Pixelmon NFTs are so bad, they are almost good!
Bored Apes prices continue to rise, HAPEBEAST launches, Invisible Friends hype continues to grow. Sadly, not all projects are as successful.
Of course, there are many factors to consider when buying an NFT. Is the project a scam? Will the reveal derail the project? Possibly, but when Pixelmon first teased its launch, it generated a lot of buzz.
With a primary sale mint price of 3 ETH ($8,100 USD), it started as an expensive project, with plenty of fans willing to invest in what was sold as a game. After it was revealed, it fell rapidly.
Why? It was overpromised and under delivered.
According to the project's creator[^1], the funds generated will be used to develop the artwork. "The Pixelmon reveal was wrong. This is what our Pixelmon look like in-game. "Despite the fud, I will not go anywhere," he wrote on Twitter. The goal remains. The funds will still be used to build our game. I will finish this project."
The project raised $70 million USD, but the NFTs buyers received were not the project's original teasers. Some call it "the worst NFT project ever," while others call it a complete scam.
But there's hope for some buyers. Kevin emerged from the ashes as the project was roasted over the fire.
A Minecraft character meets Salad Fingers - that's Kevin. He's a frog-like creature whose reveal was such a terrible NFT that it became part of history – and a meme.
If you're laughing at people paying $8K for a silly pixelated image, you might need to take it back. Precisely because of this, lucky holders who minted Kevin have been able to sell the now-memed NFT for over 8 ETH (around $24,000 USD), with some currently listed for 100 ETH.
Of course, Twitter has been awash in memes mocking those who invested in the project, because what else can you do when so many people lose money?
It's still unclear if the NFT project is a scam, but the team behind it was hired on Upwork. There's still hope for redemption, but Kevin's rise to fame appears to be the only positive outcome so far.
[^1] This is not the first time the creator (A 20-yo New Zealanders) has sought money via an online platform and had people claiming he under-delivered. He raised $74,000 on Kickstarter for a card game called Psycho Chicken. There are hundreds of comments on the Kickstarter project saying they haven't received the product and pleading for a refund or an update.
More on NFTs & Art
1 year ago
Hate NFTs? I must break some awful news to you...
If you think NFTs are awful, check out the art market.
The fervor around NFTs has subsided in recent months due to the crypto market crash and the media's short attention span. They were all anyone could talk about earlier this spring. Last semester, when passions were high and field luminaries were discussing "slurp juices," I asked my students and students from over 20 other universities what they thought of NFTs.
According to many, NFTs were either tasteless pyramid schemes or a new way for artists to make money. NFTs contributed to the climate crisis and harmed the environment, but so did air travel, fast fashion, and smartphones. Some students complained that NFTs were cheap, tasteless, algorithmically generated schlock, but others asked how this was different from other art.
I'm not sure what I expected, but the intensity of students' reactions surprised me. They had strong, emotional opinions about a technology I'd always considered administrative. NFTs address ownership and accounting, like most crypto/blockchain projects.
Art markets can be irrational, arbitrary, and subject to the same scams and schemes as any market. And maybe a few shenanigans that are unique to the art world.
The Fairness Question
Fairness, a deflating moral currency, was the general sentiment (the less of it in circulation, the more ardently we clamor for it.) These students, almost all of whom are artists, complained to the mismatch between the quality of the work in some notable NFT collections and the excessive amounts these items were fetching on the market. They can sketch a Bored Ape or Lazy Lion in their sleep. Why should they buy ramen with school loans while certain swindlers get rich?
I understand students. Art markets are unjust. They can be irrational, arbitrary, and governed by chance and circumstance, like any market. And art-world shenanigans.
Almost every mainstream critique leveled against NFTs applies just as easily to art markets
Over 50% of artworks in circulation are fake, say experts. Sincere art collectors and institutions are upset by the prevalence of fake goods on the market. Not everyone. Wealthy people and companies use art as investments. They can use cultural institutions like museums and galleries to increase the value of inherited art collections. People sometimes buy artworks and use family ties or connections to museums or other cultural taste-makers to hype the work in their collection, driving up the price and allowing them to sell for a profit. Money launderers can disguise capital flows by using market whims, hype, and fluctuating asset prices.
