The NFT space is getting hotter and hotter by the day. Just 124 days ago, you could have bought a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT for around $189.57 USD plus around $40 in gas on the Ethereum blockchain. Today that single NFT is worth over $120,000 with the current floor price of around 38 ETH. That is fucking astronomical! That is a life-changing amount of money for most people.

With astronomical gains comes the irresistible call to the darkest parts of the interwebs who want to take everything they can get from you, and they will. 

Blockchain technology and removing the middle man makes YOU responsible for your own security. There is no customer service you can call to reverse a mistake you made so pay attention. I am going to go through some of the top scams I have identified and share some common sense tips to hopefully help you stay safe from the spider’s web of scams just waiting for you.

1. Never FUCKING EVER share your seed phrase with anyone, EVER! 

Metamask support will NEVER ask you for your seed phrase. I don’t care if Jesus Christ himself comes down and asks you for your seed phrase, thou shalt NOT tell Jesus, Mary, Joseph Jehovah, Gandhi, Buddha, your therapist, or your favorite rapper any of those 12 or 24 words included in your seed phrase. Do I make myself clear?

Anyone with that set of words has full access to all of your assets. Anyone asking for that seed phase is 11,999% going to steal any money or assets you have associated with that wallet. 


  • WRITE DOWN your seed phrase and keep it in a safe place, write it down twice and keep it in two separate places


  • DO NOT take pictures of your seed phrase, private keys, or mobile sync QR code and store this on your phone or worse than that send it to yourself via email, text, or save it on your computer if it’s connected to the internet and in digital form, it is liable to be sniffed out in some way. 


  • WRITE. IT. DOWN. Seriously, do not be lazy this could cost you millions of dollars in the future. 

Consider the enhanced security of a hardware wallet connected to your Metamask like a Trezor or Ledger Wallet but ONLY buy them from their official websites NEVER buy from Amazon or some other third party, because wallets can come tampered with from untrusted sources.



  1. Do NOT EVER share your screen and click on sync with mobile under your Metamask Settings!

A newer social engineering exploit that has been very successful for scammers is they prey on people looking for help with Metamask, especially on Discord or Telegram groups.

They will pose as the admins of the group as they are able to spoof or fake the usernames in those applications so you think you are speaking with someone trustworthy, but you are not and they are about to rob you while you help them do it.

If you click on your Metamask settings > Advanced > and then “Sync with Mobile” while sharing your screen, congratulations you have just been robbed, and you helped them.

The scammers now have full control of your funds and assets and will remove them as quickly as possible maybe even right there in front of your face during the screen share.

They may even be more clever and wait till later while you are sleeping and siphon everything of value out of your account. 

Sync with mobile is supposed to be a convenient way to sync your Metamask wallet with your phone, but if someone else is watching and gets even just a millisecond glimpse at the QR code that comes up on the screen, that account is now fully compromised, and you just got robbed.

Metamask needs to do a better job of WARNING people before they press the sync with a mobile button instead of showing the warning with the QR code already on the screen. Big RED Flashing screen that says can anyone see your screen right now? If so, DO NOT click this button; this could be solved with a better user interface. 


Read this awful story below of how this just happened to someone. They stole over 250 ETH in valuable NFTs worth nearly $1,000,000…


I know 2 other people personally who have fallen for this as well. The worst part is that they were experienced and knew how important security is in this space, but still fell for it.

Often times during a moment of panic, or frustration, or trying to solve some problem with a transaction is when you don’t catch the tiny little detail that ends up costing you dearly. 


  1. How to Spot Possible Scam NFT Projects

To understand this part I will need to explain a few things that may sound nerdy but could save you THOUSANDS of dollars in fake NFTs.  There are two main types of smart contracts on popular NFT marketplaces. They are:

  • Shared Contracts 
  • Custom Contracts 

One is superior to the other HANDS down, don’t let ANYONE at any marketplace tell you any differently, no matter how smart they sound. It’s all about transparency.  

Shared contracts are inferior to custom / verified contracts in almost every way. 

Opensea is the largest NFT marketplace and everything minted on Opensea is done so in a shared contract and while there are some cost benefits to dumping all the NFTs into one single large collection in one contract, there are some serious downsides for artists and collectors to consider.


This is what a shared non verified open sea contract looks like in Etherscan:

Opensea Shared Storefront Contract


This is how you find the contract link on Opensea:


Where you see “editable,” or it will say “centralized,” this means it is an Opensea Shared Storefront contract. You can click on the contract address, and it will take you to Etherscan.


Custom Contracts are Better and the Details are different:


When you click the contract address it will take you to Etherscan, and on the right-hand side of Etherscan, after clicking on the contract address again, you will see the token tracker name of the custom contract.



Here is what a custom contract that is verified looks like. (Green check means verified):



Now, do you see some of the major differences? For one, a custom verified contract can be read by a human. People a lot smarter than you and I can read through them and verify what the smart contract actually says. Although with just a little digging, you can learn to read even just basic things in a smart contract as well.

The ability to lazy mint into shared contracts is one of the reasons they are so widespread. However, that free minting comes at a cost to you as the artist, and to your collectors.

For the minting of derivative projects where you have the rights to another NFT you hold such as a Bored Ape or any of the number of avatar NFT projects using a shared contract could be okay to use. However, if you are building a more serious project or buying into one, especially for collectibles, you should definitely insist on using a custom contract.  For projects that use custom contracts, that is the number one easiest way to spot a fake NFT because the fakes use shared contracts.

For every major NFT drop there are always fakes being uploaded as soon as the project drops on Opensea and they almost always exclusively use OpenSea Shared Storefront contracts to create the fakes. 

This is one of the many reasons why any serious collectible NFT project should be using a custom contract so that your collectors can quickly identify the authenticity of your project. 

There are additional benefits to having your own custom contract for you and your collectors to include full visibility into the holders and token distribution of that NFT. This is very important for serious collectors and a good way to spot if an NFT project team is telling the truth about certain things that can be proven or disproven on the blockchain.  


4. Always verify an NFT projects Contract address from an official source such as their website or in the announcement channel of their discord



Copy and paste the contract address being pointed to by the red arrow above into


You will then see this below:


If you click on the contract (red arrow on the right side) you will see where it says, token tracker as shown below:


  1. Verify Opensea Collection links from OFFICIAL SOURCES and TRIPLE CHECK THEM


You should be getting the OpenSea collection links only from the official website of the project and the announcement channels in the discord servers where ONLY Moderators can post.

There will often be a number of scammers in the discord server sharing fake links to get unsuspecting people to click and buy fake NFTs from fake collections. This is why checking the details section and seeing a custom contract versus an opensea Shared contract matters, and why if you are serious about collecting a project ensure they understand the difference between shared contracts and that they are building their project on its own custom contract.


This is how sneaky these scammers are, look at these two opensea collection links below:


One is real and one is fake can you spot which one is fake? 

I’ll give you a hint look at how the word “battle” is spelled in the first link, that’s the fake one.

What makes this even worse is that I found this in an NFT bundle where someone was selling 5 of these Baby Battle Bot NFTs for .88 ETH which seems like a steal because each one was going for around .24 ETH right after the drop and, in my excitement, I shared this link to the bundle below with friends who were looking to buy several because the project looks so promising. (SCAM BUNDLE)

Only if you knew to look at each of the 5 NFTS in the bundle would you have spotted the above difference in the links and seen that someone paid .88 ETH for 4 FAKE NFTS and only 1 real one, this could have been one of my friends had I not checked each NFT in the bundle and spotted the fakes and told them immediately.

