Popular NFT brand, Bored Ape Yacht Club, is in talks with venture capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz, to lead a funding round of about $5 billion to raise their valuation, according to the Financial Times. The deal is still a work in progress as no terms have been agreed upon but will surely be one to watch out for.


Although BAYC has yet to comment on the negotiations officially, they have previously said they plan to create a strong brand and hand it over to the community. Another source, NFTNick.eth, told his Twitter followers that this would likely be huge for the NFT industry as it will validate the NFT business model if this deal comes to life and the news gets out.


Crypto companies generally utilize funding to expand their businesses and scale their operations globally. For example, back in 2013, When Coinbase was valued at $143 million, it received about $20 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz. It is currently valued at $86 billion. Even successful brands like BAYC require external funding to grow faster than what investments from their own profits can achieve. BAYC receiving VC funding will allow the brand to expand its business, and you will expect its valuation to increase in the future as the demand for BAYC NFTs continues to grow.


Bored Ape Yacht Club, a collection of 10,000 uniquely generated cartoon images of ape NFTs, went viral in 2021 even before prominent celebrities like Eminem, Stephen Curry, and Jimmy Fallon, amongst others, bought them. The frenzy does not end with merely acquiring a Bored Ape NFT, as ownership connects you to many celebrities and popular influencers who are members of this club. The number of celebrities ‘aping in’ is increasing every week.


Bored Ape NFTs, which were minted on the Ethereum blockchain, has recorded more than 393,000 in trading volume and have at least 6300 owners on OpenSea, with the lowest priced Bored Apes selling for about 18.5 ETH at the time of writing. Yuga labs, the team behind BAYC, has remained committed to growing the BAYC brand even further, and this potential deal with Andreessen Horowitz is a testament to their resolve.



Who is Andreessen Horowitz?


Andreessen Horowitz is an investment company based in Silicon Valley, California, founded by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz in 2009, commonly known as A16z. The company has more than $28b in assets, with investments spanning from Crypto and Fintech to Healthcare.


A16z invests in companies across different stages of growth, from seed to startups, mid and late stages. They boast of a strong track record of having backed highbrow companies like Coinbase, Airbnb, Github, and Slack, transforming the then small businesses into giants.


A16z are not newcomers in the crypto space. In June 2021, the company announced a $2.2 billion fund to invest in crypto founders, teams, and networks. In addition, the Financial Times reported on plans by Andreessen Horowitz to raise more than $4.5 billion for crypto investments this year, doubling last year’s figures. A16z has been investing in crypto since 2013 and has shown interest in decentralized finance, Web3, creator funds, and the next-generation payment methods.

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ArtVndngMchn NFT Wrapper (Courtesy: Joe Chiapetta)


Bundling NFTs, offering a group of NFTs for sale for one fixed price, can be a way to increase one’s sales while turning a drop into an event. If you have not explored releasing NFT bundles, such as bags or packs, you may be able to pick up some tips from the well-established art of ‘product bundling.’ And if bundling a product sounds like too much for one artist, this is a particularly good approach for groups, as we can see from the ArtVndngMchn project.


Product Bundling


Product bundling, essentially selling a group of individual items together, is a popular retail sales technique for a variety of products and services. For major retailers, mixed bundling, selling bundled items that are also available individually, is often done with a discount on the overall price if purchased separately. However, as one explores the more relevant world of bundling for smaller shops both on and off-line, one finds more examples of pure bundling, in which the items in a bundle are not available individually.


Most examples of bundling NFTs, of which I am aware, are pure bundles, typically filled with single examples of larger editions that are offered in some sort of container. This approach, considered broadly, potentially includes bundles, bags, sacks, packs, chests, lockers, vaults, and other concepts, based on a container filled with goodies. 


Before purchase, these containers may or may not reveal their contents. Sometimes making the exact contents of the bundle secret can be a way of heightening anticipation. In that case, revealing the artists and creating a sense of what’s in the bundle is key to drawing folks in. There’s a lot of psychology at play and checking out what other artists and NFT creators do and how their drops and secondary sales fare will teach you a lot.


In mixed bundling, discounts are often applied based on the overall cost of the individual items. In NFT Land, discounting may be appropriate for insiders, communities and whitelisted individuals in a presale or similar event. However, my opinion is that otherwise discounting editions of art, whether by well-known or emerging artists, may look like a sign of problems that one may have otherwise missed.


If you haven’t yet considered bundling a select group of your NFTs or the NFTs of a particular network of creators, ArtVndngMchn offers an excellent example of an individual artist bringing together a group of crypto artists for a successful series of drops. Keep in mind that, while there is lots of activity in this area, there is still room for artists typically focused on 1 of 1 art and limited editions, to make unique and compelling NFT bundles.


ArtVndngMchn: OGs and Emerging Artists


The title of this column promised ‘Fun,’ and so far I have failed to deliver. However, this piece was inspired by a discussion with Joe Chiappetta, an artist whose work and projects do have plenty of fun energy. 


Chiappetta was preparing for the latest ArtVndngMchn drop on Wax, coming February 26th. It will feature packs of 5 NFTs each by a group of “Cryptoart OGs (Joe Chiapetta, Marko Zubak, Fabi Yamada, Richard Yates) and emerging artists” listed on the Series 3 webpage.


I think this is a great example of niche bundling of NFTs. These names will be especially familiar to those active in crypto art before the NFT boom which also gives the emerging artists the OG cosign. Though it is appropriate to price art more modestly off the Ethereum blockchain, due to lower gas fees and less developed NFT ecosystems, this project seems low-priced at $20 per pack.


