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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Photo: David Roth


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

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

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

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While we have already provided quite a lot of coverage from this year’s Miami series of crypto extravaganzas – we want those of you who were not able to attend, such as myself, to get a little glimpse of the magic that you missed!  While the original target audience of the Bitcoin Conference Miami 2021 was Bitcoin Maximalists – due to several event series happening in tandem, including NFTS.tips Private Events Series and Shitcoin 2021, Miami quickly became packed with a diverse group of crypto-heads of all shapes and sizes.  The NFTs.tips community, as seen in the video above, made a huge splash this year.  On top of major strategic partnerships including Try Showtime, Moonwolf, and of course NFTS.WTF; the tips community brought out leading NFT artists in the space including Sabet, Gabe Weis, and WARHODL, as well as over 100 other exhibited NFT creators.


One major highlight we can’t forget to mention is The Goodtime Hotel and all of its splendor. Between massive star-studded pool parties, Beeple in the elevator, and the J.lo Music video being filmed on site as a nice cherry on top – this place is definitely a gem. They also housed 125 rooms filled with the NFTs.tips entourage and threw the biggest NFT pool party to date featuring live music by Cedric Gervais and saucy go-go dancers providing the perfect eye-candy. Around every corner you’d find artists, collectors, press, and bystanders all collaborating and learning about NFTs. Many new partnerships were formed in the creative and stimulating space that Pharrell and his first-class team provided. The rooms were stylish yet quaint, enticing visitors to venture out into community spaces and explore. With talks of NFT displays and exhibits, this looks to be just the beginning of The Goodtimes’ NFT journey like so many others.



The small businesses in the area are in on the profits as well since they were utilized by so many of the crypto/NFT fan bases for events. The city was teeming with food truck and venue activations, catering, and I’m sure Lyft and Uber caught a nice surge throughout the week of lux black-car rides.


The owners of the cabaret “Eleven”, where Paris Hilton DJ’d during the week, had the right idea by allowing their entertainers to take payment in cryptocurrency and displaying NFTs on their big screens. 

Whether you understand crypto or not, it’s becoming more and more likely that it has impacted you or your surroundings. It is only a matter of time until crypto is as mainstream as a debit card, with global opportunities for all.


While you may be feeling the FOMO, this event is just the tip of the iceberg, as we come out of this pandemic era, it seems as if the world of crypto is replacing the influencer space as the “cool kids club” of conferences. There are already a ton of preparations in the works for upcoming events in New York, Paris, Dubai, and dozens of other cities around the world. While you may have missed this one, it is fairly certain that there will be an equally exciting crypto event coming soon to a city near you!

Featured video by Alexander Mazzei

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


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

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


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

Biggie Tupac Budweiser Fest.
Biggie Tupac Budweiser Fest.


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


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


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


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

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Users from around the world gathered Friday, June 11 to celebrate Decentraland’s (DCL) inaugural Pride Parade. Music, parade floats, and dancers filled the newly built ‘Rainbow Road.’ The event was dazzling, but most spectacular of all were the droves of avatars sporting the latest DCL fashion. 

Just weeks before the event, DCL enabled their ‘Wearables Editor.’ This allowed designers to create their unique in-game collections and sell them as NFTs on the DCL marketplace. A handful of quality collections were approved and released the day of the parade.




Users lined up in front of kiosks to purchase their new items. Some 30,000 active users were given free wearables from the DCL Pride Collection. MetaZoo International hosted a drop party before the parade releasing their genesis collection. By the time the parade started, all in attendance were showing their pride with newly minted outfits.

Here are some of the best styles spotted during DCL Pride 2021;

DCL Pride Electric Pride Helmet PlusLove Tiger Warriors Torso Wonderzone Pride Pink Shorts Retro One Kicks

Helmet: Electric Pride +Love Collection

Top: Tiger Warriors Torso, Wonderzone Pride Spring 2021

Shorts: DCL Pink Pride Shorts

Shoes: MetaZoo Intl. Retro 1 Kicks


Hat: MetaZoo Intl. BlackCat Hood

Top: MetaZoo Intl. BlackCat Hoodie

Joggers: MetaZoo Intl. BlackCat Joggers

Shoes: MetaZoo Intl. Retro 1 Kicks

Eyewear: MetaZoo Intl. Tinted Glasses

Accessories: CZ Mecenary MTZ Exo-Blades

I managed to speak to MetaZoo Intl. founder ‘iZoo’ about their successful drop. “The drop was very exciting, long overdue, but worth the wait! Wearables on layer 2 now are a total game-changer as there is no minting/gas costs. The collection was well-received by the community and we are already thinking about new collections!” said iZoo.

