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ART HAUS is where artists, curators and collectors become art market insiders. Listen to audio versions of our articles or join us for candid interviews with our Artists in Residence. Behind their work, there's a story.
Oct 8, 2021
Nicholas Keays: Dystopian Solipsism and the Evanescence of Otherness
The work of Nicholas Keays , an artist based in Melbourne, has been called “Psychedelic” and “Trippy”, but we feel this is not an accurate characterization. His work is fascinating from an Aesthetic point of view and we believe it is important to take a moment to accurately characterize his Corpus.His Corpus is a methodical, focused and solemn expression of the solipsistic and deranged nature of contemporaneity. Something dark, from beyond, perhaps these “dark energies hiding in the shadows” the artist refers to, takes hold or emerges from beautifully crafted, solitary figures. It is fascinating to see how the artist captures this “uncanny” (a reference to Freud’s Das Unheimliche ) darkness “boiling up” from within, which rises and strangles human forms or structures.This is particularly evident in his collaboration with Dugong Jr, a Triptych that captures in stunning fashion the heaviness and materiality of Gold , Jade and Ceramic . In Gold (left), a l…
Sep 30, 2021
Mr Misang's Dystopian Poiesis as "Re-Presentation" of Hell Korea
We believe that a genuine understanding of Mr Misang’s work requires a detour in a region few of us non-Koreans are even aware of: Hell Korea .Hell Korea (the expression “Hell Joseon”, 헬조선, is also widely used. “Joseon” refers to South Korea’s Joseon feudal dynasty, during which Confucian hierarchies came to concretely determine the structure of Korean society) is an emotionally charged expression used to describe a geographical region, South Korea, that unfortunately evokes strong feelings of enslavement, desperation and helplessness among the country’s youth.South Korea’s young men and women, faced with a rather rigorous and expensive education system , mandatory military service for men, a high cost of life (one only needs to take a look at the onerous Jeonse – 전세 – and Wolse -월세- housing systems, the price of a flat in the Gangnam or Seolleung districts, or take note of the rising rents in the increasingly gentrified Itaewon and Hongdae di…
Sep 28, 2021
Play-to-Earn: Top NFT Games 2021 Has To Offer
In the past, computer games were something you did for fun. Some of those games were so fun, that you may have even paid for the privilege of playing them.But today, with the growing use of blockchain technology and the rise of cryptocurrency use in the gaming industry, you can actually get paid to play. And no, you don’t have to be a professional gamer or a live streamer.Simply by completing activities in the game, and competing with others, you can earn digital assets, worth real money, in a number of ways. In particular, the NFT games 2021 has to offer are rewarding users with valuable, non-fungible tokens that you can sell or exchange.And some of these NFTs can command a pretty penny. So if you want to start earning valuable digital assets, simply by playing games, then keep reading to discover the best NFT games to play right now.HOW PLAY-TO-EARN GAMES WORK ON THE BLOCKCHAINThe gaming industry is huge. And it’s constantly evolving. But the traditional model may be on its way o…
Sep 22, 2021
HackaTao: Bringing to Light The Essence of the Subject
Hackatao, a fiercely rebellious Italian duo composed of Nadia Squarci and Sergio Scarlet, made quite an impression in April of 2018 with their first SuperRare Drop – an animated piece entitled “Girl Next Door”. They have since then become such a foundational element of Crypto Art that we have to proceed here with a slight amount of reverence.The tag “Surrealist pop”, a potent expression of the disarray of contemporary Aesthetics, a science that has lost its way and which is incapable of speaking about Crypto Art without comfortable references to the past, has often been used to describe their work. However one does really wonder if this characterization is accurate as their work is neither pop nor surrealist.While there is a large amount of literature covering this Duo, there is a dearth of serious articles written from the point of view of Aesthetics . As we will see below, the labels pop and surrealist are so far off the mark that they actually obfuscate the essence of th…
Sep 13, 2021
Deafbeef: Mimesis of Blockchain as a Closed System
Blockchain Networks are closed systems by definition and by design. By closed, we imply that by themselves blockchains cannot natively access information from the outside world. This intrinsic incapacity to interface with the empirical world that we live in and to consume information from the Outside are defining traits of this self-referential technological stack.Deaf beef’s work is a fear-inducing and claustrophobic illustration of Blockchain as a closed system.The decidedly solipsistic character of his aesthetic is destabilizing – faced with the haunting beauty and austere simplicity of pure code, the viewer, standing in a void of nothingness, reaches out for comfortable and reassuring references and there are none to be found, no familiar representational anchors come flying to the rescue.There is nothing mimetic and substantial in his minimal and daring aesthetic. There is nothing here that would suggest his inputs, pure code, are inspired by elements of the real world. The…
Sep 10, 2021
Fvckrender: A Dystopian Void of Perfection