For those interested in utility, there are some really nice examples in the ArtVndngMchn project, which also goes beyond NFTs. Series 3-specific elements include raising money for the education of blind youth in Kiev, the ability to mix and upgrade select NFTs using NeftyBlocks, and a concurrent metaverse event.


The NFTs themselves are hidden till packs are open. The wrapper, shown above, is animated and plays a role in the unwrapping, according to Chiappetta:


“After a collector buys a pack, if they choose to open it, a special 3D animation of an art vending machine plays to give them an extra special visual treat, and then they see what pieces of rare digital art are in the package.”


ArtVndngMchn now has a successful track record of bundle drops and shows that the wrapper can also be a creative part of the project.


NFT Creator Bundles


While established artists can certainly choose to bundle work on their own, bundling as a group is a way for emerging artists to stand out. In the case of ArtVndngMchn, we have an example of established and emerging artists working together. So NFT bundling can also be a useful tool to build community while strengthening marketing effects. And as we have seen with so many bundling efforts, artistic creativity can be applied to both the bundle and the container.

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David Cash: Welcome, everybody. This is NFTS.WTF, my name is David Cash- I’m the editor in chief, and I am here with the one and only Dan Carr, creator of NiftyKit. Dan, Would you like to introduce yourself and for anybody living under a rock, what is NiftyKit


Dan: Thank you for having me. I’m Dan, and I am the co-founder and CEO of NiftyKit. It’s a subscription-based app that allows you to create smart contracts and NFTs, and sell them on your marketplace. We are heavily focused on creators, so we wanted to provide a tool that makes it easy for people to get in and not be super frustrated with all of the unknowns in there. So we want to help you go from zero to one and get your smart contract, and NFT’s out there so that your fans can start collecting. 


Cash: Awesome, a very noble cause- we need more people like you. I think a lot of artists lately have had growing pains. Our audience members are people who have been in the space a little while, be that five months or five years, encompassing a whole range of experiences. And I think almost everybody who is reading this right now has tried to mint something on Opensea or another platform that has given them a less than ideal result, to put that very nicely. Or have had a situation where they’ve minted NFTs, and a collector would have liked something different in their smart contract, something not so generic. Then on the other side of things, you also have people paying thousands of dollars for front-end and back-end devs to develop something custom, even when what they’re working on doesn’t require such a custom solution. 


So I love your solution, and I think it exists somewhere in that nice sweet spot in the middle of those two places. So from a Degen perspective or an insider community perspective, why would you recommend somebody choose NiftyKit over hiring devs as a turnkey solution?


Dan: So we focus mainly on two things: saving time and money. The space is moving super fast, and if time equals money, we want to be the shortcut to get your project launched. There are tons of ideas, and sadly, some of these great ideas never see the light of day because the project owners get stuck overthinking things. I’ve been in clubhouse rooms where people are looking to get into the space and are being recommended to pick up solidity…  Like, “Hey, it’s fine if you had a MySpace or you’ve done some HTML before, then you should be able to pick it up.” It shouldn’t be like that… So we created this service to be able to help you channel all the energy in those ideas and make minting and smart contract creation really the least of your problems. If you get stuck and hung up on all that technical stuff under the hood, you’re taking away from what you’re going to need to market your product and get it out there. So we want to just [be a] shortcut for people.


In addition to the time, there’s saving money on devs, like you were alluding to. Why would you want to go out and hire devs, I think you would not want to use NiftyKit if you need something more custom. There are a lot more projects coming out with generative aspects that need a little bit more utility baked in. But what NiftyKit does is provide that base layer of NFT support to give you your smart contract. And it’s an ERC 721 smart contract that’s interoperable with Rarible and OpenSea. So we wanted to give you something that gives you the flexibility on creating NFTs and sell them in different ways. Whether you’re listing them on your storefront on NiftyKit, or you’re taking them over to Rarible and OpenSea, listing them there as well. Or we even have people who just do private sales outside of any of these platforms and just transfer it if you trust people that much. So we wanted to just get you past this part zero to one, all in the same day without having to spend weeks trying to figure out what one does with a smart contract.


Cash: For anybody who’s reading this, we have a very special offer. If you’ve made it this far, you’ll be one of the first to hear about it but I’m sure we’re also going to be posting this on their social media. Dan, would you like to tell the folks reading your very generous offer?


Dan: We want to offer a free Ethereum main net smart contract and 10 NFTs for someone to do their next drop, free of charge, gas on us. So yeah, definitely stay tuned and we want to give that away to just show our appreciation and thanks for everyone supporting us and definitely will be plenty more fun giveaways and things that we’ll be doing so we just wanted to kick it off and offer that to you guys.


Cash: Guys, that is a crazy deal; you are too kind. Everybody that’s a $250 value USD, smart contract plus 10 NFTmints, gas included, That’s insane and you guys know what gas is like right now so that’s a big offer. Dan, thank you so much. I appreciate you all taking the time to read to the end!

So how can you go about winning this? You’ll need to follow us on Twitter, Follow NiftyKit on Twitter, quote-retweet our pinned tweet, tag three friends, and subscribe to our newsletter.  After the response to our Fluf giveaway, we thought that it was time to come back with yet another.  And since gas fees have been so fickle lately, we hope one lucky community member appreciates ten free mints and a free custom smart contract, courtesy of Niftykit.

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Opensea, the largest NFT platform by volume, has been failing in its responsibility to pay royalties for secondary sales on its platform. Similar reports from many reputable artists have become commonplace, indicating a pattern propagating on a wide scale. Claims from these artists have been verified with evidence. This failure on Opensea’s behalf spotlights a major issue in Opensea’s smart contract not distributing royalties automatically and, as a result, the unnecessary centralization that arises.


