The LGBTQIA+ community has always been known for innovation, so it’s no surprise that there were high-profile auctions and IRL events involving NFT technology during New York City Pride. From the world’s first pride-themed NFT to an expansive “Digi/Physi” drop from wunderkind Fewocious at Christie’s – the NFT community continued to expand its footprint. Here’s a look at some of the NFT showcases that took place in the Big Apple last week – and insight into ongoing/upcoming auctions and events.


FEWOCIOUS x Christie’s

A seven-day auction ended a few days ago at Christie’s, featuring artwork by 18-year-old LGB[T]Q+ community member, Victor aka FEWOCIOUS. The collection features a limited edition of five pieces, which span Victor’s life from ages 14 to 18. The artist candidly documents his life throughout his artwork, including emotional struggles that have matured him way beyond his years. The visceral nature of his story was discussed on Clubhouse with rooms led by resident drop moderator Farokh Sarmad and on Christie’s website.


Fewocious at Christies


One of the most powerful and inspiring pieces in the collection is “Year 5, Age 18 — I Taught Myself How To Fly.” The piece marks the beginning of the next chapter for the young artist. According to Christie’s notes, FEWOCIOUS created the artwork after he had moved from his hometown of Las Vegas to Seattle. The relocation was made possible by his very first drop on Nifty Gateway.


By allowing his community to get up close and personal, FEWOCIOUS has been able to bring his art to life through multiple senses. The inclusion of a physical art piece, physical trunk, and archival drawings was an excellent example of pairing the digital with the physical.


The five pieces in Hello, I’m Victor (FEWOCiOUS) and This Is My Life, which Decrypt is calling crypto art surrealism), sold for a total of $2.16 million.


Christie’s continues to innovate, jumping in early into the NFT space and also redesigning its auction formats. Their ability to reinvent has resulted in a number of record-breaking sales. In fact, their 20th and 21st Evening Sales included bidders from 29 countries and “realized sales of more than $691 million over the course of two nights in New York.

Madame Vivien V at XO Crypto by Fiona Aboud


XO Crypto

What the hell’s an NFT? Luckily some insight was provided to members of the LGBTQIA+ community this pride at the Blockchain Center on the Upper West Side. Although the center isn’t quite open to the public, approximately 150 guests received a sneak peek at this Pride social. The event, in partnership with and La Casa Arthouse, presented a showcase of 30 LGBTQIA+ artists who are part of the NFT space. The event was billed as an educational social and included information on NFTs for varying knowledge levels. XO Crypto also featured a live raffle done utilizing the POAP (proof-of-attendance protocol) wallet. The prize was a limited edition pride-themed Satoshi is Homeboy shirt from Brooklyn-based Satoshis closet.


Visual Artists featured included David Cash, Handiedan De Verbeelding, Midwestmisfit, Yiliang Yang, Yosnier, Klara Vollstaedt, Diana Sinclair, Ksenia Salion, Sam J, and Brendan Miggins. The artist’s work is on display in a Cryptovoxels gallery provided by Madrid-based Zardoz Club. A closing part for the show is planned for mid-July.



PLAYBOY & NEON GOLD x Nifty Gateway

Playboy also dropped a series of digital art pieces for Pride with Nifty Gateway. In addition to three images of David Bowie that were taken from a 1976 Playboy, there are also collaborative pieces with many prominent LGBTQIA+ musical artists. Troye Sivan and 3D Artist Jason Beyer have collaborated on a digital a/v series entitled BLOOM2021. Charli XCX created 1700 B.C. (XCX) with Australian artist Sewah Attafuah. The Knocks have collaborated with moistbreezy, and Pabllo Vittar’s drop included works made with Nico Panda and Dutch digital fashion house The Fabricant.


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The United States Space Force recently announced their first NFT release. Launching a satellite in honor of Neil Armstrong, the Space force decided to commemorate and immortalize this project through accompanying the launch with a collection of one-of-a-kind, blockchain-based assets, fit with augmented reality add-ons.  

The collection launch took place on June 14th through Star Atlas (a blockchain-based metaverse offering virtual space exploration with next-generation multiplayer gaming technology), before being released on Ethernity’s platform on the 17th—the GPS III SV05 ARMSTRONG satellite’s launch date. This satellite launch will be the fifth of its GPS III fleet and will aid in advancing the GPS constellation’s navigation services for both military and civilian users.


The NFT collectibles, affiliated with this launch, can be bought on Star Atlas, as well as the VueXR app, until July 20th. Space Force partnered WorldwideXR and VueXR, to release this set of NFTs, with augmented reality add-ons. The collection consists of augmented reality tokens depicting satellites, mission badges, and coins—as depicted below.