  1. Assume everyone you don’t know is a potential adversary looking to take something from you, so proceed with caution. 


Here are some basic tips


  • Don’t click on links from people you don’t know
  • Don’t open files and attachments from people you don’t know. 
  • Discord Server Mod usernames can be faked easily (DISCORD GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER AND FIX THIS) 
  • Don’t leave the discord server you are in to go to a “support server” this is most likely a scam and they will socially engineer your money away from you. 
  • Don’t send funds or NFTs without using a trusted service like, ,, or on Opensea where you can list an NFT for sale for super expensive (so no one accidentally buys it)  and give the person looking to buy the NFT from you the link where you accept an offer they make for that specific NFT. In this process, you will need to know their address or Opensea username in recognizing the offer. 
  • Use common sense
  • If you don’t know or are not sure, don’t be shy and ASK someone you trust that knows more than you do. 

This concludes today’s lesson on how to spot scams in the NFT Space, your welcome! I hope this helps you keep your money and assets just a little bit safer.

I made this video walkthrough below for you all who are too lazy to read this all the way through and don’t pay attention to the details.  I will say, the number one way you will get scammed is not paying attention to the details. So learn to pay attention because the details matter very much in this space. 



Remember only you can prevent the theft of your Metamask wallet assets.


If at any point your seed phrase is exposed, consider that wallet fully compromised. You can never use that wallet ever again. And if they haven’t already robbed you, then you will need to remove all valuable assets from this wallet as soon as possible. 

The problem is that the scammer could be waiting for you to transfer funds into the wallet or see the movement of the assets before making a move.  For example, if you have a lot of NFTs it will cost gas to move those NFTs. If you transfer in a lump sum of money to try to transfer them out, they could be waiting for that, and swipe those funds.

You do not want to be in this situation trust me.  Paying attention to security and understanding the details is important to staying safe in this crazy NFT space.

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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 remain independent and that the Rarible DAO, sometimes referenced as the Rarible Protocol DAO, is now in charge of the Protocol built by Rarible. 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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The heist of the Chiptopunks began with one of the most anticipated generative art drops in recent memory. Last Friday afternoon, Chiptopunks was poised to reveal their remarkably unique 3D animated NFTs for a frantic fanbase of anxious collectors.


On its official site, the countdown clock to start minting Chiptopunks expired without incident. That’s when chaos erupted, and within that very minute, an angry mob of crypto town-criers descended upon the Discord group. With their tiki torches ablaze and their knives out, they stormed the ChiptoStage, hurling insults and accusations at a pair of disoriented developers.


Even accidents can become art on the blockchain. The Chiptopunks Discord prophesied controversy before the drop ever happened. Unlike most generative art projects touting 10,000 collectibles, only 512 Chiptopunks NFTs were minted, with at least 8 Chiptopunks spoken for before the drop went live. Bored Apes and Cryptopunks accounts were tweeting about the Chiptopunks at least a week beforehand, while the Chiptopunks Discord grew 4x more members than the number of NFTs minted. This didn’t discourage countless collectors who were ready to chip in, knowing they had little or no chance of getting one. Everyone in the drop party was ready and waiting to rush the secondary market before the floor rose too high.


“How many people are pissed when they’re standing outside a Supreme store waiting for a t-shirt drop?” LordNefty ranted. “It doesn’t matter if it’s an inside job—it’s not, and I know that for a fact,” he emphasized. Although LordNefty claims to have exploited a weakness in the Solidity contract and absconded 150 Chiptopunks by “accident,” proof he owns the transacting wallet has yet to be provided. 


So what really happened? How is it that so few collectors managed to secure a Chiptopunk? And how did a single wallet bag 150 NFTs when a single transaction limit was set for 3-mint max?




“I can say without a doubt they made an error in their code,” says Ryan Satterfield, owner of Planet Zuda, a cyber-security company specializing in information security and hacking the internet of things (IoT). “I would love to applaud them on the work they put into security, but, in this space, every character matters,” Satterfield emphasized. “I would not make such a statement without having fully reviewed their contract that’s publicly available.”


A Solidity contract is a collection of code (its functions) and data (its state) that resides at a specific address on the Ethereum blockchain. You can think of it as single slots in a database that can be queried and altered by calling functions of the code that manages the database. “Solidity looks deceptively simple, but it’s much much harder than it looks,” says Dimitrios Kouzis-Loukas, Fintech Senior Engineer/Architect at Bloomberg LP. Kouzis-Loukas is responsible for leading teams of engineers that develop tools and infrastructure to ensure that Bloomberg’s systems are up and stable. “Don’t get me wrong,” he continued. “People do an excellent job, but still. Smart contracts and solidity are so new, and people are still trying to figure them out.”



“The NFT contract for Chiptopunks was published 6 hours before the drop, and someone was able to write a custom contract,” says 0xFloop. “The way the Ethereum blockchain works is when you’re calling internal functions from a contract, you don’t have to wait for each one to go through. Someone did 33 buys of 3 each, and that goes through in one transaction. That’s what knowing how to code and actually understanding Solidity allows you to do.”


“The contract is vanilla,” claims LordNefty. “They copied and pasted their contract, and filled in the blanks,” he asserts. “This project has been on my radar for some time, knowing I was going to use the contract to buy more than 3,” he claims. Yet and still, there’s no proof that LordNefty actually did the ‘bundling’. “One by one, I’m going to send them to the burn wallet,” he said.


Burning them all doesn’t affect the current market as it exists; there would be no market dump or supply-side disruption. It was suggested that LordNefty raffle them all at a set price. He could also make a contract that allows a re-drop of 150 NFTs and set the mid-price like an auction, but that could result in thousands of people attempting to buy 150 NFTs, with no guarantee the same thing wouldn’t happen again. However it is yet to be verified that LordNefty is in fact the owner of 150 Chiptopunks, so all of this may still be speculative by the time this article is published.

GaperArt could potentially use the Ethereum self-destruct function to dynamically update the code, or use it to make the current contract non-operable in the future while transferring everything to another contract,” Satterfield suggests. “The opcode SelfDestruct can be used to update contracts already on the blockchain or redirect the contract to a new contract. However, SelfDestruct in itself is also dangerous to most contracts on the blockchain because anyone can update or delete the code of any project if it isn’t protected against SelfDestruct.” This is because the opcode doesn’t require consent to be used against a contract. However, you can use SelfDestruct to update patching contracts from being exploited by SelfDestruct, as long as that function hasn’t been removed from the Ethereum version you’re using. “Vitalik” Buterin, the Russian-Canadian programmer and co-founder of Ethereum, wants to remove this opcode.



“I’m an artist at heart,” Cam Taylor professed. “Gaper.eth wrote the code. Our intention was to provide something unique and special, something different from a lot of the stuff that’s out there right now and we’re fucking bummed,” he apologizes. We didn’t want it to go this way. All the comments saying we know it’s a scam like we’re in on it couldn’t be further from the truth. We care deeply about this project. Honestly, I just wanted to create the most badass fucking 3D punk heads possible for y’all, and we’re fucking pissed that this happened,” Taylor said.


“This is not how we intended the drop to go,” says gaper.eth. “All we wanted was to build community and to have a solid drop. We had no intention of one whale buying 150 of the supply.” 


“This isn’t even how you build community, though,” ab7#5635 lamented on Discord. “Building a community would start at a really low price to give people the opportunity to get into your project. The art is really fucking good. Chances are they’re gonna hold. It really sucks there’s a lot of people that were priced out, to begin with,” she regrets. 


Adding insult to injury, OpenSea initially verified the wrong contract, leading some collectors, including myself, to purchase illegitimate NFTs. One such collector purchased at least 5 of them. So when you search for Chiptopunks NFT on OpenSea, be sure it’s the collection with 512 items. Some of them are available on the secondary market, and despite everything that went wrong, there’s always an upside.


“We haven’t settled on the exact percentage or amount yet, but we are going to take a portion of the profits, and we are going to be purchasing iPads with Procreate, or possibly laptops. We’re giving them to underprivileged children who would like to be able to make art,” Taylor promised. “We’re gonna figure out the right organization to work with, and we want to make it transparent to show that we believe in art and technology. We want to give back in some way.”