Almost every mainstream critique leveled against NFTs applies just as easily to art markets.
Art has always been this way. Edward Kienholz's 1989 print series satirized art markets. He stamped 395 identical pieces of paper from $1 to $395. Each piece was initially priced as indicated. Kienholz was joking about a strange feature of art markets: once the last print in a series sells for $395, all previous works are worth at least that much. The entire series is valued at its highest auction price. I don't know what a Kienholz print sells for today (inquire with the gallery), but it's more than $395.
I love Lee Lozano's 1969 "Real Money Piece." Lozano put cash in various denominations in a jar in her apartment and gave it to visitors. She wrote, "Offer guests coffee, diet pepsi, bourbon, half-and-half, ice water, grass, and money." "Offer real money as candy."
Lee Lozano kept track of who she gave money to, how much they took, if any, and how they reacted to the offer of free money without explanation. Diverse reactions. Some found it funny, others found it strange, and others didn't care. Lozano rarely says:
Apr 17 Keith Sonnier refused, later screws lid very tightly back on. Apr 27 Kaltenbach takes all the money out of the jar when I offer it, examines all the money & puts it all back in jar. Says he doesn’t need money now. Apr 28 David Parson refused, laughing. May 1 Warren C. Ingersoll refused. He got very upset about my “attitude towards money.” May 4 Keith Sonnier refused, but said he would take money if he needed it which he might in the near future. May 7 Dick Anderson barely glances at the money when I stick it under his nose and says “Oh no thanks, I intend to earn it on my own.” May 8 Billy Bryant Copley didn’t take any but then it was sort of spoiled because I had told him about this piece on the phone & he had time to think about it he said.
Smart Contracts (smart as in fair, not smart as in Blockchain)
Cornell University's Cheryl Finley has done a lot of research on secondary art markets. I first learned about her research when I met her at the University of Florida's Harn Museum, where she spoke about smart contracts (smart as in fair, not smart as in Blockchain) and new protocols that could help artists who are often left out of the economic benefits of their own work, including women and women of color.
Her talk included findings from her ArtNet op-ed with Lauren van Haaften-Schick, Christian Reeder, and Amy Whitaker.
NFTs allow us to think about and hack on formal contractual relationships outside a system of laws that is currently not set up to service our community.
The ArtNet article The Recent Sale of Amy Sherald's ‘Welfare Queen' Symbolizes the Urgent Need for Resale Royalties and Economic Equity for Artists discussed Sherald's 2012 portrait of a regal woman in a purple dress wearing a sparkling crown and elegant set of pearls against a vibrant red background.
Amy Sherald sold "Welfare Queen" to Princeton professor Imani Perry. Sherald agreed to a payment plan to accommodate Perry's budget.
Amy Sherald rose to fame for her 2016 portrait of Michelle Obama and her full-length portrait of Breonna Taylor, one of the most famous works of the past decade.
As is common, Sherald's rising star drove up the price of her earlier works. Perry's "Welfare Queen" sold for $3.9 million in 2021.
Imani Perry's early investment paid off big-time. Amy Sherald, whose work directly increased the painting's value and who was on an artist's shoestring budget when she agreed to sell "Welfare Queen" in 2012, did not see any of the 2021 auction money. Perry and the auction house got that money.
Sherald sold her Breonna Taylor portrait to the Smithsonian and Louisville's Speed Art Museum to fund a $1 million scholarship. This is a great example of what an artist can do for the community if they can amass wealth through their work.
NFTs haven't solved all of the art market's problems — fakes, money laundering, market manipulation — but they didn't create them. Blockchain and NFTs are credited with making these issues more transparent. More ideas emerge daily about what a smart contract should do for artists.
NFTs are a copyright solution. They allow us to hack formal contractual relationships outside a law system that doesn't serve our community.
Amy Sherald shows the good smart contracts can do (as in, well-considered, self-determined contracts, not necessarily blockchain contracts.) Giving back to our community, deciding where and how our work can be sold or displayed, and ensuring artists share in the equity of our work and the economy our labor creates.
