In partnership with the Botswana Red Cross Society and acclaimed artist Remo Camerota, Leyline has just dropped their first-ever charity NFT auction. Their mission: To validate how NFT auctions, gaming, art, and social impact development organizations can work together, advancing a common goal of eliminating poverty and rewarding acts of altruism around the world.


About Leyline

In addition to being an Open Knowledge, Open Source project, Leyline is a California Nonprofit Organization – A Transformative Digital Economy Nonprofit. By rewarding those who do good, Leyline strives to eradicate poverty. For individuals who perform small acts of altruism every day, the mission is to create a perpetual passive income stream. By using Leyline, users can connect with wellness activities, blood donations, and community service opportunities. In order to validate these actions, Leyline partners with trusted nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, and NGOs which verify the various good actions people may undertake. Leyline points are given as rewards for these good deeds which can be redeemed for goods of cash value, cryptocurrencies, and Non-Fungible Tokens.

“Our revenue above operating costs will be reallocated back to a prize pool to help get funds into the hands of people who truly need it. We’re not here to become billionaires; we’re here to solve the biggest problems facing humanity” explains Jeremy Dela Rosa, founder and CEO of Leyline

The biggest problem humanity faces cannot be solved by becoming billionaires. To join the Leyline movement:  Sign up today


About Botswana Red Cross Society

There are almost 200 national and International Red Cross and Red Crescent associations around the world. It is considered the world’s largest humanitarian network. 

Allied to no government and without political, religious or cultural affiliations, the nonprofit Red Cross and Red Crescent associations, were founded to respond to the well-being of war-wounded by providing assistance without discrimination on the battlefield and to prevent and alleviate suffering. Botswana Red Cross Society is one branch of these organizations with the same directive.

Botswana Red Cross Society essentially has two purposes: To protect life and health as well as to ensure that human rights are respected. Throughout the world, its ideals and principles are aimed at promoting friendship, cooperation, and lasting peace.

“Our mission is to alleviate human suffering by providing humanitarian services to the most vulnerable communities. They are powered by over 10,000 volunteers across Southern Africa.”


About The Artist – Remo Camerota

Remo proudly collaborated with Leyline on the organization’s first NFT drop to advance the social cause and help as many families as possible. A distinguished artist, Remo is also an award-winning photographer, director, and recognized figure in the NFT space. The magazine “Lurzer’s Archiverecently named him one of its 200 best creatives. Some of his works have been exhibited at Carrousel du Louvre (Paris) and he has collaborated with today’s leading brands and artists to create artwork such as Banksy, Obey, and Tommy Hilfiger, among others. Art is a vehicle for him to promote social awareness and contribute to important causes.

For more info:

About The Fundraiser

The artwork auction proceeds will be split between artists, social impact organizations, Leyline’s altruistic platform, and its users to create a win-win-win ecosystem.

In honour of Remo Camerota’s work and to establish a new standard for the commissioning of artists, he will receive 30% of the proceeds, donating the other 70%.

40% of each sale will be distributed directly to individuals in extreme poverty by the Botswana Red Cross Society.

In total, Leyline will receive 30% of the proceeds to fund the development and administration of its altruistic platform.

“Our shared goal for this auction is to create sustainable passive income for individuals in need and create a compounding effect for impoverished communities,” says Jeremy Dela Rosa, founder and CEO of Leyline

The proceeds that go to the Botswana Red Cross Society will be used to buy ‘Internet/NFT Starter Kits’. A smartphone, solar battery charger, and data plan will be included in these kits. Teams from Botswana Red Cross Society are on the ground directly supporting communities and will identify and continue to provide support to the recipients. As a result, recipients are able to share their experiences with the NFT and Leyline communities while earning more rewards and NFTs.

“A $350 starter kit per family can literally transform lives. The more funds we raise, the more individuals we can help. Please join us on our quest to eradicate poverty and rewrite the rules of the economy to reward empathy and compassion!” adds Dela Rosa, founder and CEO of Leyline.


About The Auction 

The auction begins on June 18th at 9 am ET and concludes on June 25th at 12 pm ET. A collection of 6 NFT art pieces from Remo Camerota has been donated to benefit the cause.

Here the link to the collection and auction: Remo x Leyline x Botswana Red Cross Marketplace on OpenSea: Buy, sell, and explore digital assets

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This past week, President Biden signed a bill into law making Juneteenth a national holiday.  Although the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation officially freed all enslaved peoples in 1863, June the nineteenth marks the date, two and a half years later (in 1865), when Federal troops marched into Texas to effectively implement this order. Finally recognizing this long-held tradition at the Federal level, Biden’s administration acknowledges the fact that the fourth of July is not everybody’s day of independence in this country. Commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans, Juneteenth celebrates Black Americans’ progress and commitment to continue fighting for equality and meaningful social change in the ever-flawed system we exist in today. 