Within Aesthetics the exactitude of definitions matters tremendously. Well crafted definitions are powerful tools that help us circumscribe and understand styles, methods and movements and describe the work of artists with precision. When claims are made about an artist’s style or intention (claims such as: this artist dabbles in conceptualism or photorealism), only well crafted definitions enable us to validate or invalidate the “truth content” of those claims.This introductory methodological consideration brings us to the idea, often repeated, that fvckrender is a surrealist artist.Well, is he?Let us first define Surrealism and then proceed to validate or invalidate this idea, which raises eyebrows, that the Montreal, Canada native, who is known to push the technological limits of Digital Art, is a representative of this movement.It is the French Artist Guillaume Apollinaire who coined the term “Surrealism”. However, it was André Breton who defined Surrealism in his Man…
Sep 4, 2021
XCOPY: Dark And Deranged Mimesis of our Contemporaneity
Our Preferred Strategy: Purchase near or exactly at Drop Time, then list Days or Weeks later at a price which is a multiple of original listing price. “Roll” funds into recently published XCOPY pieces and repeat the process.We write with purpose: we aim to provide Keyholders with objective, data-driven assessments which demonstrate a deep, intimate knowledge of Crypto Art. Our hope is that these assessments will become, with time, an integral part of their decision making process. The attitude that we should favor while making these assessments is to put our biases and preconceptions about certain artists, styles, movements and collections in brackets (in a sort of Phenomenological Epoche) – in order to let the data and the Art speak for themselves. At the very least, when it is not possible to do so, we should clearly “announce” our biases – they will bubble up to the surface anyway if we don’t – instead of pretending to speak with an objective voice. It is in this me…
Aug 31, 2021
Bianca Beers: A Celebration of Presence
Bianca Beers, who has over the years cultivated a powerful online presence and seems to enjoy steady, positive coverage from the Press, is genuinely interesting from an Aesthetic point of view. Her skill is never in question: upon looking at her work it is obvious that her skillful hand shows no hesitation.Her love of Music, Urban Culture and Fashion is apparent and her naive and substantial visual signature can be easily recognized across her collections. Her work exudes a clean and youthful energy and it is easy to understand why she has been in the crosshairs of large brands and corporations.Her work is a celebration of Presence. What do we mean?By Presence we mean what is immediately apparent, that which appears to us without ambiguity, that which takes a stand in front of us and requires no explanation since it is somewhat familiar in its ipesity, immediately recognized and understood. Her focus on Presence is apparent in her Gods of Growth series, which she crafted for Bina…
Aug 27, 2021
Nicholas Keays: Ascent From NFT Purgatory
There is barely any information online about the enigmatic figure known as Nicholas Keays, who defines himself as “a 3D artist trapped in Purgatory”. This makes the task of objectively assessing his works, in order to devise a trading or holding strategy very difficult.Queries on platforms such as NFT Stats and Nifty Rivers return no usable Data Points. In addition, Mr. Keays has not yet experienced the catalytic effect of the Press’ attention.Therefore, in order to evaluate the merits of his portfolio, we will have to resort to a purely Aesthetic approach, until more information (articles, data points) is available online for us to peruse. Be warned: this can be a dangerous and misleading approach, as the NFT market is exuberant, irrational and doesn’t always behave in phase with flowery aesthetic discourse.Nicholas Keays’ work is characterized and punctuated by surges of brilliance.The piece entitled “ Muscle Memory ”, for which we have a fondness, stands tall a…
Aug 24, 2021
Kevin Abosch: Best Emerging NFT Opportunities
Kevin Abosch knows his way around words and takes precautions to not define himself (and to not let the Press define him) as a Crypto Artist: “I wouldn’t want somebody to say ‘That’s Kevin the crypto artist.’ I’m a conceptual artist who works with a number of different media, including photography and blockchain.”But this is something we already knew: Kevin Abosch is an Outsider, not a native Crypto Artist. It is immediately obvious, to anyone who has any kind of familiarity with the NFT sector, that his work doesn’t carry the weight of Crypto Art’s visual signature, a common visual language evidenced by Tanya4D ’s joyful exuberance or Xcopy ’s raw primitivism, for example.But perhaps a taste of the Outside is exactly what the NFT sector needs at the moment. Perhaps it is exactly what the doctor ordered.As an Outsider, Kevin Abosch brings the Ethos and Praxis of Conceptual Art to the NFT sector: a relentless focus on process and meaning. We are taken aback a…
Aug 22, 2021
Big Players Buying up Real-estate in the Metaverse
Imagine you wake up and open your news feed. The first thing you see is the headline “Free Space Pod”. Reading on, you see a company is offering free space pods which would allow you to live on a new space station under construction. All you need to do is show up and claim one. You consider it, but no thanks. You think to yourself – no one is ever going to live in space. You wake up four years later to read “VISA Buys Space Pod for $150,000”. You are amazed to read the space pods you could have had for free are now selling for incredible prices. As it turns out, this is a true story. Just replace “space pod” with “avatar in the metaverse”. In 2017 a company called Larva Labs developed 10,000 avatars and gave them away for free. The collection was titled “CryptoPunks” and was inspired by the, at the time almost unheard of, crypto art and NFT (Non Fungible Tokens) movement. Now huge companies such as VISA, are paying big money for them. The current value of all 10,000 is worth at least 3.5 billion dollars. The million-dollar question, quite literally, is what creates the value? Why would someone pay so much for an avatar? The key to understanding their value