1 year ago
Why NFTs Have a Bright Future Away from Collectible Art After Punks and Apes
After a crazy second half of 2021 and significant trade volumes into 2022, the market for NFT artworks like Bored Ape Yacht Club, CryptoPunks, and Pudgy Penguins has begun a sharp collapse as market downturns hit token values.
DappRadar data shows NFT monthly sales have fallen below $1 billion since June 2021. OpenSea, the world's largest NFT exchange, has seen sales volume decline 75% since May and is trading like July 2021.
Prices of popular non-fungible tokens have also decreased. Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) has witnessed volume and sales drop 63% and 15%, respectively, in the past month.
BeInCrypto analysis shows market decline. May 2022 cryptocurrency marketplace volume was $4 billion, according to a news platform. This is a sharp drop from April's $7.18 billion.
OpenSea, a big marketplace, contributed $2.6 billion, while LooksRare, Magic Eden, and Solanart also contributed.
NFT markets are digital platforms for buying and selling tokens, similar stock trading platforms. Although some of the world's largest exchanges offer NFT wallets, most users store their NFTs on their favorite marketplaces.
In January 2022, overall NFT sales volume was $16.57 billion, with LooksRare contributing $11.1 billion. May 2022's volume was $12.57 less than January, a 75% drop, and June's is expected to be considerably smaller.
A World Based on Utility
Despite declines in NFT trading volumes, not all investors are negative on NFTs. Although there are uncertainties about the sustainability of NFT-based art collections, there are fewer reservations about utility-based tokens and their significance in technology's future.
In June, business CEO Christof Straub said NFTs may help artists monetize unreleased content, resuscitate catalogs, establish deeper fan connections, and make processes more efficient through technology.
We all know NFTs can't be JPEGs. Straub noted that NFT music rights can offer more equitable rewards to musicians.
Music NFTs are here to stay if they have real value, solve real problems, are trusted and lawful, and have fair and sustainable business models.
NFTs can transform numerous industries, including music. Market opinion is shifting towards tokens with more utility than the social media artworks we're used to seeing.
While the major NFT names remain dominant in terms of volume, new utility-based initiatives are emerging as top 20 collections.
Otherdeed, Sorare, and NBA Top Shot are NFT-based games that rank above Bored Ape Yacht Club and Cryptopunks.
Users can switch video NFTs of basketball players in NBA Top Shot. Similar efforts are emerging in the non-fungible landscape.
Sorare shows how NFTs can support a new way of playing fantasy football, where participants buy and swap trading cards to create a 5-player team that wins rewards based on real-life performances.
Sorare raised 579.7 million in one of Europe's largest Series B financing deals in September 2021. Recently, the platform revealed plans to expand into Major League Baseball.
Strong growth indications suggest a promising future for NFTs. The value of art-based collections like BAYC and CryptoPunks may be questioned as markets become diluted by new limited collections, but the potential for NFTs to become intrinsically linked to tangible utility like online gaming, music and art, and even corporate reward schemes shows the industry has a bright future.
11 months ago
Why Bitcoin NFTs Are Incomprehensible yet Likely Here to Stay
I'm trying to understand why Bitcoin NFTs aren't ready.
Ordinals, a new Bitcoin protocol, has been controversial. NFTs can be added to Bitcoin transactions using the protocol. They are not tokens or fungible. Bitcoin NFTs are transaction metadata. Yes. They're not owned.
In January, the Ordinals protocol allowed data like photos to be directly encoded onto sats, the smallest units of Bitcoin worth 0.00000001 BTC, on the Bitcoin blockchain. Ordinals does not need a sidechain or token like other techniques. The Ordinals protocol has encoded JPEG photos, digital art, new profile picture (PFP) projects, and even 1993 DOOM onto the Bitcoin network.
Ordinals inscriptions are permanent digital artifacts preserved on the Bitcoin blockchain. It differs from Ethereum, Solana, and Stacks NFT technologies that allow smart contract creators to change information. Ordinals store the whole image or content on the blockchain, not just a link to an external server, unlike centralized databases, which can change the linked image, description, category, or contract identifier.