Official recognition of this holiday is no panacea for the structural inequities Black Americans continue to encounter. However, while celebrating this step forward, we must continue to demand reparations, demand an end to police violence, demand representative and accessible education, and continue to fight for Black liberation. Black contributions in labour, culture, innovation, and the arts, have made this country what it is today, yet Black artists continue to be overshadowed in traditional networks. 

This year, in celebration of Juneteenth, Black Lives Matter (BLM) is collaborating with Nifty Gateway (one of the current largest NFT marketplaces) to host a digital art fair, highlighting the work of several Black creators. The exhibit features artists such as Oto Abasi Attah, Gianni Lee, Shanina Dionna, Julian Gillam (AKA Logik), Kennedy Yanko, and others.  

Photo by


The exhibit, curated by Damon Turner (founder of Trap Heals), exemplifies a growing trend in the NFT space through which digital partnerships allow influencers, or organizations, in collaboration, to harness their audience in order to maximize sales. This collaborative tactic is not unlike the collective action we see in social activism more frequently. 


But why choose NFTs?

The NFT space gives Black creatives the opportunity to transcend geographical boundaries, political barriers, and produce radical art in a radical space. It is understood that the power of truth often depends upon the power of whom it is in the hands of. Many minority groups, notably Black Americans, have had their truths silenced for many decades. Yet, through collective action and political agency, minority groups have, over time, been able to work to translate truth into power. NFTs present a forum for this kind of translation — freeing artists from the constraints of governmental and/or corporate bureaucracy. In the traditional art world, power structures and inequities have solidified themselves over time. NFTs place power in the hands of the artist. Though leading social change in the decentralized space of NFTs at its infancy, BLM and other social movements may be able to play a role in shaping the future of NFT marketplaces and how they might be able to advance a shared cause. 

The NFT platform, aside from its social implications and benefits for artists, holds investment appeal as well. NFTs present unique value to potential donors in terms of the unique return value, provable scarcity, indivisibility, guaranteed ownership through smart contracts, transferability, and cryptographic security. These characteristics of NFTs enable creators and consumers to engage in transactions through secure, transparent, and efficient means. 

In whole, the platform complies with artists’ needs, consumers’ needs, and overall serves to bolster the cause of BLM, in its mission “to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.” This past Juneteenth, and onwards, it is important to reflect not only upon past realities – but also on the ways in which we can pave the way for greater equality in the future. The decentralization of power propagated by the NFT space is beginning to spur change in this direction. 

Marking Juneteenth as a national holiday has inspired a reclamation of Black stories, histories, and celebrations, as exemplified by this BLM X Trap Heals initiative on Nifty. 

Visit Nifty Gateway or BLM Juneteenth Events Page for more.


Image Source: Trap Heals by Oto-Abasi Attah

Main Featured Image By Julian Gilliam aka LOGIC

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A momentous announcement has just been made by the US Congress that Juneteenth will be a national holiday, commemorating the abolition of slavery.

To mark Juneteenth weekend (the 18-20th of June), Towards Utopia organized a special exhibition for Superchief Gallery, “The Digital Diaspora: Liberating Black Creativity,’ curated by Diana Sinclair, a queer 17-year-old artist and activist. Black digital artists from around the world will be featured in an exhibition organized by Towards Utopia & Foundation. Sales will be made using NFT technology, and proceeds will benefit GLITS, which provides free housing assistance for Black Trans people and HerStoryDao, as well as arts funding for Black Women and non-binary Femmes. A selection of pieces will be shown on LinkNYC digital displays throughout the five boroughs in addition to the gallery show.

Artist: Sewah Attafuah – #TheDigitalDiaspora Exhibition

The US Congress declares Juneteenth a National Holiday 

The United States House of Representatives passed and forwarded a bill to President Joe Biden on Wednesday designating June 19, or “Juneteenth,” as a federal holiday – marking the end of legal enslavement of African Americans.

The holiday commemorates the day in 1865 when a Union general notified a group of enslaved individuals in Texas that they had been freed two years before by President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.

In a 415-14 vote, the House approved the bill. Its success comes one year after the brutal murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer ignited nationwide protests against racism and policing.

In a signing ceremony at the White House on Thursday afternoon, President Biden will sign the bill into law.



On the weekend of Juneteenth (6/19/21) in New York City, the Digital Diaspora art exhibition, public installation, and fundraising auction will take place. The Digital Diaspora (TDD) celebrates Black artists from around the globe while aiming to explore new frontiers in the avant garde world of new media. TDD, led by award-winning artist Diana Sinclair, builds on the groundbreaking achievements of Alondra Nelson expanding the scope of Afrofuturism.   

Towards Utopia, in partnership with Sinclair, has created a robust program, which will be launched on June 19th with an opening event at Superchief Gallery

At 10am PST / 1pm EST the same day, Foundation will host a 17 lot auction of which a portion will be donated to GLITS (Gays and Lesbians living In a Transgnder Society) – which provides free housing to Black trans people – and the HerStoryDao collective to preserve creative projects by Black women and non-binary artists. A selection of works from this exhibition will also be exhibited on LinkNYC screens across New York City, made possible by NYC & Co.


