Categories
NFT Tech

What is FUD?

Within the world of crypto, there are many acronyms, technical terms, and slang words. One that is exceptionally important for crypto enthusiasts to understand is FUD, which stands for Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt.

Within the crypto and NFT space, we see FUD spread throughout various article titles, clickbait thumbnails on YouTube, Twitter, and in Discord servers filled with frustrated investors.

The Bitcoin Ban of 2021

In late December of 2021, we saw FUD at an all-time high for Bitcoin particularly. This was a result of cryptocurrency mining being banned in several countries, including but not limited to China, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia.

There are other situations where FUD might apply. FUD is often mentioned within the NFT space. It’s usually when the community is discussing a project or developer (dev).

These developers present a project that seems reliable, but then only after getting money from people, they seem to step back from the project with the profits and we see the project’s activity slow down.

Sometimes we see these developers take the money and shut it down completely, which is also referred to as a ‘rug’. Unfortunately, this happens more often than one would like to see, a few notable ‘rug pulls’ we saw in 2021 were Iron Finance, Snowdog, and Fiat.

FUD is similar to another acronym many are familiar with, FOMO, which means fear of missing out. Much like FOMO, FUD only affects you if you allow your emotions to dictate your decisions and behaviors.

FUD will only affect you if you let it

FUD can inevitably happen at any moment, so the responsibility lies on the investor to do their own research (DYOR) on projects to ensure that what they are getting into is trustworthy and committed to the long-term success of a project.

Remembering that the web3 space is extremely volatile can save you from devastation. Never invest anything you aren’t comfortable losing and always keep facts separated from feelings.

If you want to learn more about web3 lingo, check out this article.

Categories
Gaming NFT

Ubisoft and Aleph.im Join Forces for NFTs in AAA Games

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The biggest term that remained at the tip of everyone’s tongues in 2021 was NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens). Major entertainment entities, sports leagues, iconic food brands, etc. have stepped into the burgeoning Web 3.0 space to produce one-of-a-kind digital assets of their own. In the gaming space, AAA publishers/developers such as Square Enix, Sega, and Capcom have either taken their first steps into the world of NFTs or made it abundantly clear that they’re researching ways towards doing so.

Ubisoft is another AAA gaming staple that has begun making some headway into the NFT medium. The French publisher/developer’s biggest foray into NFTs to date is the recently announced Ubisoft Quartz enterprise. This brand new venture gives players the ability to get their hands on “Digits,” which are described as “the first Ubisoft NFTs (non-fungible tokens), playable in an HD game and relying on an energy-efficient technology.” And the first AAA game to utilize that new concept is Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint, which incorporates NFTs in the form of three signature in-game items – the M4A1 Tactical | Wolves firearm, the Wolf Enhanced Helmet A, and the Wolf Enhanced Pants. With such a huge Web 3.0 endeavor underway, Ubisoft chose to partner up with a legitimate force within the space to see its vision through.

Ubisoft

That decision has led to the Ubisoft Quartz initiative selecting its main technology partner in the form of Aleph.im, which is “a cross-blockchain decentralized storage and computing network.” Through this partnership, Aleph.im will provide a decentralized storage system of over 70 nodes for Ubisoft Quartz’s NFT metadata. The ownership of those digital assets will be tracked over the Tezos blockchain, while the ongoing history of those NFTs (i.e. previous players who have owned an NFT, player achievements, etc.) should certainly prove valuable for marketplaces such as Rarible and Objkt. This isn’t the first time Ubisoft has linked up with Aleph.im – earlier in the year, Ubisoft ingrained a core channel on Aleph.im’s decentralized computer network. Seeing as how Aleph.im is partnered with Ubisoft’s Paris-based Entrepreneurs Lab program, this move makes perfect sense for both companies.

