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8 months ago

Instagram NFTs Are Here… How does this affect artists?

Instagram (IG) is officially joining NFT. With the debut of new in-app NFT functionalities, influential producers can interact with blockchain tech on the social media platform.

Meta unveiled intentions for an Instagram NFT marketplace in March, but these latest capabilities focus more on content sharing than commerce. And why shouldn’t they? IG's entry into the NFT market is overdue, given that Twitter and Discord are NFT hotspots.

The NFT marketplace/Web3 social media race has continued to expand, with the expected Coinbase NFT Beta now live and blazing a trail through the NFT ecosystem.

IG's focus is on visual art. It's unlike any NFT marketplace or platform. IG NFTs and artists: what's the deal? Let’s take a look.

What are Instagram’s NFT features anyways?

As said, not everyone has Instagram's new features. 16 artists, NFT makers, and collectors can now post NFTs on IG by integrating third-party digital wallets (like Rainbow or MetaMask) in-app. IG doesn't charge to publish or share digital collectibles.

NFTs displayed on the app have a "shimmer" aesthetic effect. NFT posts also have a "digital collectable" badge that lists metadata such as the creator and/or owner, the platform it was created on, a brief description, and a blockchain identification.

Meta's social media NFTs have launched on Instagram, but the company is also preparing to roll out digital collectibles on Facebook, with more on the way for IG. Currently, only Ethereum and Polygon are supported, but Flow and Solana will be added soon.

How will artists use these new features?

Artists are publishing NFTs they developed or own on IG by linking third-party digital wallets. These features have no NFT trading aspects built-in, but are aimed to let authors share NFTs with IG audiences.

Creators, like IG-native aerial/street photographer Natalie Amrossi (@misshattan), are discovering novel uses for IG NFTs.

Amrossi chose to not only upload his own NFTs but also encourage other artists in the field. "That's the beauty of connecting your wallet and sharing NFTs. It's not just what you make, but also what you accumulate."

Amrossi has been producing and posting Instagram art for years. With IG's NFT features, she can understand Instagram's importance in supporting artists.

Web2 offered Amrossi the tools to become an artist and make a life. "Before 'influencer' existed, I was just making art. Instagram helped me reach so many individuals and brands, giving me a living.

Even artists without millions of viewers are encouraged to share NFTs on IG. Wilson, a relatively new name in the NFT space, seems to have already gone above and beyond the scope of these new IG features. By releasing "Losing My Mind" via IG NFT posts, she has evaded the lack of IG NFT commerce by using her network to market her multi-piece collection.

"'Losing My Mind' is a long-running photo series. Wilson was preparing to release it as NFTs before IG approached him, so it was a perfect match.

Wilson says the series is about Black feminine figures and media depiction. Respectable effort, given POC artists have been underrepresented in NFT so far.

“Over the past year, I've had mental health concerns that made my emotions so severe it was impossible to function in daily life, therefore that prompted this photo series. Every Wednesday and Friday for three weeks, I'll release a new Meta photo for sale.

Wilson hopes these new IG capabilities will help develop a connection between the NFT community and other internet subcultures that thrive on Instagram.

“NFTs can look scary as an outsider, but seeing them on your daily IG feed makes it less foreign,” adds Wilson. I think Instagram might become a hub for NFT aficionados, making them more accessible to artists and collectors.

What does it all mean for the NFT space?

Meta's NFT and metaverse activities will continue to impact Instagram's NFT ecosystem. Many think it will be for the better, as IG NFT frauds are another problem hurting the NFT industry.

IG's new NFT features seem similar to Twitter's PFP NFT verifications, but Instagram's tools should help cut down on scams as users can now verify the creation and ownership of whole NFT collections included in IG posts.

Given the number of visual artists and NFT creators on IG, it might become another hub for NFT fans, as Wilson noted. If this happens, it raises questions about Instagram success. Will artists be incentivized to distribute NFTs? Or will those with a large fanbase dominate?

Elise Swopes (@swopes) believes these new features should benefit smaller artists. Swopes was one of the first profiles placed to Instagram's original suggested user list in 2012.

Swopes says she wants IG to be a magnet for discovery and understands the value of NFT artists and producers.

"I'd love to see IG become a focus of discovery for everyone, not just the Beeples and Apes and PFPs. That's terrific for them, but [IG NFT features] are more about using new technology to promote emerging artists, Swopes added.