is to understand they are truly unique pieces of art with a guarantee of authenticity. All 10,000 are different as not one is identical to another. Furthermore, only one person can own each original version. The ownership is guaranteed as the avatars live on the Ethereum blockchain. The blockchain creates an unbreakable link between the owner and the avatar. Like all art, the value is in the eye of the beholder. The wonderful and astonishing thing is the blockchain creates this security of ownership, which allows those values to be discovered. It creates a thriving market for new unique art, and it seems the sky, or the moon, is the limit. I intentionally use the unusual analogy, comparing ‘space pods’ to ‘avatars in the metaverse’, as most people are about as equally confused and intrigued by the metaverse as they are with outer space. Furthermore, owning something in the metaverse seems about as foreign as owning something in space. Despite this, it is quickly becoming a place where people and companies are buying up ‘real estate,’ and the prices are going up fast. A clear signal that some significant players intend to be a part of the metaverse. Buying avatars allows a company such as VISA to create a digital image and brand in this space. If one thinks of the metaverse as a vast real estate development set to open, big players are buying offices and storefronts. A clear signal they feel there is plenty of profits to be had in this futuristic world.
Aug 17, 2021
How NFTs Could Give the Music Industry a “Second Life"
In a much cited interview with the Wall Street Journal , Taylor Swift stated the following: “Music is Art, and Art is important and rare. Important rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for.” As a music lover, I found it extremely tempting to nod and agree with her on all points – however there are a few glaring issues with her argumentation.Music is not scarce – quite the opposite! David Bowie predicted a future in which music would be as common and as valuable as water or electricity: “ Music itself is going to become like running water or electricity .” This is exactly the situation in which we find ourselves today.Music, a capital and time intensive activity, is not scarce – and it is now being priced accordingly. On streaming platforms, every play is priced in pennies while singles and albums fetch very low prices on platforms such as Google Play and iTunes. It is not rare to see Music being offered for free on discussion forums and social med…
Aug 10, 2021
Not Your Contract, Not Your Collection.
If you’re an artist you’ve likely heard your fair share of NFT evangelism. Sold on the promise of breaking free from the platforms that own you. And yet here you are once more, paying the price for convenience, getting owned by a platform.Ready to leave your mark on the metaverse, you minted your NFTs where all the action was – the marketplaces. They made edgy new tech accessible. But although convenient, they come with their trade-offs.NOT YOUR CONTRACTAn NFT is a token on a blockchain such as Ethereum, attached to some code called a Smart Contract. This code abides by a standard, or specification, known as ERC-721.Since smart contracts are quite technical and often expensive, the marketplaces decided to make a compromise. Rather than asking artists to pay hundreds to deploy their own, they deployed just one contract for everyone to share. Which is totally reasonable, since the artists still needed to pay for minting each of their artworks.But as an artist who is serious about y…
Aug 3, 2021
Welcome To Our Artist Residency For The Metaverse
ART HAUS is an artist residency for the metaverse. We enable artists to explore their NFT ideas while helping collectors discover their tokenised works. Privileged access to members-only exclusives is unlocked by collectors who become keyholders.Our team comprises passionate collectors, creators, and developers. But most importantly, we are fostering community around curatorship.WHAT WE DOFirst and foremost we participate in the arts, refining our process for artist discovery which is augmented by AI-driven recommendations. Despite our experimental nature as technologists, we understand cultural significance, taking a deep interest in the artists themselves – Behind their work, there’s a story.FOR ARTISTSNFTs are a specialised field where we can lend our technical expertise and we are dedicated to helping artists realise the full potential of non-fungible tokens.- Appeal to serious collectors with our in-depth research and showcasing.- Leverage our Artist Residency program and “Artists in Residence” podcast.- Premiere new work and hold exclusive private auctions with keyholders.We coined “Not Your Contract, Not Your Collection” and want all artists to experience creative sovereignty with their own smart contracts – Apply for residency .FOR COLLECTORSNFT utility is something we have been experimenting with for some time and we want collectors to experience full utilisation of non-fungible tokens. Our HAUS KEY limited edition NFT is no exception.- Unlock privileged access to members-only private content and exclusive auctions.- Make reservations to purchase early editions of our in-haus project collaborations.- Join our curatorship program for referral commissions and rewards.- And a growing list of forthcoming benefits (stay tuned).There’s privileged access to members-only exclusives and many more exciting plans ahead – Become a keyholder .FOR THE ECOSYSTEMAs we embark on this journey of discovery we are also working diligently on projects that address our needs along the way. Inspired by the internet renaissance and open source culture, we are soon releasing some of our own contributions.- Token-gating app for NFT permissioned links- WooCommerce plugin for the ZORA protocol- Keyholder curatorship program incentivesFollow our progress building an artist residency for the metaverse by subscribing to our mailing list.
