The last minutes of the Ethereum Community conference ended in some fast & furious token-swapping in the lobby of the Maison de la Mutualite. The excitement was courtesy of Hermez, a decentralized ZK (zero-knowledge) rollup specializing in low-cost token transfers. In cryptography, a zero-knowledge proof is when one party can prove to another that a specific mathematical statement is true without revealing any additional information. The concept helps with the transfer of sensitive information and allows blockchain transactions to remain private.


But back to EthCC [4]. Hermez hosted a conference-wide token exchange, which included tokens with quirky names such as the Future of France, Lambo, Elon Musk Muted, and Corgi.  This “conference trading” served as a casual ice breaker for attendees, although the atmosphere throughout the venue was already very social. Additional gamification elements were also present throughout the week (including a POAP raffle for volunteers and  SushiSwap’s NFT giveaway), making EthCC a nice balance between networking, community building, and educational initiatives. Before we pull the curtain on this year’s Paris conference, let’s look at some of the highlights from day three:



While building futures is exciting – at some point, the incoming regulations on Cryptocurrency and tokenization will likely put a slight damper on the Web 3.0 party. Luckily lawyers @silkenoa and @fatalmeh provided some insight on how to start thinking about these inevitable changes and incoming amendments to the law. Although they presented views rather than legal advice, the duo did cover a lot of important points that all holders of crypto and incoming DAOs should consider. In addition to clarifying that there is always a legal risk when holding crypto, there were some great jokes about the exodus from Berlin to Portugal due to the lack of elevators. For anyone looking for more insight into the legal side of tokenomics, they put together this handy (and collaborative) Crypto Legal Risk Checklist.



The concept of Proof of Personhood has been around since 2017 (and Vitalik Buterin proposed an identity system in 2014). However, Proof of Humanity (PoH) was only announced this past March by Kleros. POH is a social verification system that can help to throttle evil bots and provide resistance against Sybil attacks. One use case being explored by the decentralized arbitration service include a Universal Basic Income Token.


Humanity is a hot topic, especially as we enter a future filled with AI, IoT, and robots. As discussions around humanity increase, it’s also opened up the conversation about extending human rights to animals and natural resources. Many initiatives are utilizing NFT technology for environmental and social good to tackle this, including Project Ark. Today, however, we’re discussing tress.


On the main stage of EthCC, James Beck (Director of Communication at ConsenSys) discussed environmental personhood and how rights can be referred to natural resources on the Ethereum network. The concept of assigning human rights to non-humans is gaining traction, and Beck believes that the Ethereum blockchain can play a vital role in protecting and sustaining natural resources.


The example used by Beck was street trees, highlighting the need to protect them from damage and destruction. Utilizing the New York City Street Tree Map of 700,000 street trees, Beck explained the unique benefits of street trees: they absorb carbon, prevent erosion, and cool cities in the summer. He highlighted initiatives such as terra0, based in Berlin, that aims to provide automated ecosystem resilience frameworks.” In 2018, terra0 used censors on a bonsai tree to determine its various needs (more water, more light, etc.). Essentially, the tree is managed by a DAO, and when Ethereum is sent to the tree’s smart contract, humans provide the required upkeep. 


Citing this example, Beck seeks to expand on this concept by creating an NYC Street Tree Dao. Using the platform, he is crowdfunding for a specific Japanese Zelkova tree in Brooklyn. Beck’s case for tree DAO’s is further explored in a collectible NFT piece on Mirror.




Yes, there was a lot of legal talk happening on day three of EthCC. Primavera De Filippi (legal researcher at the National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS) in Paris) made it clear that current Intellectual Property (IP) and copyright laws do not necessarily protect works that are copied or re-sold on the blockchain. Not the best news, but at least there’s going to be a party on the Moon!



And finally, we got an update on the EU regulation, Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA), from Dea Markova, Senior Director at the EU division of FTI consulting. While it appears these regulations might not come into effect until 2024, Markova hinted that the EU is far ahead of the U.S. and other major financial markets on regulation. Furthermore, the EU is more focused on providing solutions to problems rather than just presenting the problems themselves. In Brussels, the INATBA task force has been established to help lawmakers create regulations that don’t stifle innovation and development. One insight Markova provided is that tokens will likely be regulated based on the utility and purpose they provide (stablecoins will have different regulations than altcoins, for instance).