Hat: Casino Visor Community Contest

Eyewear: MetaZoo Intl. Tinted Glasses

Mask: Meteorite Dustmask

Top: Polygon Thunder Jacket

Trousers: Hiroto Kai Pride Pants

Shoes: MetaZoo Intl. Retro 1 Kicks


Top: Flamingo Party Outfit

Top: Pride Love Wins T-Shirt

Mask: Floral Skull Halloween 2019

(Photo courtesy of Null PC)

Top: Full Body Swimsuit – Pride Parade 2021 Collection

Shoes: Left- Atrati X RTFK Sneakers, Right- Polygon Thunder Sneakers

I had the chance to speak with ‘Null PC’ who’s swimsuit design was a big hit at the parade.  “I knew once the opportunity came that I wanted to make something people wouldn’t forget, and I don’t think you can forget the image of someone in a lime green Manakini once you’ve seen it.” said Null. “The wearables tool is one of many aspects that enable creators and collectors to contribute to the community and help Decentraland progress and reach its full potential.”


Top: Hiroto Kia Fire Kimono

Trousers: Hiroto Kia Fire Kimono Pants

I asked artist and designer, Hiroto Ka, about using the new wearables editor in DCL. “I thought the design process was difficult at first to understand the geometry of a moving avatar and how the clothes move alongside their gestures. But after amazing help from the design committee, I was able to nail down my design and understand fully how it works. My next step for my wearables is to create more rare and more common style Kimonos and Japanese attire.” said Kai.

Left: Cybermike Cybersoldier Set


Headwear: Wonderbot Head, Digital Alchemy Hair

Top: Pride Love Wins T-Shirt

Trousers: Pride Sport Pants

Shoes: Pride Rainbow Shoes

Accessories: DC Nifty Blocksmith Drone

The parade was electric! Celebrations carried on throughout the night with live music and giveaways. With successful drops from each designer, it appears digital fashion is thriving in Decentraland.



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With #CryptoCleanUp, a beach clean-up was hosted on South Beach in conjunction with the Bitcoin Conference 21 and NFTs.tips Miami side-events and NFT exhibitions. Clean Miami Beach, a locally based non-profit, collected 148LBS of waste, kicking off a series of 5 beach clean-up events in honor of World Oceans Day 2021. The waste collected was used to make fantastic art pieces that will be minted as NFTs.

Crypto Clean Up
Photo Credit: Bruce Valverde & Zack George



45 volunteers participated in #CryptoCleanUp, an event hosted by Clean Miami Beach and Collr.co on June 5th during the Bitcoin Conference 2021. Despite having less than 4 days to organize, the volunteers were able to clean 148 pounds of waste during 2 hours of work. 

Clean Miami Beach is a locally based non-profit that has conducted 124 beach clean-ups across the city since 2019, collecting 28.725 pounds of waste from Miami Beaches with their mission and goal;  “to keep (the) community and natural habitats free of garbage and other harmful land pollutants with a focus on single-use plastics…such as grocery bags, food packaging, bottles, straws, containers, cups, and utensils are extremely damaging to the unique fragile ecosystem of Miami Beach and its marine wildlife.” 

Drew Danzeisen, founder of Collr.co, intended for the cleanup to show the passion the crypto community has for the environment at a time when the community has been attacked over its energy impact. Regardless of the debatability of those claims, Drew wanted to show that crypto enthusiasts are also environmentalists and as caring for the planet as anyone else. Collr.co, which works with nonprofits, businesses, and individuals to generate campaigns and experiences through physical and digital collectibles/NFTs is experienced in marketing, branding, and in NFT strategy and hopes to bring his abilities to further noble causes.


