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When cryptograffiti quit his day job and dove into creating Bitcoin art full time, the concept of thriving as a Bitcoin professional — let alone one whose beat is visual art — would have been ludicrous to most.
In 2012, this included shredding credit cards for resin sculptures and dabbling in street art, all in the name of the Bitcoin brand.
“It was super risky early on, and having to explain to family what I was doing [was difficult],” he told Bitcoin Magazine. “I started doing street art and I was at this in-between stage with this startup I was working on. And I was like, you know what, this is more interesting. So I decided to go full bore, and if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out.”
So far, it’s more than worked out, as cryptograffiti’s work has become widely recognized throughout the industry. Standouts include his credit card portraits of Hal Finney and Dorian Nakamoto, his “Black Swan” miniature portrait that sold for a fraction of a penny on the Lightning Network and his bolívar charity portrait of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.
His art often fuses the political, social and economic themes central to Bitcoin’s core technology, especially with more performative pieces like “Black Swan” and the fiat portrait of Maduro. Viewing something so abstruse and technical through an aesthetic lens makes it relatable, he said; the visual representations, and their potential to relate to the interests and ideologies in Bitcoin’s orbit, bridge the technical gap for people.
“When I first got into this space, I found it hard to grapple with, and I kinda [started] feeling out of place with all this tech culture around me,” cryptograffiti said. “Then I decided to really crack what was going on and I fell down the proverbial rabbit hole and just knew visual imagery would help it spread because it would appeal to more people.”
Sensing art’s potential to spur Bitcoin awareness, he began creating when the Bitcoin art field was practically a nonentity. He could recall a few authors, such as Diego Rodriguez, who had contributed to Bitcoin Magazine’s print editions in 2012 and 2013. Wired’s famed “Rise and Fall of Bitcoin” article played a particularly pointed role in convincing him that art could shape the conversation around Bitcoin.
“I remember thinking, ‘This thing isn’t going away, and there’s going to need to be a way to portray this in the press, making this attractive or just to grab their attention other than just an image of a bitcoin or zeroes and ones with a hacker looking dark,’” he recalled.
The New Bitcoin Art Scene
The opening cryptograffiti saw back then has grown into a subindustry within the wider Bitcoin industry itself. This enclave of crypto creatives, which is “growing in quality and quantity,” as cryptograffiti put it, was on full display at the Bitcoin 2019 conference in San Francisco. Artists dressed Bitcoin up through conventional media like oils and wood, as well as ones that traverse the virtual and physical realms alike.
Josie, for instance, employs augmented reality (AR) to animate her portraits, opening up a new dimension for the viewer to comprehend her artistic vision and the work’s narrative.
“It just continues a story,” she explained. “You see the static image, but once you get into the AR, you can see exactly what’s going on in my head and why I made it — the beginning, the middle and the end.”
One of her more prominent pieces portrays a woman, gas mask strapped on, transposed over a backdrop of USD and gazing intently at the viewer. When viewed through an AR app, the artwork sheds its USD backing to reveal a new Bitcoin-studded background, and as this transition occurs, her gas mask, with its Bitcoin frontispiece, fades away.
Josie told Bitcoin Magazine that her work is “always about promoting awareness and adoption” and is a way for her “to tell my story about owning my freedom, my identity, my money.” Her art strives to empower and please. This is why she chooses primarily female subjects, as both a show of empowerment and to suffuse her art with a charm that makes it attractive to people who would otherwise turn away at the sight of Bitcoin.
“I use women in almost all of my pieces because, for me, women are so powerful, so beautiful,” she explained. “They’re bringing life to tech and math and code that no one understands. Women represent life, so I think it’s such a cool way to tie that in. And it gives people something relatable. The story of the art is she’s owning her identity by using bitcoin, and it gives them a sense of empowerment that they can do that as well.”
These representations have kickstarted conversations about what Bitcoin is and give people a chance to learn. That’s what it’s all about, cryptograffiti said, as he recalled his own experiences with capturing people’s curiosity through his art.
Art as a gateway drug for Bitcoin was a common intersection for most of the artists exhibiting at Bitcoin 2019.
