David: We are here with Steve Wand, aka BitBuzz, a legend in the NFT space. I want to talk about some of the projects that you’re currently working on, your history in the space, and a little bit about your NFT collection and what’s exciting you these days. 


So maybe just to start people off, for anybody who may not be aware, how did you get started in NFTs and crypto in general; what first sparked your fire in this space?


Steve: So I started reading about Bitcoin back in about 2012. I didn’t fully grasp it; the first couple of times I read it, I had to dig a little bit deeper, and then spent like a weekend or the like, buying some, moving around, figuring it out fully. And that was really an eye-opener for me. That moment, I was like, wow, this is the craziest technology I’ve ever seen in my life. So that led me kind of pretty heavily down the Bitcoin rabbit hole. 


And then I found out about Ethereum in 2014 from Ethan Bachman, who is now one of the top people at Cosmos. And Ethan said that you should take a look at this Ethereum thing, and their ICO ensues. And it’s doing smart contracts, you know, kind of different from what BTC is doing. So I did take a serious look at it and I was like, wow, this is pretty impressive. Being native to Toronto myself, there’s a lot of people that were around the area that we’re also talking about Ethereum. So it was a no-brainer to get involved at that time. And then I kept following Ethereum and saw some unique things happening with different implementations and they had, and the six versions they were implementing over two years to get launched live. And then I was at Ethereum Waterloo, which I believe took place in November of 2017 and actually, I was in the second row right behind Vitalik and his father Dimitri. When at the Shopify building in Waterloo, they hosted that, and Crypto Kitties had one of the hackathons in their Dapper Labs location. 


So I was like, wow, something is going on here and I had watched, kind of from afar, Counterparty on Bitcoin, in say 2015/2016, start doing Rare Pepes and Spells of Genesis. So I could see that the actual collectibles were being tokenized on the blockchain, but no one was talking about it; no one owned them that I knew; any technical questions you asked, most people had no idea how to answer them. So yes, there were assets – but moving them, storing them, wallets, and everything else… There were none of them unless ‘some guy’ made it, and you had to trust ‘the guy’ for those assets to be stored properly, which wasn’t a very smart thing to do at that time. So it was just nice to see a smart contract platform specifically designed to handle these things come out, and when I saw Crypto Kitties I was like, okay, where you can breed these things, that’s a huge game-changer. I mean, there are parameters on the back end for future gaming, perhaps. So it was just a no-brainer to get involved in it. 


And so I started getting some early assets, buying a lot of the early NFT’s because I was buying the physical art at crypto conferences I was attending. And so when those artists started releasing NFTs, I was all over them immediately. And that kind of led me in 2018, maybe mid-2018… I found out about Decentraland and Crypto Voxels, I found them and I was like, wow, what is this? And then from there, that piqued my interest. And now I’m specifically heavily involved in the metaverse with digital fashion. We launched some wearables on Decentraland, about a year and a half ago, we were one of the first five companies to get a license to make wearables in DCL. I also see a lot of value in the VR aspect and high-quality gaming. And then with Game Credits… I also see with owning your assets, we see what’s happening with Axie and everything else. So obviously, if you give people who are playing Fortnite the other model where they could do the same thing, the same quality of content, only they can mint their own NFTs, they could put in-game that they could control themselves, and buy them at any time… That’s a huge game-changer. 



So I’ve just tried to put myself in the space where when I see value in something that I’ve been waiting for for a long time… I’m gonna be like, here it finally is, it’s coming to fruition and it is live. I try to be there as soon as I possibly can, once I’ve discovered it and learned about it, so I don’t get rekt or burned by entering naively. I think that’s very important too because if I would have, my career, my path in the space would have been a lot different. Had I come in just like a wrecking ball and just grabbed things, followed the hype and FOMO and just never paid attention to what was going on, just following everyone else, I think we’d be in a different position in the space.


D: You have an incredible history in the space. So many things I want to touch on- I think, in summing up one’s past in the space, I know it’s such recent history; every time one talks about this as “history,” it almost sounds ironic, because we’re talking about the past few years. But the DeFi space that moves so quickly. So much has happened in such a short period of time, and that speaks to the exponential growth of the hyper-modern period that we find ourselves in with web3 and everything that encapsulates it. 


A few things I want to talk about…  We’re discussing your playbook, how things have worked for you in the space. I know you were on the NFT train so early on, and I would love to talk about some of the specifics around Waterloo, since as people may not know internationally how important a city it is for tech in Canada and internationally. But before we get into that… being somebody who was into NFTs in 2018, what would you say was the first NFT you ever bought? And was it even called an NFT, or would you just call it crypto art because it wasn’t an NFT written on a smart contract yet?


S: Yeah, to be honest, the Counterparty and Rare Pepes, which were between 2014 and 2016, and Ethereum did their own Rare Pepe in late 2016… Those were never referred to as vanity and/or non-fungible tokens or anything like that. You’d get a board; you’d buy these packs; they had parameters, so they were like a Magic the Gathering only in a Rare Pepe style, so when we were doing that, we were just trading. They were just like crypto-collectibles; that’s what we were calling them. The reason why we called them “crypto art” is that technically when you went to the conferences, no one would let you buy anything in FIAT. Everyone’s like, “I don’t want that garbage, I just want to be paid in Bitcoin.” And the funny part was, some of the artists were doing Ethereum work back in the day at the conferences, but there were still the maximalists, and it was pretty heavy back then. You would find people and artists and be like “Oh, this is cool,” you’d buy one of the BTC-themed works and you’d say like, “Okay, got any ETH stuff?” And they’d be like “yeah, but it’s like in the car,” under the table, you know? Like, why don’t you have it here? And they’re like, “yeah, some people would like to knock me for having that here.” And I was like, well, fuck that, I want to see it and so they would show me. A lot of times I would buy them, and that was Josie typically, so I was buying Crypto Kitties, I bought some Crypto Motors cars, etc.


D: Out of curiosity, when did you buy your first Crypto Kitty

S: I have quite a few Gen zeros and Gen ones, so they were brand new. They would have been like 2017 when I bought those. And then my daughter bought like 50 of them one day, too, and was breeding them and they sit in her wallet now, she doesn’t even know she has them anymore I don’t think. But yeah, Chain Breakers was out before, and the project has sold and gone away. OX universe– I brought some planets and that project collapsed and is no longer. So some of the early things just were too early. And Counterparty was just too early with its Coloured Coins. Just to give some context, Vitalik was working on a project called Coloured Coins before Ethereum’s White Paper was put out in 2014. So this was in 2013. It lays out rules for digital collectibles, and the goal was to be Mr. Hold-these-assets we were seeing flourishing on Ethereum. 


I believe that back then, Counterparty was just too early. And to be honest, Next Token was not only the first haven for NFTs in 2014, for the Museum in New York you were given an NFT, that was the first one, but Next also moved to proof-of-stake three years before anyone else considered doing it. So it was an early blockchain and Next didn’t win either because it was too early as well. Ethereum came out and was big enough, was almost a standard, had hundreds of thousands of devs working on it. The first major smart contract platform to be proven and so it was just kind of a no-brainer to fall into ETH, to follow into the metaverse, into the NFTs. But for art, specifically, when I bought Josie’s stuff at a Consensus in 2018 or 2019, she said to me, “I’m going to give you a COA today for this art but in about six months, I’m gonna have an NFT ready.” And I was like, “Oh that’s fantastic,” and she’s like “Yeah, you’re gonna get them free; it’s the COA for my physical pieces.” The first two pieces I bought, you got free Josie NFTs with those as the COA. And I mean now those are worth probably hundreds of thousands, and she gave it to us for free. The second time she sold them was when you had to buy it, and if you owned a piece she would reserve it. If you didn’t care about the NFT, she would put it on the open market. They were 0.3 ETH- and ETH was maybe $150, so they were still extremely reasonably priced. So I do give Josie a lot of accolades and over the years, I’ve put posts on Twitter and a lot of other places; I do give her a lot of credit. 


She was a very young, very skilled artist coming into a sea of big-headed, deep-pocketed men, which isn’t an easy task for a young woman to do who’s not proven herself yet. She came in with no holds barred, was very, very polite about it, but also could stand her ground and be aggressive when need be- which you have to give her credit for. Now XCOPY, Josie, and everyone early have seen their day in the light because they were doing this shit like 2015/2016 when no one was doing it at all. So for them to come out and set the tone with the quality standard with 24 hour auction times… I know they stepped up to take the lead on it and I know history should look kindly on them and their work should reflect those price points because they were the earliest of the early in this space. 