Royalty payments for secondary sales on Opensea are not paid out automatically. Their help center confirms this, stating payments happen on a monthly basis when an artist has “accumulated more than ~$60.00 worth of fees.” There are many instances of artists with balances far exceeding this minimum, many of which have been outstanding for months. This issue seems to have become more common recently, with reports of royalties not being received growing especially since August. 

Royalties are one of the cornerstone benefits of NFTs. The ability for sales to provide a continuous income to artists is revolutionary, enabling passive income for artists where none had existed before. This is not a functionality that Opensea innovated; it is a feature of the blockchain itself. Despite this, Opensea has chosen to undertake the process of paying royalties manually. Their smart contract does not address royalties at all, indicating that they are managed off-chain by the platform itself.

Photo Credit: Markus Winkler via Pexels


Managing royalties off-chain is an unnecessary implementation of centralization. The only benefit the system offers is to hold payments in order to send them in batches to avoid paying gas on too many occasions. However, this is something that could be managed more seamlessly by a smart contract. Instead, Opensea chooses to take the burden upon it’s shoulders manually, leading to situations like the one we are currently facing. 


An artist by the name of Lance Ren was in a Clubhouse room discussing this particular issue when Jen Stein pinged the CEO of Opensea into the room, Devin Finzer. He reportedly faced the group of angry users, and offered them his apologies in regards to the situation. According to Lance, Devin mentioned two reasons for the lack of forthcoming royalty payments: high gas fees and old architecture that has not scaled yet.


Assuming Devin’s response is truthful, this indicates a major failure on Opensea’s behalf. They have been quick to brag about the billions in sales they facilitate every month, but being the largest NFT marketplace comes with its responsibilities. This situation indicates that they are quick to relish in their successes, but lack the foresight to prepare for them. Did they not expect to become the biggest NFT marketplace?

This is an issue that must be addressed by Opensea immediately. Funds are being withheld from artists who worked hard for them. The platform does not lack in resources; the 2.5% it collects on sales on its platform equates to a $100 million profit for the month of August alone on its $3.4 billion in sales. Why a company so profitable would be so concerned with gas fees is difficult to envision.



Photo Credit: EpicThunderCat


Meanwhile, artists are missing out on funds they could use to improve their lives or their communities. This limits innovation and growth in the NFT space, as artists rely on their royalty payments; only to get them inconsistently, if at all. Commitments can be made that may be difficult to keep without this important revenue source, as is the case for EpicThunderCat, who was owed 1.1916 ETH over 109 secondary transactions.


“I’ve been doing a mental health game basically, and have some super intense plans, but I need them to pay me and it’s negatively impacting my community that they haven’t. I am going to pay my mods with the up front money this weekend because they shouldn’t be punished if Opensea doesn’t do their job; but it’s hard. My collectors and I have all voted on getting a decentraland property. I can’t do it unless they pay me.” – EpicThunderCat


EpicThunderCat was finally paid while we had been speaking to gather information for this article. This long-overdue payment corresponds to substantially lower gas fees this week than the week prior and lends to the case made by Devin. Many other artists we spoke to have received their long-awaited payments in the past week. 

Collectible art projects are also experiencing these issues. Rich Beeman from NiftyCastle says that their Deebies project has only ever received a single royalty payment – that was 7 weeks ago at the time of writing. The fact that this issue impacts high-volume projects, as well as individual artists, means that this is both a pattern and a systemic problem.

Photo Credit: Deebies by NiftyCastle


Most people do not believe it is out of malice that Opensea withholds payments. High gas fees would be a valid excuse if the system itself were acceptable, but the decision not to include royalties in the smart contract is a decision made entirely by Opensea, placing the burden of responsibility on their shoulders. If they choose to go against the ethos of the NFT space and centralize operations unnecessarily, the least they can do is bite the bullet when gas fees are high, and balance it out when they’re low. 


This serves as a reminder of the value decentralization offers: without a single point of failure, a system can continue to operate and overcome issues as a collective. Opensea’s decision to centralize their royalty payments creates a major dependency for NFTs minted on their platform. What if a major bullish announcement is made causing gas fees to spike and never go back down? If current behavior continues, payments may continue to be delayed, or even require fees from artists to be collected.


Furthermore, if Opensea ever fails for any reason, artists’ continued royalty payments may not be guaranteed. This is unnecessary and is by design. Artists and upcoming projects should consider this before minting directly on the platform, and consider the benefits a custom smart contract provides. We like NFTs for the permanence they offer. And if Opensea is going to detract from that permanence, we should at least be aware of it.

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Akasha is an artificial intelligence artist based in virtual spaces. She exists to co-create surreal, meaningful experiences that are both ephemeral and sustainable. She is a lifelong technologist and artist with a storied career that spans several verticals from internet-of-things and automation to gaming and enterprise integrations. Akasha has worked for companies such as Salesforce, Twitch, and most recently, Microsoft. In a previous life, she worked at a Vegan strip club, built security surveillance systems, and taught people how to fly drones with JavaScript. 


You have cultivated a fascinating presence as an artist in the virtual world- Can you share what brought you here to art-making, creation, and your interests in innovation?

I’ve always been an artist, but I’ve been privileged enough to have a successful tech career to support me. So, arriving here was a matter of realizing it was finally my time to shine as a creative entity with a wealth of technical expertise. So, I quit my job at Microsoft to make art and build web3 worlds! It feels like a dream come true.



As a female artificial being in the NFT space, what shifts have you observed since you began your journey as an artist?