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On August 15th, Afghanistan fell… right into the hands of the Taliban. After 20 years of war, the Taliban, as reported by The Guardian, began to implement “…the process of forming a government in Afghanistan, after taking control of the capital, Kabul, and declaring that the war is over, as Afghan forces surrendered and President Ashraf Ghani fled the country.”

The Taliban has promised not to kill activists, artists, educators, and journalists. However, according to reports from journalists and activists on the ground, they have already begun to hunt them down. We are bearing witness to a monumental humanitarian crisis unfolding before our eyes. Thousands of civilians are endangered, in need of immediate help. 

Time is of the essence! The next few weeks are critical- We must do what we can to help civilians who are in danger get out right now and persuade countries, institutions, and individuals worldwide to help. Banks have shut down. People no longer have access to money, making it difficult to flee.



Immediate Action Needed: This is quite a grave situation. And I believe the the NFTfi community can help. First, to create a decentralized financial resource using NFT art donations to raise and distribute Emergency Funds that refugees can quickly access for resettlement. And furthermore, to create an awareness campaign for those able to get out, directing them to this aid.

About Stand Up For Unity & Their NFT Fundraiser


Stand Up For Unity began as a campaign launched in the summer of 2015. It has since developed into an international platform and global outreach movement for unity, tolerance, respect, and peace, regardless of religion, race, nationality, colour, or gender. The organization was founded by Canadian/Afghan entrepreneur Nahid Shahalimi, an award-winning filmmaker/producer, author, artist, and human rights advocate.


The platform is supported by world-class personalities, including international figures, entertainers, sports legends, human rights activists, and inspirational people of all ages & walks of life, including H.H.The Dalai Lama.

#StandUpForUnity NFTs is a Global Awareness campaign for Solidarity with Afghanistan: to promote awareness about their growing humanitarian crises. To create a monetary aid fund for resettlement costs using blockchain technology. To mobilize artists, musicians, collectors, and the NFT community to participate by creating/donating NFT art and/or via special events/performances. #StandUpForUnity Ntfs hope to do the following: 

  • Raise awareness and funds to help relocate displaced and persecuted people.
  • Use blockchain technology to transfer mutual aid funds for resettlement.
  • Set up an easily accessible system to distribute funds to those in need.


More About Nahid Shahalimi        

Nahid Shahalimi lives in Munich, Germany, with her two daughters. Forced to leave Afghanistan in 1985, her family moved to Canada, where she was raised. As a young adult in Munich, Shahalimi launched her career as an author, human rights activist, international consultant on Gender, (former) professional athlete, award-winning filmmaker, and one of the most prolific international artists in the art world today. Nahid’s passion for arts and humanitarianism began in her college & university days. She majored in Fine Arts, Politics, and Southeast Asian studies, specializing in Human Rights. However, witnessing the destruction of her country under the Soviet occupation as a child ignited within Nahid the passion for devoting her life to promoting peace, tolerance, respect, and acceptance. The synergy between her various personal and professional experiences is reflected in all that she does.           

Shahalimi is the author of Where Courage Bears the Soul: We the Women of Afghanistan: Tales of Courageous & Inspiring Afghan Women, published in 2017 by Elisabeth Sandmann Publishing. We The Women started as an initiative of collections of inspiring stories of women from around the world, told through 3 creative pillars involving portrait paintings, books, and documentary films. Today We The Women UG/LTD is a social impact enterprise. Shahalimi also created We the Women of Afghanistan: A Silent Revolution, a multiple award-winning documentary film and tour, with a World Premiere screening at the UN German Mission, the United Nations’ headquarters in New York City. 

Furthermore, Shahalimi supports and provides consultations to several international foundations. She is an active member of UNICEF Germany’s National Committee and is the Founder and Chairwoman of Hope Foundation for Women and Children of Afghanistan (active since 2007). Currently, Shahalimi is engaged in the forefront of the cutting-edge digital art revolution, creating NFTs after 30+ years of painting. This experience makes her uniquely qualified to understand how decentralized finance and NFTs can be harnessed to provide immediate aid for humanitarian causes. On top of all of this, she is an incredible friend, mother, and one of our finest staff writers here at WTF.  

Final Thoughts 

I would very much appreciate if everyone reading this took a moment out of their day to look into the resources linked in this article and below.  The situation unfolding in Afghanistan is dire, and there are countless at-risk lives that need to be evacuated from the country immediately. The NFT community is powerful, and I believe that we have the power and capacity to make a difference. If you have a moment of time please make a tweet with #standupforunity – and, if you can, add it to your instagram or twitter bios for the next 24 hours to show solidarity. And if you have the means please feel free to reach out to myself or nahid directly. 

For inquiries, please contact

Stand Up For Unity

Mutschelle Str. 4

81673, Munich – Germany









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The Sad Frogs District collection has been delisted from Opensea following a copyright claim from the original creator of the Pepe meme, Matt Furie. This has consequences for NFT projects to consider and may have far-reaching legal consequences. It also forces the consideration of the centralization of marketplaces in the decentralized NFT space.

The Sad Frogs District (SFD) project launched somewhat controversially on August 9th, selling out 7000 Sad Frogs each priced at 0.05 ETH in less than 5 minutes. Central to the artwork was a frog character. The project saw success and was verified by Opensea on the 12th of August, and things seemed to be going well enough. Enter: Matt Furie.

Furie has been in the NFT space for a while, he is the creator of the successful PEGZ NFT project. He is also no stranger to DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) claims, having filed copyright claims multiple times in the past, having won a lawsuit for $150,000 from Infowars, the show hosted by Alex Jones. Matt has become proficient at hunting down uses of his caricature and filing claims against them. Claims that often stretch the limits of intellectual property law. Initially, Furie targeted exact replications of his meme, but with his pursuit of SFD, Furie is attempting to lay claim to the artwork of frogs that bear very little resemblance to his own.



US copyright law allows for the “fair use” of intellectual property such as “criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research,” among other things. Furthermore, works that are considered “transformative” in that they recreate the original work in a substantially different way are often not considered infringements of copyright at all. Copyright owners are allowed to submit DMCA claims which centralized organizations tend to comply with. This marks the beginning of a potentially long and expensive legal process.

Opensea has been known to comply with the DMCA in the same fashion most legacy companies would. They have delisted several projects imitating the famed CryptoPunks collection to varying degrees, even without known DMCA claims against them. As the largest NFT marketplace, Opensea has a lot of power, all of which appears centralized contrary to the tagline on their homepage. Their motivation is to be as compliant as possible to appease existing and future shareholders.

SFD may or may not be an infringement of Furie’s copyright, and the SFD team has reportedly already submitted a counter-DMCA, beginning the process of appealing the decision. While this process continues, SFD token holders aren’t able to sell their NFTs as freely, with the main option left available being risky private sales (which can be overcome with p2p trades). This obviously has negative repercussions on token holders pending the resolution of the dispute.


Photo Credit Sad Frog District


Beyond reducing liquidity for the project and making it difficult to buy and sell, such actions on behalf of Opensea can seriously impact a project’s reputation. Opensea are seen as arbitrators of the NFT space, deciding on no firm basis which projects receive their blue verification check (which SFD did). These actions impact thousands of people and should not be taken likely by Opensea. Considering the livelihoods involved, the very least Opensea could do is stop enforcing DMCA claims automatically.


In the SFD case, Furie has ten to fourteen days upon receipt of the appeal to hire legal counsel and respond with a lawsuit if he so chooses. This choice could have far-reaching consequences. If Furie chooses to go to court, any determinations made as part of the ruling could impact copyright law generally and the NFT space specifically, and may be used as precedent in future rulings.


Photo Credit: TylerOSU

Asked for comment, SFD stated that their work is substantially different from Pepe the Frog. Their belief is that Furie’s actions represent a grave overreaching on behalf of Furie, and that he is not entitled to lay claim to every frog on the internet. They have voiced concerns over their community and ~1900 token holders, and are not looking for further escalation. 


