Ok, Otherside’s Apes Come Home Was Actually Pretty Cool

https://nftnow.com/features/otherside-apes-come-home-review/

When Yuga PR director Emily Kitts invited a grumpy, middle-aged reporter to experience the Feb. 29 trip to the Otherside, Apes Come Home, it was an intriguing proposition. After the First and Second Trips, nft now was interested to see what had changed and whether our reporter—a confirmed non-gamer with a slow computer—would vibe with the experience.

In order to catch all time zones, there were three trips to Ape Island during the day, all of which were available to all Apes and to the public. While Apes and Mutants were able to get into exclusive areas, like the clubhouse and the Mutant Cave, everyone could explore the rest of the island.

Ape avatars were fully fleshed out for the event, and the way traits manifested in the game reminded us of the surprise and delight many felt discovering Apes for the first time. From 3D glasses to fake fur coats, from DMT skin to captain’s hats, they all came alive.

The theme of the event was taking pictures: when you landed on Ape Island, the first thing that happened was a jerk of a big-horned billy goat headbutted you, breaking text and voice chat.

For this trip, the absence of a meme-laden text scroll, shouting Curtis the Ape, and racing from point to point made our reporter happy indeed. The big blue Koda that we remember from previous Otherside trips furnished each of us with a high-tech camera equipped with loads of filters and the ability to create shots from a variety of angles, zooms, and poses.

The name of the game was open-world exploration, and taking pictures unlocked all kinds of achievements—from capturing the majestic beauty of landscapes and points of interest to finding Easter eggs like a spilled jar of mayonnaise or Ape and Yuga product manager PPMan’s birthday cake.

BAYC holders, along with Mutants—who don’t have avatars yet—had access to the clubhouse, a glowing green Mutant cave, and a few other areas—but the rest of the world was open to all to explore.

To get around, you could walk, run and jump. For a quick journey, there were rails—single rails for pedestrians to speedily skate on, as well as an enormous, circular train track loop (complete with derailed train) that was an excellent vantage point for landscape photography. As in previous voyages, there were blue portals to boost you into the air and mushrooms that gave you a bounce, as if they were made of rubber. Much of the fun was exploring the truly vast space, which offered as much depth and height as it did breadth.

Without Curtis herding us around like an aggrieved kindergarten teacher, with no bad guys to fight, and with three distinct opportunities to explore the place, this was Otherside with a chance to breathe. The powerful camera also served as an excellent telescope to peep into intriguing places (and figure out how to get there). Speed-boosting power-ups, rockets (and the cannons to fire them), and little hidden pathways were a great help there.

Sound also played a role in making the environment immersive. There was the cheerful din of the clubhouse and the bass and drum of an enormous open-air concert venue, complete with a big screen and DJ. You could hear them well before you could see them. A Chinese New Year balloon display with dragon fireworks was lovely but made a racket.

While our reporter spent time running around, the Apes and Mutants also had the chance to party in their exclusive spaces. The verisimilitude was on point there as well—the selfies, twerk lines, bathroom parties, and busy bar scenes that Apes and Mutants have posted really evoke the feeling of a wild party.

The response to Ape Island from the Yuga holder community has been positive after a tumultuous couple of weeks for Yuga in which they acquired PROOF and Greg Solano resumed the CEO role.

The game ran fairly smoothly, relaunching quickly when our reporter had a series of connectivity issues—and the pile of pictures we took downloaded easily during or after the event. Focusing on showing the world in all its majesty and fun and allowing Apes to explore and party while inhabiting the PFPs that they’ve been using as a core part of their identities for two years was a smart choice.

Delivering voice and text chat in an MMORPG is tough, and with the advent of apps like Discord, their temporary absence for this trip was not such a dealbreaker.

Dispensing with goals, teams, and enemies and giving us an open-world voyage also enabled us to think not just of a game but of a metaverse.

Imagine Pussy Riot playing a show or seedphrase playing a DJ set in the swamp, with live audio echoing across the island. Or, imagine the next hyped fight between crypto influencers hosted in Otherside, with exclusive holder-only after-parties. Public art exhibitions, too, are an opportunity; art is not just for sterile galleries or clean modernist metaverses but for busy streets and the deep wilderness.

The lanterns, the fireworks, the riotous train, the flashes of light, the thrill of the sound stage, and even the ride-on alligator hinted at a sense of embodied, yet virtual, exploration and discovery that is our fondest hope of what the metaverse could be. Otherside offered us a glimmer of that on Feb. 29. More of this, please.

The post Ok, Otherside’s Apes Come Home Was Actually Pretty Cool appeared first on nft now.

Blast & Portalcoin Launches Offer Bull Market Liquidity Influx

https://nftnow.com/news/blast-portalcoin-launches-offer-bull-market-liquidity-influx/

On Tuesday, Feb. 29, two much-anticipated launches were scheduled, unlocking billions of dollars worth of liquidity in the midst of an already-hot crypto market.

Portalcoin’s gaming token, $PORTAL, opened claims and trading—including listing on Binance—early today.

Although the token had traded as high as $4 in allocations selling pre-market, at the time of this writing, $PORTAL is trading at $2.57, with a market cap of $437 million.

Blast_L2’s mainnet also goes live today, kicking off at 1 pm PST. With over $2.3 billion total value locked on the protocol, according to DeFiLlama, and loads of protocols, NFT projects, and meme tokens in the works, activity on their bridge has been frenetic.

Already, people are reporting major windfalls from their presale investments in $PORTAL. “Our $124,000 got us $5,300,000 worth of $PORTAL. We did it, fellas,” said CirrusNFT.

“The speed and size of return on this is pretty incredible. Even for crypto. Even for this banger of a bull market we are in,” replied analyst Sam Gellman.

$Portal, which is built to be a universal gaming token, can be claimed here for presale buyers and here for those who participated in Crystal Dash, the token’s wildly visible airdrop farming campaign on social media.

Meanwhile, people are still rushing to bridge ETH onto Blast, with unconfirmed claims that people have found a way to bridge onto the mainnet before it’s officially live and are already launching meme coins on the network. 

Today’s Blast launch happens against the backdrop of the first major rug pull in its ecosystem: Risk on Blast, a gambling protocol that raised over $1.35 million but withdrew the presale funds and disappeared from social media. Tokenomics of their native $BLAST and a timetable for the unlock of airdrops have not yet been announced.

The rugged token had been featured on Blast_L2’s official social media on Feb. 13, lending the protocol an air of legitimacy.

The timing for the launches of $Portal and Blast mainnet could not be more fortuitous, with an intense influx of liquidity into crypto—fuelled mainly by major retail interest in Bitcoin ETFs.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin’s price was nearly $63,500, with Ethereum at almost $3500.

The net inflow of funds into Bitcoin spot ETFs—over $6 billion—could indicate that there is now a broader demand for Bitcoin and crypto in general.

Other airdrops and unlocks are in the works for March, including Magic Eden’s Diamond drop for ETH “OGs.” This airdrop, scheduled for Mar. 13, will reward users of the Ethereum blockchain, looking all the way back to 2017.

The post Blast & Portalcoin Launches Offer Bull Market Liquidity Influx appeared first on nft now.

Exclusive: Truth Labs And Upstream Merge, Launch Burn for Future Equity Program

https://nftnow.com/news/exclusive-truth-labs-and-upstream-merge-launch-burn-for-future-equity-program/

Truth Labs, the company behind the Illuminati and Goblintown NFT ecosystems, will merge with DAO infrastructure company Upstream to create a new company called Truth Arts, which will pursue what Truth and Upstream founder Alex Taub called, in a blog post, “the billion dollar opportunity in gaming and entertainment.”

Additionally, holders of many of Truth’s NFTs will have a one-month window to burn their NFTs in order to receive future equity rights in the new company.

For those who aren’t interested in that offer, the initiative, called “Operation Resurrection,” will also offer other opportunities in the future—like a burn in exchange for ownership of Truth Universe IP and characters. Or, as the scarcity of the NFTs increases as the burn progresses, many may wish to hold.

The Truth Arts leadership team

All holders who burn their NFTs will receive the art back in the form of a soul-bound token issued on the Base blockchain. This will enable those who choose to burn to maintain access to Truth’s token-gated spaces and experiences.

A snapshot taken on Feb. 20 has made a note of addresses holding Truth NFTs—and when they were bought. That’s because holders who burn for future equity will receive an amount that is linked to the NFT’s average floor price during the week in which you bought it.

Powered by Republic, this program is subject to know-your-customer regulations—details, including eligibility requirements, are available via the Truth Arts Operation Resurrection FAQ page.

$1.235 million in future equity has been set aside for this program—and it’s first come, first served.

“The way you win is when the collection, the creators and the collectors are winning together. And now you’re in the same sort of like team as us, right?”

Alexander taub

If your eligible Truth NFTs are held in a vault (a wallet you never connect to dApps), you can also send your tokens to a wallet listed as a delegated wallet for that vault on delegate.xyz and burn from that one.

According to Taub, the merger was inspired by the success of Only Up—a fiendishly challenging, fan-favorite indie platformer game that uses Goblintown assets and graphics to great effect. “It started to make me realize—‘are we missing a generational opportunity to build a universe around Goblintown and build this amazing entertainment and technology company?’” he told nft now.

The Truth Arts plan has been in the works for several months and is about combining talent, according to Taub. “Officially, we are now one team—on the Upstream side, it’s an amazing product and engineering team, and on the Truth side, it’s amazing artists and design,” he said.

Truth collections eligible for Operation Resurrection

To Taub, the burn-for-future-equity mechanic is about offering benefits to the community in a space where too many projects use their community as a source of revenue. “The idea here is rewarding the people who have held the longest, or coming back for people who bought [the NFT] at a specific time, and allowing them to change that over for future equity rights in the company,” he explained.

“You can do well as a collection, as a company, but your holders can do poorly. The way you win is when the collection, the creators and the collectors are winning together. And now you’re in the same sort of like team as us, right? We win, you win, we lose, you lose. And like, nobody wants to lose,” he added.

“The way you win is when the collection, the creators and the collectors are winning together.”

Alexander taub

Alongside the burn-for-future-equity project released today, the new Truth Arts has some powerful plans for the future, including developing its own games. Taub showed a reporter a video of one of them on his phone—it captures the ineffable beauty-in-ugliness of Goblintown and will likely delight those who were intrigued by the concept and lore of the loveable, grotty goblins.

“I think, having worked with both teams for quite some time, pound for pound, this is some of the most talented people from the technology side, from the art side, from a social side, from a product side, and then design side. And so I know that the longer we have to work together, the more we’re going to make amazing stuff,” Taub said.

The post Exclusive: Truth Labs And Upstream Merge, Launch Burn for Future Equity Program appeared first on nft now.

Magic Eden’s New Ethereum Marketplace With Yuga Labs Is Live

https://nftnow.com/news/magic-edens-new-ethereum-marketplace-with-yuga-labs-is-live/

Today (Tuesday, Feb. 27), the new Ethereum marketplace at Magic Eden has gone live.

Created in collaboration with Yuga Labs, the marketplace is billed as “the industry’s first major Ethereum platform to honor creator royalties,” according to a Magic Eden statement.

Magic Eden has also unveiled its new Creator’s Alliance today. This initiative, designed to champion the enforcement of creator royalties as a universal standard, invites creators to enter into an agreement that they will only permit their products to be sold on royalty-enforcing marketplaces. Yuga Labs, RTFKT, Azuki, and Pudgy Penguins are some of the brands that have already joined the Alliance.

“Royalties are the lifeline that keep creators building fun, weird, and innovative activations in web3,” Yuga Labs CEO Greg Solano said in a statement. “Magic Eden is the first major marketplace that partnered with creators to launch a platform that we can all be proud of – with custom pages for collectors, loyalty rewards, and contractual royalty enforcement,” he said.

Alongside contractual enforcement of royalties, the new marketplace also offers custom pages for collectors and the opportunity to earn loyalty rewards by trading on the site.

Yuga Labs has also temporarily lowered its collection royalties to celebrate the launch. “To celebrate the launch of Magic Eden’s Ethereum marketplace, we’re lowering royalties for 69 days: 2.5% for all our royalty-enforced collections and 1% for legacy collections,” Solano posted on X.

“We’ve always had a goal to expand and build an Ethereum marketplace, but we wanted to do it right, and we were able to with amazing creators like Yuga Labs, innovators like Limit Break, and the community support through our Creator’s Alliance,” said Magic Eden CEO and co-founder, Jack Lu. “We’re thankful for the collaboration with our partners as they share a strong commitment towards the future of web3, which includes respecting creator royalties and incentivizing growth within the industry,” he added.

Yuga, Magic Eden, and the other Creator’s Alliance members have collaborated on a commemorative NFT to celebrate their partnership.

The piece, designed by Cool Cats artist Clon, will be issued as an edition of 1000. Five hundred of the pieces will be airdropped randomly to people who have used the platform during the first month, and 500 will go to those whose transactions have generated the most creator royalties on the site.

These announcements follow a busy Q1 for Magic Eden, following the launch of its cross-chain wallet, the rollout of its new rewards program, and open-sourcing its major protocols to NonFungibleDAO.

The post Magic Eden’s New Ethereum Marketplace With Yuga Labs Is Live appeared first on nft now.

Exclusive Interview: Inside shl0ms’ Viral “End Of Gmail” Hoax and Conceptual Art

https://nftnow.com/features/shl0ms-viral-end-of-gmail-sunsetting-hoax-and-conceptual-art/

On Feb. 22, the anonymous conceptual artist known as shl0ms tweeted an innocuous-looking screenshot that appeared to be from Google.

It announced that Gmail, the wildly popular email service that is used by more than 1.8 billion users, would be sunsetting in August 2024.

The response was uproarious. Tech luminaries believed the screenshot, newspapers hurried to report on the breaking story, and Gmail trended across Twitter.

The only problem? The screenshot was an absolute figment—a hoax made up by shl0ms in the name of art.

As Gmail hurried to assure the world that it was going nowhere, and X (formerly Twitter) owner Elon Musk promised that XMail was coming, luminaries from the world of web3 congratulated shl0ms on the epic work of culture jamming.

Shl0ms then enshrined the happening on-chain, creating an open-edition of Gmail’s denial tweet called “Sunrise” and a 1/1 auction of their hoax screenshot called “Sunset” —the latter served from a Google Drive folder as a statement around the impermanence of these centralized services that so many of us use every day.