“The paintings speak for themselves in a sense, but at the same time, someone who’s not in the crypto space may not know what the bull and the bear represent,” Trevor Jones, whose art also incorporates AR, said. His app supplies viewers with snippets on Bitcoin’s volatility and market cycles. “It’s a more visually dynamic way to engage with the viewer,” a better way to inform them than slapping a description under the pieces themselves.
Speaking to the power of art infused with AR, another artist who exhibited at the conference, Chiefmonkey, said that it helps to “[bridge] a gap” and spark discussion.
“We have an open studio at home, me and my girlfriend, to show people our art, and that’s given me the opportunity to talk to people who don’t know what Bitcoin is,” he said. “Then they see that there’s a whole community of crypto artists, and so it bridges a gap between people who just like art to start learning about bitcoin.
“When I have someone in my home, they’re captive,” he added, with a boom of laughter.
Disrupting More Than Just the Art Scene
Chiefmonkey’s art takes inspiration largely from the Bitcoin community, and the wood-carved Satoshi Series he had on display incorporates Japanese influence to illustrate Bitcoin’s short history. The first piece, “Satoshi Goes Down the Rabbit Hole,” portrays the Bitcoin progenitor’s psychedelic jump into Bitcoin’s multilayered design. Others, like “Ginko Crypto” and “Satoshi Summons the Bulls,” depict bucolic Japanese landscapes with the Bitcoin price disguised as a mountain range in the background.
“My pieces in the future will be more politically challenging,” he said, touching on the need to expand Bitcoin art’s thematic frontier. Many of the artists on display at Bitcoin 2019, he continued, are testaments to how the aesthetic and thematic statements of the genre are maturing.
“On the art side, just sticking a bitcoin logo onto something doesn’t make it art anymore, Chiefmonkey said. “The artists here today are making statements with their art. It is about something, not just of something. Crypto art is as much about politics, a discussion about traditional systems, and I think a lot of us will be doing something about that and opening up the discussion beyond just money.”
To Jones, this includes disrupting and subverting not just the conversion around money and politics but art and culture itself.
“There’s this disruptive quality to the work,” he said. “They didn’t like it in the traditional market, when I was starting to poke the bear with AR. I went into the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and transformed Robert Burns and Hume into industry figures like Pomp, using my AR app.
“It pisses them off and brings a lot of attention,” he concluded.
The Marriage of Bitcoin and Art: A Long-Term View
Jones, a professional artist of 16 years, found that the traditional art world didn’t take too kindly to his use of AR.
“I was one of the first painters in the world to use AR in 2011 to ’12,” he said. “The art scene is quite conservative, so when I started playing with AR, the traditional galleries weren’t interested in showcasing my work.”
But the Bitcoin sphere, avant-garde in its own right, “has been absolutely phenomenal” with its reception, he said. The intersection of crypto and art is more natural than forced for Bitcoin proponents, and this is part of the reason why the Bitcoin art community is on the rise and so rich in variety.
The only thing that’s missing, according to cryptograffiti, is artists being able to directly monetize their work through Bitcoin and blockchain payment rails.
“It’s still so early that we’re not seeing the benefits of the technology itself for things like micropayments to benefit artists,” he said.
Second-layer solutions like the Lightning Network are one component of this, but another of Bitcoin 2019’s featured artists, Gus Grillasca, thinks non-fungible tokens (NFTs) will complete the picture. This concept for art, funnily enough, dates back to its original application with Pepe Cash — an ecosystem of beloved pepe memes where each “rare pepe” is associated with an NFT built on the Bitcoin secondary protocol, Counterparty.
“Some of us consider the rare pepe wallet as the birth of a digital art movement with these scarce digital tokens,” Grillasca said. We believe that there is a very important movement around creating these scarce tokens. Artists can do all of these things now for revenue sources, to engage with their followers using these tokens.”
Using NFTs, artists can crowdfund through ICOs or distributing digital copies of pieces to their followers.
For Grillasca, who creates NFTs for his work on Counterparty, this means creating, say, 100 NFTs for a certain piece. These tokens are digitally attestable and function like an artist-stamped or -signed copy of the original. This creates a digital scarcity that simulates the scarcity of original works in the real world.
“So what this means is that the digital can become more valuable than the physical,” Grillasca said. “Now, the digital has a market of its own.”
Of course, as with Pepe Cash, anyone can copy the image associated with the token, but without the token itself, this representation will carry no value on the digital art market. Josie also expressed that these NFTs can be used to unlock the AR component of each piece, a feature that Grillasca’s AR-compatible work also includes.
