New platform Cryptograph is set to revolutionize the world of crypto collectibles, with the introduction of their highly anticipated innovative digital collectible
auction house kicking off on July 6, 2020. Perpetual Altruism, the company behind Cryptograph is positioned to be a market leader in blockchain based digital collectibles and artwork, also known as NFT’s (Non-Fungible Tokens), featuring digital art and memorabilia from some of the world’s most renowned artists and icons.
Collectors will have the opportunity to bid on original digital art creations from some of the most notable names and leaders in the cryptosphere, specifically Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin, Bitcoin.com Chairman Roger Ver, CasperLabs Researcher Vlad Zamfir, Shapeshift.com CEO Erik Voorhees , AVA Labs CEO Emin Gun Sirer, Augur Co-Founder Jeremy Gardner, Coinfund Founder Jake Brukhman, Universal Login Founder Alex Van De Sande, This Week In Ethereum Editor Evan Van Ness, Co-Founder Of Ethereum Mihai Alisie, Founder Of Maker DAO Rune Christensen, Founder Of Gitcoin.co Kevin Owocki, and more.
July also officially marks the five year anniversary of Vitalik Buterin’s Ethereum Blockchain, and his digital artwork will be hitting the Cryptograph auction block on July 6th. His Cryptograph is a one-of-a-kind hand drawn representation of his groundbreaking Quadratic Funding Formula, an idea which could form the basis of a new general purpose infrastructure for the funding of public goods.
Cryptographs are one-of-a-kind digital collectibles created by world renowned icons and artists that perpetually support charitable causes. Each Cryptograph is sold at auction and then traded by collectors on the platform’s secondary market, raising money for charity every time they are transacted. These digital artworks are unlike anything else currently offered on the blockchain, and they will be auctioned off and traded using Cryptographs unique auction system that incentivizes participation.
Using smart contract technology to process and automate all transactions in a secure and transparent environment, Cryptograph makes sure that their charity and creator partners will always get a share of the perpetual revenue not just from the initial auction sale, but also from every single bid and subsequent sale that occurs on the secondary market. This powerful model ensures that the interests of the all parties involved in the Cryptograph ecosystem remain forever aligned and that they are continually incentivized to deliver further value over the long term to the community of Cryptograph collectors. Cryptograph has created a sustainably philanthropic platform that utilizes the Ethereum Blockchain and smart contract technology in a completely new way, it is destined to shake up the cryptosphere and further push the boundaries of what is possible within the space.
We spoke with Makoto Inoue, dev at @ensdomains , asking questions about the development of the "crypto domain industry".
Hi Makoto, thanks for this opportunity. First of all, could you please explain to newbies what Ethereum Name Service is and how ENS Domains work?
Sure, ENS started as a simple way to tie in Ethereum address (in a hexadecimal format such as 0x12356b....., to human-readable name such as nick.eth. It is supported by over 140 dapps, exchanges, and wallets such as Etherscan, Coinbase wallet, and Metamask. For example, you can search vitalik.eth directly via https://etherscan.io/address/vitalik.eth.
Once you register the name via https://app.ens.domains , you can not only set Eth Address but also other crypto addresses (eg BTC, DODGE), set IPFS to have serverless websites you can access via .eth.link(you can discover the full list here ), issue subdomains, and so on.
In terms of how it works, ENS is just another smart contract. It's one of the oldest Ethereum smart contracts running live since 4th May 2017 so if you are into smart contract development, I highly recommend looking into the smart contract and its architecture.
When we first launched there were no CryptoKitties nor NFT token standards such as ERC721. When we upgraded last year, we transformed ENS .eth registrar to be NFT so that all .eth names can be easily transferred in a secondary market such as OpenSea. Once you own the name, you have full control of how to set and transfer the name. Some people sell their subdomains using subdomain registrar like http://ismoney.eth.link/. Decentraland implemented similar NFT logic to our .eth registrar to turn their avatar as .dcl.eth subdomain. Some wallet providers such as Argent, UniLogin, and Authereum modified their registrar to issue ENS subdomains when creating their wallet to treat ENS subdomain as a username.
How many domains have been registered till now? Do you have additional data you can share with us, like which % is used/linked to an ETH address? Do you know how many domains have collected the largest account?
482k names have been registered (including subdomains and non .eth domains which I will explain later).
