Web3.0: NFT's, Blockchain and Art
Rylee Armond, Dave Erickson, Botond Seres
Dave Erickson 00:32
Welcome to the ScreamingBox technology and business rundown podcast. I, Dave Erickson and Botond Seres are your hosts for this month's exploration of technology and business. For this podcast, we are excited to have web 3.0 artist Rylee Armond, to help us understand how NFTs are fueling the digital art revolution and what are the technology and business opportunities that web 3.0 offers to creators. Rylee is a multidisciplinary surreal artist with a background in consulting. She has showcased her art at events like NFT NYC and NFT Expoverse LA. She is currently the founder of Omnicake, which is focused on media consulting for blockchain based projects, creating art based experiences and navigating Web 3.0 in The Metaverse. So Rylee, please tell us a little bit more about your art, and how you got started in web 3.0 technologies.
Rylee Armond 01:38
Absolutely. So, I'm Rylee Armond, a surreal artist and consultant and I have been super excited to share how Web3 has changed my life and can definitely change other creators lives as well.
Dave Erickson 01:54
All righty, well, why don't we, why don't we do this, maybe you can give a little kind of history lesson or background into yourself. How did you even discover web 3.0? Do you have any kind of IT background? Or is your background more art? And you kind of discovered it through trying to make art? Can you give us a little bit of information on that?
Rylee Armond 02:18
Definitely. My background is a little unique. I was actually involved in mathematics; that's what I studied. So it's a little bit like what technology is kind of based on right. And I was definitely curious to see, like, what the next new thing in technology was. And, you know, in 2015, I visited VR Con and was just really amazed that I saw so many people using VR in a way that wasn't just like video games. Like I talked to doctors who were like, We're gonna use VR to help people understand how drugs work and like very visual things that you wouldn't imagine you just being able to like walk into a heart or just go see it. So I kind of had this lightbulb moment like okay, technology and art are definitely going to go together. And I can learn more about, like, what is the structure of how, like, blockchain technology is really changing all of this. And for me, the first projects that I discovered was like, wow, I really, definitely have to get into this industry. It was called Crypto Kitties in 2017 and I was able to watch, like, each Crypto Kitty be minted like every 15 minutes as it was coming out. And now there's like over 2 million Crypto Kitties today. So, it has definitely been exploding in popularity as more people discover, like, Hey, I can own digital assets and trade them and it's a lot different than owning digital assets in like a regular video game where you might be able to trade it but definitely not on like, an open market or like, Hey, I have this really rare sword. Let me trade it to you. So,
Dave Erickson 03:50
Yeah, that's definitely one of the challenges that The Metaverse is definitely having is people are gaining assets in The Metaverse and there are interoperability issues between moving an asset from one kind of game platform and thing in The Metaverse to another and people are struggling with that. But it seems like with NFTs at least, that seems to not really be too much of an issue. When you started getting in you started through VR, but as you started exploring things like Crypto Kitty and stuff, that's when you found out about NFTs. Maybe you can go into a little bit about I mean, what was it like coming from a mathematics background, trying to figure out development stuff such as blockchain and NFT. Was it difficult for you or what were some of the challenges you faced in that?
Rylee Armond 04:44
Yeah, so I like to say that I was like a very early Crypto skeptic. Like I heard of Bitcoin when it was maybe like $7 a Bitcoin, but it was all kind of black market trading and I'm like, I don't know that I want to just invest in all these Bitcoins. So it took me a really long long time to be like, Okay, no, this is definitely more, it's a growing whole new industry. And I think that's another thing that people haven't really seen the creation of new industries in a very long time. Like maybe the last one that was a whole new industry was either like social media or like nuclear energy. So they're definitely innovative and groundbreaking. So the people who are in Web3 now, like they want to be the ones who are, you know, change makers, like, they want to physically be there and like, make their own projects and build their own, you know, code and things and I really respect that. And I've been, you know, communicating with a lot of different people and a lot of different backgrounds in this space, too. So it's not just artists, right. It's not just coders, and I think that's what also makes it very special.
Dave Erickson 05:43
The NFT market is interesting in the sense that it's gotten some news recently, about, you know, some very large prices for quote, NFTs, you know, everyone calls it NFT, it's non fungible tokens. I'm glad they call it NFTs. Because if everyone said non fungible tokens instead, people wouldn't know what the hell they're talking about. They would think it was a mushroom farm or something. But can you maybe explain a little bit about how NFTs work? Or what's that connection between an NFT and art?
