August 2022

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The CC0 Party Is Growing: a16z’s “Can’t Be Evil” License Drops

The Alpha:

Venture capital firm a16z’s crypto arm just dropped a set of free, public NFT licenses eligible for any NFT creator to use.The licenses are designed to aid creators in protecting or freeing the intellectual property rights of their projects.Additionally, the “Can’t Be Evil” licenses hope to help NFT holders understand what they can and can’t do with NFTs bearing these licenses.

Why it matters:

In the last few months, several high-profile NFT projects went CC0. The movement, dubbed “CC0 summer” by NFT community members on Twitter, was headlined by Moonbirds’ shift to this new licensing agreement. The reason? As mentioned by Proof Founder Kevin Rose in his announcement of the news, it is the hope that opening up Moonbirds’ IP rights would “[empower] anyone with the ability to creatively remix work for commercial purposes. [CC0] is a promise by the creator of a work that the work itself can become a credibly neutral platform — without restraint or the fear of restriction or creative limitations.”

But what does this have to do with a16z’s gesture, exactly? For starters, the venture capital firm contributed a substantial portion of Proof’s $50-million raise. With the investment, a16z has shown complete alignment with Proof’s goal of utilizing CC0 as a means to empower creators and collectors alike. But how, exactly?

What’s next:

With a16z’s “Can’t Be Evil” licenses, NFT creators and collectors alike may finally be able to skip the legal literacy required to plan what they hope to do with their newly created — or acquired — NFTs. As mentioned in a16z’s blog post, U.S. copyright laws can be prohibitively restrictive. Upon purchasing any piece of art, whether physical or digital, no copyrights are automatically granted. This means that without proper conferral of rights to the new owner of a piece of art, that new owner might not even have the right even to display their shiny new artwork. The “Can’t Be Evil” licenses want to change all of that, which could signify an evolution of CC0 — enforced on the blockchain via smart contracts accessible via GitHub.

Embedding these rights into NFTs via smart contract ensures that licenses can’t simply be changed after the fact. Thieves won’t automatically gain the rights to NFTs with the “Can’t Be Evil” licenses baked into their smart contracts, either. As per a16z’s blog post, “[the] licenses aim to minimize the burden of theft on NFT holders by ensuring that the licensed rights don’t pass to anyone who illegally acquires their NFT.”

So does this mean that every new NFT creator should jump at the chance to integrate the new licenses into their upcoming projects? Not quite. With this move, a16z hopes to foster deeper consideration amongst users on the legal end of the NFT spectrum. “We hope this set [of licenses] is a starting point for fostering a trustless NFT licensing ecosystem and encouraging greater standardization as the space grows,” they said. Let’s hope they’re right.

But wait! There’s more:

CC0 and NFTs: Understanding OwnershipMoonbirds Just Made All Their NFTs Public DomainA New CryptoPunks License Is Finally Live. Here’s Why It MattersLicensing Issues Force One of the Oldest NFT Games to Shut Down

The post The CC0 Party Is Growing: a16z’s “Can’t Be Evil” License Drops appeared first on nft now.

Ticket Marketplace Giant Ticketmaster Chooses Flow Blockchain for NFT Push

This week, Ticketmaster Entertainment, Inc. revealed the company will give event organizers the ability to mint non-fungible token (NFT) tickets via the Flow blockchain. Last November, Ticketmaster said it was working with Polygon but since Super Bowl LVI, the ticket sales and distribution behemoth started working with the Dapper Labs-managed Flow.

Ticketmaster Has Minted More Than 5 Million NFTs Using Flow’s Technology

On August 31, 2022, a report detailed that Ticketmaster will allow event organizers to issue NFTs using the Flow blockchain. Organizers will be able to mint NFTs before, during, or after an event and they can represent tickets or memorabilia, VIP access and rewards as well. The report notes that the ticketing agency has already minted 5 million NFTs via the Flow network.

Clients that have issued NFTs include The Black Crowes, the Apollo Theater, and Gavin DeGraw. Ticketmaster originally said it would use Polygon but in February the world’s largest ticket marketplace decided to use Flow for the Super Bowl LVI NFT tickets.

Flow already works with the NFL via the partnership it worked out for the “NFL All Day” NFTs. Furthermore, the Dapper Labs operated Flow was also leveraged to mint “NBA Top Shot” NFTs and “UFC Strike” NFTs. Furthermore, NFL game attendees can get Flow-issued NFT tickets from over a hundred games from the 2022 season.

Flow Says ‘Ticketmaster Is Empowering Event Organizers’

All-time statistics from the NFT data aggregator shows that the Flow blockchain commands the fourth largest position in terms of NFT sales among 19 different blockchains. The Flow blockchain has recorded $1,098,215,401 in all-time NFT sales, according to data. 30-day stats indicate Flow is the fifth-largest just below Immutable X which saw a 417% rise in the past month.

Flow also confirmed the Ticketmaster deal on Wednesday when it tweeted about it to Live Nation fans. “Big news for live event fans,” Flow said. “[Ticketmaster] event organizers now can offer digital keepsakes, minted [on Flow].” The company continued:

Activate access to experiences and rewards. And that’s not all — [Ticketmaster] is empowering event organizers to enhance live experiences for fans — Share your experiences online, never lose that ticket from the show you loved, new ways to reward communities, [and] enjoy VIP experiences.