Aleph.im

Judging by recent comments regarding both companies’ newfound partnership, it’s clear that Ubisoft and Aleph.im are excited about the possibilities that will arise from it. Didier Genevois, Blockchain Technical Director at Ubisoft, stated the following: “With Ubisoft Quartz, we’re taking the first step to leverage blockchain’s decentralized approach to open new opportunities for our players by making them true stakeholders of our games. To fulfill the technology’s promise, we needed players to actually own their Digit and be able to leave their mark in their favorite game. Aleph.im’s role was key in building this experiment by allowing us to decentralize the storage of the Digits’ video asset and metadata.”

Jonathan Schemoul, Aleph.im Founder and CEO, also proclaimed his excitement regarding the burgeoning NFT movement: “The incorporation of NFTs into a mainstream game is a revolutionary moment for NFTs. Dynamic NFTs have never been done before and this marks the first time NFTs will evolve over time as various players use them in-game. Aleph.im is proud to be at the forefront of this new era where blockchain technology and decentralized solutions for NFTs play a pivotal role in traditional gaming.”

Categories
Music NFT

Cryptorastas Are Cultivating NFTs Within The Reggae Community

One of the first reggae NFT collections went live this past week at Miami Art Week, debuting with a curated Reggae Event taking place at Purple Palms Art Creative on Friday, December 3rd. The night featured Jamaican reggae star and 2022 Grammy nominee Jesse Royal, Brazil’s Digitaldubs and a collaboration with Miami’s very own Dubwise Sound Station. Additionally, there was a very special NFT panel that discussed how NFTs empower artists and generate value for the music industry.

Cryptorastas

The Cryptorasta’s NFT dropped on November 10th, with ten new NFTs via auction in collaboration with top Reggae artists and celebrities, which quickly sold out, with a total of 17.0049ETH in sales. The brand new collection includes reggae legends the late Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Cedric ‘Congo’ Myton, Kabaka Pyramid, Augustus Pablo and many more.

ONE37pm spoke with Cryptorastas founder Marcus MPC aka Digitaldubs, and Reggae artists Jesse Royal and Bay-C to discuss bridging the digital gap between the reggae community and NFT economy, representing Reggae culture and community within the NFT metaverse, and the importance of supporting artist collaborations and giving artists a profit.

Cryptorastas

ONE37pm: Cryptorastas is the very first reggae NFT collection, what does it mean to be a part of this?

Bay-C: Chronologically there were reggae NFTs before Cryptorastas actually, I released the first reggae NFT in April and Morgan Heritage followed a few weeks later in April. However, I would say Cryptorastas is the very first reggae NFT community, and it is a powerful one. It brings existing individual NFT players like myself with newcomers and fans all in one community with the collective vision of empowering the rasta community through blockchain. 

Jesse Royal: Sons and Daughters of the King are always forward thinking so I was not surprised. It was more exciting than anything else. It’s important for us to become a part of financial conversations as well. Limitations are not for Rastafari.

ONE37pm: How has it been learning about the NFT space as an artist?

Bay-C: It has been very exciting and mind-blowing. As far as the creative mind can conceive, it can be achieved with NFTs. It is the present and the future for creatives.

Jesse Royal: Learning about the possibilities and potential of the space has been an interesting journey that I’m still on.

Cryptorastas

ONE37pm: How involved were you guys in terms of representing your individual art in this NFT collection?

Bay-C: I trusted the Cryptorastas team to produce it. After I saw the first draft, I didn’t need to change anything. It was on point. Their team is awesome!

Jesse Royal: We are still working on the actual piece but the reception from the community and the broader global space has been great. Love to see it and I’m here for it!

ONE37pm: Last but not least, what’s on the horizon for 2022?

Bay-C: For 2022, I will be launching some more Bay-C NFTs to tie in with the release of my sophomore album King Bass. This will be in February. For the summer I will be on tour in Europe and throughout the year I will be collaborating on other cool NFT ideas around dancehall, gaming, and sound system culture.

Jesse Royal: For 2022 and beyond lookout for more masterpieces, more philanthropic work as well as a deeper livication to the restoration of our identity, not our ego. Blessed Love.

Here’s what Cryptorastas founder Marcus Menezes had to say about the platform.