Jul 27, 2021
What Are NFTs, And What Is Their Role In The Digital Art Market?
The cryptocurrency boom has brought growing awareness of the many uses of blockchain technology beyond digital cash. One of 2021’s hottest trends is Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs): Unique blockchain assets that, among other things, can be used to prove the origins and ownership of image files or even physical paintings. This functionality has driven a thriving digital art movement, as both new and established artists learn the benefits of putting their works on the blockchain, democratizing art ownership, and accessing prestigious and lucrative new markets.To understand why NFTs have caught the imagination of artists and collectors, it helps to know a little about the blockchain technology on which they are based, as well as the specific quirks of these tokens.The Ethereum blockchain, which hosts most NFTs, is more versatile than the Bitcoin blockchain. If Bitcoin’s blockchain is a shared accounting ledger for digital gold , Ethereum’s is more like a decentralized, global computer. Ethereum can be used to run complex software, including transparent financial applications that anyone can use, and to create digital tokens that represent physical or virtual assets of almost any kind.Most of these Ethereum tokens share certain characteristics, including divisibility and fungibility. Take Dai, for example, a stablecoin designed to track the US Dollar and provide a store of value on the blockchain. There are over 5 billion Dai in circulation , and––like other tokens that use the same popular standard––they are highly divisible. It’s possible to send someone as little as one million trillionth of a Dai. Fungibility, meanwhile, simply means that tokens are completely interchangeable, like $10 bills: One $10 bill is worth exactly the same as any other.But now imagine a $10 bill that had been signed by Beeple, whose digital collage Everydays: The First 5000 Days was recently sold as an NFT by Christie’s for $69 million . Suddenly, that note is unique, or non-fungible, and very likely worth a lot more than $10.Beeple’s Everydays was the first purely digital work to be sold by Christie’s.In the same way, Non-Fungible Tokens modify the rules of standard Ethereum tokens in two key ways:- They are indivisible. It’s not possible to send someone a fraction of an NFT.- They are unique, or limited in supply. Only one NFT of each type exists, or sometimes a small, finite number.These properties make NFTs ideal for representing rare assets of all kinds, and recording their provenance and ownership transparently on the blockchain.While NFTs are being used to represent everything from physical assets like classic cars, paintings, and diamonds, to virtual collectibles like in-game items, the digital art market is where the technology has really gained momentum.As the music industry found out to its dismay in the late 1990s, digital files can easily be copied and shared. This reality prevented digital artists from gaining significant traction. How can an artist prove ownership of an image, and prevent it from being copied all over the web without attribution? This is where NFTs really shine.Any file, including an image file, can be processed to give a unique cryptographic fingerprint called a hash . Changing even a pixel of the image would result in a completely different hash, and it’s essentially impossible to create another file that has the same hash as the first.Each NFT is permanently linked upon creation to the hash of the image file it represents. The token therefore provides both proof of ownership –if you own the NFT, you own the original image–and a record of the moment of creation, time-stamped by the blockchain. Together, this means no one but the creator can fake a copy of the NFT, or claim they were the image’s artist. The immutable blockchain is the final arbiter.Of course, the image itself can still be copied. But that’s now a feature, not a bug, because a popular image that is widely appreciated has greater value th...
