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


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

 – Alex Alpert



About “Drawn Together” 


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


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


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


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


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


Artists’ Struggles With Mental Health


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


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

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


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


About Alex Alpert


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

  • Alex Alpert


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


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


About NAMI


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


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

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



Alex Alpert:





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Two new NFT mobile apps at different stages of development, AirWire and S!NG, are worth considering for more than their innovative approaches. Each app is designed to bring NFT creation to mainstream users via an integrated process that includes NFT marketplaces. Each app also reminds us that the flood of files that will one day be auto-minted to blockchains as a byproduct of daily life may not be the outcome we desire.


AirWire: NFT Your Life


Last week AirWire announced the launch of its NFT Camera App in beta with the slogan, “NFT Your Life.” This is a pivot for AirWire which previously focused on cryptocurrency services before having to shut down. AirWire was subsequently acquired by Alpha Sigma Capital in 2020 with the current focus emerging after a “reboot.”


One can sign up to be a beta tester on the AirWire site homepage. At that point, one will discover how far it’s gotten with the details of what is essentially a vertical integration of the NFT creation and sharing/monetization process. The plan is to enable users to take photos/video/audio, edit the creation in-camera, mint an NFT and then share and/or monetize the NFT on AirWire’s marketplace or an open platform such as OpenSea.


A particularly interesting feature, noted in the announcement, is the option of “Private, Public, and Retail albums” that allow users to control who sees their NFTs and whether or not they are available for sale. At this stage, it appears one could use the app without ever publicly sharing one’s creations or selling NFTs. While exclusive use of this option may not be a desirable outcome, it does suggest that AirWire could one day become a full-featured, NFT-enabled, mobile media sharing app.


S!NG: Document Your Creations


S!NG x Rarible: How To Sell Your NFT


S!NG launched its NFT mobile app in March with a focus on giving creators the ability to record creative ideas as NFTs and track development over time in order to document IP creation. However, one can also mint and sell NFTs on Rarible using the app. In addition, the S!NG Market will allow for the sale of NFTs for “music fans.” 


How well S!NG app NFTs will function as records in a court of law remains to be seen. Of course, a lot of issues are settled out of court because one party reveals they have evidence that would stand up well in court. The problem with all such approaches to protecting copyright by creating an NFT is that minting an NFT doesn’t actually prove one created the material being minted. However, as part of a body of evidence, such an NFT or group of NFTs could be quite useful.


That said, S!NG also has the potential to become a key vertically integrated NFT creation and distribution tool for creators with additional tools for collaboration including tracking with whom one has shared files. In June, S!NG announced a partnership with Rarible for “one-touch” NFT sales. So, in addition to documenting creation processes, S!NG could easily be imagined as an app a musician, for example, might use to create and sell NFTs that track the progression of a track from sharing ideas to completing a song to performing it live.


The NFT Flood


Both AirWire and S!NG have much potential as individual projects and suggest a much easier route into NFT creation than the current process of haphazard self-education most creators currently undergo. But both apps also help us envision a future for NFTs that leads to the same level of endless clutter enabled by Web 2. Let’s consider the implications of AirWire CEO Ken DiCross’s statement:


“It’s time to start building blockchain applications that everyone can use without the educational barrier of blockchain technology. AirWire has built a consumer playground that allows anyone who can take a picture on their phone to mint NFTs and monetize their assets.”


If one combines the concept of mobile NFT apps emphasizing ease of use without requiring blockchain knowledge with a ubiquitous mobile computer connected to a widely available global communications network then one has the basis for worldwide mainstream adoption of NFTs. 


Given that is essentially the point we are at now, what form would this mainstream adoption take?


Think about any incredibly popular site on the internet where one can freely share fun content with friends and foes alike using mobile devices.


Do your thoughts include endless piles of nonsense content and relentless exchanges of empty communication creating huge amounts of noise and making it difficult to find things you want to enjoy online?


Have you noticed NFT Land is already like that?


What happens when everybody sets the CREATE NFT button to EVERYTHING and suddenly we have all the junk we currently encounter on social sharing sites replicated by NFTs?


In lieu of a traditional conclusion, these questions should inspire your thoughts of what might happen long-term when Web 3 ideals fully meet the realities of online human behaviour. And of what you might do as an NFT creator, developer or business person when NFT Land becomes much noisier and even more crowded.

Featured Image Via Pixabay

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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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



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


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


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



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


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


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


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



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


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


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


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


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

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

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






$WHALE Discord:

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Ever wanted to visit the moon?  Well now you can with the recreation of the Apollo 11 moon landing in Decentraland for the 52nd anniversary taking place this week. And with the release of the first-ever NASA-themed wearables collection, you can walk around just like an astronaut in the metaverse, too!


In 1969, the world watched in grainy black and white as Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Louis Armstrong descended the ladder of the Apollo 11 and first stepped foot on the moon with Armstrong saying those famous words, “That’s one small step for man. One giant leap for mankind”.  

In a series of firsts on what happens to be the 52nd Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, Decentraland’s DappCraft Studios together with Banquet Labs, iconic fashion designer Nick Graham, and the Aldrin Family Foundation have teamed up to bring us the first-ever recreation of this incredible moment in history in the Decentraland metaverse.