Rylee Armond 06:19
Yeah, absolutely. So a non fungible token just means that it's like, indivisible, or, you know, we know who owns it, right? We can't, like, change who owns it without doing a verified blockchain transaction. Basically, I think the first thing anyone thinks about is the art itself. And I would love to defend that art is a utility because, as an artist, but of course, other investors might want more utility than just like an artist statement, perhaps. So I think the interesting thing about blockchain technology is once you have an NFT, you can start to add more utility to that over time, but you can develop a software that says, Okay, now, anyone who owns my NFT now has access to this software. And that doesn't have to be available, like on day one, when you mint, your NFT. Right? So a lot of developers will just keep adding to their community over time and I think that's how we've seen like yoga labs become so popular with the Board Apes and why they're so expensive today is because people really believe in the value of the community, the value of like, they're developing for that other side meta, right, and you collapse, and they believe in the IP right behind the products. That's another thing, you can just instantly buy IP transfers with NFTs and that was not really very common, like you couldn't really instantly buy IP rights in just random marketplaces before, I would say what, three?
Dave Erickson 07:41
Interesting, what kind of IP rights are you talking about? Is this like the right to the art? Or is this like you can have anything that has IP such as a, I don't know, a patent attached to an NFT, you can buy the NFT, there was a patent through the NFT, something like that, or maybe you can explain a little bit of that?
Rylee Armond 08:02
Absolutely. So I'll just say as a disclaimer, assume that an NFT does not come with IP rights unless it's explicitly given to you. So there are a few projects that definitely explicitly give you IP rights, Crypto Kitties is one of them. Although theirs is like, a limited IP rights. Like if you make more than 100k a year, you have to start paying them money. But other, you know, founders or other projects don't really have that restriction. Like Yoga Labs, they just give you the IP rights like it's yours. But if you bought an NFT that somebody used the IP rights for, let's say they sold it to Old Navy, which has actually happened, then if you rebuy that NFT on the market, it's already, it already has contracts associated with it as well. So if you have, like, IP rights attached to an NFT, that definitely changes how it is going forward. And then it was, like, actually very scandalous when the Moonbirds decided they were just going to COO and be like, Okay, we're done, anyone can use anything. So it doesn't necessarily have to be like only holders, like you can see art, and be like, alright, it's creative. You can use it no matter what, you don't have to own it, but the holders in the community did not respond positively to that. So I would say, like, if you're looking at NFT rights as like, something you're really interested in investing in, I would say, look at those contracts, and then have a lawyer look at them as well, for sure.
Dave Erickson 09:24
Okay, probably good advice.
Rylee Armond 09:27
Yeah. So, but a lot of utilities, right. It doesn't have to be just art, of course.
Dave Erickson 09:32
Okay. Well, that kind of brings me back a little bit. You know, everyone seems to have a very different definition of what Web 3.0 is. So I'm going to ask our trick question of the podcast. What is your definition of Web 3.0?
Rylee Armond 09:54
Yeah. So when I talk about, like Web3, Web 3.0, I always think about it as like stages of the internet's development, it doesn't necessarily mean like, okay, it's all just NFTs. I think, like Web Zero is really just the development of the early internet and getting computers into people's hands. And then Web2 was kind of what we saw after, you know, people have had computers in their lives influencing their work and seeing how, like social media has changed over from like, 2000 to 2010. Like a lot of people would consider that like the really strong like growing Web2 times. And I don't think that we're out of Web2 yet. We're kind of in, like, Web2 and a half to 3. But like, people are really looking at this idea of decentralization and owning that, like we create the content, right? A lot of Web2 ideas is that you just post it on the internet, and then somebody who owns that website, right, has to now curate that, but the blockchain is curated by you. So that's ultimately I think, the difference.
Dave Erickson 10:54
So would you say that web 3.0 is really about you owning and managing your own content?
Rylee Armond 11:03
Yeah, that's kind of like a response to internet culture. I would say like, all of like, the Web Zero, 1, 2. Like, you're really talking about, How is the internet culture of that time?
Dave Erickson 11:12
Got it, got it. Um, and so the technologies that you would wrap around web 3.0, or you've mentioned AR VR, NFTs blockchains. leave out anything. Are there other things you would consider web 3.0?
Rylee Armond 11:30
Um, yeah, I think a lot of people really respond to, like, discord and Twitter. And those are very like, Web2. So I think even like Web3 people are still heavily using Web2 on social media platforms. So I think in the future, we could even see maybe a Web3 company try to become the next Twitter or Facebook like to compete with that.