Jul 20, 2021
When NFTs get Physical
Brick-and-Mortar Art Galleries and Museums, taking bold steps into the unknown (NFTs as “Terra Incognita”), can be seen, in an increasing fashion, either featuring NFTs in their permanent collections, or organizing NFT events. This is a fascinating turn of events. These institutions have chosen to not ignore NFTs: they know they cannot afford to remain indifferent to the fast changing technological landscape for very long.In addition to traditional spaces including NFTs in their collections and organizing events, galleries fully dedicated to NFTs, such as Superchief, the world’s first NFT gallery, are also popping up. Superchief is currently showing the works of 300 artists on high-resolution screens (at a 4K and 60 frames per second, no less).The rate at which such specialized spaces are appearing is increasing so quickly that it is difficult, even for insiders, to keep up.For NFT aficionados looking to contemplate Crypto Art in the flesh (so to speak), there is no shortage of fantastic events to choose from.In March, Atlanta’s ABV Gallery collaborated with Nifty Gateway, a well-known NFT marketplace, to present Chain Reaction, showing works by crypto artists on 20 digital displays within the gallery and across various public displays in Atlanta and Boston.In Germany, Kenny Schachter, a vocal advocate of NFTs, is curating a show, Breadcrumbs, at Galerie Nagel Draxler in Cologne, showcasing a group of early and present NFT adopters, with the aim of exploring what NFTs really mean for both digital and physical art.Most recently, the largest Bitcoin event ever to take place, the Bitcoin 2021 conference, featured a peer to peer pop-up NFT art gallery with artwork from more than 30 Crypto Artists.But why, you might ask, do artists feel the need to expose NFTs in spaces traditionally dedicated to physical art? What is the rationale here? And why are spaces fully dedicated to NFTs popping up left, right and center?The first and most obvious reason is that traditional galleries have failed to meet the specific needs of NFT artists, both in terms of technology and collector interest.The second reason is that featuring NFTs in traditional spaces such as galleries and museums provides a much richer experience than seeing the artwork on a laptop or on a mobile phone. We agree with Edward Zipco, the director of Superchief, when he states that “one aspect of the NFT Market that was severely lacking was physical presentation”. It is crucial to show the works in full resolutions, just as the artist intended.Museums and Art galleries that choose to dive in head first and methodically implement an NFT strategy will become more self-reliant and more aligned with a new generation of art fans.NFTs present highly improved opportunities for museums to upscale their revenue generation opportunities. Instead of relying on a combination of ticket sales and public money (Museums have learned that this is a risky strategy during a Pandemic), museums and art galleries can tokenize all their paintings and artefacts, to possibly offer them, with stakeholder authorization obviously, on their own marketplaces (the creation of museum-owned marketplaces would put them in direct competition with the Openseas, Raribles and Nifty Gateways of this world). Not to mention what is possible for Museums if they only look at what is being done at the convergence of NFTs and Decentralized Finance: Staking, Lending and Borrowing.
Jul 13, 2021
The Convergence of NFTs and Gaming
In my younger years, and perhaps this admission of mine will reveal my age, I was the proud owner of a venerable Tandy Color Computer 3 with 128KB of RAM. These humble specs did provide countless hours of entertainment (these were simpler times). However, what I saw on-screen really paled in comparison to what I witnessed at my best friend’s place, who was lucky enough to own a Nintendo Entertainment System and a Sega Master System.Eventually, my family’s Sony Trinitron was graced by the presence of a Turbografx-16 (the North American version of NEC’s flagship console, the PC-Engine), an underdog which was marketed as a direct competitor to the Super Nintendo and the Sega Mega Drive.GOOD TIMES!After high-school, my interest for video games never really faded – however I was never able to be as involved as I was during my younger years – especially during those demanding university semesters.In 2018, during Crypto Winter, my interest for Gaming and Blockchain led me to do a little bit of research and to my surprise, I discovered a vibrant market for games that implemented Blockchain technology to create new game dynamics.Blockchain games have come a very long way – today, we are seeing the rapid emergence of NFTs in the blockchain gaming industry, and far from being just another fad, the use of NFTs in the context of Gaming will have cascading effects and change everything we thought we knew about games.Follow me as I go down the NFT gaming rabbit hole.IN-GAME ASSETS AS NFTSAn NFT is a cryptographic token that lives and dies on a Blockchain Network, where the ownership and transaction history associated with an NFT is stored. An NFT is designed according to certain standards (a standard is a set of specific rules that tokens have to adhere to). There are quite a few standards for crafting NFTs and the most popular ones are ERC721 (the Gold standard for NFTs) and ERC1155 (a multi-token standard which can be used to craft NFTs but also an assortment of other digital assets).NFTs, thanks to Metadata that contains critical descriptive information, cannot be replicated: they are non-fungible.Gaming and NFTs are a match made in heaven. Why didn’t we think of this before? Swords, potions, shields, all of the items associated with Dungeon Crawlers or more classical Role-Playing Games such as Final Fantasy – represented as NFTs. Owning race cars from the latest racing game as NFTs and trading them among friends. Just thinking about the possibilities should be enough to make your head spin.If in-game items can be represented as NFTs, then they are not bound to a particular gaming world. And this perhaps is the most far-reaching consequence of the introduction of NFTs in gaming.In-game items as NFTs can now be transferred peer to peer and perhaps, given Blockchain’s Interoperability (the capacity of vastly different systems and blockchain networks to speak to each other and understand each other) and Composability (the possibility, built on a foundation of Interoperability, to adopt a modular approach and compose new systems, products, services and experiences with platforms and applications as building blocks) be used in other games.The idea of transferring in-game assets raises specific legal issues. However, taking a page from the Real Estate NFT playbook, couldn’t developers quell disputes well in advance by stating that the ownership of the NFT grants ownership of the associated Intellectual Property?In-game items as NFTs are a brilliant idea and one that will appeal to anyone who has spent a significant amount of time and money on a game, only to see their efforts and in-game assets wiped out of existence due to technical failures from the developer, for example.When a game account is deleted, when servers malfunction, or when a developer goes out of business, all of the time and effort spent building characters, collecting items and building relationships is vaporized. All that effort is gone. NFTs change this: all...