D: I feel like more people need to know about these early days of crypto and crypto art – and what that even means – before there were NFTs. I’ve had a couple of conversations with Robness, both publicly and privately, about where he was within this Rare Pepe ecosystem and those relics that he has. I do believe in the next five years that those are going to be the things we have in museums explaining the rise in this space because they’re incredibly valuable artifacts.


S: In my mind, even with the Punks selling out now, and for anyone who knows me, I’m just not a Punk holder. I saw them when they were free, didn’t get them, didn’t have a desire to have them. I don’t like pixelated, low-quality NFT’s personally. So you can see that huge demand for them now, however; Christie’s put out an auction, or Sotheby’s put out an article that said, “We’re selling the first NFTs ever,” so there’s a huge misconception in the space. A lot of newbies think Punks and the reason for their value accumulated over the years, because of this “first NFT thing” that’s a blatant dis-truth. They’re like the seventh or eighth project, we’re finding out about more and more every day. Right now, because they weren’t ever obtainable, or no one wanted them, they weren’t in demand until they were wrapped; because of the standard, they couldn’t be traded easily on Opensea. The second that you’ve got Rare Pepes, Spells of Genesis; when those assets could be moved freely wrapped with BTC, traded on Opensea in metamask wallets or whatever elsewhere we all use and want, then those are the true holy grails of this space. 


I think that the people now grabbing Punks are the new DeFi Whales that don’t know and weren’t around to see those things get to their fruition. So they just grabbed Punks because they were told that those were the first. These other assets are so much rarer and so much more valuable, like the Spells of Genesis Satoshi cards… there are 30 of those in the world. Some of those Homer Pepes, and Token Angels, all of those- and people are passing those up right now and spend like 7 million on a Punk. Well, you could probably go buy 50 Rare Pepes, which I think in 10 years are going to far outweigh in value and just scarcity. If we are playing the game of what’s the first, what’s the rarest? All those are 10 times rarer than the Punks; there are 10,000 Punks, there are not 10,000 Rare Pepes.



D: I think that’s important to talk about and I think that these kinds of conversations need to be had. People enjoy the “crash course,” the quick introduction, but the more people look into NFTs the more people learn about NFTs; you have to go back, and when you realize how far back you can go, that’s when you can learn more. 


So you’re talking about Counterparty, you’re talking about some of these early platforms… Another thing that I think is interesting, which is a little bit of fun as well, is SuperRare and MakersPlace, I believe, call themselves the first marketplaces. What do you think about that? And to you, what is the first NFT marketplace? 


S: So there were art markets before that, and some of them don’t exist any longer. They again were too early, like Async Art was too early. It’s going to see its light in the future when people realize what they can do with it and Async was there the whole time waiting for them just to come with their knowledge and skills. Async is fantastic, they’re so undervalued, so under-talked about, and so underutilized. Once artists realize what they can do on Async, Async will be like a SuperRare as well, easily. So will Mintbase. Mintbase is fantastic and it’s a sleeping giant in my mind. But SuperRare was the first that got like Whale Shark, Token Angels, myself, Pablo, we all started going on there. 


So SuperRare was the first one where there was a social aspect where you talk on Twitter, and then go outbid each other on SuperRare. That wasn’t happening on other platforms before that, because there weren’t enough of us, there were like four people doing it. So now there was like, 50 of us all doing it and we all got to know each other, just organically because we were beating each other and we were buying each other’s work. You’d be like, “Oh you outbid me on that, that’s such a beautiful piece, congratulations on winning.”  Where now it’s different, it’s a lot more diluted. When I saw OpenSea, I was like, “Oh my God, I found it.” Now, there wasn’t the ability to put physicals on there, but I believe, not OpenSea, but other entities will soon be launching an OpenSea and crossing over with eBay where you can do digital and physical items if it has to be done. I know a few people who are actively working on it for months now. So that’s only a matter of time before that comes to fruition and then not like OpenSea’s going to lose out because we see the number of wallets being opened and the amount of daily user activity is disgusting. It’s growing; I mean if that continues, that’s mass-adopted very, very quickly, the chasm has been crossed already. 


So in this space, like I always said to business partners, OpenSea is the new Amazon, it’ll be a trillion-dollar company very easily. Now, I just don’t know, if you look at my Twitter and socials, this space was functioning fine with 100 of us trying to do it, now there’s 10,000 of us trying to do it and a whole bunch of VCs knocking on the door with their pocketbooks open. I don’t believe we need them. Things will get fast-tracked with their money and paying devs but it also skews at the end goal. And if you’re outvoted and ousted from a company, it doesn’t matter anymore, you have no say at all. So as much as it’s nice to get VC money, the Mark Cuban’s of the world coming in, I believe OpenSea is going to start KYCing if they do an Airdrop. 


So it will taint the space and if you’re truly into this space for decentralization, and why I got here fully, then things like that turn me off, no offense to Nifty, they’ve done a fantastic job, bring a lot of eyes in the space of blowing up a lot of careers. The second they ask me for my ID, I won’t be using Nifty moving forward. I removed all my “for-sale” items and moved them all off Nifty. I’m in this space so I don’t have to abide by those things- you’re going to come full circle and mandate that we’re doing the same thing as you know, TD Ameritrade would make me do, I know, that’s when it stops being a crypto company in my mind. 


This is part 1/3 of my interview with Bitbuzz- Stay tuned for Part 2 this coming Monday!


In the meantime follow Steve on socials and check out some of his current projects: 


Bitbuzz on Twitter, Clubhouse, Instagram 

Not Fungible: https://notfungible.com/ 

Game Credits: https://gamecredits.org/ 

Digitible: https://digitible.com/

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We’re once again joined by none other than Superchief Gallery NFT’s Ed Zipco! We’re excited to talk with him again in our ongoing NFTS.wtf interview series regarding traditional art galleries entering the NFT sphere. Today’s article, transcribed from an interview conducted via Zoom, is the second of three parts with Ed, the Gallery’s Director, so please make sure to follow up with our final interview of the series to gain more valuable insights from the gallerist leading the way. 


Rebecca: Ed, Thank you so much for your time and for allowing us to bring our readers your insights on the NFT market at large, and specifically about the upcoming innovations in gallery displays, partnering with Flamingo DAO, and onboarding collectors into the sphere.

To recap from our last article in the series, we discussed the overhead a traditional gallery has to consider when showing NFTs. Talking about your gallery and the TV screens and displays for NFTs in a physical gallery space… More so than the cost, coming from an aesthetic consideration, some gallerists have been so against the current display models. Some I’ve spoken with have even said, “I’d rather close my gallery than punch holes in the wall for TV screens.”



Ed: But didn’t they punch holes to hang artwork before? God forbid a sculpture walked into the room! Punch holes in the wall? Are they a landlord or a gallery?


Rebecca: Good point, good point. Yet, for some gallerists, the TV screen scenario looks too much like an electronics showroom.


Ed: You’re taking the words right out of my mouth! That was the big purpose of our new partnership. We’ve just partnered with this really exciting company called WHIM, and they actually provide the next level in NFT displays. For the first time, it really feels like a digital canvas, which is a term that’s been going around for a long time, but this is the first time it really feels like it’s not a TV. It’s really cool. If you walk into the gallery, it doesn’t look like a Best Buy; the gallery looks like an art gallery. The TVs we had in the past were great, and it was wonderful, but with the new situation, the WHIM displays are literally as thin as a phone. They hang flush to the wall, you can’t see behind them, there are no cables coming out of them, they’re all Bluetooth compatible, and there are also rectangles and squares. 


Rebecca: So you don’t have black bars on the tops or sides of the work?


Ed: Yeah, no black bars. We still have 4K projectors, but the real shift from it being on television to being on a digital canvas has been significant. 


Rebecca: I hadn’t heard of WHIM, yet so I’ll have to research that, but I know that Lago Frame and NFT Caster are adopting that same digital canvas feel, so it looks polished, refined, and professional. Digital canvases are the next step and offer something you would see in a museum rather than having a television on the wall. 



Ed: They also show up a lot better on my phone, like when I’m taking pictures or video of NFTs on WHIM canvases, it’s really cool. A significant upgrade. Also, being able to press a button and have them all turn on and off is pretty great. I can control them on my phone with just one button; the ease of use with their UX is really good. 