NFTs very well could open a new avenue for artists to monetize their work and make it digitally scarce in ways that the internet’s current structure won’t support. Couple this with something like Lightning Network micropayments and, “It’s only going to be a matter of time before revenue models for creatives will be expanded,” as cryptograffiti said. This would mean Bitcoin’s network effect reaching beyond its subculture of dedicated followers and interacting with a larger section of the world.
“If we want this to really grow and we want all walks of life, we don’t want an uneven power structure to develop [like in the traditional system], and for me that means onboarding people in regions that need it most, being able to get creatives who will appeal to more creatives, and so on,” cryptograffiti concluded.
The post Making the Tech an Aesthetic, the Bitcoin Art Scene Is Blossoming appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.
Making the Tech an Aesthetic, the Bitcoin Art Scene Is Blossoming
As the parties wind down in the US and the impending hangovers begin to fester, Bitcoin is taking a breather. In what appears to be the beginning of a consolidation phase, BTC has dropped around 8% on the day.
Bitcoin Price Falls Back To $11000
The epic 25% bounce back from the depths of $9,600 took Bitcoin price to $12000 briefly yesterday. For the duration of the fourth, it managed to consolidate around $11,800 but has fallen sharply a few hours ago. The latest dip has returned BTC back to $11k, and it is currently holding just above there at 00.
Daily volume has retreated back to $25 billion and BTC market capitalization has just dipped below $200 billion again. As Bitcoinist reported earlier this week, BTC may have found a new floor at around $10,000 but a drop below this could signal a deeper dip than the previous one, possibly somewhere back in the $8k region.
The CT traders seem to have taken the day off for the US holiday and things are pretty quiet in crypto land at the moment. Looking at next levels of support, the 50-day moving average is currently at $9,200 so this may serve as the next lower low if BTC heads south again.
On the four-hour chart, Bitcoin price has already dropped below the 50 MA and could head towards the 200 which is currently at $9,600. As in previous cycles, there was a lot of buying pressure at four figures but this may not be of the same magnitude if BTC drops below $10k again.
CNBC, which often serves as a counter trade signal, seems to be bullish on Bitcoin however with this rather festive tweet posted a few hours ago.
Cause Bitcoin you’re a … pic.twitter.com/wd71pu6Npi
Altcoins Getting Battered Again
Total crypto market capitalization has dumped over $15 billion on the day but Bitcoin dominance remains over 65% according to Tradingview.com. Yet again the altcoins, which are already in bad shape, are getting battered.
Ethereum has dumped 5% to return to $285 and XRP has shed a similar amount falling back to $0.387. Litecoin is holding $120 at the moment but Bitcoin Cash and EOS are both down 4%. There is a lot of red on the altcoin markets during Asian trading this morning and only a handful of the very low cap ones are making any progress.
The weekend may see more consolidation from Bitcoin which appears to result in a dump in the altcoins. It might be time for the daddy of crypto to take a breather for a bit.
Will Bitcoin price make another lower low or remain here for a while? Add your thoughts below.
The post Bitcoin Price Begins Consolidation; Markets Cooling Down appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.
Bitcoin Price Begins Consolidation; Markets Cooling Down
The price of Bitcoin has plunged by more than 15 percent from its 2019 high of $13,868.44. But that is not deterring investors from making bold bullish predictions for the cryptocurrency.
Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano, co-founder & partner of Morgan Creek Digital Assets is the latest to join the rank of bulls who believe Bitcoin price could hit the $100,000 level by 2021. The former Facebook executive borrowed his bullish bias from a so-called halving event next May that will slash the supply rate of Bitcoin by half. That would make the cryptocurrency scarcer than it already is. On the other hand, an increase in demand would prompt people to bid for Bitcoin at higher rates.
“Supply-Demand economics remain valid,” reasoned Pomp. “They are a great way to determine the market price. So, if the demand for a fixed-supply asset increases, we continue to see price appreciation.”
Bitcoin surpassing $10,000 got people talking…
— Jessica Walker (@Jessicaw_tv) July 4, 2019
Halving and Bitcoin Price
Halving has historically done well to Bitcoin.
