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NFTs & Art

Jayden Levitt

Jayden Levitt

1 day ago

How to Explain NFTs to Your Grandmother, in Simple Terms

Credit — Grandma Finds The Internet

In simple terms, you probably don’t.

But try. Grandma didn't grow up with Facebook, but she eventually joined.

Perhaps the fear of being isolated outweighed the discomfort of learning the technology.

Grandmas are Facebook likers, sharers, and commenters.

There’s no stopping her.

Not even NFTs. Web3 is currently very complex.

It's difficult to explain what NFTs are, how they work, and why we might use them.

Three explanations.

1. Everything will be ours to own, both physically and digitally.

Why own something you can't touch? What's the point?

Blockchain technology proves digital ownership.

Untouchables need ownership proof. What?

Digital assets reduce friction, save time, and are better for the environment than physical goods.

Many valuable things are intangible. Feeling like your favorite brands. You'll pay obscene prices for clothing that costs pennies.

Secondly, NFTs Are Contracts. Agreements Have Value.

Blockchain technology will replace all contracts and intermediaries.

Every insurance contract, deed, marriage certificate, work contract, plane ticket, concert ticket, or sports event is likely an NFT.

We all have public wallets, like Grandma's Facebook page.

3. Your NFT Purchases Will Be Visible To Everyone.

Everyone can see your public wallet. What you buy says more about you than what you post online.

NFTs issued double as marketing collateral when seen on social media.

While I doubt Grandma knows who Snoop Dog is, imagine him or another famous person holding your NFT in his public wallet and the attention that could bring to you, your company, or brand.

This Technical Section Is For You

The NFT is a contract; its founders can add value through access, events, tuition, and possibly royalties.

Imagine Elon Musk releasing an NFT to his network. Or yearly business consultations for three years.

Christ-alive.

It's worth millions.

These determine their value.

No unsuspecting schmuck willing to buy your hot potato at zero. That's the trend, though.

Overpriced NFTs for low-effort projects created a bubble that has burst.

During a market bubble, you can make money by buying overvalued assets and selling them later for a profit, according to the Greater Fool Theory.

People are struggling. Some are ruined by collateralized loans and the gold rush.

Finances are ruined.

It's uncomfortable.

The same happened in 2018, during the ICO crash or in 1999/2000 when the dot com bubble burst. But the underlying technology hasn’t gone away.

Jake Prins

Jake Prins

2 days ago

What are NFTs 2.0 and what issues are they meant to address?

New standards help NFTs reach their full potential.

NFTs 2.0

NFTs lack interoperability and functionality. They have great potential but are mostly speculative. To maximize NFTs, we need flexible smart contracts.

Current requirements are too restrictive.

Most NFTs are based on ERC-721, which makes exchanging them easy. CryptoKitties, a popular online game, used the 2017 standard to demonstrate NFTs' potential.

This simple standard includes a base URI and incremental IDs for tokens. Add the tokenID to the base URI to get the token's metadata.

This let creators collect NFTs. Many NFT projects store metadata on IPFS, a distributed storage network, but others use Google Drive. NFT buyers often don't realize that if the creators delete or move the files, their NFT is just a pointer.

This isn't the standard's biggest issue. There's no way to validate NFT projects.

Creators are one of the most important aspects of art, but nothing is stored on-chain.

ERC-721 contracts only have a name and symbol.

Most of the data on OpenSea's collection pages isn't from the NFT's smart contract. It was added through a platform input field, so it's in the marketplace's database. Other websites may have different NFT information.

In five years, your NFT will be just a name, symbol, and ID.

Your NFT doesn't mention its creators. Although the smart contract has a public key, it doesn't reveal who created it.

The NFT's creators and their reputation are crucial to its value. Think digital fashion and big brands working with well-known designers when more professionals use NFTs. Don't you want them in your NFT?

Would paintings be as valuable if their artists were unknown? Would you believe it's real?

Buying directly from an on-chain artist would reduce scams. Current standards don't allow this data.

Most creator profiles live on centralized marketplaces and could disappear. Current platforms have outpaced underlying standards. The industry's standards are lagging.

For NFTs to grow beyond pointers to a monkey picture file, we may need to use new Web3-based standards.