So far, more than 50,000 ordinals have been produced on the Bitcoin blockchain, and some of them have already been sold for astronomical amounts. The Ethereum-based CryptoPunks NFT collection spawned Ordinal Punk. Inscription 620 sold for 9.5 BTC, or $218,000, the most.
Segwit and Taproot, two important Bitcoin blockchain updates, enabled this. These protocols store transaction metadata, unlike Ethereum, where the NFT is the token. Bitcoin's NFT is a sat's transaction details.
What effects do ordinary values and NFTs have on the Bitcoin blockchain?
Ordinals will likely have long-term effects on the Bitcoin Ecosystem since they store, transact, and compute more data.
Charges Ordinals introduce scalability challenges. The Bitcoin network has limited transaction throughput and increased fees during peak demand. NFTs could make network transactions harder and more expensive. Ordinals currently occupy over 50% of block space, according to Glassnode.
One of the protocols that supported Ordinals Taproot has also seen a huge uptick:
Taproot use increases block size and transaction costs.
This could cause network congestion but also support more L2s with Ordinals-specific use cases. Dune info here.
Storage Needs The Bitcoin blockchain would need to store more data to store NFT data directly. Since ordinals were introduced, blocksize has tripled from 0.7mb to over 2.2mb, which could increase storage costs and make it harder for nodes to join the network.
Use Case Diversity On the other hand, NFTs on the Bitcoin blockchain could broaden Bitcoin's use cases beyond storage and payment. This could expand Bitcoin's user base. This is two-sided. Bitcoin was designed to be trustless, decentralized, peer-to-peer money.
Chain to permanently store NFTs as ordinals will change everything.
Popularity rise This new use case will boost Bitcoin appeal, according to some. This argument fails since Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency. Popularity doesn't require a new use case. Cryptocurrency adoption boosts Bitcoin. It need not compete with Ethereum or provide extra benefits to crypto investors. If there was a need for another chain that supports NFTs (there isn't), why would anyone choose the slowest and most expensive network? It appears contradictory and unproductive.
Nonetheless, holding an NFT on the Bitcoin blockchain is more secure than any other blockchain, but this has little utility.
Bitcoin NFTs are undoubtedly controversial. NFTs are strange and perhaps harmful to Bitcoin's mission. If Bitcoin NFTs are here to stay, I hope a sidechain or rollup solution will take over and leave the base chain alone.
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1 year ago
Russia's greatest fear is that no one will ever fear it again.
When everyone laughs at him, he's powerless.
1-2-3: Fold your hands and chuckle heartily. Repeat until you're really laughing.
We're laughing at Russia's modern-day shortcomings, if you hadn't guessed.
Watch Good Fellas' laughing scene on YouTube. Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, and others laugh hysterically in a movie. Laugh at that scene, then think of Putin's macho guy statement on February 24 when he invaded Ukraine. It's cathartic to laugh at his expense.
Right? It makes me feel great that he was convinced the military action will be over in a week. I love reading about Putin's morning speech. Many stupid people on Earth supported him. Many loons hailed his speech historic.
Russia preys on the weak. Strong Ukraine overcame Russia. Ukraine's right. As usual, Russia is in the wrong.
A so-called thought leader recently complained on Russian TV that the West no longer fears Russia, which is why Ukraine is kicking Russia's ass.
Let's simplify for this Russian intellectual. Except for nuclear missiles, the West has nothing to fear from Russia. Russia is a weak, morally-empty country whose DNA has degraded to the point that evolution is already working to flush it out.
The West doesn't fear Russia since he heads a prominent Russian institution. Russian universities are intellectually barren. I taught at St. Petersburg University till June (since February I was virtually teaching) and was astounded by the lack of expertise.
Russians excel in science, math, engineering, IT, and anything that doesn't demand critical thinking or personal ideas.