It’s too early to tell how this will all play out, but more governments and financial institutions are entering the DeFi space as these laws are being created.


What a whirlwind week in Paris! Of course, this is just a small amount of the information shared at EthCC. Check out this fascinating talk about MetaFi and the Open Metaverse by Outlier Venture’s Jamie Burke, as well as other talks from the EthCC [4] main stage.


Au revoir, and see you at the next Ethereum Conference!

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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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Axie Infinity, the wildly popular virtual world NFT game, recently hit a series of landmarks that revealed just how successful of a force the game has become and how much more may lie ahead. The virtual world game, which features appealingly designed “pets,” or “Axies”, offers a variety of ways to earn money, from breeding to battling. Steadily building since late 2017, Axie‘s recent explosive growth is now catching attention across NFT and crypto demographics as both a business and community success.



Axie Infinity Community!”


Axie Infinity, or Axie, for short, at first appears to be a fairly simple concept that reveals its complexity as one digs deeper. In the Axie Infinity Whitepaper, the game is described as a:


“Pokémon-inspired universe where anyone can earn tokens through skilled gameplay and contributions to the ecosystem. Players can battle, collect, raise, and build a land-based kingdom for their pets. It’s also taken on characteristics of a social network and jobs platform due to the strong community and play to earn opportunities that have come from its early success.”


The play-to-earn concept is key to Axie‘s popularity. Axie has multiple ways to earn in the game with more on the way. Just as the “play” side evolves, so too does the “earn” side.


According to its timeline, Axie Infinity‘s development began in 2017 with its first Axie presale in February of 2018. Parent company Sky Mavis was officially launched in early 2018 with headquarters in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam where it is led by CEO Trung Thanh Nguyen. More importantly, the timeline reveals the systematic development of Axie which laid the foundation for its recent explosive growth.


Growth highlights include:


  • “Axie Infinity has generated over $39 million worth of total revenue between July 10th and July 17th, 2021…To put into perspective just how astonishing that figure is, in the same span Ethereum and Bitcoin generated $37.9 million and $4.7 million in total revenues respectively.” (William M. Peaster)


  • “Over the past 24 hours, 7 days, and 30 days, Axie Infinity has done more volume than any other NFT Marketplace, including open ones like OpenSea, Foundation, and Rarible, and asset-specific ones like CryptoPunks, NBA TopShot, and SoRare. It’s now third all-time by volume, and amazingly, its past 30-day volume alone would rank third all-time!” (Packy McCormick)


  • “Today they’re getting ready to surpass Fortnite as the largest discord community in the world.” (Ryan Sean Adams)


  • “We’re going ballistic on Twitch” (Jihoz)


Many factors have played into Axie‘s success, from consistent development to great art to the opportunity to play-to-earn. Axie‘s overall set of features already feels quite complete with more to come. However, Axie‘s deeper appeal and perhaps, one day, its historical significance derives from the overlap of community and play-to-earn heightened during the Covid pandemic. A recent documentary explores this element:



“‘PLAY-TO-EARN’ | Trailer”


“PLAY-TO-EARN” is a documentary by Coindesk columnist Leah Callon-Butler. Callon-Butler first wrote about a community in the Philippines, Cabanatuan City, where seemingly everyone played Axie Infinity. Callon-Butler then went on to create the “PLAY-TO-EARN” documentary about the village’s relationship to Axie. Both the documentary and Cabanatuan City are now symbolic of the potentially life-changing economic power of Axie and the community forces that have become part of the game’s power.


As she notes in her follow-up article, the earnings from Axie enabled whole families to play and to earn the money they needed to get through the Covid crisis when so many lost their jobs. While the Philippines is not the only nation where Axie Infinity is popular, it has been the strongest example of widespread uptake fueled by stories of gaming success such as the man who bought two houses with his winnings.