Planting of the American Flag on the Moon in Decentraland

Photo Credits:  Astrid Pilla, July 24, 2021


Nick Graham, known for his often playful, space-inspired themes, designed the first-ever NASA-themed collection of digital wearables featuring the Apollo 11 Mission Patch exclusively for the Decentraland event.  This fun space-themed collection makes you want to run around exploring the metaverse like this guy:

Photo Credits: Matt Bond, Founder of Banquet Labs, July 24, 2021


The exclusive collection includes a Spacesuit, White AirSpace Bomber jacket, Space Legs, Space Helmet and Space Boots (Legendary editions, Series of 100), a Silver AirSpace Bomber (Mythic edition, Series of 10), and a Unique 1 of 1 edition AirSpace Gold Bomber.

Photo Credits: Matt Bond, Founder of Banquet Labs, July 24, 2021


The entire collection is available now through the Marketplace of Decentraland.  Fun fact:  the founder of the famous meme Nyan Cat scooped up the first edition of Graham’s Silver Bomber jacket (pictured above).   


Behind the creatively thought-out event was a man by the name of Matt Bond, Founder of Banquet Labs which acted as Mission Control, if you will, specializing in bringing people together in order to create iconic moments such as this one in the Metaverse.  With the incredible technical and design knowledge of DappCraft Studios, they were able to create a look and feel that was authentic and awe-inspiring.  “We wanted to make people feel like they were there on the moon”, says Bond.  Decentraland’s DappCraft Studios carefully re-created the moon setting, complete with the sun shining down upon the moon, engulfing all attendees in the vastness of space.  The Apollo 11 came down from above as we all stood on the “moon” watching, and we listened as we heard the broadcast between an astronaut and mission control, just like in 1969.  And then we watched as first Armstrong and then Aldrin came out of the shuttle and planted the American Flag on the moon’s surface.  To everyone’s delight, Graham’s wearable collection appeared from an explosion of asteroids and most attendees flew around the moon and tried to climb into the space shuttle.  Some took photo ops with the astronauts.   The goal was to give the feeling that you were actually on the moon right there experiencing the landing, and together with the space-themed music and location of the shuttle above us, they really nailed it.  

“Working with a huge entity like NASA and given the importance of the event, we really didn’t want it to feel gimmicky”, says Bond.  Mission accomplished.  It was a sophisticated and fun as well as awe-inspiring event for everyone.    DCL Curations respectfully earned the nickname of “CapCom” after the critical role he played in seamless communication with everyone on the project, just like the Capsule Communicator on a genuine space mission.


Nick Graham checking out the Apollo 11 in Decentraland. Photo Credits: Astrid Pilla, July 24, 2021

Any space-loving collectors out there will be thrilled to learn that Banquet has a few more events coming up centered around other NASA Missions, as well as other sub-based themes.   “Our goal is to bring well-known designers and creators into the Metaverse with these projects,” says Bond.  In the works also are plans to bring Decentraland-specific creators into the Fashion and Creative industries in the real world, and I’m personally here for it.  Imagine the possibilities of such a historic full-circle moment between the Metaverse and the Real World.   


A donation to the Aldrin Family Foundation non-profit will be made from the proceeds of this iconic event, supporting their mission to provide STEAM-based education tools in support of future space travelers.

In case you missed it, you can still experience the Apollo 11 event in Decentraland by clicking here.


Watch a recap of the event from DappCraft Studios:

Featured Image Credit: Matt Bond, Founder of Banquet Labs, July 24, 2021

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Sarah Richardson is a Little Rock, Arkansas-based artist and has been practicing calligraphy for over seven years. Sarah is the author of Copperplate Calligraphy from A to Z: A Step-By-Step Workbook for Mastering Elegant Pointed Pen Lettering and has taught over 200 students the copperplate style of calligraphy. She is a member of The International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers, and Teachers of Handwriting. In addition, she has studied calligraphy with Harvest Crittenden (Master Penman), Nina Tran, and Heather Held. Sarah has also has done on-site calligraphy for Goop, Tiffany and Co., and has recently been exploring the world of NFTs with her mosaics and other collaborations in digital spaces. 


How did you begin your artistic journey as a Calligrapher, and did you find you were a natural from the beginning or did it take time to discover and develop the skill for this very specific medium?


In 2014, I was working as an administrative assistant at a private wealth management firm, and in my free time after work, I’d pursue creative projects like painting or taking acting classes. One of my friends from college had started practicing calligraphy and sent me a quote he had penned in the mail. In the age of texting and Twitter, a calligraphed snail-mailed work of art was pretty novel. I expressed my interest in learning how to do calligraphy, and he sent me pens and started teaching me over the phone. At the time, I was using a broad edge pilot parallel pen and enjoyed it, but soon after, I took my first pointed pen class in person, and I knew that was it. I practiced every day. I don’t think I was a natural, but I enjoyed being able to express myself through quotes, so I kept with it. I took a few more classes and studied from books, and applied myself every day. Before I knew it, I was going to the annual calligraphy conference (It’s a thing! and writing a book on the subject. 


