In 2020 CryptoArtNet founder Clyde F. Smith joined the Blockchain Game Alliance (BGA) as an individual member for a couple of reasons. In particular, he hoped to spread the word about CryptoArtNet to folks in blockchain gaming. The return of BGA’s Demo Day has created just that opportunity.
Smith has long been interested in the primacy of art in NFT Land. One of his early blog posts for Crypto Art News asked the question, “Aren’t NFTs Mostly Cryptoart?” Meant, in part, as a provocation, the post also addressed the fact that many blockchain games centered around art. For example, one might consider CryptoKitties a game designed to produce art NFTs.
The upcoming BGA Demo Day gives CryptoArtNet a chance to introduce itself to the blockchain gaming community. This revival of a popular event will take place the last Friday of every month beginning January 29th.
The January 29th edition of BGA Demo Day kicks off at 10 am Eastern U.S. time which is 4 pm CET. CryptoArtNet is currently scheduled for 11:05 am Eastern time but come early and check out a rich assortment of demos.
In 2021, CryptoArtCoin holders will assume governance of CryptoArtCoin. Since CryptoArtCoin is not and will not become a governance token for CryptoArtNet, it seems appropriate to establish a clear separation between the two projects.
The history of the two has been intertwined and CryptoArtCoin is often referred to as CryptoArtNet’s social token. While a close relationship will continue and CryptoArtNet will provide support and promotional services for CryptoArtCoin, the future is open-ended beyond that relationship.
So, for the time being, CryptoArtNet will pause the process of awarding new members CryptoArtCoin at the end of this calendar year. Current members who have not claimed CryptoArtCoin may do so by year’s end at the level offered when they created a profile at CryptoArtNet. These rewards, part of a Proof of Participation program, may return after a decision-making process by CryptoArtCoin holders in early 2021.
Until now the governance of both CryptoArtNet and CryptoArtCoin have been operating under a sole proprietorship functioning on a continuum that ranges from Wise Shepherd to Mad King. You can call that one for yourself!
CryptoArtNet will continue under my direction and I will also oversee the process of CryptoArtCoin’s transition in early 2021. If CryptoArtCoin holders decide on a path that includes my involvement, I will continue to serve to the best of my abilities.
CryptoArtNet members know where to reach me with questions and comments and the CryptoArtNet Contact Form remains open despite its primary use as a conduit for sp@mmy business outreach.
Your Wise Shepherd/Mad King,
[Note: Golden CryptoArtCoin version of CryptoArtNet logo courtesy Jeff Davis.]
I am excited to announce that CryptoArtNet is the recipient of a generous William M. Peaster $WHALE Grant. Given that CryptoArtNet currently has no payroll, these funds will cover our operating expenses for some time as well as helping us move beyond “good enough” to higher quality services for the NFT art community. In addition, I’d like to sketch out the bigger picture for CryptoArtNet as context for our first funding event.
The $WHALE Grant
When William contacted me to let me know he was giving us a $WHALE Grant, I was delighted. It’s a very generous gesture that provides real support for CryptoArtNet and for myself. In the most basic sense, it means that CryptoArtNet is no longer funded out-of-pocket and decision making can be less restrained financially.
The $WHALE grant program is an excellent example of how community building can go beyond one’s individual walls and help grow the larger pie.
Roughly speaking, this grant is likely to fund:
A year of CryptoArtNet’s web expenses from hosting to WordPress plugins, such as the Directories Pro plugin powering our Directory of CryptoArtists, to additional third party services.
The cost of incorporating in early 2021. Currently CryptoArtNet is a sole proprietorship. Unless we find it likely that we will be taking on investors in 2021, an LLC seems the most practical path forward.
A low-cost press release to reach out to conventional media. We’ve gotten close to zero interest from crypto media outlets. I think that will change over time but a lot of these operations only see numbers and we don’t have big numbers yet. It’s time to expand our presence on the web beyond this limited neighborhood.
A modest chunk of $WHALE to use for liquidity when $CRAC officially launches beyond CryptoArtNet. $CRAC, aka CryptoArtCoin, is the social currency of CryptoArtNet with emerging aspirations to become a key token for the larger NFT art world. Plans are to list on a DEX in 2021. Being able to launch with support for $WHALE/$CRAC pairs would be a very cool thing.
The Bigger Picture
The above may sound like a lot for a single grant to accomplish but CryptoArtNet is a very lean organization. At this point, the primary constraint is my time since I do everything at CryptoArtNet. That will change as we move into 2021, The Year of $CRAC, and community members will have many opportunities to participate and help create our future.
