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The fever-pitch euphoria of nonfungible tokens (NFT) reached its proverbial all-time highs in the hours preceding the calamitous gas wars of the Otherside metaverse land sale.
But by most reputable accounts, following almost a year of frantic exponential growth, rife speculation and cultural spotlighting, the market was long overdue a respite. A hiatus from minting drama. It has now subsided and officially entered its inaugural bearish cycle.
Statistical data from OpenSea paints a sorrowful assessment of the market’s financial fortunes, with the floor prices of some highly popular collections more than halving since peak highs.
The eminent Bored Ape Yacht Club is down from its peak floor price of 156 Ether (ETH) from the beginning of May to 98.8 ETH at the time of writing. Similarly, CryptoPunks dropped from 125 ETH on Oct 2 to its current value of 50 ETH.
Other profile picture projects (PFP) such as RTFKT Studios’ CloneX, Azuki, Doodles, and even metaverse lands The Sandbox and Decentraland have all suffered similar fates.
The highly revered Cool Cats and World of Women — which just six months ago were categorized as blue-chips for their innovative approach to intellectual property and community spirit — have experienced the most drastic reductions in the value of the top collections.
However, the NFT market is by no means alone in this trend. Macroeconomic factors of inflation, stock declines, and a lack of consumer affordability have been compounded within the crypto industry this week by the devastating collateral damage of the Terra (LUNA) stablecoin crisis.
And yet, despite the mellow social atmosphere and cultural admission of the falsehoods of WAGMI, the underlying sentiment among experienced artists, founders and advocates of the space is that the bear market will provide an opportune moment for reflection and rebuilding.
Alongside this, founders and core holders are welcoming the moment to broaden the conversation from greed-obsessive floor prices to more conscious subjects such as utility, societal impact, and IRL interactions.
Much like in the 2017-18 crypto winter, humbleness, resilience, and determination are the core pillars needed to cultivate a revival.
For a comprehensive overview of the ways in which NFT projects can preserve, and continue to fulfill their founding philosophy, community values and roadmap visions, Cointelegraph’s tech reporter Tom Farren conversed with a number of expert thought leaders within the space.
Aleksandra Artamonovskaja, a passionate NFT spokesperson and newly appointed partnerships lead at Joyn, spoke candidly about the importance of recognizing the opportunities presented within bearish cycles, sharing her belief that it’s the “perfect time to align your vision”, before stating:
“When the market is hot, it’s hard to focus because there is so much noise […] This [downturn] has acted like a cleaning mechanism for all the speculation that’s taking place. It will now be more clear, especially for investors, which projects are continually building and sticking to their values. It’s a good test to show that they are going to persevere no matter the circumstances.”
Despite everything, we keep moving forward
— Aleksandra Art (@aljaparis) May 11, 2022
On the topic of 1/1 artists, Artamonovskaja reflected that “two years ago, artists that were selling 1/1’s didn’t have that much support,” but that now “it’s a completely different case because of NFT galleries, marketplaces, artists residencies, exhibitions, competitions, and more.”
“It’s not perfect,” she says, “but it’s an opportunity for artists to look at how they can engage, not just with the buyer, but within the ecosystem itself,” before concluding that “connection is a really good direction to explore.”
TIME Magazine, recognized as one the most progressive organizations championing the leap into the decentralized sphere, announced a flurry of crypto adoption initiatives throughout 2021, including adding Bitcoin (BTC) to their balance sheet, and accepting crypto payments for their 18-month digital subscription option in partnership with Crypto.com.
In March this year, the historic 99-year-old magazine published a revelatory interview with Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin alongside a commemorative genesis NFT magazine issue
TimePieces, a Web3 creative subsidiary of TIME, has equally embraced the culture and ethos of the space, launching a number of artistically diverse and culturally relevant NFT collections such as Slices of TIME and Build a Better Future, among others.
President of TIME Magazine, Keith Grossman shared his anticipations for the future prospect of NFT projects based upon their intentions – monetary or value-orientated, assessing that many “greed-based communities [won’t] survive over the next year as the focus of these are primarily quick, monetary return – not a greater cause or belief system.”
“Values-based communities” have the highest capacity to thrive according to Grossman because “their members are focused on building something together that is bigger than any one individual or immediate economic return and share a common belief that values creates value over time.”