What do you think about Ticketmaster choosing the Flow blockchain for ticket-related NFTs, memorabilia, VIP access, and rewards? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Blockchain Gaming Needs Triple-A Titles to Truly Go Mainstream

For better or for worse, one of the buzziest words in the gaming landscape is now “blockchain.” Blockchain gaming, crypto games, NFT games — whatever feels most apt works. While the Web3 community believes gaming may be the biggest driving force in onboarding the mainstream into Web3, gamers themselves have long resisted the idea.

In the wider gaming community, blockchain games don’t receive the highest respect. But why? For most gamers, the problem might not have anything to do with environmental concerns or the looming threat of bad faith actors licking their paws at any mention of the word “blockchain.” The issue could be that there aren’t any blockchain games truly capable of capturing the mainstream gaming market right at this moment.

The triple-A problem

Does this mean that blockchain games are inherently bad? Absolutely not. They just can’t compete with the mainstream gaming industry’s capacity to capture the attention of most gamers. At least, not yet.

Gamers looking to kick back and have a good time just want one thing: an excellent gaming experience. So where do they go to look for new games? On online game marketplaces for the platform of their choice.

Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo — the three biggest players in console gaming — have in-house marketplaces. On the other hand, PC gamers have options like Steam or the Epic Games Store. But what all these digital storefronts have in common is that the games they feature on their front pages are big-budget triple-A game experiences built by some of the most experienced and talented developers in the industry. And of course, gamers just can’t get enough of them.

Source: NPD

That isn’t just a blanket assessment of what gamers want. NPD’s report on the best-selling games of 2022 so far suggests that these types of games sell, and sell really well. A lot of this comes down to trust. Namely, trust that games shipped by big publishers will work, will come with a certain degree of polish, and of course, will be fun. Name recognition also plays a big role: From this year alone, returning fans of long-running franchises like Call of Duty, Gran Turismo, and even LEGO Star Wars gladly parted ways with their cash to play new entries in these franchises that came out this year.

Investing in gaming culture before money

So if all blockchain game developers have to do to appeal to mainstream gaming audiences is make a triple-A game, then why don’t they just do that? Funding certainly won’t be an issue. In Web3 — specifically, the NFT space — projects regularly raise millions of dollars in funding, with some initiatives even rising into the eight-figure ballpark. The thing is, you need a lot more than just cash to make a good game. You need to know how to make a good game, and that means creative drive, talent, and skill.

But most of all, you also need to want to make a good game, full stop. Crypto veteran and budding blockchain game developer Roy Blackstone believes that many blockchain game developers hoping to launch the next big play-to-earn (P2E) game don’t. “The problem is the games industry. Now it’s so big that there’s hundreds of billions of dollars to be made essentially. All this money’s up for grabs, and [that isn’t encouraging] gamers to come in and build games. It’s attracting people who see the dollar signs,” he said in an interview with nft now.

These types of new entrants into the blockchain gaming space are people who “have never played a video game in their life,” added Blackstone. Sadly, Blackstone said this mentality has also affected the mainstream gaming industry. Even in Web2, game developers have resorted to increasingly predatory monetization tactics in hopes that players spend as much time and money on their games as possible.

A collage of all the protagonists of Ubisoft’s long-running walking simulator. Source: Ubisoft

“I think it’s causing a lot of… I want to say degradation [in gaming]. I mean, Assassin’s Creed is a perfect example, right? Like maybe up until Black Flag [it was] pretty good. But then it’s been the same game since then, which kind of sucks,” said Blackstone. “It’s just this whole philosophy of ‘the more time we can have players spending in our game, the better. So let’s just give them a bunch of daily quests and all this [other] time-wasting stuff to do. So it’s just bad design.”

Mighty Bear Games CEO Simon Davis has a different perspective: “There’s nothing inherently wrong with live-service, free-to-play games with the microtransaction model — it lowers the barrier to entry and allows players who would otherwise not be able to afford a fully priced game to be able to start playing and have fun,” he said in an interview with nft now.

The role of play and earn

Of course, not all developers in the blockchain gaming space are acting as cynically as the ones Blackstone describes. “Players who invest time and effort don’t stand to benefit when a game or developer becomes successful and the objectives of the developers don’t always align with the players,” said Davis.

Instead of focusing solely on profit margins, a considerable number of blockchain game developers believe this new technology will stand to benefit gamers in the long run. “The emergence of Web3 has allowed for the first time an unprecedented level of transparency between us as developers and our players. Players are also effectively now stakeholders too, and will tangibly benefit from the popularity and growth of the game over time. There will also be a fairer distribution of the spoils between the developer and the players, and this will build trust, increase engagement, and create new opportunities between both parties over time,” Davis said.

With the upcoming launch of Mighty Bear Games’ Mighty Action Heroes, Davis hopes the forthcoming title will provide the gaming industry with a new model that will reward players for their skills. And it won’t be another P2E game, either. “We want to create games that players enjoy and they have the option to earn assets if they play well or rank highly on the leaderboards. The ‘old’ [P2E game] model also has a sustainability issue, where most utility tokens are inflationary by design. A play-and-earn model will create a more sustainable ecosystem for players with, hopefully, [fewer] fluctuations in asset prices. This is definitely more player-friendly as it skews rewards to active players rather than speculators,” said Davis.