Crypto Clean Up Miami
Photo Credit: Bruce Valverde & Zack George


Sophie Ringel, founder of Clean Miami Beach said, “#CryptCleanUp was amazing. We can’t thank our volunteers and supporters enough for their collective efforts for this cleanup and we are excited to tell our story of eliminating single use plastics through NFTs.”

Drew mentioned that the accomplishment was largely thanks to Sophie’s willingness to dedicate such passion to the event at such short notice. The idea was broached to Clean Miami Beach only 4 days before, and their collaboration on the event in large part drove its success.

As part of the cleanup, the trash collected was made into beautiful art, belying the waste it was made with. A remarkable sense of irony to see such fascinating work made with nothing but garbage. The magnificent art that was made is set to be minted as NFTs, and will be Clean Miami Beach’s official entry point into the NFT community! As their proceeds go towards keeping Miami beaches and our oceans clean, their entry should be well received by many others who share their passion. 

In addition, the organizers and the host expressed their gratitude for the great support of the locals as well as Seafarer Beach Resort, Block Party, and SRelix for contributing to their event giveaways.

NFTs For Good 

As more organizations become aware of NFTs, many recognize a community which can help them grow and increase their impact. In the case of #CryptoCleanUp , it is already noble to have spent so much time cleaning trash on beaches, but to take advantage of the amount of trash gathered by making it art and then into NFTs adds value for comparatively little additional effort. Clean Miami Beach benefits from that added value brought to it by bright folks like Drew and Collr.co, while the NFT community diversifies with more commendable causes.

The ocean-themed art will be minted as NFTs that will launch on Blockparty‘s NFT marketplace, which incorporates both cryptocurrency and credit card payment methods. The proceeds of the sales will be allocated to the local non-profit Clean Miami Beach. The wallet belongs to Clean Miami Beach, so this is their genesis collection and a warm welcome is well-deserved.

Photo Credit: Walter Lethu x Adidas


Additional World Oceans Day Campaigns in Miami

In addition, volunteers of the #CryptoCleanUp engaged in a 1K run on South Beach taking part in the Adidas X Parley  “Run For The Oceans” campaign for 2021. 

For the fourth consecutive year, the Adidas X Parley, “Run For The Oceans” campaign returned from May 28 to June 8, coinciding with the Bitcoin Conference 2021 with its mission; to address ocean plastic pollution. 

The Campaign brings together runners from all over the world. Anyone could join the Adidas Running app challenge from May 28 through June 8, and run, walk, or wheel in a  wheelchair to help end plastic waste. In the five-week period from May 28 to June 8, Adidas X Parley cleaned beaches, remote islands, and coastlines at a rate of 10 plastic bottles per kilometer via the Adidas Running App (Strava/Joyrun). 

Check out their websites: Clean Miami Beach and Collr.co


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

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

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


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


Carbon Offset

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

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

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

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


Green NFT Hackathon

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

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

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


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


Bridging to Ethereum

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

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


Beyond Ethereum

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


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

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


Ongoing Efforts

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

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

Featured Image Credit: NFT Tree by AnonymousNobody.eth 

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What’s the value of an NFT? As more people become curious about this emerging market, creatives worldwide are turning to DIY projects to help bridge the gap between the traditional and the unknown. Two weeks ago in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, La Casa Art House presented BK’s first NFT art exhibition, complete with live performance, DJs, and of course, NFT art. But in the NFT space, two weeks is more like six months. Since the La Casa Arthouse premiere, there have been many first exhibitions, new NFT gallery spaces, and record-breaking auctions. There’s now even an NFT wellness app powered by Enjin.

It makes sense that artists in New York, one of the cultural hubs of punk rock, are already experimenting with ways to incorporate NFTs into IRL experiences. From NFT rugs to a movie theatre showing NFTs on loop, La Casa Arthouse showcased a diverse roster of fresh artists from Brooklyn. A standout of the show was artist Charles Bentley, who turns his digital works into physical paintings.

While some artists in the showcase chose not to mint their work, others were trying out the NFT minting process for the very first time. Some were even testing more underground minting platforms. Ksenia, whose work emphasizes the urgency of climate change, chose to mint her pieces on HicEtNunc, an eco-friendly platform that runs on the Tezos network.