As the auction for “Sunset,” shl0ms’ 1/1 of the incident, closed on Feb. 26 with a high bid of 9.60 ETH ($31,564), nft now caught up with the artist for an exclusive interview to learn more.

nft now: Although it’s been called fake news, it is easy to see this “sunsetting event” as you do: as a piece of conceptual art. Can you talk briefly about the concept’s inspiration and how you planned and executed it?

shl0ms: Anyone who has followed me for a while knows that this is one in a long line of similar provocations and experiments. Unfortunately, I am, like everyone else, ultimately at the mercy of the algorithm – so a lot of this process tends to be throwing the proverbial shit at the wall and seeing what sticks. This precludes conventional planning and execution and requires a fluid, instinctual, and improvisational approach that is finely tuned to the zeitgeist. 

Did you expect the absolute viral speed and widespread impact of the message? What about all the people who spread the message while knowing it was untrue and in service to an art project?

I didn’t expect it at all. Retrospectively, I think it seized on some very timely undercurrents about Google’s AI model as well as the more subliminal discontent around Google’s constant sunsetting of services (which is a meme in tech circles but increasingly felt by everyday users).

Ultimately, what drove the speed of the hoax was the extent to which our society and economy rely on Gmail, which is a centralized service owned and operated by a capricious corporate monolith. People rarely reflect on this and mostly take it for granted, so the prospect of losing access unlocked a primal and latent terror that fueled the ensuing panic. 

“Ultimately, what drove the speed of the hoax was the extent to which our society and economy rely on Gmail, which is a centralized service owned and operated by a capricious corporate monolith.”

shl0ms

Twitter took down your posts and flagged them as “fake news,” essentially. Where should the line be drawn between satire and “harmful” misinformation?

I’m neither a philosopher nor a legal analyst, but I suppose the question is “harmful to who”? I can certainly see how causing fear and confusion impacts people; however, since the fear is solely predicated on the fact that the event could actually happen, and my “misinformation” revealed to people a possible future which allowed them to pre-emptively protect themselves against such outcomes and critically examine their reliance on centralized systems, I would argue that I did society a massive favor.

One of the things that is interesting about the art project is that it “punched up”—some of the quickest spread of the sunsetting “news” was to highly placed and influential individuals in tech. What does it say about this community that many took the bait?

I think that a truly potent hoax needs to have an element of truth. The truth in this instance was that we all rely on centralized services in our day-to-day lives in infinitely more ways than the average person likely realizes. Nobody would panic about a hoax which they think can’t possibly be real—and that is the point.

It is essentially an information arbitrage by presenting a false reality that cannot be disproven in the short term and is believable to viscerally demonstrate to people that what they were led to believe could, in fact, be true in the future. This is why hoaxes are so potent as a form of spreading awareness.

“Nobody would panic about a hoax which they think can’t possibly be real—and that is the point.”

SHL0MS

How does this artwork link with the rest of your body of work?

I touched on this a bit earlier, but the goal was to spread awareness and spark critical thought about our daily reliance on centralized services. Ultimately, that is what makes this a fundamentally crypto-native performance work, even though it took place on Twitter, which is a dynamic I am endlessly fascinated by.

A lot of my work is less neatly captured by the frame of presenting something as artwork and instead takes place using web2 spaces as a canvas. This tends to blur the lines between what some might consider trolling and others might consider digital performance art, depending on their perspective.

I also created a conceptual 1/1 NFT titled “Sunset” of the original email with the image file hosted on Google Drive as a statement on web2 impermanence. The metadata is fully on-chain, so the token will likely long outlast the availability of the file and perhaps of Google itself.

Where did you think the “Sunset” auction would end up?

I generally set a relatively low reserve for 1/1s and just see what happens, but this piece felt different and worthy of a different bar. At the end of the day, I am honored and grateful to have support and appreciation for my strange art, no matter the outcome.

The post Exclusive Interview: Inside shl0ms’ Viral “End Of Gmail” Hoax and Conceptual Art appeared first on nft now.

Exclusive Interview: Yuga Labs to Block Marketplaces That Don’t Enforce Royalties

https://nftnow.com/collectibles/exclusive-interview-yuga-labs-to-block-marketplaces-that-dont-enforce-royalties/

On Monday, Feb. 26, Yuga Labs announced, in the lead-up to the Feb. 27 launch of Magic Eden’s long-awaited Ethereum marketplace, that it will sunset support for any marketplace that does not enforce royalties for all creators.

“Tomorrow, the much-anticipated Magic Eden Ethereum marketplace goes live—the first major marketplace to partner with creators and launch a platform that we can all be proud of—with custom pages for collectors, loyalty rewards, and contractual royalty enforcement,” Yuga said in a statement.

“Yuga and Magic Eden are taking a big step forward to bring us back to a creator-led web3. In sync with the marketplace launch, tomorrow, we will be sunsetting our support for marketplaces who don’t support royalties for ALL creators. This means that our collections with a royalty filter will only be traded on marketplaces that respect creator royalties for any and all creators at the protocol level. Royalties are the lifeline that keep creators building fun, weird, and innovative activations in the space,” they continued.

Louise Conroy, Yuga VP for communications, added an additional bit of news. “Our next PFP, The Grailed, from the 10KTF team, will also reveal on Magic Eden as Yuga’s first new and native collection on the marketplace. These PFPs were actually developed over many months by holders of NFTs across the 10KTF ecosystem,” she told nft now.

According to PPMan—the longtime Ape holder, active community member, and product manager at Yuga Labs spearheading the project—thie move to support royalty-enforcing marketplaces is for all of us.

He believes that when the space supports creators financially, they are free to bring back the spirit of fun and community that epitomized the space during the 2021 NFT bull market.

Yuga isn’t resting on its laurels following bombshell announcements of its acquisition of PROOF and Bored Apes founder Greg Solano retaking the CEO role. As Yuga prepares to welcome thousands of holders to Ape Island in the “Apes Come Home” Otherside trip, planned for Thursday, Feb. 26, nft now sat down with PPMan for an interview.

nft now: Why are Yuga Labs taking the step of blocking trading of their assets on marketplaces that don’t universally enforce royalties?

We’re blocking any marketplace that does not respect royalties for all creators. It’s not about Yuga—it’s about all creators.

If you go back to 2021, creators flocked to the space. They were all building really cool, weird, wild activations in all these platforms—and the monetization part of the creator equation was solved by royalties.

Being able to come back to a space where royalties are enforced and creators can build without having to worry about that monetization aspect really brings back fun again.

yuga labs product manager ppman

The royalties really solved that monetization part, but the creator had to focus on bringing attention to their project and uplifting their community.

I think that’s what made the space really fun. If you go back to 2021, the reason that everything felt so new, so cool, and so wild was because it was all about bringing attention to both the project and the community.

I think that this solves it—being able to come back to a space where royalties are enforced and creators can build without having to worry about that monetization aspect really brings back fun again.

What about peer-to-peer trading sites like SudoSwap or OTC trading—will that be blocked?

Philosophically, we’re going to allow our collections to be traded on any marketplace that respects royalties for ALL creators.

If you look at the example of SudoSwap, it has two protocols: v1, which doesn’t recover royalties, is going to be blocked. But it also has v2, which respects royalties for all traders.

It’s interesting that Yuga’s only allowing trading where everyone’s royalties are respected. With Yuga regularly enjoying some of the highest trading volumes across the market,  it could have chosen to support marketplaces that enforce Yuga royalties—but not necessarily those of other collections. Is this Yuga taking a stance for the space as a whole?

That’s exactly it. Back in 2021, when the space was fun, it was truly fun.

The analogy I like to use is that in the YouTube space, when Mr. Beast or Logan Paul put out content, they focus on bringing the most attention and the most fun for their viewers. They don’t focus on monetizing their viewers; they focus on bringing the most attention. They’ve solved the monetization aspect via ads.

Over here, creators should focus on the really wild, weird stuff that can make the space fun again, and the monetization aspect is solved via royalties—rather than creators having to find alternative ways of doing business that could potentially kill that fun.

Do you think that flippers and yield farmoooors will be annoyed that they can’t use Yuga assets to grind points as easily?

Magic Eden’s team is hungry to win. I really appreciate that team: they’re smart people, and they’re not afraid to reward both the creators and the collectors. That makes ME a very interesting marketplace for everyone to use, and there are rewards via the diamonds program—as well as rewards for creators via royalty enforcement that weren’t there before.

One of the most intriguing aspects of this stand for royalty enforcement is that it will take effect as Magic Eden’s new royalty-enforcing Ethereum marketplace goes live. Does Yuga have exciting plans for how the community will experience its collections on Magic Eden?

PPMan’s Ape on Magic Eden’s new ETH marketplace

We have really cool things coming up for the “Yugaverse,” like collector pages: I have my Ape, and I also have my Mutants and my dog, that came from my Ape. And you’re able to see the whole hierarchy of which NFTs derive from my main Ape. There are cool custom collector pages in there.

And you’ll be able to earn normal Magic Eden diamonds by trading this stuff?

Correct!

Will PROOF assets like Moonbirds and collections like Meebits have cool features on their collection pages in this new marketplace? What about Punks?

I think that what Matt and John built with Punks and their marketplace stands on its own—it’s something very powerful they’ve built. I think it shouldn’t be touched.

On the PROOF side, it’s got some little things that I think collectors will like.

And Meebits, definitely—what I’ve mentioned about the “Yugaverse.” Being part of the Yugaverse, Meebits will see some cool things on the Magic Eden marketplace.

As a product manager with Yuga, have you got any alpha to share with our readers about what’s in store, particularly now that Garga has come back on board?

I’d love to give you alpha like that and share what we’re building, but I also think it kills a little bit of the excitement. What I can say is I’m very excited about [new Yuga subsidiary focused on Apes] BAYC LLC. I’m excited to see [Bored Apes creative director] Jeff Nicholas learn that aspect.

Another thing I can share is that there will be a little Magic Eden Easter egg in Apes Come Home [the next Otherside trip, slated to happen Thursday, Feb. 29].

The post Exclusive Interview: Yuga Labs to Block Marketplaces That Don’t Enforce Royalties appeared first on nft now.

Upcoming Drops: Feb. 26 — Mar. 3

https://nftnow.com/art/upcoming-drops-feb-26-mar-3/

Let’s face it: The NFT space moves really fast. Considering how quickly things can change in the metaverse, a week in NFTs might as well be a month IRL.

Don’t get us wrong — the merrier, the more people onboarded into the space. But because of the constant influx of great art and ideas, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with all the news, launches, and general happenings.

Well, you can put the days of endless Twitter and Discord scrolling behind you as we pull together a weekly list of upcoming NFT drops you don’t want to miss. Here’s what to look out for this week.

Lady Phe0nix—Dialogue With The Endless

Who: Lady Phe0nix is the creator of Web3 Fashion Week and a trailblazer in the space.

What: After helping many create and build, this is Lady Phe0nix’s genesis drop on Zora. This beautiful image, in a set of 444, sells for 1 ETH each.

When: Minting opened Feb. 25 and is available now!

Where: Zora.

Why: This art is ready for the cover of VOGUE or to hang on the wall of the most famous galleries. A beautiful seated woman is made of gauze skin and translucent bones.

Shl0ms—Sunset

Who: Weird, groundbreaking, jaw-dropping conceptual artist shl0ms.

What: Sunset is a 1/1 auction, currently at 5.69 ETH. Its partner, Sunrise, was a free open edition—grab it on secondary.

When: The auction closes around 5 pm EST on Feb. 26.

Where: Foundation.

Why: On Feb. 22, shl0ms, the anonymous conceptual artist known for blowing up a car and issuing fungible tokens that break wallet UIs, posted a faked screenshot of an announcement saying that Google would be sunsetting their wildly popular GMail service.

Loads of people believed it, and it trended on Twitter and in the news. Shl0ms called it conceptual art.

They minted two commemorative NFTs: Sunrise, a screenshot of GMail’s tweet saying it was going nowhere, and Sunset, which pins shl0m’s bogus screenshot to a Google Drive file. Why? It’s part of the art!

Check out our exclusive interview with shl0ms about the project.

leaf_swan—Checkmate

Who: leaf_swan creates elegant, unsettling figurative art.

What: Checkmate is an open edition on the Aptos blockchain, selling for 1 $APT. Here’s a good roundup of how to get started with Aptos if you’re just hearing about it.

When: The OE opens at 4 pm CET on Feb. 26 and closes on Mar. 4.

Where: Wapal, the leading Aptos marketplace.

Why: This is an excellent entry to the work of an OG, talented artist—and a blockchain we in the NFT space don’t often explore!

Emi Kusano x Art Blocks—Melancholic Magical Maiden

Who: Kusano is a renowned multidisciplinary artist based in Tokyo.

What: In partnership with Art Blocks, Melancholic Magical Maiden is a 300-edition, fully on-chain generative collection. The works will sell in a Dutch auction, starting at 4 ETH, with a bottom price of .1 ETH.

Where: Art Blocks.

When: Feb. 28, 1 pm EST.

Why: These pieces hit you right in the nostalgia, and feel like they’ve emerged from the Saturday morning cartoon show of your dreams.

Efdot—Murals

Who: Efdot is a master of bold patterns—lines, colors, and shapes run riot on his canvases.

What: Murals are captures of Efdot’s hand-painted, BIG physical murals created over the years, remastered as animated digital art. Six pieces are available as open editions, $99 for the public and $79 for existing Efdot holders.

When: The mint kicks off at 1 pm EST, Feb. 29, and is open for 24 hours.

Where: Nifty Gateway.

Why: As we bridge the gap between physical and digital, artists explore new ways to commemorate public works that are often ephemeral, using the immutable blockchain. Efdot animates his murals with cleverness and humor.

RedruM x BrainDrops—Seven

Who: AI artist RedruM is one of those creators whose talent is undoubtable—but you don’t necessarily want to look at his work just before bed!

What: In partnership with BrainDrops, RedruM is releasing his first big collection. 500 1/1s, at .1 ETH each, are available to mint.

When: Allowlist starts at noon CST on Feb. 27, with public mint beginning a half hour after that.

Where: RedRuMart.com.