Launching campaigns both on the metaverse and earth’s orbit, this project supports the U.S. military and its veterans, though it should be noted that it is not officially connected to, or endorsed by, the U.S. Department of Defense. 


While countries like Panama have adopted Bitcoin as a reserve currency in place of gold, countries like Turkey have banned the use of cryptocurrencies altogether. Seeing the US Space Force getting involved in the blockchain and metaverse arena might represent a turning point in US attitudes, leveraging the permanence of blockchain and honoring the role of artists in extended reality technology. NFTs are starting to become a household name, and this project will only further advance the NFT name in popular culture.


Following its creation as an independent branch of the U.S. armed forces in 2019, the Space Force was accused of being a vanity project of President Trump’s, amidst its centrality to the administration’s agenda at a time when domestic and international concerns were arguably far more of a concern. The Biden administration has, however, continued to signal full support for the world’s only independent Space Force. The Space Force is, in fact, the only military service set to grow under Biden’s 2021-2022 budget plans. 


Biden’s administration has also signaled a future for blockchain-related activities, through mention in the new “American Families Plan.” Biden contends that cryptocurrency represents a “relatively small portion of business income today” but that “cryptocurrency transactions are likely to rise in importance in the next decade…”  Accordingly, government response to blockchain activity remains preliminary, but this symbolic collaboration certainly marks a historically significant moment for the NFT space. 


As articulated by Michael Wagner, co-founder, and CEO of Star Atlas, “this partnership unlocks the potential of blockchain technology. It immerses our community in the growing adoption of real-time graphics, multiplayer video-game, and decentralized financial technologies on the Solana blockchain” through mainstream channels. 


With the launch of this project, the US Space Force hopes to inspire more people to explore space and, coincidentally, the metaverse too.


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As the world continues to familiarize itself with decentralized currencies and the concept of NFT’s, we are simultaneously presented with a wide range of possible applications associated with them. Remember, when people were denouncing the credibility and functionality of NFT’s? Remember that last piece I wrote on NBA Topshot? Well, very soon you’ll be able to take that very same Zion Williamson NFT I mentioned prior and use it as a security for collateral. As if earning “interest on deposits and borrowing assets” wasn’t akin enough to an FDIC-insured bank, AAVE has taken further steps. AAVE’s latest development in the world of DeFi is the opportunity for its users to use their NFT’s as collateral, as stated by their CEO Stani Kulechov.

(Image Credit: Aave)

We don’t have very much information as this is all very new, however, we should discuss what this means for the crypto community at large. Using valuable assets has always been a means of establishing net worth. Acquiring a home or car, applying for a loan, or in place of bail or bond in a courtroom. What if you had the option to add digital assets to the equation? The mere ability to do so would absolutely be of major financial assistance to artists in any foregone situations. Nonetheless, this goes much deeper. I’ve included images and quotes from various community members with opinions to illustrate what the average persons’ perception of NFT’s might be. (adam22)



A financial institution with as much notoriety in the crypto world as AAVE backing NFT’s so much that they are willing to allow users to put them up as collateral against something like a house is a major statement in favour of their potential value. At this point in time, a majority of people still do not understand cryptocurrency, even less appreciate NFT’s, and less than that would buy them. AAVE’s next move could be the catalyst for people to start informing themselves. Think about how simple it would be for a rich individual to acquire an NFT to store his asset’s, simultaneously making the artist’s career. Similarly, an individual with a more average bank account could easily acquire an NFT and allow it to balloon into something more monetarily valuable, then later use it as collateral.

Think about how difficult it was to pitch to your parents that you wanted to be an artist. Consider the effort involved with fighting to get people to take your art more seriously. In the traditional art world, we’ve seen illustrious works of fine art used as backing for collateral, this isn’t even uncommon. With AAVE backing you, your parents who grew up before the internet was conceived are given good reason to have faith in your craft. When AAVE implements this feature, there will surely be more crypto institutions of similar sizes who follow suit. This just means more credibility to both the concept and the artist.  In other words, AAVE’s soon to come collateral system doesn’t just back your NFT or the home you’re looking to buy. Before all of that, it backs you as an artist. We’ve had enough polarity in this genre of digital art, and this may very well be the solution. Funny enough, both collectibles and fine art can be accepted as collateral, and an NFT can arguably be classified as both, but certainly can be at least one. it’s honestly strange that this hasn’t happened already.