Introducing NFTs 2.0

Fabian Vogelsteller, creator of ERC-20, developed new web3 standards. He proposed LSP7 Digital Asset and LSP8 Identifiable Digital Asset, also called NFT 2.0.

NFT and token metadata inputs are extendable. Changes to on-chain metadata inputs allow NFTs to evolve. Instead of public keys, the contract can have Universal Profile addresses attached. These profiles show creators' faces and reputations. NFTs can notify asset receivers, automating smart contracts.

LSP7 and LSP8 use ERC725Y. Using a generic data key-value store gives contracts much-needed features:

  • The asset can be customized and made to stand out more by allowing for unlimited data attachment.

  • Recognizing changes to the metadata

  • using a hash reference for metadata rather than a URL reference

This base will allow more metadata customization and upgradeability. These guidelines are:

  • Genuine and Verifiable Now, the creation of an NFT by a specific Universal Profile can be confirmed by smart contracts.

  • Dynamic NFTs can update Flexible & Updatable Metadata, allowing certain things to evolve over time.

  • Protected metadata Now, secure metadata that is readable by smart contracts can be added indefinitely.

  • Better NFTS prevent the locking of NFTs by only being sent to Universal Profiles or a smart contract that can interact with them.

Summary

NFTS standards lack standardization and powering features, limiting the industry.

ERC-721 is the most popular NFT standard, but it only represents incremental tokenIDs without metadata or asset representation. No standard sender-receiver interaction or security measures ensure safe asset transfers.

NFT 2.0 refers to the new LSP7-DigitalAsset and LSP8-IdentifiableDigitalAsset standards.

They have new standards for flexible metadata, secure transfers, asset representation, and interactive transfer.

With NFTs 2.0 and Universal Profiles, creators could build on-chain reputations.

NFTs 2.0 could bring the industry's needed innovation if it wants to move beyond trading profile pictures for speculation.

Jayden Levitt

Jayden Levitt

7 days ago

Starbucks' NFT Project recently defeated its rivals.

The same way Amazon killed bookstores. You just can’t see it yet.

Photo by Jason Redmond | AFP | Getty Images

Shultz globalized coffee. Before Starbucks, coffee sucked.

All accounts say 1970s coffee was awful.

Starbucks had three stores selling ground Indonesian coffee in the 1980s.

What a show!

A year after joining the company at 29, Shultz traveled to Italy for R&D.

He noticed the coffee shops' sense of theater and community and realized Starbucks was in the wrong business.

Integrating coffee and destination created a sense of community in the store.

Brilliant!

He told Starbucks' founders about his experience.

They disapproved.

For two years.

Shultz left and opened an Italian coffee shop chain like any good entrepreneur.

Starbucks ran into financial trouble, so the founders offered to sell to Shultz.

Shultz bought Starbucks in 1987 for $3.8 million, including six stores and a payment plan.

Starbucks is worth $100.79Billion, per Google Finance.

26,500 times Shultz's initial investment

Starbucks is releasing its own NFT Platform under Shultz and his early Vision.

This year, Starbucks Odyssey launches. The new digital experience combines a Loyalty Rewards program with NFT.

The side chain Polygon-based platform doesn't require a Crypto Wallet. Customers can earn and buy digital assets to unlock incentives and experiences.

They've removed all friction, making it more immersive and convenient than a coffee shop.

Brilliant!

NFTs are the access coupon to their digital community, but they don't highlight the technology.

They prioritize consumer experience by adding non-technical users to Web3. Their collectables are called journey stamps, not NFTs.

No mention of bundled gas fees.

Brady Brewer, Starbucks' CMO, said;

“It happens to be built on blockchain and web3 technologies, but the customer — to be honest — may very well not even know that what they’re doing is interacting with blockchain technology. It’s just the enabler,”

Rewards members will log into a web app using their loyalty program credentials to access Starbucks Odyssey. They won't know about blockchain transactions.

Join the waitlist here

Starbucks has just dealt its rivals a devastating blow.

It generates more than ten times the revenue of its closest competitor Costa Coffee.

The coffee giant is booming.

Credit — Statista.com

Starbucks is ahead of its competitors. No wonder.

They have an innovative, adaptable leadership team.