Why: The collection, inspired by the seven deadly sins, combines absolutely distinctive, instantly recognizable 1/1s with an extra rarity mechanic. Will you mint one of the seven Devils, BrainDrops, or Red Orbs?

MLow x Andrés Zighelboim—Transmutational AI

Who: Celebrated oils and inks painter Zighelboim has teamed up with AI artist and curator MLow for this collection.

What: The open-ended collection begins with two 1/1s, available for auction.

When: Auctions open on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at noon EST.

Where: One of Foundation’s Worlds: Strange History.

Why: This partnership, along with offering some lovely works, is notable as the AI outputs, created and curated by MLow, are trained on Zighelboim’s artwork and poetry with his active permission and cooperation.

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NFT Paris 2023: Guide to the Conference and Side Events

https://nftnow.com/guides/nft-paris-2023-guide-to-the-conference-and-side-events/

NFT Paris is in full swing, and it’s absolutely full-on, with everything from main stage talks to the hottest parties, from beautiful gallery exhibitions to pop-up street art and experiences.

We don’t have time to do a full breakdown of events—there are dozens upon dozens! But you can check out the Main and Eiffel stage lineups at the NFT Paris website, and this view-only Google Sheets doc is continually updated with unofficial side events and happenings.

We thought we’d share a few highlights from each NFT Paris day, as well as side events through Sunday. If there’s a particularly cool thing you’re excited about, please let us know on our X account!

And a few tips for attendees—nobody likes getting the conference crud, so drink plenty of water, sleep well, eat healthy food, and wash your hands frequently.

Don’t walk around with your crypto on your phone, and don’t trust a hotel safe with your laptop or hardware wallet full of valuable crypto assets. Delegate anything you need to access a token-gated event, if possible, with apps like delegate or tokenproof—check with the organizers if you’re not sure what they support.

And don’t trust random WiFi networks or mysterious charging stations! Use your own personal charger, get roaming or a local SIM for data if you need it—and if you need to use conference WiFi, be sure to enable a VPN on your device.

Stuff to Mint

There are official NFT Paris mints from some pretty big artists, including HODLFrance and Ryan Andersonhere’s how to get them.

Another mintable project popping up at NFT Paris is an unofficial one: CryptoBags! Created by blokculture, these are limited edition physical art installations popping up around Paris, and they’re brimming with free NFTs, ETH and Bitcoin.

Friday

NFT Asia Presents Building Bridges—3:20 pm, Eiffel Stage

Anika Meier, Yuliang Liu, BeautyAndPunk, and Alex Aravantinos discuss how we can connect with the lively Asian NFT scene.

Fireside Chat—4 pm, Eiffel Stage

Join Claire Silver, Grida, and the IHAM Gallery for what is likely to be a vibrant discussion of all things art, present and future.

6529—4:20 pm, Eiffel Stage

This trailblazing Memes creator and deep thinker in the space needs no introduction—and doesn’t take any prisoners in his incisive communication style. It will be interesting to hear what he has to say!

Reshaping Capitalism With Web3—3:30 pm, Main Stage

This talk is presented by Yat Siu, the chair of Animoca Brands and an innovative thinker on digital property rights. The WAGMI dream of decentralized and sovereign ownership of what we create is largely shaped by voices like Siu’s, so this will be an exciting discussion.

Investing in Web3: The New Consumer Frontier—5:40 pm, Main Stage

Karen Shen, Vanessa Grellet, and Jascha Samadi will illuminate the challenging, rewarding, and often lucrative Web3 investment space. Newcomers and experienced investors alike will benefit from this panel.

Bright Moments Cafe—Feb 21-24, 7 Rue Bailly

Bright Moments makes terrific events, and their pop-up cafe will have minting opportunities, delicious food, and panel conversations open to the public at their cafe on the Marais. Check here for prices, art, and schedule.

AGORIA { Le Code d’Orsay } · Digital Art—open to the public during opening hours at Musee d’Orsay

Check out two stunning multimedia pieces by Sebastien Debaud on Tezos, created to connect visitors to the profusion of art at the museum using the power of the blockchain. Don’t miss his exclusive DJ set Friday night in a memorable museum setting.

Saturday

OpenSea Keynote by Devin Finzer—2:20 pm, Main Stage

At first glance, it is not the sexiest of talks, with Magic Eden and the like eating OpenSea’s lunch—but it will be interesting to hear OpenSea chief Devin Finzer’s views on what’s next for the marketplace—and how he fields questions!

Back To The Sewers With Garga—3:15 pm, Main Stage

Bored Ape co-founder Greg Solano is back in the Yuga CEO role, and this stage is likely to be packed—many people will be interested in hearing his future vision for Yuga, Apes, Otherside, and more.

The Underlying Value of NFTs—3:25 pm, Main Stage

Our stalwart CEO and editor-in-chief Matt Medved is a fire interviewer—and he’ll be quizzing a panel including Memeland’s Ray Chan, Betty of Deadfellaz, Frank DeGods, and Julian Holguin on whether these tokens we know and love are worth anything. Whether you’re looking for degen alpha, great art, or your next portfolio company, these perspectives will help inform you.

Low Res/High Art—3:25 pm, Eiffel Stage

Stone, Yuga Labs’ brand manager for CryptoPunks, and Sean Bonner, Punk historian, and artist extraordinaire, are in conversation for this event. They’ll be talking Punks, art, the space in general, and goodness knows what else—but it will be interesting and full of warmth and humor!

Art and Web3 as a Catalyst for Change—5:20 pm, Eiffel Stage

Code Green co-founder Inna Modja is one of the leaders in the space, pioneering social impact NFTs. As we head into the bull market, giving back is more important than ever!

Bright Moments x NFT Paris—11 am-3 pm, 85 Rue de la Turenne

The rigorous, glorious artists of the Bright Moments team, which focuses on NFT happenings that require a physical presence, are having what basically amounts to an art-fuelled side conference alongside NFT Paris proper. Their Saturday schedule, sponsored by Arab Bank Switzerland, includes loads of digital and crypto art panels, including one on the legendary Vera Molnar and discussions on generative art, AI art, and more. Register and view the schedule here.

Felix Show-all weekend, L’Avant Galerie Vossen, 58 Rue Chapon, 75003

A solo show by crypto artist @i____felix____i, free and open to the public, is happening all weekend and is chock full of bold, brilliant pieces. Felix also has a mint, CYBERDUDES, to coincide with the show.

World of Women Gala Night—8 pm-3 am, Pavilion Gabriel

World of Women is hosting a luxurious gala party on Saturday night, with gorgeous installations, delicious molecular gastronomy treats, and sumptuous music. WOW holders can get free tickets for themselves and a guest (with a deposit), and community tickets are available. https://tokenproof.xyz/event/wow-gala-2024

Sunday

NFC NOW Community Brunch & Now Pass Art Exhibit —11 am-3 pm, IHAM Gallery

Our very own Now Media (home to nft now) will be co-hosting a community brunch on Sunday with Non-Fungible Conference at IHAM Gallery. Come for the croissants and stay for the exclusive exhibition of the Now Pass artwork by Nostalgic! The event comes exactly one year after the announcement of the Now Pass at last year’s NFT Paris, and just a few days following nft now’s third anniversary with some exciting announcements to digest. Register here: https://lu.ma/nfc-community

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“New Here” Web3 Film Gamifies Viewing With Free Glimpses Drop

https://nftnow.com/art/new-here-web3-film-gamifies-viewing-with-free-glimpses-drop/

On Feb. 21, the creators of New Here, the groundbreaking film chronicling the inception of the cryptoart movement, announced that the Arbitrum Foundation has come on board as a technical and financial partner.

Their technology will power an innovative new collection from the New Here team called Glimpses.

These evolving visual tokens, viewable at glimpses.art, are “the beginning of a new interactive media experience powered by blockchain technology and collectorship,” New Here posted on their official X account.

Free to claim (with a small minting fee of $11) now at Zora, the Glimpses tokens are linked to 11 New Here short films, premiering in April 2024.

Created by the New Here team and evoking the visual ethos of many of the stars of the film—including web3 luminaries like Claire Silver and Snowfro—the Glimpses start out as beautiful sketches. Each will evolve, gaining color and motion, based on their holder’s journey in viewing the upcoming New Here Shorts films.

The technology, built in conjunction with Web3 interactivity experts vibe.xyz, is an innovation that allows the New Here team to incentivize and gamify viewing their content.

nft now spoke to Dan Sickles, director of New Here, about the strategy behind Glimpses.

“Our thought is that it will gamify the viewing experience—I don’t want to say how many stages of evolution there are for each token; this is part of the mystery. But each token can evolve more than once. I think that’s all I should say right now. So, people can continue to work with their tokens in different ways, which will lead to different stages of unlocking different visuals,” he told us in an interview.

As the way that Glimpses will evolve involves multiple stages—and can vary based on the order in which a user watches (or skips) the New Here Shorts, strategy comes into play, with holders seeking out rare evolutions—or holding onto a “virgin” Glimpses token in the hopes that a future buyer may want to shape its evolution.

To Sickles, the gamification of Glimpses through engagement with the upcoming New Here shorts is a pivotal strategy to introduce a web3-curious audience to the space.

“I feel like the short films are our touch point for wider audiences who don’t necessarily know the space but can’t necessarily commit to watching a whole film about the cryptoart scene just yet. It’s a way of starting to release content that gently introduces true newbies to some of the artists in this space. We’re getting them to a more curious place so that they hop on and say, ‘Hey, I’m going to learn more about Snowfro, or I want to learn more about Claire Silver.’ Then that can lead them on their own journey,” he said.

The Glimpses collection will also feature at a special Shake Shack showcase event during ETH Denver.

Even at their starting positions, each of the Glimpses shows off the unique vibes of the individual artists that inspired it; Claire Silver’s is filled with her characteristic pink-hued, gothic maximalist aesthetic, and Snowfro’s Glimpse features a Squiggle turned into a surreal, pastel hillscape.

“The Glimpses were created using a combination of our mood boards for each of these worlds. Then, we were training models based on those mood boards—these were created using AI. From there, there’s no AI—it’s all very high production in Unreal Engine and live action. So once you start to see your Glimpses evolve, you’ll start to see pieces of each episode within the actual token,” Sickles said.

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Greg Solano Resumes CEO Role At Yuga Labs

https://nftnow.com/news/greg-solano-resumes-ceo-role-at-yuga-labs/

In a surprise announcement, Yuga Labs co-founder Greg Solano (AKA Garga) revealed on Feb. 21 that he is re-taking the reins as CEO, with Daniel Alegre stepping down.

“I am stepping back in as CEO of Yuga Labs. Wylie [Aronow] and I are grateful for all the contributions and operational rigor Daniel has brought to the company, and appreciate his thoughtfulness and mentorship over the past year. I’m reinvigorated to be taking the reins for our next chapter. Looking at what’s ahead for Yuga, we need to execute with a more cryptonative focus across the entire company,” Solano said in a Feb. 21 post on X.

Solano went on to characterize his vision for Yuga’s next steps. “The utility of BAYC comes from the network…We want to unshackle the BAYC team at Yuga as much as possible to execute against its vision. More focus, more agility,” he continued.

nft now reached out to Yuga co-founder Wylie Aronow (AKA Gordon Goner) for comment—he responded with the gif below from the hit anime Dragon Ball Z of two Super Saiyans—potent super-warriors indeed—powering up to fight.

Two Super Saiyans powering up. Credit: Dragon Ball Z

New CEO, New Structure

To implement this vision, Yuga Labs has created a subsidiary company, “BAYC LLC,” to handle everything related to Apes.

Solano also expressed bold ambitions for Otherside, which he says should be “the living room for Web3.” To realize this, he will increase the pace and amount of communication about the project.

“Otherside is also a massive swing for the fences. We’ve got a lot of work to do. The only way it gets built properly is if you all come in and experience it more often…Our communication is going to ramp up this week, starting with  ‘Apes Come Home.’ And we need to follow it up with a lot more frequent communication starting now and throughout the year,” he wrote.

Fun and Games

Solano also teased a bit of alpha around gaming—more games that are fun for everyone, like Dookey Dash, with a goal of “opening the funnel and flooding our ecosystem with millions of new users, and leveraging that to create opportunities for creators, IP holders, and pro players,” Solano continued. These initiatives will be made in partnership with game developers @farawaygg, he said.

In the tweet, he also teased a foray into “crypto-native mechanics and platforms, like [redacted].”

Departing CEO Daniel Alegre responded to Solano’s tweet, full of praise for Yuga. “I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to lead this great team and to have connected globally with so many community members. Yuga has such a bright future,” he posted.

The markets reacted positively to the news, with the Bored Ape floor bouncing to around 23 ETH, about two ETH higher than the previous day.

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Pudgy Penguins Toys Expand To 1,100 More Walmart Stores

https://nftnow.com/news/pudgy-penguins-toys-expand-to-1100-more-walmart-stores/

In a notable development for broader adoption of Web3 culture, the Pudgy Penguins toy line, Pudgy Toys, will expand to 1,100 new Walmart stores in the United States.

After their initial debut in 2,000 Walmart locations in 2023, Pudgy Toys are also introducing thirty new collectibles, including action figures and Pudgy Igloo Collectibles. The toy line also won Toy Insider’s Summer Toy Of The Year in 2023. 

“Our strategic collaboration with Walmart has allowed Pudgy Penguins to reach new heights in the consumer market. The expansion into additional Walmart locations, alongside exclusive toy offerings, underscores the enduring appeal of Pudgy Penguins characters,” Pudgy CEO Luca Netz said in a statement.

Each of the collectible toys, exclusive to Walmart, comes with a QR code that unlocks unique traits and collectibles within Pudgy World, an open-world online game that is powered by the zkSync Era L2 blockchain.

The toys are connected to the existing traits and characters of existing Pudgy Penguins NFTs, the holders of those tokens will receive royalty payments. Pudgy Penguins have recently announced a licensing platform, OverpassIP, that enables community members to submit their Pudgy NFTs for consideration to be included in toy launches and other projects.

This latest expansion of the toy line features Pudgy Penguin NFTs submitted by real holders for consideration. With the technology, which is still in beta testing, holders can opt-in to real-time royalty tracking.

Credit: Pudgy Penguins

To celebrate the toy launch, Pudgy Penguins is also offering compensation to buyers who create a video of their unboxing of the new purchase.