I love DeFi and a good NFT as much as you the reader likely do too, but to be taken seriously we must consider the opposing perspective, not just bash them. What happens when you put your piece up for a collateralized loan and it’s value depreciates? Here’s an easy example to follow: you’re a young collector who purchases a collectible pack from NBA Topshot. You score a one of a kind piece featuring Lebron James dunking on Steph Curry. You then take said NFT, and put it up for a loan for 20ETH. The following month, Lebron dunks on Curry again, and somebody else purchases that minted moment. Does your NFT’s value effectively get cut in half and leave you stuck to pay off an enormous debt you can’t possibly pay? It will be interesting to see exactly how something backed by DeFi will hold up in the long term against something with a somewhat fixed or a more fungible value.

In conclusion, while there is only room to speculate on AAVE’s NFT collateral system, I can say with the utmost confidence that the benefits heavily outweigh the negatives. As the universe surrounding NFT’s grows more roots, it will be easier to say how things will branch out. That being said, as the days grow closer to bringing this concept to life, I postulate that speculation will grow with it, especially as the story accumulates more media attention. The success of this feature seems to be incredibly pertinent to inciting the range of potential positives I mentioned earlier in this article. I have no doubt that AAVE will get this right from the beginning as a lot is dependant on them. What happens from here remains to be seen, however I’m looking forward to using my own artwork to create a stable future as well.

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The past week has had my mind occupied by the book ‘Because Internet’ by Gretchen McCulloch, which covers the linguistic changes brought about by people communicating online. One of the brief points it raises is that young people have flocked online not because they don’t want to socialize and play outside, but because those outside places have been restricted, controlled and commodified to the point where they can’t be accessed, utilized & experimented with.

So where do you go if everything is restricted? The new paradigm of digital spaces with unlimited possibility, of course. Fortnite, Roblox, Minecraft, easily accessible worlds with ever-expanding toolsets, environments that promote and appreciate a lusory attitude. Spaces that mimic the long-lost forests, parks, and venues now dominated by increasing ticket prices, demolition, or restriction. Children don’t play in the roads, because they’re full of BMWs driving at 70mph. They don’t play at the bowling alley, because Jeff Bowlzos charges 15 dollars for a game, and you can’t play in the park because…


No Ball Games


The trend for games and platforms in the present day (to maximize users and income) is to fulfill this need for play – creating spaces to be risk-free and ‘fun’ primarily, before being restricted by monetization – spaces for experimentation, before commercialization. Do the current offerings of (NFT enabled) Open Metaverse platforms offer this in abundance? Well, no – no to the point where somebody on a low-income FIAT salary still can’t really expect to engage in the platform, never mind kids. 

As we’ve seen with F2P video games, their evolution has pushed the most successful models towards cosmetics-only monetization (Warzone, Fortnite, Roblox), with an emphasis on leaving any form of experimentation and play as a free component. This removes the barrier of cost which young people struggle to overcome and allows them to provide onboarding, usage, propagation, experimentation, and therefore content, in abundance. It’s about socializing play because that’s the most profitable route.

Minecraft NFT


“Yeah but I don’t want to sell it to kids!”, you say. Well, your audience doesn’t primarily become children, it becomes everyone – young people are the conduit to which new technology is accessed. The fun doesn’t stop at the age of 18, all of those adults with LEGO collections and horror movie obsessions are proof of this, if a product is fun, it’s still fun as an adult. 

NFTs have allowed for a race to the bottom in regards to commodifying online spaces, and if we allow this commodifying behaviour to over-exert itself, the users who are most important to gaming’s current success will likely be dissuaded to adopt. What Metaverse worlds often amount to currently, are increasingly expensive blogging platforms with three-dimensional graphics.

This is why we’ve yet to see a mass Metaverse onboarding from blockchain-enabled games, and why platforms like VRChat, Roblox, Minecraft & WoW currently have more mainstream appeal than Sandbox, Decentraland & Somnium. Metaverse Spaces, for the most part, require you to inject large sums of capital prior to being able to experiment properly with the platform. For example, needing to purchase land plots and items to be able to build, customize characters, or engage with the community gate keeps your primary conduits – while the free experiences offered in those worlds do not (yet) surpass basic mechanics & concepts – necessary for encouraging future expenditure.

Decentraland Parcels & Estates


Unsurprisingly, this forces a trajectory of feeding largely on whales & corporates for Metaverse spaces, because they are the sole users who can afford to utilize the tech.. Great, an easy market share… But as we’ve just discussed above, we don’t want to (proverbially) pave our Metaverse spaces with highways for commercial haulage, or restrict play to luxury penthouses for self-inflated frat boys. Metaverse spaces, to achieve mass appeal, should be spaces for experimentation and play, without the need for monetization.

So what about airdrops and ‘sponsored entry’? Are these good enough to supplement socialized access to these spaces, and ensure that mainstream audiences onboard and further the space’s usage/appeal?

