Buzz word, hot topic in the creative and the crypto world. I don’t know if I saw this coming or not. Hard to say. I’ve always been aware of our ever-changing world, especially living in such a speedily-evolving technology age. It’s a fast world, and sometimes difficult to keep up. I was not unaware of the evolving word of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. I’ve been dabbling in mixed media, and working with a heavy learning curve for Adobe Photoshop and all the nuances to utilizing that program, as well as Lightroom.
This is a journey I’m on as I begin to explore the world of #nft. That is, non-fungible tokens. A new concept that my son presented me with a few weeks ago. I was intrigued as I sometimes can be by new, shiny things. Can’t be sure where it will take me, but here I am, always learning new things, always up for a new challenge. Always about absorbing new information, tracking new techniques, seeing things in a new way.
Was I somewhat aware of the million-dollar auction at Christie’s of an NFT piece of art? Somewhat. I recall thinking it was an interesting bit of news. But it wasn’t until a discussion with my son, who’s more into the sports collectibles and had been looking at digital sports cards for a while, that my curiosity was piqued.
Down the rabbit hole I go.
Being a research kind of gal, I’ve scoured lots of articles and YouTube videos, and have probably filled half a notebook of information with printed out articles stuffed in the back.
I try to do things in an orderly fashion. I’m a lister and a goal setter. Do first, do second, etc. The first thing was to begin learning the vocabulary, not just for NFTs, but for the world of cryptocurrency. Starting with the definition of a non-fungible token, and the word, ethereum, one of the main digital currencies in use today. Of course, after reading a number articles/blogs about NTFs, led me to a whole range of words that required research, and so down the rabbit hole I went.
Many hoops to jump through, and familiarizing myself with terms like, “exchange,” “wallet,” “ethereum,” “gas.” “Minting,” “smart contracts,” and then the various sites to list on such as, Mintable, Rarible, Openseas, and others. I have a spreadsheet to track the fluctuation in gas prices to get a sense of best/worst times to convert, mint, etc.,etc. Oh, yes, and “fiat” and “gwei.” These are the starting points.
First deduction, I’m probably going to lose money as I start out and begin to navigate this whole new world to me. There seem to be a lot of variable “gas” fees along the way that are very hard to pin down. I accept that fact. The idea is to not lose more than necessary. Whichever way I go, it’s going to take at least a small investment of money, not to say a large investment of time. These facts I accept.
It’s a bit scary navigating these waters, in a crypto world so volatile, a challenge to energy consumption, the fact it could be a techno bubble, and/or it could blossom i to something very cool and empowering for photographers, visual artists, creatives as a whole. I mean, being able to “mint” a unique digital image, track its ownership, receive a measure of royalties on each sale up the line. Interesting and intriguing.
At this stage, I’ve taken a leap. I’ve set up with an exchange, Coinbase, where they threw in an infintisimal amount of Bitcoin as a thank you for signing up. I’ve set up with the generally recommended wallet, Metamask. Metamask is an extension on Google Chrome, and I believe Firefox, etc., as well. I’ve begun working on a profile at Openseas.io. I’ve done my first exchange of USD to the cryptycurrency, ethereum (ETH), at Coinbase, and transferred it to Metamask. Not too much at first, because there can be some pitfalls with that. But, happily that all worked well. I’ve created a collection at Openseas, and added a few images. The final part of listing an item for sale will need to wait a bit, but coming soon.
As I said, this is a journey. I’m still learning. The crypto world is a different world, it’s not a world I recommend leaping into, but cautiously stepping in and looking around. Would I like to make a bit of money from this experience? Well, yes. But truthfully, I find it exciting, and challenging, and really quite creatively inspiring.
By the way, soon you’ll find me at TG_ArtEclectic.
More news to come as I make this journey into the crypto world.