New York’s favorite pop-punk act, LPX, fronted by Neon Gold founder Lizzy Plapinger is one such artist entering the NFT space for the first time. Plapinger has always been a pioneer of new opportunities that allow for a deeper connection with fans. With all live shows canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, this was not only LPX’s first live show in over a year but also their first foray into this future technology. The band’s set was filmed with live projection mapping, which will later be turned into an audio/visual NFT. Lizzy chatted with us about her experience with NFT’s and why they’re important for musicians.

In a cloud photographed by Sasha Bianca


Can you remember who the first person you talked to about NFTs was?

“Absolutely, it was my friend Ryan Rabin of Captain Cuts. After that, it was my business partner Derek (who’s had an interest and foot in this world for some time) while also doing a deep dive into whatever I could find online, glean from clubhouse, or gather from my friend Verite about her experience.”


What was it that drew you to La Casa Art House?

“I’m a huge fan of a local NYC artist named Rachael Tarravechia, who was showing her work at La Casa Art House. When I went to check it out, I immediately clicked with Gonzo, who runs the space, and we bonded over our mutual love and appreciation for the NYC art scene, as well as their passion for community, their taste, and their enthusiasm to share it. I started regularly coming by, and the same week I learned about NFTs, I stopped by to talk to Gonzo about it. We’re both really hyped on the possibilities that come with such an intersectional medium. And his interest in educating other artists on the crypto world and inclusiveness/desire to bring more people into the space is really inspiring. We knew we’d love to collaborate on something together down the line, so when he proposed LPX playing this show, it felt like all the pieces were finally coming together. It’s meaningful to me that this collab has come from a really genuine connection and that the piece itself authentically merges IRL and metaverse in a unique way that speaks to both of our interests and spaces.”


In a cloud photographed by Sasha Bianca


Why is this technology exciting for the music space? Are you working on other ways of incorporating them?

“I’ve always felt like a more holistic artist than just a musician, so this technology to me is a really exciting invitation and creative prompt to create something that can represent that multidimensionality. From a music and technology perspective, it has the potential to better service and pay artists, writers, producers, and the visual artists attached to a project continuously and fairly for their work. I’m especially interested in the artists who use it as an opportunity to think outside the box. Art and music have always gone so hand in hand, but this feels like another way to really honor and explore new levels of collaboration and interplay.”


You’ve always had a strong connection with your fan base. Are you exploring POAP (proof of attendance protocol badges) or unlockables?

“I’m not currently, but it’s something I might consider for the future. There’s still a barrier to entry on the tech + NFT side, be it financial or education/understanding/familiarity, etc., but it has the potential to be a really special (and financially beneficial) way to honor and give back to the fans who are there from the start.”



What’s one of your favorite songs that came out through the coronavirus pandemic?

“The Divine Chord” by The Avalanches. It’s been a bright light on all my best and worst moments of the past year.”

At Bitcoin Conference this past week in Miami, it was clear that the hype surrounding the NFT market is not fading soon. There are a myriad of use cases for NFT technology, and art happens to be one of the most accessible examples. Clubhouse group turned powerhouse community NFTs.tips organized a week of programming around this technology, hoping to educate the curious while also showcasing top-notch art from 116 artists from 6 continents. The power of community in NFTs is also evident by the collaboration between NFTs.tips and La Casa Arthouse at BTC 20201, with the Brooklyn-based gallery designing light forms for the “Out of the Dark, Into the Light” exhibition.

In a cloud photographed by Sasha Bianca

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Twitter has been banned in Nigeria, a move rooted in short-sighted reactiveness as well as a long-standing ethnic conflict. The ban comes after Twitter and Facebook both deleted posts by Nigerian President Buhari in which he threatened genocide against the Igbo population of Nigeria’s southeast. This move, made in anger to save face, has seriously impacted not only exposure of the arts in general but the NFT artists living there in particular.


Background History

Nigeria won its independence from British rule in 1960, with the borders drawn encompassing almost 300 different ethnic backgrounds. There were three major groups amongst them; the Hasua-Fulani in the North, the Yoruba in the West, and the Igbo in the East. 