A part of the Pudgy Penguins ethos is supporting creators. 

“If you create a video unboxing Pudgy Toys from Walmart, or from any of our retailers, you will be compensated for your work,” the Pudgy official account posted on X.

The video should be one minute thirty seconds long and be a review of a Pudgy toy that you’ve bought. Users who upload the videos to YouTube and submit on a dedicated page on the Pudgy website are eligible to receive between $50 and $100—with extra payment for uploading to TikTok.

Credit: Pudgy Penguins

Pudgy Penguins have also redesigned the packaging for some of their toys, with a new Blind Box Collection series for their plush toys.

The Pudgy World game, which is in beta, is open to all toy purchasers and can be accessed at PudgyWorld.com. Alongside their offering at Walmart stores, the physical toys can also be purchased at Walmart.com.

The announcements follow the floor price of the Pudgy Penguins NFT collection’s briefly surpassing the Bored Apes Yacht Club floor on Feb. 18.

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Metamask’s New Security Alerts Warn Before Malicious Transactions

https://nftnow.com/news/metamasks-new-security-alerts-warn-before-malicious-transactions/

The creators of Web3 wallet Metamask announced on Feb. 20 that its security tools, which notify users when they’re about to make a potentially malicious transaction, will now be switched on by default.

“Proud to share that Blockaid security is now on by default for all @MetaMask extension users and will soon be on by default on mobile,” the team posted on X.

The tools are provided by security firm Blockaid, and are available across multiple blockchains supported by MetaMask, including Ethereum mainnet, Arbitrum, Polygon, and Avalanche.

Today’s roll-out comes after a beta period, in which the features were integrated into the MetaMask browser extension in January 2024.

The transaction simulation features on the Metamask mobile app and desktop browsers mirror the functionality of products like Pocket Universe and WalletGuard. No data is shared with third parties, preserving your privacy.

On mobile, the feature is engaged if you have Experimental switched on.

With MetaMask celebrating the highest number of monthly active users since the peak of the 2021 bull market—30 million in January 2024—the introduction of the new security feature is aimed at helping it keep its primacy among Web3 wallets in the face of security-focused competitor Rabby and ease-of-use optimized Rainbow Wallet.

While potentially extremely useful, it is essential to note that this feature cannot protect users from all of the attack vectors available to hackers who want to steal crypto assets from users.

For example, the feature does not protect people who enter their seed phrase into a fake version of MetaMask, nor can it protect people who store their seed phrases or private keys on their computers or devices and then lose control of their wallets when their devices are compromised.

It also cannot predict the future; it’s always possible that hackers can find undetectable ways to create malicious transactions. That’s why it’s still essential to establish a protocol of using separate burner wallets for risky transactions and keep assets you don’t need to connect to a dApp in a vault address that never connects to any application.

For particularly valuable NFTs, it’s also a good idea to use software like delegate.xyz, which allows you to delegate the privileges and permissions granted by holding an NFT to a proxy wallet.

For complete instructions on how the new feature works and how to enable it, go to MetaMask’s dedicated support page.

It’s important to note that Blockaid isn’t perfect—it has a history of reporting false positives, meaning that some benign transactions or websites get flagged as potentially harmful. Besides inconvenience for users and project builders, false positives can lower a user’s watchfulness or confidence in the warnings over time.

As one security researcher warned, it may be letting through potentially harmful transactions. “Glad @MetaMask is trying to integrate security features, but why isn’t Blockaid detecting this obvious scam tx on a @LineaBuild impersonator site? Please don’t give users the false impression of safety if you won’t detect scams like this,” beausecurity posted on Feb. 20.

For the most accurate protection, it’s advisable not to rely on one source of truth about whether a transaction is malicious. Using a plug-in like Wallet Guard in conjunction with this new feature can be an additional layer of protection.

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Upcoming Drops: Feb. 19 — Feb. 26

https://nftnow.com/art/upcoming-drops-feb-19-feb-26/

Let’s face it: The NFT space moves really fast. Considering how quickly things can change in the metaverse, a week in NFTs might as well be a month IRL.

Don’t get us wrong — the merrier, the more people onboarded into the space. But because of the constant influx of great art and ideas, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with all the news, launches, and general happenings.

Well, you can put the days of endless Twitter and Discord scrolling behind you as we pull together a weekly list of upcoming NFT drops you don’t want to miss. Here’s what to look out for this week.

Serc1n—Silhouettes

Who: Serc is a typography, 3D, and abstract artist based in Germany.

What: Silhouettes sell for .69 SOL for presale and .96 SOL for the public. 999 tokens are available. 

Where: The mint is with Magic Eden Launchpad—the marketplace’s curated drops section.

When: Allowlist mint opens Feb. 19, 6:30 pm CET, with public mint kicking off at 7 pm. Presale buyers will be airdropped their tokens.

Why: Serc’s inspiration for these hypnotic, undulating terrains of lines is the curves of the human form—inspired by a series of nude photographs he curated in 2023. These abstract Silhouettes are visually appealing and compelling to explore.

Sarah Script—Scripted Gordon

Who: Sarah Script is one of the most beloved creators who started in the Web3 class of 2021 and uses her mastery of calligraphy to create beautiful, script-powered works of art.

What: Scripted Gordon is a 1/1, listed for auction—as of this writing, the current bid is .08 ETH.

Where: https://gallery.manifold.xyz/scriptedgordon

When: The auction, which kicked off on Feb. 19, closes on Feb. 20.

Why: Sarah’s Scripted collection is both lovely and bang on trend, as she shares her take on the most hyped collections, always in her elegant style. This piece is Yuga cofounder Gordon Goner’s Ape, created with Gordon’s permission. 

Empress Trash—Sharp Objects

Who: Empress Trash is a shocker of an artist, combining incisive statements with rigorous, vibrant beauty.

What: 500 pieces are up for mint, .05 ETH in the allowlist period (for current ETH holders), and .1 ETH for public sale.

Where: Available at emprops.ai.

When: Presale from Feb. 20-22, with public sale opening at noon CET, to coincide with Empress Trash’s public exhibition at NFT Paris: 11-5 pm exhibition with panels at Cor Studios 28 Rue Du Petit Musc

Why: They’re bold, bright, powerful—and occasionally confronting—in the best way. Let’s use a description from the Empress’s X: “As a long-form generative AI homage to Artemisia Gentileschi, Britney Spears’ knife dance and all other objectified, abused and eventually self-empowered weapon-wielding women of history, Sharp Objects blends Gentileschi’s Old Master sensibility with Empress Trash’s stylization of saturated color palette and her traditional oil painting methods. Long-form generative means each work is generated at the time of mint with no curation of the raw AI output from the artist besides from the prompts and variables. Empress Trash created this collection for her first solo exhibition in Paris through @SuperchiefNFT x @emprops_io,” she posted on Feb. 16.

Pobedeen—Trails

Who: Photographer, collector, and Frame Society founder Pobedeen is pushing the boundaries of what photography and technology can do together.

What: Trails offers 555 mints at .69 SOL.

Where: Available at Magic Eden Launchpad

When: Presale opens Feb. 23, with public sale opening March 4.

Why: Fantastic figures, usually unseen but made visible through trails of smoke. They are heckin’ pretty! They’re “based on an 8-year photography portfolio, signature lighting technique, and AI collaboration, exploring digitalization’s canvas and digital trails,” according to Pobedeen’s X account.

Sean Bonner—Two Bit Punks

Who: Photographer, creator, collector, and quintessential Punk Sean Bonner is also a storyteller and historian of our space and Punks in particular.

What: 512 tokens at .125 each.

Where: Minting on Foundation.

When: Feb. 24, to coincide with Sean’s birthday—and his talk alongside Yuga’s Punks lead Stone at NFT Paris.

Why: You would think there aren’t any new ways to create a Punks derivative, but Sean has found one—and it’s well-realized and backed up by a clear concept that he’s written about in an essay. Each token is two “bits” of data: two blocks of color taken from the traits of a particular Punk. How many can you recognize?

Historic Crypto—Reality B.C.

Who: AI/video art specialist Historic Crypto is a leader in this corner of the space, with credits as a Medici Emerging artist and a Daily—xyz fellowship.

What: A solo show of eight AI videos. All will be available for auction at Daily, with a reserve price of .01 ETH.

Where: Daily.xyz

When: Auctions kick off at noon EST on Feb. 22.

Why: These are AI-powered reality show video vignettes set in historic times. Explore The Bachelor, B.C., Keeping Up With The Carthaginians, Extreme Villa Makeover, and more. Historic Crypto creates these videos with poise, polish, and humor—and is developing a lively following.

Dario De Siena—FLUX

Who: Dario De Siena has been in the space since NFTs properly kicked off in 2020-2021—and is working hard, creating everything from beautiful fine-art illustrations to gloriously grubby trash PFPs.

What: FLUX is Dario’s first collection on the Solana blockchain. 

Where: 999 pieces will be minting on Magic Eden Launchpad. .15 SOL for allowlist, .25 SOL for public.

When: Feb. 22, 5 pm UTC

Why: It takes a lot of work to get a consistent, coherent, visually appealing generative AI abstract collection that is identifiably yours—and Dario has done it. These beautiful shapes and swirls of color and texture would grace any wall, visual or virtual.

BLOOM Collective—Lux

Who: BLOOM Collective is a group of talented visual artists, including Hannes Hummel, David Lisser, Shavonne Wong, Stephan Duquesnoy, Jenni Pasanen, Moteh & NoCreative.

What: Ten 1/1 and small edition works available for sale, ranging from .15 to 4 ETH. 

Where: https://thisisbloom.xyz/

When: Mint opens at 4 pm CET on Feb. 24.

Why: The collection, a meditation on light in all its forms, is an opportunity to collect unique work from some of the most in-demand artists in the space. The release of the artworks is part of the official NFT Paris Events, featuring two gallery exhibitions. Vernissage (preview) gatherings are open to everyone!

IHAM GALLERY PARIS Preview Feb 24, Public Open 3-6 pm

NFT FACTORY PARIS Vernissage Feb. 28. 

The exhibition runs until March 2.

The post Upcoming Drops: Feb. 19 — Feb. 26 appeared first on nft now.

Yuga Labs Acquires PROOF

https://nftnow.com/collectibles/yuga-labs-acquires-proof/

In a bombshell development, Yuga Labs announced on Feb. 18 that it has acquired PROOF_XYZ, which includes the PROOF collective, Moonbirds, Oddities, and the Grails exhibition series.

The acquisition includes the project IP, as well as the PROOF team.

PROOF founder and CEO Kevin Rose will also be coming on board for a brief handover period—and will become an advisor to Yuga. Alongside the PROOF team, existing Yuga team members Josh Ong, Jesse Bryan, and Amanda Gadbow will help bring PROOF into Yuga’s ecosystem.

For Yuga, this acquisition is in line with their mission to become “the front door of Web3.”

“As a company committed to championing art, culture, and community on the blockchain, we’re excited to have PROOF join the Yuga ecosystem,” Yuga Labs CEO Daniel Alegre said in a statement.

One of the first plans Yuga has will be to integrate Moonbirds with its gaming metaverse, Otherside. “Moonbirds is a collection with great potential and many unifying brand elements with Otherside. We look forward to PROOF Collective becoming an important part of our ongoing art and community engagement efforts,” he continued.

“This was an all-stock deal on Yuga’s part. Wouldn’t have stood behind it if I didn’t think it was a value add for both my baby and the PROOF/MB ecosystem,” said Yuga co-founder Greg Solano.

After a period in the last quarter of 2023 when several individuals and groups were offering to acquire Moonbirds, their founder and CEO, Kevin Rose, is optimistic about the future. “We’re very excited to bring Moonbirds into Otherside. It’s the perfect home and future for our collectors,” Rose said in a statement. “With the PROOF Collective on board, it shows Yuga’s commitment to digital fine art, and our combined resources will allow us to innovate faster and reach more people. It’s going to be an exciting journey,” he said.

This is a developing story and will be updated, including an interview with Yuga CEO Daniel Alegre.

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How Superlogic Tokenizes — And Transforms — Loyalty Programs

https://nftnow.com/features/how-superlogic-tokenizes-and-transforms-loyalty-programs/

One thing that is interesting when looking at the website of Superlogic—a company that helps power some of the biggest customer loyalty programs in the world—is that it says nothing whatsoever about blockchain or cryptocurrency on its customer-facing site.

Despite being in the background, Superlogic’s blockchain-powered technology, which it claims drives nine times more customer activity than occurs within typical loyalty programs, is used by major companies like Warner Music Group and American Express.

Here in Web3, we often talk about how we onboard the world to crypto. The good news is that it’s happening! Blockchains are already deep in use in enterprise applications like supply chain management and the tokenization of real-world assets, but Superlogic’s use of blockchain goes much further than deploying a fancy immutable database.

Members of its customers’ loyalty programs enjoy many of the benefits that are second nature to us in web3, like engage-to-earn and access to rewards marketplaces that allow them to customize their member benefits.

Superlogic, a Miami-based portfolio company of Amex Ventures, is rolling out its technology at a time when members expect more and more out of their relationships with a company—and that includes rewards.

Recently, Superlogic founder Lin Dai spoke on a panel at the National Retail Federation’s conference on digital innovation. In front of an audience of retail experts who have likely heard relatively little about web3, he explained how Superlogic’s tech helps companies meet customer needs.

“We are hearing from our clients that customization is the next frontier. Consumers demand personalization in their interactions with a brand’s loyalty offerings based on their preferences,” he said at the January 2024 event.

At the event, Dai went on to explain what Superlogic is doing—again, touching on concepts celebrated by web3, like interoperability, without invoking blockchain at all except by referring to “tokenizing” data.

“One way we achieve this without losing efficiency for a client’s loyalty program is by tokenizing and digitizing all the earnable rewards and benefits into ‘digital badges,’ and introducing a market dynamic by allowing program members to trade these digital rewards badges with other members within the retailer’s own rewards marketplace. Customers earn and trade rewards with each other and end up with more of the perks and benefits they truly want. This also opens brand-to-brand collaborations in a big way. Because rewards are represented digitally, it’s easier than ever to connect and make loyalty programs interoperable, where earning rewards from retail purchases in one program can perhaps unlock front-row tickets to see your favorite artist in a different program. The personalization of rewards and loyalty is not only beneficial for consumers but can lead to a significant increase in sign-ups, engagement, and sales for brands,” he explained to the audience.