Reflecting on many of the high-ranking individuals from around the West, Satanovsky said: “They are not interested in us. We only think we’re ‘big politics’ for them but for those guys we’re small politics. “We’re small politics, even though we think of ourselves as the descendants of the Russian Empire, of the USSR. We are not the Soviet Union, we don’t have enough weirdos and lunatics, we practically don’t have any (U.S. Has Stopped Fearing Us).”
Professor Dmitry Evstafiev, president of the Institute of the Middle East, praised Nikita Khrushchev's fiery nature because he made the world fear him, which made the Soviet Union great. If the world believes Putin is crazy, then Russia will be great, says this man. This is crazy.
Evstafiev covered his cowardice by saluting Putin. He praised his culture and Ukraine patience. This weakling professor ingratiates himself to Putin instead of calling him a cowardly, demonic shithead.
This is why we don't fear Russia, professor. Because you're all sycophantic weaklings who sold your souls to a Leningrad narcissist. Putin's nothing. He lacks intelligence. You've tied your country's fate and youth's future to this terrible monster. Disgraceful!
How can you loathe your country's youth so much to doom them to decades or centuries of ignominy? My son is half Russian and must now live with this portion of him.
We don't fear Russia because you don't realize that it should be appreciated, not frightened. That would need lobotomizing tens of millions of people like you.
Sadman. You let a Leningrad weakling castrate you and display your testicles. He shakes the container, saying, "Your balls are mine."
Why is Russia not feared?
Your self-inflicted national catastrophe is hilarious. Sadly, it's laugh-through-tears.
1 year ago
The World Will Change With MIT's New Battery
It's cheaper, faster charging, longer lasting, safer, and better for the environment.
Batteries are the future. Next-gen and planet-saving technology, including solar power and EVs, require batteries. As these smart technologies become more popular, we find that our batteries can't keep up. Lithium-ion batteries are expensive, slow to charge, big, fast to decay, flammable, and not environmentally friendly. MIT just created a new battery that eliminates all of these problems. So, is this the battery of the future? Or is there a catch?
When I say entirely new, I mean it. This battery employs no currently available materials. Its electrodes are constructed of aluminium and pure sulfur instead of lithium-complicated ion's metals and graphite. Its electrolyte is formed of molten chloro-aluminate salts, not an organic solution with lithium salts like lithium-ion batteries.
How does this change in materials help?
Aluminum, sulfur, and chloro-aluminate salts are abundant, easy to acquire, and cheap. This battery might be six times cheaper than a lithium-ion battery and use less hazardous mining. The world and our wallets will benefit.
But don’t go thinking this means it lacks performance.
This battery charged in under a minute in tests. At 25 degrees Celsius, the battery will charge 25 times slower than at 110 degrees Celsius. This is because the salt, which has a very low melting point, is in an ideal state at 110 degrees and can carry a charge incredibly quickly. Unlike lithium-ion, this battery self-heats when charging and discharging, therefore no external heating is needed.
Anyone who's seen a lithium-ion battery burst might be surprised. Unlike lithium-ion batteries, none of the components in this new battery can catch fire. Thus, high-temperature charging and discharging speeds pose no concern.
These batteries are long-lasting. Lithium-ion batteries don't last long, as any iPhone owner can attest. During charging, metal forms a dendrite on the electrode. This metal spike will keep growing until it reaches the other end of the battery, short-circuiting it. This is why phone batteries only last a few years and why electric car range decreases over time. This new battery's molten salt slows deposition, extending its life. This helps the environment and our wallets.
These batteries are also energy dense. Some lithium-ion batteries have 270 Wh/kg energy density (volume and mass). Aluminum-sulfur batteries could have 1392 Wh/kg, according to calculations. They'd be 5x more energy dense. Tesla's Model 3 battery would weigh 96 kg instead of 480 kg if this battery were used. This would improve the car's efficiency and handling.
These calculations were for batteries without molten salt electrolyte. Because they don't reflect the exact battery chemistry, they aren't a surefire prediction.
This battery seems great. It will take years, maybe decades, before it reaches the market and makes a difference. Right?
Nope. The project's scientists founded Avanti to develop and market this technology.
So we'll soon be driving cheap, durable, eco-friendly, lightweight, and ultra-safe EVs? Nope.