The active names are a bit hard to estimate but we have over 280k names which were registered back in 2017 but expired and due to be released in 2nd August. This is because back then ENS names were acquired through an auction where the winner locks deposits on our vault smart contract and can get the money back once the names were released. We changed the system to the annual registration fee model last year and any names which weren't renewed after one year will be released.
The biggest ENS name holder is 0xbcbd4885ee8b2b74249c5ad9b8b668fb256a51b1 which owns more than 1700. I am pretty sure that he/she will release most of the names in Aug. For all ENS related numbers, I recently created a ENS dashboard on Dune Analytics so please check it out.
We saw the secondary market is quite active for example on OpenSea we can notice some interesting sales like "Defi" Wallet.eth (75 Eth), "numeric" 888.eth (32.55 Eth), "city" Madrid.eth (24 Eth) and even "NFT whale" Moderats.eth (6.9 Eth). Do you think this trend and interest in acquiring Premium Domains will increase in the future?
I believe that these are the price during the primary auction. When we launched back in 2017, we prohibited the auction of names less than 7 characters as we knew that shorter names are more valuable and more prone to squatting.
We conducted short name auction 2 years after the initial launch but outsourced OpenSea to conduct hence you can see all the auction bid on their site. So any short names transferred before November 2019 are more likely primary sales. I did a bit of analysis of how the short name auction here.
According to the data collected at that time, more than 99% of short name winning bids were below 10ETH (around $2k). We used the amount as a premium when expired name becomes released after 90 days grace period and the price decrease over 28 days, so I guess the secondary price may have some influence over the ceiling.
I understand that NFT collectors prefer to hold assets in the hope of future price increase. I am sure that it will happen to a handful of names but our goal is for ENS names to be used by the rightful owners who can benefit from owning easily recognizable names for their brand and businesses.
There are also other competitors in the market, which specific feature do you think make EnsDomains unique compared to them?
The DNSSEC integration. That's the first feature I worked on when I joined back in 2018 so I feel very strongly about it.
Currently, most people pay an annual registration fee to acquire .eth ENS names. However, you can also have ENS names tied in with DNS addresses such as .xyz, .luxe, and .kred and we are planning to open up to the majority of top-level domains (eg: .com, .org) this year. In DNS there is a way to prove the ownership of the domain (called DNSEC) so we use it to assign DNS name to the rightful owner. Anyone who puts their .eth address under .ens.yourdomain.domain can submit a proof into a smart contract to prove the ownership. Because there is no possibility of squatting, it does not require any annual fee like .eth.
This could potentially open up a wider usage of ENS outside of the Ethereum ecosystem, as it allows the normal business owner and government organisation to have payment address associated without investing much in the infrastructure (all they need is an Ethereum wallet and the ability to modify their DNS record). Imagine Unicef asked you to donate ETH to unicef.org rather than unicef.eth. .eth looks sexier to Ethereum people but having ENS name associated with the official URL will make it easier for normal people to recognise that it's the legitimate name.
This may sound a bit boring for NFT lovers, but this is not it. The top-level domain owners can claim ownership and have their custom logic associated so there are ways to extend. The prime example is .kred. .kred provides normal domain service but their DNS domain is also NFT! A bit mind-blowing, isn't it?
Privacy: what is ENS doing for it and what are your advices for any domain user?
ENS is as private as Ethereum is, and we can't do anything about on our own without better privacy-preserving primitives on-chain.
Also having a name for your account doesn't intrinsically identify your identity or allow transaction linking any more than reusing a regular account does. If some hacker sends you IAmEvilHacker.eth, that doesn't tell you anything about the hacker. On the other hand, if you ask a donation to someone, they know it's your address whether you give them ENS name or Eth address.
So our advice for people who wants to preserve privacy is as follows.
Don't keep too many assets in the Ethereum address tied into your ENS name.
When you transfer assets from/to ENS name, use other privacy-preserving tools such as Tornado Cash.
Hi Dan & Gauthier! What are the most significant data related to market growth? Any assets or actors standing out according to your NFT Yearly Report for 2019?
The volume of unique artworks traded on the blockchain is an evidence of the global growth of the Art segment: from 2,000 to 32,000 artworks in 2019. SuperRare is definitely the Art marketplace that drives most of the growth of the Art ecosystem, and is undeniably above the fray. The challengers are also strong, the art segment is fortunate to be supported by very mature actors.