Hearing Dai’s comments, the team at nft now got curious. It turns out that Superlogic is white-labeling its tech, offering it on Software as a Service (SaaS) terms to companies. We spoke with Dai to learn more.

nft now: It’s interesting to see a tokenized service being used by companies everyone has heard of; American Express, Warner Music, Anheuser-Busch—but your website doesn’t mention crypto at all, and I think that’s by design?

Lin Dai: Since 2018, we’ve been developing blockchain solutions for mass consumer enterprises. The goal is always, “How do we make this technology so easy that my mom can use it and not think about it?”

Some of the use cases we thought about very early on—besides currency trading, we thought that loyalty is a very similar system, right?

90% of US brands have loyalty programs, and those programs have millions of dollars, if not billions of dollars in points. That’s essentially their own centralized digital currency for each corporation, issued to consumers, that can only be redeemed back for their goods and services.

In the early days, each blockchain protocol could only work within its own ecosystem. So, very early on, we thought about developing that kind of ecosystem: it could be tokenized. It’s very easy to represent points as stablecoins and redeemable goods and services as NFTs. We’ve been working on this since 2018.

What made you and your team interested in loyalty programs?

Loyalty, as a use case, is something that every consumer understands—on average, every consumer signs up to 16.6 loyalty programs. Everybody knows how to deal with points.

The first version of the technology we designed, we signed our first deal with Warner Music Group, and launched their loyalty program on blockchain in 2019.

We went through the 2020 excitement, and in 2021, we launched our consumer-facing branded NFT marketplace, oneof.com. So that’s very well known—we went out and did a lot of music projects.

Fast-forward—we ended up pitching these ideas to our major loyalty programs. American Express made an investment in our company in 2022, and we started working with multiple divisions there and with MasterCard.

“Loyalty, as a use case, is something that every consumer understands.”

superlogic founder lin dai

The latest iteration of this is not only tokenized loyalty but also interoperable loyalty—which is a real use case for “why do you want to bring loyalty on-chain?”

American Express signed up to work with us directly, and we debuted the latest iteration of our technology in November—and we showcased this at the National Retail Federation show in New York in January: American Express is reselling our solution to merchants.

So, everybody from restaurants to e-commerce companies can start tokenizing their loyalty programs. Once our software development kit is installed, we can represent your goods and services digitally, on-chain.

So, what is the experience like for the user base and the company running the program?

There are two layers to this, directly within a merchant’s ecosystem. Users can do everything they can do normally within a loyalty program, but also, because it’s tokenized, they can actually trade peer-to-peer.

So if I have, say, an upgrade on an airline, and I don’t want to use that, but I really need a second ticket to the airport lounge, I can trade with somebody. Basically, it creates a more personalized loyalty experience.

Loyalty programs are designed as one-size-fits-all; there are, say, 14 different benefits negotiated for all members—but even in the programs you’re most active in, you’re probably only taking advantage of two or three of those benefits.

What we offer is mass personalization—allowing users to trade peer-to-peer.

A second thing we can do is gamification. Most programs already do a pretty good job of rewarding purchase behaviors; when you buy something, you get points for it. But it’s very hard for a traditional loyalty program to reward non-purchase actions.

This is for several reasons. Traditional loyalty points systems are points-based only, meaning for every 100 points, there will be, say, $1 of liability for the company—or, in some cases, $1 in the bank that actually backs the points by law.

It’s a massive accounting liability: American Express issues something like $18 billion worth of liability in new points every year.

About two-thirds get redeemed, and about one-third don’t get redeemed—that’s a huge liability left on corporate books.

Also, if you want to reward a non-purchase action like watching a product video or tweeting out a promotion code—these programs would love their tens of millions of users to retweet everything they post, but users really don’t. To incentivize that, a program can’t afford to use points—if my favorite loyalty program told me to do that for 100 points, I’d be posting all day, right?

So what we came up with in our system is a hybrid tokenized program that has two instruments: stablecoins on blockchain and digital badges, which are actually NFTs.

“The average engagement with the program for the average user is over 27 transactions per month. In a traditional loyalty program, the average engagement would be less than three times per month.”

lin dai

You can unlock them for, say, hitting a $500 spending threshold or watching a video. The great thing about them is they don’t carry any direct accounting liabilities.

Brands can issue literally millions of these—and we’ve developed a minting method called Power Mint that allows us to generate about a million of these badges for $26 in costs.

That allows a brand to issue millions of tokens without considering gas costs. They can easily stack them: imagine, as a consumer participating in Restaurant Week, you can watch a video of our restaurant to unlock a badge. Share that video, and you unlock a second badge, and dine out at one of the participating restaurants to unlock a third. Once you’ve got all three actions, you can unlock a bigger reward. It incentivizes the user to complete a series of actions and gamifies the experience.

In the programs where we’ve deployed the digital badges plus points, the average engagement with the program for the average user is over 27 transactions per month.

In a traditional loyalty program, the average engagement would be less than three times per month.

If it’s possible, can you share any examples of the system in practice?

Probably the biggest example is Warner Music Group—you can see it in action at wmgrewards.com.

If you think about the music business, you want to encourage people to do three things: listen to more music, purchase more merch, and go to concerts. Some of those activities are non-purchase actions: previously, very difficult to reward with points. One of the standout asks is: listen to music, follow your favorite artist, and save a track to your playlist.

WMG’s rewards program, powered by Superlogic

All those actions are new digital badges that you can do to complete challenges to unlock bigger things and then be rewarded with credit towards merch purchases, concert tickets, or an intro to a meet-and-greet experience with your favorite artist.

This has increased user engagement with the program by a factor of nine and has boosted sales by fourteen percent.

So, let’s say I’m a company that wants to do my loyalty program with you—one of the first questions would be, what blockchain is this on?

So here’s the best part: it’s agnostic. We have multiple options for our brands. They can choose either to deploy a private chain solution or a public chain solution. We’ve done Hyperledger-based deployments, Tezos-based deployments, Ethereum and Polygon-based deployments. Essentially, we can support any EVM-compatible chain, plus a few others. We can work with whatever their ecosystem needs, but if we need to do a cross-chain swap with another program, we can use something like CCIP from Chainlink to accomplish that.

Where do you see this tech going in the future?

We’re very bullish that there’s going to be a lot of adoption this year by loyalty programs. This is something that we hope is a game-changer for loyalty program owners. It’s simply a more engaging, more useful tool for their consumers. So, we think this sort of tech will be underneath all technologies for loyalty programs in the future.

The post How Superlogic Tokenizes — And Transforms — Loyalty Programs appeared first on nft now.

Bitcoin Hits $1 Trillion Market Cap in First Since Dec. 2021

https://nftnow.com/news/bitcoin-hits-1-trillion-market-cap-in-first-since-dec-2021/

On Feb. 14, Bitcoin achieved a market capitalization, or market cap, of $1 trillion for the first time since Dec. 2021.

Market capitalization is the value of all the Bitcoin that’s been mined and is an indicator of the economic size and significance of the cryptocurrency. At the time of this writing, the price of one Bitcoin is about $51,800—a rise of $8,000 in the past week.

The rise follows the long-awaited debut of Bitcoin exchange-traded funds in Jan. 2024. Immediately after the funds opened trading in US markets, a “sell the news” movement helped depress Bitcoin prices. However, since then, the cryptocurrency has climbed steadily as retail and institutional investors have moved their Bitcoin exposure to funds with low management fees.

Demand for Bitcoin spot ETFs continues to grow, with $500 million net inflows for Blackrock’s ETF on Feb. 13.

The inflows reflect a heated market with high demand for Bitcoin and crypto in general.

“Bitcoin is worth over $1 trillion again. Remember all the experts who told you ‘Bitcoin is a Ponzi’ and ‘Crypto is dead’ and ‘It’s just a slow database?’ They were wrong. You can believe them again if you want. Or you can plug in and see for yourself,” said crypto investor Ryan Adams on X.

Comparing daily Bitcoin spot ETF inflows to the amount of Bitcoin mined each day shows that demand outstrips the increase in supply by a factor of ten or more. “$500m daily ETF inflows, $46m mined daily by miners. This is kindergarten math,” said one investor.

“Wall Street LOVES Bitcoin. They are buying up 12.5x more bitcoin per day than the network can produce. The march to a new all-time high is underway if this continues,” investor Anthony Pompliano posted.

With Bitcoin this high, nearly all of the supply of circulating Bitcoin is in profit, which generally indicates a market top, according to CryptoSlate analyst James Van Straten. With their bags in the green, most people will want to take at least some profit and lock it into stablecoins or fiat, many analysts think.

However, the approach of the halving, which makes mining new Bitcoin harder, combined with the strong retail demand for Bitcoin, may challenge this pattern. “We are deviating from the four-year cycle,” said analyst nestaxbt on X.

With the symbolic value of reaching $1 trillion market cap Bitcoin, future targets could be $64,000 or even $70,000.

“A very positive milestone, propelled by sustained $500 million a day inflows to BTC ETFs. This, plus the impending BTC halving, gives us a number of strong indicators to remain very bullish on BTC. When $2 trillion MC?” consulting firm gm3.io founder Andrew O’Doherty told nft now.

Editor’s note: lorepunk is an adviser for gm3.io.

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Everything You Need to Know About the Starknet Airdrop

https://nftnow.com/news/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-starknet-airdrop/

You may be eligible for an airdrop from Starknet that will become available to over one million wallets on Feb. 20—but the criteria are strict! Let’s take a look at what Starknet is, who is eligible, and how you can check your eligibility right now.

Starknet bills itself as a “fully open source tech stack: —in (degen) layperson’s terms, it’s an Ethereum Layer 2 rollup optimized for developers and builders of all sorts, with an emphasis on security, decentralization and permissionlessness. It allows apps to scale without compromising security by computing proofs off-chain and bundling them into a single transaction on Ethereum’s mainnet.

The team announced their long-rumored airdrop in a blog post. “Today, the Starknet Foundation is proud to introduce the Starknet Provisions Program, the first distribution of Starknet’s native token — Starknet Token (STRK) — to the dedicated community building and using the dApps that will become commonplace tomorrow. STRK is set to play an important role in several aspects of the Starknet network, including paying network fees, staking, and participating in governance votes,” the team wrote on Medium.

There was a great deal of excitement that many people active in Web3 in 2021 and 2022 would get an airdrop. On Feb. 13, many community members posted their results from a third-party checker at wenser.xyz with a section called Ethereum Early Adopters. Many analysts, including an anonymous poster called CC2Ventures, believed yesterday that this checker would indicate who was eligible for the Starknet drop.

These hopes have moderated somewhat with the Feb. 14 release of an accurate checker from Starknet itself.

On Feb. 13, 9dcc founder gmoney excitedly said that he had “made it into Valhalla,” posting his Wenser checker results. The following day, he expressed chagrin. “Wait, so this didn’t mean anything at all? lol,” he posted on X.

To check your wallets’ eligibility, head to the official site, and connect your Starknet wallet (like Argent or Braavos) or post your wallet address.

“STRK is set to play an important role in several aspects of the StarkNet network, including paying network fees, staking, and participating in governance votes.”

starknet

Although the airdrop may have the most extensive distribution pool ever, the criteria are different from what the third-party checker had guessed. With data taken from a November 2023 snapshot, the criteria for addresses that will receive the airdrop have a heavy focus on people who use the network and create projects. Alongside users of Stark’s network, people running their own Ethereum validator at home and authors of EIPs, or Ethereum Improvement Proposals, are also eligible.

The airdrop, called the “Starknet Provisions Program,” “will be distributed to individuals and groups that have helped to lay down the roots of Starknet,” according to the team’s blog post. “This includes Starknet users, developers, and community contributors; StarkEx users; Ethereum protocol contributors and stakers; and developers of select non-crypto open-source projects,” they said.

While you can check your eligibility with an ordinary Ethereum account, you’ll need to install a Starknet-capable wallet to claim on the 20th. The claim period will last four months.

In a departure from the strategy of other recent airdrops, from Blast to Memecoin, the Starknet airdrop aims to incentivize developers and users of their ecosystem more than farmers.

It’s important to note that there will be a major unlock of Starknet investor allocations of $STARK this April, which could impact the token’s prices.

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Ledger & Coinbase Partner for Direct Crypto Purchases With Hardware Wallets

https://nftnow.com/news/ledger-coinbase-partner-for-direct-crypto-purchases-with-hardware-wallets/

On Feb. 13, Ledger and Coinbase announced that Coinbase Pay will integrate with the Ledger Live app.

In practice, this means that Ledger users will be able to use Coinbase Pay to purchase digital assets without having to go through the step of purchasing with a hot wallet and then transferring to the Ledger.

“We’re excited to announce that @Coinbase Pay is now available as a buy provider through Ledger Live!

Use your Coinbase login to buy crypto, and have it immediately secured with your Ledger,” Ledger’s official account posted on X.

This integration improves what was previously an awkward process for Coinbase Pay and Ledger users. “Previously, transferring crypto from Coinbase to Ledger Live was a cumbersome process that left users vulnerable to potential errors. The integration of Coinbase Pay into the buy section of Ledger Live simplifies the crypto purchase process, enabling users to make purchases through their Coinbase account at the same cost as Coinbase.com and withdrawing to your Ledger in just a few clicks,” Ledger wrote on their blog.

“Coinbase and Ledger are two of the only companies in crypto for longer than ten years, and it’s already the case that we share both values and customers,” said Ian Rogers, Chief Experience Officer at Ledger. “Both Ledger and Coinbase are focused on making crypto easy-to-use and keeping consumers secure. Now Coinbase users can easily buy crypto right within Ledger Live, and Ledger users can easily buy with Coinbase. Ledger is proud to give this experience to Coinbase customers and option to Ledger users through this partnership.”

“Now Coinbase users can easily buy crypto right within Ledger Live, and Ledger users can easily buy with Coinbase.”

IAN ROGERS

“At Coinbase, we’ve focused on building the most trusted, scaled, and reliable onramps and infrastructure for onchain builders that expand access to crypto and help drive an updated financial system. We’re delighted to collaborate with Ledger to allow users to more seamlessly purchase crypto with Coinbase Pay straight into their self-custody solution.” said Lauren Dowling, Head of Product, Coinbase Developer Payment Services.

