Implementing unique drops that combine digital with physical, such as the recent release from EDM artist 3LAU, which included a piece of wood etched with the soundwave of the NFTs track and implementing open editions, which are sales that have no set print limit only a time limit. The latter specifically allows for the market to decide what the demand is like for an artist, which is proving to be pretty damn high. For all of them. Almost daily.

I imagine we will see many exciting announcements from Nifty Gateway in the coming months that will include big names and brands that are sure to excite and surprise many.

Get signed up and purchasing NFTs within minutes.

BONUS: B20 – Own a piece of Beeple’s epic first drop

And then see what happens when his auction goes to the moon with Christie’s next week. NOT INVESTMENT ADVICE! But if you’re an advanced collector and didn’t get to buy into his initial drop, this is a great way to get involved by owning a piece via the B20 token. 

Through that token, holders have voting powers should someone attempt to buy out all 100% of the supply. With a smart contract in place set to accept a beginning bid between 12 and 15 million dollars should someone want to try to own it all, there is no telling when this could take place. At that time, a timer of 14 days begins. If no other bids are accepted, and the token holders don’t vote to veto a purchase via a 25% vote, the ownership of the complete Beeple collection as well as the virtual museums where they are on display transfers to the new owner.

You’ll want to head over to B20.MetaPurse.Fund to get all the details and find out how to snag the token. (You’ll need an Ethereum wallet and ETH in it, then you’ll head over to UniSwap. If you have no idea what that means, skip this last suggestion!)

Hopefully, these examples have shown you just a glimpse of how NFT technology can extend beyond simply replacing cardboard collectibles or backing virtual Fortnite skins, and create an experience that allows a creator to engage and reward collectors in a way that has never been possible at another time in history.

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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.