The waiting game begins

In Web2 and Web3, game development is no joke. Regardless of a developer’s intention, creating a game — let alone a full-fledged triple-A title — is a long, arduous process. Projects like NFT Worlds seemed acutely aware of this, building its stake on the virtual land craze on what are essentially just Minecraft mods. Following Minecraft’s outright ban of all blockchain integration, NFT Worlds has to redo everything on its own.

Throwing blockchain integration into the mix just adds another potential pain point for both the developers and the players. “There is friction that is inherent to getting into Web3 products,” ZED RUN co-lead Jason Melo said in an interview with nft now. “Having to set up a wallet, fund the wallet, and acquire an asset are all tasks that the general public is still learning. All of these things are foreign for people that are used to traditional web experiences.”

Regardless of how fun or polished a blockchain game may be, how it integrates blockchain technology into the overall experience might play an equal role in the next big blockchain game’s success. Play and earn is just the start — the most thoughtful and frictionless integration of blockchain into a game may yet be discovered. “I think once a web3 crypto game comes out that has the right formula, it’s gonna be very obvious,” said Blackstone. “Once it comes out, people will look at them and be like, ‘ah, why didn’t we think of this?’ — An ‘aha’ moment.”

The post Blockchain Gaming Needs Triple-A Titles to Truly Go Mainstream appeared first on nft now.

Cardano (ADA) Set To Outperform Bitcoin (BTC) As Traders Look To Hedge Against Ethereum Merge: Coin Bureau

A popular crypto analyst says that smart contract platform Cardano (ADA) is set to outperform Bitcoin (BTC) in the short term as traders look to hedge against Ethereum’s (ETH) upcoming transition to proof-of-stake.

In a new video update, the host of Coin Bureau tells his 2.1 million YouTube subscribers that he views ETH competitors as hedges against The Merge in case the update doesn’t go as smoothly as planned.

“One of the ways I’ve personally been hedging myself against something going wrong with Ethereum’s merge is to hold competing smart contract cryptocurrencies as a part of my portfolio, and this includes Cardano’s ADA.”

According to Guy, ADA works as a hedge against the Ethereum Merge as Cardano itself is also due for the Vasil hard fork upgrade in September.

“It would be an admittedly strategic move if Cardano improved its scalability around the time Ethereum transitions to proof-of-stake. This is because it would put Cardano in a perfect position to acquire users and investors if The Merge fails or simply fails to meet the expectations of ETH holders.”

Guy says that Cardano appears primed to see gains against the top digital asset by market cap.

“ADA seems to be overdue for an appreciation against BTC on the weekly chart. This is because ADA has historically fallen against ETH for around eight weeks before seeing a multi-week rally. As you can see, ADA has been falling against ETH for about eight weeks and is showing signs of a reversal.”

The host then speculates that Cardano could see a 50% gain in price.

“Note that [appreciating against BTC] does not necessarily translate to a higher price for ADA in fiat terms, but ADA’s daily and weekly price action in fiat terms suggests it could see a 50% gain in the coming weeks.

But I must stress that this ultimately depends on whether the crypto market sees a short-term recovery. I should also note that Cardano’s Vasil hard fork will expose the project to the same sorts of issues Ethereum could experience during its upgrade.

This is probably why other Ethereum competitors such as Solana appear to be on the brink of a bigger breakout against both ETH and the USD.”

ADA is changing hands for $0.452 at time of writing, a 1.5% gain on the day.


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The post Cardano (ADA) Set To Outperform Bitcoin (BTC) As Traders Look To Hedge Against Ethereum Merge: Coin Bureau appeared first on The Daily Hodl.

Eurozone Inflation Taps Highest Rate Ever Recorded Reaching 9.1%, as Nord Stream, Gazprom Halt Gas Supplies

The Eurozone’s inflation rate reached a record high in August of 9.1%, the highest ever recorded in history, according to Europe’s statistics office Eurostat. The rate was higher than economists suspected and most of the rise was fueled by Europe’s rising energy prices.

Europe’s Torrid Inflation Continues to Rise, While the Region Faces an Energy Crisis

Currently, Europe is suffering from the highest inflation rate the euro area has seen in almost 50 years, and each one of the members of the monetary union has seen red-hot consumer prices. Just recently, Reuters polled a number of economists, and the data published by Eurostat is larger than the economists predicted.

Eurozone #inflation hits record: Consumer prices surged 9.1% YoY in August outpacing est. of 9%. Core inflation jumped 4.3%, a fresh ATH as well. Above all, the rise in core inflation is also putting the #ECB under pressure.

— Holger Zschaepitz (@Schuldensuehner) August 31, 2022

Statistics show that energy prices had the largest inflation rise reaching 38.3% and items like food jumped 10.6%. Furthermore, non-energy industrial goods rose by 5% compared to the value of these goods measured last year. In terms of energy prices, things look as though the energy crisis could get worse due to the Ukraine-Russia war.