I would imagine Calligraphy to be a very meditative art form. Could you speak to your process and the state you step into when you are creating and writing? 


Calligraphy can be very meditative, and there’s a physical process to it as well with warming up your hand and arm and having a correct posture. If it’s a quote or I’m filming a calligraphy video, I like to work in silence or have classical music playing in the background (I know, very cheesy, but it helps!) However, if I’m working on a large envelope order for a wedding, I’ll have Schitt’s Creek or a podcast playing in the background.


Can you speak to the sacredness of your calligraphy practice, and do you feel a connection to its history, specifically your influences? 


The messiness of my desk would beg to differ about any sacredness, but I’m trying to be better about this! I do have a sort of reverence for the work of Master Penmen in the past, though. My favourite books to study are those with specimens from the late 1800s and early 1900s, sometimes referred to as the Golden Age of American penmanship. This includes The Zanerian Manual, F.W. Tamblyn’s Home Instructor in Penmanship, and editions of The Business Educator. I think they are our best instructors.


Do you find inspiration outside of calligraphy? Are there other art forms that you want to explore that you haven’t? 


I’m inspired by architecture, history, and music, but I think the thing that really lights my creative fire is human rights. I’m often told I should keep my politics out of calligraphy. Calligraphy rides that line between craft and art. I’d love to explore painting portraits. 


Coming from a very traditional background as a Calligrapher with an extensive and rich history, what are your thoughts about your work existing as an NFT on a digital platform?


I love it! Instagram helped bring calligraphy to so many people that hadn’t come across it before, and the art form experienced a kind of renaissance. With NFT technology, we have a way to mark the provenance of these images and videos and have more assurance that this art won’t be lost to history. While texting, speech to text, voice messaging, etc., is amazing and helpful in so many ways, it’s important that the written word with the human hand does not disappear. 


Could you talk about the inspiration behind your NFT mosaic works and how this project began? 


I had seen other designers create digital mosaics and decided to learn by taking a class on Skillshare from Molly Suber-Thorpe (who is also a calligrapher). Not only do I love the way they look, but I also love the tedious and meditative nature of creating them. I love that, like calligraphy, they can simply be decorative, but they also are a medium through which you could say more. When I learned about NFTs in February, I was so excited because these projects were purely digital. I think the decorative arts have a place in the NFT world and like to say that I’m designing floors for your home in the metaverse.


Are there any new projects, collaborations, or NFT drops you are currently working on? 

I am currently working on completing my alphabet “fauxsaic” collection on I first loved their site design and had heard good things about their team from a friend, so I applied. At the time I was onboarding to Bitski as an artist, I was getting nervous about being in the crypto world, and Bitski provided a kind of bridge to crypto while still getting paid in FIAT.


You’ve worked commercially with luxury companies like Goop and Tiffany & Co. while creating an artistic practice in the NFT space. Do you differentiate between the two? If so, what is the difference in your mindset? 


On the one hand, calligraphy is the stable side of my work, while the NFT side is a little riskier. I’m careful not to put all of my eggs into the NFT basket, not only because of the risks associated with cryptocurrency but also because I still just love putting pen to paper.


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



Instagram: @sarahscript 

Twitter: @sarah_script

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Who are you and what are you best known for?

My name is Richard, aka Mr. Y, I am best known as an artist, some would say I am an OG. I have been doing NFTs and Crypto art for over 2 years now.  I have been on SuperRare since the beginning. I am varied in my art, doing a lot of different things and trying out different styles.  I am not the typical artist that is stuck to one particular style, I like to hop from one idea to another as they pop into my head. I think some people know me by this. 


Are you a collector as well?

Yes, I am a collector, just not a huge collector. I like to support artists that I like if they are in my price range. It’s not like I can spend a lot of money on Crypto Art. I do like to go from project to project and consider myself a smaller collector.   


What are you currently working on? 

Currently, I just finished the first part of my Crypto Quartz project. They were 55 handmade 3D Quartz Crystals.  I am also working on a confidential project that I can’t talk about yet. I can say it is very cool and unique and will say more when I am able to. 


Crypto Quartz
Crypto Quartz


When did you first get involved with Crypto and NFTs? 


I got involved with crypto very very early, I bought my first bitcoin back in 2013 when they were like $50 or $60 dollars, but most people would call me spaghetti hands because I sold them two years later when Bitcoin hit $1,000 or $800 dollars I think. I was like haha idiots I made like $10,000 dollars look what I did.  The same thing with Ethereum, I am not a whale, but I was very early into Crypto. I used a lot of different platforms that came up like steem, I was writing articles there and stuff like that. Then in mid-2019, a friend of mine told me about this thing called SuperRare.

In my main job, I am a content creator at an online agency for more than 10 years now so I am used to being creative as a part of my daily business.  I have always wanted to create art, but I am not a physical artist like a painter. I have created a lot of things with photoshop but there was no real market for that back then. My friend showed me SuperRare, and so I applied and was accepted, it was much easier back then. 


What is your favorite NFT project to date?