While this is, at first glance, a small step, it’s a powerful opportunity to encourage people to hold their crypto keys and use hardware wallets by making the process easy and less prone to user error. “It’s a great day to on-ramp to self-custody,” Rogers posted on X.

For users who have already established an account with Coinbase, the integration will allow for instant transactions without the need for additional KYC steps. There will be no extra fees; Ledger Live users will pay the same price for digital assets as on Coinbase.com.

The integration is currently available in the US, UK, EU, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and Singapore.

According to Rogers, this integration follows a series of other integrations, including with Moonpay and Ramp, he told Coindesk on Feb. 13.

“There are 5.3 billion internet users, 5 billion social media users, 500 million crypto owners, and there are on the order of 10 million people in secure self-custody. That’s a very small number. So for us, things like this are about advancing that narrative,” he told CoinDesk in an interview.

This announcement comes several months after Ledger suffered a major security incident in late 2023.

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Upcoming Drops: Feb. 12 — Feb. 18

https://nftnow.com/art/upcoming-drops-feb-12-18/

Let’s face it: The NFT space moves really fast. Considering how quickly things can change in the metaverse, a week in NFTs might as well be a month IRL.

Don’t get us wrong — the merrier, the more people onboarded into the space. But because of the constant influx of great art and ideas, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with all the news, launches, and general happenings.

Well, you can put the days of endless Twitter and Discord scrolling behind you as we pull together a weekly list of upcoming NFT drops you don’t want to miss. Here’s what to look out for this week.

Main Characters

Who: “We are artists and builders in the space since 2017. We’re anon for now. But you’d know us,” the team told nft now.

What: Think of it like memecoins with pictures. Adorable little pixel art image NFTs of the characters Crypto Twitter loves to hate—beginning with Gary Gensler, with more in the pipeline—can be batch minted and burned in their hundreds, with prices on a bonding curve and each unique image with its own rarity. Gary with a dickbutt on his head is particularly delightful. Batch mint, and burn, a lot—and keep the rares—with a few clicks.

The Main Characters app is on Base, and mints and burns start out very affordable indeed.

Where: Maincharacters.app is the site, and you can find the project on X, Farcaster and Telegram.

When: The curtain lifts Monday, Feb. 12 at 12pm EST.

Why: Although these are standard NFTs, the hybrid concept of them—memecoins with pictures—arrives at the perfect time, in context of the new ERC404 phenomenon.

Abstract PAInting—Marco Bonafe

What: In his first AI collection, Marco seeded the model with his own photography and textures, then reprocessed the works in Photoshop to create the finished product.

Where: 800 pieces at .3 SOL are on offer, on Metaplex.

When: Presale opens 11 am EST, with public available three hours later.

Why: The works are rigorous, consistent, visually pleasing and nice to look at! The vibrant SOL community is having an art moment, and drops like this one are likely to have high demand.

Rebecca Rose – Valentine’s Day Massacre

Who: Noted collagist and visual artist Rebecca Rose delivers up-to-the-minute, technically flawless and visually lovely works on the regular.

What: A collection of ten 1/1s up for auction on SuperRare. 1 ETH each. They’re awesome collages and they’re rigged for use in VR spaces!

When: Feb. 14 at 1 pm EST for RarePass holders and $RARE Stakers—24 hours later, open to the public.

Where: SuperRare

Why: “10 new 1/1 cautionary tales of Tragic Love and Bad Dates are told through 3D-collaged animations and glb sculpts of VR-capable walk-through art installations,” Rose told nftnow.

Plutonium Fitzgerald and Krispare — Temporals

Who: Collector, artist and curator Plutonium Fitzgerald has teamed up with partner and fellow artist Krispare to create Temporals.

What: A collection of 222 AI-fueled artworks, Temporals, by the two artists, evolve in a unique way after mint, changing over the next 512 days. They’re priced at .111 ETH.

Where: temporals.network

When: Feb. 15, 12 pm ET

Why: The works are beautiful and have an impressive visual variety—it will be intriguing to see how they evolve over time! The works hit the evolution meta (Quantum Cats are another example of evolving works) and the AI art meta for collectors.

The post Upcoming Drops: Feb. 12 — Feb. 18 appeared first on nft now.

Everything You Need To Know About EtherRocks

https://nftnow.com/guides/everything-you-need-to-know-about-etherrocks/

On Feb. 14, a Sotheby’s sealed auction begins for an image of a rock. It’s an EtherRock, and it’s one of the older NFT collections out there, having been minted in 2017.

These rocks, which derive from the same public-domain piece of clip art depicting an unremarkable, rough-contoured hunk of stone, sell for chunky prices; on Feb. 10, one sold for 160 ETH, or about $410,000.

A small flurry (avalanche?) of other sales followed on Feb. 12, with the highest at $497,000.

As interest builds for the sealed Sotheby’s auction, EtherRocks has become the subject of a lively debate on NFT Twitter–spurred by a since-revised description on the auction lot’s page and socials calling EtherRocks a crucial part of NFT history. Let’s look at the history of EtherRocks and the nature of the ongoing debate.

Old As…Rocks

First of all, there are one hundred rocks, and they are from the early days of Ethereum: they are NFTs, but they predate the ERC-1155 and ERC-721 standards, just like CryptoPunks. To buy or sell your Rock for an (enormous) amount of money, you have a few choices: you can list, bid, buy, and sell on their inbuilt marketplace that comes as part of the smart contract, or you can get a rock wrapped as an ERC721 token on NFT marketplaces.

The instructions on wrapping and unwrapping and a front end to the inbuilt marketplace are available on the EtherRock website.

No Utility Whatsoever

The rocks are a play on the famous “pet rock” fad of the 1970s and have no utility other than the capacity to be bought and sold. They’re all based on the same 2013 clip art of a rock, varying only in their color. There are browns, greys, and tans…all rock colored!

Rediscovered in 2021

EtherRocks were rediscovered in the NFT bull of 2021. They were minted on a bonding curve, starting at .01 ETH, and the historical NFT hunters found them in August 2021. When they finally minted out, the price for the last Rock was 10 ETH.

Owing to their easily memable nature, EtherRocks has inspired many copycat projects, including Bitcoin Rocks on Ordinals.

Sotheby’s Sale

Sotheby’s, as a world-class auction house, writes descriptions of the things it’s selling, and as part of their description for this sealed auction, they said the EtherRocks “played a crucial role in shaping the NFT movement.” The NFT community got a little salty about this. 

“My take on Sotheby’s EtherRock auction:

1. EtherRocks are old & scarce. Strong narrative.

2. Let people buy & sell what they want if they like the meme. But:

3. Don’t push false narratives like “EtherRocks shaped NFTs.” EtherRocks are a 2021 meme, happened to mint in 2017,” said NFT history writer and artist ChainLeftist on X.

“I WAS THERE DURING THAT TIME..NOBODY KNEW OR CARED ABOUT THEM ROCKS YO,” posted OG crypto artist Rob Ness.

The auction page and Sotheby’s Metaverse thread on X about the auction have since been updated with a rephrasing: “EtherRocks mark a pivotal moment in digital collectibles.”

Community Reactions

Artists in the NFT space are riffing on the moment. Over the weekend, Beeple posted an everyday of a monumental EtherRock being sold by a Sotheby’s auctioneer in front of a crowd.

Vinnie Hager also posted an EtherRock adorned with his characteristic glyphs, and Moxara shared her Mona Lisa rock, which she auctioned for a top bid of 0.36 ETH by notable collector Basileus.

The Memes creator Punk6529 posted a thread on the controversy, arguing that those getting annoyed at Sotheby’s for calling the Rocks crucial are missing the point.

“If you are buying NFTs in the hope that Sotheby’s crafts a narrative to some 169-year-old TradArt collector to finally validate your thesis, well, good luck to you,” he wrote on X. “If you spend too much time worrying about if Sotheby’s, the Whitney and Gagosian fully appreciate your NFTs, it is no different than spending too much time worrying if JP Morgan Chase, Vanguard and the ECB love BTC,” he continued.

The post Everything You Need To Know About EtherRocks appeared first on nft now.

What Are ERC-404s? Inside the Hybrid Token Standard

https://nftnow.com/news/what-are-erc-404s-inside-the-hybrid-token-standard/

A new kind of NFT, with an in-built capacity for fractional trading, has risen in popularity this week.

Called ERC-404, this unofficial standard’s first token, launched Feb. 5th and called Pandora, has seen its value increase a hundredfold.

Liquidity, interest, and infrastructure are pouring into this new meta—so let’s take a look at what ERC-404 is and how it works.

It’s Unofficial

First of all, this standard is calling itself an ERC, but it’s not gone through the formal process of an EIP (Ethereum Improvement Proposal), meaning it’s not been fully vetted or audited by the Ethereum devs or governance structures. It’s calling itself an ERC, and there is a lot of public interest in the idea of ERC-404 tokens, so it may get codified officially in due course.

ERC-404 tokens are primarily on the Ethereum mainnet for now, but they can also be deployed on chains like Arbitrum—the first 404 there is called Crystal.

How It Works

Crypto educator 0xCygaar has a good, clear thread on how ERC-404—which was created by Pandora founders ctrl and acme—works in practice.

“ERC404 aims to be a hybrid of ERC721 and ERC20 –it’s an NFT token that has fungible fractionalization built in,” Cygaar wrote in the post on X.

To illustrate how 404s are different, he first offered a familiar example of how a 721 token works.

“Let’s say we have an ERC721 NFT contract called Fantastic Figs.

When you mint a Fig, your balance goes from 0 to 1. When you transfer your Fig to someone else, your balance goes to 0. You can’t trade fractional parts of each NFT, it has to be whole tokens.

Very straightforward,” he wrote.

Next, he asked: what would happen if the Figs were 404s? “The fig contract now has a base unit like an ERC20 token. For this example, let’s assume a base unit of 100 (in reality it’ll be something like 10^18).

Now, if I mint a Fig NFT, my balance will be 100 instead of 1.

So far, not that different from before. But this is where it gets interesting.

You can actually trade fractions of your NFT around.

I can transfer 20 Fig NFT fractions to someone else. My balance will now be 80. However, because my balance is less than 100, I will lose the NFT,” he explained.

In practice, every time someone buys or sells fractions of a 404, the contract checks if it needs to burn or mint one of the NFTs of which these fractions are constituent parts.

Taking a look at the Pandoras, you can see their hybrid nature. The NFTs—little floating pixel art cyber-boxes, for the moment, which will unlock to reveal a unique Replicant at their reveal—are selling for over a 10 ETH floor, but if you want to get a fractional exposure, you can go over to Uniswap and purchase whatever amount your budget allows. The $pandora token trades at the same price as the NFT, but you can trade fragments of it.

For the inveterate rarity sniper, it is important to know that when you sell enough fractions of $pandora, you’ll burn an NFT! For those who want to keep hold of a particular Replicant NFT while they’re trading, a locking feature will roll out soon.

Degen Liquidity for NFT Art

Now, many of us are freaking out over these new 404s because the standard could solve the illiquid JPEG problem, making it easy for a collection of cartoon animals to attract liquidity pools at size, using the DEXes we already know for trading meme tokens.

Security researcher 0xQuit has taken a look at the standard’s code and has raised some technical concerns.

Founder Acme replied to these on the project telegram. “I think all criticism is valid, but just to be clear, he’s creating an example where a protocol doesn’t integrate correctly and is leveraging that in an attempt to reflect poorly on us.

Oh, also, we’ve just fully completed an initial Pandora audit, and it will be out today. The second iteration of ERC404 has just started an audit as well and will be audited prior to release.”

With the team saying audits are rolling out imminently for the standard, ERC-404s already being supported by wallets like OKX and Bitget Wallet, and announcements of a proper EIP application on its way, the new hybrid tokens could be a central theme in 2024—and are likely to transform the NFT landscape.

The post What Are ERC-404s? Inside the Hybrid Token Standard appeared first on nft now.

What Is RSIC Metaprotocol? Inside the Mysterious Ordinals Airdrop

https://nftnow.com/guides/what-is-rsic-metaprotocol-inside-the-mysterious-ordinals-airdrop/

An arcane, mysterious Bitcoin Ordinals puzzle, with yield farming and a terse, industrial lore, sprang onto the scene in the last week of January. It’s called the RSIC Metaprotocol, and these Ordinals mine runes, an upcoming fungible token on the Bitcoin blockchain.

Twenty-one thousand RSICs were airdropped for free to active Bitcoin Ordinals addresses, and they are now selling for 0.12 BTC ($5,434) each. Here’s what we know about the project so far.

The Airdrop

The 21,000 RSICs, which stand for Rune Specific Inscription Circuits, are Bitcoin Ordinals that were dropped to a set of recipients who have been active in the Ordinals space since its inception a little over a year ago—they are similar, in this way, to Leonidas’ (completely unrelated) Runestone project, but the exact specifics of the rubric that determined who got an RSIC are unclear.

Some holders of top Ordinals collections, like nodemonkes, Bitcoin Puppets, and Bitcoin Frogs, received RSICs, but others didn’t—so there’s likely an element of randomness involved.

The RSICs were airdropped to a little over 9,000 wallets. Each one looks like a grid of runic symbols like you’d see engraved on a Viking’s sword or a magic amulet. If you’ve got one or more of these in your Ordinals wallet, you’re in luck: They are worth thousands on the open market and grind runes for you until the Bitcoin halving this April.

The rarity of your RSIC is dependent on the symbol that appears in the lower right-hand corner of the grid. If you want this little device to start earning for you, you’ll need to activate it by transferring it—this can be to a wallet you own or even to the same wallet it was airdropped to. Think of it like flipping the power switch of your RSIC to “on.”

Mining Runes

Symbols turn orange with varying frequency, so RSICs with a higher likelihood of turning orange sell for a hefty premium on the open market. On Feb. 7, an RSIC with a very rare symbol—one of only two in the collection—went for 3.25 BTC, or nearly $140,000.

The rarity symbols on your RSIC are linked to how it earns runes for you. Each symbol is assigned a hash value—and this symbol will turn orange if it matches the latest Bitcoin block hash.

As the mighty Bitcoin blockchain trundles forward with its mining of blocks, your RSIC earns. The base value of its output is 21 runes per block—but when its symbol turns orange, boom! It yields 335 runes for that block.