Starting today and up until September 2, 2022, the Nord Stream 1 pipeline is undergoing “maintenance.” The maintenance has people worried that Russian leaders will extend the shutdown of the pair of offshore natural gas pipelines that connect Russian gas supplies to Germany. The Russian Federation already cut flows by 40% in June and reduced flows by another 20% in July.

Furthermore, the Russian gas giant Gazprom told the public on Tuesday that it would halt gas supplies to French industrial energy group Engie. Some suspect that Europe may need an energy bail-out from other nations, while others believe European leaders have no choice but to rescue energy consumers in the member countries. Some people believe the European Central Bank (ECB) needs to hike the benchmark bank rate as the Federal Reserve has done in recent times.

The ECB will meet on September 8 and reports indicate that economists are betting the ECB will raise the benchmark rate by 75 basis points (bps). Speaking with The Street, ING’s senior economist, Bert Colijn, opined that the ECB needs to slow down, but how much is the current question at hand.

“Specific European problems continue to push inflation higher — The gas supply crisis and droughts are adding to persisting supply-side pressures on inflation at the moment,” Colijn said. “As the economy is slowing rapidly — and perhaps already contracting at this point — the question is how much the ECB needs to slam the brakes,” the ING economist added.

What do you think about the Eurozone’s battle with red-hot inflation? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Exclusive: World of Women Reveals WoWverse Capacitors NFTs

The Alpha: 

Today, World of Women, the NFT brand that began as a 10k generative PFP project from WoW artist and Co-Founder Yam Karkai, announced the reveal of its Capacitors NFT collection, according to information shared with nft now in an exclusive press release.The collection marks the powerhouse NFT project’s continued expansion into the metaverse.Starting Wednesday, WoW and WoW Galaxy holders can “transform” the Capacitors NFTs the team recently airdropped to them by redeeming virtual apartment spaces that each holder can customize.

Why it matters

From its inception, WoW has aimed to create a pluralistic and positive community for all in Web3, placing particular emphasis on helping onboard women to the space, with a heightened focus on helping women express their digital identities. The Capacitors reveal furthers this mission.

“It’s really the next step in deepening World of Women’s role in helping people express their digital identity,” explained WoW COO Shannon Snow in an interview with nft now. “We’re helping to build a future where WoW avatars can be used as an identity in all digital spaces. [With Capacitors], holders are going to have the opportunity to transform their NFTs into their digital home — a place where you live, a place where you can be your full self, a place where you can feel safe in the metaverse.”

WoW Capacitors reveal

On August 31st, you will be able to transform Capacitors in exchange for @OnCyber virtual homes, designed by @YKarkai!

So… will you transform yours, or keep it for next season?

More info

— World of Women (@worldofwomennft) August 29, 2022

To prepare for the drop, World of Women dropped mysterious clues to their holders about Capacitors NFTs in Morse Code in recent weeks. These early mystery drops were designed to encourage community-building as holders joined forces to solve the quixotic messages. Holders decoded clues on Discord and Twitter — and even parsed out cryptic hints from a billboard in Times Square.

Once the community collaboratively worked through these clues, the WoW team airdropped the Capacitors NFTs for free to the wallets of all WoW and WoWG holders. WoW holders received 10,000 “blue” Capacitors while WoWG holders received 21,738 “green” Capacitors. Until today, however, the meaning and significance of the NFTs remained unknown. While both sets of NFTs will confer benefits related to personalizing holders’ virtual spaces, owners of the project’s genesis collection NFTs will receive unique perks.

This two-tiered Capacitors release also feeds into WoW’s world-building efforts, the lore of which has become increasingly detailed. The WoW narrative now includes organizations like the Assembly of Women, planets like Nova Gaïa, time travel, and even an as-of-yet unknown villain figure.

A Capacitor, via World of Women

“The Capacitors gave us the opportunity to further push on our narrative to tell more about the WoWverse in terms of developing and introducing a villain to the story,” said Diana-Luk Ye, Marketing & Partnerships Project Manager, in an interview with nft now. “WoW collection owners received their blue capacitors while the World of Women Galaxy’s green capacitors got thwarted by this villain.”

WoW CEO and Chief Creative Officer Yam Karkai designed the virtual apartments, creating them in partnership with OnCyber, a Web3 world-building platform. Holders will be able to transform Capacitors NFTs (as ERC-1155 tokens) to access and display their OnCyber URL links. Anyone who owns a virtual apartment NFT can go to to select their associated space to start designing it (so long as they are logged in with the wallet containing their Capacitor NFT). WoW and WoWG holders will also be able to customize the dedicated URL link associated with their virtual apartments.

WoW Galaxy #16237

There will be multiple “seasons” of Capacitors drops, each unlocking new elements to allow users to customize their apartments by bringing in various aspects of their Web3 identity. Future releases will also feature collaborations with other NFT projects in the ecosystem.

After each Capacitor drop, holders must choose to either transform their Capacitor NFT or save it for the next season. Once a holder transforms a Capacitor, they cannot use it in future seasons. This transformation means Capacitors will become a deflationary supply as owners burn them for different activations. This release dynamic will force holders to decide what strategy to take to shape their WoWverse virtual space, further adding to their apartment’s distinct identity.