That’s a very tough question, I totally love what the Bored Ape Yacht Club did. They created something that had humor, the designs are great, I feel they did a lot of things right. You can see that every time someone copies the concept. You see new 10k avatar projects popping up every day now it seems but none of them seem to be as successful as the Bored Apes, they hit the right spot for a lot of people and did a lot of things right. I think they have to be my favorite project at the moment.

I did the same thing I did with Bitcoin, I minted like 10 of them and then the price went up and I was like Yaaas and sold them too early.  I am very bad at flipping NFTs. If you see me buying something either don’t do it or hold it. The things I hold become worthless and the things that grow I sell them too early.  



Where do you see yourself in this space over the long term?


I hope people know me for the art that I am creating and for my various ideas. There are a lot of things I want to do but have to wait on some of those things because I don’t have the budget to pay developers, maybe one day I will bring those ideas out. I hope to be seen as someone who has been in this space since the beginning and to continue creating a lot of very different things versus being stuck to only one style. Someone said a few months ago that it’s always a surprise when I mint something, never knowing what it will be. 

On my SuperRare profile, my bio says “My mom always said Mr Y Art is like a box of chocolates.  You never know what you’re gonna get.” – Forrest Gump  

I hope this is something people will support and say okay, we like that.

Over the next 12 months?

I am working on my website right now and what I want to do there is to be fully transparent with the Eth that I get for my work and to show that I am supporting new artists. For example, if I sell something for 1 Eth I would like to show that .25 Eth went to supporting other artists, and here are the works that I bought. I would also like to have a portion go into a sort of bucket list of things I want to do. Another major goal or target for me is to sell a piece of art for over 10 Eth.  Those are some of the main targets for me right now because I am already doing what I love, I get to create.



What inspires you as a human?


I get creative when I am in the water, if I am swimming or standing in the shower, I can totally relax and get into my mind and focus on things.

I moved out of the city and into the countryside five years ago and I love to go outside next to my house, there are huge woods and mountains there. I love to go out in nature where it’s quiet with my kids. I feel inspired there, ideas come to me from being in places like this. We don’t have an Ocean in Austria as we are in the middle of Europe, but last week I was in Croatia living for 5 days at a beach house. I think every person has to see the ocean at least once in their lives because it’s crazy to stand there and just look out there. 


Do you have any personal passion projects or other hobbies?


Yes, I am running a small German YouTube channel for 10 years now as a lifestyle vlog. I am also just now starting another YouTube channel that I want to talk more about my art and NFTs


If you could have one superpower what would it be?


Wow, that’s a cool question, I’ve never really thought about that. I think it would be a really cool superpower to be able to do anything that I need at that moment. For example, if I could sit at a piano and think, I want to play it and I could instantly play it. Or if I wanted to do a cliff dive, I could just go up on a cliff and instantly be able to do a super fancy cliff dive. Something like infinite knowledge or to be instantaneously talented at anything I like at the moment.


How to reach Mr. Y

Website coming soon:
Twitter: @MrY_Art

DMS are open for questions and connections.

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You probably wouldn’t believe me if I told you that 70 years ago, your government rounded up homeless kids and then started using them for scientific experiments before blasting them off into space. Of course, this never happened, yet it did happen to man’s best friend. Exactly 70 years ago today, the first attempted flight to space carrying two such dogs returned them both safely back to earth, while other launches resulted in canine deaths. Nearly 100 dogs have been to space from different programs, and in 1957, Laika (nicknamed a “Muttnik” in reference to her being mixed-breed and the first spacecraft, Sputnik) became the first living being to die orbiting the earth. Laika’s involuntary act of courage is commemorated today with Cosmic Paws, a generative art collection of NFTs celebrating the illustrious history of dogs in space.

“This is all about the love of two things, art, and space,” says Mike Mongo, astronaut teacher and author of the children’s book, The Astronaut Instruction Manual. “The Muttniks led us to space. They get to be part of our future as well as our past,” Mongo emphasized. An official ambassador of ULA-supported Johnny Appleseed in Space and founder of The Humannaires Initiative, Mongo has owned and trained dogs since he was a child and loves space as a source of inspiration. “Creators are collectors,” he said. “We don’t get to generative NFTs and collectibles without comic books and trading cards,” Mongo reminded us. “I collected comic books and Garbage Pail Kids. I will always collect street art and stickers,” he said.


Cosmic Paws



The Cosmic Paws project team consists of Mongo, subtractive, TSStarfish, giovignone, and friends cryptotts (NFTs-for-good), @rogersdev, @buildestroy7, @withaerial, @PurpLeTariat, @kas__vegas, and @QuantumVariant. Inspired by Moebius and Final Space, the creative team spent a lot of time and consideration for the visual aspects, like lines in the background and color differentiation. In addition, the dog’s mouth, teeth, and ears were inspired by Laika herself. “All of who have been working on it, we’ve been working together for over a decade, and well all love each other’s work,” he said.