When the Bitcoin halving arrives this April, each RSIC will be entered in a raffle for yet more rune tokens—there will be 21 billion of these fungible coins, and they’ll be mined at the historic 840,000th Bitcoin block.

In the context of the lore of the project, a factory generated the RSICs, which mine runes—these runes are then etched by the “Foundry” (generated and deployed to the wallets that mined them) at halving time.

Whether you held an RSIC for a while or all the way through to the end, you’ll be airdropped the runes that you mined.

In keeping with a collection that is so much about the Bitcoin blockchain’s processes, the RSICs have an interesting provenance. They all have a direct ancestral connection to a very early inscription—#126.

Mechanics and Mysteries

Of course, several interesting mechanics are involved with this game—when to sell and when to hold, what the price and utility of runes will be, and what else the RSICs could be used for as the Ordinals protocol evolves over time. Further developments in the RSIC game, like how to boost, are unrevealed, keeping engagement and FOMO high.

The airdrop mechanic—dropping to some holders of top collections rather than harnessing the reach of influencers and opinion leaders—is also interesting, although frustrating for those who didn’t receive a free RSIC or two.

It’s important to note that about three thousand wallets still hold an RSIC that’s not yet been activated, so check all your wallets thoroughly! You might be holding a valuable little engine, indeed.

According to the RSIC and rune developer, there are only three “sources of truth” about the project: rune_coin on X, runecoin.io, and any inscriptions that appear on sat #470340000.

A sophisticated scam has already popped up: on Feb. 3, a malicious actor sent a decoy inscription to an RSIC team address that will control the upcoming BOOST mechanism. This decoy inscription contained a link to a malicious website incorporating a wallet drainer—and has been sent to the Ordinals version of the burn address.

To keep abreast of the game’s developing machinations, be aware and confirm any rumors with the sources of truth. The project Discord is also active and full of helpful community members.

The post What Is RSIC Metaprotocol? Inside the Mysterious Ordinals Airdrop appeared first on nft now.

Win UEFA Champions League Final Tickets With Mastercard’s New Web3 Game

https://nftnow.com/news/win-uefa-champions-league-final-tickets-with-mastercards-new-web3-game/

How knowledgeable are you about soccer (what the rest of the world, outside the United States, calls football?)

If you are confident about your football trivia skills, you might want to dive into Mastercard’s new web3-powered challenge, where you have a chance to win tickets to the UEFA Champions League Final at London’s Wembley Stadium.

The competition takes place on Mastercard’s new Pass to Priceless—a web3-enabled platform that allows community members to collect free NFTs, which grant access to exclusive experiences in sports, entertainment, fine dining and more.

The competition will take place in real-time; from Feb. 13 to June, thirty minutes before each UEFA Champions League Tuesday match begins, a fresh round of the trivia contest will open.

Round winners will receive match tickets, and will rise on the contest leaderboard. After the April 30 semi-final UEFA Champions League match, the person at the top of the leaderboard will win the grand prize of tickets to the final.

Credit: Mastercard

To Mastercard’s team, the trivia competition is a natural extension of their decades-long existing partnership with UEFA.

“As a UEFA Champions League partner of 30 years, we know first-hand the unwavering passion that football fans have for the game, so we’re excited to leverage our Web3 platform, Pass to Priceless, to put their passion and knowledge to the ultimate test,” Beatrice Cornacchia, Mastercard’s Executive Vice President of marketing and communications for Europe, said in a statement. “Through our football-focused trivia competition, we are bringing together the football community beyond the field, connecting them to priceless possibilities and celebrating the very best of the UEFA Champions League,” she said.

If you want to get involved in the competition, you’ll need to get a Mastercard NFT: go to Priceless.com and pick up a free Mastercard X UEFA Champions League branded NFT. Powered by Moonpay and with a front end designed by web3 creative agency Otherlife, this free NFT unlocks the quiz and prizes for contestants.

To get an edge in the trivia challenge, you can refer friends to the competition—this will earn you “free kicks” that allow you to skip a trivia question you’re absolutely stumped on. You can also earn a “Share the Love of Football” NFT for referring.

Pass to Priceless, a partnership between Mastercard and MoonPay, also features a novel authentication technology, IndexedDB, which securely stores user login credentials within MoonPay’s widget. This is an important replacement for traditional authentication cookies, as Google plans to sunset third-party cookies in 2024.

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Exclusive: Gmoney Talks New 9dcc Collection Ahead of Paris Reveal

https://nftnow.com/runway/exclusive-gmoney-talks-new-9dcc-collection-ahead-of-paris-reveal/

Today (Feb. 6), web3 fashion house 9dcc exclusively revealed to nft now that its new collection of NFC-enabled, on-chain products will be revealed later this month at Paris Fashion Week and NFT Paris.

Led by Web3 founder and investor gmoney, 9dcc, which was recently recognized as “Phygital Brand of the Year” at the Phygicode Impact Awards during Davos 2024, is expanding its collection of fashion and luxury objects—a leap from a catalog of 4,500 items to over 20,000 products available.

Today’s announcement takes place against a backdrop of interest sparked by gmoney’s buzzworthy $1,000,000, 180-day loan against his iconic Ape CryptoPunk, arranged on finance platform Gondi and announced on Feb. 2.

The blockchain-linked NFC chips embedded in 9dcc objects unlock a number of opportunities for holders, including the chance to play exclusive games and the ability to create—and collect—personalized POAPs to commemorate significant events and chance meetings.

nft now sat down with gmoney for an exclusive conversation on the expanded collection, the loan, and more.

Credit: 9dcc

nft now: All this comes in the context of the highly-publicized long-term loan against your iconic Ape. What made you decide to take out the $1 million loan?

gmoney: About three years before the approval of this loan, I broke the internet with the purchase of my Punk. Only four or five months ago, both Rolling Stone and Business of Fashion published articles claiming NFTs are worthless.

With crypto beginning to wake from its slumber and Punks continuing to trade above six figures, I thought, what better way to demonstrate their value than by securing a million-dollar loan using my own famed asset? I love theatrics, and there is no better way to grab everyone’s attention than by making headlines. Now that I have, let’s talk about 9dcc. 

You recently won “Phygital Brand of the Year” at DAVOS 2024; what does that recognition mean to you and 9dcc?

It’s a big step forward for this nascent category. Digital/physical experiences are the future of consumer products. This is an early recognition of this new category.

This marks a significant advancement in this emerging field. The integration of digital and physical experiences represents the future of consumer goods. This early acknowledgment showcases the potential of this new category. 9dcc sits at the forefront of this evolution.

Tell us about the new collection—what products are involved, and what is the unifying thread tying the collection together?

Our inaugural 9dcc collection features 14 distinct looks, encompassing more than 30 premium items, including apparel, accessories, and other lifestyle products, all seamlessly integrated with the Ethereum mainnet blockchain. 

“With crypto beginning to wake from its slumber and Punks continuing to trade above six figures, I thought, what better way to demonstrate their value than by securing a million-dollar loan using my own famed asset?”

gmoney

The launch of our debut collection marks 9dcc’s next moves into defining the 9dcc lifestyle. As a luxury house for the crypto-centric, our commitment is to nurture our strong community from within. We’ve focused on catering to our core Web3 enthusiasts. Hence, we are offering a preview and pre-sale at NFT Paris 2024, providing them with luxury products of trusted integrity and value.

Our larger aim is to create covetable fashion and items that attract a broad audience. This is coupled with our goal of establishing a unifying thread, an aspirational style identity for 9dcc – more to come there soon – incorporating elements that redefine the standards of the luxury market.

Credit: 9dcc

The collection is the first that is fully connected to the blockchain—what does that mean specifically in this case? Feel free to get technical.

Each of these exclusive items is embedded with our innovative “Networked Product” technology. In line with our past releases, scanning the NFC chip in each product reveals a certificate of ownership and authenticity.

This digital component provides exclusive entry into the 9dcc ecosystem, which offers networking opportunities, unique content, and experiences, thereby enriching the value for owners beyond the mere physical item.

“We are scaling the 9dcc network very quickly. The high levels of engagement with these already released items have been a strong proof point, giving us the confidence that we are ready to offer a full wardrobe to our fans.”

GMONEY

You’re expanding the 9dcc product portfolio by over 400 percent. What’s made this possible, and what’s informed your strategy on what products were selected for the expansion? 

9dcc’s success with “Networked Products” speaks for itself. We have successfully launched over 4,000 Networked Products, with a majority of them activated by holders.

In the past few months, we have dramatically increased this number through our newly launched Powered by 9dcc program, where we are offering our tech stack and platform for selected partner brands, creators, and communities.

We are scaling the 9dcc network very quickly. The high levels of engagement with these already released items have been a strong proof point, giving us the confidence that we are ready to offer a full wardrobe to our fans.

Credit: 9dcc

Why did you choose Paris (NFT Paris and Paris Fashion Week) as the setting for the launch?

Paris has always been the heart of traditional fashion and luxury. Countless designers and houses choose to present new ideas there—be they seasonal collections or brand experiments—for feedback from the collective industry. Similarly, NFT Paris has quickly risen to become the “must-attend” gathering in our space by attracting leading communities and creators debuting major advancements and collaborations.

The timing of NFT Paris, starting before Paris Fashion Week (PFW), made it a perfect venue for the launch of our collection. We look forward to this intimate moment with the leaders of the spaces we are disrupting to get direct feedback on what we have created.

“NFT Paris has quickly risen to become the “must-attend” gathering in our space by attracting leading communities and creators debuting major advancements and collaborations.”

GMONEY

What alpha can you reveal about your plans for 9dcc in the coming months? 

The coming months for us will unfold like chapters of a story, where we will start to offer transparency into the expansive universe of 9dcc.

2023 was a year of building for us at 9dcc. We recognized quickly that for “Networked Products” to succeed, we needed a world-class destination to achieve broader adoption. Alongside the design and development of the new collection, our teams have created one of the most robust platforms any phygital is currently connected to.

When you scan one of our nines, you enter into this universe that we’ve created. These moments of access, like scanning, need to be branded and polished into experiences that entertain the crypto-centric and evoke the curious to try and share with their networks.

To be specific, many of our fans will note that we have temporarily paused proof of presence on 9dcc products. We have an exciting new program we are unleashing that will make this into an activity all can connect with, and tokens people will desire to earn and receive.

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CryptoPunks Debut Artist Residency Program With Nina Chanel Abney

https://nftnow.com/news/cryptopunks-debut-artist-residency-program-with-nina-chanel-abney/

On Feb. 6, Yuga Labs announced its new CryptoPunk artist residency program, entitled “Punk in Residence,” which will partner with creators to bring new works to life on-chain.

The inaugural program artist is Nina Chanel Abney, whose art appears in celebrated world-class collections, including The Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Abney is by no means a stranger to Web3—her Super Cool World collection, created in July 2022, has traded over 8,000 ETH in volume. Her artwork explores issues of identity, race, gender, politics, and much more, with bold, iconic colors and patterns.

Yuga gifted Abney a “dev Punk” CryptoPunk of her own —and took her time to pick out the perfect Punk for her.

“Let me first say that it was extremely difficult for me to choose a Cryptopunk,” she told nft now. “There were too many great options for my indecisive self, but I finally landed on Punk #72. This Punk just felt easygoing and cool, yet a bit mysterious,” she said.

Abney will create a unique collection of NFT art in partnership with CryptoPunks that will be offered for sale at Magic Eden and put on display as a part of Abney’s upcoming solo exhibition later in 2024.

Neither Abney nor Yuga CryptoPunks lead Natalie Stone will be drawn much on the collection. “I can’t reveal too much, just yet…but what I can tell you is that we are empowering Nina’s vision here,” Stone told nft now.

“I can’t reveal too much, just yet…but what I can tell you is that we are empowering Nina’s vision here.”

natalie stone

Stone told us that the process of selecting Abney as the inaugural resident artist began with serendipity.

“Little known fact, when we donated our Punk #305 and exhibited her at ICA Miami, Nina had an amazing exhibition (Big Butch Energy) upstairs. We fell in love with her work there, and she continued to be on our radar. I myself am a collector of Nina Super Cool World. Big picture—and we are thinking big picture—we knew we wanted to work with an artist who was both beloved in the traditional art world but also aligned with the ethos and values of Web3. In this way, Nina is a disruptor—just like Punks themselves are (as Nina puts it) an ‘art disruption,’” she explained.

The Punk community and the wider space will have ample opportunity to engage with Abney as the residency progresses. “We plan to host a Twitter Spaces very soon where we’d love the community to participate and let us know what they’d like to learn and hear. So that’s step one – but Nina is very proud to be Punk #72 and a part of an advocate for this collection, community to her audience,” Stone told us.

The residency program will feature two artists from diverse artistic practices each year—and a grounding in web3 isn’t necessarily required. Selected artists, who can be from anywhere in the world, will receive mentorship and technical support getting their works on-chain. Profits from the sale of art created as part of the partnership will be shared equally between the creator and Yuga Labs.

“There were too many great options for my indecisive self, but I finally landed on Punk #72. This Punk just felt easygoing and cool, yet a bit mysterious.”

nina CHANEL abney

Stone is excited about how the residency will evolve. “We have some ideas, but for now, we are going to start with this experiment twice a year – and then learn from the collaboration, but we 100% are looking forward to the long-term future of this program,” she told us.

The inauguration of a new artist residency program is the latest in the CryptoPunks brand’s ongoing set of initiatives to tell the Punk story–and connect it to the future. Punks As Told By CryptoPunks, their docuseries partnership with nft now, featured Punk luminaries like Claire Silver, Seedphrase, and Snowfro in conversation.

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Jose Delbo, Legendary Comic Book and NFT Artist, Dies at 90

https://nftnow.com/news/jose-delbo-legendary-comic-book-and-nft-artist-dies-at-90/

Jose Delbo, a legendary comic book artist with 70 years of experience who also became a beloved NFT artist late in life, has passed away after a long illness. He was 90 years old.

Celebrated as one of nft now’s NFT100 honorees in 2022, Delbo was best known for his work on DC Comics’ “Wonder Woman” and Marvel’s “The Transformers.”

Though he was in his late 80s, he became an early adopter of NFTs, minting work on sites including MakersPlace and Nifty Gateway as early as 2020.