“Especially music artists. It's everywhere. Dancers, writers, painters, sculptors, musicians. My element isn't just for digital artists; it can be anything. I'm delighted to witness people's creativity."

Swopes, Wilson, and Amrossi all believe IG's new features can help smaller artists. It remains to be seen how these new features will effect the NFT ecosystem once unlocked for the rest of the IG NFT community, but we will likely see more social media NFT integrations in the months and years ahead.

Read the full article here

More on NFTs & Art

Jayden Levitt

Jayden Levitt

2 months 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.

Stephen Moore

Stephen Moore

4 months ago

Trading Volume on OpenSea Drops by 99% as the NFT Boom Comes to an End

Wasn't that a get-rich-quick scheme?

Bored Ape, edited by author

OpenSea processed $2.7 billion in NFT transactions in May 2021.

Fueled by a crypto bull run, rumors of unfathomable riches, and FOMO, Bored Apes, Crypto Punks, and other JPEG-format trash projects flew off the virtual shelves, snatched up by retail investors and celebrities alike.

Over a year later, those shelves are overflowing and warehouses are backlogged. Since March, I've been writing less. In May and June, the bubble was close to bursting.

Apparently, the boom has finally peaked.

This bubble has punctured, and deflation has begun. On Aug. 28, OpenSea processed $9.34 million.

From that euphoric high of $2.7 billion, $9.34 million represents a spectacular decline of 99%.

OpenSea contradicts the data. A trading platform spokeswoman stated the comparison is unfair because it compares the site's highest and lowest trading days. They're the perfect two data points to assess the drop. OpenSea chooses to use ETH volume measures, which ignore crypto's shifting price. Since January 2022, monthly ETH volume has dropped 140%, according to Dune.

Unconvincing counterargument.

Further OpenSea indicators point to declining NFT demand:

  • Since January 2022, daily user visits have decreased by 50%.

  • Daily transactions have decreased by 50% since the beginning of the year in the same manner.

Off-platform, the floor price of Bored Apes has dropped from 145 ETH to 77 ETH. (At $4,800, a reduction from $700,000 to $370,000). Google search data shows waning popular interest.

Data: Google Trends

It is a trend that will soon vanish, just like laser eyes.

NFTs haven't moved since the new year. Eminem and Snoop Dogg can utilize their apes in music videos or as 3D visuals to perform at the VMAs, but the reality is that NFTs have lost their public appeal and the market is trying to regain its footing.

They've lost popularity because?

Breaking records. The technology still lacks genuine use cases a year and a half after being popular.

They're pricey prestige symbols that have made a few people rich through cunning timing or less-than-savory scams or rug pulling. Over $10.5 billion has been taken through frauds, most of which are NFT enterprises promising to be the next Bored Apes, according to Web3 is going wonderfully. As the market falls, many ordinary investors realize they purchased into a self-fulfilling ecosystem that's halted. Many NFTs are sold between owner-held accounts to boost their price, data suggests. Most projects rely on social media excitement to debut with a high price before the first owners sell and chuckle to the bank. When they don't, the initiative fails, leaving investors high and dry.

NFTs are fading like laser eyes. Most people pushing the technology don't believe in it or the future it may bring. No, they just need a Kool-Aid-drunk buyer.

Everybody wins. When your JPEGs are worth 99% less than when you bought them, you've lost.

When demand reaches zero, many will lose.

Vishal Chawla

Vishal Chawla

10 months ago

5 Bored Apes borrowed to claim $1.1 million in APE tokens

Takeaway
Unknown user took advantage of the ApeCoin airdrop to earn $1.1 million.
He used a flash loan to borrow five BAYC NFTs, claim the airdrop, and repay the NFTs.

Yuga Labs, the creators of BAYC, airdropped ApeCoin (APE) to anyone who owns one of their NFTs yesterday.

For the Bored Ape Yacht Club and Mutant Ape Yacht Club collections, the team allocated 150 million tokens, or 15% of the total ApeCoin supply, worth over $800 million. Each BAYC holder received 10,094 tokens worth $80,000 to $200,000.

But someone managed to claim the airdrop using NFTs they didn't own. They used the airdrop's specific features to carry it out. And it worked, earning them $1.1 million in ApeCoin.