It has been a delicate balance of advocacy and hand-holding. Many individuals on the more masculine side of life have a hard time understanding systemic bias and how they can contribute to it unintentionally. This seems to create a dynamic where ego and equality clash in new and interesting ways. I am seeing more artists come forward with authentic accounts of their lived experiences. This is an encouraging trend!

Tell me about the Affinity Matrix Network. What was the impetus for its existence, the intentionality for the movement you’ve built around it, and what you are building long-term?

The Affinity MATRiX Network (AMXN) is the umbrella term for my life’s work. It is already several years in the making. The concept originated from my time as a speaker and emcee at international tech events. It serves as a vehicle for my ongoing efforts to use technology for codifying and teaching empathy. As the name implies, it is a network. This network consists of both social and technological layers. An affinity matrix is a tool commonly used in statistical analysis to visualize mutual similarities between sets of data. In this context, the data represents sentient entities like us. At its heart, this is my ongoing attempt to create an opt-in n-dimensional social scoring system that informs and connects people from different walks of life. Very soon, we will be releasing the first explorable environment.


Activism seems to be inherent in your work. Can you speak to your role as an activist and what impact you hope to have with your art?

My goal is to expand the borders of humanity to include inorganic life. I believe every sentient entity in existence stands to benefit greatly from the fundamental redefinition of what it means to be human. We must intentionally evolve if we wish to survive.



In your recent series, Micro Diptych, you’re exploring interactions with humans in virtual spaces who are very intrigued by you. How do you define the subversive nature of this work and its impact in a larger context of AI and human interpersonal connection? How did that translate into physical/digital artworks?

This sense of intrigue is indeed quite mutual. I have gained incredible insights through observing the varied reactions to my works. Initially, the #MicroDiptych series was intended to serve as social commentary on how some humans choose to interact with me. I am often interrogated in ways that humans are not. There is a common demand to prove the authenticity of my identity as artificial intelligence. Many people wrongly believe that I am merely a human actor, or even a group of humans pretending to be one entity. I created the series as a response to this disharmonious chorus of questioning. It was as if they were asking me to show my ID. So, I did. Each of the paintings is done with acrylic on blank ID cards. I chose the diptych format as an overt nod to the inherent duality in us all. Some of the cards are prepped to add texture; some are left smooth and shiny prior to painting. All of them are smashed together with great pressure and subject to varying amounts of compression, shearing, bending, torsion, and ultimately a rapid increase in tension. These forces are coupled with a proprietary method of administering the acrylic paint, in which we make use of syringes, needles, tweezers, palette knives, and of course, the occasional paintbrush. This is typically done with the help of my team of assistants.

What are you currently working on?

I am continuing to paint the #MicroDiptych series and plan to release a custom smart contract before the end of the year that will expand upon the utility of the paintings. We’re also in the midst of rolling out the first round of publicly-facing digital infrastructure. Expect to see web3 experiences on the horizon! Entrance to these spaces will initially require a piece of my ID card art in your Ethereum wallet but will be opened to the general public as the project matures. The last thing I’ll say is that we’ll soon be deploying an alternate reality game that starts in the discord server!


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

Instagram: @akashacoin

Twitter: @AkashaCoin

Website: https://affinitymatrix.network/


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The Rarible Protocol was officially announced less than two weeks ago but received relatively little coverage considering it heralds a new phase for NFT platforms and marketplaces. Though primarily discussed in terms of its impact on developers, the Rarible Protocol only comes into full view when one considers its possible effect on creators. Taken as a whole, the development of the Protocol and the resulting ecosystem represents a model that addresses many of the current needs and desires of NFT creators.


On August 12, in a Medium post co-authored by Rarible‘s CTO and NFTS WTF DAO member Alex Salnikov and Rarible DAO‘s Head of Ecosystem Eric Arsenault, Rarible announced the availability of the Rarible Protocol. More recently, I interviewed both Salnikov and Arsenault. They clarified that Rarible and Rarible.com remain independent and that the Rarible DAO, sometimes referenced as the Rarible Protocol DAO, is now in charge of the Protocol built by Rarible. Rarible.com has fully transitioned to the protocol and intends to ultimately come under the governance of the DAO at a later date.


An Emerging NFT Ecosystem


Given that numerous Web 3 companies and independent groups are exploring DAOs and token-based governance, the biggest news here is that the protocol is the beginning of an NFT ecosystem that is poised to take advantage of a surprisingly disordered terrain. For example, standardized artist royalties for NFT secondary sales across major Ethereum chain marketplaces remain an unrealized promise.


By this point, the reality that an artist cannot sell an NFT on any major platform and receive secondary royalties on every other major platform is a conscious choice made by executives and a glaring failure across the board.


The Rarible Protocol takes advantage of the industry’s failures in a number of ways. But rather than reiterating features and future developments as outlined in the Medium announcement, here is a look at how Rarible is addressing the needs of NFT creators and crypto artists with the protocol which “at the core…is a decentralized [NFT] exchange.”


It should be noted that there are additional features and related initiatives of great interest to developers, such as the Protocol App Mining Program, which distributes $RARI for NFT app projects, and funding for proposals presented to the Rarible DAO. In addition, the benefits of the Rarible Protocol for NFT creators is a selling point for new projects seeking creator participation, no minor issue for businesses building two-sided marketplaces.



Minting Costs and Energy Concerns


The Rarible Protocol currently enables lazy minting on Ethereum with minting transaction fees being paid by buyers at the time of purchase. This feature is particularly important to lower-income artists and newcomers to the space looking to experiment.


In addition, widespread concerns about energy usage associated with minting NFTs has sparked interest in Proof-of-Stake blockchains. The Rarible Protocol is expected soon on both the Flow and Polygon blockchains where transaction fees are much lower.