Was there something that surprised you in the analysis results?
We suspected a lack of secondary market in the art segment, the report confirmed to us. It is one of the first times that we observe this reversal of trend in the purchase of NFTs. NFT Artworks are no longer bought for quick speculation, but more as a long-term investment.
You underlined that digital collectibles and NFT art have different trends, what do you foresee for the future of these assets? Right now, platforms like NiftyGetaway and also CryptoKitties invite established artists to create crypto collectibles, do you think such cross projects and collaborations are going to happen more often?
Absolutely. The growth of the NFT industry will be ensured by two main vectors: adoption of the technology by users, AND by creators. The phenomenon we are currently witnessing and which started a few months ago, announces in our opinion a new era of the NFT ecosystem. More and more creators (Collectibles, Art, Gaming, etc.) will be able to use NFTs as an expression Medium. Regarding art and collectibles trends, it is extremely tricky to predict the future of these segments, but everything suggests that Collectibles still have a bright future ahead of them, even if their market share is gradually declining. Art is gradually positioning itself as one of the potential main growth vectors for the entire NFT industry.
In the NFT panorama, crypto art still represents a small slice of the whole market. Can you tell us how the market is divided and why art seems more of a niche asset?
The NFT industry is still largely dominated by Gaming & Collectibles (about half of the ecosystem), Real Estate, Trading Card Games and Domain Names also represent massive use cases and an important part of the space. The golden age of NFT began with Cryptokitties and Decentraland, two Collectible and Real Estate projects, both of which gave birth to other projects exploring the same use cases. From a historical point of view, NFT Art is a recent use case, which still seems reserved for an elite.
You recently got a new investor at NonFungible, Polyient Labs, what are your plans for the year ahead?
We are extremely happy to count Polyient Labs as Key Partner for the continuation of our development! The gold mine of data that we have been collecting for more than two years now only needs to be exploited! Polyient will help us develop the tools and functionality that will allow any NFT project manager to monitor the performance of his project, but also to help players and traders to evolve more serenely in the ecosystem of NFTs, knowing precisely and in real time the exact value of assets.
Do you think the current global crisis or Ethereum's higher gas prices will affect the NFT market?
Yes and no. The NFT ecosystem survived the Global Ethereum Clogging caused by Cryptokitties craze in late 2017, early 2018. The projects that will last and that require heavy interaction have already implemented solutions as a result of the 2017 craze, other projects that fail to innovate will lag behind and fade out as we've already noticed
PS: The 2018-2019 NonFungible Art Report is available HERE
1:55 - What is this studio about?
3:39 - What is Reckless VR?
6:25 - Difference between physical / virtual? (Lou)
7:47 - Difference between physical / virtual? (Josie)
10:15 - Interaction compared to online
14:00 - Post-covid, will people still come?
17:34 - Accessibility and adoption
19:41 - Is there any crypto wallets for VR?
21:28 - Biggest hurdles to adoption
24:50 - Difference between Zoom
26:40 - How much would you pay to attend a crypto conference?
Behind the scenes
The event came together very organically. Earlier in May, Wong Joon Ian from Coindesk [tweeted] that he's organizing a VR meetup to talk about VR meetups and reached out to the crypto community to ask who does crypto VR meetups. Many voices in the community tagged us (thank you!), so we began chatting to plan it out.
Godfrey Meyer worked quickly to redesign our VR studio to better match the event branding and we began to invite the guests for a rehearsal on how the production will be ran.
There were some interesting points made as we had a meta discussion about VR meetups vs physical meetups, here's a couple:
Joon: "Post-covid, are people still going to be coming to our VR meetups?"
Udi: "A very interesting thing I think in this community is that a lot of people kind of want to keep their privacy. This is something amazing you can do in VR. You can an avatar that doesn't look like you, you can pick whatever name you want. You still get to interact with people face to face without video or showing your face."
The last question came from Aaron Stanley who asked the speakers how much they might pay to attend a well planned fully virtual Consensus next year. Aaron made an interesting point about having skin in the game to maximize productivity. If a digital event is free and if 25,000 people show up, how many of them will be engaged the entire time?