Dave Erickson 11:50
Web3 and The Metaverse are connected and the most obvious connection is that of VR. You know, when people talk about The Metaverse, there's always a picture of some gamer with a headset on covering his eyes and that seems to be the picture that is used anytime they have an article about The Metaverse. What do you think is the connection between web 3.0 And The Metaverse? And what are your thoughts about how those web 3.0 Technologies connect with The Metaverse and are going to? I don't know, fuel the growth of The Metaverse maybe.
Rylee Armond 12:32
Yeah, I think honestly, The Metaverse has probably existed in some form like even earlier than what we're seeing now. Like a lot of people really love Second Life or a lot of people really love The Sims like it's been very popular to create, like these kinds of digital worlds and I think that, you know, we're just seeing people want to explore more digital worlds. I think I've heard a lot of comments about you know, the Zuckerberg Metaverse being like, it looks kind of bland and boring. Like why aren't I being able to go through a sky jungle, like something that really doesn't exist? Something that's really going to push your creativity that I think will be a true Metaverse. But also, if you have, you know, just your home, like I want to be able to create my VR galleries and things like that. I've definitely used The Metaverse to showcase art or create experiences where we're all in an art room together like maybe for an auction or something and it's very interesting to be able to create these like digital experiences that kind of mimic, like reality.
Dave Erickson 13:30
I was in the gaming industry. I remember working with a bunch of Second Life and Simverse and there's even an organization that built their own planets and you know, you could buy land on the planet. And this is long before The Metaverse was coined as a phrase. And you know, Facebook, I guess in a sense, kind of co-opted The Metaverse by calling it The Metaverse and then calling themselves right. They basically said we are The Metaverse, but The Metaverse is actually much larger than just Facebook's participation. Obviously Facebook is looking to build a business model in which they control a lot of aspects of Web3 through their definition of The Metaverse. But you kind of brought up some interesting points in saying that, you know, they've made some ways of participating or building or being part of a Metaverse easier. So setting up, like you said, a room to showcase your art or somebody who has an e-commerce store, setting up a store that, that shows the items they're selling on their their, their e-commerce website and making those connections so you can purchase that stuff; I'm sure that has a lot of advantages to people. How easy do you think it is for someone who is, say, an artist who says I want to start you know, producing NFTs and making my art something that people can own and putting together a room in The Metaverse? Maybe you can talk a little bit about, what is that process? Or how difficult it is for somebody to do that. Is there a big learning curve? Or is it easy? Give us your thoughts on that.
Rylee Armond 15:20
Yeah, absolutely. So I think that once you decide, like, I want to start putting art on the blockchain, or music, or whatever it is, you have to start asking yourself, Okay, is it going to be a one-on-one? Is it going to be in addition? Like, how am I going to structure this? And how am I going to structure the community? Basically, I think, once you decide, it's basically like creating a whole new business and really, as an artist, some artists are gonna, like, rise to that challenge, they're gonna be like, I want to find this new digital community and really interact with them. But I think some artists are gonna probably look for, you know, something closer to like, a Web3 manager, even so that they can focus on the art because it is definitely bigger than just, you know, getting on a Twitter space and being like, Hey, I like NFTs, we're all gonna make it. There's a lot of research and I would say, if I'm going to say to an artist, friend of mine, like, Hey, you should get on, you know, the blockchain, I want to make sure that they're safe. It does take a lot of education to be like, Okay, what is a scam? Like, how do I know that? Someone might be trying to fish for my wallet info? Or like, how do I protect my Opensea phrase? There is a lot of information that you should start to research before you ever really like, actually officially put something on the chain. But I would say the advantage to doing all of that research is you could build in public, you can say, Hey, I don't know anything about NFTs. But I want to learn and you could make a video about that and have people watch your whole journey of knowing nothing about NFTs to creating your first NFT. And I've seen a lot of people have success that way, because they're telling their story uniquely. And they're not afraid to be like, I don't know, this information. Let me like, let's learn together.
Botond Seres 17:02
So, Rylee, if you don't mind, I would like to circle back a little bit to the IP rights, part of the discussion, because that's one thing I know, it's really a hot topic these days. It's one of the things I'm actually interested in. So it's something that, as far as I know, multiple companies are pursuing. They're trying to sell different, not even IP rights, but just be right, rights or property rights. That's one thing people are working on. Since I don't really follow this space very closely. I was wondering if you heard anything about the general state of things like is this becoming common? Is it being accepted into, into law or rather a long way off from that? What is your opinion?