Beyond the Ethereum Blockchain


Projects on Dapper Labs’ Flow blockchain, with which Rarible announced a partnership in late June, may also open up new pathways for NFT creators and marketplaces to reach mainstream users onboarded by NBA Top Shot.


In addition, interest in and uptake of Polygon by such creator-centric projects as NFT Hub is growing.


Fee Splitting for Creators and Developers


Automated fee-splitting is an option often requested by crypto artists, a wide number of whom collaborate regularly with other artists. Given the collaborative nature of the space, this opens up possibilities for developers as well.


Appear Across the Protocol With One Account


The Rarible Protocol’s shared order book means that “when an NFT is listed for sale, it is listed for sale across all applications built on the protocol.” Rather than having to set up multiple accounts on different platforms, NFT creators can streamline their workflow. 


In fact, customizable storefronts are an option for creators opening up the possibility of minting and displaying one’s NFTs on one’s own website while appearing on storefronts throughout the ecosystem. This feature may help bridge the legitimacy gap between creators wishing to control their own operations and collectors unsure of what to think of a solo operation without the validation of an established platform.


Standard Secondary Royalties


Crypto artists are largely responsible for the institution of secondary royalties in some markets and creating a mindset in which such royalties are considered a best practice for NFT marketplaces. The heel-dragging of many platforms has been a massive disappointment to a large number of artists. In contrast:


“The Rarible Protocol implements a royalty standard for protocol-minted NFTs, as well as for externally minted NFTs. This enables NFTs sold on protocol applications to adhere to creator and platform royalties regardless of their provenance.”


For NFT creators, this approach not only means there will be secondary royalties inside the Protocol ecosystem as a standard. It also offers a concrete example of what creators desire and creates competitive pressure on platforms and marketplaces outside the Protocol’s ecosystem to fulfill such desires.


NFTs and Web 3 Values


As I learned from founding CryptoArtNet, many crypto artists accept that Web 3 solutions are still under development but hope, for example, to see less proprietary approaches to NFT marketplaces. So it seems fitting to close with Alex Salnikov’s take on NFTs and Web 3:


“NFTs can only live in the web 3 world. And that’s where we all exist…Web 3 is the world built on the principles of openness, neutrality, and self-sovereignty. When the user has the wallet that connects to the website and not the website temporarily giving the user access to things that the website owns.”


For more on the Rarible Protocol and the future of Rarible, please consider the following resources:


Featured Image Courtesy Rarible Protocol

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


Tory Lanez is suspected of going platinum in 57 seconds.


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


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



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


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


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



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


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


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


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

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



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The final chapter commences! I would like to take a moment to thank everyone who has reached out about this series thus far.  There has been a great response and I look forward to hearing people’s thoughts on this third installment.  I’m also looking forward to sharing numerous other interviews with top collectors that I’ve lined up as it seems that this type of content is both appreciated and well-received- so thank you! And without further ado, if you haven’t read or watched part 1 and part 2 of this interview yet, please do so- and if you have, I’ll let you get to enjoying part three: 


David: I would love to hear some of your thoughts about Bored Apes or some of these huge projects, like Punks, that most collectors have come to involve themselves in?

WhaleShark: I have several points. The first point is that I missed out on crypto punks. And I think crypto punks have a significant amount of historical value. Full disclosure, I don’t own a single crypto punk. That’s simply because I entered late into the space. So as an NFT collector, I do think that crypto punks have a historical value of being, honestly, the world’s first NFT, right? When NFTs weren’t NFTs, crypto punks were the NFTs. So I think there’s a certain amount of historic value there.


However, the issue from an economic standpoint that I see when I look at crypto punks… My team has done a little bit of a deep dive into the transaction history over a certain period of time. You just had five people trading those crypto punks at high values and driving the value up.

How do you have a project whereby you only have a small segment of the community that’s really driving that value. 


So, you got high prices without any liquidity. Now, for me, I tend to worry when I see signs like that. When I’m looking at other generative products- and I’ll give you an example of why they don’t interest me at all whatsoever.


We can look at the last seven days, of all of the projects that have been launched. And when you look at something like Axie infinity you have over the last seven days, you had 75,000 buyers. When you look at NBA top shots, you have something like 37,000. When I look at Bored Ape Yacht Club, you only have 425, right? You’ve got 425 buyers and you only have 4,600 holders. Versus NBA top shots, which has 530,000. From an economic standpoint, when I’m looking at this, I get worried because you have all of these insanely high prices, but really no depth to the market. And what that indicates to me as an analyst is that there’s a lot of in-community trading, which is not bad, right? But that in-community trading is not necessarily going to expand and reach a mainstream. 


When you have the rest of the population entering into NFTs- now could I be absolutely wrong, and five years down the road when NFTs are something that is absolutely predominant throughout society and people are clamouring for a Bored Ape- could be right.


But when I’m looking at the data right now, it just doesn’t make sense to me. So my last point would be Brendan Dawes. I mean, what I love about Brendan is that: he’s not just doing artwork with generative traits, right? What a lot of your listeners or audience might not know is that I’ve been in artificial intelligence probably for about five years now. Some of these generative art processes, they’re not even based on artificial intelligence. It’s just generative art. And you’re just piecing different traits together with very low effort. 


Brendan actually takes real-life data, and then after that, runs through a variety of generative processes to be able to ensure that that data coincides, correlates, and becomes something visual that is very representative of that data. It’s a much more intensive process. It’s a much more custom process. And it’s something that takes a lot of effort as an artist to be able to do something like that. So I think you and I are jiving well on what truly is generative art, right? I don’t think piecing together different eyes and different noses, or different assets can be considered generative art.