What’s next

WoW’s plans to significantly expand into the metaverse come as little surprise, as the company has flirted with digital spaces for a while. Earlier this year, WoW teamed up with The Sandbox, a collaboration that included a donation of $25 million to the WoW Foundation to better onboard women into the space and build representation in Web3. The Sandbox also began “voxelizing” all 10,000 original WoW avatars to let the community participate in that space.

Despite Monday’s Capacitors reveal, the WoW brand is just getting started. The project has already announced partnerships with Reese Witherspoon’s production company Hello Sunshine, House of Harlow, Jazwares, and Billboard Magazine. And, since WoW signed with talent manager Guy Oseary in January of this year, it’s no mystery that the company has its sights set on big things.

To learn more about the Capacitors drop and the launch of the WoWverse, tune into the #TheTimeisWoW Twitter Space today at 11:30 a.m. ET.

But wait! There’s more:

How World of Women Is Bringing Diversity and Representation to NFTsThe NFT Space Needs to Do More to Uplift Black ArtistsThe University of Oregon Is Using NFTs to Support Women in Student AthleticsArt by Women Sells for Than 50% Less Than Men’s. NFTs Could Change That

The post Exclusive: World of Women Reveals WoWverse Capacitors NFTs appeared first on nft now.

Refik Anadol on How AI ‘Imagination’ Elevates Memory With NFTs

On June 25, 1949, the British neurologist Geoffrey Jefferson gave a lecture to the Royal College of Surgeons of England entitled The Mind of Mechanical Man. It may be surprising that machine intelligence was the subject of much debate in Jefferson’s time, with some describing the 1904s as the period in which artificial intelligence was born following the development of cybernetics. Jefferson’s ideas about the intersection of human and machine were ahead of their time and even impressed the great Alan Turing with their prescience and clarity.

“[N]ot until a machine can write a sonnet or a concerto because of thoughts and emotions felt, and not by the chance fall of symbols, could we agree that machine equals brain — that is, not only write it but know that it had written it,” Jefferson said in his lecture. “No mechanism could feel (and not merely artificially signal, an easy contrivance) pleasure at its successes, grief when its valves fuse, be warmed by flattery, be made miserable by its mistakes, be charmed by sex, be angry or miserable when it cannot get what it wants.”

The question of artificial intelligence

Whether they know it or not, critics of artificial intelligence’s application in the art world — and by extension, the world of NFTs — employ a version of Jefferson’s argument when they decry that the technology takes something away from the creative “soul” of artists and their work.

But one look at recent computing advances, and it seems like the train has left the station. Millions of people are already learning how to make AI art. Thanks to prompt-based programs like MidJourney, DALL-E 2, and Stable Diffusion that turn text into images, creating art in tandem with AI has become commonplace. Developers are leaning heavily on the technology to help build out their NFT project visions. Companies are even working to give NFTs AI brains.

Of course, this could be assuming the consequent: Simply increasing the computational and adaptive powers of computing systems and calling it AI might not necessarily mean that these systems experience the drive to curiosity and sense of internal self-awareness that humans experience. Then again, the internal experience of consciousness and ego could also be an illusion. But to modern AI developers, thinking of humans as a special case might be outdated.

AI as an art tool

“In every chapter of humanity, endeavors and innovations and discoveries always light up some dinosaur views,” retorted Refik Anadol, the pioneering visual artist whose work sits at the intersection of digital media and machine learning, in an interview with nft now. “And I think that’s very normal. But to me, there’s an artist; there’s a desire. There’s a prompt; there’s a request; there is an input. I think this is pure collaboration — imagination with a machine.”

Anadol is well-known in the NFT space and beyond for his immersive (and often interactive) AI-infused pieces, including Melting Memories, a project inspired by his uncle’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis, An Important Memory for Humanity, which dropped in April of this year, and Unsupervised — Machine Hallucinations, which trained an AI model on the metadata of the Museum of Modern Art’s collection.

Three images from Unsupervised, via Refik Anadol

The idea of embedding media arts into architecture through data and computation has long driven Anadol’s approach to his work. But his love for computers came even earlier when his parents brought home a Commodore 64 for his eighth birthday, which enabled him to dive into the world of video games. Later that year, Anadol saw Blade Runner for the first time, which changed how he would imagine the future of humanity.

“As a child, I didn’t strive to see the optimism in life,” Anadol said. “I found much more optimism in [that] movie. I think that’s how I started to connect imagination and computation in my mind. Because to me, games were where we could escape or find new meaning, like creating a new world around a machine’s mind.”

Anadol went on to study Visual Communication Design at Istanbul Bilgi University, where he encountered a professor from Aalto University in Finland who taught Anadol how to start doing visual programming with a software called Pure Data. The programming language allows for interaction with algorithms and proximity sensors like microphones. 

“Data is still the pigment — But now, the brush can think.”

Refik anadol

“That’s when I saw, for the very first time, the potential of programming invisible signals of data,” Anadol recalled. “It was a beautiful signal transforming into black and white points and dots and lines. And that’s how I got this idea of [thinking of] data as a pigment, and that algorithms can become our brush.”