Artists: Tyler Givens & Lauren M. Wash – #TheDigitalDiaspora Exhibition

“It’s especially appropriate for an art show promoting Black artists to be held on the day that celebrates Black freedom,” Sinclair explains. “Black freedom allowed for the growth of Black art in America, yet there’s still work to be done to give more Black artists even greater exposure to a wider audience. Now we can add digital platforms and technology to our efforts to not only widen the space for Black artists, but to address the intersectional marginalization of Black people.”

“Following Itzel Yard’s groundbreaking sale on Foundation last month,” says Foundation’s Community Director, Lindsay Howard, “we’re excited to support Towards Utopia in their effort to uplift and center Black artists.” The auction will partially benefit HerStoryDAO, an organization committed to furthering the careers of Black femme artists, which will have lasting impacts on the NFT community at large.”


A Brief History of Foundation 

The NFT platform Foundation uses blockchain technology to build a new creative economy, allowing creators to monetize their online expressions in a whole new way, and connect more deeply with their fans. It is a bridge between crypto and culture that fosters a network of mutual support between artists, creators, and collectors. 

Foundation has earned more than $75M in direct benefits since its launch in February 2021, and almost 500 artists have made over $20K individually through the platform. Not to mention over 5,000 unique bidders are registered on the site. The Foundation terminal shows live market updates as they come in. 


Towards Utopia: An Introduction

An organization focused on education, resources, and art; Towards Utopia is a trans-feminist and anti-racist organization. The group raises funds on behalf of boots-on-the-ground organizations to support the needs of the Black trans community. Moreover, they bring food and clothing directly to people through mutual aid events. 

Using social media, they educate the public about racism and identify resources available to POC and gender-non-conforming individuals, such as grants and employment opportunities. In their 2020 print sale – which featured artists such as Nan Goldin, Richie Shazam, Ryan McGinley, Charles Caesar, and Lia Clay – they raised almost $100,000 for GLITS, FOR THE GWORLS, and SWOP. 


Featured Artists

The upcoming auction and exhibition will highlight the work of Black artists who are highly visible in the NFT world, many of whom have prominent sales on Foundation.

Google Slides Presentation of Artists

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Users from around the world gathered Friday, June 11 to celebrate Decentraland’s (DCL) inaugural Pride Parade. Music, parade floats, and dancers filled the newly built ‘Rainbow Road.’ The event was dazzling, but most spectacular of all were the droves of avatars sporting the latest DCL fashion. 

Just weeks before the event, DCL enabled their ‘Wearables Editor.’ This allowed designers to create their unique in-game collections and sell them as NFTs on the DCL marketplace. A handful of quality collections were approved and released the day of the parade.




Users lined up in front of kiosks to purchase their new items. Some 30,000 active users were given free wearables from the DCL Pride Collection. MetaZoo International hosted a drop party before the parade releasing their genesis collection. By the time the parade started, all in attendance were showing their pride with newly minted outfits.

Here are some of the best styles spotted during DCL Pride 2021;

DCL Pride Electric Pride Helmet PlusLove Tiger Warriors Torso Wonderzone Pride Pink Shorts Retro One Kicks

Helmet: Electric Pride +Love Collection

Top: Tiger Warriors Torso, Wonderzone Pride Spring 2021

Shorts: DCL Pink Pride Shorts

Shoes: MetaZoo Intl. Retro 1 Kicks


Hat: MetaZoo Intl. BlackCat Hood

Top: MetaZoo Intl. BlackCat Hoodie

Joggers: MetaZoo Intl. BlackCat Joggers

Shoes: MetaZoo Intl. Retro 1 Kicks

Eyewear: MetaZoo Intl. Tinted Glasses

Accessories: CZ Mecenary MTZ Exo-Blades

I managed to speak to MetaZoo Intl. founder ‘iZoo’ about their successful drop. “The drop was very exciting, long overdue, but worth the wait! Wearables on layer 2 now are a total game-changer as there is no minting/gas costs. The collection was well-received by the community and we are already thinking about new collections!” said iZoo.

Hat: Casino Visor Community Contest

Eyewear: MetaZoo Intl. Tinted Glasses

Mask: Meteorite Dustmask

Top: Polygon Thunder Jacket

Trousers: Hiroto Kai Pride Pants

Shoes: MetaZoo Intl. Retro 1 Kicks


Top: Flamingo Party Outfit

Top: Pride Love Wins T-Shirt

Mask: Floral Skull Halloween 2019

(Photo courtesy of Null PC)

Top: Full Body Swimsuit – Pride Parade 2021 Collection

Shoes: Left- Atrati X RTFK Sneakers, Right- Polygon Thunder Sneakers

I had the chance to speak with ‘Null PC’ who’s swimsuit design was a big hit at the parade.  “I knew once the opportunity came that I wanted to make something people wouldn’t forget, and I don’t think you can forget the image of someone in a lime green Manakini once you’ve seen it.” said Null. “The wearables tool is one of many aspects that enable creators and collectors to contribute to the community and help Decentraland progress and reach its full potential.”