“Since I realized Cryptorastas could be something big, I thought the project should be a collective work, to really involve and bring back to the Jamaican culture. The first idea was to make avatars to represent the artist officially, in a way they directly benefit financially. Cryptorastas became a perfect open door for the reggae movement, bringing artists and fans closer together in the community. The future possibilities are endless!”

Be sure to keep up with all things Cryptorastas via their official website.

Categories
Art NFT

RECUR Partners With Sanrio To Bring Hello Kitty Into NFT Space

RECUR has some major announcements in the NFT space, and one of those is a name you’ll instantly recognize. The technology company recently confirmed a strategic partnership with Sanrio that will for the first time bring the iconic Hello Kitty Brand to the digital collectible space. Through this partnership, RECUR will create a fan-focused platform that will allow Hello Kitty fans to buy, collect, and trade Hello Kitty NFT’s as digital products and collectibles. The Hello Kitty NFTs will be interoperable across chains, and will be available beginning in Q1 of 2022.

<div class =”code”><p class = “twitter-tweet”>https://twitter.com/RecurForever/status/1461352356948283402?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw</p></div>

Additionally, RECUR is also announcing the launch of its first  proprietary NFT, the RECUR Portal Pass, which will be available for purchase on December 9th. The NFT, a “Portal Pass,” will offer early access to RECUR’s entire library, and has already amassed some of the largest fan bases of IP in the world, with Hello Kitty as the latest addition. The RECUR portal pass will be available to purchase for 24 hours only, offering a rare opportunity to establish themselves as community members. 

We spoke with RECUR co-founders and CEOs Zach Bruch and Trevor George to learn more about the platform.

RECUR

ONE37pm: Okay let’s start with the first announcement. You guys will be partnering with Sanrio which will officially bring Hello Kitty into the NFT space. What led to this partnership?

RECUR: We come from a long history of licensing, and we’re excited to be partnered together. Hello Kitty is a multi-billion dollar global phenomenon, with a degree of fandom that is on another level. Hello Kitty fans are often obsessed with the character, and their entire rooms will oftentimes be decked out in Hello Kitty stuff. The community is important, and Hello Kitty spoke to us as a brand that had an extreme fandom.

ONE37pm: What are some of the things Hello Kitty fans can expect out of this NFT?

RECUR: We can’t give away too much now, but the character that we have all come to love will be expressed in a lot of different ways in this NFT space. NFT’s are known for their PFP (profile picture), so there could potentially be something there just as a hint. Again we can’t say too much, but we can’t wait to bring the entire Hello Kitty world as NFT’s.

ONE37pm: What’s been the most exciting part of working on this project?

RECUR: We are super excited about our individual approach to NFT’s. We want to make sure fans can interact with these NFT’s, and take them anywhere they need to go. We want to make sure we stay authentic, and ownership is going to be key with what we are doing. The objective of Web3 is to have something that you can own, and that is one of the exciting things about the metaverse, Don’t get me wrong, we’re doing some amazing things in terms of the art and experience, but our goal is to give full ownership that you can take anywhere.

<div class =”code”><p class = “twitter-tweet”>https://twitter.com/RecurForever/status/1466542708575522825?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw</p></div>

ONE37pm: Additionally you guys are launching your first proprietary NFT, the RECUR Portal Pass on December 9th. How has that been?

RECUR: It’s been great! We’ve been overwhelmed with the positive response. We currently have over 15,000 people in our discord, and to get to that amount after just a few days is crazy! The portal pass will allow people to experience some of the largest IP’s including Hello Kitty.

ONE37pm: What’s on RECUR’s radar for 2022?

RECUR: We want to continue to grow. We just announced another partnership with Care Bears, and for the first time ever, we will be introducing new Care Bears characters into the metaverse. We’re really excited about the direction we’re going and we can’t wait for the future!