Hostilities have been rising in Nigeria as the government faces inner turmoil and six simultaneous insurrections. The Igbo lead one of these insurrections in a conflict that stretches back decades to Nigeria’s creation and the tumultuous years that ensued.

Despite being less active in Nigeria’s war for independence, the North contained more than half the population of 60 million Nigerians, so they were in control when Nigeria was born. Following 7 years of Hasua rule, the Igbo claimed election fraud against the ruling government and set up the secessionist state of Biafra in 1967. Massacres ensued. Between 600,000 and 3,000,000 people are estimated to have died.

Since then, the Hasua government has remained in power, albeit precariously. With rife corruption across the Nigerian government, economic conditions in the country have continued to deteriorate. The government finds itself in a position of fear and feels the need to showcase its strength, and assumes it could do so by threatening violence against the Igbo on Twitter. 


The Ban

When Twitter took down his post, Buhari was embarrassed but did nothing. When Facebook took down a similar post two days later, Buhari became enraged at these companies for silencing him. Realizing that banning Facebook could cause more dissent than it would be worth, Buhari set his sights on the easier target, Twitter. 

Two days after Twitter deleted Buhari’s tweet threatening genocide, the official government account tweeted that Twitter would be banned indefinitely for “undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.” They used Twitter to ban Twitter. In a sadder twist of irony, the President’s reaction to being silenced was to enforce the same censorship upon the 200+ million people living within his borders.


The Impact 

This has a massive impact on Nigerians, many of whom rely on the platform for a living as entrepreneurs, influencers, and artists. At least a third of Nigerians are currently unemployed, giving Nigeria the third-worst employment rate in the world as of December 2020. The ban sets additional barriers on economic mobility, and this latest attempt at censorship displays the fragility of the current regime. 

According to freedommuse.org, the international non-governmental organization campaigning for freedom of artistic expression and cultural diversity, “Artists face a complex system of censorship carried out by a variety of actors, further complicated by multiple censorship boards. In addition to the national censorship boards, states such as Kano in the North and Lagos in the South even have their own censorship boards, with the consequence that artists and cultural producers of these states face double censorship mechanisms.” 


Over the past year, there are many brilliant Nigerian artists that have entered the NFT community. In March 2021, one of the leading NFT artists, Jacon Osinachi, sold his pieces “Mirror Mirror” and “Am I Pretty” for a solid 9ETH and 13.2ETH respectively. This was a tremendously important leap forward for all Nigerian artists and the crypto community as a collective. The use of Twitter has been shown to be the most important platform for generating NFT sales.


Furthermore, this ban sets a dangerous precedent if allowed to continue. Since this was an order put out by the President but not ratified as law by the National Assembly (NASS), it would mean the President can target any platform it wishes, no matter how unjustified. This not only threatens the many innocent Nigerians living there, but the tech industry that has been booming in the country in the past years.

The Censorship

What happens now? Nigerians stand deprived of access to Twitter, where a large, if not the largest segment of the NFT community lives. The use of Twitter is pivotal, especially for NFT artists, to promote not only their art but to share the stories behind the art and the daily struggles the artists face themselves. These struggles and restrictions result from a structure built by an oppressive regime systemically promoting censorship of the creative and innovative mind.

And yet, the Nigerian presence in the NFT community is strong and passionate. The abundance of beautiful art and the warmth of the Nigerian creators who made them have earned Nigeria a place in the hearts and minds of many people abroad. They’ve collectively put Nigeria on the decentralized map by instilling their roots in the NFTs they produce. Artists like Dammy, Tayo, Gbenga, and Mayor as well as Jacon and many others have brought so much beauty to the space; many abroad cannot separate the beauty they’ve seen from the Nigeria they imagine. This is what causes such great sadness among many as censorship is imposed on the beautiful souls they’ve met.


his piece, “Failed State,” is a social commentary on the current state of Africa. The skulls on the ground represent our African ancestors who lost their lives trying to make the continent better.
Artist: Owo Anietie

The Solution

Nonetheless, where an oppressive government tries to silence many, it is up to the community those many belong to raise their voices on their behalf. The impact Nigerian artists have had on the NFT community has been formative and will not be forgotten. It is up to this community now to help eliminate the impact of the censorship the Nigerian government is attempting to impose. By promoting Nigerian artists on every other platform, the community can ensure any impact to these brilliant artists is only temporary. By speaking with and for Nigerian artists, the NFT community can stand with an oppressed group inside it. By raising its voice to elevate theirs, the community can render the oppression of a government meaningless.



