An version of this article was published in TIME’s newsletter Into the Metaverse. Sign up for a weekly guide for the future of the Web. You can see past issues in the news here.
Last December, I downloaded a new-ish program called Clubhouse to learn more about an event I started to hear a lot about but didn’t understand: NFTs. In the app, I find a community of enthusiasts who believe that NFTs, or non-fungible brands, can be a transformative for culture, commerce and technology. Their community is small but small and diverse; Most people outside of their cohort felt that their climb was short, if they had heard about NFTs.
What makes the year different. As we conclude 2021, NFT is one of the first stories of the year, going into all aspects of pop culture, from music to sports to Marvel Entertainment. The interest in related concepts such as DeFi, DAO and the metaverse developed as companies and investors around the world prepared for a first computer.
To mark a wild year in the metaverse, I called on one of the foremost pioneers in the sky: painter and blockchain coder Rhea Myers. About eight years ago, before the NFT industry got into the mainstream, Myers began creating blockchain-based images on early chains such as Bitcoin and Dogecoin. . He is a technical developer at Dapper Labs, the team behind NBA TopShot and CryptoKitties. Like me, Myers is somewhat skeptical about NFTs ’intentions in 2021:“ At the beginning of the year, I was very humble about working with the use of the blockchain space, “he said. “And everything just flew a week later. It was really hard.
I asked Myers to look at the country in 2021 — and give some superlatives as well. Here are the parts of our conversation.
Has there ever been a year like this in the world of crypto?
There are a couple of years that remind me: In 2017, when Cryptopunks and Cryptokitties came out and we had the first curated presentation of the crypto image on Ethereal [the Ethereum-focused conference]. ERC-721 [a standard for tokens on the Ethereum blockchain] which came out on the side of the Cryptokitties industry, which is what every cryptocurrency now needs to know about.
Earlier, in 2014, Nili Lerner’s NILIcoin was a blockchain -based think tank to “sell” a variety of business logo ideas. It is the prefigurative of what happened later. And the good Kevin McCoy came up with Monegraph, a blockchain list of photography. So two very good years.
But this year we have seen the great power of crypto. [We saw] it became the subject of satires and sitcoms; renaming of stadiums; and the return of DAOs, independent corporations – the main focus of those. There are so many amazing things to do, and I look forward to seeing people really turn their heads to that technology and use it again.
The most exciting time on the Web 3
Sotheby’s Natively Digital auction. I would be lying if I said that it is not surprising to have money. [Myers’ “Secret Artwork” sold for $63,000.] But it’s amazing to have that important concept and the amazing people coming in from art curation and creative thinking studios, starting to work hard with blockchain materials. It’s great to be able to talk to people who know me after I’ve had so many other experiences over the years.
Favorite NFT graphics program
The most recent thing I liked was Materia by metaverse avatar artist LaTurbo Avedon. They have been working with cryptocurrency much longer than I have, and their current project is a very good deal with the capabilities of the technology. It’s very much about the aesthetics of the space and how you can create virtual reality and on-chain metaverses.
Image from LaTurba Avedon’s NFT photo collection “Materia.”
The most important technology development
It continues to be a test-of-stake, in the sense of addressing all sorts of concerns about energy use. Bitcoin and Ethereum now use a system called proof-of-work, which was originally designed where you run hard money to make sure you’re not a spammer. Proof of action is not necessary: It is designed to take the attackers longer than they are able to carry out an attack.
According to Proof-of-stake, instead of creating complex clusters using powerful hardware, we should use the basic technology of the blockchain, which is the cryptographic names and tokens that flow. to the network. If you put a few pieces of silver in the pond, you can become a passer to the blocks. And if you are mischievous, your pieces are lost. So he goes from a working elf system that uses a lot and a lot of work to a naughty-and-good list for making blocks — to make him a model of the era. terrified.
More from TIME
Friends with interests, a DAO culture / collection. The nature of the ‘secret’ in each successful project of its culture. And Friends with Benefits has an excellent belt of, “Come in, be good, plan your way.” The way they use staking and decision -making techniques is well documented.
The most anxious kind
The horrible threat directed at painters is due to the use of NFTs. There’s a trend coming up in the social media of people who are very fond of saying, “We’re going to intimidate NFT artists.” It is based on old and poorly documented knowledge about chains other than what the artists are moving at. of labor, and good governance.
3 favorite social media think tank on social media
@Artnome, also known as Jason Bailey. She has a knowledge of graphic design and data. It’s interesting to see someone accustomed to looking at images as complex numbers come across a space like crypto, which started out as a complex number, but is trying to those who become more complex and rational. I think that’s a good idea to have.
The biggest take from the year
The development of the atmosphere is amazing, not only the art but the people who make the systems. Every complaint I’ve seen about a blockchain site or a response that’s been implemented, well -addressed on a new blockchain, or is open source projects or startups working in order to make people’s lives easier.
At the beginning of the year, I was very slow in getting involved and using the space. And it all exploded a week later. He was very diligent. And it’s the same with technology: seeing the at-stake authentication systems become self-managed, seeing the anonymous authentication systems used in games. [Researchers hope that “zero-knowledge proofs” will be the key to creating secure online identification.] My hope is that we can have better information systems to help artists establish what they say; and secret communication systems are better and if you can establish what you say you are, you don’t have to establish it in someone you don’t like.
Like everything, always start with games. That’s why games and graphics are so important: they’re low -cost ways to experiment with new technologies. And this year, development at each level is the highest I’ve ever seen.
Sign up Into the Metaverse for a weekly guide to the future of the Web.
Join TIMEPieces at Twitter and Discord
Must Read Stories from TIME