In physical meetups, anchoring yourself outside your home for the duration of an event incentivizes people to make the most out of their time. With VR meetups we can skip all that and teleport from the comfort of your own home. The time and money saved on airlines, transportation, hotels for the attendees plus the event venue rental, logistics, physical setup and teardown can all be put into creating an amazing experience that can last forever.
Perhaps one could get away with charging a couple of thousand dollars for a VR ticket if at the same time it also onboards someone into VR. Throw in a VR headset with the deal can go towards solving the chicken and egg problem. If people paid more, they would care more about the event and those resources could go towards making an exceptional digital experience. With that, it was a good time to wrap things up and drop a portal into a relaxing beach.
Lastly, we want to reminder you that you do not need a VR headset to access majority of the virtual worlds. Platforms like Decentraland and Cryptovoxels have web browser based clients and most of the popular social VR platforms like the one we were using (VRChat) have 2D desktop support for PC users.
We created NIFTIES with the aim of promoting the best projects in the NFTs space. Apart from traditional content we knew we should do something new and unique, which is why we think top quality VR content is the answer.
Construction of our virtual soundstage has finished and in this video Boomboxhead guides you inside. See all the work that goes behind a fully digital virtual production with professional cameras, lighting, and cinematography.
We already started producing artist interviews and will announce some new show formats in the near future. If you want to promote your project, company, or event, and need our help to produce cool CG content for the 3.0 collectors just reach us out at email@example.com. ENJOY the video!
KnownOrigin gallery closed 2019 with over 2,000 digital art editions on the platform and a 3262% monthly sales growth since October 2018. Regarding income, in 2019 top artists were XCOPY, Hackatao, Giant Swan, Alotta Money, Tom Badley and Rare Designer.
Difelice5000, XCOPY and Gary Cartlidge led the market as for number of sales, while Giant Swan and Rare Designer could also boast the record sale price of 10 ETH for the art pieces Purgatory and BLOCKCHAIN EDEN respectively.
Overall, nearly 7,000 artworks were sold on KnownOrigin up to the end of 2019, with a significant increase in the gallery revenue in December. Artists and collectors were over 180 and both the community and the market keep growing.
As a platform mostly devoted to multi-editions, single-edition art pieces have been less than 20% of all works displayed. The average sale price in 2019 was about 0.2ETH, with the highest being 10 ETH (about $1,450 at the time of sale).
Over the past year and a half, MakersPlace team has been contacted by close to 5,000 artists wishing to join the network, and the team is now working with over 1,500 creatives. MakersPlace also has a vibrant online community, counting close to 2,000 people between artists and collectors on its Discord channel, and over 30,000 followers of the team's social media accounts.
In 2019, the average sale price of artworks on the platform was about $150, with the market thriving towards the end of the year. On 15th December EthGirl, a collaboration between SuperRare artists Trevor Jones and Alotta Money, was bought by collector Moderats for 72.1 ETH ($10,027 at the time of sale), breaking the all-time ETH sale record for the digital market.
SuperRare has a varied community of artists and collectors from 154 countries and receives about 25 artist applications per week, maintaining a 10% acceptance rate.
Cryptovoxels had just completed minting and auctioning the final land parcels for Origin City. Since April 2018, lead developer Ben Nolan has been minting and selling a handful of parcels on Opensea every week or so, following no particular city layout design order while using procedural generation. The sales have generated enough revenue for Ben to self-fund the entire project to where he now has a small developer team helping him.
Cryptovoxels has also recently passed a million dollar marketcap, a milestone that's reminscent of geocities and the million dollar homepage. Congrats to the Cryptovoxels team and community for achieving this landmark!
Did you know there are multiple other programs to view Origin City with? One of the earliest examples is Substrata developed by Nick from Glare technologies. Nick, whom is close friends with Ben Nolan in real life, designed Substrata as a multi-user cyberspace written in C++. It can render the entire Cryptovoxels city on a machine with atleast 32gb of RAM.