Top: Hiroto Kia Fire Kimono

Trousers: Hiroto Kia Fire Kimono Pants

I asked artist and designer, Hiroto Ka, about using the new wearables editor in DCL. “I thought the design process was difficult at first to understand the geometry of a moving avatar and how the clothes move alongside their gestures. But after amazing help from the design committee, I was able to nail down my design and understand fully how it works. My next step for my wearables is to create more rare and more common style Kimonos and Japanese attire.” said Kai.

Left: Cybermike Cybersoldier Set


Headwear: Wonderbot Head, Digital Alchemy Hair

Top: Pride Love Wins T-Shirt

Trousers: Pride Sport Pants

Shoes: Pride Rainbow Shoes

Accessories: DC Nifty Blocksmith Drone

The parade was electric! Celebrations carried on throughout the night with live music and giveaways. With successful drops from each designer, it appears digital fashion is thriving in Decentraland.



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From today, June 14th, to the18th, 2021 there will be a celebration of the very building blocks of all digital art, the pixel. Specifically, an exhibition featuring eighteen of the foremost pixel artists in the NFT space, “specially chosen to demonstrate the variety, beauty, and mastery of the medium” as stated by the organizer and mastermind Genuine Human who is himself an Award-winning pixel artist, director and animator. Genuine Human has created music videos for GUNSHIP as well as art for acts such as The Midnight, Waveshaper, and many more.

I recently had the amazing experience of speaking with Genuine Human about his passion for pixel art and his motivations behind creating this event. Aside from being a super cool “Genuine Human,” all puns intended, I really enjoyed talking with him about his work, the NFT space, the community, and his reasons for creating Pixel Art Week. I also really enjoyed checking out his incredible pixel art which, I can now honestly say, makes him one of my personal favorite Pixel artists that I have come across. His fusion of pixel art mixed with his signature cyberpunk style just speaks to me.

Pixel Art Week


Pixel Art Week is set to bring artist showcases to Twitter, live chats and Q&As on Clubhouse, as well as Twitter Spaces and is bringing together the absolute best of pixel art to the SQUARED metaverse exhibition. The main pixel art week events will run from today, June 14th – up to the 18th, and more information can be found at as well as on Twitter at @pixelartnftweek.

During my conversation with Genuine human, we discussed his origin in the pixel art world. Starting off over 10 years ago, and being one of the least efficient ways to make art, one pixel at a time, he fell in love with this form and the variety contained within it. Pixel art has “a certain number of squares, [and] essentially, you fill in the squares.”  He poses the following question in his exploration of pixel art:

“How can you take such a controlled medium, and do such vastly different things with it? with so many different styles within that medium”  He went on to talk about his experience coming into the NFT space, and how it has been interesting for him: “with CryptoPunks at the heart of all this, where do pixel artists fit” in the world of NFTs? 

Noting that many of the artists do have specific project-based works, but that a large portion of pixel artists are just creating for the sake of exploration and creation.

eBoy Osaka
eBoy Osaka


In his years in pixel art he has found that “Not everyone gets it, and not everyone likes it, and that’s fine, but there are some people, when they connect with it, they LOVE IT and they get so passionate about it.”His face lit up as he made this statement.

After experiencing his work specifically, because of my fascination and obsession with cyberpunk and science fiction, I have seen a window into pixel art that makes me want to explore more.  I am excited to hear more about the artists that Genuine Human looks up to and is showcasing during this week-long celebration.

At the heart of what inspired  Pixel Art Week was this desire, that I unearthed in our conversation “I wonder if there is a way that I can show other people what I see in their pixel art?” which planted the idea behind this entire series of events. He goes on describing, “what if we did a week, to celebrate pixel art in the NFT space?” 

With so many incredible artists, being able to share and explore their work and the genre as a whole for an entire week sounds like a great way to introduce others to pixel art.


Instant Onion After the Rain
Instant Onion After the Rain


The featured pixel art week artists include: BAN-8KU, eBoy, Paul Robertson, Genuine Human, mae, KLDPXL, Kristy Glas, Crypto Princess, Dmitry Petyakin, Genghis Kwan, Gordon Zuchhold, Gutty Kreum, Instant Onion, Jamfactory aka Gavin Strange, Maxwell Step, Moertel / Stefanie Grunwald, numo and steamboy33 // Arnold Tsang   

This whole week will allow people a peek into the pixel art process, the humans behind the work, and why they create pixel art. Many times people may recognize the art but know very little about the person who created it. I am personally looking forward to learning about these incredible people that Genuine Human has brought together because of the energy and passion I sense behind this week-long celebration, and because taking a peak at some of this incredible work, you can’t help but want to learn more. 

There will be many ways to engage during Pixel art week but below you will find the dates and times for the main chats:


14th MONDAY Space Chat – 7PM UK. 2PM EST. 9AM PT – moderated by Signalnoise

Genuine Human Art



Instant Onion



Genuine Human Art plus artists in attendance.