Consider this analogy: imagine you’re taking your child to a playground (Meta-world) that requires you to pay for a ticket to entry, while you’re surrounded by free access theme parks (Centralised-worlds), who are filled with customers creating a positive atmosphere, and who are purchasing a lot of hats, the hats aren’t theirs to keep, sure – but they don’t care, because the social credit is more important than the ownership itself.

Currently the, comparatively small, playground is saying, ‘here’s a free ticket for one day a year’ or, ‘you can wear this free party hat when you’ve paid to visit’ – but it’s clearly not as exciting as the rollercoaster next door, and it’s also somewhat insulting, because let’s be honest, the slide is dull and the sandpit smells funny. So, to offer you such a small incentive seems somewhat absent-minded, considering the neighbours.

Meta-worlds, and meta-projects behaving in this way might bring in one or two new customers, but charging every time someone uses your jungle gym isn’t going to guarantee an enthusiastic group who create their own game of tag nearby, and certainly won’t provide the mass social hierarchy to encourage cosmetic spending.

What we should be looking at is a socialized system of baseline play, which, if we look at the history of MMOs, is a standard practice. It has been exhibited throughout successful online games up to this point, and seems to be an art lost by blockchain-enabled Metaverse spaces. For example, the concept of receiving housing ‘space’ in MMOs is not new, even Club Penguin did it. The expansion of that space is where the cost comes in, through play or through payment – Decentraland & CryptoVoxels for example, could provide all new users with a plot of land to utilize, but require purchasing for larger sizes, different plots, or location movement.


Club Penguin


The problem is that these spaces, shortsightedly, currently serve the crypto community, and so unsurprisingly, depend on discerning individuals to spend on name, locations, looks, just about anything, based on sheer speculation. However, for true mainstream onboarding, the airdrop method, or ‘sponsorship’ systems, can’t compete with immersive F2P worlds which hook audience attention through entertainment, and then monetize as a secondary target to obtaining users.

This needs to be something keenly considered as a key component of any Open Metaverse play, cut off the big (cost) hurdles to experimentation, and the ability for power-users to amass control over experimentation, create a community that plays with your tech, and then commodify the hierarchy (not the play itself). 

Metaverse spaces need to assess a ‘minimum viable fun’, to ensure they’re outdoing their competitors in regards to user attention, which means offering quality content, while not providing too much, for free. These meta-worlds would fare well to look beyond the golden trinket of a marine mammal’s pocket, and to the audience who will provide a long-term population, and success – the whales will follow.

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With the spotlight on non-fungible tokens unlikely to fade anytime soon, it was only a matter of time before memes showed up to the party with their entire crew., the new digital platform for fine memes, was officially announced on May 19th, after raising $5 million from a group of both blockchain-centric venture capitalist firms as well as independent investors.

The announcement was made on Twitter by Meme Explorers and in a Medium piece written by MarbleCards co-founder Johan Unger. The valuation capabilities that are built into Marble.Cards will also be a part of According to Unger, the platform was built specifically as a “crypto-economic system that can track the value of memes.”

The co-founder of Polygon, Sandeep Nailwal, also contributed to the initial funding round for the new marketplace. Polygon (formerly Matic) is an Indian-based blockchain startup focused on scalability and the creation of a multichain ecosystem on the Ethereum network.  

The arrival of marks the beginning of a new era for this internet phenomenon. NFTs have re-fueled the ongoing debate over what qualifies as art, but memes have already established themselves as a textbook example of postmodern, often absurdist, art.

Memes have always been defined as “units of cultural information spread through imitation” ever since the term was coined in 1976. And regardless of which side of the art conversation you’re on, memes have shown their value on the first-hand NFT market, with a 1 of 1 edition of the Nyan Cat selling for 300 ETH ($710,448.00 when this article was written) on NFT invite-only marketplace Foundation.

The first internet meme, Baby Cha Cha, aka the dancing baby, appeared in 1996. Flash forward to 2021, and we now have fine memes and trends, courtesy of MarbleCards.

Humor is a big part of meme culture, and references to iconic memes such as Pepe the Frog and Doge can be seen on the landing page for At the moment, users can sign up for the new online space, but the marketplace is not yet live. However, the website is full of whimsical wordplay, billing itself as the “The Majestic Establishment of Memetic Exploration.” Please send us your favourite usage of the word “memetic” @NFTSwtf on twitter

But what exactly is this site for? describes itself as a combination of Wikipedia and Dogecoin. What that means exactly is anyone’s guess, but from our context clues and public information, it will definitely involve cryptocurrency, altcoins, and an open-source database.