There is also a fair chance that a court will concede that their artwork is sufficiently transformative, invalidating Furie’s claim. Nonetheless, this will be a long legal battle for which Furie is far better financially equipped, indicating a settlement or personal benefit could be the intention behind this claim. Furie can spend more on legal fees to get a deal out of the SFD team, putting them at a disadvantage.


Photo Credit: Sad Frogs District

On the bright side, Furie may choose to advance and allow freedom of expression and not press charges. It would not detract from the value of his PEGZ collection. There can be more than one frog on the internet, and the advances of an original creation only add value to that original creation. Just look at the value of Cryptopunks as an example; it increases with each variation that spreads its legend further. 


NFTs are all about circumventing gatekeepers and allowing equality of opportunity and expression. Copyright is not in conflict with these ideas and should certainly be respected, but should not be applied so strictly as to infringe on our core values. Furthermore, centralization of a decentralized space enables legacy systems and automatic DMCA responses to significantly hurt growing initiatives. These systems need to be rethought to nurture innovation in the NFT space.

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Today we are joined by none other than Superchief Gallery’s Ed Zipco! We’re excited to talk with Ed about our ongoing NFTS.WTF interview series about traditional art galleries entering the NFT sphere. Today’s article, transcribed from a fabulous interview via Zoom, will be the first of three parts with Superchief NYC, so please check back to gain more valuable insights from the gallerist leading the way. Ed, Thank you so much for your time and for allowing us to bring your insights on the NFT market at large, specifically about galleries that have traditionally shown artists pre-NFT world.


Rebecca: You’ve been working with digital artists for six years already and launched the first NFT art gallery, which is pretty amazing! Your first NFT exhibition involved major traditional artists like Logan Hicks, Alex Schafer, Ron English, etc. From a gallerists’ perspective, what was the onboarding process like for traditional artists entering the NFT sphere? Did you have to set up a Metamask wallet for each artist and talk with them about minting?


Ed: Across the board, in March, many artists were unaware of the crypto and NFT world, and their experience ran the gambit. Our first exhibition was about introducing NFTs to our community and then our community to the NFT market, so I feel calling our first show “Season One Starter Pack” was really accurate. For that first group show, we worked with artists to mint for them where the minted works actually say Superchief Gallery as the creator, and we had paper contracts and emails going back and forth to make it known that it was official. I was concerned that artists might rush into the world of crypto and then lose their seed phrase or do something that would damage them long term. We have a long relationship with these artists, some going back ten years, so for me, the most important thing was that their entrance to NFTs was safe, and we’d be giving them a positive experience acting as a custodian in that first wave. Since that is also how Nifty Gateway approaches it, I realized that the creator is always Nifty Gateway. It gave us a little more confidence that we were entering the market in a way that was already happening. After which we’d be able to talk to artists from that point to slowly teach them how to create their wallets, build different relationships with the marketplaces that we curate for or interact with in addition to our own marketplace, and try to find the best and right audience for them online. 


Rebecca: That’s interesting that the minting initially originated from the SuperChief wallet.


Ed: For that first exhibition, it was really about us creating an account on OpenSea and bringing our artists’ artwork through that with their information, artwork details and descriptions, and making it, so we have a long relationship with our artist base and our collector base in the art world as a whole. The idea that we would be able to be a trusted, check-verified existence on OpenSea would allow people to feel that they’re getting the real deal. It was a big responsibility to run the accounting for that, and I see what marketplaces go through on a larger scale. It was really important to safely onboard our artists and guide them through the early stages of it. There’s still a lot where our guidance and strategy are a priority today, but at this point, the majority of our artists are starting to make their wallets and be a little more ready. 


Rebecca: Yet for the “Cicada and Tymbal” show, which opened at the end of July, Swoon minted those works, right? And then transferred the NFTs to the Superchief Gallery wallet, so you became the custodian until the works find their collectors, is that the second approach you guys have?


Ed: Yes, we worked with her team to teach them the good practices of how to actually have their own wallet and how to get their Coinbase so they can get their money out of crypto when they want to. All of those steps were the beginning of phase two that we’ve been doing, which is encouraging artists to have their autonomy now that they’re ready for it.



Rebecca: The crypto and NFT art world is a black and white issue for many gallerists, yet some galleries in the crossover are intrigued by it but have no footing as to where to start. So knowing what you know now, would you suggest that galleries having their first NFT exhibition mint the artists’ genesis works, help guide them into safe practices, help onboard them into crypto art, and later transitioning towards showing works that are then minted from the artists’ wallets? Is there anything you would have done differently or changed knowing how to help other galleries get into the space?


Ed: For us, it was a bit of a time-specific moment. With the amount of education that everyone has gone through in the last four months, I feel that a much larger percentage of artists are starting to become familiar with it, and in practice, I will be transparent. Many artists are still just learning about it, and they could need that sort of help from their galleries. There’s an important responsibility on a gallery that has real relationships to their artists, that will walk step by step with their artists into this world. I think that for the traditional art world, it’s still so new. There are many ways for people to guide their artists through it. 


We actually opened up a consultant arm of our gallery, so now we can properly consult artists that we work with as well as artists that we don’t work with. We also consult for several different galleries now, and there are other people that we’ve signed NDAs with that we can’t discuss who we’ve consulted with also. It’s been really wonderful. Strategy is still super important -how you roll things out, how you talk about those things you’re rolling out, but above all, these are opportunities to connect with your community and connect with your audience as an artist. Encouraging artists and guiding them to a place where they can take that really seriously and embrace the opportunities that are being laid out, that’s our highest and best use.



Rebecca: The consulting arm that you’re building to go along with the Superchief brand will even more solidify your leadership in the space, so that’s great to hear.


Ed: It’s really about information sharing. Some of the best conversations I’ve had are with other CEOs and tech firms that are really doing incredible work. It’s those types of conversations that get us from A to Z. Like sharing information, market trends, strategies on the day in and day out, but even more so really dialing it into the relationships in the community is the core of it all.


Rebecca: It’s the core, not to overuse the buzzword of decentralization, but it’s also the decentralization of knowledge.


Ed: Exactly.


Rebecca: Another thing that galleries are worried about when talking about artist autonomy and decentralization is that galleries don’t want to enter the space because they’re worried they’re going to get cut out of revenue or proceeds from artists’ sales, which is a valid concern. There’s a big enough pie for artists to succeed with or without galleries, and brick and mortar IRL galleries showing NFTs is going to be essential for mainstream, widespread adoption.   



Ed: Absolutely.


Rebecca: But not all galleries understand that there are ways to split revenues between artist and gallery through smart contracts, the concept of royalties after the sale on secondary, or talking about who the original creator of the wallet is and why that difference is matters. It’s not just a one time sale where the work is bought from a gallery, and the transaction is done, and the sale is split between them and the artist, but when you roll into secondary markets and revenues, it’s interesting that a lot of gallerists whom I’ve spoken with have no idea how to navigate being able to still get a slice of that initial sale as well as portions of recurring sales on works they’ve helped place in collections, not being a part of secondary, which could all be solved with smart contracts that specify those parameters to each gallery’s and artist’s liking. Every gallery may need to get a dev to write a smart contract just like they’d need to get legal support to write a paper contract specifying all the details. As a gallerist in the space that’s helping pave the way and lay the groundwork for other galleries to follow suit and learn from, do you think that’s it’s going to be essential that galleries show NFTs if it fits with their programming and how much of a percentage should they take? Should it be 50/50?


Ed: Absolutely not. First of all, I think galleries who don’t want to engage with this is because they’re afraid that the democratization of access to artists is going to put them out of business. If that is their fear, they didn’t have a business model to begin with. I think if they’re afraid that suddenly being the doorway to purchase the artwork from them is closed if that’s the only thing they’re bringing to the table, then they should be afraid. I think that’s very accurate. But those are the same fears they put on Instagram; the fact that people can directly talk to their audience, although muted by the algorithm, but can still have a direct conversation to their audience through DMs with their collector base. And those are really selfish responses to an opportunity for artists to be able to support themselves. Artists spend a lot of time and effort building those audiences and making those connections, and to stand between those opportunities and the artist is bullshit. 