Jul 6, 2021
The Environmental Impact of NFTs
The environmental impact of NFTs is an important subject that deserves serious treatment. Much has been written already about their carbon footprint; the consensus, at the moment, among journalists, artists and collectors, is that NFTs are a net negative for our planet.However, a close examination of the criticism directed towards NFTs reveals that what critics have in mind when speaking about NFTs is this specific brand of NFTs that relies on Proof-of-Work (POW) mechanisms.It is a well known fact that NFTs that live and die on Proof-of-Work Blockchains such as Ethereum have a large carbon footprint. This fact is beyond dispute.In order to mint an NFT on a POW blockchain, a large amount of energy and hashpower are required. The problem is not the NFTs themselves, but the way the POW networks function. The Carbon footprint of a single “POW NFT” is equivalent to more than a month of electricity usage for the average person living in the European Union. The large footprint is due to the multiple transactions involved with NFTs: minting, canceling, auctions, sales and transfers of ownership.However, to say that all NFTs are a net negative for the environment is a clear oversimplification. Not all NFTs are “POW NFTs”. A growing number of NFT projects are moving away from the Power-hungry Proof-of-Work blockchains; outstanding efforts are being made to create a more sustainable and ecologically responsible NFT ecosystem.The largest culprit in terms of carbon footprint, the Ethereum Network (a single Ethereum transaction’s carbon footprint stands today at 33.4 kg of CO2, which is equivalent to 74 000 Visa transactions) is switching to a new model that will reduce its energy consumption by 99%. The switch from Proof-Of-Work, which requires the Nodes composing the ethereum network to compete against one another to solve cryptographic puzzles in order to generate Blocks and be awarded freshly mined Ethereum, to Proof-Of-Stake, a more ecological and sustainable way to validate and generate new Blocks, will happen, according to developers close to the project, either at the end of 2021 or in the first quarter of 2022.This transition will have a stunning effect on the amount of energy spent to mint and transfer NFTs, among other operations. Currently, minting a single NFT creates 48 kg of CO2. Every bid creates 23 kg of CO2, every sale, 51 kg, and every transfer, 30 kg. The transition to Ethereum 2 will bring down the carbon footprint of the average NFT to around 2.11 kg of CO2 – which is the same as mailing a physical piece of art.At the moment, multiple Ethereum “sidechains” (separate blockchains attached to Ethereum using a two-way peg), and “Layer Two” projects (built “on top” of the Ethereum Network) propose elegant solutions to reduce the carbon footprint of NFTs – either by “batching” transactions together, by minting NFTs off-chain, or by adopting a Proof of Stake model, which does not require Nodes to consume inordinate amounts of electricity to validate transactions and find new blocks.
Jun 29, 2021
The Birth of a New Discipline: The History of NFT Art
We call for the creation of a brand new discipline: The History of NFT Art. The History of NFT Art is a discipline structurally similar to the History of Art, under which it is to be subsumed. The History of NFT Art borrows its tools, frameworks and methods from the Historical study of art. Even though the object of this new discipline is well defined, it has not been given the serious treatment it deserves.Below our readers will not find the outlines of a treatise or even a discussion of the reluctance of Historians to break their silence about NFTs. What we offer here is a succinct chronological outline of the events that led to the creation of the NFT market as it exists today. This outline will give the readers a measure of the work that needs to be accomplished.Before going any further, to alleviate any doubt as to what the object of this article is, wouldn’t it be desirable to define, very quickly, what an NFT is?NFTs, or Non-Fungible Tokens, are Digital tokens linked with digital or physical assets. These tokens are designed according to specific standards (ERC721, ERC1155, to mention only two of them), using cryptographic methods. It is important to understand that an NFT is not the token alone, but the token linked with a digital or physical asset.While most NFTs are issued via the Ethereum Blockchain, any blockchain can be used to issue NFTs. Case in point, The Tron and the EOS ecosystems have decided to make very large bets on the popularity of NFTs.News outlets started actively covering NFTs about two or three years ago, giving the impression that NFTs are a relatively recent phenomenon. However, as we will see, the history of NFTs goes back to a time where Ethereum did not even exist.The very first NFTs came to us in 2011 via the bitDNS project. The idea was to link a cryptographic token, crafted on the Namecoin blockchain, to .bit domains.Then came the infamous Coloured Coins (2012-2013), which represented a huge leap in bitcoin’s capabilities: the idea was to add metadata to Bitcoin transactions that corresponded to a state for a token, using the blockchain as a kind of registry for storing that information.Many protocols implemented the idea of Colored Coins: OpenAssets, ChromaWay and Celu among others. However, the main Colored Coin projects are Mastercoin and Counterparty , which improved the base protocol and made it easier to create tokens and track them with the help of explorers.Historically, the very first mention of Colored Coins came from a blog post published in early 2012 by Yoni Assia, entitled “Bitcoin 2.X (aka Colored Bitcoin) – initial specs”. On December 4th of 2012, Meri Rosenfeld published a paper entitled “Overview of Colored Coins.” In 2013, another paper covering the topic of colored coins was published by Yoni Assia, Vitalik Buterin, Lior Hakim and Meni Rosenfeld: “Colored Coins – Bitcoin X.”Colored Coins were used to represent a multitude of assets and they have multiple use cases, including: real estate, coupons, company shares, access tokens, collectibles and more. Despite its flaws, the Colored Coins project opened the door for further experimentation and laid a lot of the groundwork for future NFT projects.The very first piece of NFT Art was created in 2014 by Kevin McCoy and Anil Dash, live at the Seven on Seven conference at the New Museum in New York City. For the very first time, a unique work of art was linked to a non-fungible token via on-chain metadata. This first NFT was enabled by Namecoin, the first altcoin.2014 was a pivotal year for the NFT sector. Robert Dermody, Adam Krellenstein and Evan Wagner founded Counterparty: an internet protocol doubled with a financial platform, built on top of the Bitcoin Network. Counterparty, for the very first time, allowed users to create assets and NFTs.April of 2015 saw the release of “Spells of Genesis”: for the very first time, in-game assets were released, via Counterparty, as NFTs.Counterparty proved to be a popular cho...