The future is indeed bright for RECUR. Speaking of their partnership with Care Bears, the deal will be a multi-year NFT partnership, and a dedicated experience launching in the first half of 2022 that will allow fans to buy, collect, and trade Care Bears NFTs as digital products and collectibles. The RECUR Pass will offer early beta access to RECUR’s coveted experiences in entertainment, sports, and pop culture including Care Bears, among others. Pre-registration is now open.

Categories
Sports Strength

Futera’s NFT Launch Includes Founding a Proper Football Club

For over 32 years, Futera has become a leader in the proper football cards space, holding official licenses to some of the sport’s biggest clubs around the world.

Futera’s official licenses include Premier League clubs Liverpool, Arsenal & Manchester City, plus European giants Paris Saint-Germain and FC Barcelona.

With the ever-growing presence of sports cards and NFTs, the crossover between the two products have never been more synonymous with one another than right now.

That’s why Futera’s next endeavor is a creative spin on not only breaking into the NFT space, but doing so with an incredibly unique experience for its consumers and genuine football lovers.

When the company launches its first NFT project, it will include a utility after full sell out that should get supporters buzzing; founding a football club, Futera United. The pre-sale process is set to begin on Jan. 20.

Futera’s project will include a release of 11,000 NFTs that will appear in the form of digital player trading cards, which goes back to Futera’s roots. 

Futera

From there, Futera NFT holders will be given the opportunity to essentially run Futera United, a club that will be based in Asia. Supporters will ultimately be given the chance to help shape the squad and potentially build other facets of the club, including choice of logo, kit designs and other unique creative opportunities.

“We spent the last 12 months really diving into the NFT space and we’re so excited to integrate our Futera community with a group so passionate about this up-and-coming technology,” Head of Marketing Adam Partington told ONE37pm.

This isn’t the first time Futera has enabled this type of creative access to its brand though.

In 2013, the company unveiled Futera FC, a similar concept that saw fans vote on a variety of club decisions including the team’s playing style, formation and tactics as the game played out live. 

However, this time around – supercharged with the capability of NFTs and improved streaming technology, they’re taking it to another level, and have already made progress – securing the new home where Futera United will play.  

“The community will make key decisions about the players and the Club’s development as it embarks on a real-time journey enjoying real-life experiences. FUTERA UNITED will be next-generation Football,”  Futera’s Creative Director Mark Watson said.

Futera will also be working with a group of celebrities, known as Famous Fans, in order to help push their launch process.

FIFA streamer Bateson87 (1.46m YouTube subscribers) has been named as the first of several Famous Fans, with various others set to be announced in the near future.

One37pm will follow the team’s progress and update readers on the journey. 

The company plans to roll out exclusive content with Bateson and others as a chance to offer creative insight into the NFT project.

Now, the ONE37pm community will have a unique opportunity to integrate with Futera consumers as they launch Futera United.

Futera United Project Overview: 

  • Generative NFT Soccer Player cards by a 32-year established sports card company. 
  • Launching this Thursday, 20th January (for presale). 
  • The chance to also print the physical rookie card of your player by a sports card company. 

Phase One Utility: Found a real-life Football Club where NFT holders will vote on all key decisions. 

  • Futera has signed an agreement for the Club’s facilities. (Watch Video on YouTube)
  • Introducing to the NFT market an option to choose your player’s skin tone once minted. Like ‘building a player’ on FIFA. 
  • Merch store; Fans from all over the world can show their support while watching live streams of the matches. 

Phase Two: Gamification of your Player, a chance to play and earn prizes – follow along as your player navigates their career in the online gameplay. 

Plus, in Futera Fantasy Football, you’ll receive members of the actual football team you run to support each game week. You’ll earn points and the chance to win prizes for their performances on the pitch. 

Once part of the priority list, One37pm fans will guarantee their purchase before the public sale:

  • 10x people that sign up, and purchase, will receive a 1 of 1 physical trading card of their Futera United NFT.
  • There will also be Futera United merch packs (hoody, hat, physical rookie card of your player) up for grabs, so don’t delay.
How to Join

Go To: https://discord.gg/futeraunited

  1. Verify yourself in rules by selecting.

2. Go to #Whitelists-forms channel -> One37pm Whitelist-> click link

3. This will open up a form to connect your MetaMask wallet and authorise your discord name & “sign document.”, you’re in. 