For now, members are updating their profiles, spreading the word and posting new art releases on our extremely beta New NFT Art stream. $CRAC is dispersed for Proof of Participation and there will be many more such opportunities for community members to help grow the site and make The Year of $CRAC a big success!
I haven’t spoken much publicly about CryptoArtCoin, saving most such news for artists holding $CRAC, but my hope is that it can ultimately provide funding for CryptoArtNet as well as financial rewards for members.
My motivation, in addition to rewarding our work, is to have a form of funding directly related to CryptoArtNet membership that can set the stage for community ownership. I don’t know exactly what that looks like but I’m closely following developments from DAOs to governance tokens to coops to “exiting to community” as a theme.
If you’re in cryptoart and interested in such things, let’s talk. There’s room for investors but my experiences in that realm to date feel like Web 2.0 all over again and I’ve already been down that road.
New horizons beckon!
I believe CryptoArtNet can do a lot more for artists. The William M. Peaster $WHALE Grant is a big vote of confidence for that future and a very real and practical show of support.
So Who Is William M. Peaster?
If you’re very deep into NFTs and cryptoart you should be familiar with William. He is the leading business writer in the NFT and cryptoart space both in terms of quality and knowledge.
I have a couple of updates at CryptoArtNet to announce. In particular, we now have a stream of new NFT art releases to which members can post. Hopefully this feature will get more attention on members’ art for sale.
All members can now post one announcement a day of new cryptoart releases or of related events.
It looks pretty cool already. I want to pull the pinned tweet once people know what’s up so there’s art at the beginning of the feed.
One of the nice things about New NFT Art Releases is that it gives one an easy way to keep up with new art across platforms without all the noise of Twitter. I do love Twitter but it makes it hard to keep up with art sometimes.
However, I want to see if I can set up a Twitter feed for the posts. I think I can also set up social media sharing links. So there’s more to come.
The plugin I’m using is a social network plugin from Peepso. It has a lot of other capabilities but I’ve hesitated to launch a social network given that we have things like Twitter and Discord.
You can find more of the features of Peepso here. I’ve got all the add-ons, from a previous project that imploded, and you can find additional features under the Plugins menu or by clicking on screen navigation elements.
Here are some questions I have for you along with contact points and markup tips. If you want something, tell me about it!
I’d be happy to hear from non-members, including collectors, about any features that would be helpful such as non-member accounts for commenting as well as such features as direct messaging, etc.
To be honest, people held such divergent opinions about terminology that I just went with my own preferences that fit as well as any other. But the discussion is worth checking out because folks went deeper than simply clarifying usage.
The web directory is meant to be as simple and practical as possible. Now that it’s launched I can add links and new categories as needed.
I think both newcomers and folks who simply want to check in for resources they haven’t yet encountered will find it of use.
If you have a suggestion for a resource, please use this form to let me know about it.
CryptoArtNet’s first 13 members are dubbed the Baker’s Dozen. They and the rest of the first hundred are called Founding Members. As we head to 250 members, CryptoArtNet has decided to honor the next 150 as the Second Wave.
This amount was raised from the original $1000, in part, because some of the Founding Artists passed on this disbursement. Instead of raking in the undistributed $CRAC, CryptoArtNet decided to share the wealth with more new members. The first disbursement will be during the last week of July.
Another consideration is that our first monetization opportunity, now under development and launching later this summer, will require a $2500 CryptoArtCoin buy-in. Though there will be ways to earn that back by publicizing the site, we decided to get everyone off to a solid start from the beginning.
If you’re interested in being part of the Second Wave, please apply here and we’ll get you started.
Keep in mind that our founder, Clyde F. Smith, is periodically unavailable to create accounts due to his return to the workforce but can still respond to questions via email [clyde(at)cryptoartnet(dot)com] or via twitter DMs at Flux Research and CryptoArtNet.
Welcome to the first edition of CryptoArtNet’s CryptoArt News Roundup. I start with acknowledging our own launch and then dive a bit into the growing social currency and personal token scene powered primarily by Roll. This isn’t limited to cryptoart and I stray a bit in covering the phenomenon.
Generally speaking it’s tough to focus on cryptoart news alone because it overlaps with a lot of developments. But I’ve mostly cut out cryptocollectibles including those cats and stars even though they are pretty darn relevant to the future of cryptoart markets.
I also managed to almost completely ignore the growing Decentraland/Cryptovoxels scene which is very important to cryptoart and is also quite hot right now. No disrespect intended!
Biggest News of the Month!