Later in the conversation, he openly revealed the areas of growth that TimePieces will attentively seek to develop throughout the bearish cycle in order to best serve their community and the wider ecosystem, stating:
“TIMEPieces will focus its energy on continuing to invest in building its Web3 presence and continuing to lean into our brand to provide strong programming and access for its community members […] Our view will not change due to market conditions: we are evolving our brand within this space for the next 100 years – not 100 minutes, weeks or months. Years!”
this is how dedicated @KeithGrossman isflew over across the ocean to honour @timepieces & his curated @ 1 & only #NFTLiverpool world’s largest & LONGEST NFT exhibition! he spent genuine effort & ⏰ getting to know each of us
huge honour✨ always gr8ful4 this⏰ pic.twitter.com/J09L8RmUcp
— ARTJEDIᵍᵐSuperRare+Visual Arts Ambassador KO (@ARTJEDI1) May 14, 2022
TimePieces is actively recruiting for five roles, including a head of collector relations and a manager with metaverse experience – all of which come with a strong affinity for applicants within the TIMEPieces community.
Acknowledging the current market dynamics, coupled with the relatively high risk of NFTs within an investment portfolio, co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Rarible, Alex Salnikov, declared his opinion that “NFT collections which are bought for user enjoyment or artistic appeal, and which offer valuable utility, will hold relatively steady.”
Rarible is the the fourteenth leading marketplace by volume traded over a 30-day period with $2.81 million according to data from DappRadar. Speaking on the question of aiding their community through what can be an uncertain time for many, Salnikov said:
“We pride ourselves on being a community-centric marketplace, and this principle has never been more important to uphold than during a bear market. Our team is placing a particular emphasis on supporting community-focused NFT collections.”
Citing their work with Solana-based Degenerate Ape Academy, and Meta Angels to develop and launch bespoke marketplaces for their ecosystems, Salnikov noted that this supports their overarching ambitions to “dedicate a greater proportion of fees earned on the marketplaces to the project’s treasury or DAO, and have overall greater flexibility as opposed to larger, more centralized platforms.”
On Monday, Do Kwon, co-founder of the troubled Terra Luna blockchain, announced a revised plan to restore the ecosystem after a combination of significant market volatility and inherent protocol design flaws wiped out a vast majority of the blockchain’s market cap. As told by Kwon, Terraform Labs will put forth a new governance proposal on May 18 to fork the Terra Luna blockchain called Terra (token name: LUNA).
However, the new chain will not be linked to the TerraUSD (UST) stablecoin. Meanwhile, the old Terra blockchain will continue to exist with UST and will be called Terra Classic (LUNC). Under Kwon’s plan, if passed, the new LUNA blockchain will go live on May 27.
Under the proposal, new LUNA tokens will be airdropped to LUNC holders, UST holders and essential developers of the Terra Classic blockchain. In addition, Terraform Labs’ wallet with the address terra1dp0taj85ruc299rkdvzp4z5pfg6z6swaed74e6 will be removed from the whitelist for the airdrop, thereby making Terra a fully community-owned chain. The proposed supply of LUNC is capped at 1 billion, with 25% going to the community pool, 5% to essential developers and 70% going to LUNC and UST holders at various snapshots of events in May, subject to vesting conditions.
Earlier today, the Luna Foundation Guard, the ecosystems’ steward, disclosed that it used up an overwhelming portion of its cryptocurrency reserves trying to defend UST’s peg during market sell-off. As a result, it is unlikely that the Terra ecosystem can salvage itself without the help of external capital. Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, said that he would support Terra’s community but would like to see more transparency from the entity as to recent events.
2/ It has been inspiring to partake in the dynamic discourse regarding the best next steps for Terra. Taking feedback from the community and thoughtful proposals, I would like to suggest the following for the path forward.https://t.co/E13VI8bkLh
A thread on our reasoning:
— Do Kwon (@stablekwon) May 16, 2022
Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of crypto exchange FTX, has criticized the efficiency of Bitcoin (BTC) as a payment network, only to meet heavy backlash from the crypto community.
During an interview with the Financial Times, Bankman-Fried fueled environmental concerns associated with the Bitcoin network’s mining consensus, proof-of-work (PoW), and claimed it’s not scalable enough to accommodate millions of transactions.
He advocated for the use of proof-of-stake mining consensus instead and claimed it is better suited for blockchain payment networks. He said:
“Things that you’re doing millions of transactions a second with have to be extremely efficient and lightweight and lower energy cost. Proof of stake networks are.”
Bankman-Fried comments resonated with the recent calls for a complete ban on PoW by a group of billionaire lobbyists comprising Ripple co-founder and several other environmental groups. However, Bitcoin proponents have been actively fighting against the ongoing narration calling for a change in the code of the Bitcoin network’s mining consensus.
The likes of Jack Dorsey have already made it clear that PoS is more centralized and less secure than PoW.
The crypto community was not very pleased with FTX CEO’s recent comments. Many claimed the Bitcoin network is not intended to be a payment network, but rather a settlement one and layer-2 solutions such as the Lightning Network act as the main payment gateway. One user wrote:
“Either SBF or FT lying here. What happens to L2 (Lightning Network)? The Bitcoin Lightning Network handles up to 1,000,000 transactions per second!”