Before Anadol left Turkey to go to the States, he created a data sculpture media wall in Istanbul in collaboration with the architect Alper Derinboğaz, who had recently returned to Turkey after finishing a graduate degree at UCLA. Derinboğaz’s mentor, the famous Greg Lynn, inspired Anadol with Animate Form, a book in which Lynn argues that the future of architecture is not static.

“I was inspired by data as a material,” Anadol explained.

Anadol then went to study at UCLA, choosing the university because it housed professors like Casey Reas. Reas is well-known for creating Processing, an open-source creative coding community that enabled Anadol to learn Javascript for the first time.

“He’s a true hero and true pioneer in the field,” Anadol said. “He opened my mind.”

Data as an expression of humanity

Anadol believes that data is a form of memory and that this memory can have many different shapes, colors, and textures. The main objective Anadol has in his artistic practice is to make art for anyone of any age or background.

“This idea of finding the language of humanity is a very challenging practice,” Anadol elaborated. “Archives are the memories of humanity. They have this cultural and historical context. That’s why I focus on urban spaces in my work, specifically looking for patterns of memories that belong to everyone. I look at these memories of humanity and how they can merge with the powerful creativity of AI.”

When discussing common fears that AI might replace the vital force of human creativity, Anadol casually dismissed them, emphasizing the collaborative nature of the technology.

Machine Hallucinations, via Refik Anadol

“I’ve found that [AI] is an extension of my consciousness. It’s an extension of my imagination,” he said, “I see AI becoming this extension of the human mind. When I did Wind of Boston, I was [telling people that] the data is here becoming pigments and the algorithm can become a kind of a brush. Data is still the pigment — but now, the brush can think.”

Anadol generally agrees with artists like Claire Silver, who believe that because AI enables those who aren’t talented in drawing or painting to create art, skill and talent will slowly take a backseat to concept and vision. And while he doesn’t find programs like DALL-E 2 and MidJourney to be particularly groundbreaking in the nature of their algorithms, the egalitarian approach to creating AI art that these systems provide inspires him greatly.

Anadol’s coming projects are unsurprisingly ambitious. He’s released some tantalizing images on his Twitter account lately that hint at what fans of his art can expect, and told nft now that this next release will be an iteration of his DATALAND series.

New “beings” discovered at DATALAND! Can’t wait to unfold this unique narrative with you all soon!

— Refik Anadol (@refikanadol) August 24, 2022

“Basically, we are also exploring Stable Diffusion in a very custom way,” Anadol teased. “Six months ago, I was using DALL-E 2, and it was a massive trigger for my imagination. And for six months, I’ve been prompt engineering many concepts. DATALAND is completely designed by machine-assisted imagination. It will be a breakthrough in our journey as a studio, but also for the Web3 community.”

Anadol plans to continue using AI to create art while expanding its use cases in the context of Web3. And it’s having a galvanizing effect. Needless to say, his passion for the future of the space — and all of the tools at his disposal to potentially revolutionize it — is contagious.

“As a person inspired by innovation and discovery every single moment of my life, I can say that this is one of the most ambitious and truly culturally Web3 projects,” Anadol said. “It is not something we are used to [seeing] in the space. It’s more than an NFT collection — it’s an experience in life first.”

The post Refik Anadol on How AI ‘Imagination’ Elevates Memory With NFTs appeared first on nft now.

NFT Game Developers: Play-to-Earn and ‘Play and Earn’ Are Not the Same

Across all applications of NFTs, one thing has remained consistent: they’re a demonstration of the untold potential of blockchain technology. In the early days of crypto, most early adopters were drawn to the idea of blockchains due to their disruptive potential in the world of finance. But with NFTs, that disruption takes place across a wide variety of industries.

NFTs have gradually gained traction among internet-savvy users who have utilized this technology to launch careers in a host of creative industries — namely music and art. However, one sector that seems to be a match made in heaven for blockchain technology has seen its market resist the idea of incorporating blockchain elements into its products: gaming.

So what is a blockchain game?

Simply put, blockchain games — also commonly referred to as crypto games and NFT games — are video games that feature integration with blockchain technologies like cryptocurrency and NFTs.

Okay. But how does blockchain gaming work?

Typically, these integrations come from having in-game assets of players minted as NFTs, or usable as cryptocurrency. The earning potential that comes with that has led some to refer to blockchain-based games as play-to-earn (P2E) experiences.

CryptoKitties. Source: Axiom Zen

The idea of hosting in-game assets on the blockchain started with CryptoKitties in 2017, which centered on the mechanic of being able to trade and collect bred virtual cats even outside of the crypto game’s client. Notably, one of this game’s earliest fans was Trung Nguyen, who later went on to create Axie Infinity — a current leader in the space — following months of obsessing over the virtual cat NFT game.

More ambitious projects like Decentraland and The Sandbox offer blockchain integrations beyond tokenizing in-game assets. These games give users tools to create their own assets, from wearable items down to full-on metaverse experiences.

What not to do when making a blockchain game

While today’s top NFT games commonly feature blatant P2E game mechanics, the long-term future of blockchain integration in the gaming industry may need to tone this messaging down significantly.

For example, although P2E games have garnered much support online, large segments of the greater gaming community remain skeptical (if not downright hateful) toward new developments taking place on the internet thanks to blockchain technology, otherwise known as Web3. If you find yourself unaware of all this vitriol, a cursory search of the term “NFT” on widely-read gaming publication Kotaku tells you all you need to know. So, where is all this hatred coming from?