Meme coins, which started more or less as a joke, have shown both their value and volatility over recent months. In the span of less than a week, the price of these coins dropped dramatically. On May 8th, Elon Musk hosted Saturday Night Live and joked (was serious?) that Doge was “just a hustle.” Four days later, Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin traded a large quantity of dog meme coins that were sent to his wallet address for ETH.  He then donated this Ethereum to the India coronavirus relief fund, Crypto Covid. The owners of these meme coins sent half of their token supply to Buterin’s public Etherum wallet address in a burn attempt. However, because he chose to sell them, the price for these coins dipped dramatically. According to data compiled by Coinmarket cap, the Dogecoin was worth approximately $0.3203 at 4:30 pm EST on Friday. May 28th. Soon after, Dogecoin was trading at roughly 72 cents on May 8, the same day as Musk’s SNL appearance.

Cryptocurrency is known for its volatility, but that hasn’t stopped new meme coins from entering the market. As of this writing, the meme data sector on CryptoSlate includes 41 meme coins, from Garlicoin and Banano to CUMROCKET CRYPTO.


Photo: David Roth


Though they’ve been dubbed “shitcoins,” meme coins are thriving in the Asian crypto market, which may open up the door for a thriving collectible and art market. China already owns 20% of the global art market share.

For an interview with Coinbase, head of investment at Digital Finance Group, Joanna Ling talked about the firm’s funding support for “We believe that memes and meme markets, such as, are  promising and innovative ways to empower users who find or create trends,” says Ling.

Solutions that financially reward cultural influencers continue to be released and developed, each with different value metrics. How the market lands is anyone’s guess, but the evolution of decentralized finance and advancements in blockchain technology are creating an exciting environment for exploration.

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When you manage to capture a moment defined by excitement, then combine it with the tokenization that is an NFT, it immediately solidifies that event in time. Those who were present for a now minted event can relive said experience a million times over and even transfer it to someone who missed out on that opportunity, giving them the chance to be exposed to what they may have missed. In other words, past generations can hold onto these moments of nostalgia while future generations can understand first-hand the significance of monumental events that took place before their time. NBA Topshot has managed to do this repeatedly and has cemented itself among the top contributors to the digital world that is NFT’s.


     This begs the question, is this exclusive to athletics and can this be applied to other aspects of entertainment? I believe this is not exclusive to sports, but also applicable to a wide variety of entertainment genres including, but not limited to, music. We already know music can be minted in a variety of ways, so why am I bringing it up? Well as we’ve seen, music entertainment, more specifically- rap music, has been captured via imagery, digital gifs, and sound bytes – then later sold as exclusive NFT’s. What if we could capture a famous moment on stage, such as the infamous performance of the Tupac hologram, and give it the 1/1 stamp to pass on ownership of the experience? For instance, Lebron James’ Dunk on November 15th, 2019 is being sold by NBA Topshot for $250,000 (or at the time of writing this 97.64 ETH). 

Lil Nas X Billy Ray Cyrus
Lil Nas X Billy Ray Cyrus


I’d argue there are moments of history in music entertainment that are just as, if not more valuable, than Lebron’s aforementioned dunk. I know everyone in my generation looks back fondly upon the up in smoke tour lead by Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Ice Cube, and Dr. Dre. Imagine the green lights, Snoop Dogg’s impeccable wardrobe, the atmosphere encapsulated into a single moment that thousands of people wish they could reimagine. There are similar moments that are more contemporary such as the first Rolling Loud tour, The Courtroom Chronicles of Tekashi69 as documented in sketches by artist Jane Rosenberg, or even the groundbreaking release of Old Town Road by Lil Nas X. Note how these are critical moments in an artist’s timeline, not just on-stage performances. Footage of the first Rolling Loud Tour can be condensed into a digital gif, Tekashi 69 could use his sense of self-deprecating humor to compile a digitized version of songs he hand wrote in prison, Lil Nas X could accompany a gif of him and Billy Ray Cyrus with a sound-byte of Old Town Road’s chorus. 

Biggie Tupac Budweiser Fest.
Biggie Tupac Budweiser Fest.


An epic performance can now be minted and transformed from a moment of nostalgia into a not-so-distant memory. Like many articles you’ll find here, this one is quite speculative. Suffice it to say it is my personal opinion that music entertainment in relation to NFTs will only evolve. So far, all we’ve seen in the hip-hop space are Pieces based on smaller moments in time such as Lil Pump’s Jewelry or “esskeetit” card.These just seem like digital pieces of merchandise and pale in comparison to other substantial moments in his career, such as his Gucci Gang video which, as it stands, currently has amassed over one billion views after garnering 10 million on its first day. Don’t give me these poorly thought-out generic pieces of ‘merch,’ Lil Pump… Give me a moment in time! It still remains to be seen as to who the first artist or label will be to implement a level of nostalgia for the fans in this space. What we need is releases with more magnitude, with the consumer in mind, and not what seems to be artists’ money-grubbing simply because NFT’s are popular.