We as a gallery have always worked hard to step it up and provide value to the artists we choose to support; we work really hard to get them press, their work photographed, to get exhibitions where the community can gather and celebrate that moment, fostering that community and beyond that really having a defined vision for your curatorial style and what you’re trying to push into the world is really where that value comes from. Why we’re involved in the first place, is to support an aesthetic that’s a Venn diagram of our interests and of the artists, and I think that’s holy work, you know? That effort on our part is proving our value to our artists. We have a strongly built relationship with our community that we bring to artists, and trying to always earn it is a healthy way to have a business relationship. It’s the responsibility of the gallery to prove that value. Being forward-thinking when there are new technological advances that could support and benefit our artist base is worth looking into. The opportunity that artists could finally get royalties off their work is worth putting everything into. That’s a complete paradigm shift and watershed moment, and there’s a far better chance of our artists surviving and continuing to make work, which is our highest goal: that these artists can continue to create work and don’t have to compromise or don’t have to stop so they can really follow that career path, which we all want to see as fans. And for those that invest in and believe in artists, we want to enable them resources that are beyond us. That is really important. 


In a year, I would be very shocked if every website wasn’t already on Web 3.0 and had their own metamask integration on Chrome which allows people to buy NFTs from the artist website directly; I think that’s a no brainer, just like how people can buy things via Shopify. 



Rebecca: Shopify just announced they’ll allow selling NFts!


Ed: Yeah, the access is there. The importance of being a gallery and being a cultural center is that we really embrace and support the artists we believe in, the ones that speak to us, and the ones we really want to get behind. There will always be a purpose in supporting that and a value that we can bring to the table by bringing a community together and showing them something we love. That has its own inherent value. 


Certain models may shift as the digital becomes brick and mortar and as more physical galleries begin to engage and work with NFTs. Since the model is really built off a “no overhead” scenario where there is no physical location -you don’t have lights, you don’t have gallery staff to install the works- a 50% cut doesn’t seem as reasonable. Why would you get the higher percentage if you don’t have the general costs associated with running a gallery? So the 15% approach makes a lot of sense, but as that relationship enters the physical gallery again, it would be interesting to see how it shifts and how physical time is considered in that. But I think that’s a future problem; right now, it’s about engaging with the artists we love and with the NFT community and cross-legitimize them in each other’s eyes to boost this moment for the art world. 


(End of Part 1 in the Series)


Superchief Gallery NYC is a pioneer in the NFT gallery sphere and is located at 56 East 11th Street in NYC. They have worked with digital artists for six years and recently committed to the digital art frontier by opening the world’s first physical NFT gallery in NYC in March.

Please visit

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In the world of physical collectibles, especially sports memorabilia, the autograph of a star, even a small one, can radically increase the value of a sports card or piece of equipment. While blockchain data provides provenance, mainstream collectors may not find that nearly as satisfying as the symbolic human element of NFT signatures. AllCertified is one of an emerging group of services focused on adding verifiable digital autographs to collectible NFTs.


AllCertified – NFTs Verified by Humans


AllCertified founder Michael Eckstein, in an interview for NFTS WTF, discussed the NFT autograph solution he and his company are developing. The basic concept is that celebrities and stars are onboarded and verified. Then NFTs with affixed signature stickers are created for distribution. Since AllCertified has no plans to develop a competing NFT marketplace, the celebrity’s team can then distribute the NFT as they wish to the growing range of options from open marketplaces to celebrity-focused platforms.


While proprietary patent-pending technology is involved, their key is human verification of the celebrity’s identity allied with all critical choices being made by the celebrity from pricing to which NFTs to mint. AllCertified can also suggest images for NFTs and can even take existing NFTs to use as the basis for new NFTs with affixed signatures. If celebs wish, they can sign into AllCertified by phone to approve NFTs and even upload content on the fly.


AllCertified’s Roots in Sports Memorabilia


Eckstein revealed that AllCertified‘s initial market is sports, followed by five target markets: movie studios, TV and streaming services, music, art, and social media influencers. Given the current growth of the sports memorabilia movement and the remarkable power of a verifiable autograph to raise the value of such memorabilia, it’s not that surprising that AllCertified is starting there. However, there is a more personal dimension to that choice which Eckstein shared:


“I have been a sports memorabilia collector for many years…And every time I went to a sports memorabilia show, I was one of the guys in line to get the autograph of the person whose baseball card I had.”


“When NFTs started to move forward, I saw what an amazing upside potential this was. Literally, in the middle of the night, I woke up, and I said, how about the ability to have the sports personality not just be limited to physical presence to sign at a show? How about giving them an authorized blockchain-certified way to look at somebody submitting an NFT and then being able to affix their signature sticker to that. And that’s how the idea was born.”


According to Eckstein, AllCertified is already receiving a strong, positive response. Sports card dealers are also very excited by the idea and would love to be able to take their inventory, create digital images, add the appropriate signatures and create a valuable NFT. Dealers could make quite a bit of revenue, but Eckstein had a disappointing message for most of them. AllCertified will only be working with such companies as Upper Deck and Panini that have direct relationships with athletes. In addition, the company’s commitment to verifiability and celeb control ultimately limits who will be able to use their services.


NFT Signatures Likely to Get Hot


NFT signatures seem likely to be an especially relevant offering in industries in which celebrities have huge fan bases, such as athletes, tv and movie stars, and social media influencers, and may want to put out specific NFTs in large numbers. Signatures provide a means to make them all seem a bit more special and can also provide an option for a limited signed edition being released along with a larger unsigned edition. Of course, a much broader range of use cases will be developed over time.


And as those use cases develop, new competitors will enter the game. One entrant in the NFT Signature space, AutographNFT, is further along with its approach which takes a very different direction. AutographNFT starts from the collector’s side with an already existing NFT for which collectors can request a signature. The NFT creator’s identity is verified through Twitter and, if approved, the original NFT is wrapped in a synthetic NFT, dubbed an “aNFT,” which is essentially a new ERC721 NFT tradable on open markets.


AutographNFT‘s use of Web 2 identity verification is an intelligent approach but also seems likely to have a level of direct outreach behind the scenes. Whether or not that’s the case, the use of what is essentially a removable wrapper, with the ability to restore the original NFT, is likely to be an appealing option.


The Human Element


In many ways, one can think of Web 3 as an attempt to code humans out of the picture as much as possible in the service of creating excellent tools for humans. Companies like AllCertified and AutographNFT remind us that the visible presence and involvement of humans, especially individual celebrities, is a powerful force that fits digital collectibles well. But it does seem likely to require a lot of upfront expense that can’t be automated away. In the case of NFT signature companies, victory will go to those who can combine the most appealing technology for mainstream users with the strongest connection to celebrities and their representatives.

Featured Image Courtesy AllCertified

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Hermine Bourdin is a Self-taught sculptor based in Paris, France. Hermine creates works inspired by the feminine lines of the female body. In her work, Hermine seeks to represent full, proud sensual women. Her work is currently on view in various galleries in Paris, Nice, Berlin, NYC, Copenhagen & Hangzhou. Hermine is currently designing a metaverse where she will premiere her work alongside a group of collaborators in the space. 


Your practice is a very formal art form. When did you begin sculpting and why? 


I was passionate about sculpture from a very young age. Being a sculptor was a crazy dream I had read and I studied the work of many great sculptors but I had never acted on it. It was only after a big loss in my family that something clicked in my mind and it dawned on me that time goes by so fast…I decided to make the jump and turn this passion into a full-time practice. I had many sketches and ideas of shapes so I started to test various materials to find which medium could work the best for me. I started to take lessons in stone carving, metal welding, plaster moulding, etc. I didn’t know if this envy to sculpt was just a whim or if I was able to produce anything exchangeable for real, I had never sculpted in my life. But the more I was putting energy and time into it the more this envy became stronger and I knew it was it.