If randomly generated collectible NFTs were rated by their visual aesthetics alone, Cosmic Paws would certainly vie for Best in Show. Noteworthy differences that separate this project aesthetically from many of the other randomly generated NFT projects are that Muttniks aren’t 8-bit designs; they’re also female. “This is something I haven’t seen much of, which is a very female point of view,” says Kyle Schember. “I think it’s really fun. Let’s hope the art speaks for itself.” Each Muttnik will cost .06Ξ each, and none of them will be gifted or given away; this is an entirely random collection that affords anyone a fair and equal shot at something rare, even if it takes a year to sell all 10,000 of them.


Cosmic Paws


Another interesting aspect of this sales process is that each potential collector can perform a REgeneration to discover what their Muttnik will look like in advance of minting the NFT to the blockchain. Until now, collectors typically purchase randomly generated NFT collectibles sight-unseen at the point of minting, or they’re forced to patiently await the NFT reveal date. For Cosmic Paws, you can generate a different Muttnik over and over until you like something. You might generate a Muttnik you lovespin again anyway, and get a Leika you don’t like very much. “When a Muttnik is REgenerated and not claimed, there is practically zero chance that version will be seen again,” Mike Mongo emphasized. You may really like your Leika even if it doesn’t look rare, yet nobody will know if it’s rare until the entire project is revealed. This strategy can captivate collectors as they continue to calculate the supply of rare based on the scarcity of Muttnik attributes that have already been minted. Unknown possibilities present an intriguing gaming aspect for crypto art flippers to become collectible art REgenerators.

But waitwhere’s the utility? “What we do know, is how to write on the blockchain, and we figured out the random generator, which was really, really tough,” says subtractive. To reward its community and cultivate a creative arthouse of space dogs, the first 5,000 Muttnik token holders will begin a voting process to select a remix artist from the community while a “Paws in Space” selection committee of top collectors considers the next project from a list of dog space heroes. The winning community artist is announced and onboarded to use the Muttnik regeneration platform for a Laika V2 Muttnik remix. “We will onboard them to do their own collection, through our platform, then wash, rinse, and repeat again,” says subtractive. “ We can work with artists who don’t know how to do this so artists in our community can be the next in line to produce the next round,” he said. “You have full permission to print, do t-shirts, do whatever you want with it.”


Cosmic Paws

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Paris has always been at the forefront of cultural movements, so it’s no surprise that it’s become the home for “the largest annual European Ethereum event focused on technology and community.” This week, the “city of lights” is playing host to the fourth annual Ethereum Community Conference ( EthCC [4]) with a series of exciting speaker series, workshops, and networking events focused on scaling and amplifying the Ethereum network.


While Bitcoin has been in the “mainstream” since at least 2017, 2021 could very well be dubbed “the year of Ethereum.” Both DeFi and NFTs are responsible for this growth, with banks and major corporations rushing to claim the title of “pioneer” within the blockchain space.  On the first day of EthCC [4]: DAOs, DeFi startups, new protocols, and established blockchain companies were set up throughout the sprawling Maison de La Mutualité. All of these projects presented are part of the Ethereum ecosystem and help developers and builders find the tools necessary to their decentralized objectives. Companies on-site included Boson Protocol, AAVE, Paraswap, Hermez, Celo, and the Stake DAO.


On the first day of the conference, there were many conversations in conference rooms and hallways alike about tokenization, smart contracts, cross-chain solutions, and derivates. There was also lots of talk on the subject of NFTs, one of the star applications of the Ethereum network.


From Charged Particles to presentations by digital art advisor Fanny Lakoubay, here are some of the NFT highlights from Day 1 of EthCC [4].




It’s hard to believe that the mainstream buzz around NFTs began only four months ago.  In that time, there have been record-breaking sales, countless meme mintings, and numerous news articles proclaiming that NFTs are dead


Beyond speculation of where the market is going, the numbers show that NFTs in the form of collectibles and digital art assets are still a very promising market. According to data compiled by, there have been more than 200,000 sales during June of 2021, with collective revenue exceeding $224 million USD.


Collectibles continue to lead sales, accounting for almost 66% of the total NFT market, while art NFTs only account for 14% of all total sales. co-founder Gauthier Zuppinger presented this data at the conference.


While the market is not as bullish as it was in March, it’s likely this fall will see a plethora of new projects, which will potentially bring in entirely new collectors and revenue to the space.





Insight into French public opinion was delivered by New York-based digital art advisor Fanny Lakoubay. While many traditional institutions have yet to embrace or see value in utilizing NFTs, many auction houses (Sotheby’s, Christie’s, Bonhams, Phillips, Cambi) have leaped into the space. It’s also interesting to note that a handful of museums are also experimenting with NFTs. There have been NFT projects from the Italian museum Le Gallerie Degli UffiziThe Hermitage, and The Whitworth at the University of Manchester.


In addition to showcasing how NFTs have affected the traditional art market, Lakoubay also highlighted some leading marketplaces in the ecosystem. These included permissionless platforms such as Open Sea, Rarible, and Hic et Nunc; invitation-only platforms like Foundation, Super Rare, Makersplace, and Known Origin; and curated platforms such as folia, blank, palm, and snark art.