Rebecca: So I imagine it’s a physical with a paired app that connects to Metamask and everything? Very cool. 


Ed: Theirs isn’t running off the Metamask yet. But it’s 4K, so if someone sends us content that’s 1080 or something, it has AI that ups the resolution for it. It’s tight – really, really tight—real future shit.


Rebecca: Wow! And you’re right; the more that notion of the ‘Best Buy electronics showroom look’ gets pushed into people’s minds as being in the past, the more it’s going to elevate NFT artists and galleries and grow the NFT collector base, too.


Ed: Absolutely. Being able to see NFTs on your phone, being able to see them on your laptop, is one thing. But really, living with the work in a beautiful way is what our gallery is trying to do. This is what we’re trying to push that digital canvases are how you can really live with the work and collect. Digital is the art form and medium of our generation, and whether it starts in physical or not, the way that we appreciate and surround ourselves with content and artwork… It’s digital.



Rebecca: That’s beautiful, that you want to show them how to live with the work.


Ed: Thank you, that’s very much our ethos on this. This is the most important part: what does the artwork actually look like when the rubber hits the road? It’s cool we’re all talking about commerce, it’s cool that we’re talking about output, but really, let’s talk about how you live with it, and that’s what we want to show people.


Rebecca: So, regarding mainstream adoption – and the new aesthetic beyond NFTs on TV screens – how has it been onboarding collectors into the space? 


Ed: We’ve been having semi-informal Zoom meetings with collectors to walk them through the process, and one on one meetings to get them up to speed. That’s been really important. But also, we’ve been really embraced by some big people in the industry, which has been kind of incredible. We were one of the first curators for Flamingo.


Rebecca: Oh! Flamingo DAO, I love them! (https://flamingodao.xyz/)


Ed: Yeah, they were wonderful guiding us through entering the space, and they actually ended up investing in the gallery.


Rebecca: That’s great to hear! Well deserved!


Ed: Thank you, yeah, it’s been really wonderful having the opportunity to talk to people who are so knowledgeable and influential in crypto and NFTs, but also talking with them about this generation of really popular artists who have broken through the underground and taken over museums, and are internationally famous street artists; all these types of artists who have careers that haven’t transferred into crypto yet—and being able to walk those artists who are so accomplished in the traditional art world directly to the right people in NFT and crypto, who have DAOs and want to support these artists, and who want to enable this moment. We’re very fortunate and thankful.


Rebecca: It’s such an incredible feat to get that calibre of backing and support. Flamingo DAO is the top, best of the best.


Ed: They’re the OGs; I’ve just been very thankful for the whole thing. It’s been an awesome opportunity. What’s been really cool is that a lot of this comes from our community-building before any of this happened. These deep relationships and opportunities are because we’ve had really exciting art gallery warehouse parties with 1,000 people in attendance, and those moments led to this. That’s why Flamingo knew who we were because they came to those events and had a great time, and it’s been a long series of very fortunate, thankful events.


Rebecca: Brick after brick.


Ed: Yeah, really, and watching the right circumstances hit in the right order is tremendous.


Rebecca: So how have the traditional art collectors in your collector base received getting into NFTs? Have they opened crypto wallets but haven’t yet bought anything? Are they still testing the waters to see where things land?


Ed: They have all opened wallets. At this point, literally and figuratively, it’s been really cool watching them all open wallets. I would say that the enthusiasm is high, yet the movement is really slow. It’s very much a “Yes, we’re getting involved for this much.” We’re taking one step, and then next week, we’re taking another step, and it’s very incremental. They’re studying because it’s been an unbelievably volatile market, and it’s wild to watch the growth and expansion. Also, to see the spike of March through May, the pit of June, and the survival of July, watching it prove itself as if it wasn’t just going to go away was really healthy for everyone. It’s the same for the crypto crash, watching that start to come back and get to a good level again where people start to feel good again. Everything is being watched at the same time. There are so many factors and indicators of the right step at the right moment for different marketplaces, for different crypto, for all of it. That’s why we opened up the consulting arm, to be totally frank. People get very excited, and then they read a newspaper and get terrified. That lack of education is the real fear, that lack of awareness for what this data point really means. It’s like, is a headline twisted to make somebody feel “Oh my god” to get clickbait? Those moments impact the market because people just jump.


Rebecca: It’s true.


Ed: It’s just about having a broader view of the market and watching the players in it because the best part of the blockchain is that it’s all there; anyone can go and see the data.


Rebecca: Everything is public.


Ed: Everything is public; everything is transparent. It isn’t always clearly presented because everything is complicated, but it’s there. It’s been cool watching the industry mature. Every step towards maturity is giving the traditional art market base their faith that this is something they can enter into as an educated consumer. Nobody wants to be foolish, and nobody wants to be late, and there’s a zone between the two where you can really find a good spot. 


(End of Part 2 in the Series)


Photos courtesy of Superchief Gallery NFT’s in-house photographer, Neesmith Onzeur

Digital canvases in partnership with WHIM (Website: https://onawhim.com IG: @seeonawhim)


Superchief Gallery NFT is a pioneering NFT gallery located at 56 East 11th Street, NYC. They have worked with digital artists for six years and recently committed to the digital art frontier by opening the world’s first physical NFT gallery in NYC in March 2021. Please visit www.superchiefgallerynft.com and follow them on Twitter at @SuperchiefNFT 

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Clubhouse has birthed many breakout projects in the NFT space, but few have attained such a whirlwind launch as 0N1 FORCE. This new-age avatar project includes 100 hand-drawn attributes custom illustrated by IMCMPLX.



After weeks of anticipation, the project sold out in a matter of minutes – crashing the Open Sea platform. It also sparked a collection fervor with Singapore-based The NFTer buying 101 of the 7,777 0N1 FORCE collectibles before the floor shot up.


As of August 30th, the 0N1 floor price was at 3.75 ETH, quickly making the project one of the top 10 collectible projects of all time in terms of sales volume. In addition, members of the “eternal society of the damned” now include influencers such as Logan Paul and Gary Vee and, without a doubt, will bring more mainstream attention to the NFT space.


In the past few weeks, Visa has bought a Cryptopunk, and Arizona Iced Tea has created a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT Comic. While much of the early skepticism around NFTs might remain for the general public, it’s clear that, whether we like it or not, significant brands are rapidly entering the space, following behind mainstay art auction houses Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and Phillips, among others. Some luxury brands, including industry giant Louis Vuitton, are even choosing to launch their own web-3 games and develop their own blockchains.


While more and more new faces enter into the NFT space, the importance of community continues to become increasingly evident. And that’s what makes the 0N1 FORCE project special. Through giveaways, collaborative storytelling, strategic use of Discord, and a derivative contest, ON1 Force leveraged the community to build and activate an even larger community. Many future NFT projects will likely leverage some of the magic that led to the success of 0N1 FORCE (as they should).  


Here are my top three takeaways from the 0N1 FORCE project:


1- It’s all about the story:


Storytelling is critical in any artistic project, and 0N1 FORCE crafted a compelling narrative from its inception. The story of a fallen kingdom and its citizens who must now fight for survival created conflict and a sense of urgency that allowed people to invest in something bigger than just another NFT drop.


By building out the “why” from the beginning, the 0N1 FORCE project was also able to create rarity paired with intention. The 0N1 FORCE clan contains three distinct groups, The YOK-A1 Ghost Spirits (of which there are 5,278), which possess common or rare traits; the B4K3M0-N0 Monster Form ( of which there are 2,100); and the 0N1 elite (of which there are only 392), which are rare demons. 


2- Discord is more than shilling


Before launch, the 0N1 FORCE Discord had more than 15,000 active community members rearing to buy. Discord was initially built for gaming, but it plays a pivotal role in launching new NFT projects. The 0N1 team incorporated elements of the project (such as anime, manga, and RPGs) into its Discord programming, allowing the team to tap into a host of pre-existing communities.


One notable feature of the Discord is the 0N1 Daily Living section, where inventive stories about the 0N1 clan were developed before launch and continue to be shared regularly. A space for creation by community members helped to spawn organic growth while simultaneously empowering people to share their unique storytelling voice.


The team also utilized a wide range of Discord’s built-in features to engage their community. The “radio feature” was used to lean into the project’s lo-fi aesthetic, featuring lo-fi beats and guest DJ sets. Anime movie nights were held, and an 0N1 arcade was also built. Even after launch, programming relevant to the project (such as Japanese lessons) continues.