16th WEDNESDAY 7PM UK, 2PM EST, 11AM PT – Whale Community – Moderator: DeCryptolorean



Maxwell Step

Genuine Human Art  



Dmitry Petyakin

Kristy Glas





18th FRIDAY Spaces Chat 9PM UK time 4PM EST 1PM PT – Moderator: G



Gordon Zuchhold

Maxwell Step

Genuine Human Art


Be sure to follow Pixel Art Week on Twitter to stay up to date with everything going on as well as visit the official website for more details. 

I look forward to seeing this incredible celebration take place across the entire week and bring more attention to the people behind all of this work. I want to thank Genuine Human for creating this series of events and for the time he spent with me connecting about this incredible genre, that is at the very root of all digital visual art.

It all starts with a single pixel.


BAN8KU Player in Tokyo
BAN8KU Player in Tokyo


Maxwell Step What You Looking At
Maxwell Step What You Looking At

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Kevin McCoy’s “Quantum” Claimed the High Note for Crypto Artists

Sotheby’s concluded its Natively Digital NFT sale with a record-breaking price for a single CryptoPunk. Though the CryptoPunk’s $11.754 million final bid is already dominating the headlines, twenty-seven additional works were on offer with final bids ranging from a high of $1.472 million for Kevin McCoy’s “Quantum” to a still impressive low of $9,450 for LaJuné McMillian’s “Self-Portrait 2”. Responses on Twitter from the crypto art community ranged widely from celebrations of success to expressions of concern that women, transgender individuals, and artists of color ended up with much lower priced sales.

Sotheby’s Natively Digital: A Curated NFT Sale took place online between June 3rd and June 10th with final bids coming in at 10:45 pm EDT on Thursday evening. Sotheby’s used Samsung displays for physical showings in New York, London, and Hong Kong which made for a nice look. Sotheby’s also opened an outpost in Decentraland which was intended to support both the Natively Digital sale as well as future efforts in the space.

The physical displays of NFTs were well-received in contrast to the initial response by Gmoney, later retracted, to the CryptoPunks displayed physically at an earlier Christie’s auction. However, Santiago Iꜩcoatl did raise a legitimate concern:


The attention grabbing sale of CryptoPunk 7523, in addition to leading mainstream media coverage, is being taken up by the NFT and crypto art communities on Twitter as a counterpoint to recent media speculation that NFTs are dead. For more on the CryptoPunk sale, see “NFTs are Dead” here at NFTS WTF.

The overall successful auctions of 27 additional pieces, most by individual crypto artists,  did serve as vindication for many. For example, Brendan Dawes, whose work “The Pandora Variations” sold for $52,920, shouted out the naysayers as he thanked his supporters:


There was also a strong celebratory response to Sarah Zucker’s sale of “Self Transcending” for $22,680 – with many likes and congratulatory comments. Yet it must be noted that for an early piece by a well-known and historically significant crypto artist, the final sale price seems low by contrast to other such works.

As Carlos Marcial noted:

An even stronger and broader critique came from Black Dave:

He went on to share a thread that dug deeper into his concerns regarding the final sales prices of “Black women, female-identifying & non-binary artists.”

The fact that the community is discussing a broader range of identities than one typically encounters at a Sotheby’s auction is testament to the co-curation of Robert Alice and Sotheby’s associates. However, l’arc-en-ciel pointed out the lost opportunity to include an additional woman artist through the community recommendation process:

Given the historical importance of this auction for the NFT and crypto art communities, it would be well worth a researcher’s time to take a closer look at the artists based on identity, sales history, media coverage, and final prices. It would also be worth asking collectors why they chose to purchase specific pieces and what went into decisions about how much to spend. 

Hopefully such research could provide additional insights to support current and future efforts to create a more diverse and equitable crypto art ecosystem. For now, Sotheby’s Natively Digital sale marks an important moment for crypto art, while raising questions about how far the community has come to date.


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The Shitcoin conference was just held in Miami on June 3rd and 4th, just down the road from this year’s largest crypto event, the Bitcoin conference. According to the Shitcoin conference website, “Shitcoin 2021 is dedicated to all the companies that got turned away from participating in one of the largest crypto events.” the event slogan is “because F*ck Maximalism,” and I agree!


The event was masterminded by Kenn Bosak, a Bitcoiner since 2015. Bosak has traveled around the world attending over 200 Blockchain conferences, also happens to be one of the most well known NFT creators and influencers in the Wax blockchain ecosystem.  Kenn is great at creating an engaged and loyal community. I have seen first hand his generosity and commitment to his community and in helping others get into the NFT space. He was actually one of the influencers who made me fall in love with what I saw going on in the Wax NFT community.


Kenn Bosak NFT

See More Kenn Bosak NFTs Here 


One of the key takeaways I received from Kenn was that there is a shift taking place right now. Especially within the creative spaces wherein NFT creators and companies need to transition from acquiring customers to creating communities. This is all made more possible via the use of non-fungible tokens.