What artists do you admire and are there masters you studied that moved you to become an artist?


There are so many artists I admire. I would put Camille Claudel at the top of the list and August Rodin, their work is so alive and intense. The Rodin museum is by far one of my favourite places in Paris. I also admire a lot Constantin Brancusi and Barbara Hepworth, Louise Bourgeois Marisol Escobar and Fernand Léger, the list is endless! I also had the chance to meet Laurence Brice in Biot who was the daughter-in-law of Roland Brice, the ceramist of Fernand Léger himself and I learned a lot from her. 


Are there personal experiences from your life that you draw on that influence your work?


Cinema has been a big source of inspiration for me. My parents made me watch many classical black and white movies and I remember loving the Italian films of the Cinecittà, especially Fellini and Visconti. I recall seeing the figures and shapes of Anita Ekberg in La Dolce Vita and thinking ‘Wow, that is a real woman.’ I’ve always admired curvy actresses like Sophia Lauren, Claudia Cardinale, Josephine Baker, Maryline Monroe, those ladies still inspire me today. I’ve always admired curves rather than sharp angles and that’s what made me want to sculpt this way using plump sensual feminine lines. 


When I started to sculpt, it was instinctive. It felt very natural to show feminine forms because to me this was the feminine shape is perfection. I think a sculptor always tries to sculpt perfection, at least to their eyes. Some see perfection in angles, squares, or geometric forms, some see perfection in imperfection like with Wabi-Sabi for instance. To me, perfection is found in full, voluptuous, curvy feminine shapes. My women are proud, generous, and protective, at least that’s what I try to portray in my work. 


Could you expand on your inspiration to work in the medium of sculpture? Was there a moment you felt called to pursue this passion for working with your hands?


When I was a kid I lived with my aunt and uncle who were craftsmen and farmers, they would do everything themselves, everything was handmade. Living with them for several years I developed the skills of the art of how to use my hands through making cheese, farming, gardening, winemaking, etc! At Christmas time my aunt would make us sculpt figurines using clay. That’s when I first encountered this material that I loved so much. This medium remained dear to me but it was only later that I went back to it. I had the idea that clay wouldn’t work for the shapes I had in mind, that it was too soft and saggy but, it turned out to be the best material for me, a very familiar warm medium related to my childhood. So after trying out stone carving and metal welding I returned to clay and I found it was a very sensual medium, very feminine moreover. I recall a specific instance when I was a teenager having just moved to Paris, I had a friend whose father was a sculptor and I remember being in awe visiting his studio, it felt like this weird déjà vu.


How did you arrive at these unique figurative shapes? What was and what is your process from conception to completion?

I spent hours sketching the sculptures of Rodin and Zadkine or the abstract work of Brancusi, they inspired me a lot. I realize that it’s by sketching that I started to want to sculpt and give life to these drawings. Sketching is a key part of my work.

Every piece starts with an idea and once imagined, the shape is drawn before beginning a long dialogue with the material, doing and undoing the work until each piece comes to life into a perfect balance of curves and movements. Then I start the meticulous process of adding the finishing touches giving each piece its unique sensual texture. 

Can you elaborate on your choice of materials and how you decide to use a particular material and its significance in your pieces?

To sculpt in sandstone is very related to what I try to represent, thriving free voluptuous women. I see every woman as a potential sculptor or shaper of life, one can distinguish a womb within the opening of the pieces, but one can also see Earth, homogeneous to my material of choice, and how this same Earth that nourishes us.  

I’m also working with plaster, wood and I want to do some bronze casting as well, I want to explore many new materials but sandstone will always remain first. 


Your pieces feel evocative in the sense that they can elicit an emotional response to the way we view the female body, fertility, beauty, and sexuality. How do you view your work through this lens? 

Since I’ve always been inspired by feminine forms and shapes it was very natural to represent them in my work, and that’s how I wanted to communicate these ideas without words. The message I put forth in my work is my ode to all women. I want to show the beauty of women’s shapes and curves, I want each of my pieces to be very sensual and thriving. I think women should be proud and free, and that’s what makes them glowing and beautiful. Sex is of course an important part as well. I wouldn’t find any pleasure in sculpting very dry and thin figures because to me love, beauty and voluptuousness are synonymous.



Because your sculptures are modeled off of and celebrate the female form do you consider your work as an expression of female empowerment?

I think that’s why women often relate to my work because there is a female empowerment message. I hope my work inspires women to feel more proud, and beautiful. Everything starts with this state of mind. 


One of my recent works is a series of 3 pieces together called Sisters where I address sisterhood between women. In this work, I revisited The 3 Graces, this three callipygian Mythological sisters –  goddesses of charm, beauty, and fertility. I created each piece in a different hue to stress the beauty of every skin colour and they are exhibited at the König Galerie in Berlin as part of the Messe 3 this August 2021. 


You recently brought your physical sculptures into the digital realm. What was your interest in creating NFTs from your sculptures?


It first started when I began issuing Certificates of Authenticity registered on the blockchain with Verisart. That’s when I fell into the rabbit hole of this amazing universe that is NFTs. I quickly wanted to try creating my own and started to 3D scan my work. 


I think NFTs are creating brand new opportunities for sculpture. That enables me to animate and play with my physical works. The result of a piece as a traditional sculptor is static and cannot be changed once done whereas NFTs allow me to play between static and kinetic, giving motion to stillness. 


I also love this idea of making an NFT for each of my pieces, it’s like capturing the soul of each physical work and giving it another life that I find very interesting. It’s also a way to put my sculptures in different environments, change the colour, etc. I find it very exciting. Learning how to properly use software to achieve these results is challenging but worth the struggle! I mainly mint on Hicetnunc because the Tezos blockchain is quite green and that’s important to me. 


Tell me more about what you’ve been doing in the metaverse!


I’m very passionate about the metaverse and I decided recently to create a virtual world together in collaboration with Alissia Spaces.  It’s all happening on an island where you can see the sculptures in bigger sizes, scattered here and there. The idea is to give another scale to my work.  I like the fact that you can enter this world from your computer without having to download anything, you just visit my website and can access it from there. 


When entering the world, you’ll find yourself at the top of the island, inside the gallery I showcase NFT and 3D renders of my sculptures. You’ll be able to teleport at different locations of the island if you wish to see those huge sculptures closer. I am in love with Land Art and my biggest dream would be to make public art one day. I think art shouldn’t be only in galleries or in a luxurious apartment but should be outside, available to everybody and dressing up our streets, parks, and public squares. For instance, some of my favorite monumental sculptors are Jaume Plensa or Alicja Kwade, Manolo Valdes, Prune Nourry. I admire their creations. So this virtual world is a way to share a version that is fun and limitless.


This virtual world is also a place where I can show my latest collaborations with other artists. I am now working on a series of physical and NFT work with a French tattoo artist, she will tattoo several of my physical plasters and we will create a series of limited edition NFTs that I’m very excited about.


To learn more about Hermine, check out her NFTs on Hicetnunc, visit her website, and follow him online:


Instagram: @herminebourdin

Twitter: @BourdinHermine



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


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


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



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


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

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



Follow UTB here on socials


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Republic Realm, a metaverse real estate development and investment company, announced the grand opening of Metajuku, a shopping district in the Decentraland metaverse, with DRESSX becoming one of the first digital-only companies to open a store inside the district. In addition to the digital fashion outfits displayed in the store, there are 3 NFT artworks inspired by DRESSX collections dedicated to SpaceX launches and created by the digital artist Hanne Zaruma


Metajuku is a 16,000 sf (256 m2) project built with a pedestrian-friendly open space at its center. The district is located at the coordinates 94, 21 in Decentraland (and I highly suggest that you check it out). Metajuku takes its roots in Harajuku, a district in Tokyo known as the center of Japanese street fashion.