The success of the 0N1 Discord was largely due to Community Relations/Discord Manager, LinkedEM, and an active moderator squad, which are divided into two groups: “The Favoured” and “The Supreme.” 


According to Linked Em, nostalgia was a heavy focus at the initial stages of building out their community in Discord. Many of the early adopters in the NFT space are tech natives, and there are many games and references the team utilized that resonate with this community. 

3- It’s all in the details


Attention to detail also helped set this project apart. This included incorporating traits that promote representation (such as hearing aids) which made the 0N1 FORCE universe accessible and diverse from the start. 


0N1 FORCE includes many clever nods to other NFT projects. One’s that are easy to spot include the strawberry pin (a rare trait of the elites), which is a nod to Strawberry.WTF (who serves as the project’s front-end designer). These small details helped shine a light on other projects in the NFT eco-system and the 10,000 genesis project from Strawberry.WTF, which sold out the same day as 0N1 FORCE.




Additional project nods include “cool cat ears” to honour the Cool Cats and the “banana pin,” which was included to celebrate the Bored Apes. There are also traits to celebrate 0N1 Force’s community members, including the canary and the rose (in honour of two of the project’s lead Discord moderators).


The 0N1 FORCE project is full of too many easter eggs to mention in one article, in addition to numerous hidden traits that weren’t revealed until mint (such as “the Gods,” which are facing the opposite direction than the other 0N1’s). By adding so many additional layers to the project, 0N1 FORCE has a wealth of fascinating details which they can return to as the 0N1 universe grows.



While we are sure to see many generative projects over the following months, it seems that factors such as attention to detail, elevated art, and a deliberate mint number are becoming more critical. And this is only the beginning for the 0N1 universe, and the team continues to be approached by both brands and celebrities who want to participate in the 0N1 world. Project manager JR Artspace also continues to lead a series of other exciting and multi-dimensional NFT projects, including Ethereals. 

The 0N1 FORCE team includes JR Artspace, EM, IMCMPLX, CryptoSpaces, and Strawberry.

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Raven Trammell is a Los Angeles-based photographer and visual storyteller, originally from Holland, Michigan. From documenting protests to capturing some of the most prominent artists in the world on stage, her portfolio varies in subjects and compositions. Raven recently began minting her documentary photography series on the blockchain in 2021. 


Where did your passion for documentary photography come from?

 I’ve been taking photos since I was a kid. I bought my first camera when I was nine from a garage sale. I loved documenting the fishing trips I would take with my Grandpa. As I started playing basketball, aiming to get a full scholarship, my creative interests kind of fell to the side. I ended up getting that full scholarship and played four years of basketball at Lake Superior State University. In my sophomore year, I had back-to-back concussions, one of the major symptoms was memory loss. I got back into photography as a way to preserve my memories. Ever since then, I haven’t put the camera down. Freezing moments in time has become extremely important to me.



You have a unique story in that you pursued photography at an early age as well as sports. What was that journey like, and what did you glean from your experiences with both?

Each journey has their own paths but also find ways to intertwine. I think photography, to me when I was a kid, was a fun way to document the fishing trips I’d go on with my Grandpa. I love him so much, and he’s always been so supportive. He still has photos I took from those trips.


I started playing AAU basketball when I was nine years old. So many hours of passion and dedication were put into the game. My Dad, Shawn, got me into hooping and took me to every practice and every game. He helped me discover a drive within myself I wouldn’t have found otherwise. “Do you want to be good, or do you want to be great?” he would say during workouts. I apply a lot of the perseverance, dedication, and grit I had on the basketball court to how I approach the NFT space. Good isn’t enough for me, I want to be great. 



 In the past, documentary photography was prominently driven by white male artists. As we see the culture shifting to inclusivity concerning women and artists of colour, how do you feel the collective consciousness will relate to the history of picture-making?


I think as people connect with the photos, they naturally form a connection with the photographer. If you see an image that stops you in your tracks, you’re naturally going to want to learn more. I also think every photographer shoots from a different perspective. Having more diversity within any space allows for many different perspectives, which I think is necessary for growth. 


When I think about compelling documentary photography, I think of photographers like the work of Susan Meiselas and Andres Serrano’s Residents of New York series. Are there contemporary documentary photographers that you align your work with, and if so, do you think it would be interesting to see them minting their photography as NFT’s? Do you think their work would find success in this space, given the interest has traditionally been in the intrinsic value of their physical prints? 

Before NFTs, I thought I had to be shooting portraits in order to make a living. So most of the photographers I keep up with are portrait photographers. Kennedi Carter, Dana Scruggs, and Gunner Stahl are a couple who really inspire me just because they’re doing the work they want, it’s powerful, and they continue to push their craft. I would love to see some of their work in the NFT space. I think their work would do well.


There is an intersection happening with activism, art, and NFTs? How do you reconcile the three? 

I really love seeing projects that incorporate activism and giving back. It’s important. Some people have been in the space for a long time, but for the most part, a lot of us entered at the beginning of this year. We’ve discovered this new tool to not only get our artwork out there but also another way to generate, potentially, a substantial amount of income. It feels right to be giving some back. 


There’s so much incredible art in the space. With a lot of beautiful colours and images, you can feel like you’re out of the real world when you step into some of these VR Metaverses. This is incredible but I also think we need some realness and humanity in the Metaverse. Balance is always important. I like to think my protest work adds that bit to the space. 


What projects are you currently working on, both on or offline? Any new drops coming? 

I recently dropped HUSSLE AND MOTIVATE, a collection dedicated to Nipsey Hussle. This collection is on Opensea and is made up of 33 1/1 documentary photographs paired with a subcollection of 19 collectible 3D Polaroids that I made from the 1/1s. I was overwhelmed, and still am honestly, from the response the collection had. The 1/1s sold out in 12 fricken hours…I still can’t believe it. I’m really focused on continuing to push this project out there. It’s really close to my heart, and I’ll be donating 20% of the 1/1 primary and secondary sales to Crete Academy, which I’m super proud of. Crete Academy is a school in South Los Angeles, dedicated to serving students experiencing homelessness and/or extreme poverty. There are a few 1/1s available on the secondary market! There are also some of the 3D Polaroids available. 




To learn more about Raven, check out her NFTs on Foundation, visit her website, and follow her online:

Instagram: @raven50mm

Twitter: @raven50mm

Website: https://www.raven50mm.com/


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First of all, let me start by saying that I’m not a “Journalist.” I’m a Blockchain Evangelical. And I’m here for my people and our culture. Idgaf who you are or what you’re promising on the back end, we kick the tires and check under the hood of every project. Calling balls and strikes and keeping it a buck with the NFT/Crypto community. Now that we’ve got that out of the way let’s talk about the elephant in the room.


Tory Lanez is suspected of going platinum in 57 seconds.


Uhm yeah, that’s it, that’s all I can say for sure about this drop. They say he sold x amount of tokens which grant access to some kind of blockchain Spotify/YouTube type platform where you can stream this music exclusively. I have so many problems with this drop, and I’m not getting paid enough to do this to list every single issue I had. Still, I will say that not being able to get a straight answer on how many unique wallet addresses were used in the sale and the total lack of transparency in the way the platform moves have dashed almost all of the hopes I had for it when I initially heard about the release. After spending 2-3 hours grilling a high up from the platform who will remain nameless, the conclusion I came to was that there’s just nothing here to be excited about from an independent artist’s perspective or as an NFT artist.  


Ok, cool, now that we’ve got that out of the way, I’d like to say that Tory Lanez and everyone involved should take a bow. Because he’s probably done more to onboard people that look like him into the crypto-NFT space than anyone, period. Kudos to you bro, get ya bag; I ain’t mad.



What I will say is the drop is more significant than the dropper. It’s not about Tory anymore; it’s about NFT’s. The nature of this drop only concerns those of us native to the NFT community. On Reddit, the usual wishful thinking and speculative analysis are going on. IRL, more and more people are researching NFT’s every day, discovering not only this drop but how hot the market is overall. And for the layperson just finding out about NFTs, it’s a cool and innovative product from a familiar face. Whether or not cancel culture and a backlash to it played a part in the success of this NFT is not only impossible to quantify, it’s irrelevant. 


Nobody cares. All they care about is the bag. That million dollars he keeps telling them they get to make something off of. Cool, I appreciate you spotlighting elements of Decentralized Finance and screaming from the rooftops that the NFTs are the future. I can’t knock it since It’s my calling in life. But like I’ve said before and I will say again: the ethos of this community is grounded in transparency and immutability. And this ain’t that. 