There's also NeosVR, a free to download Metaverse engine that many describe as "multiplayer Unity" because of how people build and script worlds from inside the program instead of uploading content with a SDK. NeosVR is more complicated to use than VRChat and the desktop experience isn't fully realized yet, but the graphics are next level since the rendering engine is using the newer Unity 2019 and you can edit worlds live inside the client. To visit, download NeosVR from Steam and then search "Origin City" in the worlds menu or click this link to launch the world directly: http://cloudx.azurewebsites.net/open/world/U-jin/R-fec6fe2f-d6e9-43de-af37-31068a7ebcd9
AsyncArt, launched online in February 2020, innovates the NFT realm allowing creative people to showcase and trade programmable art. The first piece of such art ever tokenized on the platform is First Supper, a digital homage to Leonardo Da Vinci's Cenacolo.
First Supper, with 22 Layers, is the result of a collaboration between 13 major artists: Alotta Money, Blackboxdotart, Coldie, Connie Digital, Hackatao, Josie Bellini, Matt Kane, Mlibty, Rutger van der Tas, Shortcut, TwistedVacancy, VansDesign, and XCOPY. Auctioned on February 28th, the Master image was sold to MetaKovan for 103.4 ETH (14.037,58 USD). Among its Layers, purchased by different collectors shortly afterward, very successful were Coldie's Decentral Eyes, sold for 77.0 ETH (10.490,48 USD), and Visionary Spirit of Creation by Matt Kane, sold for 35.0 ETH (4.763,50 USD). A total of 263 ETH was made from the auction of 20 Layers.
The second programmable NFT auctioned on AsyncArt was XCOPY's Banksta. It was sold to the collector TokenAngels for 66.0 ETH (8.958,84 USD), becoming the most expensive work by a single artist to date. Its Master image sold for more than all its Layers combined, testifying how this particular art piece works better as a whole than others.
The Somnium Space team has a long history of working with other projects in the space to be more cross-compatible. Somnium Space has been a founding member of VR Blockchain Alliance, a working group aimed at numerous initiatives about interoperability, such as the transfer of digital assets across the metaverse.
Somnium Space designed a teleportation system that can transport a player between points in the world but also to *other* social VR platforms. This is quite a rarity to see in gaming since platforms tend to lock-in players from ever leaving. The transportation system established between Somnium Space, JanusVR, and High Fidelity is a great achievement to connect avatars into a more seamless Metaverse. See it in action between two native platforms below.
The Somnium Space team has been integrating third party NFTs like Cryptokitties in next level ways. For example, check out this Cryptokitty being imported into the builder then playing in VR.
The day before the big launch, Somnium Space and Cryptomotors showed off the results of an amazing collaboration. A limited run of the model Abyssus were auctioned on Opensea, with some being bought for 16 ETH ($2100 USD at the time).
Hi Conlan, what an incredible start for Async, you had a great response from collectors. So tell us, when did you come up with the idea and why?
Thank you so much. It's definitely been amazing reception so far. The concept behind Async Art came to me around November of 2019. I've been already involved with collecting Cryptoart and the Cryptovoxel community, so most of my day time musings were in that headspace already.
I think I was tying my shoelaces when the idea hit me. Create art that can be changed and different parts of it tokenized for different uses!
What is your background and who are the team members of Async?
I'm a game developer by trade. In my spare time I've built automation tools and Twitter bots for startups to gain a deeper understanding for their projects and in November have quit my day job to focus 100% on Async.
We have a small but passionate team. I met fellow co-founder Nate (n0shot) in Cryptovoxels and we became fast friends. He's been crucial in building our visual brand and overall creative vision for the platform.
Jeff and I met a while back while working on the first version of http://uniswap.info/ and he's done the frontend development for the website you see today.
Lisa leads all of our marketing including event setup, online communications and content creation.
How did you choose the first artists to get on board?
In my mind a new platform needs the right set of artists who can push the boundaries, are technically oriented, and have great community presence to educate our audience on this brand new concept.
I've collected art from and/or leased Cryptovoxels gallery space to all of the first group of artists before Async so I already had great relationships with them. It felt like asking friends to come together for a fun collaboration and in its essence, it really was. There is no Async Art without the artists.
We know that many artists want to join your platform now. What do they need to start collaborating with you?
First and foremost, they need to fill out an application form. This helps us keep track and also to check out their style of art. The most important question is probably "Your Idea for Async", in which we see what new concept they would want to explore with the platform. It's not about who has the most followers or have made the most sales, it is about pushing the boundaries and bringing something completely new to the Cryptoart landscape. Due to high demand and the manual nature of setting up an Async piece, we are onboarding artists in small batches. Eventually though, we aim to onboard everyone who wants to join.