The title is Puff Supremacy and the purpose of this art so to celebrate the black woman and let them appreciate their hair texture more.
Artist: Taslemat Yusuf
This is an image Taiserat Yusuf’s my personal project titled “Boys Wear pink too” which challenges the stereotype in Nigeria as regards male gender in expressing themselves through their choice of style.
Artist: Taiserat Yusuf

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A new world record sale for a CryptoPunk recently took place at Sotheby’s Natively Digital auction that ran from June 3 -10th 2021.  

This ultra rare 1 of 9 alien CryptoPunk #7523 was won by Shalom Meckenzie, the largest shareholder of sports-betting outfit @DraftKings, and went for a whopping $11.75 Million dollars.

This CryptoPunk was first minted on June 23rd 2017 by Larva Labs and is 1 of only 10,000 original CryptoPunks in existence.  CryptoPunks became the genesis NFT collection, and thereby poster-child  of the Ethereum blockchain, and has inspired the ERC-721 token standard that is the underlying technology that powers today’s digital collectibles. 

While technically only 24 x 24 pixels in size with a very simple 8-bit style, there are no two punks that are the same, much like the owners of these rare and valuable NFTs. 

CryptoPunks have come to symbolize the very early days of the blockchain space and embody the energy and spirit of challenging the status quo; at the intersection of what is considered art, technology, and traditional methods of collecting and appreciating art.


NFTs enable a whole new model for ownership of art and collectibles, and this Sotheby’s auction proves this to the world yet again – on the heels of mainstream media sources claiming the NFTs were dead no less. 

You may have seen CryptoPunks used as avatars all over twitter and anywhere you can add a profile image. The incredibly passionate community that has formed around CryptoPunks has seen members identify with their CryptoPunk NFTs so much that they use them as  consistent digital representations of themselves. 

Collecting art has largely been reserved for private spaces like the home or some other type of gallery and is a way that collectors can show their appreciation of culture and how they fit within their world.  With the advent of digital collectibles like the CryptoPunks, collectors can now digitally flex who they are, and their place in the Crypto ecosystem. As owners of one of the pioneering technologies that, in my opinion, will lead to the mass adoption of blockchain technology – using what we now know as non-fungible tokens. 

This $11.75 Million dollar sale not only solidifies the value of the CryptoPunks project as a whole, it further legitimizes the innovation that NFTs bring to the world.  This historic moment is not limited to art alone, as many who look from the outside at this 24 x 24 pixel CryptoPunk still miss the bigger picture behind what this technology truly means. 

Digital ownership, transferability of assets, authentication and access. From this minimalistic piece of Crypto history, will spring a wealth of innovations that will touch nearly every sector of our lives. Most people will never have any knowledge or idea that non-fungible tokens have anything to do with the infrastructure behind the services, technologies, applications, and experiences they will be using in the not too distant future. CryptoPunks, in many ways, will be the genesis of a new digital paradigm, regardless of their value, measured by monetary means.

I had the chance to ask SillyTuna the owner of CryptoPunk #7523 that sold at the Sotheby’s auction, what was next for him? he responded with “Focus on my own projects (games, nft’s), do some donations later this year, and think about how to deal with the Mccoy artwork.” which just made me smile, as I personally love to see good humans, win in this space and  witness the awesome things they go on to do.

Congrats again to SillyTuna and the whole CryptoPunk community on this incredible sale, as we see more evidence that NFTs are not in fact mortal and can not be “dead” for very long.



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Igor Kourany – Genesis Drop on Makersplace, June 11, 2021, at 5pm PT

Igor Kourany is an extremely interesting and talented guy – super nice too! Born and raised in Panama, when he first got a glimpse of MTV, he “fell in love with the visual effects.” Early in his career, he got a primitive version of photoshop and started making images. Eventually becoming a professional architect, his artwork developed as the software did. After 10 years he began full-time art creation after putting a few of his pieces in his brother’s furniture store. Clients loved the work and it started selling.