Now whatever this is will shake itself out in the secondary market- which is set to open up on the 24th of August, if the demand is there and the tech is sound we will come back here to the blockchain pulpit and sing their praises till the cows come home. But if they think that we’re gonna fall for the banana in the tailpipe again, guess who’s got another thing coming. Either way, I’ll be back with a follow-up to this story in a few days.



“The NFT World takes all of the knowledge, information, and experiences we have from every industry and flips it on its head by adding layers of true transparency while providing an opportunity of maintaining anonymity. 


While this poses great problems and solutions, in the case of Tory’s Album, it’s a problem —  because there’s no proof or receipts. Not to mention being hosted on a standalone, seemingly fly-by-night platform that any middle schooler who knows even basic web design, HTML, and/or CSS could produce. 


There’s no mnemonic code to keep your wallet safe and secure; you don’t own the actual copyright to the music. The list goes on and on. Having worked in the music industry for a decade-plus. I’ve seen my fair share of lipstick on a pig, smoke in mirror rollouts alongside labels & individuals buying their own records to inflate the image and perpetuate the lie of popularity/interest in a specific project, brand, or product. This is no different, and I feel like watching how the money moves would show us how fugazi this whole drop was.


If you want a Case Study of What Not To Do in the NFT space, 

this is your poster child.”  — Eric Spivak / Motivate



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As the “Creator Economy” becomes the next media buzzword for the combined legacy of DIY, Direct-to-Fan, Attention Economy, and Influencer Marketing; NFTs have become an exciting new option for digital creators to monetize their work. This column, The NFT Creator, will track the next phases of what will here be called the “Creator Movement” as it intersects with NFT Land.


About the Columnist: Clyde F. Smith


Since any such column is dependent on its author, let me introduce myself. Currently, I write NFT news pieces for NFTS WTF and also recently wrote for The Defiant. I tend to take a relatively formal tone in these roles and might typically refer to myself as “this writer” if I did have a reason to reference my existence in the piece.


I’m primarily known in NFT Land as the founder of CryptoArtNet, a directory of crypto artists, as the sometimes strident voice of Flux Research on Twitter, and as an NFT business writer as of this year. Up until a few years ago, I went by Clyde Smith until I recognized that using my middle initial would allow me to improve my Google search rankings. So now I’m the king of searches for “Clyde F Smith”.


Back in the aughts, I was one of the first hip hop business bloggers, launching ProHipHop (RIP) as the first dedicated hip hop trade blog in 2004. After selling a group of hip hop-related websites, I went on to write about the music industry at Hypebot with a focus on music tech and the DIY music business.


Much of this music industry writing was informed by my pre-Web experience of DIY and direct-to-fan art and performance in the 80s and early 90s in North Carolina and San Francisco. These experiences were surprisingly relevant to understanding things like internet marketing and growing an online fanbase. They also gave me the perspective to see that the Creator Movement in NFTLand builds upon DIY and Direct-to-Fan history perhaps even more than upon the frontier sphere of influencers; though influencers are a legitimate piece of the puzzle.


My writing about NFT creators is grounded in four decades in the arts and two decades as a web publisher and business blogger. I could also mention a BFA and MA in Dance (UNC-G), MLS in Reference Librarianship (TWU), and a PhD in Cultural Studies from The Ohio State University (2000), but enough about me.


About the Column: Topics and Examples


NFT Creator columns will focus on topics such as the following:


NFT Creator Profiles


Creator profiles could take different forms but will emphasize the business aspect whether looking at an artist’s overall trajectory or a key moment of decision. However, for an artist, artmaking and business dealings are not so readily separated. In fact, these two aspects can often inform each other.


For example, an artist may have a history of creating certain kinds of images for NFTs. Perhaps they decide to introduce something that seems entirely different and which confuses collectors who may not understand the relationship of the old to the new work. Such a column might begin with why the change occurred and then focus on how the artist introduced the new work in a way that revealed their path forward while addressing the confusion of collectors.


Tips for NFT Creators


While creator profiles may include some tips, as described above, they will always be grounded in biographical details of the creator in question. However, NFT creators often have tips to share and recognize that the learning curve for artists new to the space can be quite steep.


The need for such tips will continue to grow as new products become available, older products are updated and the larger context for creator’s work changes. For example, we’ve all been learning what it takes to operate during a pandemic. As new conditions emerge, NFT creators can share tips on many things from maintaining production levels once we’re no longer locked down to how to set up a physical show of digital art.


NFT Creator Opportunities


There are already a variety of opportunities for NFT creators to participate in digital art shows, special events, contests, and site launches. Many more such opportunities will emerge as companies beyond NFT Land recognize that these offerings can introduce them to new markets.


For example, Paris Hilton made her entry into NFT Land earlier this year. Her efforts included promoting her own work and holding an “Empowered by Paris” exhibition focused on female NFT artists. While Hilton’s participation received quite a bit of pushback from some artists, it also introduced her as a celeb who wants to be known for her connection to the community and for her support of other artists.


Tools and Services for NFT Creators


Another area that is growing at an already rapid pace is that of NFT tools and services. This area is quite broad with innovations to come that may catch us all by surprise. So any coverage here will be focused on how a particular tool or service might be worth considering by creators.


Note that any of the above topics might also appear in regular NFTS WTF news coverage. But this column will provide the opportunity to focus less on the news as related to NFT Land as a whole and more strictly on how such news affects digital creators.


Submitting Topics for the Column

If you have news directly relevant to this column, please share it with me via my NFT Entrepreneur contact form. For more general submissions, please contact NFTS WTF via the Contact link at the bottom of each page.

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Emojis are everywhere today, and while they may be ubiquitous now, this was not always the case. UTB is a hip-hop lifestyle brand founded by Dre Skywalker and Treem Heff in the summer of 2007. The Money Mouth Smiley, as they call it, was copyrighted in the fall of the same year, long before Unicode would include the copycat image in 2015. At this point, the crew at UTB had already surpassed a mere clothing line and had grown into a marketing agency, A&R company, and accomplished lifestyle brand. They had become adept at squashing copyright infringement by that time, but the behemoth that is Apple and its legal team created a situation where it was essentially impossible to retain lawyers or do much of anything at all.


Many find it hard to wrap their heads around the way that crypto art communities have rallied around their avatars as the representation of their membership in exclusive underground networks like the Crypto Punks or the Bored Ape Yacht Club. Similar to the way the Wu-tang logo or the No Limit tank became ubiquitous and lucrative in the 1990s, the late Aughts ushered in acts like Wiz Khalifa and his Taylor Gang movement.


Wiz and UTB formed a partnership in the early stages for all parties involved and helped to change more than just hip-hop culture with their innovative approaches to merchandise and the way they choose to market Whiz as a brand instead of a name as most independent artists do.



Long before NFT’s were a thing, Co-founder Treem, a fine artist and designer, was curating limited-run collections with as few as 15 editions. Many including a one of one sample that was never reproduced. So they are familiar with the scarcity model which has become one of the core concepts of the NFT space. Another facet of the history of UTB I found to be similar to the current practice of airdrops to holders of Tokens was the habit of finding high volume customers in the crowd and bringing them backstage at events and combing through their sales records to track down their biggest supporters to ship exclusive perks to. This fostered a culture of added value achieved by hodling their merchandise. This is the type of growth that is organic and dependant on community building that is a trademark of not only Independent Hip-hop but the burgeoning NFT/Cryptocurrency scene.


Curated by Future Modern on the KnownOrigin NFT Gallery Marketplace on Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021, they will be conducting an auction of a one-of-one NFT consisting of the original copyrighted file for the infamous Money Mouth Smiley. They once again are pushing the envelope with a unique drop structure and a compelling narrative for a community of creatives who are sick of not getting credit for their creations. The story is not only interesting but important for those of us on the blockchain obsessed with hip-hop culture and the provenance of artistic creations.

