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The Brave New World of Crypto

Published Jul 10, 2021 01:00AM ET
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The Brave New World of Crypto
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  • The creation of cryptocurrencies made a whole new world, filled with the brightest minds and those with dubious intentions.
  • Cryptocurrency scams have cost the industry billions of dollars and threaten to damage the reputation of the sector.
  • Despite the antics of scammers, artists are leveraging the immense potential of blockchain technology to advance their art.
  • As artists flock to the space, the informational burden becomes enormous and it is interesting to see how the community will react.

12 years ago, Satoshi planted the seeds of cryptocurrencies after mining the Bitcoin Genesis Block in 2009. The seed has grown into a giant oak tree, spawning thousands of other cryptocurrencies, and has resulted in over $1 trillion.

This new ecosystem consists of some of the brightest minds, working hand in hand to improve blockchain technology.

Another cohort is cryptocurrency scammers who are taking advantage of the fact that the industry is in its infancy to scam unsuspecting individuals. Another demographic are artists who are taking their first tentative steps in the industry and unearthing new rewards.

The Self Sustaining Ecosystem

Planet Crypto has made rapid developments since its launch thanks to the collaboration and efforts of the brilliant minds in the space.

These collaborations have birthed improvements from Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency, to Ethereum and thousands of other cryptocurrencies.

In just 12 years, the industry has seen the development of smart contracts, decentralized applications, NFTs, and a whole vibrant ecosystem of DeFi.

In such a short time, the global market cap of cryptocurrencies surged to exceed $2 trillion as a host of institutional investors and retail traders poured investments into the market. Wall Street and large corporations made frantic efforts to incorporate crypto services as part of their offerings, given their rapid rise to global adoption.

Artists are a relatively new group that has begun embracing blockchain technology to improve their craft.

Despite the remarkable strides of the space, cybercriminals and scammers are taking the shine off cryptocurrencies.

Artists and Blockchain Technology

After the invention of the internet, art remained relatively unchanged through the years until the emergence of blockchain technology. Almost every aspect of life has the potential to be improved by this technology, and art seems to be among those that have gained the most.

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) allowed artists to sell digital art without the need for intermediaries or third parties.

The decentralized nature of the blockchain meant that artists from anywhere could make money from their art seamlessly.

The blockchain allows for art authentication and provides tools for provenance for artworks. Through this, future sales can be tracked ensuring that artists get a commission for each sale.

Aside from earning and provenance, it has also ushered in a new form of digital art; it will be interesting to see how else art gains from blockchain technology.

On the Flipside

  • The NFT market for art is learning from its shortcomings, as artists get paid more and the community gets stronger.
  • As part of its drive to create a safer space, Opensea is upgrading the review process for NFT collections and introducing the use of automated technologies to remove NFTs that violate the terms.

The Dark Side: Hackers

For all the good that cryptocurrencies offer, the sector has been plagued by cybercriminals and hackers. From inception, these elements have cost the ecosystem losses running into billions of dollars; from the early Mt. Gox hack of 2014 to the recent Colonial Pipeline attack in May 2021.

As artists flood the crypto space, there’s a spike in the informational burden. The market capitalization of NFT protocols exceeds $16 billion and cryptocurrency scammers will be eyeing the sector as their target.

Already, there have been cases of impersonation of artists like Derek Laufman with their artworks being minted as NFTs and sold without their permission. Crypto improvements offer promise but bring with them a myriad of potential pitfalls. We should beware.


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The Brave New World of Crypto

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