Starbucks' DNA challenges the narrative, especially when others reject their ideas.

I’m off for a cappuccino.

Matt Nutsch

Matt Nutsch

13 days ago

Most people are unaware of how artificial intelligence (A.I.) is changing the world.

Image created by MidjourneyAI user Dreamland3K

Recently, I saw an interesting social media post. In an entrepreneurship forum. A blogger asked for help because he/she couldn't find customers. I now suspect that the writer’s occupation is being disrupted by A.I.

Introduction

Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) has been a hot topic since the 1950s. With recent advances in machine learning, A.I. will touch almost every aspect of our lives. This article will discuss A.I. technology and its social and economic implications.

What's AI?

A computer program or machine with A.I. can think and learn. In general, it's a way to make a computer smart. Able to understand and execute complex tasks. Machine learning, NLP, and robotics are common types of A.I.

AI's global impact

MidjourneyAI image generated by user Desmesne

AI will change the world, but probably faster than you think. A.I. already affects our daily lives. It improves our decision-making, efficiency, and productivity.

A.I. is transforming our lives and the global economy. It will create new business and job opportunities but eliminate others. Affected workers may face financial hardship.

AI examples:

OpenAI's GPT-3 text-generation

MidjourneyAI generated image of robot typing

Developers can train, deploy, and manage models on GPT-3. It handles data preparation, model training, deployment, and inference for machine learning workloads. GPT-3 is easy to use for both experienced and new data scientists.

My team conducted an experiment. We needed to generate some blog posts for a website. We hired a blogger on Upwork. OpenAI created a blog post. The A.I.-generated blog post was of higher quality and lower cost.

MidjourneyAI's Art Contests

Théâtre D’opéra Spatial by Jason M. Allen via MidjourneyAI

AI already affects artists. Artists use A.I. to create realistic 3D images and videos for digital art. A.I. is also used to generate new art ideas and methods.

MidjourneyAI and GigapixelAI won a contest last month. It's AI. created a beautiful piece of art that captured the contest's spirit. AI triumphs. It could open future doors.

After the art contest win, I registered to try out these new image generating A.I.s. In the MidjourneyAI chat forum, I noticed an artist's plea. The artist begged others to stop flooding RedBubble with AI-generated art.

Shutterstock and Getty Images have halted user uploads. AI-generated images flooded online marketplaces.

Imagining Videos with Meta

AI generated video example from Meta AI

Meta released Make-a-Video this week. It's an A.I. app that creates videos from text. What you type creates a video.

This technology will impact TV, movies, and video games greatly. Imagine a movie or game that's personalized to your tastes. It's closer than you think.

Uses and Abuses of Deepfakes

Carrie Fischer’s likeness in the movie The Rise of Skywalker

Deepfake videos are computer-generated images of people. AI creates realistic images and videos of people.

Deepfakes are entertaining but have social implications. Porn introduced deepfakes in 2017. People put famous faces on porn actors and actresses without permission.

Soon, deepfakes were used to show dead actors/actresses or make them look younger. Carrie Fischer was included in films after her death using deepfake technology.

Deepfakes can be used to create fake news or manipulate public opinion, according to an AI.

Voices for Darth Vader and Iceman

James Earl Jones, who voiced Darth Vader, sold his voice rights this week. Aged actor won't be in those movies. Respeecher will use AI to mimic Jones's voice. This technology could change the entertainment industry. One actor can now voice many characters.

Val Kilmer in Top Gun as imagined by MidjourneyAI

AI can generate realistic voice audio from text. Top Gun 2 actor Val Kilmer can't speak for medical reasons. Sonantic created Kilmer's voice from the movie script. This entertaining technology has social implications. It blurs authentic recordings and fake media.

Medical A.I. fights viruses

MidjourneyAI generated image of virus

A team of Chinese scientists used machine learning to predict effective antiviral drugs last year. They started with a large dataset of virus-drug interactions. Researchers combined that with medication and virus information. Finally, they used machine learning to predict effective anti-virus medicines. This technology could solve medical problems.