This battery must be kept hot to keep the salt molten; otherwise, it won't work and will expand and contract, causing damage. This issue could be solved by packs that can rapidly pre-heat, but that project is far off.
Rapid and constant charge-discharge cycles make these batteries ideal for solar farms, homes, and EV charging stations. The battery is constantly being charged or discharged, allowing it to self-heat and maintain an ideal temperature.
These batteries aren't as sexy as those making EVs faster, more efficient, and cheaper. Grid batteries are crucial to our net-zero transition because they allow us to use more low-carbon energy. As we move away from fossil fuels, we'll need millions of these batteries, so the fact that they're cheap, safe, long-lasting, and environmentally friendly will be huge. Who knows, maybe EVs will use this technology one day. MIT has created another world-changing technology.
1 year ago
It's all about the ego with Terra 2.0.
UST depegs and LUNA crashes 99.999% in a fraction of the time it takes the Moon to orbit the Earth.
Fat Man, a Terra whistle-blower, promises to expose Do Kwon's dirty secrets and shady deals.
The Terra community has voted to relaunch Terra LUNA on a new blockchain. The Terra 2.0 Pheonix-1 blockchain went live on May 28, 2022, and people were airdropped the new LUNA, now called LUNA, while the old LUNA became LUNA Classic.
Does LUNA deserve another chance? To answer this, or at least start a conversation about the Terra 2.0 chain's advantages and limitations, we must assess its fundamentals, ideology, and long-term vision.
Whatever the result, our analysis must be thorough and ruthless. A failure of this magnitude cannot happen again, so we must magnify every potential breaking point by 10.
Will UST and LUNA holders be compensated in full?
The obvious. First, and arguably most important, is to restore previous UST and LUNA holders' bags.
Terra 2.0 has 1,000,000,000,000 tokens to distribute.
25% of a community pool
Holders of pre-attack LUNA: 35%
10% of aUST holders prior to attack
Holders of LUNA after an attack: 10%
UST holders as of the attack: 20%
Every LUNA and UST holder has been compensated according to the above proposal.
According to self-reported data, the new chain has 210.000.000 tokens and a $1.3bn marketcap. LUNC and UST alone lost $40bn. The new token must fill this gap. Since launch:
LUNA holders collectively own $1b worth of LUNA if we subtract the 25% community pool airdrop from the current market cap and assume airdropped LUNA was never sold.
At the current supply, the chain must grow 40 times to compensate holders. At the current supply, LUNA must reach $240.
LUNA needs a full-on Bull Market to make LUNC and UST holders whole.
Who knows if you'll be whole? From the time you bought to the amount and price, there are too many variables to determine if Terra can cover individual losses.
The above distribution doesn't consider individual cases. Terra didn't solve individual cases. It would have been huge.
What does LUNA offer in terms of value?
UST's marketcap peaked at $18bn, while LUNC's was $41bn. LUNC and UST drove the Terra chain's value.
After it was confirmed (again) that algorithmic stablecoins are bad, Terra 2.0 will no longer support them.
Algorithmic stablecoins contributed greatly to Terra's growth and value proposition. Terra 2.0 has no product without algorithmic stablecoins.
Terra 2.0 has an identity crisis because it has no actual product. It's like Volkswagen faking carbon emission results and then stopping car production.
A project that has already lost the trust of its users and nearly all of its value cannot survive without a clear and in-demand use case.
Do Kwon, how about him?
Oh, the Twitter-caller-poor? Who challenges crypto billionaires to break his LUNA chain? Who dissolved Terra Labs South Korea before depeg? Arrogant guy?
That's not a good image for LUNA, especially when making amends. I think he should step down and let a nicer person be Terra 2.0's frontman.
Terra has a terrific community with an arrogant, unlikeable leader. The new LUNA chain must grow 40 times before it can start making up its losses, and even then, not everyone's losses will be covered.
I won't invest in Terra 2.0 or other algorithmic stablecoins in the near future. I won't be near any Do Kwon-related project within 100 miles. My opinion.
Can Terra 2.0 be saved? Comment below.