As Yield Guild co-founder and NFTS WTF DAO member Gabby Dizon states:


The unique ability of the Axie Infinity team to grow a virtual world game over years and successfully connect to players in a meaningful way is in itself a huge accomplishment. To have an effect on the economic well-being of whole communities reveals Axie Infinity as an example of the potential for NFTs to become a tool for creating a better world.


Featured Image Courtesy Sky Mavis

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On July 23, 2020, Jose Delbo released his soon-to-be iconic NFT comic book  Death …. No Escape”. One year later, in collaboration with his grandson’s Apollo NFT Studios, they are celebrating the first anniversary of his now-legendary drop with a new collection of unique offerings entitled “Death …. Reanimated.” Spread out over two separate dates, the first drop comes on July 23, 2021, via Makersplace. The collection consists of six limited edition pieces with hand-signed limited edition prints that incorporate augmented reality. They will release a seventh piece, “Death …Reanimated,” an edition of 250 NFTs reimagining his groundbreaking “Death …No Escape” book as animated comic short films. The final edition will be released as a one-of-one consisting of the inked art used to create the original “Death … No Escape” cover. Also included in the drop will be various perks and rewards for past Jose Delbo collectors.

This drop, and its historical predecessor, result from the recent discovery by Delbo of blockchain technology and all that it can do for artists like himself. He was already an accomplished professional artist who started his illustrious career at the age of 16 and has worked on projects that span generations. From an illustrated tale of Dwight Eisenhower, the famed Yellow Submarine comic for the Beatles, and the Disney classic 101 Dalmations in the late 1960s. His later work for Marvel and DC included the Justice League’s holy trinity of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, and comic book adaptations of 80’s Cartoons like the Transformers and Thundercats. Still, after all his time in comics, Delbo had never been one to self publish and found the prospect of pushing his unique story that is image-driven with very little text to be daunting. So, in true comic book fashion, Satoshi the Creator and his new technology came to the rescue.

Death No Escape Cover by Jose Delbo


After his grandson sat him down and explained the intricacies of blockchain technology, and NFTs in particular, Delbo rapidly progressed from novice to expert. Then, releasing what may very well be the first completely original comic book available only as an NFT on the blockchain, they sold in small batches with the final allotment of 20 selling out in one day and fetching the attractive price of 1ETH each.


The success of his NFT comic led to a surge of interest in comic book art, just as the NFT market was exploding, and found Delbo occupying space as one of the most well-known artists in the crypto-art market. With a string of releases and collaborations with some of the top artists in the space, such as Pr1mal Cypher, Mark McKenna, Vuho Studios, and Anna Zhilyaeva. Delbo has crafted a compelling vision with his Death character, enabling him to become the staple in the NFT Community that he is today. Recently Delbo working in conjunction with his grandson’s company, Apollo NFT Studios, has gathered a team of the top 3D modelers and animators to reimagine the Death comic in a new way that he believes may well be the future of comic art on the blockchain.


The drop goes live on July 23, 2021, on Marking the first anniversary of the Argentinian-born comic artist transformation of not only himself but digital comics, NFT’s and the blockchain itself.


“At first, he didn’t fully understand the concept of selling art digitally as he had always been a physical artist.  But then I explained the basic features of the technology to him, namely, that the blockchain would allow people to know that the digital art was actually coming from him and that it would allow him to create limited numbers of the art; he was pretty happy to just dive in and was excited at the potential of a whole new group of fans.  No one had any idea what would happen next.”


  • Nick Frontera.  Founder of Apollo NFT.  Grandson to Jose Delbo.

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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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In the U.S., the National College Athletic Association (NCAA) recently suspended rules that banned amateur athletes from monetizing their “Name, Image and Likeness” (NIL) via such means as product endorsements and merchandise. Those closely following the NFT space rightly recognize the opportunity, but one should not expect an explosion of sports NFTs to follow. There are many more lucrative deals clogging up the pipelines but, long term, the implications of this ruling change are considerable for NFTs especially if the changes are extended to high school athletes.


On July the 1st, the NCAA lifted rules stopping college athletes from monetizing their name, image and likeness while maintaining amateur status. Due to a wide range of activity in this area from state laws, some of which were about to come into effect, to proposals in Congress, final clear guidelines are not yet available. The situation for high school athletes is even more confusing with statements that they are not eligible in response to statements that they are and warnings about dropping NFTs too soon after one has graduated from high school.