Jun 22, 2021
Will Non-Fungible Tokens Hold Value?
Being worried about the ever-present potential of an NFTs value to decline in the future is a valid concern.Nobody wants to purchase an NFT, only to see its price crash later on.When purchasing an NFT, most buyers secretly hope two things: that it will “hold the value” it had at the time of purchase; or that it will outright appreciate in value. But for this to happen, it’s important pick and choose NFTs methodically.The NFTs we purchase will more likely hold their value if they are scarce. Scarcity is what many have in the back of their minds when shopping for NFTs. Unique Editions and Unique Series are attractive propositions for collectors.It is possible to assess the scarcity of NFTs manually by looking at on-chain data, however it is much more convenient to use real-time NFT Market Data by providers such as NFTEXP.NFTEXP has created two indicators that can be used to rate NFTs and assess their scarcity: Asset Rating (AR) and Trait Rating (TR). AR and TR are metrics that indicate the real rarity of an asset, with a score of 100 being rarest and 0 being the least rare.AR and TR are metrics that show rarity across collections. They are helpful tools for collectors who wish to make an educated judgment about NFT assets, in order to determine if they will hold their value or not.Waifusion #2143, for example, has an Asset Rating of 82 – this NFT, being in the top 18% across all collections, could represent an excellent purchase opportunity, especially if obtained at a discount on a secondary market such as OpenSea or Rarible.The NFTs you purchase may be more likely to hold value (or even appreciate) if they can be used in Decentralized Finance protocols – which are designed to “unlock” the usability of NFTs.We are seeing an increase in use of NFTs in Decentralised Finance (DeFi). NFTs used in DeFi protocols could be given a “Usability Premium” (a direct consequence of increased demand) and perhaps not only hold their value – potentially appreciate relatively to their purchase price.DeFi lenders such as NFTFI, which specialises in NFT Lending, Hoard Exchange, a marketplace that makes it possible to rent and lend NFTs, and Stater Finance, an NFT Lending marketplace, are now being approached by customers seeking to put up newly minted NFT art collections as collateral. NFTs that can be used as collateral may be sought more than those that cannot be used in this manner – a “Usability Premium” may be attached to these assets. The NFTs that can be leased for an arbitrary amount of time may also benefit from increased demand.These are oftentimes the NFTs that investors seek. These NFTs, thanks to their Scarcity expressed in AR and TR terms, and thanks to the fact that they can be used in various DeFi protocols, may “hold their value” and could be the most likely appreciate in value due to increased demand.Not financial advice, do your own research.