Do you have any suggestions for new creatives in the crypto art realm in general?
Art on the blockchain is such a new and developing concept. The world is your oyster here. If you can think it, you should spend 100% of your available time exploring it.
Social media (especially Cent!) is your best friend here. Cryptoart community is open and welcoming so networking is important and will pay off.
You innovated the art scene enabling the creation of unprecedented artworks, as well as a new form of fractionated ownership. It is already a lot, but do you have new projects in store?
Oh tons! There's not enough hours in a day. However my main focus right now is in developing Async Art to its full potential, there are several new features and initiatives on the horizon and our team is excited to reveal more in the coming months.
Hi GoWest, it's a pleasure to interview one of the first NFT collectors, and arguably the most famous CryptoPunk collector ever.
I don’t know about that! There are some collections out there that are way more valuable than mine, but I think a lot of the old school CryptoPunk collectors like to keep a low profile.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I live in Canada, and currently trade stocks and crypto full time. When not isolated in my home due to deadly viruses, I enjoy working out and golfing!
How did you get interested in NFTs and what NFT was the first one you got? Do you remember it? Is it still meaningful to you?
I first came across NFTs when CryptoKitties launched in November 2017. I was lucky enough to be aware of the project while it was still in beta testing, so when it went public, I snatched up a founder cat which I was able to flip for quite a profit, a few days later. I was the first person to ever buy a founder and that was my first NFT! It will always hold a special place in my heart, even if it’s no longer in my possession.
Talking about CryptoPunks, how many of them have you collected and traded so far? Why did you got so fascinated by them and why do you find them a valuable asset to have in your collection?
I have well over 100 CryptoPunks and I’ve only ever sold one or two. I totally missed the boat in June 2017 when they were given away for free, but after getting back into NFTs in the fall of 2018, I quickly became interested in them for their collectible value. CryptoPunks were the first Ethereum-based NFT, so from that perspective, I believe they should be a part of any serious NFT collection.
At the moment you own three very special Punks, and you had to invest a lot to buy them. Can you explain to those unfamiliar with CPs why you collected them and what makes each of them so particular?
Sure! #8348 is the only CryptoPunk with seven traits, and he just looks bad-ass! He is by far my favourite CryptoPunk and I was thrilled when he came up for sale.
#5314 is an ape, which is one of three types of special CryptoPunks (aliens, apes, and zombies). That was a bit of an expensive acquisition but apes are very hard to come by, since there are only 24 of them.
#1 is valuable to me for obvious reasons. Unfortunately there’s a CryptoPunk #0 so I don’t own the first one, but he is the first male CryptoPunk, and obviously a very low number. Coming from the world of CryptoKitties where low-numbered cats are more valuable just for that reason, it seemed obvious to me that CryptoPunk #1 was highly collectible, so I snatched it up when I saw it was for sale.
We might know the answer, but is there any other Punk you wish to collect in the future? Are there any character traits you are particularly fond of?
I’d obviously love to own an alien, but no one’s selling. There are only nine aliens in total and they’re in strong hands! As far as traits go, I’ve collected quite a few beanies, because they’re the rarest trait. I’m also a fan of medical masks just because of how relevant they are, given what we’re going through in the world right now. It’s kind of strange that LarvaLabs even included medical masks as a trait for punks, but they obviously saw the future.
Any tips you wish to give new NFT collectors? Anything that worries you in the NFT realms and you'd advise people to be careful with?
If you’re a new collector, take your time to learn about a project before you make an investment. You’ll save a lot of money if you get to know other collectors and deal with them privately. The prices you see on the market are often highly exaggerated; think of NFTs like art - it’s not a fast moving market like a cryptocurrency market.
Thanks for the precious advices! Any other projects you are particularly fond of right now?
Most of my attention outside of CryptoPunks has been on CryptoKitties, metaverses (CryptoVoxels and Decentraland), and CryptoStamps. I also own a complete collection of Autoglyphs, which is on-chain generative art that was created by LarvaLabs, the same team that created CryptoPunks. There are so many other interesting projects out there, but I’ve only got so much time (and money)! I also have some digital art, from various artists like Josie (one of the originals), and JoyWorld.