Others reminded him of high centralization and concurrent shutdowns of PoS networks such as Solana. One user wrote:
“Thanks god we have Soylana that we can switch off and on every other week!”
Another user on Reddit wrote:
“He doesn’t have a friggin’ clue what he is talking about (or the journalist interviewing him doesn’t). Scaling has NOTHING to do with the consensus algorithm and hence whether it is POW or POS is completely irrelevant to the scaling issues.”
The FTX CEO took to Twitter himself to clear the air around his comments and said that he also talked about the Bitcoin network’s potential as a store of value. He said:
“To be clear I also said that it does have potential as a store of value. The BTC network can’t sustain thousands/millions of TPS, although BTC can be xfered on lightning.”
The PoW vs PoS debate started last year when the Ethereum network outlined its plan to move to the PoS mining consensus. The likes of Elon Musk fueled the sentiment that BTC needs to use more clean energy to be a viable option. However, in 2022, the debate seems to have shifted towards a complete change of mining consensus for the BTC network.
This is a parody of the article published by the World Economic Forum titled “Welcome to 2030. I Own Nothing, Have No Privacy And Life Has Never Been Better.”
Welcome to Mars. Welcome to my city, or should I say “our city” because I, like every other inhabitant, am a stakeholder in it. No, I don’t mean “shareholder,” as this isn’t a dystopian future run by private companies. My city on Mars has a decentralized governance structure just like the greater Mars. It is not a corporation nor is it a militarized state. It is a set of institutions governed directly by The People.
As a result of this system, we have police that spread peace instead of violence. We have financial systems that spread wealth instead of creating poverty. We have institutions that are open instead of closed and transparent instead of secret, all of which makes corruption practically impossible. Our institutions are bottom-up and people-powered instead of top-down and authoritarian.
This might seem odd to you, living in a world where you can’t afford a home, decent healthcare or quality education. Where a tiny number of people have incredible power leading to widespread corruption, even in supposedly “free and open” countries. This is because you live in a centralized world. You have two choices: centralized private corporations or centralized governments with a monopoly on violence. We, on the other hand, live in a decentralized city and in a decentralized world.
In our world, it makes perfect sense for everyone to say they own everything. Every product and service, at least all of the most important ones, is provided by a decentralized organization — an organization that no one person or group controls and that anyone can acquire a stake in. Especially important are the organizations, like those that provide public goods, that are required by the constitution to be governed by one-person-one-vote. Meaning that simply by residing within that organization’s territory, you receive an equal stake in that organization to everyone else.
We don’t simply have our basic needs met; we live in an abundant world thanks to technology far beyond what you have on Earth. This is because on Mars, all technology is open source, meaning that there is incredible competition to develop new and innovative solutions but also participation remains accessible to every single citizen. All of this is made possible thanks to an advanced financial operating system that emerged in 2022 that enabled people to profit from the creation of open-source software. That year, a piece of software (itself open source) was released that made a peer-to-peer (P2P) economic system with no barriers to entry available to everyone for free and quickly spread virally.
The foundational element of this system was fee-less and upgradeable smart contracts. If you think about it, all of our interactions and exchanges are managed through contracts, whether they are written down, verbalized or implied. Even money itself is just a contract between the citizen and the State to provide a stable medium of exchange.
Earlier versions of these “blockchain networks” had been released, but they were often very energetically wasteful (which is not suitable for the Mars economy) and required people to pay fees for every little thing they did. Imagine that we wanted to allow citizens to cast their votes in popular elections on a blockchain so that we could eliminate voter fraud. Forcing citizens to pay to cast votes would erect unacceptable barriers to participation and forcing the government to shoulder that cost would only decrease the capital it has available to deliver valuable services to its citizens. Putting those issues aside, the more used this platform became, the more energy it would waste, and energy is a precious commodity on Mars.
This new platform, however, was entirely fee-less and highly efficient. Smart contracts that allowed people to cast votes, create different kinds of money and even share their thoughts publicly could all be created and used for free. Just as the fee-less nature of the internet had opened a creative space for an entirely new universe of products and services — even entirely new business models — the fee-less nature of this blockchain opened up a similar creative spaces for an infinite variety of new solutions, which is what has driven the technological revolution on Mars.
While SpaceX obviously triggered the initial growth phase of Mars by transporting its early inhabitants, it was this blockchain that enabled those inhabitants to establish an entirely new socio-economic system that led to an explosion of productivity while at the same time increasing personal freedom and privacy.
But see for yourself by hopping on the next Starship flight to Mars!
The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.
Andrew Levine is the CEO of Koinos Group, a team of industry veterans accelerating decentralization through accessible blockchain technology. Their foundational product is Koinos, a free-to-use and infinitely upgradeable blockchain with universal language support.
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