The wild, free and open vibe of the Shitcoin conference was evident as soon as you walked in the door. While I did not attend the Bitcoin conference for several reasons, the main one being that I am not a maximalist and personally believe that attitude to be completely anti-innovation, I did run into some incredible characters that I connected with who did attend the Bitcoin conference. One of them goes by the name @hyperspek who had this to say about the Bitcoin conference:

“The Bitcoin maxis really seemed to have blinders to the future of blockchain innovation.  Understandable for some who still have PTSD from getting rekt last cycle.  As they try to adapt an “old” technology not really designed for these applications, they will get left for dead by what is happening on ETH and other platforms.”

Hyperspek is an investor and NFT collector who also happens to be a virtual gallery builder. He showed me his gallery in Crypto Voxels and it was amazing, he likes to make art with other art and is quite good at doing so! His attention to details and his creativity was impressive. You can check out his awesome collection and gallery here


To me personally, being a Bitcoin maximalist is like saying “I like airplanes and what they allow, but not helicopters, planes without props or jet engines.

This kind of thinking is nonsensical and will not pass muster in the grand scheme of technological innovation. There will be many protocols, many will fail, but innovation and experimentation will dictate what survives.

The stark contrast of the Shitcoin conference and crowd was much more open to new ideas, fun, and was largely centered around NFTS. The atmosphere was younger, less refined, more tolerant, and brimming with excitement for the future of NFTs and blockchain technology.  It seems quite evident that there will be another event next year because the demand from the community is definitely there. Next year’s event will almost certainly be a few blocks away from the next Bitcoin conference as a statement against the very term “Shitcoin.”  Meant to encompass everything that is not Bitcoin, to include non-fungible tokens, and create something which the community can embrace and own.


Photos by Dynamic Eye Studios
Photo by Dynamic Eye Studios


The lineup of speakers at this year’s Shitcoin conference can be seen here, and I am sure next year’s event will improve on this.  Some interesting concepts that were discussed while I attended were: the fractionalized ownership of assets by blockcities, regenerative farming, and how blockchain can play a role during the Blockchain for Impact panel. In this particular talk,  Irina Litchfield, founder of Blockchain -Cubed, a blockchain technology consulting firm and adviser for Prochain Capital, discussed some innovative solutions.  


From Crypto hedge fund managers to NFT artists, defi protocol developers to musicians, comedians to filmmakers. The diversity represented within this year’s Shitcoin conference is more reflective in my opinion of what the future of NFTs and blockchain looks like. In all fairness, I do believe that an overwhelming majority of the crypto community are not in the cult of Bitcoin maximalist and do support innovation and advancement within this space.


Photo by Dynamic Eye Studios
Photo by Dynamic Eye Studios



Photo by Albert Polanco
Photo by Albert Polanco



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Maxwell Step is a 27 year old Canadian artist that plays with pixels to create stunning portraits. His work displays inspirational images in detailed, yet pixelated, form and is listed for sale on the blockchain via several high profile NFT art platforms. “I draw with squares that capture the essence of people.” This mantra adorns his many NFT galleries, simple, yet powerful, just like his art. The portraits definitely capture the essence of people in a fun and eye-catching way.


As a child he always had a love for cartoons and manga, drawing them whenever he could. He admits he wasn’t very skilled in the beginning, but a trip to Wal-Mart one December would change that forever. Maxwell’s’ father Moses passed away when he was young, and his mother Burneise Stephenson, had to overcome and find a way to take care of her boys. The budget was tight one Christmas, but she still took them to the store and told them they could pick a gift that was reasonably priced. Maxwell headed straight for the manga section and chose Tsubasa, a story that he had set his sights on long before that day. This marked the beginning of a lifelong passion for art and creation. Manga and animation were a huge source of inspiration and served as entertainment, as well as a creative outlet, for the young designer. As time went on his brother and sister would always see him drawing, and his mother was incredibly supportive of his artistic abilities.

When Maxwell was 15 his mother passed away from cancer, a devastating blow to the budding artist. As tribute to her he began going by the last name Step, an abbreviated version of her last name Stephenson. When asked why, he says, “My mother used to always say ‘Stay Thinking Eternally Positive’ so I wanted to commemorate that.”


Maxwell Step and his wife

Positivity is definitely the air that surrounds the beautiful family that Maxwell has created with his adoring wife Aisha. His family may be the best work of art he’s done yet! Their sweet toddler Indya is already doing art with Daddy, and their newest edition Cairo is sure to be creatively inclined given her genetics. Aisha is an exquisite photographer and fully embraces her artistic husbands’ endeavors. Together the canvas of their story paints a picture of inspiration, love, and creation.

Maxwell credits his mother as a crucial part of his early inspiration, but it wasn’t until her passing that he really became disciplined with his practice. Being 100% self-taught, Maxwell gathered photos and studied them to learn angles and perspectives, practicing over and over until he got it right. He remembers the voice of a camp counselor emphatically pleading with him, “If you have a talent do not hide it! It is your responsibility to cultivate it and share it with the world.” Cultivate he did, as he is now quickly becoming a prominent artist in the NFT space, currently displaying timeless portraits of BIPOC with fun and elegant style. With pieces already sold for almost 3 Ethereum the future is looking bright for the young artist, especially when you consider royalties! It’s clear that if there’s one consistent thing about him it’s his desire to learn and grow, and he doesn’t allow excuses to stand in the way.