Jun 15, 2021
Non-Fungible Tokens And Their Use Cases
This was the shot that was heard around the world: Beeple, a celebrated Crypto Artist, sold, on March the 11th of this year, “Everydays — The First Five Thousand Days”, a non-fungible token (NFT), for a record-breaking US $69 Million at Christie’s Auction House.NFTs swiftly entered the realm of polite conversation: artists and collectors obviously acknowledged the sale as an important event, but tempers quickly flared and the conversations mushroomed on social media often without an authentic understanding of NFTs, of the aesthetics of Crypto Art, and of the massive impact of NFTs on the Art World.Let us not commit the same sin and immediately define the object of this article. It is clear that most people associate NFTs with digital art, as it is the most visible and perhaps the most lucrative use case of NFTs, for which the demand rose by 299% in 2020 alone.An NFT is first and foremost a unique, indivisible and non-fungible digital token generated through cryptographic methods on a specific blockchain network, according to a certain technical standard.By non-fungible we mean that such a token cannot be exchanged for something else, due to its uniqueness and scarcity – NFTs cannot be exchanged in the same way we exchange fungible currencies like dollars or euros.An NFT is linked with an asset, digital or physical. The token’s metadata contains vital information such as the timestamp of its creation, the crypto wallet address of the creator, and specifics about the asset that is linked with the token. When we come to understand that an NFT is a cryptographic token linked with an asset, we can appreciate the sheer scale of what is possible.The linked asset need not be Digital Art.Digital art is only one type of asset that can be linked with a cryptographic token. There are many others.Licenses and Certifications: An NFT can represent a license or a diploma. For the verification of such documents, it would be easy to leverage an NFT’s metadata, and this in turn would greatly lower administrative overhead. Storing documents like these as NFTs is also an alternative approach for storing evidence of course completion.Real Estate: NFTs may simplify the process of buying and selling properties, by drastically lowering the administrative and bureaucratic overhead and expediting the sale process. An NFT can represent a property. The property’s deed can be a part of the token’s metadata. The entire history of a property’s ownership and rights can be recorded on a blockchain and be instantly verifiable. NFTs can also unlock liquidity trapped in properties, for example through fractional ownership, without having to turn to a bank.NFT Finance: NFTs can easily be bought and sold on secondary markets. Additionally, certain lenders now accept NFTs as collateral, and it is possible to lock NFTs for a certain period of time and receive interest for doing so.Patents: Patents are considered illiquid assets. However, tokenised patents (we “tokenise” an object when we link it with a cryptographic token) are an attractive proposition for patent holders. NFTs allow them to commercialise their patents in a safe and accessible trading environment.NFTs and Memberships: NFTs can be used to represent memberships. Data about the membership can be recorded in an immutable manner on a blockchain.NFTs, cryptographic tokens living on blockchain networks and linked with assets (digital or physical) are an opportunity, not merely due to the massive amount of money they seem to attract; they promise to drastically lower administrative, bureaucratic overhead and unlock billions of dollars of liquidity trapped in assets.It seems many use cases for NFTs are yet to be discovered.
Jun 8, 2021
NFTs and Ticketing
The venerable ticketing Industry and Non-fungible Tokens (NFTs) are on a highly desirable and long-awaited collision course: it appears nothing and no one will be able to prevent the emergence of an hybrid ticketing industry, that will redefine what it means exactly to hold a “ticket” for an event.The ticketing Industry is currently riddled with problems and is in dire need of a system upgrade.One of these problems is the industry’s aging infrastructure. Very often, tickets are printed (when they are not printed in an honorable attempt to mitigate the impact of this industry on the environment, tickets are sent to email addresses as pdf files – which are in turn printed from home), and this implies they have to be shipped and stored. When an event needs to be modified (for example, a headliner was not able to obtain a visa to perform at a festival), the tickets often need to be reprinted and redistributed.As we can see, this aging infrastructure carries with it a heavy overhead – ticketing is expensive.Another problem that characterizes today’s ticketing industry is the difficulty associated with authenticating tickets. Scammers excel at manufacturing fake tickets which are indistinguishable in terms of quality from genuine tickets. They are able to sell those tickets online or very close to venues, and this happens because the mechanisms for checking the authenticity of tickets function poorly – where they have been implemented at all.NFTs might just be the solution the venerable ticketing industry was waiting for.Tickets as NFTs (or in other words: “Tokenized Tickets”) solve the ticketing industry’s infrastructure problem by moving ticket issuance and control to the blockchain. Event organizers can now Mint, very cheaply, and in seconds, a predefined amount of tickets, track transactions and reseller activity on secondary ticket markets, assign tickets to specific individuals, and change the details of events on the fly.Issuing tickets as NFTs makes it easier to control the authenticity of tickets: the Blockchain becomes a single, immutable source of truth available for anyone to review.In this brave new world of ticketing, the price of tokenized Tickets does not need to be fixed: promoters can organize sales as auctions and let buyers bid on tickets and determine the price themselves.Tickets as NFTs can be stored in Crypto Wallets and be transferred peer to peer, to other users, to applications and secondary markets. The transfer of NFTs, from the initial sale to any subsequent resale, is recorded immutably on the blockchain, making it very easy to verify the authenticity of a ticket and to review the history of its owners. Even better: when the resale of a ticket is forbidden (something that has proven to be very difficult to enforce in real life), an NFT can be programmed as non-transferable, so they physically cannot be transferred, and therefore resold, to another individual.Tokenized tickets can easily be induced in the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) ecosystem: they can be staked, lended, swapped, borrowed and used as collateral. This being said, the GET Protocol gives us a glimpse of what is possible when tokenized ticketing and DeFi converge. This particular protocol will soon allow the pre-funding of events: event organizers, putting their stock of minted tickets up as collateral, an exciting and fascinating practice which the event industry has never seen before, can get the funds they need to organize events. This type of collateralized crowdfunding will help event organisers mitigate the risks associated with organizing an event.