Rylee Armond 17:48
Yeah. I think it totally depends on where you are. I know that the US is definitely looking at like, how do we regulate this a little bit further? Who knows about that? I think that when you're looking at like, property, One, make sure that it's property in the real world, not a metaphor, if that's what you're looking for. Or if you're looking for property, in a Metaverse, like how many people go to that Metaverse? And like, is that going to be worth your ad or you know, revenue space? But in terms of like actual property rights, there are companies that are you know, creating like actual, you can list your real estate with us and we will accept Bitcoin things to help you because a lot of people who are like Bitcoin millionaires, they might not know how to offer a property owner like cryptocurrency and thanks. So I think that there are definitely like in betweens for people who are having, like, traditional web two businesses to like trying to move into web three as well.
Botond Seres 18:48
I mean, you mentioned something really important is property in The Metaverse, that's, yeah. Yeah, do understand the attraction of owning a certain property. So I'm a bit, tiny bit against the digital scarcity side of things. So I know that one of the big things, so the big selling points of NFTs is that they are indivisible. They are one unit and they cannot be shared. Do you think that there is a future to sharing the fees, even family sharing of some sort?
Rylee Armond 19:26
Yeah, definitely. I think fractionalized and FTS are also still being, like, developed, they have a little bit of issues because usually, like, you need to store it in like a multi signature wallet versus like a single signature. Well, that's what I mean. Once you start getting into NFTs. It's like okay, what kind of law do I need to use? There's a lot of coding because basically each NFT is its own computer program. So you can put a lot of different utility into it.
Botond Seres 19:54
Speaking of wallets, like what kind of wallet students because I have Letcher, right? That's a good thing. Can I store any other things on this? Or?
Rylee Armond 20:08
Yeah, so I have a ledger as well. Basically how ledger works is each little blockchain is kind of like an app on their blockchain apps. So as long as you send it to the right address, you should be able to store your, like, Ethereum or Solana NFTs on a ledger, which is just fine.
Botond Seres 20:23
Okay, so let's pretend they don't understand this at all. Because they don't.
Rylee Armond 20:28
Botond Seres 20:31
NFT what, what am I buying, let's say an Ethereum. NFT.
Rylee Armond 20:37
Yeah, so I mean, it really depends on what each NFT is. So like, let's say you buy, like Snoop Dogg's NFT, he has given you the rights to, you know, remix that song that NFT selling however you want, right, that's one of the NFTs that I own, personally, but it really depends like an independent artists like myself, you're probably just buying the art, the access to the community, or things of that nature. But like, if you're buying from, you know, a company that's like, Hey, if you give us if you hold our NFT, we'll let you use our tax software. At the end of the year, we'll go through all of your transactions and let you know like, Okay, this is what matches up. So there's a lot of different use cases of why you might actually, lik, want to hold an NFT versus just trading it as well.
Botond Seres 21:23
So Crypto Kitties. That's been a long time. I heard about that project a really long time ago. How's it going these days?
Rylee Armond 21:33
Um, you know, I think dapper Labs is hiring. I don't know if they're going to do something kind of unique and special, but I would love to see them, you know, come back because some of the older nfcu projects like they're not, you know, as active like the moon cats or the crypto kitties. But I would love to see that like historical NFT reserve resurgence, especially after these like post merge, pre merge and fts. Like that's a new defining factor that just happened. So I think there's a lot of history that keeps happening as well.
Botond Seres 22:04
Great. What do you think about the board games? Some of these?
Rylee Armond 22:11
Yeah, I think that they're very interesting. I don't know why the other side’s land is so low right now. I mean, it's a fair market, obviously and there isn't another side for us to go hang out in. But I think that it will definitely have a strong candidate to become like some people's first Metaverse for sure. And I know a lot of people were upset at the, like, Eminem's Snoop Dogg performance that was like the board eight performance, but I thought it looks like a Yoga Labs commercial. Like it looks very on brands with what they showed the trailer to be. So I think that they worked pretty closely with them. Honestly.
Botond Seres 22:47
I never even heard about that. So was there a consequence for the NFT holders? Is that..
Rylee Armond 22:53
Oh, no, it was at the VMAs actually. So I think that they're trying to have a lot of experiences with NFTs to people who are not familiar at all. So they were at like the New York Fashion Week to give away like Roe v. NFTs and you know, the VMAs had an NFC performance now, so you'll start seeing it around like definitely.