What’s newsworthy is a matter of perception. I saw one new art-oriented NFT marketplace announced widely this week in secondary crypto media outlets and it looked like it was basically a paid press release distro. The Block covered it but didn’t link to a site and I can’t find one nor a Twitter account so I’m treating is as not yet happening.
But CryptoArtNet launched this month and that’s big news to me!
I also connected with Roll, which is powering a number of personal token releases at the moment, and CryptoArtNet now has its own social currency called CryptoArtCoin or $CRAC. This token is meant as incentive for signups and for promoting the site and will primarily be used to participate in monetization opportunities on the site. More on that topic in a month or so!
Each one of these is a bit different and I’m probably going to write a couple more. Usually I post the same thing everywhere but I guess I’ve been on a roll this week, so to speak!
Are Social Currencies and Personal Tokens Securities?
The more I think about it, the more I’m concerned about how the SEC is going to view personal tokens and social currencies. I’m treating $CRAC as a utility token akin to loyalty points that can be exchanged for future services. That’s why I will not be involved with secondary market activity of any kind until I see how the SEC weighs in on this topic. But what about those tokens that literally offer shares in an individual’s future production of wealth and are already trading on Uniswap?
As with most legal questions, the answer is “it depends.” Aaron Wright shared some tweets on the topic (via Jake Chervinsky) from the perspective of personal tokens whose contracts are somewhat ambiguous and mostly about finding a “way to organize and incentivize a network around an individual, brand, group, etc.”
Wright initially mentions Alex Masmej’s $ALEX token which has been getting a lot of the attention as one that is “just meaningful between the parties in a purposefully amorphous way.” However, his initial perception was not the case, people informed him of that and he backpedaled on $ALEX which does look a lot like a security and may ultimately catch the attention of the SEC which is my biggest concern about such tokens.
WhaleShark.Pro Launches $WHALE
Noted cryptoart collector WhaleShark.Pro released a unique Roll token this month called $WHALE. It’s both a personal token, due to its partial reliance on the WhaleShark.Pro brand and community, and whatever you’d call an opportunity to buy shares in a basket of assets.
While I wasn’t that surprised that $CRAC raised little interest from the media outlets I contacted, one would think the unique nature of the $WHALE offering would have generated more response. This is an innovative offering but WhaleShark.Pro’s celebrity seems to be primarily based in the cryptoart scene rather than the larger tech and media scene in which swim those releasing more highly visible personal tokens.
Then again $WHALE is backed by a bunch of art while the more media-worthy personal tokens are from young guys with bright futures aka the usual tech media darlings.
Ben Elliot: First at Being Ben Elliot
Influencer Artist Ben Elliot has announced a personal token pegged to his art career that will debut in either late 2020 or sometime in 2021.
Apparently he considered releasing it via Roll, which uses the Ethereum blockchain, and is now talking Stellar, which has its own blockchain. He’s also claiming a first though I doubt it will be a first of any kind by late 2020 except to have Elliot’s name attached. At least that gives him some time to release actual cryptoart!
Tokenized Cassette Tapes!
Wish I had more time to talk about $TAPE. Cool project and the coverage gets into what’s happening in the music scene a bit as well some news of Zora. Definitely worth checking out for artists making physical product:
Celebrity NFT platform Nifty Gateway included Hackatao in Drop 5. Blue chip former street artist Kenny Scharf also made the drop.
As Nifty Gateway notes, Hackatao are known as actual cryptoartists:
“Their involvement in the crypto art scene and their contribution to its community – one of the most remarkable and special aspects of the space – are crucial.”
Of course, all artists releasing cryptoart can be considered cryptoartists. I’m not as interested in the celebrity space but I am hoping such activity will spur more mainstream adoption without undermining the grassroots community of cryptoartists. At least, not too much since that process is inevitable. Everything that’s happening to date is fairly predictable except for the personal token aspect though that’s already falling into a narrative arc.
Josie’s been on a tear this month with all sorts of great artists including Skeenee, Coldie and Katy Arrington as well as Conlan from Async Art.
CryptoArt as a New Asset Class
Speaking of narrative arcs, we’re seeing more CryptoArt 101 coverage that recognizes a new asset class is emerging. Daniel Kuhn has a nice piece at Coindesk that uses Nifty Gateway as a jumping off point for a discussion of various aspects of the emerging market. Cryptoartists Max Osiris and Coldie both make brief appearances but the piece largely sidesteps the cryptoart community to focus on everybody else that’s getting in on the action.