4. Futera will then assign you a role in our discord to ensure you receive updates on your buying window on Thursday 20th January (for 24 hours). 

For more information on Futera and their launch plans, please visit:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Futera_NFTs

Website: www.futera.com/futeraunited

The home of Futera United: https://youtu.be/vQj1GFYnGu0

Categories
NFT Tech

A Closer Look at Solana: ‘Ethereum’s Rival’

If you’ve been looking for alternatives to Ethereum, Solana should be on your shortlist.

Solana is a Swiss project launched in April 2020 by Anatoly Yakovenko. Solana competes with larger networks by incorporating a hybrid consensus model that boasts cheap and speedy transactions. In its hybrid model, Solana uses a combination of proof-of-work and proof-of-history to increase efficiency.

Initially founded in 2017, Solana was intended to achieve scalability and lower fees, exposing specific weaknesses of comparable blockchains like Ethereum. At its core, Solana is especially focused on maximizing throughput (high transactions per second).
Solana has seen considerable growth, jumping to the top 7 in market cap ($44+bn) in just its second year on the market. In September, Bloomberg hailed Solana as a ‘long-term rival’ of Etherum.

Solana’s ecosystem versus L2 Ethereum

Layer 2 Ethereum is the first iteration of Ethereum 2, intended to reduce gas fees and slow network speeds during volume spikes. Let’s compare L2 Ethereum to Solana’s emerging ecosystem.

Solana’s dApp universe is interoperable, meaning all SOL dApps can communicate with each other on the same layer. As an example, Project Serum is one of Solana’s most successful partners to date. A SOL-based blockchain game, Star Atlas, was able to build the peer-to-peer economy aspect of its game using Project Serum, while the Solana protocol powers the game itself.

L2 Ethereum can not boast the same level of composability. Composability is a powerful utility that rivals Layer 2 ETH, which launched earlier in 2021.

In blockchain, composability refers to the ability for applications and protocols to interact with one another in a permissionless way— meaning they are constantly talking to one another and leveraging each other’s code, and therefore each other’s utility. (CoinMonks).

dApps built on the same chain can bridge, but Ethereum has many different chains.

In other words, L2 ETH dapps can’t communicate as easily. Bridges will certainly build over time, but cross-communication is one of the core tenants of defi. Without the ability to interact with other apps, projects become less valuable.

The value of both Ethereum and Solana

Traditional Web2 companies like Twitter and Facebook thrive on a lack of composability. Centralized tech platforms monopolize user experience. The control of user data allows these companies to extract unequal advertising market share.

Crypto is the opposite. Blockchains are trustless, meaning one executive team can’t just arbitrarily change the rules at any given moment.

In Web2, you can use an API call to hook up Mailchimp to your web application. It works great, then Mailchimp’s Board decides to change its rules on a dime. Now that API communicates with Mailchimp in a way that hurts your app.

In Web3, ETH-based dApps are not victims to Vitalik Buterin’s shower thoughts. Hope that one hit.


Tl;dr: composability is a key component of blockchain technology, and Solana is beating L2 Ethereum at blockchain bridging… for now.

How Solana can capitalize (and learn) from Ethereum’s maturity

As more successful projects launch on and support Solana’s protocol, opportunities will emerge. Solana already saw a major boost with the backing of FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried.

More quality projects = more powerful bridging.

Blockchain games can seamlessly cross chains to interact with their universe, defi tools can merge with other defi tools, creators can drop NFTs on personal marketplaces with a set of standards.
Scalable composability allows users to go beyond curated galleries like OpenSea or Solsea and enter a truly decentralized art/media paradigm more comparable to the Fediverse.

#147 Michael Cera
https://solsea.io/nft/tXo7B8jYujUfDHb1pWhLGMvn2aHBy11eaC3KqCKbDBg
A Michael Cera-themed NFT on Solsea, an SOL-based alternative to OpenSea.