     The NBA differs from Hip-Hop in many important ways. Most significantly, the NBA essentially has American basketball under its belt in a roster format that would be impossible for a record label. This is critical in understanding the challenges that coincide with minting various moments in time. There are a multitude of legalities that have the potential to be deterrents for massive events in the hip hop world. Where as in the world of NBA, we can find on NBA Topshots’ website Zion Williamson’s iconic block which is #49 of their first cosmic series. However  Atlantic or Warner Brothers may have trouble coming to a mutually beneficial agreement to create and release a product. Especially considering the frequency in which artists have fallen out in the music, but more specifically Hip-Hop, industries. Think about the enormity that would be associated with a minting of the mind blowing freestyle Tupac and Biggie Smalls showcased at the Budweiser Superfest of January 15th 1994. The politics surrounding their relationships with one another while they were alive, in addition to the lure and mystery of their careers, alongside the preceding ‘beef,’ would only prove to be a major selling point. It also would inevitably prove to be the reason this would never happen. There are too many similar situations in the world of rap music from those as extreme as this example to instances as simple as an image issue.


Tekashi-= 6ix9ine courtroom sketch
Tekashi 6ix9ine courtroom sketch


In summary there is infinite potential for the world of Hip-Hop to make major virtual strides just like the NBA has managed to. However, their maximum potential won’t be realized until this artform can practice more unity amongst itself and it’s artists. It is also critical that competing record labels establish more comradery with one another to allow for more cultural growth. This benefits everyone from big wig executives down to the kid listening to the radio on the way to school. The metaverse, as it currently stands, is nowhere near as fruitful as it can be. Influence from other forms of entertainment will be what takes it to the next level. Let me be clear when I say that the minting process is brand new to most within it’s space. It is up to us as creatives and influencers to spread the knowledge and grow collectively. And this is what will ultimately open more doors for our community. The potential is there, let’s actualize it.

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We knew the moment would come when jewelry would enter the NFT space. It was only a matter of time, and that time is upon us, my friends! I just had a lovely conversation with fashion editor turned NFT jewelry connoisseur Francine Ballard aka MetaGolden. After trying to pay an artist in Belarus and failing, she was able to see the immense value of crypto. She realized that the artist had no access to Paypal or even a bank account and was unable to receive funds at all. That’s when she decided to use Instagram to walk them through obtaining their first crypto wallet and paid them in Ethereum! She confesses that even she was new to the crypto space, but had to do something to help.

 “I’m just enamored with this space because there’s so much human potential there.” The mother of two explains, “to me, it’s about empowerment, and it’s empowering people and groups that didn’t have power before. It’s levelling the playing field and making everyone connected to each other.”

The human connection is a beautiful aspect indeed, not to mention the whole “women being badasses with NFTs” tangent I could take us down. Wonderful topics to elaborate on later, but I brought you here today for the BLING. MetaGolden drops on Opensea TODAY and part of their collection is already spoken for by the celebrity friends of artist Ashley Longshore.

 Francine Ballard
Francine Ballard


Glowing digital art accompanied by its physical counterpart of 18k tangible gold moulded into gorgeous jewelry. On its own, that’s pretty friggin awesome, but don’t drop the mic yet. She announced that she already has “Blockchains” in production. Modelled with a super cool coding design that every tech head will love, and soon to be embedded with a crypto cold storage wallet and NFT display (as soon as I get her a collab with Apple)!! Seriously though… I was thinking about mentioning it to Wiz and his Taylor Gang too since they are interested in NFTs, but I’m bringing it to you all first!! Get these while you can, because the sellout game is as real as the gold they’re made of. When asked about collaborating with Taylor Gang, Francine was delighted at the thought: Hmmm….I think we’re onto something guys… Taylor Tokens on the GangChain? Lol ok, It’s a work in progress, but you catch my drift.


Ashley Longshore
Ashley Longshore


Back to our girl Francine. She spent years at publications like In Style, so she knows a thing or two about fashion, which is clearly conveyed in her curated designs. She’s no rookie to the jewelry realm either, with exclusive connections to flawless stones and metals. Her business savvy mentality and philanthropic heart are as beautiful as her wearable art, if not more so. I will leave you with this for now, so you can hurry up and go buy yours, but I assure you this won’t be the last you hear of the MetaGolden Legacy.



Code Ring
Code Ring

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Widespread concerns about the energy use of proof-of-work (POW) blockchains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum impacted crypto artists in recent months due to Ethereum’s prominent role in the NFT ecosystem. Though common beliefs about the actual energy used in minting NFTs are often inaccurate, the crypto art community cares deeply about environmental issues and artists have been responding in a variety of ways. Ongoing responses include utilizing carbon offset services, supporting Ethereum’s move to proof-of-stake (POS) status, and increasing activity on POS blockchains.