On Feb. 5, his grandson, Nick Frontera, an attorney and NFT enthusiast, shared the sad news on Delbo’s X account. “Today, we lost a legend of a father, grandfather, husband, and artist. Jose Delbo was as kind and as noble a man as there could be. He left a legacy that we can only hope we are blessed with leaving behind ourselves,” Frontera wrote.

“We lost a great artist and amazing human being today. Someone who, despite his age, jumped in NFTs really early.”

Giannis sourdis

Frontera continued, describing the joy Delbo experienced in creating NFT art and participating in the community.

“I know that being able to continue to produce art until the very end brought him such an immense amount of joy through all the difficult times. Even in his recent sickness, he worked on completing and minting a new collection that he wanted to share with the world. This community’s love and support not only gave him a continued sense of purpose, but it allowed him to be at peace that his family would be provided for after his passing,” he posted.

Delbo’s stalwart support of the NFT creative community left a profound impression on many notable artists and collectors in the space, who reacted to the news of his death with an outpouring of fond memories.

“We lost a great artist and amazing human being today. Someone who, despite his age, jumped in NFTs really early. My condolences to his family. Jose Delbo was one of the first artists I started collecting when I started collecting art NFTs in late 2020,” posted collector Giannis Sourdis.

Hackatao, the renowned artist duo, collaborated with Delbo in 2020.

“It was in the autumn of 2020 when Jose Delbo suggested we collaborate with him. The idea of working with a legend who made comic book history immediately captivated us. During the process, we felt his enthusiasm and passion and said to each other: ‘we too want to reach his age by continuing to make art, experimenting with new mediums with the same passion and humanity.’ This is the lesson he passed on to us. Thank you, Jose,” they said on X.

“We too want to reach his age by continuing to make art, experimenting with new mediums with the same passion and humanity.”

HACKATAO

Crypto artist Panter Xhita also took to X to share their respects. “Thank you for your art, dear Jose Delbo. Grateful and honored to have shared this space with you for several years. Forever present in our HISTORY OF CRYPTOART,” they wrote.

Collector Pablo Fraile remembered Delbo as “a kind soul and artistic giant who’s left an indelible mark on our hearts and the art world,” adding that “his passion, pioneering spirit and legacy will forever be a guiding light in the digital realm.”

MakersPlace, the marketplace where Delbo released several collections, also issued a statement. “We are deeply saddened by the news of Jose Delbo’s passing. He was a great artist and a great human. Our condolences go out to the Delbo family and the many artists in our community who knew him. He will be greatly missed.”

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GoDaddy Partners With ENS to Link Domains and Wallets

https://nftnow.com/news/godaddy-partners-with-ens-to-link-domains-and-wallets/

Do you have an ENS as well as a web2 domain name? If that domain is registered with GoDaddy, you can now connect it with your ENS name for free.

In a watershed moment for mainstream adoption of Web3 technology, the ENS team has overcome a significant barrier to bringing domain names over to ENS: high gas fees. While it’s always been possible to connect the two, the often-steep cost of Ethereum gas fees dissuaded many.

The ENS team has deployed new smart contracts that enable the resolution process of traditional domain names within ENS. From now on, no additional cost and no technical knowledge will be required to make the connection.

“Partnering with ENS presents our customers with a unique opportunity to experience the fusion of domain names and blockchain technologies, bringing some great benefits for users in both areas,” said GoDaddy’s president of domains, Paul Nicks, in a statement.

It’s helpful to look at what a DNS registrar like GoDaddy does. DNS is a global naming database that maps human-readable domain names (web addresses) onto the unique string of numbers that the Internet uses to find a website—an IP address. GoDaddy is a leading provider of domain names, and its partnership with ENS makes history, as one of the most popular traditional digital assets—a domain name—can now connect easily with the decentralized naming system that is ENS.

ENS, founded by Nick Johnson in 2017, features over two million names registered on-chain (and four million off-chain) and aims to be a neutral naming system for everyone on the Ethereum blockchain.

Want to get started joining up your ENS and your domains at GoDaddy? ENS team member gregskril.eth compiled a step-by-step blog post showing you how. “To ensure a streamlined user experience, GoDaddy has added a new section within its domain management interface. Here, customers can easily associate an Ethereum address with their domain names, allowing seamless integration with hundreds of applications across the web3 ecosystem. The process is simple and user-friendly, requiring no additional costs or technical expertise,” he explained.

Once you’ve connected your ENS and DNS, you can use your website name in a host of web3 applications that support ENS. This is a powerful tool, allowing individuals, communities, and mainstream brands to combine their web2 and web3 experiences for users in novel ways. Wallets, block explorers, marketplaces, web3 social sites like Farcaster, and many more applications will likely feel the impact.

The web3 community has reacted excitedly to the news—and Song A Day creator Jonathan Mann has commemorated the occasion with a celebratory tune. 

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Upcoming Drops: Feb. 5 — Feb. 11

https://nftnow.com/art/upcoming-drops-feb-5-feb-11/

Let’s face it: The NFT space moves really fast. Considering how quickly things can change in the metaverse, a week in NFTs might as well be a month IRL.

Don’t get us wrong — the merrier, the more people onboarded into the space. But because of the constant influx of great art and ideas, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with all the news, launches, and general happenings.

Well, you can put the days of endless Twitter and Discord scrolling behind you as we pull together a weekly list of upcoming NFT drops you don’t want to miss. Here’s what to look out for this week.

Dark0: Ethereal Cycles

Who: Dark0 is a multimedia artist who’s worked for top commercial brands and has been releasing one artwork a day on Foundation for the past year. This recent work, in collaboration with Tschuuuly, is an excellent example from the collection. They’re all skulls in wild, dazzling variations.

What: Dropping on Foundation as a 1/1. There are plenty of other pieces from the collection available to collect, too! 

When: The final piece of the cycle mints on Feb. 6—keep an eye on Dark0’s X for the time.

Where: https://foundation.app/collection/etherealcycle

Why: Dark0’s mastery of styles, imagination, and dedication to his craft are worth celebrating—and collecting!

Ryan Koopmans: The Origin

Who: Featured at SuperRare and Sotheby’s, Ryan Koopmans imagines wonderful spaces that would be at home in Susannah Clarke’s Piranesi. The juxtaposition of nature, architecture, and design is singular and powerful.

What: The Origin is a dynamic, on-chain Ordinal artwork that shifts its appearance in a day/night cycle. The lovely room it depicts is perfect for meditating, creating, or casting spells in. It’s a 1/1 with a reserve price of .5 BTC.

When: Auction kicks off Feb. 6 at 11 am EST

Where: Magic Eden

Why: This is a rare chance to grab a Koopmans 1/1 with special technical features—and his first Ordinals drop.

Pindar Van Arman x NFT Paris: Reflection

Who: In collaboration with the upcoming NFT Paris event, AI and robotics art pioneer Pindar Van Arman is releasing his first collection created using his Reflection AI system. This robotic creation engine is the result of two decades of Pindar’s meticulous research and practice.

What: 999 unique on-chain artworks at .33 ETH each

Where: sovrn.art

When: Feb 7, 12 pm ET

Why: These evocative, haunting beings are dazzlingly new and instantly recognizable as PVA pieces. Holders also get a free ticket to NFT Paris (or an upgrade to VIP status if they’re already coming).

Hats.Sats

Who: belikehats is a street artist, fine artist, and illustrator who moved into the world of NFTs, starting out on Solana and branching out into ETH.

What: hats.sats, his biggest drop yet, ties Ordinals inscriptions to real works of street art created by Hats. It’s a refreshing and impactful way to bridge the gap between on-chain and real-world art.

When: Feb. 19:00–19.30 GMT Wednesday for allowlist: 0.055BTC
21.30 GMT Wednesday for public mint: 0.065BTC

Where: Magic Eden

Why: Hats brings rigor and a stunning visual element to everything he does. With Ordinals popping, this might be his breakout drop!

Laurence Fuller x Vincent D’Onofrio: Winter Garden

Who: Hollywood legends turned word wizards, Vincent D’Onofrio and Laurence Fuller, with curation by web3 legend Studio Paiman.

What: “Winter Garden” is a collection by Graphite Method, a partnership between Laurence Fuller and Vincent D’Onofrio. Combining exquisite poetry and lush cinematic visuals, the collection is a rare combination of the rigorous linguistic artistry and the skillful acting chops of these two luminaries.

Minting on Arbitrum via http://Layerr.xyz, the collection will offer an affordable open edition as well as 500 1/1s for .1 ETH.

Where: Layerr.xyz

When: Feb. 8, 12 pm EST

Why: The rarity of a performance-based NFT, the high caliber of writing and acting in the pieces, and their visual beauty make this a top priority mint this week.

The post Upcoming Drops: Feb. 5 — Feb. 11 appeared first on nft now.

Exclusive: Terrell Jones Announces First Solo Exhibition At Superchief LA

https://nftnow.com/art/exclusive-terrell-jones-announces-first-solo-exhibition-at-superchief-la/

Celebrated NFT creator Terrell Jones, who calls himself a pop-precisionism artist, will have his first solo exhibition this March at Superchief’s Los Angeles gallery.

Opening March 16, the show, “PARIAHS,” features works that converge around a single theme and subject—the Deville Crime Family. These characters are fiends for the modern age, relaxing by the pool, dining out, and even hitting the poker table—depicted in Jones’ distinctive style, looking like they just stepped out of an Instagram feed with millions of followers.

According to the Superchief team, Jones uses these distinctive characters—who also include a demonic Doberman, a fiery skeleton, and an angel—to pose a question, as written in Superchief’s statement about the show: “Are the Devilles inherently evil, or has society’s condemnation shaped their devilish destiny?”

Born in 1997 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Jones kicked off his drawing career on the walls of his childhood home. With influences including manga and cartoons, film and fashion, he blends pop art, realism, and precisionism into the unique style he calls pop precisionism.

Credit: Superchief

Alongside the new “PARIAHS” collection, the 9,000 square foot LA Superchief Gallery—all of which will be given over to this exhibition—will also display immersive installations and interactive pieces, as well as physical paintings and digital artworks by Jones.

Active in the NFT space since 2022, Jones moved from Michigan to Los Angeles to help his career flourish. He was named an NFT100 honoree in 2023.

“Moving from Michigan to Los Angeles was a big step in my career that’s been made easier by all of the support I’m getting from the local community.”

TERRELL JONES

“It has been quite the journey to get to this point, but I’m thankful that I’m here. Moving from Michigan to Los Angeles was a big step in my career that’s been made easier by all of the support I’m getting from the local community,” he told nft now. “I’ve had an amazing time exploring different art events, exhibits, and museums. With a culture this focused on the love of art, I feel right at home.”

Jones uses a careful and methodical style in his digital art, with lots of layers on each piece to ensure he has total control over the outcome and can create a clean look. A solo exhibition at Superchief is a decisive vote of confidence in his creative output; the gallery, launched in 2021, has established itself as a powerful presence in the digital art space, having produced events alongside Christie’s, UNICEF, and the United Nations as well as at major NFT conferences.

“I’m beyond excited to be embarking on my first solo show, and I’m deeply grateful for the enthusiasm shared by the wonderful team at Superchief. Collaborating with them has me excited for the future,” Jones told us.

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Collect Three or More Ordinals? You Have an Airdrop Coming

https://nftnow.com/collectibles/collect-three-or-more-ordinals-you-have-an-airdrop-coming/

With Runestone, a project from historical NFTs advocate Leonidas, the airdrop meta is coming to Bitcoin Ordinals.

Its goal is to drop a single Runestone–a Bitcoin Ordinal–to any Bitcoin address holding three or more non-text (or JSON script) Ordinals on or before block height 826,600—one year after the Ordinals protocol was released.

At block height 840,000, the Runestone protocol will go live, and thousands of Bitcoin Ordinal wallets will receive their Runestone. Although Leonidas promises this Ordinal inscription will have no utility and serves as a memento of the first year of Ordinals’ existence, interest in the airdrop is high.

“Volunteer contributors in the Discord determined that there are ~110,000 addresses that held three or more non-TXT/JSON inscriptions at block height 826,600 (6 days ago on the 1-year anniversary of Ordinals).

Using parent-child, batch inscribing, and delegation, a Runestone could be inscribed and airdropped to all ~110,000 addresses for ~2.3 BTC at 30 sat/vB. At current BTC/USD prices, that would be $96,724 total, with a cost of $0.88 per recipient.

This would be the largest Ordinals airdrop ever, and the vast majority of year-one Ordinals collectors would receive it regardless of whether they were a whale or a minnow. Given each Runestone would likely have value far exceeding the 88 cents in fees it would take to execute it, it would be irrational for the year one Ordinals community not to reward themselves with it,” Leonidas posted on Jan. 27.

Instead of a well-bankrolled plan aimed at making a profit, Runestone is built as a volunteer-led project, so Leonidas is asking folks to step up: he’s looking for engineers to help with the inscribing of the Runestones and a mining pool to donate the 4MB Bitcoin block that will be needed to put them all on-chain.

“Runestone is a 100% volunteer, decentralized initiative to reward the year one Ordinals community, but it will not happen without help,” he posted on Feb. 1 on X.

“Runestone is a 100% volunteer, decentralized initiative to reward the year one Ordinals community, but it will not happen without help.”

leonidas

The team is also looking for a volunteer to donate a rare sat—a fragment of Bitcoin mined on a particular historical date or at the beginning or end of a Bitcoin milestone like a rise in mining difficulty level.

In keeping with the volunteer nature of the project, a couple of community initiatives have sprung up to help Ordinals enjoyoooors check whether their wallets are eligible to receive a Runestone.

You can check your Ordinals addresses via the links on this post. It’s important to note that there are plenty of edge cases—if you think your address qualifies but it’s not listed in one of the checkers, get in touch with the Runestone team via their forum-based Discord.

The block at which the Runestones will be issued is also the point at which Bitcoin’s next halving takes place—sometime in the next few months in 2024.

It’s important to note that the airdrop is per address—so many people who engaged with Ordinals early on using tools like Sparrow Wallet, where each Ordinal had to have its own address, may not be eligible to receive a Runestone.

While the Runestone artwork has been chosen, the imagery and artist are still a secret. The placeholder artwork? It looks a lot like a Bitcoin Rock.

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