Scalable, uninterrupted collaboration will be a competitive advantage for SOL over ETH projects in the near-term. In many ways, it is also why the project was created in the first place. There is a reason why SOL coins have steadily grown over 17000% since launching last year, after all.

To be clear, seamless bridging exists on the ETH network. But scalability becomes more complicated on L2.

As CoinMonks puts it, “In L1, a single transaction can interact with multiple DeFi protocols to create a brand-new financial product. On L2, that transaction can only interact with the DeFi protocols that exist on its own chain.”

To combat this, popular layers like Polygon are seeking to standardize L2 solutions in a single framework. But consolidating L2 solutions into one platform is difficult. In a decentralized ecosystem, governance and market adoption is not so simple.

So why did ETH move to L2?

Layer 2 was built to drive down costs.

By handling transactions off the mainnet (eth L1), the network is less busy, and users get 1) faster transaction speeds 2) lower gas fees.

Interestingly enough, part of the intention behind L2 Ethereum was to promote scalability. Way back in 2011, Ethereum didn’t have the foresight to build a protocol that maximizes throughput and composability at the same time.
Therefore, updates like L2 are necessary to expand value and feasibility for users. Cardano, Terra and Solana are all projects that were birthed out of a craving for lower fees and greater scalability.

Solana’s community is growing

One of ETH’s greatest strengths is its cult-like community. .eth Twitter handles have become ubiquitous. For a young project, Solana is captivating a loyal audience.

There is an unprecedented excitement for new projects (and a lot of scams) in the space right now. To stay relevant, crypto advocates have been quick to utilize public figures as effective marketing tools.

Mike Tyson, one of the more notable celebrities to adopt crypto culture, was wondering how SOL and ETH matched up.

<div class =”code”><p class = “twitter-tweet”>https://twitter.com/MikeTyson/status/1435974498906349569?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw</p></div>

The mere fact that it was a worthy debate was a win for Solana.

With Tesla and Bitcoin’s breakup back in May highlighting climate concerns, emerging blockchain ecosystems are ripe for rocketship growth. Solana was quick to jump on this opportunity.

<div class =”code”><p class = “twitter-tweet”>https://twitter.com/solana/status/1392612447878516741?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw</p></div>

On that day (May 12), SOL was trading at around $42 USD. Today, it is trading around $145 USD.

Limitations of Solana compared to Bitcoin and Ethereum

While SOL is certainly competitive and growing, it is not without limitations.

SOL mining requires a lot of computer power compared to traditional protocols. To run a Solana node, you’d need a multi-thousand dollar home computer, or a high-powered server purchased through a (centralized) third-party provider like Google or AWS.

Some critics speculate that a large portion of validators are operated on AWS or by a small collection of the project’s early investors (ie Solana Foundation). This is not uncommon for early-stage projects, but it is something worth observing over time.
Am I forgetting anything? Oh yeah, Solana’s 17-hour outage was anything but settling. I think that drama showed the world just how robust Ethereum’s infrastructure truly is.

Closing thoughts

ETH maxis, hold your beer. ETH is not going anywhere. Every zealot needs a healthy skeptic. Looking at you Ryan Sean Adams.

SOL enthusiasts: not only is Solana new, but it also has a lot to prove.

Let’s just appreciate another good foot in the race.

Categories
Art NFT

SNKR WARS Builds a Footbridge to the Metaverse

One of the biggest challenges to the mainstream blockchain is that it’s entirely virtual. NFTs remain lines of code on a ledger that point to patterns of pixels on a screen. You can’t even pet Dogecoin’s shiba inu. As long as potential users feel that their million-dollar crypto-purchases vanish every time they turn off their devices, blockchain will fight to build trust beyond early adopters.

That gap between the virtual crypto world and the real world is closing, however. Experiences and physical goods tied to NFTs are bridging the way to mainstream adoption. And if you are going to cross that bridge you may need some sneakers. 