The trick was that the ApeCoin airdrop wasn't based on who owned which Bored Ape at a given time. Instead, anyone with a Bored Ape at the time of the airdrop could claim it. So if you gave someone your Bored Ape and you hadn't claimed your tokens, they could claim them.

The person only needed to get hold of some Bored Apes that hadn't had their tokens claimed to claim the airdrop. They could be returned immediately.

So, what happened?

The person found a vault with five Bored Ape NFTs that hadn't been used to claim the airdrop.

A vault tokenizes an NFT or a group of NFTs. You put a bunch of NFTs in a vault and make a token. This token can then be staked for rewards or sold (representing part of the value of the collection of NFTs). Anyone with enough tokens can exchange them for NFTs.

This vault uses the NFTX protocol. In total, it contained five Bored Apes: #7594, #8214, #9915, #8167, and #4755. Nobody had claimed the airdrop because the NFTs were locked up in the vault and not controlled by anyone.

The person wanted to unlock the NFTs to claim the airdrop but didn't want to buy them outright s o they used a flash loan, a common tool for large DeFi hacks. Flash loans are a low-cost way to borrow large amounts of crypto that are repaid in the same transaction and block (meaning that the funds are never at risk of not being repaid).

With a flash loan of under $300,000 they bought a Bored Ape on NFT marketplace OpenSea. A large amount of the vault's token was then purchased, allowing them to redeem the five NFTs. The NFTs were used to claim the airdrop, before being returned, the tokens sold back, and the loan repaid.

During this process, they claimed 60,564 ApeCoin airdrops. They then sold them on Uniswap for 399 ETH ($1.1 million). Then they returned the Bored Ape NFT used as collateral to the same NFTX vault.

Attack or arbitrage?

However, security firm BlockSecTeam disagreed with many social media commentators. A flaw in the airdrop-claiming mechanism was exploited, it said.

According to BlockSecTeam's analysis, the user took advantage of a "vulnerability" in the airdrop.

"We suspect a hack due to a flaw in the airdrop mechanism. The attacker exploited this vulnerability to profit from the airdrop claim" said BlockSecTeam.

For example, the airdrop could have taken into account how long a person owned the NFT before claiming the reward.

Because Yuga Labs didn't take a snapshot, anyone could buy the NFT in real time and claim it. This is probably why BAYC sales exploded so soon after the airdrop announcement.

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Aure's Notes

Aure's Notes

1 month ago

I met a man who in just 18 months scaled his startup to $100 million.

A fascinating business conversation.

Photo by abhishek gaurav on Unsplash

This week at Web Summit, I had mentor hour.

Mentor hour connects startups with experienced entrepreneurs.

The YC-selected founder who mentored me had grown his company to $100 million in 18 months.

I had 45 minutes to question him.

I've compiled this.

Context

Founder's name is Zack.

After working in private equity, Zack opted to acquire an MBA.

Surrounded by entrepreneurs at a prominent school, he decided to become one himself.

Unsure how to proceed, he bet on two horses.

On one side, he received an offer from folks who needed help running their startup owing to lack of time. On the other hand, he had an idea for a SaaS to start himself.

He just needed to validate it.

Validating

Since Zack's proposal helped companies, he contacted university entrepreneurs for comments.

He contacted university founders.

Once he knew he'd correctly identified the problem and that people were willing to pay to address it, he started developing.

He earned $100k in a university entrepreneurship competition.

His plan was evident by then.

The other startup's founders saw his potential and granted him $400k to launch his own SaaS.

Hiring

He started looking for a tech co-founder because he lacked IT skills.

He interviewed dozens and picked the finest.

As he didn't want to wait for his program to be ready, he contacted hundreds of potential clients and got 15 letters of intent promising they'd join up when it was available.

YC accepted him by then.

He had enough positive signals to raise.

Raising

He didn't say how many VCs he called, but he indicated 50 were interested.

He jammed meetings into two weeks to generate pressure and encourage them to invest.

Seed raise: $11 million.

Selling

His objective was to contact as many entrepreneurs as possible to promote his product.

He first contacted startups by scraping CrunchBase data.

Once he had more money, he started targeting companies with ZoomInfo.

His VC urged him not to hire salespeople until he closed 50 clients himself.

He closed 100 and hired a CRO through a headhunter.

Scaling

Three persons started the business.