“Real-world shopping malls are sitting half-empty as stores move more business online,” said Janine Yorio, co-head of Republic Real Estate, “meanwhile, elaborate virtual malls are being built in the metaverse, a nascent industry called ‘de-commerce.’” 


DressX is the largest fashion store for digital-only collections from well-known brands and 3D designers. Through the use of digital clothing, users can simply layer fashion items on top of photos that they have taken in order to create whole new outfits. As a solution to the negative environmental footprint produced by the fashion industry, DressX was created by Daria Shapovalova and Natalia Modenova in July 2020 as the first-ever platform for digital garments that generate zero waste, carbon footprints, and chemicals during their production. 


“We are very excited to create a virtual shopping experience accessible to anyone, anytime, and anywhere in the world. At DressX we see it as our mission to drive the development of the digital fashion industry and provide more opportunities for people to leverage available technologies, immersing themselves into the new virtual reality or connection in social media. The shopping mall built from the ground up in Decentraland and offering digital-only clothes from DressX cosmic collection is our joint next step aimed at merging the traditional fashion experience with the world of tech and innovation.”

Daria Shapovalova and Natalia Modenova, co-founders of DressX.


Today, nearly 9% of all fashion is acquired for content creation (Instagram posts, photoshoots and the like), and the fashion industry is considered to be one of the world’s largest polluters. Digital garment production provides the fashion for content with 97% less CO2 emissions. Moreover, virtual real estate does not have the same physical constraints as real-world real estate development, therefore the DRESSX virtual store was designed with zero-gravity features, in which digital clothing is displayed floating in zero-gravity balls in the air. 


Although the digital wearables market is still in its infancy, glimmers of its potential are apparent from the video game industry where gamers have paid more than $40 million for wearables in the game Fortnite alone. Digital real estate prices have exploded in recent months. For example, parcel price in Decentraland has doubled over the past two months, from roughly $1800 per parcel to $7,000+ today, which represents a 4x return in just two months. 


Republic Realm is a digital real estate NFT investment vehicle that acquires and develops digital real estate NFTs in decentralized, blockchain-based virtual worlds, including Decentraland, The Sandbox, Cryptovoxels, and other new emerging metaverses. Republic Realm is professionally managed by a cross-disciplinary investment team at Republic from both the cryptocurrency/tokenization and traditional real estate groups. Republic Realm is co-sponsored by Republic, the private investment technology platform with over 1 million worldwide users.



If you want to see the store for yourself, DRESSX digital collections are now available for purchase in DRESSX virtual flagship store at coordinates 94, 21 in Decentraland.

Or simply via this link.


And then follow DRESSX on socals and explore their world further:

Instagram: @dressx

Crunchbase: DRESSX

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David is an actor, indie filmmaker and celebrity spoken word poet who’s exploded on the NFT scene with an entirely new art genre. Boasting over 100 professional film & tv credits, he’s no stranger to the art of film — and now has added an element to his art that is both impactful and unexpected: poetry and…nudity. That’s right, David Bianchi personally poses in the buff to deliver potent doses of perspective and awareness around the racist history of blackface and the 150 years of institutional oppression that was the minstrel show, and the correspondent silencing and mockery of black voices and culture.

The Modern Day Minstrel is a collaboration conceptualized and produced by Bianchi and beautifully lensed by editorial photographer Isaac Alvarez. Each NFT is narrated in Bianchi’s haunting original spoken word poetry. They are expertly animated and subtly brought to life with exquisite score and sound design sonically illuminating the story of each portrait in a beautiful and visceral manner. 


Additionally, In an unprecedented move, he pledged to release the intellectual property rights of his written poetry to the owner of each NFT along with a 24-page luxury book signed by himself and Alvarez. The proprietary spoken-word/cinema hybrid, Spinema, he created over 16 years ago, has been reborn as perspective-packed NFTs. The art has been taking the NFT world by storm with his stunning performances that harness a powerful message and purpose alongside movie-theatre-quality visuals and sound.

The distance between mediocrity and greatness is your perception.” -David Bianchi


Image of David Bianchi’s x Isaac Alvarez’s Modern-Day Minstrel #001 Equality


Perception is what his incredible art form of Spinema™ delivers. He’s using past perceptions and infusing them with contemporary viewpoints, bringing awareness to issues through his own creative and attentive vantage point. When you view his spoken word films, they give you a sense of empowerment, and one can feel the poignance of what they are witnessing. They immerse your senses at a visceral level and take you on a thought-provoking journey through time. 

 Apparently MetaPurse, (buyers of the Beeple NFT,) noticed David’s greatness, as they purchased David’s genesis project, “I Can’t Breathe,” for a cool $18,000.00 in ETH. Keeping his campaign promise, David donated all proceeds from the acquisition to the George Floyd Memorial Foundation, helping them establish a digital wallet to introduce cryptocurrency to the inner city of Minneapolis.

Davids’ Sophmore Spinema™ drop “You Can’t Hear Me” directed by Emmy nominee Christopher Folkens, starring himself and Grammy™ award-winning poet Malcolm-Jamal Warner, and spoken word artist Chris Wood sold out within 22 hours of auction opening. This project donated a combined $6,000 with the partnership of Charitas and Obtainable to the New Earth Foundation for inner-city youth programs.


Image courtesy of Exertion Films


 “My story is just a tremendous amount of desire, self-belief, fortitude, and knowing, knowing, that my art, that what I have, is going to be worth a lot of money someday and is going to change the world.” – David Bianchi


Money certainly isn’t his focus, as he pleads for artists to focus on the things that genuinely inspire and resonate with them. He proclaims that “money follows inspiration, and that’s really the most important thing.” I think he’s right; tapping into your inspiration and allowing that to guide you leads you to the prosperous potential of the universe.


His pieces have been bid on and collected by some of the most important collectors in the space.  Not to mention that the floor for his ‘Modern Day Minstrel’ series is currently at 3.3 ETH (or over $7K USD.) I met David for coffee in LA last week and we spoke about creating a better world through NFTs, his new book, plans for the future, and our molecular level gifts as humans.

Image courtesy of Chris Cuffaro ®


“I believe that every single individual has a molecular level gift that is written on their code all the way down to their genetics, that makes them predisposed to be able to birth something into the world that only they can do, as a result of their genetic code that is coupled with their emotional, physical, and spiritual experiences as they walk this planet.” he mentions while referencing his upcoming book, where you can learn more about what he calls the “molecular level gift.” 

His gift must be for delivering messages in entertaining and valuable ways, because his Spinema is a culmination of top of the line cinematic engineering, poetic messages that rewrite history and performances that reach you viscerally. The art empowers those that have been unjustly robbed of their human rights and voice. I asked David “Why nudity?” His reply was profound:


When we are stripped bare, we are stripped of dignity. This was common during the slave trade, especially on the selling block. So the Minstrel has had his dignity stripped of him, and all he has left are racist and traumatic generational stereotypes burned into him. The minstrel show exacerbated those stereotypes en masse as the National art form for over a century that overtook Opera, and became Vaudeville, then eventually Hollywood films. So when we see him naked, he has no choice but to fight for his dignity despite the racist scars he carries with him.”


He’s definitely using his nudity for a worthy cause, reshaping this particularly cruel art form that existed in the past. If you don’t know, the minstrel was a super fucked up form of historical entertainment, where caucasian actors would dress in blackface and hop around the stage berating black people with horrific “comedy” and songs. This perpetuated a nefarious sentiment that people of colour should be mocked and used for entertainment and profit.


Image of David Bianchi’s x Isaac Alvarez’s Modern-Day Minstrel #002 Possession
Courtesy of Exertion Films


This destructive narrative has done so much harm to beautiful, powerful, and noble humans worldwide. We have a responsibility, and privilege, to rewrite outdated and under-informed societal narratives that were put in place before any of us were born. We can teach people love and worthiness, empower them as the royalty we all are, and give access to the independent ownership of profits made on their behalf using the blockchain. 