However, unclear cut off dates are not stopping future college athletes from dropping NFTs and signing all sorts of deals. And keep in mind that, in April, University of Iowa basketball’s Luke Garza released his first NFT almost before hitting the showers after his last game in the 2021 NCAA men’s basketball tournament. So, with graduation behind them, we should see a rising tide of former high school athletes attempting to gather some NFT back-to-school money.


But can we expect a “flood of college athlete NFTs” to save the day for NFT markets declared dead? Well, yes and no. There will be significant growth in NFTs this year though likely spread over seasons for specific sports. Of course, high-profile athletes are already taking advantage of the shift in rules and releasing NFTs, such as the Kayvon Thibodeaux NFT in partnership with Nike founder Phil Knight and designed by Oregon alum Tinker Hatfield.


Keep in mind that the rules change creates new marketing channels of fresh young stars being offered much fancier opportunities than an NFT. So don’t be surprised that NFTs won’t get the same level of sports headlines as deals like:


  • Cavinder twins sign with Boost Mobile and Six Star Pro Nutrition
  • McKenzie Milton and D’Eriq King join Dreamfield, a NIL-focused startup, as co-founders
  • Hercy Miller signs a $2 million deal with Web Apps America


So this coming year should be big for college sports-focused NFTs but NFTs will not be the biggest news to come from NIL rules changes. Nevertheless, this change comes at a perfect time for NFTs:


  • 2021’s strong introduction of sports NFTs from NBA Top Shot to Sorare establishes NFTs as a new element in athlete’s merch bundle. Being on that checklist now means NFTs will become a standard item with which to maximize monetization.
  • College athletics have a huge community element and a family fanbase that is often deeply engaged over generations. Such a dynamic can strongly increase the desirability of identifiable digital collectibles, which will kick in even deeper if high school athletes gain similar rights.
  • Currently, a wide range of NFT platforms and marketplaces are being launched, including many in the sports space. Opening up college and, possibly, high school athletics to NFTs could lead to a wide range of game and marketplace startups centred on amateur athletes.


The enthusiastic community support received by amateur athletes makes them a huge target for marketers. Of course, the big bucks will go to the big stars, but everyone can create something unique to memorialize their years in youth athletics. Once the headline endorsement buzz fades into another element of background noise filled with pet foods and hygienic gear, NFTs from one’s days as a young sports star will remain forever on the blockchain of your choice for you and your fans to enjoy.


Featured Image via Pixabay

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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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NFTs.WTF in conjunction with the 💯xARt Community presents a large-scale metaverse activation, curated by David Cash + Glassy Music + Pillar Cote! Join us starting at 12 noon EST on July 17 for panel discussions on the Future of Spaces in the Metaverse, Wearable Virtual Fashion, The Social Impact of NFT’s, NFT’s in the Music Industry, a Film & Blockchain Fireside chat, live Virtual Art Shows, DJs & VJs & more!

Featured artists include Krista Kim, creator of the Mars House, Amber J Slooten, Founder of Digital Fashion House THE FABRICANT, RTFKT Studios, Emma-Jane MacKinnon-Lee creator of DIGITALAX, BITLECTRO labs, Nahid Shahalimi of We the Women & Stand up for Unity, and Award winning filmmaker Jonny Caplan, among many other industry greats.

Then, starting at 8pm EST we’ll have musical performances with special guest DJ’s & VJ’s, including DJ Mika Kitten, DJ Orly Gal, ORIGINSTØRY, Glassy Music, Tom LaRoc, Pilar Coté and a few surprises!

Tune in for panel discussions between 12pm – 5pm EST, with music performances from 8pm onwards, on July 17th in Decentraland! You don’t want to miss this exciting event!!

Don’t forget to pick up your POAP upon arrival!!

Saturday, Jul 17 from 4:00pm to 4:00am UTC

💯xARt Community, 86, -24

Join Us on Clubhouse July 17 2021
Starting at 12PM EST  | 4PM UTC

Links to the Clubhouse panel rooms are in order below. 

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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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