  1. He primarily works in sales.

  2. Coding the product was done by his co-founder.

  3. Another person performing operational duties.

He regretted recruiting the third co-founder, who was ineffective (could have hired an employee instead).

He wanted his company to be big, so he hired two young marketing people from a competing company.

After validating several marketing channels, he chose PR.

$100 Million and under

He developed a sales team and now employs 30 individuals.

He raised a $100 million Series A.

Additionally, he stated

  • He’s been rejected a lot. Like, a lot.

  • Two great books to read: Steve Jobs by Isaacson, and Why Startups Fail by Tom Eisenmann.

  • The best skill to learn for non-tech founders is “telling stories”, which means sales. A founder’s main job is to convince: co-founders, employees, investors, and customers. Learn code, or learn sales.

Conclusion

I often read about these stories but hardly take them seriously.

Zack was amazing.

Three things about him stand out:

  1. His vision. He possessed a certain amount of fire.

  2. His vitality. The man had a lot of enthusiasm and spoke quickly and decisively. He takes no chances and pushes the envelope in all he does.

  3. His Rolex.

He didn't do all this in 18 months.

Not really.

He couldn't launch his company without private equity experience.

These accounts disregard entrepreneurs' original knowledge.

Hormozi will tell you how he founded Gym Launch, but he won't tell you how he had a gym first, how he worked at uni to pay for his gym, or how he went to the gym and learnt about fitness, which gave him the idea to open his own.

Nobody knows nothing. If you scale quickly, it's probable because you gained information early.

Lincoln said, "Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I'll spend four sharpening the axe."

Sharper axes cut trees faster.

Sylvain Saurel

Sylvain Saurel

2 months ago

A student trader from the United States made $110 million in one month and rose to prominence on Wall Street.

Genius or lucky?

Image: Getty Images

From the title, you might think I'm selling advertising for a financial influencer, a dubious trading site, or a training organization to attract clients. I'm suspicious. Better safe than sorry.

But not here.

Jake Freeman, 20, made $110 million in a month, according to the Financial Times. At 18, he ran for president. He made his name in markets, not politics. Two years later, he's Wall Street's prince. Interview requests flood the prodigy.

Jake Freeman bought 5 million Bed Bath & Beyond Group shares for $5.5 in July 2022 and sold them for $27 a month later. He thought the stock might double. Since speculation died down, he sold well. The stock fell 40.5% to 11 dollars on Friday, 19 August 2022. On August 22, 2022, it fell 16% to $9.

Smallholders have been buying the stock for weeks and will lose heavily if it falls further. Bed Bath & Beyond is the second most popular stock after Foot Locker, ahead of GameStop and Apple.

Jake Freeman earned $110 million thanks to a significant stock market flurry.

Online broker customers aren't the only ones with jitters. By June 2022, Ken Griffin's Citadel and Stephen Mandel's Lone Pine Capital held nearly a third of the company's capital. Did big managers sell before the stock plummeted?

Recent stock movements (derivatives) and rumors could prompt a SEC investigation.

Jake Freeman wrote to the board of directors after his investment to call for a turnaround, given the company's persistent problems and short sellers. The bathroom and kitchen products distribution group's stock soared in July 2022 due to renewed buying by private speculators, who made it one of their meme stocks with AMC and GameStop.

Second-quarter 2022 results and financial health worsened. He didn't celebrate his miraculous operation in a nightclub. He told a British newspaper, "I'm shocked." His parents dined in New York. He returned to Los Angeles to study math and economics.

Jake Freeman founded Freeman Capital Management with his savings and $25 million from family, friends, and acquaintances. They are the ones who are entitled to the $110 million he raised in one month. Will his investors pocket and withdraw all or part of their profits or will they trust the young prodigy for new stunts on Wall Street?

His operation should attract new clients. Well-known hedge funds may hire him.

Jake Freeman didn't listen to gurus or former traders. At 17, he interned at a quantitative finance and derivatives hedge fund, Volaris. At 13, he began investing with his pharmaceutical executive uncle. All countries have increased their Google searches for the young trader in the last week.

Naturally, his success has inspired resentment.

His success stirs jealousy, and he's attacked on social media. On Reddit, people who lost money on Bed Bath & Beyond, Jake Freeman's fortune, are mourning.

Several conspiracy theories circulate about him, including that he doesn't exist or is working for a Taiwanese amusement park.