AI ideas AI-generated Itself

MidjourneyAI image generated by user SubjectChunchunmaru

OpenAI's GPT-3 predicted future A.I. uses. Here's what it told me:

AI will affect the economy. Businesses can operate more efficiently and reinvest resources with A.I.-enabled automation. AI can automate customer service tasks, reducing costs and improving satisfaction.

A.I. makes better pricing, inventory, and marketing decisions. AI automates tasks and makes decisions. A.I.-powered robots could help the elderly or disabled. Self-driving cars could reduce accidents.

A.I. predictive analytics can predict stock market or consumer behavior trends and patterns. A.I. also personalizes recommendations. sways. A.I. recommends products and movies. AI can generate new ideas based on data analysis.

Conclusion

Image generated from MidjourneyAI by user PuddingPants.”

A.I. will change business as it becomes more common. It will change how we live and work by creating growth and prosperity.

Exciting times,  but also one which should give us all pause. Technology can be good or evil. We must use new technologies ethically, fairly, and honestly.

“The author generated some sentences in this text in part with GPT-3, OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model. Upon generating draft language, the author reviewed, edited, and revised the language to their own liking and takes ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication. The text of this post was further edited using HemingWayApp. Many of the images used were generated using A.I. as described in the captions.”

shivsak

shivsak

1 month ago

A visual exploration of the REAL use cases for NFTs in the Future

In this essay, I studied REAL NFT use examples and their potential uses.

Knowledge of the Hype Cycle

Gartner's Hype Cycle.

It proposes 5 phases for disruptive technology.

1. Technology Trigger: the emergence of potentially disruptive technology.

2. Peak of Inflated Expectations: Early publicity creates hype. (Ex: 2021 Bubble)

3. Trough of Disillusionment: Early projects fail to deliver on promises and the public loses interest. I suspect NFTs are somewhere around this trough of disillusionment now.

4. Enlightenment slope: The tech shows successful use cases.

5. Plateau of Productivity: Mainstream adoption has arrived and broader market applications have proven themselves. Here’s a more detailed visual of the Gartner Hype Cycle from Wikipedia.

In the speculative NFT bubble of 2021, @beeple sold Everydays: the First 5000 Days for $69 MILLION in 2021's NFT bubble.

@nbatopshot sold millions in video collectibles.

This is when expectations peaked.

Let's examine NFTs' real-world applications.

Watch this video if you're unfamiliar with NFTs.

Online Art

Most people think NFTs are rich people buying worthless JPEGs and MP4s.

Digital artwork and collectibles are revolutionary for creators and enthusiasts.

NFT Profile Pictures

You might also have seen NFT profile pictures on Twitter.

My profile picture is an NFT I coined with @skogards factoria app, which helps me avoid bogus accounts.

Profile pictures are a good beginning point because they're unique and clearly yours.

NFTs are a way to represent proof-of-ownership. It’s easier to prove ownership of digital assets than physical assets, which is why artwork and pfps are the first use cases.

They can do much more.

NFTs can represent anything with a unique owner and digital ownership certificate. Domains and usernames.

Usernames & Domains

@unstoppableweb, @ensdomains, @rarible sell NFT domains.

NFT domains are transferable, which is a benefit.

Godaddy and other web2 providers have difficult-to-transfer domains. Domains are often leased instead of purchased.

Tickets

NFTs can also represent concert tickets and event passes.

There's a limited number, and entry requires proof.

NFTs can eliminate the problem of forgery and make it easy to verify authenticity and ownership.

NFT tickets can be traded on the secondary market, which allows for:

  1. marketplaces that are uniform and offer the seller and buyer security (currently, tickets are traded on inefficient markets like FB & craigslist)

  2. unbiased pricing

  3. Payment of royalties to the creator

4. Historical ticket ownership data implies performers can airdrop future passes, discounts, etc.

5. NFT passes can be a fandom badge.

The $30B+ online tickets business is increasing fast.

NFT-based ticketing projects:

Gaming Assets

NFTs also help in-game assets.

Imagine someone spending five years collecting a rare in-game blade, then outgrowing or quitting the game. Gamers value that collectible.

The gaming industry is expected to make $200 BILLION in revenue this year, a significant portion of which comes from in-game purchases.

Royalties on secondary market trading of gaming assets encourage gaming businesses to develop NFT-based ecosystems.