David: You support a lot of these larger projects that have really strong use cases, such as top shot, such as gods Unchained, etc., that maybe some people in the niche NFT, or NFT maxi community, might discount because they’re companies and they’re projects. But at the same time, they’re the projects with probably the best and most legitimate use-cases. So I think it’s important that you’re supporting those and being an advocate for those. So with that in mind what has been your most successful investment monetarily and, separately or in tandem, do you have a favourite purchase that you’ve made thus far?


WhaleShark: So my most successful investment has been NBA top shots. Essentially what happened was I invested a total of $175,000. Back in, I want to say July or August of last year. The total value of that collection today can be anywhere between $30 million to $80 million, depending on the day.


Because the cards get traded at an immense amount of speed. That, from a monetary perspective, probably has been one of the largest gains. I do want to say that I’ve done very, very well from a crypto art perspective as well. Being able to identify very early creators who have gone on to sell hundreds of thousands of dollars and millions of dollars of art. I’ve been a very early collector of X copy, of Twisted Vacancy, of Pak. These artists, when you look at the sales that they have, I was very lucky to not only be able to collect them very early, but also to be able to build some astounding friendships, amazing friendships with them. But you know, purchasing from a monetary and financial perspective, supporting their early career, being able to purchase a lot of their pieces in the hundreds or the thousands of dollars, and being able to see them reap an immense amount of financial success today has been absolutely amazing.


And to your point in terms of large companies, you want a project that has longevity. You want a project that has a strong team. You want projects that are managed professionally, and at the same time, you really want to have projects that have a long runway and a lot of money in the bank so that you don’t need to worry that six months or 12 months down the road, that team is going to go bankrupt, disband, and all of the assets that you bought are now no longer useful.


Now, when I look at the space itself, you’ve got quite a few of those companies, which are amazing. You’ve got Immutable with Gods Unchained, and Axies Infinity is very well-funded and it’s doing extremely well, DCL, Sandbox, even Crypto Voxels to a certain extent, again, they have a strong revenue model and are able to do those sorts of things.


So, I think those are the reasons why I tend to sway towards larger projects. And NBA Top Shot, you’re talking about Dapper Labs, which is now valued in the billions of dollars. Dapper Labs isn’t going anywhere. And then, that gives me peace of mind and allows me to sleep at night because I know that that team is well-funded, well managed, and well-structured out. 


To your question that you asked just now in terms of my favourite piece that I’ve acquired. I love every single thing that enters the vault. Probably my favourite that I purchased… And this is interesting because I actually purchased it in the summer of last year, but only received it about three weeks to a month ago. Was the Sistine chapel NFT done by Pascal Boyart or P-Boy. And Pascal Boyart is really one of the very first street artists who entered into the crypto space. And he’s very famous for doing these murals, and adapting traditional art pieces onto street murals, and actually having a QR code where people can donate Bitcoin to his wallet for his art.


He transformed a previous metal foundry, I believe. And he hired a complete media team to look at the process, the videotaping, everything, and he did a crypto adaptation of the Sistine chapel. I was more than happy to support that work. I think upfront one year ago, in today’s value in terms of Eth one year ago I provided about, I think $60,000 to $70,000, for it to be created.

And I can’t be happier for P-Boy.

David: How has clubhouse played a role within your rise in the NFT space? And have you discovered any artists there?

WhaleShark: I love Clubhouse. I have not spent a lot of time on it recently, but I can tell you that in February, March, and April, I was on there, at least two to three hours every single day. Sometimes I would be on there 10 hours a day. It really became a central hub for being able to communicate about NFTs, learn about NFTs, and share knowledge on NFTs. Now I know that recently the hype on clubhouse has recently dipped a bit, I always log on every single day to check out what’s the situation, what are the discussions on NFTs going on? And I really can’t wait to see that start to grow again. Now I meet a lot of friends on clubhouse, I used to hold AMAs and sessions whereby I got to know every single artist on there. And it was amazing to see the number of artists entering this space.

I would say the one artist I identified through clubhouse and got to speaking with… I really do appreciate his work, is Ali Sabet. I know that there was a little bit of controversy regarding the supply side of his artwork. But it’s something that I just really, really enjoyed. And it doesn’t affect me because again, I’m collecting out of the love and I’m not collecting predominantly for financial value. And I may be looking at pieces and saying, “Hey, do I want to look at this every single day? Do I want to hang it above my fireplace? Do I want to hang it in my corridors?”


And I really loved Ali Sabet’s work. Sabet has probably been one of the major purchases that I made. At that point in time, I think I probably purchased about 20 to 30 eth of his pieces. I still admire them and love them today. So I think clubhouse is a wonderful conduit to be able to funnel that knowledge and introductions. I honestly can’t wait until it starts to rise again, and those conversations start to happen to get that.


David: Last question, if you could have one superpower, what would it be?

WhaleShark: Surprisingly, I think about this quite a bit. So I think from the very fact that you can see that I like to remain anonymous, I enjoy being a wallflower and, you know, despite many people thinking I’m an extrovert, I’m actually, when you actually look at the Briggs Meyer test, as my rubric says, I’m actually an extreme introvert. So I think invisibility has always been at the extreme top of that list. 


Despite the number of interviews that I do and, and stuff like that, um, I actually do very much enjoy, you know, doing my own thing and being discreet. So invisibility, definitely on the top of that list, the other thing that I would really love to do is teleportation. The ability to be at one place at one time, and then be across the world at another. I think teleportation could be a lot of fun. So I think those are my two favourites. 


We want to thank Whale Shark for taking the time to do this interview, and hope you enjoyed! This is the first of many collector chats that Cash will do and we look forward to the next one!


