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MyEtherWallet, or MEW, launched its first nonfungible token (NFT) collection called ETH Blocks on Thursday, which tokenizes individual blocks on the Ethereum blockchain. Unique images associated with ETH Blocks are generated based on the block’s data. These NFTs are available exclusively to MEW users via the MyEtherWallet website.
A number of blocks have already been claimed, according to the company. Ethereum’s founders called first dibs on blocks one through 10. There are also 13 ETH Blocks representing the history of Ethereum — such as major milestones, forks and updates to the blockchain — that have been put up for a month-long auction, the proceeds of which will be donated to organizations such as The Skid Row Housing Trust, Wikipedia, Girls Who Code and NPR, among others.
Cointelegraph spoke with Kosala Hemachandra, CEO of MEW, to learn more about the original Ethereum wallet’s decision to embrace NFTs and innovate on the Ethereum blockchain:
“MEW is dedicated to making history by bringing NFTs to help newcomers and experienced users explore a new way of Ethereum in a trusted environment.”
He went on to explain that the project aims to provide complete access to all the Ethereum blockchain has to offer. Since most NFT markets are currently built on the Ethereum blockchain, he told us that it “makes sense” to involve Ethereum users at all skill levels by allowing them to mint and own unique pieces of the blockchain itself.
When asked what he considers to be the value driver behind owning an ETH Block, Hemachandra told Cointelegraph:
“The amazing thing about ETH Blocks is that they can be sentimental and meaningful or an educational tool. Users [can] take control of the ETH Blocks in the way they want to and be as creative as they can be with how they share them and which moment on the blockchain they mint.”
As much as ETH Blocks may be sentimental for users, Ethereum’s history and “every individual fork and upgrade hold a special place” in the MEW team’s hearts as well, added Hemachandra. Since both the Ethereum blockchain and MyEtherWallet were founded in 2015, Hemachandra noted that MEW has made it a priority to be at the forefront of innovation for the Ethereum community:
“We believe that [Ethereum] can grow into the indisputable best blockchain for Web3. And now, with ETH Blocks, we all can remember how we got there when we arrive!”
Earlier this year, Hemachandra wrote an article for Cointelegraph about the value beyond the hype of NFTs. And with the announcement of ETH Blocks, he and the MEW team hope to demonstrate their conviction in the potential of Ethereum and the staying power of NFTs.
In a blog post published Wednesday, Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum (ETH), expressed his wishes to make nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, soulbound as with the namesake item class in popular MMORPG World of Warcraft, or WoW. In outlining his reasons, Buterin explained that if someone shows they own an NFT that is obtainable by doing X, such as attending an auction, it is not possible to tell if the person attended the auction to obtained it or simply bought the NFT via the secondary market.
An example of a soulbound item in WoW | Source: Blizzard Watch
The soulbound feature in WoW prevents an item from being traded, mailed or sold at the in-game Auction House to other players. It was designed by developers to prevent “twinking” or passing down gear from high-level to low-level characters to dramatically speed up the grinding process of fighting monsters to gain experience.
However, they also serve the purpose of demonstrating achievement; that is, the character earned the item by defeating challenging bosses and not via an heirloom. The latter property seems to be of interest to Buterin, as the Ethereum co-founder raised the point that on-chain proposals to store driver’s licenses, university degrees, etc., would face problems if someone who doesn’t meet the necessary conditions can readily purchase them.
Buterin also spoke highly of the “proof of attendance protocol” project POAP, which stores digital mementos of one’s life on-chain, and issues a unique badge supported by a cryptographic record. The team behind the project encourages developers who care about transferability to check “on-chain if the current owner is the same address as the original owner.” But like soulbound items in WoW, taking away the transferability of NFTs would also presumably take away their commercial viability.
The team behind the popular blockchain explorer and analytics platform Etherscan has launched an Ethereum-based wallet-to-wallet instant messaging service dubbed “Blockscan Chat.”
Blockscan is currently in beta testing mode, and it currently enables users to engage in an instant wallet-to-wallet chat, access chats from multiple devices, block spammy or unwanted addresses and get notified on the block explorer when a message has been received.
While the new feature is a great way to talk to other anons — say to negotiate an anonymous purchase — it might come in particularly handy for dealing with whitehat hackers, who have often left messages embedded in Ethereum transactions to communicate with individuals and exploited crypto platforms.
Last week’s Multichain hack, which saw a supposed whitehat hacker return 322 Ether (but keep a hefty finder’s fee) and the $610 million PolyNetwork from last year both involved anon discussion via Ethereum transactions as part of negotiations between the culprit and victims.
Etherescan subtly unveiled the new feature via a Jan. 26 tweet that read “wonder what this is for…?” with a screenshot depicting messenger notifications on the platform.
— “The Etherscan” (@etherscan) January 25, 2022
Apart from pleading with hackers to return funds for a bounty, such as the service could be helpful in the NFT market.
Twitter user “bdmartino” argued that the feature could be utilized for the negotiations of NFTs purchases between buyers and sellers, adding that if the transaction was conducted by a decentralized exchange both parties could reduce the fees associated with NFT platforms such as OpenSea.
5. Taking this one step further, why not just integrate sudoswap-like functionality directly into the Blockscan messaging app? Conversations about NFT trading will likely be a major use case.
— Bruno (@bdmartino) January 25, 2022
It also states that the information will not be traded to third parties, but will be disclosed or transferred to partnered parties such as data warehouses, IT service providers and data analytics agencies.
According to its terms of service any user who violates its acceptable use policies such as providing false, inaccurate or misleading information may be barred from a portion of, or all of Blockscan and Etherscan’s related services.
“The Market Report” with Cointelegraph is live right now!
On this week’s show, Cointelegraph’s resident experts discuss which nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace has the most to offer its customers.
But first, market expert Marcel Pechman carefully examines the Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) markets. Are the current market conditions bullish or bearish? What is the outlook for the next few months? Pechman is here to break it down.
Next up, join Cointelegraph analysts Benton Yaun, Jordan Finneseth and Sam Bourgi as they debate which marketplace is the best for NFTs. Will Bourgi’s pick of Solanart come out on top, with its high speeds and low transaction costs? Or will Yuan’s pick of Rarible beat out the rest with its community-owned approach, where RARI tokenholders can vote and make changes to the platform? Last but not least, we have Jordan’s pick of ThetaDrop, which supports all types of creators, from well-known artists like Katy Perry to crypto influencers and popular gamers. Which marketplace do you think has the most to offer? Leave us a comment with your thoughts, and vote in the poll in the chat room!
Stick around after the showdown for insights from Cointelegraph Markets Pro, a platform for crypto traders who want to stay one step ahead of the market. The analysts use Markets Pro to identify two altcoins that stood out this week: Anchor Token (ANC) and Akash Token (AKT).
Do you have a question about a coin or topic not covered here? Don’t worry! Join the YouTube chat room, and write your questions there. The person with the most interesting comment or question will be given a free month of Cointelegraph Markets Pro, worth $100!
The Market Report streams live every Tuesday at 12:00 pm ET (5:00 pm UTC), so be sure to head on over to Cointelegraph’s YouTube page, and smash those like and subscribe buttons for all our future videos and updates.
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