Marc Scepi is a footwear designer who, over the last 25 years, has worked for brands including New Balance, Timberland, Teva, and Saucony. He’s also a cryptocurrency enthusiast and when Covid struck, he took the opportunity to dig into NFTs. It wasn’t long before he was wondering how to find a connection between the crypto world and his passion for sneaker design. 

The result was SNKR WARS, a robot-themed metaverse that turns NFTs into physical footwear.

<div class =”code”><p class = “twitter-tweet”>https://twitter.com/snkrwars/status/1446604827073581058?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw</p></div>

Launching on the Solana network at the end of October, SNKR WARS depicts a battle between two opposing teams of cyborgs. Cypherpunks fight for freedom and decentralization; K-Otic Corp. battles for greed and stasis. Every few months, SNKR WARS will release NFT drops of different characters but some rarities will include metadata that allow the owner to obtain real, physical sneakers. Availability is limited to between 100 and 500 pairs. 

With the launch of SNKR WARS’ Arclands metaverse, collectors will be able to import their NFT sneakers and avatars and trade their designs in the metaverse’s ecosystem. Visitors to the metaverse will even be able view and buy sneakers from retailers that they can wear in the real world. 

“The concept of our metaverse is to allow brands to easily plug and play in our world, create a 3D virtual retail space, and mint their products as NFTs,” explains Scepi. “Consumers will be able to see the products in 3D, spin them, see reviews, etc., then purchase them as an NFT, store the digital version in their wallet and have the physical product shipped to their home or picked up at a store near them.”

SNKR WARS’s second drop will be made up of collaborations. Smart contracts will enable designers who add their own sneaker designs to the metaverse to receive royalties every time a sneaker is bought and traded on the secondary market. “Everyone that touches the art piece will get a percentage of its profits,” says Scepi. “This is my way to give back to the design community I love so much.”

SNKR WARS represents the first major bridge between metaverses and the real world, a way of creating a digital imprint of physical ownership and a physical version of a digital product. But there’s no reason for that bridge to be built only of footwear. 

“Connecting these worlds can lead many different industries to follow this model,” says Scepi. 

For now, we’ll be crossing the bridge on foot but how long before we’re traveling between real and virtual worlds by bicycle—or in custom-designed, NFT cars that you can then pick up at your local showroom?

Categories
Finance NFT

How NFTs Are Transforming The World As We Know It

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

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

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

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

1. Digitalization

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Decentralization

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

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

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

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

3. Transparency

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

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

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

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

4. Proof of ownership

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

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

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

5. Access

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

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

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

6. Social Signaling

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

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

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

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

7. Royalties

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

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

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

8. Collectability

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

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

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

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

How can NFTs help us?

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

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

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

Why NFTs all of the sudden?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Categories
Art NFT

Cosmos, A Collection by Jen Stark Merging NFTs and Art

Whirling and vibrant artworks fill the screen—a collection of shapes bouncing off the bounds of their frames and flashing in a hypnotic trance. The imagery undulates and vibrates as the viewer takes in the array of artwork in the collection. If these images seem familiar to you that is because they are. In the spring of 2021, Jen Stark made her debut by setting records with the sale of her kaleidoscopic animation, Multiverse. The piece was collected by 3FMusic for 150ETH ($343,000 USD), which made Stark the first female artist to enter Foundation’s top 10 selling creators.

With the recent launch of her newest NFT collection on Foundation, Stark brings a new set of mesmerizing patterns to the platform. Kicking off the new collection called Cosmos, Stark dropped 12 new artworks on Wednesday, September 29th. Selling out within 24 hours, the collection is off to an exciting start. Over the next several weeks Stark will be unveiling eleven ‘micro cosmos’ and one ‘macro cosmo,’ for a total of 60 artworks in the collection. By bringing this vibrant set of artwork to Foundation, Stark also shows off the new collection feature that the platform will soon roll out to all creators. Stark has made her mark on the contemporary art scene with works in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and MOCA Miami, as well as group and solo exhibitions across New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Thailand, and Canada. 