From drawing mangas, to tirelessly researching ways of monetizing his art, he has taught himself everything on his own. You can even find his extensive portfolio of merchandise, web content, and album art online, culminated by a life full of creativity. Maxwell proudly displays the rewards of realizing that no matter where you start, hard work and persistence pays off, and if no one else will teach you, teach yourself. “If my mother were here today I think she would be proud of my art and my family, and the man I’ve become,” he assumes with sentiment. Undoubtedly her reasons to be proud are just getting started, as Maxwell plans to keep learning and sharing his creations with us all.


Maxwell Step

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For many of us, NFTs are a side hustle. But there’s a growing number of people who now work full-time in NFTs. Many of the artists and musicians who have hit the headlines are household names, but this series digs deep to find some of the lesser-known faces building out the ecosystem behind the scenes.

Today we’re talking to NFT collector Holly Atkinson, Head of Metaverse Technology at Boson Protocol, an organization that recently raised $36 million to create an open tokenized economy for commerce by automating digital-to-physical redemptions using NFTs encoded with game theory.

Holly Atkinson


What do you do every day, Holly?

I’m Head of Metaverse Technology at Boson, where I lead a team of developers focused on NFT art & gaming integrations, as well as pilot programs and partnerships. Right now we’re focused on delivering Boson’s flagship project – MetaMall – demonstrating our core protocol and its underlying mechanism backed by game theory, enabling trust-minimized digital-to-physical redemptions.

How did you get into programming cool stuff like this?

I have a background in science and commercial roles but decided to pivot into tech in 2018, so I joined a coding boot camp and did a lot of self-teaching about blockchain. I was in London at the time so I was able to immerse myself in the Ethereum space, where I met a lot of amazing, wonderful and kind people through workshops, meetups and blockchain groups. I landed my first official full-time developer job in 2019, at a blockchain company, and from there became a Blockchain Developer at The Sandbox. I started consulting for Boson Protocol in late 2020 and subsequently joined the team on a permanent basis in April this year.

You joined The Sandbox in early 2020. By today’s standards, you’re almost an NFT OG. What excites you about the space? 

NFTs are currently underutilized in terms of their functionality, so there is huge energy and innovation in the space. Boson is a great example of doing something new in terms of linking NFTs to transfers of physical assets using game theory and behavioral economics, so this opens up a whole new world of possibilities in the context of digital-to-physical transactions. I love that I have the opportunity now to work with pioneers in crypto, including people whom I’ve admired for a long time!

Linking physical items with DeFi is an area that I think we in the NFT space have yet to explore fully, and this composability is an area that I would love to delve further into. The whole decentralized stack, especially in relation to eCommerce, is so exciting because there are so many things that we don’t know about how the space will evolve.

I really enjoy experimenting: my colleagues Ludo, Nassar and I recently teamed up to enter ETHGlobal’s NFTHack hackathon, and our idea for gifting NFTs linked to physical items (which we called BosonPool) was one of the final Top 10.

So give us an example in the real world of where this could be useful?

Imagine you are in a virtual world like Decentraland or The Sandbox and you are wandering around shops and art galleries, window-shopping. By using Boson’s “commitment tokens”, you would be able to buy physical items in the game itself, having a high level of confidence that you would receive the item’s physical counterpart in excellent condition, with no need for a central intermediary.

Overall, one of the things I’m most excited about is the way that these virtual worlds and new companies are creating new functionality and new business models that are truly empowering creators and users by inventing new revenue streams.

Eat the Rich by Cryptonatrix
Click to View NFT on OpenSea


Are you a collector yourself?

Absolutely! I love the art side. I spend a lot of time on KnownOrigin, where I follow a really cool group of women crypto-artists (Women of crypto art), among others. I’ve purchased a number of NFTs through KnownOrigin, as well as on Rarible, OpenSea and The Sandbox, of course. 

One of the artists I really like is Cryptonatrix, who created the awesome artwork shown above. She recently wrote an opinion piece in The Defiant called “Destigmatizing the Blockchain: Sex Workers in NFT CryptoArt which raised some very interesting and nuanced points about freedom and boundaries in crypto art and tokenization.

I bought one of her NFTs, called Eat The Rich, which you can see here. Encouraging women to enter the ecosystem and investing in projects led by women are things that I’m really passionate about: I’m a member of a DAO called Meta Gamma Delta, a community which funds and champions women-led initiatives.

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We often hear the refrain, on Twitter and elsewhere, “We need more women in cryptoart!” or “Why aren’t there more women in NFTs?” and while well meaning statements and questions, the answer underlies an issue with farther reaching consequences.

The response, of course, is:  “We are here.”