Digital assets are the start. On-chain NFTs can represent real-world assets effectively.

Real estate has a unique owner and requires ownership confirmation.

Real Estate

Tokenizing property has many benefits.

1. Can be fractionalized to increase access, liquidity

2. Can be collateralized to increase capital efficiency and access to loans backed by an on-chain asset

3. Allows investors to diversify or make bets on specific neighborhoods, towns or cities +++

I've written about this thought exercise before.

I made an animated video explaining this.

We've just explored NFTs for transferable assets. But what about non-transferrable NFTs?

SBTs are Soul-Bound Tokens. Vitalik Buterin (Ethereum co-founder) blogged about this.

NFTs are basically verifiable digital certificates.

Diplomas & Degrees

That fits Degrees & Diplomas. These shouldn't be marketable, thus they can be non-transferable SBTs.

Anyone can verify the legitimacy of on-chain credentials, degrees, abilities, and achievements.

The same goes for other awards.

For example, LinkedIn could give you a verified checkmark for your degree or skills.

Authenticity Protection

NFTs can also safeguard against counterfeiting.

Counterfeiting is the largest criminal enterprise in the world, estimated to be $2 TRILLION a year and growing.

Anti-counterfeit tech is valuable.

This is one of @ORIGYNTech's projects.

Identity

Identity theft/verification is another real-world problem NFTs can handle.

In the US, 15 million+ citizens face identity theft every year, suffering damages of over $50 billion a year.

This isn't surprising considering all you need for US identity theft is a 9-digit number handed around in emails, documents, on the phone, etc.

Identity NFTs can fix this.

  • NFTs are one-of-a-kind and unforgeable.

  • NFTs offer a universal standard.

  • NFTs are simple to verify.

  • SBTs, or non-transferrable NFTs, are tied to a particular wallet.

  • In the event of wallet loss or theft, NFTs may be revoked.

This could be one of the biggest use cases for NFTs.

Imagine a global identity standard that is standardized across countries, cannot be forged or stolen, is digital, easy to verify, and protects your private details.

Since your identity is more than your government ID, you may have many NFTs.

@0xPolygon and @civickey are developing on-chain identity.

Memberships

NFTs can authenticate digital and physical memberships.

Voting

NFT IDs can verify votes.

If you remember 2020, you'll know why this is an issue.

Online voting's ease can boost turnout.

Informational property

NFTs can protect IP.

This can earn creators royalties.

NFTs have 2 important properties:

  • Verifiability IP ownership is unambiguously stated and publicly verified.

  • Platforms that enable authors to receive royalties on their IP can enter the market thanks to standardization.

Content Rights

Monetization without copyrighting = more opportunities for everyone.

This works well with the music.

Spotify and Apple Music pay creators very little.

Crowdfunding

Creators can crowdfund with NFTs.

NFTs can represent future royalties for investors.

This is particularly useful for fields where people who are not in the top 1% can’t make money. (Example: Professional sports players)

Mirror.xyz allows blog-based crowdfunding.

Financial NFTs

This introduces Financial NFTs (fNFTs). Unique financial contracts abound.

Examples:

  • a person's collection of assets (unique portfolio)

  • A loan contract that has been partially repaid with a lender

  • temporal tokens (ex: veCRV)

Legal Agreements

Not just financial contracts.

NFT can represent any legal contract or document.

Messages & Emails

What about other agreements? Verbal agreements through emails and messages are likewise unique, but they're easily lost and fabricated.

Health Records

Medical records or prescriptions are another types of documentation that has to be verified but isn't.

Medical NFT examples:

  • Immunization records

  • Covid test outcomes

  • Prescriptions

  • health issues that may affect one's identity

  • Observations made via health sensors

Existing systems of proof by paper / PDF have photoshop-risk.

I tried to include most use scenarios, but this is just the beginning.

NFTs have many innovative uses.

For example: @ShaanVP minted an NFT called “5 Minutes of Fame” 👇

Here are 2 Twitter threads about NFTs:

  1. This piece of gold by @chriscantino

2. This conversation between @punk6529 and @RaoulGMI on @RealVision“The World According to @punk6529

If you're wondering why NFTs are better than web2 databases for these use scenarios, see this Twitter thread I wrote:

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