Much of it comes down to what happens when blockchain game developers make games as cynically as possible. When Brazilian game developer Mark Venturelli gave an impassioned talk on how P2E games could threaten the integrity of the gaming industry at large, these types of games are what he had in mind.

So what are they? Are there developers trying to tokenize Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing? Or looking for a way to reward players with crypto every time the player character lets loose an F-bomb in Rogue Warrior? (Wait, that doesn’t sound like such a bad idea in hindsight…)

Far from it. At their worst, blockchain games — particularly P2E games — can essentially function as a second job for a large subset of its users. Grinding for in-game rewards and currency suddenly takes on a much more dystopian turn when performance in-game can determine whether or not there’s food on the table. With these kinds of potential stakes on how a game rewards you, then what Venturelli described as the escapist fantasy essential to a pleasurable gaming experience is perverted.

Setting priorities straight

Blockchain game developers have started wising up to these concerns from angry gamers and traditional game developers alike. Upcoming titles from various blockchain game development studios are now being billed as play and earn experiences — markedly different from their P2E game forebears.

For example, after two decades in the video game industry, South Korean game developer Wemade recently set its sights on blockchain gaming with the release of Mir 4 — a full-fledged MMO experience with blockchain integration. As part of its plans to build a full platform for blockchain games, Wemade intends to use upcoming releases to upgrade the perception of P2E games.

A character in the middle of some serious mining in Mir 4. Source: Mir 4

“You won’t get rich playing games onboarding the Wemix platform. The reason why we stress play AND earn – not play TO earn – is the economic reward is just a small part of the whole experience,” said Wemade CEO Henry Chang in an interview with nft now. “The games we service are well-made games that are fun to play. The economic reward is not the sole reason why you should play the games on the Wemix platform. It’s there to make the game playing even more exciting,” he said.

Are P2E games really that simple?

Okay, if the right approach when building out a blockchain game is focusing on making a genuinely fun game instead of systems that bring out a user’s potential to earn in-game, then why don’t developers just do this to prove all the haters wrong?

The short answer is: because game development is really, really hard.

It’s so hard that instead of building its own game from the ground up, the NFT Worlds team relied on a team of experienced Minecraft modders to help build a would-be competitor to the Decentralands and Sandboxes of the world. As such, they hosted their whole ecosystem on Minecraft’s servers — which kind of goes against the spirit of utilizing blockchain technology in the first place.

With Minecraft’s ban on NFTs and any blockchain technologies on all of its servers, NFT Worlds now needs to finally do the work and make its own game. Here’s to hoping that, at the very least, the game will be fun.

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Upcoming Drops: August 29 – September 4

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 more people onboarded into the space, the merrier. 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 put together a weekly list of upcoming NFT drops you definitely don’t want to miss. Here’s what to look out for this week.

ŧɇȼħ nøɨɍ


I am having my very first official big ol @makersplace Drop this coming Thursday, September 1st!

It’s called “ŧɇȼħ nøɨɍ” and I am super excited for y’all to see it!

Links to the Drop page and a blog about it in the comments


— jrdsctt (@jrdsctt) August 29, 2022

Who: jrdsctt

What: Four multi-edition pieces, one one-of-one piece

When: September 1 @ 6:30 p.m. ET

Where: MakersPlace

Why: Minneapolis-born digital artist jrdsctt draws much of his inspiration from the music of Nine Inch Nails and their former art director, Rob Sheridan. For his ŧɇȼħ nøɨɍ release, he used the help of artificial intelligence prompt-generated imagery and glitch techniques like pixelsorting and databending to craft bright yet dystopic scenes that blend the familiar and the alien. The collection’s main influence comes from a collaborative song by the British Synthwave band GUNSHIP, filmmaker John Carpenter, and songwriter Charlie Simpson entitled Tech Noir, which references the sci-fi genre of films like Blade Runner and The Terminator.


via bhare

Who: bhare

What: Two editions of ten and one 12/12 piece

When: August 31 @ 6:30 p.m. ET

Where: Nifty Gateway

Why: pillow-talk is the Barbadian-American abstract artist bhare’s debut on Nifty Gateway. The collection consists of abstract works that revolve around the concept of an intimate conversation with oneself. The pieces show a colorful and chaotic view of ideas from bhare’s personal journals, which serve as markers in the artist’s life that document coping with events and emotions that range from trauma to happiness. The collection invites the viewer to reflect alongside the artist with these moments.

Sneaks of Nature

— Sneaks of Nature (@sneaksofnature) August 10, 2022

Who: Jeff Cole

What: 3,333 2D-animated NFTs

When: August 31 @ 5:00 p.m. ET


Why: Jeff Cole is a digital artist and Co-Founder of IKONICK, one of the world’s most successful canvas art brands. Cole created Sneaks of Nature as a family-friendly sci-fi drama set in the present-day that follows the journeys of 23 characters inspired by the most well-known sneakers in the world and a father-son relationship. To launch the franchise, Cole is releasing 3,333 NFTs that let holders engage with the Sneaks of Nature story and unlock future utility. The collection is yet another example of an IP that is using NFTs to let its community have a say in creative direction.