That same answer is also true for other ‘under-represented’ groups that people deserve to hear more about.   More diversity would be good, and anything that we can do to encourage more diversity in the people joining the NFT community the stronger that community will be  – and the more resilient it will become as a result.

One possible view is that these groups are just not being seen and we can begin to ask ourselves why that is.  So let’s pick apart both the question and the answer.  Let’s go deeper and look at both what the question assumes, (there aren’t any, or not enough, already) and what the answer presents as a challenge.

So, the first question to ask is: is it genuine?  I believe in most cases it is.  Most of the people I see asking this question genuinely believe that there aren’t many women in cryptoart already.  So kudos to them for speaking up and wanting to try to address the issue as they see it.

There are lots of things that can be done to raise visibility of a diverse range of artists and artworks.  But there are other things we can also do that allows this diversity to be seen.  We can make the community feel less overwhelming and less intimidating to newcomers.  That in itself is a monumental feat that goes well beyond just the NFT community to the crypto community as a whole.  Signposting relevant and useful information is another easy to do step which can assist people in finding each other.

Being welcoming and helping people to navigate the volume of information is also key.  Helping people find their community within the community is a key part of helping people navigate.  NFTs.WTF can help in this regard by being that signpost to information that will help people find what they need and find the community they are looking for.

That, then, brings us to the larger question of “Why do people believe the NFT space is *not* diverse?”

One answer is that social media is structured in such a way that it creates bubbles, and you just don’t easily see anything outside of your bubble, unless you actively seek it out.  An interesting tool I found that analyses your Twitter for gender diversity, for example, is

Angie Taylor
Img by Angie Taylor:


Another way to look at it is through the lens of what gets promoted – not just by the artists themselves – but by the platforms, podcasts, projects, and other campaigns in and around NFTs.  Who are they searching for, finding, and promoting to their audiences?  This would be a great data analysis project if anyone was interested in digging deeper into this.  I think it would reveal some interesting discoveries.  I’d love to see the actual data.

Another issue that affects visibility is language. The entire social media ecosystem is delivered in English. This means that anyone who doesn’t use English as a native language is immediately at a disadvantage in terms of communicating their ideas and being understood. Not only this, some attitudes towards non-English speakers can be patronizing, impatient and, at times, cruel. This makes people feel insecure and frightened to speak up for fear of being bullied or ridiculed.

Online translation services and AI advancements can help in the translation of articles from one language to another. Real-time translation tools are being developed as we speak. We, as digital pioneers should be at the forefront of these advancements in communication. Lets utilize what’s available to really open up discussions and make this a truly global movement.

NFTs.WTF itself has made a decision – and has already begun to take steps towards this, as it is a core belief of the project – to ensure that all voices are presented and given equal ‘visibility’ within the publication.  I am certain that reflecting the actual diversity of NFTs – not just from a gender, sexual orientation, color, or religion aspect – but most importantly in the actual diversity of viewpoints within the community of NFT creators, collectors, and platforms will be one of the key strengths that ensures this project stands out.  The structure put in place for NFTs.WTF ensures that it is not just one person’s viewpoint, it is not just one voice, but many.

Going deeper, I think we can find evidence of structural issues that have carried over from the ‘old world’ of brick and mortar (so called “meat space”) dynamics that are built into this new system, regardless of the initial intentions of those who built the ecosystem we are now all a part of.

Angie Taylor
Img by Angie Taylor:


For me, that leads to the question of “Who has the power?”

In our society – and being on blockchain doesn’t change this – the individuals with the power are typically the individuals who have most of the money.  So, who are the collectors of NFTs?  How diverse a group are they? Who are the curators? The business owners? The individuals making the decisions on various platforms?  Who decides who is whitelisted on the curated platforms? Who decides which artists get promoted by each of the  platforms? And how diverse are the teams making decisions like these?  Who are the investors in these platforms and which demographics do they represent? All important questions for anyone starting to put together project teams as well as people embarking on using services provided by these organizations.

Several of the most successful female artists have gender-ambiguous pseudonyms. There are several that are not “out” as being female. For some, this is because they don’t feel like  gender is important to them, perhaps they see themselves as non-binary and dream of a world where gender really doesn’t matter. But for many this is a conscious decision, made to perhaps avoid trolling, to make it easier to sell work or to be able to say things that women would often be criticised for talking about.

We often hear people say “stop drawing attention to gender differences, we are all the same, nobody should get special treatment?” – this would be great in an ideal world where everyone really was equal – and that’s what WOCA (Women of Crypto Art) are working towards: equal representation. But until there is equal representation between all minorities, the only way is to draw attention to the issues, open discussion about the differences we do see, and to try to affect change in any way we can. If we simply ignore it, old paradigms and prejudices will sadly remain. It shouldn’t matter what gender an artist is but in a world where we feel we can be more successful if we pretend to be male, we are not there yet. And till we are, WOCA will continue helping to promote, support, advise and educate all artists who are brave enough, and proud to, identify as women.

NFTs.WTF has the opportunity to assist in this mission and WOCA are happy to partner with them to achieve some of the ideals this community, built around NFTs, was founded on.

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