The drop will offer 3 NFTs in increasing order of rarity centered around the Original Money Mouth Smiley, the original colour UTB smiley designs, the original vector designs, and the original sketch design. The first of which can be found at this link.  https://bit.ly/3fzlktR 



Follow UTB here on socials





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On July 8, fine artist photographer Karen Jerzyk (@KJerzykPhoto Twitter, @karen.jerzyk.photo Instagram) went through a range of powerful emotions when her mother suffered from a stroke. This tragic moment came on the heels of the death of Karen’s dear friend earlier the same week. In 2011, Karen’s father had succumbed to a massive stroke which had a significant impact on Karen’s personal and professional lives. Karen is an only child and her craft has always been influenced and supported by her parents. Karen’s mom has been recovering in hospital, going through rehab, and is destined to return home in the coming days. Having a loved one come home after a stroke is a struggle. Knowing what health insurance will pay for, when they will pay for it, and when equipment can arrive is a disconcerting situation. 


Still, Karen has the need to create as all true artists do. She commented on Thursday that she needed to get back out shooting photos. Looking at her work, one might think it is rendered or heavily Photoshopped. But Karen creates her scenes meticulously in a studio or uses real locations often with a model in an astronaut suit. But the photos are the photos. Her images are like a vision of the future trapped in a memory of the past.


©karen jerzyk x don tyler “America 2078” available on KnowOrigin


Karen is a master at finding interesting locations to shoot photographs. A significant amount of research goes into finding these spots. For example, there is an area in Virginia with large statues of former US Presidents. In Karen’s artful eye, the vision is apocalyptic. In a collaboration with musician and video director Don Tyler (@yodontyler), this vision comes into full relief with the burning embers and haunting score.


The NFT Community is sometimes fractured — collectibles like cryptopunks, rats, apes, and mooncats vs fine artists vs photographers vs scammers vs collectors and so on. This community is as diverse as it is far-flung. Every walk of life from every corner of the world is represented. Yes, there are silos. Underrepresented people. Though sometimes the community can unify in a way not comparable to real life.


The NFT Community has set up many events and features so Karen can earn money to support her mother through sales of her art. Some movements are very public like Eddie Gangland and Stephanie Dillon are featuring Karen’s work in one of their CryptoVoxels galleries (see featured image). Art-Jedi held a two hour Clubhouse room last week to catch up with Karen and hear her story first hand. Behind the scenes, many have given or purchased silently with no fanfare.


While NFT artists continue to find their way in this newfound creative environment, there are many challenges: inequality, heated criticisms about form, invasions from celebrities seeking to make their mark, battles over platforms, gas fees. But more than most, the NFT community has room for everyone. Yes there are flaws. Bad actors. Theft. The digital world is not immune from the real world. But it seems a slightly higher form of community. One without a governance structure, and very little policing. It is almost a peaceful anarchy comprising Twitter, Clubhouse, Instagram, and the dozens of NFT platforms — and there is a sense of accountability that exists amongst artists and collectors. It isn’t perfect. Sexual harassment exists. Scams are prevalent. Incredible artists are being discovered. Not perfect, but a work in progress. 


Artists supporting artists is a thing. And the NFT Community has that going for it.

Karen is scheduled to appear as a speaker at NFT.NYC November 1-3 in Times Square.


GoFundMe for Karen’s Mom



Karen Jerzyk Art

Known Origin




Try Showtime



Main featured image credit: ©karen jerzyk “Everybody Left” available on OpenSea

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A collaborative drawing project created by Alex Alpert and 55 brilliant NFT artists was released recently, raising funds and awareness for Mental Health. The piece of art, titled “Drawn Together,” began as a doodle in the center that artists added to, each imparting their interpretation of mental health through their artwork. It was minted as an NFT, enabling the project to achieve its purpose of raising awareness while giving 100% of profits to a good cause. 


“My greatest goal as an artist is to de-stigmatize mental illness and raise awareness around mental health. As someone who has struggled with depression and lost close friends to suicide, my art has always been inspired by expressing how I feel when I can’t communicate it through my words.”

 – Alex Alpert



About “Drawn Together” 


A drop-in event presented by Obtainable.io, “Drawn Together,” featured 55 artists from around the world – all coming together to promote a message of mental health awareness. 


To encourage people to donate to charity using a token-based system, the drop worked in collaboration with Charitas, a platform for the community to reward charitable initiatives. It was also agreed upon that Charitas would match the amount raised from this drop. 


Each sale of each artist’s contribution separately, as well as the auction proceeds resulting from the NFT final auction, benefited NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, an organization that specifically works to advance mental wellness. 


“We believe in the community more than anything.” –Obtainable


An initial doodle by Alpert at the center of the page marked the beginning of the artwork. Additionally, the same drawing was sent to the artists globally, who added their take on mental health. Each of the 55 artists’ contributions was minted as NFTs and included in the final collective drawing. Almost USD 30,000 worth of ETH has been raised from the art pieces since they were listed on Friday (06/04/21).


Artists’ Struggles With Mental Health


Covid-19 has been designed to test how we usually deal with grief, according to the American Psychological Association.  Besides being quarantined, the disruptions include the loss of family members and friends due to this pandemic. 


“Our current era is marked by our systematic inability to cope with what now has become nearly 18 months of a global health and financial crisis, with added chronic stressors that see no end.  The “Drawn Together” project has evidenced how the utility of art serves as a conduit for healing. From the hallways of Clubhouse to the communities formed on Twitter Spaces, Telegram, and Discord; they have provided Alpert and fellow artists with a 360 Metaverse. An alternative and simultaneously integrated virtual space that offers people an opportunity to share art, document the experience of living through epic chaos, and forge an NFT project like “Drawn Together,” that not only sheds light as a beacon of hope to normalize that everyone is hurting but moreover, to provide relief and healing modalities through the arts, for those who are most struggling with emotional and occupational distress.” 

                 – Dr. Lemny Perez psychologist, writer, and NFT artist 


Many of the artists involved in “Drawn Together” talked about their struggles with mental health in Clubhouse rooms. Those who were passionate about the cause bonded together under the umbrella of camaraderie. Additionally, dozens of artists expressed interest in participating in future iterations of the project.


About Alex Alpert


“As I started bringing my art into the NFT space, the potential for collaboration and philanthropy was immediately clear. On the Clubhouse App, I expressed to other NFT artists that I wanted to pass around a digital canvas where they could add a small drawing, building off of the other art and expressing what mental health meant to them. The project instantly gained traction.” 

  • Alex Alpert


The New Jersey-born Alpert has always drawn and sung. He studied singing at Syracuse University and spent most of his free time drawing. A modeling agency discovered him after he graduated from school and he moved to Los Angeles. Having worked as a model for several years, he decided to move back to the East Coast where he began to focus seriously on his art once he settled in New York City.


“I’ve been drawing for my whole life. It’s always been an outlet for me as someone who struggles with depression. It’s been a way for me to communicate when I feel that I can’t with my words. I truly believe that NFTs can be used to create a positive impact, and this new market and technology is enabling all of us to elevate the conversation about mental health through our artwork.“


About NAMI


A mental health organization that aims to build better lives for millions of Americans who suffer from mental illness, NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization. Its vision is a world where people living with mental illness can lead fulfilling, healthy lives in a caring community.


Mental illness is complex,  affects individuals and families at all levels. NAMI provides advocacy, education, and support so that individuals and families can build better lives.

“What started as a small group of families gathered around a kitchen table in 1979 has blossomed into the nation’s leading voice on mental health. Today, we are an alliance of more than 600 local Affiliates and 48 State Organizations who work in your community to raise awareness and provide support and education that was not previously available to those in need.” _NAMI



Alex Alpert: 









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In anticipation of Unit London’s upcoming exhibition, ‘NFTism: No Fear in Trying,’ our Editor in Chief, David Cash recently had the opportunity to interview Brendan Dawes on Clubhouse to discuss Dawes’ work and their experiences in the NFT space. 


‘NFTism: No Fear in Trying’ will be the first exhibition hosted by Institut, a platform being launched by Unit London, that will be “the first NFT platform exclusively led by art-world professionals.” Founded by Joe Kennedy and Jonny Burt, the platform is dedicated to “exploring new digital art forms” and “showcasing high quality and expertly curated artworks”. 


Bringing together 100 artists from both digital and traditional backgrounds, including Brendan Dawes, Miao Ying, Olive Allen, IX Shells, and more; Institut hopes to create a “crucial bridge between the traditional art-world and emerging digital communities by offering print editions alongside NFT artworks.” 


Brendan Dawes, a prolific UK-based artist within the Contemporary Art and NFT spaces,  is known for his work with generative processes bringing together elements of both art and science in the pursuit of creative imagery both on screens and in print.