I had the pleasure of speaking with Stark about her recent move into NFTs and how she feels that it is allowing the artist to take the power back.

Jen Stark / Foundation
https://foundation.app/collection/cosmos

What inspired you to begin making NFTs?

“I was born in Miami and went through art school, and then I went to an art college in Baltimore, found myself back in Miami, and started my art career. I moved out to LA about nine years ago. And I was able to meet like-minded artists and creative people to start a community here. 

My art is mainly inspired by nature,  color theory, math, Fibonacci sequences, fractals, psychedelic mathematical designs in nature and science. 

I heard about NFTs in February and it seemed mind-blowing to me how the artist had so much autonomy and power with their work. In the traditional art world, you sell your artwork to a collector and that’s it, you don’t see any other profits usually. I thought it was cool for the artist to take the power back, and always be connected to the work. You get royalties if it sells which you don’t in the art world usually. The community around it intrigued me as well, and it’s been really cool. I have met so many new people on Twitter, and mostly virtually through the NFT world.”

How has joining the NFT community/creating NFT art changed the way you view community/art/creativity?

“The thing I love about this community is that it is very open and there is a lot of helping each other. The NFT world is very open and welcoming and I loved that above it. And it’s kind of a bunch of technology rebels that are trying to pave a new path, and can be a new avenue of art history. I think the art world looks down on it a bit, but they are opening their eyes a little. But I think they have to look at it because it’s happening and they can’t control it, and I think it is already this fork in art history.”

Since launching on Foundation’s marketplace, what has your experience been like and how is it different from traditional gallery spaces?

“I chose Foundation initially because I loved the look of their site, it is super clean and it is super easy to navigate and beautiful to look at. A lot of other platforms are still missing the user experience, and Foundation had that from the start. I dropped on SuperRare a few months ago and that was really fun. But Foundation’s support really helped me and guided me through the process.”

Has working with NFTs opened up new possibilities in your creative process?

“It’s definitely a natural progression, I am a hands-on building stuff kind of girl—painting, and sculpture. In college I started to learn a little bit of animation, starting with stop motion, cutting paper, sculptures, and creating animations with that. I dived a bit into the animation world and then I started teaming up with a few collaborators years ago. 

Personally, I am more of a painter sculptor—I have an animation brain but I usually team up with people to help me execute my vision.”

Do you feel that there is a separation between the NFT art you make and your other artwork?

“The cool thing about the NFT world is that the collectors are visible, and you can directly connect with people so much easier. Also, the NFT element of art is interesting, and I am trying to think of it as more of a utility. Like how can this NFT benefit the collectors, and trying to think about the future of that. It has become a lot more thought out as far as creating private discord channels for my NFT collectors which have been really fun. 

I see the whole NFT metaverse as another material an artist can use. A material that opens a whole new universe for the artist to express themselves and create a whole new community around their work. I want to dive into all the crazy web3 experiences. Everything about it is so open, and there are so many possibilities it is a little bit overwhelming.”

Are there any artists working in the NFT space that inspire you?

Some of the artists that inspire me are @ix_shells, @Mad_Dog_Jones, @kyttenjanae, @badmocap, @newrafael, @rich_lord.

Has there been friction with traditional artists joining the NFT space?

“Yeah, I’ve seen a little friction with it, and there was this moment at the beginning of the year where everyone was learning everything together. Me and most of my artist friends all dove in and we all learned it and became obsessed with it. The artists that did not do that are a bit behind, and it is harder for them to jump in and learn about it. I think it is always possible and if they are willing to jump into it I think it’s a really fun world to be a part of. 

I think a lot of people don’t understand what NFTs are, and once they do understand that they have ownership of their work, autonomy, and direct royalties I think they will jump on board.”

Categories
Finance NFT

Choosing The Right NFT Project For You

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

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

1. Always invest in NFTs that you like

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

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

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

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

2. Do your own research

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

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

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

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

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

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

The community

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

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

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

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

The project (brand)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Will NFTs hold their value when investing long term?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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