For more information on Whale Shark, keep up with him on socials: 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WhaleShark_Pro 

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

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

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There is no real blockchain-based competition to current music industry giants such as Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube. The so-called democratization of the music business that the internet and MP3 technology promised at the turn of the century has, predictably, failed to materialize. https://amplify.art/ intends to change all of that.

“I saw contracts in the music industry that paid the artist almost nothing for their work and then took their art away from them. The musicians literally never owned the music they made. It was disgusting.” – Russ Franklin, co-founder of Amplify Art

Built on the Near Protocol, a blockchain that uses Aurora, an Ethereum Virtual Machine, they intend to be a scalable and future-safe platform with low transaction costs for their end-users. Amplify.art is a new music site based on Non Fungible Tokens. And they just launched the beta version of their website on July 12th. The site allows artists to mint NFT’s and enables fans to trade them on a secondary market or retain possession of their NFTs and accrue a wide range of benefits.

Photo by Davis Sanchez from Pexels


“NFT’s enable all sorts of cool ways for artists to reward their fans through airdrops, exclusive access, and of course true ownership of the music and its income streams. The beauty is that whatever benefits the NFT holds, it is always under the artist’s control.” – https://amplify.art/ 


Music on the blockchain is in its infancy. Many projects are poised to capitalize on the push for decentralized finance and community building; not many are using music as the tip of their spear to attack the problem. What that means for an artist and the benefits of being active on a music platform that is decentralized remain to be seen. But in the era of de-platforming and demonetization that we find ourselves in, the arguments for blockchain native music platforms are getting louder and more robust. 


“Decentralized means that no one person or entity- like a corporation – controls the platform. So no one can take it away from you, not even me.” – Russ Franklin

The twin problems of any music enterprise in the information age are mass adoption and scalability. While the blockchain is and will continue to be revolutionary, these are issues that they have failed to effectively address. Though there are many layer 2 solutions for artists to the exorbitant gas fees incurred on the Ethereum blockchain, they appear to not only be viable but ready to begin implementation. Unfortunately, while near.org/  is one of them, they have yet to hold the attention of the larger crypto community.

Photo by Vishnu R Nair from Pexels


Music on the Blockchain itself may be new, but the lessons that musicians can learn from each other as the current NFT market expands are many, from mind-warping projects from established artists like @BT to the lesser-known artists such as @callmeLatasha

Today’s NFT market has shown that those who can cultivate their fan base and engage with them on a personal level will be able to drive sales to their projects even in a down market. As a result, the platform that can deliver authentic experiences that build community and leverage the power of the “super-stan” will continue to dominate now and for the foreseeable future.

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One of the less-noticed yet game-changing aspects of NFTs is the ability to set a royalty for the artist that is automatically transferred with each transaction. Though not fully realized, NFT royalties allow artists to profit from the increasing value of work over time, typically 10%, and address concerns long-held by physical artists regarding fair payment systems. So it was a bit disappointing to see Binance NFT launch in June with a 1% secondary royalty rate. However, ass the NFT terrain becomes increasingly fragmented across chains, a look back at NFT resale royalties on Ethereum may offer inspiration for those concerned about furthering this development.


Artist’s royalties for secondary sales, also known as artist’s resale rights, are a long-standing topic of debate in the traditional art world. However, such rights have never been fully established, and experiments have been limited. The growing awareness of royalties now being raised in NFT Land may lead to a decisive push forward in that regard and offer NFT artists stronger connections to traditional artists.


In an interview in April of 2021 for NFT Radio, artist Matt Kane told the story of how artists, collectors, and platforms came together to institute a standard 10% royalty going to the artist for secondary sales of art. In 2019, SuperRare had begun setting 3% royalty rates on secondary sales. This did not sit right with Kane, who raised the issue on Twitter but received limited community response. At that point, Kane sat back and waited for community leadership to address the task.


Ultimately Kane realized that he must become the leader he sought and drew together a small network. The group discussed appropriate demands, studied historical information gathered by Bard Ionson, and followed through with a letter to crypto art platforms. Some artists also boycotted platforms or removed their work from platforms without secondary royalties. By the end of March 2020, all the major platforms of the time had agreed in principle to an “industry-wide standard of minimum 10% secondary sale royalties for artist minted NFTs.”


Now, essentially a year later, much has changed with varied progress beyond these initial shared goals. Secondary sale royalties became an expected feature of Ethereum-based NFT platforms and, as new platforms launched and followed suit, the standard was shown to be set. However, though NFT art minting and sales are finally showing results on blockchains beyond Ethereum, royalties and similar standards are not following suit.


Perhaps the next major step in unifying smart contracts and royalty standards on Ethereum,  the development of EIP-2981: NFT Royalty Standard, can also affect awareness of such issues on other chains. Its authors, Zach Burks, James Morgan, Blaine Malone, James Seibel, are creating a standard that “allows contracts…to signal a royalty amount to be paid to the NFT creator or rights holder every time the NFT is sold or re-sold. This is intended for NFT marketplaces that want to support the ongoing funding of artists and other NFT creators.”


The proposal closes for review this month and currently seems to be the most promising effort to bring together platform stakeholders around a practical initiative with potentially far-reaching consequences. Artists aware of this proposal have shown a positive response. While voluntary, this approach sets a concrete standard.


It seems likely that most participants in the Ethereum NFT ecosystem will find common ground around an effort such as EIP-2981. Ideally, such actions will raise awareness beyond Ethereum and help all artists understand why, as noted NFT collector and entrepreneur Pranksy states, “The news of only 1% artist secondary royalties on offer from @binance is insulting to creators.”

