Idea for a temporal creative work based on a smart contract

I have a few ideas about creative works that are totally possible, yet people don’t seem to be doing. I keep telling myself I’m going to get started on some of these *any day now* but it never seems to happen. At some I just need to do these things, or put them out there for others to do, or at least get some feedback on.

So here is one I’d like to partner up on:

Note: I’m describing this as an ERC-721 smart contract, but there’s no need to restrict it to that specific technology. EOS offers a more secure platform to build this on, as do some others, but it will likely generate the highest amount of interest if built on Ethereum IMHO. I’m also more familiar with Solidity-based smart contracts than with others (which may not matter depending on partners) but the idea will work on a variety of customizable smart contract platforms.

An animated gif chopped into a small number of cells, each represented by an ERC-721 token, but the smart contract has a few customized functions. Each token + image is sold to a distinct purchaser, to the extent that the artist can discern.

The purpose of the custom functions added to the contract is to allow the entire animation to come together over time, and to re-form into a single work of art. The custom functions would ensure that secondary sales occur only when the purchaser is already an owner of one or more of the existing pieces (token+image)

If none of the owners dies without making some arrangements for claiming the work by heirs, then it’s quite possible that a single owner will emerge over time to own all the pieces. That is, the complete set of tokens, each uniquely tied to one cell or frame via hashes, plus the animation itself. Who knows, the artist may be long dead by then!

I’m not aware of a temporal work like this, that re-assembles itself over time in a manner controlled by the purchasers of said artwork. How long that proces takes, and who emerges with the composite work is a process that is an integral part of the work. In some sense that process and how it unfolds over time is what makes the work interesting.

Tokenization of Assets – Physical versus Digital

I claim that tokenizing digital assets is compelling because it creates opportunities to do new things, and tokenizing physical assets usually doesn’t.

A simple thought experiment:
If we each paid $1000 USD to someone who offered us gold, but they inform us that they actually have $1000 USD worth of gold, and $1000 worth of gold-backed tokens, would you prefer to own the tokens? I believe that most of us would want the actual gold.

Is there an analog with digital assets? Why not?
I think you’d have to agree there is a difference.

I’m going to oversimplifiy things slightly in order to highlight the differences, while still addressing the rather nuanced situations in a variety of cases. I will not be talking about composite items, that have both physical and digital components. I will not be addressing securities on the blockchain – i.e. ownership in a company or legal entity governed.

I believe the thought experiment posed above illustrates that tokenized physical assets incur additonal risk. This is the first key difference in my view. Continue reading “Tokenization of Assets – Physical versus Digital”

Tokenizing Physical Assets

Blockchain all teh things!

While I’m a huge fan of tokenizing digital assets, I’m highly skeptical when it comes to the viability of tokenizing physical assets. The subject comes up in the context of real estate, creative works and more. However I find that the assumptions are not well thought out and I don’t believe this is a practical approach to take.

Four proposed solutions to this issue, specific to the context of creative works, from Theo Goodman’s Medium post are:

  1. Use a verifier
  2. Use a platform to release your artwork
  3. Public announcement
  4. Use an OpenDime

Let me start with the last one. This solution is the only one that works in my estimation. Continue reading “Tokenizing Physical Assets”

Gauss: Amazing Math Hero

Carl Friedrich Gauss is absolutely one of my favorite mathematicians of all time, contributing to a wide variety of fields. For my money he’s in the top 3, but by any objective measure he should be considered among the brightest lights in the history of Mathematics.

Guass made important contributions to geometry, number theory and much more – even astronomy! Read on for some of the highlights of the amazing body of work he produced. In fact, he made progress in many areas and never even published the results! He said that proofs should not be published when first discovered, rather one should keep searching for the “best” proof.
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CryptoFighters – engaging new Ethereum-based battling game

Ever wish you could fight some of those CryptoKitties against each other? The creators say this is a common request and they’re considering it. Meanwhile, you might want to check out CryptoFighters to see just how fun a well designed fighting game can be.

Get a fighter from the marketplace – you’ll need to have some ETH and have the metamask browser extension to easily play this game. This enables the website to know what fighters you have without a login. Click here to get started with metamask extension.

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Top 10 criteria for choosing a VPN provider

In my previous post, “How to choose a VPN provider“, I gave a high level overview of how to choose a VPN provider. Here’s just a quick Top 10 list of things to look for. Be aware that your mileage may vary. Decide what is important to you!

image credit: themelines.com

Continue reading “Top 10 criteria for choosing a VPN provider”

How to choose a VPN provider

Choosing a VPN provider can be complicated. VPN services are themselves complex networks, doing sophisticated routing, standing up to frequent attacks on multiple fronts, and operating on thin margins. They are very different, and which one is right for you depends on your situation. I’ll try to break it down a little to help make choosing easier.

A proper VPN service provides security and privacy to users by establishing an encrypted comunications channel between your device(s) and a node on the VPN’s network. Once established, this encrypted channel prevents onlookers from discerning much of anything about your traffic, other than the fact that you’re using the VPN service.

Never use a free VPN service

Don’t even consider using a free VPN service. Running a VPN service is an expensive undertaking. The hardware costs are high, technical expertise is needed in-house in multiple knowledge domains, regulatory compliance issues can be expensive, and defending against attacks usually means paying 3rd parties to help. If the service is free – where does the money to pay for this come from?
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CryptoBots – battling blockchain bots!

Cryptobots is a blockchain-based app inspired by CryptoKitties, with clever new repackaging and graphics that seem to have been inspired by Homestar Runner.

The battle of Ethereum ERC-721 based token creatures continues with the beginnings of a cambrian explosion in crypto-whatevers. Today’s topic is the blockchain app called Cryptobots, where you can buy bots, manufacture your own bots, and battle your bots against others.

Buy a bot from the Cryptobots marketplace to get started, then battle it against others and get a free cryptobot if you win. You probably won’t, so try to manufacture a new bot instead, or just sell the damn thing and try again. Let’s take a closer look at doing all of these.

Continue reading “CryptoBots – battling blockchain bots!”

Paper Wallet Myths Debunked!

Paper wallets are the safest way to store cryptocurrency.

That’s a generalization, and of course the “safest” way to store tokens varies depending both upon your circumstances and what you consider safe. But generally peaking, depite numerous debates that will undoubtedly continue, the fact remains this is the most secure method for storing cryptocurrencies. That’s because you minimize the electronic attack surface, reducing the defense to the physical realm.

There are dangers and pitfalls with paper wallets to be fair, but they are entirely avoidable. That’s what this post is all about – debunking the popular notion that paper wallets are a good choice in theory, but not in practice! Let’s see how it goes, and please – to the makers of hardware wallets, I use your products and love them, it’s not personal.
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Bitcorn: Digital crops for patient farmers

Bitcorn is a game based on the Counterparty platform, where Bitcorn farmers hold CROPS that get harvested seasonally. Yes it’s a game, involves cryptocurrency, requires patience, and best of all is totally useless. Trust me, just read a little more before dismissing it out of hand – you may like it.

Bitcorn farmland

TL;DR – Hodl CROPS tokens and get Bitcorns airdrops four harvests a year. Like I said, this is for patient farmers. The game runs at least until 2022, when some final prizes will be awarded to farms and coops. Read on to make sense out of all this bitcorn farming and how to get started with your very own Bitcorn farm.
Continue reading “Bitcorn: Digital crops for patient farmers”