The presentation by Ben Lakoff from Charged Particles helped to reiterate that the capabilities of NFT technology extend far beyond art. Lakoff also shared insight into the “NFT Avatar” market, which includes projects such as Crypto Punks, Bored Ape Yacht Club, Super Yetis, and Wicked Craniums. According to the data presented, secondary sales of NFT Avatars reached almost $350 million (USD) in the second quarter of 2021.


Lakoff highlighted the use of NFTs as access tokens, which allows owners to unlock private content and helps facilitate the creation of community memberships. With global loyalty programs expected to reach $216 billion by the end of 2021, it’s likely more brands and companies will capitalize on this use case of NFTs to drive revenue and strengthen relationships with their customers even further.


What does the future of NFTs hold? According to Lakoff, many platforms are focused on fractional ownership. In theory, it will be easier to split the ownership of digital works when compared to physical assets. Other use cases that are on the horizon include the renting of NFTs, and the ability to use NFTs as collateral for borrowing cryptocurrency.


Charged Particles is an innovative platform, allowing users to deposit ERC-20/721 and 1155 tokens directly into their NFTS. In his talk, Lakoff described NFTs as “gift baskets” that can hold a variety of digital assets. In essence, NFTs can be “charged,” holding tokens that can be completely customized. As the NFT market is extremely young, we will have to wait to see how builders and creators choose to build inside and on top of non-fungible tokens.


Stay tuned for highlights from Day 2 of ETHCC tomorrow, including Vitalik Buterin’s state of Ethereum address. I’m Origin and am live on the ground giving you the latest news at ETHCC 2021. 


Make sure to tune in for our Twitter Spaces live from the conference Thursday, July 22nd at 10:00 am EST/ 4:00 pm CEST



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On July 8th, avatars from around the world gathered in Decentraland (DCL) for ten days of art and music. With numerous galleries already in DCL (Sotheby’s & MOCDA ), this art week welcomed new collections from top NFT platforms and crypto artists as well.

💯xARt and closed the week with a full day of events curated by David Cash, Glassy Music, and Pilar Côté. In addition, Nix Crypto moderated live discussions throughout the afternoon. 


Here are the best events from DCL Art Week:





With 100 artist-built galleries, the Vegas Arts District was shining bright! Avatars showed off their dance moves in the main square with live music and new art installations. Visit the ongoing exhibitions here.


Philip Colbert worked with the renowned B52’s and DEVO to bring Lobsteropolis to life. A large-scale interactive installation featuring his signature lobster characters. Visit the lobster city here




(Photo by Charles Moriarty)


In the Festival District, Casa Azul displayed an intimate photo series featuring Amy Winehouse. Photographer Charles Moriarty recalls his time with the profound artist before her untimely death.


(Photo courtesy of Festival Land VR)


The event was a mixture of tears and smiles as avatars viewed Moriarty’s work. In addition, unique DCL wearables are available, giving users exclusive access to a live stream of the Back to Amy Benefit Concert on July 23rd. View the exhibition at Casa Azul.


The latest addition to the Voltaire Art District, Portion Auction House exhibits collections of photography, comics, digital arts, and physical arts. There are even a few iconic memes as well. Visit their new gallery here.





It was a wild Playboy party in Crypto Valley. Celebrating their Miami Beach Art Collection, Playboy and SuperRare auctioned several exclusive collaborations and exhibited past iconic cover issues.


See the collection at the Crypto Valley Art Gallery.





KnownOrigin hosted a 3-hour music festival and art showcase. With a new dancefloor and live-stream DJs from around the world, it was one of the most popular events of DCL Art Week.

Visit the KnownOrigin Gallery here.





(Image by Bryan Brinkman)


Hosted in the 100xARt district, Bryan Brinkman deployed his latest digital sculpture of a whale suspended overhead.


See the installation here before it’s gone!





DJ Los Cat and the mysterious avatar Queen Venom wowed Crypto Art Week Asia guests celebrating their first anniversary in Dragon City.


See the impressive Sky City Venue here.




Celebrated artist, Begoña Toledo (aka  Boxhead), presents a large-scale installation of her iconic character featuring three of her latest NFTs on Foundation

See the installation here before it’s gone!





SuperRare is featuring ten Brazilian artists in their expansive gallery in Voltaire Art District.


Visit the ongoing exhibition here.





The Museum of Crypto Art (M○C△) opens its metaverse sculpture garden and hedge maze. Within the winding garden, paths reside ten 3D surrealist objects with Hackatao’s famous ‘Hack of a Bear’ in its center.

Try navigating the hedge maze here.


DAY 10 



NFTs.WTF partners with 💯xARt Community to bring a full day of music, art, panel discussions, and fashion! Be sure to visit the new 100xARt gallery now open.


Here are the community day  highlights:

Architecture Panel

Krista Kim of Mars House discussed the ‘future of spaces’ in architecture and design. Virtual and augmented reality experiences dissolve the limitation of physics. With new metaverse platforms emerging rapidly, it’s clear there will be no shortage of creativity in spatial design.



Krista Kim – Mars House

Eddie Gangland – Artist

Anressa Furletti – Artist

Mark Panckhurst – Artist

Ryan Roybal – Artist, NFT Collective


Evolving Humanity with Tech

As we explore new possibilities with blockchain technologies, how can they be utilized for social good? Nahid Shahalimi of We the Women & Stand up for Unity held a panel to discuss humanitarian efforts in the crypto space.