Every four years, the cryptocurrency’s underlying algorithm reduces the supply of Bitcoin by half. In the beginning, the cryptocurrency’s daily issuance rate was close to 7,200 BTC at a block reward of 50 BTC. Following the first halving in 2012, the regular issuance got reduced to approx 3,600 BTC with block reward going down to 25 BTC. And in the next, the numbers got slashed another half — 1,800 BTC daily issuance at a block reward of 12.5 BTC.
By May 2020, the block reward will get cut to 6.25 BTC per block while the daily issuance rate would be about 900 BTC.
Simultaneously, the price of Bitcoin noted four-digit percentage gains upon every halving event. Following the first supply rate cut, the cryptocurrency noted a 7,976 percent surge in its spot rate. And after the second, it rose by 2,902 percent, as further illustrated in the chart below.
The all-time highs achieved during each halving also followed more substantial downside corrections. After December 2, 2013, the day Bitcoin established a new historic high of $1,163, the price pursued a strong downtrend, eventually falling by approx 86.90 percent from the local top. Similarly, following the next all-time high formation on December 16, 2017, which was near $19,666, Bitcoin corrected to the downside by approx 83 percent.
There were also other catalysts at play during the so-called halving uptrends. In 2013, the Bitcoin price boom came ahead of the hack of Mt. Gox, the largest cryptocurrency exchanges of that time. Willy Report later claimed that shady people in Mt. Gox were artificially inflating the Bitcoin price using bots.
The next halving uptrend of 2017 had also experienced shady market behavior. In that, a massive influx of new blockchain startups conducted billions of dollars worth of crowdfunding rounds – all raising funds in Bitcoin. That increased the demand of the cryptocurrency, which sent the price to an unrealistic $20,000 level.
Eventually, more than 90 percent of those startups failed and probably sold their bitcoins to cover their losses. The result was a strong downtrend that brought the cryptocurrency down to as low as $3,122 in December 2018.
Bitcoin has outperformed every major and minor asset this year in terms of returns. The world’s first and foremost cryptocurrency in June towered above the $13,500 level, bringing its year-to-date return close to a whopping 275 percent. That happened after major financial firms like TD Ameritrade, Bakkt, and Fidelity Investments announced that they would offer Bitcoin trading services. That said, Bitcoin had every reason to rise based on speculation of real demand, if not real demand itself.
But saying it would hit the $100,000 level is nothing but a crystal ball prediction. No evidence shows a broader demand for Bitcoin-related products as of now. And as BitMEX founder Arthus Hayes during the recently-held Asia Blockchain Summit, this cryptocurrency could go anywhere from zero to a million.
The question remains: why $100,000?
Do you think Bitcoin price will hit $100,000? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Use Journal, Twitter :@Jessicaw_tv
The post The Core Flaw In $100,000 Bitcoin Price Prediction appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.
The Core Flaw In 0,000 Bitcoin Price Prediction
Ripple’s XRP is the world’s third-biggest cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization, and over the past few years, the company has been engaged in extensive deal-making in order to make the cryptocurrency go mainstream in a big way.
The company has also built up a wide range of products in its ecosystem that seeks to make the usage of XRP more prevalent in the global economy, and one of those products is Xpring. The Xpring initiative is aimed at building what is called the ‘internet of value’ and making the participants in the ecosystem use XRP …
Ripple Announces Notable Investment in XRP Projects
Consider the diamond. Not as an object of natural beauty but as an asset class. Diamonds represent a natural commodity worth about $1.5 trillion whose value is universally recognized, yet they have never been useful as an institutional investment. The reason for this is also one of the things that makes diamonds a symbol of […]
Making Diamonds A Credible Alternative Investment
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BLOCKTV – The Card Making Crypto Viable For Everyday Purchases
It’s been at least a few months since the United States Financial Institutions Regulatory Agency (FINRA), has received applications from around 40 different cryptocurrency startups to be given a license as broker-dealers in the industry. FINRA has been delaying the requests as much as possible, citing various reasons as to why there is so little […]
FINRA is still making crypto companies wait for approval
Binance Keeps Making Progress, Arax and Lition – Business Partnerships Altcoin BuzzBinance Chain in a bid to becoming one of the largest blockchain ecosystem in the world merges with Arax wallet and Lition blockchain network.
Binance Keeps Making Progress, Arax and Lition – Business Partnerships – Altcoin Buzz