Baby Shark

via Maker’s Place

Who: Pinkfong

What: 10k collectible NFTs

When: August 31 @ 6:30 p.m. ET

Where: MarkersPlace

Why: The follow-up collection to the wildly-popular Baby Shark genesis drop, Baby Shark: Collection No. 2 is a generative NFT collection featuring various members of the shark family, including Baby Shark, Mommy Shark, Daddy Shark, Grandma Shark, and Grandpa Shark. The collection will feature a Spring/Summer edition drop mechanic, with certain traits only available during each season’s drop. The NFTs will provide unique utilities like community tokens that collectors can redeem for the ability to customize or mint new NFTs in the collection.

The Life of Muga

The journey for Muga begins August 30 on @niftygateway !

— Muga (@lifeofmuga) August 24, 2022

Who: Zigor and Ekaitza

What: Two Founder’s Cards NFTs, two limited-edition animated NFTs

When: August 30 @ 7:00 p.m. ET

Where: Nifty Gateway

Why: Muga is a collaborative effort between Zigor and Ekaitza, two crypto artists who aim to establish a strong brand identity and raise the bar of NFT project design in the community. Both artists intend Muga (a Basque word for border, boundary, or limit) to empower people to feel a sense of belonging by establishing common ground with others, thus encouraging an embracing and overcoming of one’s life obstacles.

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You Can Earn a $130k Bored Ape by Winning this Blockchain Game

The Alpha:

NFT tickets for the Web3 game called Internet Game minted today in anticipation of its aptly-titled second-phase Bear Market Battle. The sale will only last 24 hours, but will maintain an unlimited supply throughout the sale period.Via minting an NFT ticket, you can play to win ownership of several high-end NFT projects. As of writing, the floor price for each ticket is 0.07 ETH, or a little more than $100.The first announced prize? Bored Ape #4317 — currently valued at a cool 88.9 ETH.

Why it matters:

Internet Game, co-founded by Jordan Lejuwaan and venture partner Krish Jagidar, just hit its second stride. The noted NFT figure gmoney will host the Bear Market Battle, joined by actress and comedian Leah Lamarr. Characterized as a truly “one of a kind” event “both in and outside of the Web3 space” by Lejuwaan, the project hopes to provide a straightforward utility for its supporters: fun.

Beyond the high-ticket NFT prizes in store for players that can successfully clear the Bear Market Battle’s two stages, fun seems to be the guiding principle behind Internet Game’s design. “I think most blockchain gaming companies are putting the block before the horse — focusing on the use of blockchain tech rather than just aiming to make a really fun game. Which is especially backwards in gaming, where the entire point of playing games is having fun,” Lejuwaan said in an interview with nft now.

Obviously, securing high-end NFTs to be distributed as prizes would require significant funding. Thankfully, Internet Game’s got it in spades. Following a $7-million seed round, the project could soar to new heights in staunch defiance of the ongoing bear market. In addition to these funds, Internet Game’s first season also accrued more than $2 million in revenue, per its publicly available case study.

Internet Game also promises functional utility for holders of its NFT tickets. Although the public sale for these NFT tickets will only run for 24 hours, users will have plenty of opportunities to buy more once the games kick off on September 12. As with the first season, users can opt to keep playing or “cash out” at any moment during the Bear Market Battle’s two-week run by selling their tickets. Each user’s progress — and winnings — get saved to their tickets, enabling new owners to pick up where the previous owner left off.

What’s next:

Notably, one key investor in Internet Game is Rus Yusupov, founder of HQ Trivia. For the uninitiated, HQ Trivia is a free-to-play trivia game that comes with a very alluring promise. By playing the game, HQ Trivia offered its users the potential to win hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash prizes. Unfortunately, the game had one flaw: bad actors attempting to game the system. This led to several users receiving their winnings months after the fact.

With Internet Game’s reliance on the blockchain, it successfully waved off one of its spiritual predecessor’s most significant flaws. Although it might not be a simple free-to-play app like HQ Trivia, requiring its users to buy an NFT ticket upfront greatly ensures a secure and fair experience for all.

On top of this, Lejuwaan believes that interactive experiences like Internet Game might continue to pop up all over the entertainment industry. In the 2000s, reality television shows like American Idol offered viewers the chance to vote-in the results of the competition via text. Today, shows on Netflix like You vs. Wild and the Bandersnatch special are laid out in a choose-your-own-adventure format. But Lejuwaan says these examples are merely “scratching the surface.” He elaborates, “what we’re doing now with Internet Game is experimenting with different forms of large-scale, interactive entertainment, and doing so in partnership with massive consumer brands to bring them to the mainstream.”

But wait! There’s more:

NFT Tickets Are the Future of Live Music. Here’s WhyA Crypto Journalist is Using NFTs as Tickets to a Digital Book ClubNFT Game Developers: Play-to-Earn and ‘Play and Earn’ Are Not the SameA Global Guide to the Most Important NFT Events of 2022

Editor’s note: Two members of the nft now editorial team previously worked with Internet Game co-founder Jordan Lejuwaan at Futurism, but were not involved in the publication of this piece.

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