Weekly Updates

NFT Art & Geo Web Persistence

In the blockchain world, there’s really one mainstream use case as of today—speculation (hello, bull run 2020/2021). There’s plenty of promise, but we’re not there yet. Between the UX challenges, technical uncertainty, regulations, volatility, and transaction fees, the user base is almost entirely made up of those making (or expecting to make) a significant profit and intrepid “buidl-ers.”

Over the last several years, that buidl-ers faction has grown to include many digital artists. They’ve made significant steps toward making “art on blockchains” (a subset of non-fungible tokens or NFTs) the next mainstream use case for crypto. Beeple, a popular digital artist, sold $3.5M of digital art in auctions in December 2020. That’s just one cherry-picked example, but go search on Twitter for #cryptoart or #NFTs. You’ll see a tremendous amount of creative energy.

To the uninitiated, this underground world and the money being invested might not make intuitive sense. But, “art” is both content and it’s medium. Blockchains offer an innovative medium for artists to experiment with and express new ideas (including the business model for artists themselves). 

The real game changer blockchains offer though is enforceable, provable digital scarcity. Sure, there are ways to copy the bytes and pixels of a piece of crypto art, but there are ways to reproduce da Vinci’s work too. The difference between the original and a really good forgery (or just a plain old copy) are largely psychological. When an art expert has vouched for a piece’s authenticity, it creates a different connection between observer and creator. The artist made this one. It just hits different. Digital art has lacked that until blockchains came around.

We think that as a medium, the Geo Web can offer another attribute that’s traditionally been lacking from digital art: persistence. On the Geo Web, an augmented reality statue (or any piece of art) anchored to a physical location is always there regardless of who, when, or what device it's viewed on. This makes the art feel more tangible and opens up opportunities for novel expression.

As we move into 2021, we’ll continue to admire the artists that are pushing crypto toward the mainstream—regardless of where token prices go (the true sign of buidl-ers). We’re also excited about the opportunity to actively engage and experiment with art on the Geo Web. So, hit us up if you’re a digital artist or know one that might be interested in exploring with us!

On to the updates...

Technical

  • We implemented auctions for expired land parcels (e.g. network fee deposits run out) on testnet. We’re using a Dutch auction system to reintroduce expired parcels to the market. The auction starts at the previous licensee’s self-assessed value and counts down 0 over a two week period. Any market participant can claim the land at any time during the auction. We think it’s a simple, efficient and fair price discovery mechanism.
  • Remember that speculative hackathon proposal for fractionalizing ownership of Geo Web land parcels that we mentioned in Weekly Update #9? Turns out we won that  Gitcoin #GR8 Bounty! We’re super grateful for the team over at NIFTEX for the opportunity and the funding. They’re hard at work designing v2 of their platform right now. We’re excited about the possibilities of leveraging their platform for Geo Web parcel fractionalization.

Community

  • The Apollo Gitcoin matching round has been extended into January (we’re seeking guidance on when it will officially close). So, if you want to share some love from the latest bull run with the Geo Web, you can still contribute on our Gitcoin grant page.
  • Do we need a Discord channel yet? Yes or no? We’re a small team and the project is early in development, so we’ve tried to limit the proliferation of too many channels too early, lest they go unused. We’d love to chat and interact with you all though!

On Deck

  • Adding an explainer/FAQ tab to the Cadastre to highlight the basics of the Geo Web network, mechanics of the digital land market, and project governance
  • Begin experimentation with a Ceramic Network integration for content linking
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