While Dawes and Cash both recognized some of the risks associated with generative art, after recent controversies in which randomizing characteristics have led to collectibles accidentally depicting racist and sexist scenes, they both conceded that this artistic realm is still very much in its infancy, and has a long way to go. 


The first viral controversy associated with generative art was in regards to a release by Missfits University, in which some of the female characters generated were depicted with “crying eyes” and “tape over their mouths.”  Artchick.eth referred to some of these collectibles as depicting a “college rape scene”. Though these characters were generated randomly, and according to the Misfits team: “any implied meaning was unintentional,” this still does bring into question why these attributes were options at all. “We need to put a lot more consideration into how we go about ‘randomizing’ elements of NFT artworks,” Cash affirmed. 

Dawes’ limited edition project with FieldNotes exemplifies a more innocuous application of generative technology. As opposed to generative art based on characteristics, in this context, Dawes made use of generative technology to create intricate snowflake patterns. Through the use of generative code, Dawes was able to create 99,999 distinct memo book covers, each adorned with its own distinct snowflake pattern, so that each cover would be completely unique. 


Dawes describes the joy of producing works that “couldn’t be made any other way” through the coding processes involved in creating generative art. Dawes explained his artistic process of beginning with a pencil and paper sketch to set an intention and watching the work evolve through the process of visualizing code, creating code, and eventually producing a final result. 


Citing his inspiration as ranging from Jonathan Glazer to E.E. Cummings, Dawes emphasizes the multidisciplinary nature of his work, and how emerging technology, within the NFT space, serves to accommodate this. Cash echoed this sentiment, describing his process as “reaching out to take from the zeitgeist of the world whatever it is that one might find themself inspired by.”


Dawes’ recent project, The Pandora Variations, exemplifies this multidisciplinary essence.  Bringing together the work of composer Logan Nelson, choreographer Charlotte Edmonds, and Dawes’ own generative work, this collaboration brings us through five distinct, yet interconnected phases: Hatred, Jealousy, Turmoil, Sickness, and Hope. Taking inspiration from the Greek mythological tale of Pandora’s box, this work plays into mankind’s perpetual questioning of our existence. Describing the project as “an analogy for the year following the outbreak of the pandemic,” Dawes acknowledges the inevitability of pain and loss while maintaining a sense of optimism that the one thing left at the end of all these various stages of adversity is hope. Previews of two of these five stages can be found on this Sotheby’s lot page


Joining the NFT space, just around one year ago, Dawes venerates the expansion of creative possibilities that come alongside technological development. Through minting their work as an NFT, artists can now directly sell to collectors, through the use of smart contracts. As Dawes explained on Clubhouse, this allows for artists to have greater agency over their sales as well as an ameliorated connection with their patrons. 


“I like to do things I don’t know how to do because it’s more interesting for me,” Dawes relates. Fueled by curiosity, Dawes’ work ranges from print, to motion, to physical installations: “The fun is in the learning,” he describes. 


Dawes’ work exemplifies the intersection between art and science, in displaying how emerging technologies can be used to produce work that might otherwise never come to fruition. We look forward to seeing all that he continues to contribute to this emerging space, through and beyond his work with Institut.

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David: In your eyes, what are some of your favourite accomplishments?

WhaleShark: So I think so accomplishment-wise, I mean from an investment perspective, I’ve done extremely well in the space. While I want to take credit for everything, I do think it’s always a tiny bit of luck, right? Or quite a bit of luck. So, I guess my very first accomplishment in the crypto space would actually be buying Bitcoin in 2012 and then selling it all for Ethereum in 2015. I bought Bitcoin at 200 and sold Bitcoin at 1000, bought Ethereum at $8 and then sold at 1,400 and then got into NFTs in 2019.


Because, you know, when I entered into the space at that point in time, there was a lot of ambiguity regarding the future of crypto as a whole, as well as the ups and downs of the rollercoaster. That is, that is the value of crypto in, you know, just being able to buy and hold and to continue to accumulate.


It probably took every fiber of my being because, again, the pricing rollercoaster can really take an emotional toll on a lot of people. I think I’ve done relatively well by, I guess, being very thoughtful about the way that I’ve invested money, about the way that I’ve grown this empire of crypto, as well as investing in a lot of leading projects within the crypto space as well.


So I think that would probably be one of the achievements that I’m very grateful for. Over the past couple of years, the second achievement or accomplishment that I’m very proud of is the relationships that I’ve built up with artists in the crypto community. So again, I know everybody has a lot of different preferences for the type of NFTs that they buy. It’s no secret that I made it very public that I’m a huge fan of crypto art and a huge fan of the digital art scene in general. One of the most enjoyable things and one of the largest accomplishments that I feel that I’ve made is the ability to forge these very positive and very beneficial relationships, particularly for artists within the space.


And to see them grow from selling their art pieces for hundreds of dollars to many who are actually in the whale portfolio now what we sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions. So I think that’s another accomplishment in itself.


The last accomplishment probably that is most near and dear to me was actually creating the whale community, right? So basically taking the entire NFT collection, sharing it with an NFT community and seeing that community grow from 500 people to the world’s largest general collector and creator Discord community with over 20,000 members. And you know, that’s been a wonderful journey. It’s a lifelong pursuit of mine and the whale community is going to last for as long as my lifetime and beyond. So I’d say it would be those three. 


David: You’ve excelled at being able to select projects very specifically. Ignoring a lot of the fud that’s come out around this space, especially when you started getting into NFTs in 2019, I think it was all fud, more or less in terms of the press around the space. You’ve mentioned in the past that 99.9% of projects fail – what differentiates the valuable projects from the rest?


WhaleShark: So in my previous professional life, I did a lot of market analysis, company analysis, opportunity analysis. Whether that be within categories or whether that be within certain categories of products or whether that be in categories of companies.


I think it was very serendipitous when I entered the space. You had a lot of collectors who didn’t have that background, so I was actually able to develop and apply an investment matrix to really understand which projects I want to hold for the long term. Now, given that you say that, it’s very kind of you to say that, you know, my, my journey through crypto has been very much a playbook. There’s a lot of money to be made both from, as a long-term investor, as well as a short-term trader. 


For me, I just don’t have the ability to trade on the short term. So my investment thesis is always based on a longer term horizon. Now, you know what differentiates the 1% or the 0.01% from the 99.99%. It’s really the stability and the pedigree of a project. So what I do as you will see any VC or any investment manager do when they look at a project is the first thing I get to know the team extremely well. Right. I get to know their background. I get to know their expertise. I get to know their wealth of knowledge and really understand how adequate and how adept they are in terms of being able to run a business.


It’s a little bit difficult in the crypto space because we do have a lot of first-time entrepreneurs. But among those, there are some that are extremely talented. And as an investor, what I can bring to the table usually is that business discipline and knowledge that they might not have been able to accumulate over the course of their experience.


So I looked at the team one thing that is extremely important to me, and again, it sometimes does preclude or exclude some opportunities that are extremely innovative. I actually like to look at things that have escalated in value in the traditional and the physical world. And it’s very easy to draw a parallel into the digital and really understand. So, for example, if basketball cards escalated in value in the physical world, it’s very likely that its digital equivalent is going to increase as well. So looking at the product, just making sure that there is a previous case whereby there was a successful case study and it could apply in a digital manner.


The third, most important thing that I look at is the financial health of these projects. You want to make sure that a project can run through the cycles and we’ve seen NFT cycles in terms of bull and bear runs run roughly anywhere between three to four months, each time you don’t want to invest in a project that’s going to go bankrupt in three months, right? Due to poor money management or due to lack of capital. So what’s very important to me is looking at these projects, understanding how long of a runway they have, and understanding how disciplined they are in terms of managing that cash flow. So I look at a lot of different points. I probably look at about six to seven points for each project, but those are the three main points for financial viability that I looked at before investing in anything. 


David: Thinking of some of the projects that you’ve invested in and maybe some of your favorites in your thought process. What’s a recent piece, or just a general piece of unlockable content or access that has been granted to you by an NFT purchase that either surprised you or impressed you?



WhaleShark: So I actually bought a couple of locked access NFTs over the course of my career. I would say that the very first one that I bought was actually by DAO records, who continue to be very active in the space. And I believe it was really one of the first unlockable content Ntfs that was ever created. Essentially, Vandal and the team did that I could buy this limited edition gold record, a gold record from Dao records. And essentially, it allowed me to unlock the content prior to the launch as well as receive some additional benefits from actually buying the NFT. So this is really early in the space. And I remember when I did it, I believe the song was called Got Skills. It was done by two Malaysian award-winning rappers. And I really enjoyed the process. I think one of probably the most impressive unlockable content that I’ve ever purchased is actually the auction by Justin Blau.