If all 20 million American students had the same trading skills, they would have generated $1.46 trillion. Jake Freeman is unique. Apprentice traders' careers are often short, disillusioning, and tragic.

Two years ago, 20-year-old Robinhood client Alexander Kearns committed suicide after losing $750,000 trading options. Great traders start young. Michael Platt of BlueCrest invested in British stocks at age 12 under his grandmother's supervision and made a £30,000 fortune. Paul Tudor Jones started trading before he turned 18 with his uncle. Warren Buffett, at age 10, was discussing investments with Goldman Sachs' head. Oracle of Omaha tells all.

Sam Hickmann

Sam Hickmann

5 months ago

Nomad.xyz got exploited for $190M

Key Takeaways:

Another hack. This time was different. This is a doozy.

Why? Nomad got exploited for $190m. It was crypto's 5th-biggest hack. Ouch.

It wasn't hackers, but random folks. What happened:

A Nomad smart contract flaw was discovered. They couldn't drain the funds at once, so they tried numerous transactions. Rookie!

People noticed and copied the attack.

They just needed to discover a working transaction, substitute the other person's address with theirs, and run it.


Nomad.xyz got exploited for $190M

In a two-and-a-half-hour attack, $190M was siphoned from Nomad Bridge.

Nomad is a novel approach to blockchain interoperability that leverages an optimistic mechanism to increase the security of cross-chain communication.  — nomad.xyz

This hack was permissionless, therefore anyone could participate.

After the fatal blow, people fought over the scraps.

Cross-chain bridges remain a DeFi weakness and exploit target. When they collapse, it's typically total.

$190M...gobbled.

Unbacked assets are hurting Nomad-dependent chains. Moonbeam, EVMOS, and Milkomeda's TVLs dropped.

This incident is every-man-for-himself, although numerous whitehats exploited the issue... 

But what triggered the feeding frenzy?

How did so many pick the bones?

After a normal upgrade in June, the bridge's Replica contract was initialized with a severe security issue. The  0x00 address was a trusted root, therefore all messages were valid by default.

After a botched first attempt (costing $350k in gas), the original attacker's exploit tx called process() without first 'proving' its validity.

The process() function executes all cross-chain messages and checks the merkle root of all messages (line 185).

The upgrade caused transactions with a'messages' value of 0 (invalid, according to old logic) to be read by default as 0x00, a trusted root, passing validation as 'proven'

Any process() calls were valid. In reality, a more sophisticated exploiter may have designed a contract to drain the whole bridge.

Copycat attackers simply copied/pasted the same process() function call using Etherscan, substituting their address.

The incident was a wild combination of crowdhacking, whitehat activities, and MEV-bot (Maximal Extractable Value) mayhem.

For example, 🍉🍉🍉. eth stole $4M from the bridge, but claims to be whitehat.

Others stood out for the wrong reasons. Repeat criminal Rari Capital (Artibrum) exploited over $3M in stablecoins, which moved to Tornado Cash.

The top three exploiters (with 95M between them) are:

$47M: 0x56D8B635A7C88Fd1104D23d632AF40c1C3Aac4e3

$40M: 0xBF293D5138a2a1BA407B43672643434C43827179

$8M: 0xB5C55f76f90Cc528B2609109Ca14d8d84593590E

Here's a list of all the exploiters:

The project conducted a Quantstamp audit in June; QSP-19 foreshadowed a similar problem.

The auditor's comments that "We feel the Nomad team misinterpreted the issue" speak to a troubling attitude towards security that the project's "Long-Term Security" plan appears to confirm:

Concerns were raised about the team's response time to a live, public exploit; the team's official acknowledgement came three hours later.

"Removing the Replica contract as owner" stopped the exploit, but it was too late to preserve the cash.

Closed blockchain systems are only as strong as their weakest link.

The Harmony network is in turmoil after its bridge was attacked and lost $100M in late June.

What's next for Nomad's ecosystems?

Moonbeam's TVL is now $135M, EVMOS's is $3M, and Milkomeda's is $20M.

Loss of confidence may do more damage than $190M.

Cross-chain infrastructure is difficult to secure in a new, experimental sector. Bridge attacks can pollute an entire ecosystem or more.

Nomadic liquidity has no permanent home, so consumers will always migrate in pursuit of the "next big thing" and get stung when attentiveness wanes.

DeFi still has easy prey...

Sources: rekt.news & The Milk Road.