Nahid Shahalimi – We the Women & Stand up for Unity

Dr. Michael Steffens – European Union

Jeremy Dela Rosa – Leyline

Jon O’Sullivan – Project Ark


Digital Fashion w/ Industry Leaders

David Cash held a panel of the top trailblazers in digital fashion. Wearables in the metaverse have been on the rise. Digital fashion drops are selling out in seconds, with many items worth more than physical luxury brands. As the industry grows, how will fashion and identity evolve with it?



David Cash –  Editor in Chief, NFTs.Tips

Amber Jae Slooten – The Fabricant

Emma-Jane McKinnon-Lee – Digitalax

Dr. Alex Box – Future Beauty Future Body

Alissa Aulbekova – Auroboros

Paula Sello – Auroboros

Natalia Modenova – DressX


Future of Music & NFTs

Glassy Music and Low Sleazy discuss how NFTs can empower musicians and artists. Intellectual property (IP), decentralized finance (DeFi), and collaborations all play a vital part in rewarding creativity in this new territory for music. 



Glassy – Co-founder NFTs.Tips

Low Sleazy – Section Editor

Pilar Côté – Section Editor

Omar Vargas – Manager, GusGus

Terra Naomi – Artist/Producer/Songwriter


Film Industry Fireside Chat

Award-winning filmmaker, Jonny Caplan, speaks with about how blockchain tech can be utilized for film creatives. His latest project, NFTme, is a complete documentary series covering critical developments in the NFT industry. Due for release in late 2021. 


Jonny Caplan – Filmmaker, CEO, Tech Talk Media & Impossible Media

Nahid Shahalimi – Section Editor

David Cash – Editor in Chief,

Alberto Polanco –  Project Manager

Glassy – Co-founder NFTs.Tips


DJ’s & VJ’s in Decentraland


Avatars showed their best moves while special guests blew everyone away with epic audio/visuals on the VR dance floor. 

Audio Visual Sets:

Tom LaRoc

Lisa Leggz

Pilar Côté

DJ Mika Kitten


DJ Orly Gal x Chris Parks



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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. 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. 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.” –

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  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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Damian Hirst, one of the world’s highest-selling artists, is part of the NFT space.  Yes, you heard me correctly – I was, at first, confused. Though upon further research into the specifics of his newest drop, my confusion slowly blossomed into intrigue. After his first NFT release with Heni Leviathan allowed him to sell over 7,000 prints grossing him over 22 million USD, he is unsurprisingly back for another go of it.   Soon, Hirst will, most likely, sell out his entire new collection of 10,000 physical pieces that people can “apply” to buy at $2,000 each, which he has aptly entitled “Currency.”


All 10,000 pieces come with a red-pill, blue-pill scenario as their principal value add.  Do you choose to be shipped a hand-painted physical piece by Hirst himself? Or would you prefer to keep the NFT as a purely digital token?  This conundrum leaves many other art collectors and me in the crypto space asking ourselves: why not both? However, this seems to be the point of the collection: to assess the buyer’s relationship with a piece that exists simultaneously in both the digital and physical worlds. Thus, asking the buyer to decide which medium they deem more valuable for themselves.  While there are 10,000 physical pieces that have been hand-made to pair up with every NFT, the buyer can only choose to claim one.  



The pieces are derivative of his iconic “spot paintings” which he has been doing since 1988. This could be seen as a positive by some and negative by others.  While this is, arguably, his most famous motif, it has become quite a mainstream signature of the Hirst brand.  In his book On the Way to Work, Hirst describes his exploration with his spot paintings as “a way of pinning down the joy of colour.” By tediously embellishing art paper with thousands of seemly random colourful dots, Hirst aims to “create […] structure, to do those colours, and do nothing” simultaneously.  Blake Gopnik, of the New York Times, explained this sentiment in slightly more detail in a piece for Gagosian:


“The Spots were fundamentally about abstraction as reduced to its most basic components: color, form, and placement. You could say that they represented an attempt to reach Abstraction Degree Zero.”


Damien Hirst
Damien Hirst


And now, 10,000 of us have the opportunity to bring an authentic, handpainted derivative of this iconic series into our homes through this NFT launch.  Though this drop may be Hirst’s attempt to further break into the increasingly thriving NFT market and thereby the wallets of the crypto-whales this space knows and loves, it seems as if this drop is targeting a far more mainstream audience.  Making the pieces available through, powered by, the same chain that fueled the sold-out Space Jam drop, the pieces are meant to be accessible to as wide of an audience as possible.  Available for purchase directly with FIAT, interested buyers can “apply” to purchase one of the pieces.  And; despite the site mentioning that owners of “Cryptopunks, Hashmasks, Meebits, BAYC, and Art blocks” would be prioritized, it still seems that the drop targets non-crypto-native art lovers. This makes quite a lot of sense for Hirst, considering that still under 1% of the world is fluent within this NFT space and has an active wallet from which to purchase.  Especially considering he has an audience of over a million fans across his socials to tap into within the traditional market and a healthy collector-base of some of the most significant living collectors in the entire traditional art world.  