I’m so glad that David is revisiting this horrific moment in human history where the power of entertainment was abused and used to misinform. He is shining a whole new light on the issue while creating a new story around once pernicious uses of an entertainer’s influences. In the ‘Modern Day Minstrel’ series, he’s flexing his power as an entertainer too, let’s just take a moment here to appreciate that bod! How could you not get a closer look with that eye candy? You have got to love when an NFT is so attention-grabbing while being loaded with honourable intent!

mage of Bianchi’s x Isaac Alvarez’ss’ Modern Day Minstrel
Courtesy of Exertion Films


All of his beautiful Spinema™ presents eloquent art alongside a message for humanity and an opportunity to make a difference. All it takes is just a few adjustments in perception and the courage to take action. It’s interesting to see so many perspectives coming forth in this growing NFT space, and David Bianchi is undoubtedly someone to keep your eye on, which shouldn’t be hard, as he’s a pro at consistently grabbing our attention with fresh, consistent content. So check out his work on Superrare to join the Spinema™ Movement, and subscribe to to keep up with all of the latest NFT projects.




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Who would have thought Jackie and Kelso from That 70s Show would be early adopters in pioneering an animated NFT show called Stoner Cats? Although the name does fit the roles they both played as actors back in 1998. 


Despite Ashton’s involvement with cryptocurrencies for nearly a decade, it was Mila Kunis who originated the idea to create the animated NFT show Stoner Cats.  Mila explains on their YouTube channel that while stuck in the same house with Ashton during covid, she overheard what others were saying about how digital art was being sold as NFTs. Mila finally asked her husband if she could create an animated show as an NFT, to which Kutcher replied “Well, yes you could!” Fast forward to yesterday’s complete sell-out of Stoner Cats NFTs in 35 minutes.

Stoner Cats Teaser:


Low-effort Celebrity NFT Cash Grab?


While some in the NFT community would view this as yet another celebrity cash grab, there is much more nuance to be understood here.

First of all, the project has an absolutely insane lineup of all-star talent voicing the characters of this adult cartoon including Jane Fonda, Seth MacFarlane, Chris Rock, Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, and Vitalik Buterin himself.

The all-star lineup doesn’t end with the celebrity cast, former CryptoKitties creative director Mack Flavelle is leading the effort along with the animation team of Chris Cartagena, Sarah Cole, and Ash Brannon.

This breaks the low-effort celebrity cash grab narrative that in my opinion is really just rooted in a disguised form of jealousy amongst some of the louder voices in the space.

There is already a mockery NFT project looking to capitalize on all the buzz Stoner Cats is generating that I won’t even mention here.  In my own view, I choose to celebrate the success of others instead of criticizing it, regardless of how successful they were previously.  The last time I checked, it takes quite a bit of effort and work to become an accomplished celebrity and to deal with all the haters that inevitably come with it.

I spoke with a few other prominent NFT community members within the WTF Dao to get their opinions. 

Bryan Brinkman had some insightful nuggets he shared with me.

“I may be an optimist, but as an animator who has worked in the industry, I’ve seen how hard it is to get a network to approve an idea that doesn’t fit into the mold they are looking for. This space is all about decentralizing and removing gatekeeping and this could prove to be a way for creators to do that.”


“I see this project as a rough roadmap for how creators can bankroll and build a community around their ideas in the same way Kickstarter and Patreon have. The difference here is that as an investor, you hold the value you invested in the Non-Fungible Token. As a supporter, you can help the project grow in value and increase the return on your investment. It’ll be interesting to see how the next wave of projects learn from what did and did not work in this one. I see future examples as having more utility and ownership of the content.”


“This project signals a new wave of “Celebrity NFTs”, prior to this we had some musicians, athletes, and actors joining the space, but none of them had the star power that this project brings. We are now going to see celebrities and influencers that have access to major networks late night and daytime talk shows being able to promote their NFT projects and that is going to onboard a massive wave of new interested collectors that I think will rival the boom we saw at the beginning of 2021.”

Bryan’s comments really just confirmed my own observations about what this project was really about. If you are a builder or creator in this space, the selling out of this Stoner Cats NFT project is likely to inject an enormous amount of interest in NFTs, which is a net positive for creators in this space over the long term.


Animated NFT Show Stoner Cats
Photo Credit: Stoner Cats – Baxter – Voiced by Ashton Kutcher

Failure to Launch and Gas Problems

This project was not without its own set of challenges and problems, I was in the Stoner Cats discord when its failure to launch on the original drop date prompted a flurry of anger and frustration along with an overwhelming amount of keyboard warriors with no manners saying things they would not dare say to another human face to face.


The very next day after the team worked tirelessly to fix the issues with the smart contract, they launched on time, however, there was so much demand for these Stoner Cats that gas prices on the Etherum blockchain skyrocketed north of 500 Gwei from less than 30 prior to the launch. 


I myself had a transaction that failed after 40 minutes of waiting.

According to data from Dune Analytics over $700,000 USD was lost in failed transactions. 


I also got to speak with another WTF Dao member, Kai Turner, founder of the Meebits Dao, Experience Designer at Netflix, and Product Content Innovation lead and Advisor to NFT42.

This is what he had to say:

“Funnily enough, I pitched a similar idea to the now-Dapper Labs CTO when I was at Sony Pictures Entertainment suggesting that CryptoKitties should do something exactly like this in 2017.  So it’s notable that the former CryptoKitties Creative Director is leading the effort because maybe he saw similar potential in the space.”


“In terms of the creative concept, I think they could have set a higher bar.  It does feel like someone has asked: What does the crypto community like? Cats and Weed! However, even though these are hackneyed themes within our niche, they might be slightly novel to the broader adult animation audience– so given the names, especially Seth McFarlane, attached — there is still a lot of potential for this to become a quality piece of entertainment.”


“Finally, with the NFT release, lots of complaints about the launch, but for us who have been in the space for a while, we’re used to the gas spikes.  Although I think we do need a better model for oversubscribed drops than just pushing the contract and website live – Top Shot is pioneering models here out of necessity. So if it’s queues or tickets or waitlists 


just telling the community to pay a 200% premium on gas is not good enough anymore. 


Gas isn’t my main concern though – I think the drop could have provided more variation than the same characters, the characters associated with characters in the show could have been the rarest ones, but why not build out a Stoner Cats universe of all the cats in the world?  Even if they don’t make an appearance in the show in season 1 — there is future potential for them to! — maybe as a community reward/competition.”

“Overall, I’m enthusiastic about the project and the hope that it will set a new model for funding content – but like Kickstarter projects in the past, I’ll believe it when I see it … the execution of the final product is what matters most.” – Kai Turner


Animated NFT Show Stoner Cats
Photo credit:

Key Takeaway

For me, the general takeaway is that despite all of the problems with the initial launch, the gas wars, lost funds, and the hate being hurled at celebrities for “daring” to use this nascent NFT technology; this project looks to be a major success in proving NFT’s are a better way forward for creatives in the entertainment industry. 

The idea that celebrities and all of Hollywood would not eventually be beating down the door to enter into this space is a short-sighted sentiment. There is a tremendous opportunity for those who are open to seeing the importance of this very moment in history as the future infrastructure for nearly all forms of entertainment media, is being built now.

NFTs will continue to empower more creators and break down some of the very entrenched middlemen in the entertainment industry.

Studios and publishers have carved predominantly predatory relationships with creators, but this new model of funding creative works via NFTs will force them to innovate and alter the way they interact with the true creators of value behind all types of intellectual property.

I see a future world where the consumers of entertainment experiences will also be the stakeholders, contributors, and even the co-creators themselves, where the fans can have a more intimate connection and even ownership of the stories they love without all the bureaucratic bullshit, all brought to you by Non-fungible Tokens.


Animated NFT Show Stoner Cats
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