Botond Seres 23:11
Speaking of digital artists. So I do remember that the mouse, recent NFT and one of the draws of this NFT supposedly, in the matters when it exists, wherever it exists, we're gonna get a custom specialized mouse head.
Rylee Armond 23:32
Oh, yeah, um, there is definitely an NFT game that has a dead mouse hat in. I can't remember the name right now but it's very close to fall guy. It's not full. Yes. But it's very close to falling. In that sort of way. Not full guys kind of similar gameplay. I think loping is lopping, sloppy. It's something I don't know. I'm so sorry. But yeah, there's a lot of different you know, collaborations that are happening within like, you know, really big names that are trying to enter the space as well. Like, you know, Tiffany's just did a Crypto Punk collaboration to create like, custom necklaces for each Punk Rocker. I think it's very interesting to see how brands are entering this space in a very conscious way like Playboy actually had a very interesting insight into The Metaverse. They first started with like, their own original, like older photographs, and they're like, Hey, these are historical Playboy photographs. And then they created a more traditional PFP for objects. So they're kind of doing both, which is interesting.
Botond Seres 24:29
I do remember someone saw their first tweet, that's another 50.
Rylee Armond 24:34
Yeah, no. And then some, they tried to sell it again, and it didn't work out at all.
Botond Seres 24:40
One of the funniest stories I ever heard about ellipses is I don't remember who but somebody in Hollywood, right, bought something like 20 More tapes. And he was like, Yeah, I'm gonna make a series with these 24 tapes. It's gonna be an elevated series. And then some phishing scam actually stole all of those from him. They tried to buy, buy, buy them back. So it was wondering if you know, one of the things we know about Bitcoin and the reasons that not only people but the authorities love bitcoin is that it's fully traceable. Even though we have these Bitcoin laundering things, it's only a matter of time until every transaction traces back to its original order. And that is something I was wondering about. So there's obviously, maybe not property theft, but theft in general. If that happens, I wonder if we have any controls in place, so that someone can effectively refund the purchase. I'll be completely honest, I'm totally in the black. In the dark about this, I have no idea how these open markets work. But this is the thing that should be a thing.
Rylee Armond 25:53
As it stands right now, like I agree with you, it should be a thing. But the only NFCs that I've heard of like having a full refund, like if you want, are the NFCs that you buy with credit cards, which basically set up a wallet for you. If you buy an NFC with a credit card, like they create your own wallet. So you don't really have to worry about that.You can usually like, transfer the NFT out of that wallet as well. But if they are guaranteeing it like just how blockchain technology works, like usually you can't like, reverse the transaction like that if the block is verified.
Botond Seres 26:27
Oh, yeah. There's just no way of reversing any transactions. I mean, if they were that simple, that would be the huge, the biggest security hole.
Rylee Armond 26:35
Yeah I wish there were, but yeah, I agree with you there I think there are a lot of people that are going to be you know, hunted down from transactions.
Botond Seres 26:44
Traditionally, we buy bitcoin and Ethereum from miners, right? And before these, from mentors. Can you explain to a former miner what the main thing is?
Rylee Armond 27:00
Yeah, so as a miner, minting is like another transaction on the blockchain. So you can look at transactions on the blockchain in any way. Right? It could just be a transfer from wallet to wallet, but minting would just show up as, like, another one of those. So I think if you were a miner and all NFTs went away, like you would still get all your mining profits, just the transactions of the blocks would probably be less right, because nobody's minting is buying NFTs. And that's also why gas prices spiked so high last year is because people really wanted NFTs but the Ethereum blockchain can handle it.
Dave Erickson 27:34
Well, now there's going to be a glut of graphic cards on the market, because I guess Ethereum merged or did something in which it's no longer profitable to mine Ethereum. Has that, what exactly was that? Do you understand what happened and why that's an issue or?
Rylee Armond 27:51
So yeah, Ethereum merged from like a proof of work to a proof of stake basically. Like Ethereum costed a ton of energy to do anything, and they really wanted to lower that because a lot of their new competitors like Polygon and Solana were saying, Hey, we're a lot more carbon friendly than Ethereum is, right? And they're trying to, like, gain that market share. But the Ethereum merge actually went very well. For what it is to just be so seamless, like it took a long time, but it went very well.
Dave Erickson 28:22
Does that mean that basically, crypto mining has kind of run its course and is no longer very profitable?
Rylee Armond 28:31
Not necessarily proof of stake works differently than like, rather than you get paid because you worked or you've validated the block, you get paid because you still state the NFT. So like, or not the NFT, the Ethereum you need 32 Ethereum to stake. It's a loss. So a lot of people are kind of cool to stay with people so that they can access that 32. Yeah, and Solana, you need like $72,000 or something like that to stay. It costs a lot of money to run a stake, but it can be very profitable, especially for, like, larger projects.
