🖼 NFTs: Digital Renaissance, or Trap?

NFTs: The next digital renaissance, or a trap?

Over the last few months, NFTs and the internet have started to have "a thing". It's not clear what the true catalyst was, although our suspicions are that it might have been NBA's Top Shots debuting at the end of last year. It's been interesting for the 2C team to see adoption grow this year, having been building similar NFT projects since early 2018. 

There is massive speculation about whether the current NFT craze is a bubble, and whether it's even ethical to encourage artists that this is a worthwhile investment.

The two ethical arguments circling around NFTs right now are:What is the actual value of an NFT, especially if the artwork is not backed by a real asset?Is the cost of minting a token at $50-$100 accessible to a new artist? And furthermore, does that prevent a diverse set of artists from being able to participate in the market?On the topic of cost, check out Austin Griffith talking shop around the idea of Counterfactual Tokens, a method of allowing the buyer to take on the cost of token minting fees.

2C is continuing to research, design, and build in this space - so if you have any thoughts on this hot topic, hit reply on this email.

This post was originally published on 4/02/2021.

THE LATEST

🔬Beeple, the artist who sold his artwork as an NFT for $69.3M, says that this is absolutely a bubble, but that the technology will outlive this craze
Decrypt
 — Beeple became the third most-valuable living artist to have sold at auction thanks to NFTs. Comparing the popularity of NFTs to early internet days, Beeple states, "There was a bubble. And the bubble burst. And it wiped out a lot of crap—but it didn’t wipe out the Internet. And so the technology itself is strong enough where I think it’s going to outlive that.”

🎨The NFT Art Style: A compilation of looping digital art pieces with bright neon colors and motion
2C
 — We reviewed how the Dribbble community was building NFT art and designs in this compilation. The art is typically looped in particular, rotating around a central point, built using tools like C4D.

🥽Holograms are making a comeback for the sake of the future VR world, as big tech companies explore Mixed Reality (MR) hardware
aim
 — A team of researchers at MIT has figured out how to use AI to generate holograms that can run on a laptop using a fully optimized tensor network operated at orders of magnitude faster than physics-based calculations. As the technology to run virtual worlds is improving, tech companies like facebook, apple, amazon and google are all racing to lead out on this frontier. So far, it appears that Apple is working on UI (mixed reality headset to be released in the next several months), while Facebook is banking on UX (how our bodies interact in space with the Neural Wristband).

📕The Non-Fungible Token Bible: Everything you need to know about NFTs

OpenSea — Near Field Teleportation. Non-Fiction Theatricals. Nuclear Factor Transistor. Nope. Non-Fungible Token!

OpenSea has the definitive guide to understanding what they are, how they work, where they came from, and where they're going in this info-dense guide. Not another hype article, but an actual analytical explanation of the technical details that doesn't require a PHD.

🤑What does it mean to buy a gif?
Jack Rusher
 — Now that you've got the technicals down on NFTs, Jack Rusher has a level-headed breakdown to put the hype, pessimism, and trend into a historical context. Being both a computer scientist and artist, Jack is uniquely qualified here.

Announcing the Deno Company
@tbeseda says
 ... Don't get me started on Deno. I'll bore an entire room (or Zoom call) with my appreciation for the platform. The creators have announced their intentions for the commercial application of their work: The Deno Company.

Instead of trying to monetize the core code, the Deno Company will build out the ecosystem around the (MIT licensed) toolchain. Think serverless functions, standalone desktop GUIs, providing internal scripting to other platforms, etc. And they've raised nearly $5M to get started.

🚛Here’s why the new USPS mail trucks look so weird 
The Drive
 — Gosh, Oshkosh, why is this EV truck so… awkward? Simple, the requirements from the USPS. The Drive covers a few tweets from an Oshkosh Defense (the winner of the USPS big) competitor's, Plasan, design director Nir Kahn. Kahn goes into some of the more specific constraints and concedes the final design is basically the natural conclusion of those needs. Compelling insight into the bid process and industrial design of a relatively new industry.


As always, special shoutout to Taylor Beseda for helping curate this content.
Follow him on twitter @tbeseda.