Once again, it was a record-breaking auction. I was there up against some of the largest collectors; unfortunately, I could only take second place, but it was a wonderful experience. And what Justin did was that he tokenized an entire album, and within tokenizing that album, he had. The drop was very smooth. And instantly, after that auction, I was actually able to log in and unlock all of that audio and visual content actually on that platform itself. So that was an extremely interesting experience and probably one of the smoothest experiences with unlockable content.


David: Amazing. Thank you for that. Thinking about your massive collection at this point- I’m wondering – Do you only buy on ETH? Or do you have any thoughts about projects on MATIC, TEZ, WAX, etc.?



WhaleShark: So I am blockchain agnostic.  I mean, you have people who call themselves Bitcoin maxis, you’ve got Ethereum maxis, I’m a use-case maximalist. So essentially I move to the place or I move to the blockchain that shows me that they have the most use case or the best use. If I were a maximalist, you know, again, I wouldn’t have been able to transfer out a Bitcoin all the way into Ethereum.


So I do believe in keeping an open mind and prefacing, my additional comments with that, I actually not only buy on ETH, I also buy on Flow quite a bit. And I’m very excited to see some of the blockchains that are growing native NFTs for the time being. What I really enjoy is: all of the NFTs on Ethereum, all of the NFTs on Flow. I really enjoy what I’m seeing from the two side chains, or layer two. So enjoying what I’m seeing on Matic with the, reduction in gas, ease as well and instant transactions. Also really enjoying being the largest holder of Gods Unchained, which recently unleashed “immutable ex,” which again is another component that will allow people to have instant and low fee transactions.


So I think as the future moves forward, I will go where the best products and where the best creations are, and I’m definitely not closed-minded and just stick to one sort of blockchain. 


David: So, after building your $WHALE community and token to such success, what advice do you have for other community leaders in the space looking to add utility to their communities through tokenomics?



WhaleShark: So I’m going to preface my answer by saying that: a lot of social tokens and a lot of communities powered by social tokens have sprouted up over the last six months, right? I do adamantly believe that after NFTs, a very good use case of crypto is for community managers, influencers, and creators to incentivize and drive their community by giving them something of tangible value.


So I think that social tokens are the next wave of innovation that will go into the mainstream. And I’ve actually spent a significant amount of time investing in the space as well. However, many community managers or creators, and influencers don’t realize that you can’t just spend days creating the social token, expecting it to fly. When you create a social token, it’s very much a multi-disciplinary effort. In, economics, in-game theory, and monetary policy, in marketing, and branding, and event management. And in community management, right? So I think there are about seven to ten different disciplines that you need to have. And on top of that, you also need to be extremely active.


I can tell you that within the Whale community itself, our total team is about twelve people. And they are online every single day for 24 hours a day because we’re in different timezones. But over that course of time, we are continually having events, continually having discussions, creating new experiences so that the community feels engaged all the time.


And it is very, very labor-intensive. So I think that’s something that a lot of people who are entering the space really do need to consider as they’re going through this. In addition to that, from a tokenomics perspective, make sure that you have a very solid plan in terms of how the tokens flow, how they’re given away, what people can do with them. But at the same time, you also have to have a very flexible mindset in terms of understanding that you can try things, but you will need adjustments. 


I can’t even tell you the number of adjustments that we’ve made to the tokenomics to fine-tune it to where we are today. A lot of trial and error. My friend, I wish I could tell you that we got it. We got it perfect from day one, but it’s been a lot of analysis, a lot of trial, a trial and failure, and you know, again, yeah. Try fast, fail fast, right? And then after that, you succeed. So it’s a continuing project. And again, $WHALE for me is my final project for my lifetime.

So I hopefully will have a very long time to be able to fine-tune it. And it should be a very interesting journey.

Read more about Whale Shark and his ventures into virtual fashion and beyond in part two coming up next week and in the meantime, keep up with him on socials: 


Twitter: https://twitter.com/WhaleShark_Pro


Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/whalesharkdotpro


$WHALE Discord: https://discord.com/invite/whale

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Digging through Twitter threads to figure out what’s going on can be like having to make a trip to the DMV -it’s almost never fun and almost always painful. 

On the 24th of June, there was a little spark of controversy that flamed out into what appeared to be the only thing people were talking about, at least for a few hours in the NFT Twitterverse.  Especially if you live in the NFT echo chamber on Twitter and follow some of the most engaged accounts.

It started when account @beanieMaxi revealed that he was allegedly not just one person, but was a team of professional marketers and that he and @digitalartchick, another prominent NFT tweeter, were in fact the same group of people running both accounts for engagement purposes.

This prompted a backlash from the community and royally pissed off @digitalartchick as she then replied with a swift selfie with a side of Fuck You directed at Beanie.



Now, why in the fu*k should any of us care about what these two NFT Twitter accounts are saying? Who are they? and why are you even going to spend the next few minutes reading this article about this Twitter drama? 


Beanie is a self-proclaimed senior art critic @punkscomic, villain, and JPEG Shiller who at the time of this article being released has around 25K Twitter followers.

Digital Artchick, with a similar following on her Twitter, states that she drinks and tweets about art.  Both of these individuals are semi prominent collectors and recognized figures in the NFT space. They are known to invest in various projects and tend to draw attention to NFTs when they become collectors and start to tweet about them. 


Digital Art Chick


There are a few things about this whole debacle to unpack from this that I’d like to highlight:

Operating under anonymous pseudonyms and Twitter handles allows people to be curated versions of themselves, sometimes realistic, sometimes not so much.  This can also be problematic especially if the NFT community is going to grant these people any form of influence over this growing non-fungible token ecosystem.

Take both of these accounts, for example, they are pretty raw and no-filter-type Twitter accounts that create controversy as a method to gain engagement and exposure. While many find these antics entertaining, it also seems to really muddy the NFT space, at least from my perspective.

First of all, let me ask you a question, do you talk to other people in real life the way we see many of these Twitter personalities speaking to others online? 

I would hope not, much of the terrible manners I see in public social media conversations across the board, in real life could possibly earn you a good punch to the face, due to the overall lack of respect and basic decency. 

To be honest, this is not just these two influencers, it seems society and platform-wide, this is a growing trend that once you have some level of obscurity in your conversations, humans get a whole lot less inclined to have manners and I am not sure that is a good thing.

Personally, I refuse to even get involved in Facebook conversations outside of the tight-knit communities I am involved in because it is just so energy-draining and toxic to see how disrespectful and intolerant people feel entitled to act when they are hiding behind a keyboard.

What we pay attention to grows and so why would I even highlight this drama, that at the end of the day could be ignored by hitting the block button as many who value their sanity choose to do.

@Digitalart chick felt so much backlash from Beanies stunt that she posted a selfie to prove she was in fact a woman and not the alleged group of male marketers pretending to be a woman, and then ruthless twitter began to bash her for how she looked, which was definitely not cool.

Is this what the NFT community is about?

There is some humour to be found in Meme culture, but there is also a line we should consider as a community.  Berating, trolling bullying others online just does not represent what the NFT space is about in my opinion. In many ways what Beanie did was just reckless, added zero value to the community, and overall shows a lack of empathy and basic respect.  Selling out for engagement at the expense of others in the community is not just on this one individual, it falls on us as a community that engages with, applauds, and rewards this type of behaviour.

The fact that I am writing an article about it now, calling more attention to this type of behavior, in some ways can be seen as rewarding these types of antics. However, my goal is to start a discussion about our ethos in general as a community and to dialog about how we can begin to agree to treat one another better in this space.

To be honest, I can see why some find Beanie entertaining, but personally, for me, I’ll just mute him and keep moving forward. Which may be a very valid way to filter out what you want entering into your own mental space.

I find it much more worth my time to be inspired by others in this space who are building awesome things, helping others, contributing to causes that matter, and having a good time while still retaining some basic kindness and decency.  

At the same time I am not looking to always be politically correct or cater to each and every person’s personal triggers because at what point do you draw the line? Humans can virtually be offended by nearly anything these days and Who TF has time for all that?


Here are just a few profiles in this space that I do believe are worth highlighting for their work and how they show up in the NFT Community.  



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