But this is NFTS.WTF, and we’re not just talking about the traditional art space here. So we wanted to delve into some of the specifics of this drop from the community’s perspective, especially after mainstream outlets have already begun spreading misinformation as per usual.  Such as one article citing that this drop’s blockchain was “99 percent more energy efficient than either Ethereum or Bitcoin” since it is run on a POS chain (lol). 


To better gauge the response from the NFTfi community about such a significant artist making his next sizable leap into the NFT space, I asked a few leading members of the WTF DAO what their thoughts were in regards to this historic drop: 



According to NFT collector and DAO member Silversurfer, he’s planning on “buying one [piece] to keep as an NFT and one to keep as a physical” if he can get in.  Furthermore, he “personally think collectibles from actual artists are more valuable than apes/punks/cats and much cooler.”


When chatting with other DAO members about the drop in more detail, he also touched on another valuable point.  That in his eyes, “the point of the experiment is to show everyone what is valued more, the physical or the digital?”  And I agree.



According to artist and NFT aficionado Bryan Brinkman, he thinks that “it’s certainly going to be interesting to see if the 10K model works at that price point.” Brinkman points out that “Meebits did 5K at 2.5eth, so it’s possible, but most 10K projects are sub .1eth,” in contrast with this collection which sits around 1eth.  Despite this, Brinkman said that he “signed up” and that “its certainly tempting to own an affordable Hirst that isn’t a ‘print.’”  He believes that “it’s a cool bridge from the old work to the new,” but he also thinks that “it’s not fully diving into the space,” since “the NFTs feel like a checkout mechanism to buy his physical work.”  


I quite agree, and though I appreciate Hirst’s work, this does seem like a lot of exposition to still just get a physical piece.  Granted, at a much lower price point. Though, according to Brinkman, he thinks “he could have done this project, but as a generative art NFT on artblocks and made just as much.” Brinkman believes that “the fact he’s doing [a] physical shows his reluctance towards the NFT space, and his need to appeal to his traditional collectors which honestly, is a safe move.”


And he’s right! While Hirst is “a big name,” most “people in this space care about Apes and Punks, not Koons and Hirst.”  Brinkman aptly mentioned that “there have been MoMA artists on SR flying under the radar for 1-2eth” for quite some time.”


J1mmy Eth

The collector and founder, formally known as @j1mmy.eth, has quite a legendary digital art collection.  From being one of the largest holders of Bored Apes to founding Avastars and Nameless, amongst other institutions in the space, he has a great perspective on the climate of digital art.  According to Jimmy, he purchased “some of his prints from the HENI thing a few months back.” However, despite Hirst’s reputation, Jimmy doesn’t necessarily “agree with the method/experiment/use of NFTs that have to be ‘traded in’ for ownership of a physical.”


Furthermore, according to Jimmy, “it shows a lack of understanding of the tech” since NFTs in-and-of-themselves “are proof of ownership, and [his] belief is Palm or anyone working with a person new to NFTs, like this artist, should try to explain how this all works and how it makes no sense to burn proof of ownership to receive an item.”


Instead, Jimmy suggests that Hirst and the team at palm simply mark pieces “as redeemed in metadata and include additional information about said redemption.”  Without doing this, questions such as “is it burned?” or “is it traded in?” quickly arise. 


Jimmy stressed the fact that when a piece is “burned [it] isn’t really burned, it still exists, just [as] a dead address.”  So when this happens, an “owner is just relinquishing ownership of something, not ACTUALLY burning it.”  Because of this, they can’t simply say that “the supply is actually reduced” since “the ownable supply is, but not the total NFTs in the collection.”


Giovanni / Fragcolor

Giovanni Petrantoni, founder and CEO of Fragcolor chimed in to agree with J1mmy.  Staring that this burning situation “opens up a scenario where people can fork a network if [they] really wanted to revive an NFT trade.”  Following up that they are “sure that given enough value, someone might play this card one day.” 


Giovanni also wanted to clarify that “the chain needs all of the transactions to regenerate itself, always” and that “it’s immutable.” So the burning simply “sends something to an unusable address,” stopping the trade and allowing “the network [to] become the owner, you might argue.”


In this case, Giovanni would recommend simply marking the tokens as “redeemed… [as a] more elegant [option] than burn.” 



These are excellent points to consider for anyone thinking about purchasing one of the limited edition pieces in this collection. While Hirst is more than a reputable artist in the traditional art space, what we’ve learned is that the crypto space moves quite differently.  I am sure that this drop will be a success, but I also believe that Hirst and his team still have quite a lot to learn about this space, and I look forward to seeing how his next drops will even further integrate the power that NFTs can unlock for the creator and consumer.  While this drop is an exciting and psychological journey into the thought process of the collector, I believe that Hirst can go further, especially within the realms of unlockable content and additional value adds through granted access.  


However, this is only his second time attempting a drop within this space, and he’s been functioning at the highest levels in the traditional art world for over three decades.  So, I’ll cut him some slack.  And actually — I’m considering buying one — are you?


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