He’s experimented with various mediums for over 20 years; including sculpture, painting, and a lot of photography. Igor has volumes of sketchbooks and plans out his ideas to a degree while leaving space for serendipity. He started out pouring paint over live models. “I wanted to simulate the aesthetic of Terminator and conquer the look of liquid humans.” As the paint was poured, he caught the action in a series of rapid photographs, often thousands. He then separately, painted mannequins, and later, on the computer, fused the images together to construct the finals, utilizing a vast array of software. The idea was to create a liquid simulation and capture the randomness of the phenomena of liquids coming into contact with solids. Developing this technique took years of trial and error. And the final look and methodology are truly unique. 

Igor’s works have been showcased in galleries throughout the world. He now brings his exclusive work practice to the NFT world in this debut drop. Three new pieces will be released each as a 1 of 1 on Makersplace. Each NFT will be paired with a large-scale print signed by the artist. These physical pieces are printed by Igor himself in his studio in Panama, so he can control the quality of which he is very adamant about. Each work will drop in auction format beginning June 11, 2021, at 5 pm PT and will continue until a reserve price is met triggering a countdown timer.

The address of the drop is: https://makersplace.com/igorkourany/


Milky Angel

Milky Angel, is a combination of CGI and photography employing models and mannequins. The milky white against the black allows for the viewer to really get a sense of splashing wetness, down to each drop.


Mujer Tabaco

Mujer Tabaco, is full on CGI down to the eyelashes. Here Igor gets to flex his obsession with the android, futuristic girl who can live forever so she can smoke tobacco! Her body is made of the strongest earthly material and is covered in a web of flowing gold veins.

Bubble Girl

Bubble Girl, pays homage to African culture, appropriating colors from African clothing into glass balls for hair. The light reflection off the glass in this CGI rendering is astounding.

To learn more about Igor and his process, check out the Apollo NFT Gallery in the 100x Art District in Decentraland which will be hosting an event tomorrow to celebrate the drop. 

All of Igor’s works celebrate the woman as a superhuman with futuristic aspirations. This drop is not to be missed!

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Miami is always filled with energy, but this past week, frequencies were even higher than usual. That’s because approximately 50,000 people descended on the coastal city for the 2021 Bitcoin conference.

What made this year so special was the broad range of parallel events that were running alongside the conference. From the Shitcoin conference at Wynwood Factory to a host of unofficial NFT events (including NFT Basel and six events produced by NFTs.tips), it was clear that despite the state of the market – the enthusiasm around crypto right now is magnetic.


People from all sides of the emerging NFT sector were in Miami, showcasing digital and crypto art and relatively new use cases for the technology. This included proof-of-attendance protocol (POAP) tokens used by the Lottery NFT (which minted on crypto.com) to unlock prizes for event attendees. Experiences gifted to POAP holders included tickets to the Mayweather vs. Paul fight, a merch bundle, and more.

While many conversations were had about NFTs in conference rooms, poolside, and on the dancefloor- it was evident throughout the week that many people are still in the process of fully understanding NFT technology and how it can apply to their brand vision or personal investment strategy.

One phrase that seemed to be floating around quite a bit is “NFT art.” Because NFTs are essentially digital tokens that prove ownership, uniqueness, and authenticity; the question stands -isn’t it still just digital or crypto art utilizing NFT technology?

A great application of Digi/Physi (digital artwork with a physical component) was Warhodl’s presentation during the Bitcoin Conference. Warhodl is a breakout artist in the NFT space and the only official art presentation at Bitcoin Miami 2021. “The Soup Factory” was the artist’s first IRL pop-up and included digital NFTs with  physical components. Warhodl had a record-breaking weekend, selling almost 100 pieces over two days, including thirteen pieces to one single collector. 

As potential collectors and members of the traditional fine art world scrutinize the value of digital art, the inclusion of a physical collectible appears to be a means to build a bridge over to this seemingly inevitable future.