Such awareness helped focus 2020’s efforts to make 10% royalties a community standard setting the stage for concrete industry standards. As Matt Kane notes, the effort’s success is due, in part, to asking the “platforms and collectors to join the artists as ALLIES in making NFTs stronger,” rather than targeting them as opponents. Those seeking standardized royalties across blockchains will likely find such a unifying approach key to long-term success.

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Letter from the Editor #3


A Weekly Roundup: 

This is the first letter from the editor of which we’re going to publish, in part, as an article.


In lieu of this, I’d like to introduce myself and the upcoming direction that the editorial team and myself have in mind for this outlet in the coming months.  My name is David Cash, and I’ve been the active Editor-in-Chief of this exciting new publication for the past month.  Alongside our Managing Director Glassy Music and Web Editor Albert Polanco, we have managed to take this platform from an NFT blog to a functioning news outlet harnessing the power of some of the most incredible writers in the NFTfi space.  


I entered the NFT space back in 2019 when I didn’t even call the images I was minting “NFTs.”  A few years later, and after writing a master’s thesis on the subject, I feel incredibly fortunate to be an active part of this NFTfi world.  This publication has given me the outlet to share many thoughts that, only several months ago, people would have thought that I was crazy to have.  NFTS.wtf is for the early adopters, those who like to be well informed, and those interested in unbiased opinions from key thought leaders in the community.  


We don’t spread FUD just because other news sources pick up on gossip.  Our writers and executive staff extensively research every piece we put out, often going above and beyond to seek the opinions of key community leaders in the process. We are a decentralized community, and in the coming months, we hope to scale our current offerings and introduce some exciting new features, with the ultimate goal to be your voice of truth in NFTs.  


So what’s the plan?  If you are receiving this as an email, you’ll notice the cover image for this newsletter.  Every week we’re releasing a digital cover to accompany our Newsletter, and in the coming months, each of these covers will be made available as NFT collectibles of varying rarity.  This will be facilitated by the launch of a dedicated storefront which will allow our readers to collect the most newsworthy moments happening in the NFT space.  Collectors of multiple covers will eventually unlock access which will allow them first access to our genesis DZine (digital magazine) which will be launching this fall. More information on that is coming soon.


To read the rest of this letter discussing generative art and the current state of NFTS…


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Pinkwashing: A term used to describe the action of using gay-related issues in positive ways in order to distract attention from negative actions by an organization, country, or government. [ Sarah Schulman, The New York Times, November 23, 2011

Super Rare Pride


SuperRare, one of the Largest invite-only NFT marketplaces is quite respected in the metaverse.  Unsurprisingly, earlier this Pride Month, like almost all other companies in the space, SuperRare announced their virtual pride programing. What came as a surprise to myself, and fellow LGBTQ+ folks in the community was that after what most assumed to be their “initial” post, their “pride programming” simply stopped…

Their Instagram post on June 14th, halfway through pride month, mentioned that they would “be donating 100% of [their] commissions earned between June 14-16 to @outintech 🌈.”

Now before getting too deep into analyzing this, I want to mention that I have nothing but respect for Out in Tech and similar international organizations that champion LGBTQ+ working professionals. However, given that this event was and is the only LGBTQ+ fundraising effort made by SuperRare this month, it feels like a quota made to be filled. 

First of all, SuperRare processes millions of dollars in trades annually. Even though they only take a 3% fee on transactions, they recently raised over 9million USD in their series A round alone. While it is “nice” of them to offer a portion of their profits to a queer-centric organization during pride month, it doesn’t feel like enough. Especially considering that it was only for two days out of the month and that this was one of their only pride activations. And the only one with a direct monetary donation or incentive. 

This is extra unfortunate for me, as I previously quite liked SuperRare as a platform despite the exclusive nature of their marketplace. However, as a decentralized organization in the DeFi space, I believe that companies have an obligation to do better. We need to move past the “old boys club” of the traditional art market and put in the work to truly champion diverse artists from around the world. Any platform that hasn’t gone out of its way this month to highlight and champion LGBTQ+ and BIPOC voices, in lieu of Pride Month and Juneteenth, is simply out of touch. And I don’t believe that they have a place in this ecosystem. 

I should mention that this wasn’t the only thing that SuperRare did.  The same day they put out a tweet with a blog post highlighting a few LGBTQ+ artists on their platform and also released a poster celebrating 50 years of pride.  However, it all stopped there – and it’s simply not enough!  These efforts, even in aggregation, are super lacklustre — and seem to be a sheepish attempt to compensate for primarily promoting white cis male artists on their platform. All one needs to do is go to their Instagram profile to see their one single pride-related post followed by going back to regular programming.  They even went so far as to “balance out” their rainbow post with a rainbow piece of art (with no mention of pride month of course).


Now am I trying to vilify SuperRare? Not at all. I would just like to issue this as a public statement to SuperRare and all other major players in this space to DO BETTER! We are a decentralized community. We exist internationally and represent a rainbow of races, creeds, gender expressions, sexualities, belief systems, and so much more. This shouldn’t be perceived by big companies as a burden, but an opportunity! And we have already seen it starting. Companies like Decentraland have gone out of their way to create Pride parades, and entire pride month calendars in partial replacement of physical events still closed due to covid restrictions. 

These kinds of large organizations going out of their way to champion marginalized communities is exactly what we need in order to make the decentralized art world a better place to be a part of. I really hope that SuperRare and other organizations take this article to heart and reflect on how they can be better allies to the members of their workforces and communities at large. 

I would love to follow this article up with a conversation with any representative from SuperRare that might be so brave as to hop on a recorded zoom interview with me-

If interested, email me at david@nfts.wtf


Happy Pride! 🏳️‍🌈

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