Specific attacks on crypto artists began in December 2020 with the launch of, a site that gauged the energy used in minting NFTs based on the overall use of energy on the Ethereum blockchain. The problem is that Ethereum energy use does not work in such a direct manner, and the blockchain would use the same amount of energy to function even if NFT production stopped entirely.

Though this misperception was addressed to a limited degree by Web 3 developers, such as Sillytuna writing for NFTS WTF, it remains the dominant misunderstanding of both crypto artists, media, and the general public to this day. The resulting bitter attacks on crypto artists via social media led to the creators of shutting the site down because it had become a “tool for abuse and harassment.”


Since many crypto artists are concerned about the environment and did not need attacks to spur them into action, a variety of approaches to the perceived environmental effects of NFT production emerged and continue to be supported.


Carbon Offset

Carbon offset efforts, essentially tree planting by third parties, have been a popular choice of crypto artists choosing to remain on Ethereum. The concept of Ethereum energy calculations, though technically inaccurate, does provide a proxy for blockchain usage and is widely employed for energy offset purposes.

Offsetra is a popular carbon offset service. As crypto artist Angie Taylor enthusiastically explained on Twitter:

Another artist, AnonymousNobody used RootedFuture to plant a tree for each NFT Tree he sold in a crypto art project.

Beeple, perhaps the most well known crypto artist to date, organized a charity auction to benefit environmental organizations featuring donated NFTs by a group of high profile artists and additional donated carbon offsets. The Carbon Drop on Nifty Gateway was thus identified as a “Carbon Net-Negative Auction.” The proceeds totalled over $6.66 million including a $6 million winning bid for Beeple’s piece “Ocean Front” by Tron founder Justin Sun.


Green NFT Hackathon

Climate change and energy expenditure issues must ultimately be addressed at the source of energy use. Though Ethereum’s move to proof-of-stake will address many of its issues, interim solutions and educational efforts are still in order. One leading example of addressing such issues now is the Green NFT project.

Green NFTs launched on Gitcoin to provide an “Awareness Bounty” for educational resources and a “Solutions Bounty” to improve existing Ethereum-related solutions. Co-created in February by Jason Bailey, aka Artnome, and The Mint Fund, Green NFTs went on to raise funds and hold a hackathon. Grant recipients were announced earlier this month.

Artnome explained in an interview that the “overall goal” of the project is to “raise awareness and give the community a way to take part in owning and addressing the problem.” He feels it is a way to take the “fighting and finger-pointing going on around the ecological impact of NFTs” and “redirect that human energy into a more constructive direction.”


SIRSU, who created The Mint Fund to support artists new to NFTs, noted in a separate interview that it was important to move beyond carbon offsets as well as “political grandstanding,” and to find “solutions to avoid making new harm.” He emphasized that the “goal of Green NFT was to kickstart more solutions.” SIRSU also hopes this work can develop further and “evolve into a coalition…dedicated to the creation of public goods related to making our work greener as well as influencing public policy.”


Bridging to Ethereum

Many of the current solutions to the problem of Ethereum’s energy use involve moving minting and transactions off the Ethereum blockchain to a variety of sidechains and Layer 2 solutions with the option to later transfer NFTs to the Ethereum mainnet if desired. Related solutions are being built on other blockchains, such as NEAR, which recently received the Climate Neutral Product label.

To facilitate DeFi and NFT movement between NEAR and Ethereum, NEAR created the Rainbow Bridge. It is now the home base for two popular NFT platforms. Paras launched on NEAR in December 2020. This popular platform features NFT art card minting. Mintbase, a leading platform that began on Ethereum, relaunched on NEAR in late May.


Beyond Ethereum

Crypto artists are also exploring life beyond Ethereum. The Clean-NFTs Developer Community offers a handy spreadsheet of NFT platforms, identifying POS and POW chains, and adding energy-related notes. The list is a reminder that artists now have a variety of POS chains from which to choose. One crypto art crowd favorite is the Tezos chain whose NFT platforms include Hic et Nunc and Kalamint.


Hic et Nunc, in particular, has seen a powerful wave of crypto artist involvement. Claire L. Evans, writing for Rest of World, describes it as “Brazil’s DIY, eco-friendly NFT art marketplace.” She also characterizes it as a “scrappy, community-driven marketplace peopled with misfits, experimental creators, and established artists seeking a break from the big leagues.”