Even with the NFT buzz, Bitcoin was, and still remains the star of the show. With news coming in post-conference announcing that El Salvador would become the first country to use the cryptocurrency as legal tender. The IMF has raised concerns over this deal, but it appears Bitcoin may have deals in the works with other countries as well.

Beyond the Bitcoin standard, new tokens and startups were on display at alt-venues in Little Havana, Miami Beach, Brickell and the design district. From “crypto for veterans” platform Military.Finance to Tezos minting platform Kalamint, Miami was filled with unique value propositions and solutions to aid in the growing crypto market.


It’s clear that the roadmaps for the NFT space are just beginning to be drawn. The opportunity to blueprint how NFT technology will be utilized on a large scale creates immense excitement but also presents unsolved challenges. For one, the scalability of digital display frames could be prohibitive to mass adoption by the general public. Other challenges include the need for more education on the collector side, as new collectors are learning what it means to be responsible for assigning financial value to art.

However, for every one challenge, there are at least ten ideas of how this technology can transform the creative economy, protect the supply chain, and do social good. If anything, Miami solidified the notion that blockchain has arrived, cryptocurrency is the future, and NFTs are just getting started.

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No, it’s not the ‘Fed’ you’re thinking of. Metaverse developers, Polygonal Mind launched their latest game in Decentraland (DCL) on behalf of the ‘Federated Reserve Wish’ project. Featuring fountains of lava, piles of gold and the eccentric NPC ‘Uncle Crypto,’ the Federated Reserve is an intricate build that puts users on a treasure hunt for hidden coins.




Once you’ve explored the lavish treasure rooms, be sure to find those coins and throw them in the lava fountain. When you ‘burn’ your coins, you get to make a wish. These wishes are minted on the Matic network in the form of stylish NFT tickets. These tickets serve as your entry into a raffle for some DCL wearables. It’s free to play, and new prizes will be announced every two weeks. There are even special edition Federated Reserve wearables launching later this season.


The best part is that wishes are anonymously displayed throughout the building. Most are jokes, some are funny, but a surprising number are heartfelt wishes. When given the opportunity, users pause and ask themselves, “What do I want most in life?” Some wish for peace, world travel, a lost loved-one or simply “more bitcoin.”

The event went smoothly with over 100 global visitors across servers. Attendees who managed to grab a special POAP (Proof of Attendance Protocol), received VIP access to the penthouse and an additional coin to burn for wishes. The energy was wild as people rushed to find their coins and tossed them into the lava. Users gathered to read the wishes on the walls, sharing their dreams for the metaverse and showing off their new NFT wish tickets. The elegant (and slightly creepy) Uncle Crypto, watches over the hoard of treasure and is also minted as an NFT CryptoAvatar.

Federated Reserve


I asked Polygonal Mind CEO, Tox Sam, how the Federated Reserve came together and their latest utility NFT, The Wondertech Pledge. According to Sam, “The wondertech pledge started because we were getting a flood of people contacting us.”

Polygonal Mind has become a leader in metaverse development with projects in DCL, CryptoVoxels, The Sandbox, and Somnium Space. That’s an impressive feat for a small but powerful team. Their CryptoAvatars project has been very successful as well as their popular MetaTrip tour events.

To mitigate nonstop inquiries, they minted their service package as an NFT and auctioned it on OpenSea. The winning bid for the Wondertech Pledge was 6.3 ETH from the Federated Reserve. “It came with an unlockable […] and full services with premium features. The team really went all out,” said Sam. 


From concept art to product launch, Polygonal Mind’s Wondertech Pledge is one of the most valuable utility NFTs out there. With droves of projects entering the metaverse, dev teams like Polygonal Mind become increasingly important. Not only do they expedite project onboarding, but they ensure a level of quality and attention to detail that have, thus far, led to some truly stunning builds and user experiences.

Come see the Federated Reserve for yourself in Decentraland (location:144,-37), and be sure to follow Polygonal Mind on twitter for weekly events and announcements.

Federated Reserve


play.decentralnd.org. “Federated Reserve”

OpenSea. “Wondertech Pledge #01 March 2021 – MetaverseBuilder.”

PolygonalMind Discord Server Discord




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