Yonatan Ben Shiman of Virtual Humans tries to reframe the growing cryptoart movement as Virtual Art since that fits the site’s Virtual Influencer focus and business model. My only problem with the use of the word virtual is that it has become a stand-in for digital. The reality is cryptoart is not virtual. It’s real digital art. Beyond that, frame it however you need to make that money!
Speaking of Virtual, L’Atelier has a stylish and relevant report on the Virtual Economy. Much of it is about adjacent territory but it’s worth a look and definitely worth passing on as a form of legitimation for the space.
Turner Wright has a bit about the cryptoart market from the perspective of artist Vesa Kivinen. It would be nice if the piece linked out to Kivinen’s web presence however that’s an ongoing issue with crypto media outlets just like it is with mainstream and tech media outlets. But, hey, plenty of internal links to strengthen SEO!
So Much More CryptoArt News
Honestly, I’m running out of time for creating this post. That’s what I get for sharing my opinion and being good at gathering news. Here are some links out to various happenings from the month which has been quite rich. There’s much more of note that I don’t get to in this post.
Feel free to check out the CryptoArtCoin landing page over at Roll but I also wanted to give people an explanation of what this new social currency is all about and what it means for artists with CryptoArtNet listings.
CryptoArtCoin or $CRAC is launching as a social currency for the CryptoArtNet directory of artists making cryptoart in partnership with Roll. I’m going to be releasing quite a bit of it in the early stages to incentivize artists creating listings on the site. HODLing is highly recommended.
Here’s the deal:
The first 13 members with live profiles, aka The Baker’s Dozen, will receive 10,000 $CRAC the first week of June.
The first 100 live profiles (excluding The Baker’s Dozen) or those created by June 30, whichever comes first, will receive 5,000 $CRAC the first week of July. These artists will also be designated as Founding Artists as will The Baker’s Dozen.
Artists creating profiles after that milestone will receive 1,000 $CRAC the first week of the following month until further notice.
Additional opportunities to earn $CRAC will be created in exchange for promoting the site and recruiting new members beginning in July.
$CRAC will initially be redeemable for monetization and promotion services created by CryptoArtNet.
However, most promotional efforts will be focused on the site in order to promote all listed artists and so will not require spending precious $CRAC. It should be noted that the categories of Baker’s Dozen and Founding Artists will increase in promotional value as more artists come on board.
If you have questions or suggestions, be in touch:
CryptoArtNet: A Directory of Artists Making CryptoArt
It’s still a work-in-progress but CryptoArtNet has been announced by some of the artists and has its own Twitter feed so let’s call it a launch!
There’s lots to be done but the basic concept of a directory for artists creating cryptoart is established. Now on to making it a better site for artists and for those who want to find out more about artists with whom they’re familiar or to discover artists with whom they’re unfamiliar.
My hope is that CryptoArtNet can also be a resource for bridging the gap between the cryptoart scene and the wide range of people that don’t know we exist but will find us of interest.
Any CryptoArtist Can Have a Free Listing
Artist accounts are free and always will be. Anyone with publicly posted tokenized art can apply here.
If you apply, be sure to check your sp@m folder where emails from the site are ending up despite my attempts at fixing the problem via DNS records.
Artists can upload gif, jpg and png files. Each gallery has a maximum of 6 files up to 50 mb per image.
If you have a listing or create a listing and see that the form is missing a site you want linked, you can hit me back via the email I’ll be sending you during the account creation process or via our contact form.
You can also hit me up on Twitter @fluxresearch with questions or suggestions. My DMs are open.
There is an email newsletter for this blog which will feature site updates, news about listed artists and periodic cryptoart news roundups.
Future Plans: IPFS, Monetization, Social Currency, Survey Responses
Long-term goals include a move to IPFS hosting of images, gifs and videos, most likely involving Pinata. At that point, things should open up quite a bit in terms of the art that can be posted.
I am also considering possibilities for monetizing the site including ways for listed artists to get paid. While that will include a tip button, I’d like to see more substantial opportunities based on people’s cryptoart that will supplement gallery sales. More on that at a future date.
Currently I’m talking to the folks at Roll about a social currency for the site. I’ve been inspired by what cryptoartists have been doing with their Roll currencies and I’d like to explore the possibilities for CryptoArtNet and listed artists.
The original group of artists that I contacted to see if there was interest in a directory of artists making cryptoart filled out a survey with a number of questions about what they’d like to see and what they thought about my plans. I’m going to do a follow-up document in the Support Forum discussing how they see things and how I’ve tried to respond to their preferences and suggestions.