Judging by a variety of glowing recommendations on Twitter by such crypto artists as Tim Riopelle, Hic et Nunc has become a crowd favorite for its combination of an environmentally sustainable POS blockchain, low transaction fees and a strong community vibe. Jason Bailey, writing on his Artnome site, says he sees a “lot of the unbridled experimentation that was present in the early Rare Pepe Wallet days re-emerging in Hic et Nunc.”


Ongoing Efforts

These highlights from the responses of crypto artists to environmental concerns about NFT energy use reveal that artists continue to be actively involved in seeking solutions. From funding carbon offsets and technical solutions, to exploring currently available eco-friendly options, crypto artists are taking a creative array of paths forward. 

Despite the often inaccurate attacks on crypto artists and the continuing misrepresentation of NFT energy use by both mainstream and crypto media, many artists have chosen to address the actual issues in a positive manner. Though these actions are unlikely to satisfy all opponents of the existence of NFTs, they should certainly go a long way in establishing the legitimacy of NFTs and crypto art to thoughtful critics.

Featured Image Credit: NFT Tree by AnonymousNobody.eth 

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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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Sotheby’s, is one of the world’s oldest and most trusted auction houses for art. Established in 1744, the Sotheby brand has a long standing reputation within the physical art world, and are now turning their attention to the rapidly growing digital art scene. For many in the crypto art world of non-fungible tokens, there is a mixed sense that these large legacy art establishments are at odds with the new NFT renaissance.  The technology that underpins non-fungible tokens, removes the need for trusted third parties, like auction houses to facilitate the sale of digital art.

With Christie’s recent Cryptopunk NFT auction going for over $16.9 million dollars and Beeple’s $69 million auction Sotheby’s is throwing their hat into the digital NFT ring, despite the criticisms that crypto twitter has lobbied at Christies and how they handled the latest NFT auction.

Sotheby’s is attempting to bridge the gap between the old world and the new one, in a way that is inclusive of the NFT community.


How NFT artists can participate

From now until May 20th 2021 at 12:00 pm ET they are accepting nominations from the community for inclusion into the Natively Digital Online Auction.  This curated NFT sale will take place from June 3-10 2021 as an online auction.


The official twitter post and rules can be seen here below.

The collection of artists already being showcased includes some of the earliest NFTs that predate even the Ethereum blockchain, alongside newer works that demonstrate the more advanced technical innovations enabled by NFTs.

Robert Alice, a London based artist and trailblazer in the crypto art and NFT space is co-curating this collection along with other partners spanning the art and technology ecosystem.

Sotheby's Natively Digital: To the Young Artists of Cyberspace by Robert Alice x Alethea AI
To the Young Artists of Cyberspace by Robert Alice x Alethea AI


Some notable partners in this collection include the non profit Sevens Foundation, which is dedicated to elevating artists. 

The Mint Foundation, which helps international creators mint their first digital art NFTs and has already had over 33 Ether donated to provide gas fees for artists. 

The Regen Network that is working to align economics with ecology, to reverse climate change.


Who are the artist? 

The lots will include Larva Labs Cryptopunk 7523, works from Kevin Mccoy, Rhea Myers, Art blocks, Pak, Robert Alice, Ryoji Ikeda, Simon Denny, Anna Ridler, Mario Kingemann, LaJune McMillan, Sarah Zucker, Lethabo Huma, Serwah Attafuah, FVCKRENDER, Oseanworld, Xcopy, Mad Dog Jones, Ikaro Cavalcante, Brendan Dawes, Casey Reas, Sara Ludy, Addie Wagenknecht, Terrao, Matt Kane, Don Diablo and several others to be announced soon. 

If you are reading this before May 20th 2021, then you too, could possibly be included.

Be sure to check out the official rules posted on Twitter that are embedded at the top of this article.

Looking to the Future

Needless to say there are some very well known names and prolific creators taking part in this Digital Native NFT Sotheby’s collection. It will be exciting to see who else from the community gets nominated to join, as there is already a flurry of  interesting names being mentioned all over Twitter.

Taking into account the current volatility of the crypto markets, time will tell how well Sotheby’s will execute this online auction in terms of total sales. The real aspect to watch is, how well the old art establishment can build this new digital bridge into the NFT and crypto art world. Soethebys will be sure to draw mainstream media attention and lend additional credibility to digital art and NFTs in general, for the physical art collector community. 

Sotheby’s CEO, Charles Stewart was asked about the future of the art market and non-fungible token technology stating “This potentially has implications for physical art as well as digital art.”  Many in the NFT and blockchain community have been saying this for years now, and it must feel like validation for the pioneers who have been blazing the non-fungible trail. 

Sotheby’s NFT auction, will inevitably lead to further mainstream adoption and growth for this rapidly evolving and promising technology. 

Sotheby's Natively Digital : Shift by Fvckrender
Shift by Fvckrender

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