Dave Erickson 29:09
Okay, so that's a, that's a business component of blockchain. I didn't even realize it was there.
Botond Seres 29:16
So there we have it, you might think,
Rylee Armond 29:20
It’s very maddening. Honestly, it gets bigger every day.
Botond Seres 29:24
Used to be able to buy a couple of graphics cards for a couple of 1000s. And now to get into, get into the game, we need 32 Ethereum which is multiple 10s of 1000s.
Rylee Armond 29:38
Well, if you had a graphics card, yeah, like just stake the Ethereum you need 32 But if you were like let's see what less than 32 I would just stake in a pool like with other people to get that 32 For sure.
Dave Erickson 29:54
So part of the minting process will be you know, finding a pool and being part, part of it I guess. Minting, you know, we talked a little bit about minting for mining. But as an artist, if you are going to put up an NFT of some of your art or create an NFT. Do you need to go through the minting process?
Rylee Armond 30:18
Yes, yeah. An open game allows you to like lazy mint, which means that you mint it, but it's not really there until the buyer actually, actually makes the transaction. So it costs a little bit more for the buyer to do that if you do like a lazy minting process as the creator but you could definitely pay those transaction fees as the creator if you wanted to.
Dave Erickson 30:41
Just out of curiosity, what does it cost someone to mint an NFT? Is it like, you know, hundreds of dollars, $10, 1,000s of dollars?
Rylee Armond 30:52
Yeah, it's gonna depend on when you want them in Mint the NFT because of how it works with, like, the popularity basically. So if you say I want to mint this NFT the fastest and you just do it, like, it'll be in a higher gwei, that's what we call like the gas unit, basically. Or if you're like, I'm okay with it minting slower, just get the transaction done, whenever the theorem can handle it, then it'll, like, cost you less. And we saw people spending like hundreds of dollars when it was really, really, really popular, very expensive pre-merch, so they couldn't really handle the proof of stake, as well. And then like, I would say, now, if I went to go, Mint an NFT. And it's not really that crazy, it would probably be under like $10 For sure. I got started as an artist with maybe $20 . I think it's definitely possible.
Dave Erickson 31:49
Well, maybe you can talk a little bit about that. Let's focus kind of on the art thing. You were a mathematician, you didn't really indicate you are an artist; did becoming an artist kind of what was that? Like transition or journey? Like, why art? Or was that just something that naturally happened? Or you said yourself, you know, this is applicable to art. Let me see what kind of art I can create.
Rylee Armond 32:15
Yeah, so I've always been an artist as a child, but very discouraged from entering art, like a lot of people. So they just told me like, do art classes for like, you know, therapy or fun and things like that. So I ended up being able to try a lot of different mediums because I wasn't like, Okay, I have to be perfect at this. So I've done ceramics and painting and, you know, metal work and a lot of really cool experiences. So I think that when I decided, Okay, I'm gonna start doing art on the blockchain. I did have a hard time deciding, okay, well, it's gonna be my first medium, or how am I going to get out there? And I decided it was photography. And then I've done different projects over since I started, but yeah, like doing painting and things like that has always been very natural to me. I just never wanted to put it in a museum, until now.
Dave Erickson 33:08
And in putting your art on an NFT, what was your goal when you did that? Why were you making your art in NFT? Was there a specific reason? Or you're using it to kind of learn the technology? Or or what?
Rylee Armond 33:24
Yeah, I definitely started with just wanting to experiment. I think that was like, where I first kind of been like, alright, let's just do it. I'm gonna press the mint button and who knows what's gonna happen, right? And I think that, you know, why NFTs, why not other things? I just thought it would be really cool to be just a fully native NFT artist like some of the artists that I'd seen discover, like they had done a lot of art prior to entering the NFT world, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. It just wasn't exactly how I entered so, I guess I would be very proud. And that like I'm a digitally native artist, and then if anyone goes and looks for my pieces, like there aren't really prints, like I didn't put prints available. So I think it's kind of special for, like, the holders as well.
Dave Erickson 34:08
Got it. Got it. So if you were an artist, and you had been an artist you were producing, let's just say paintings, and you're selling your paintings and you said you know, I want to make my paintings into NFTs to either get more distribution or a different income channel. What's, kind of, the process that an artist who didn't know anything about NFTs would go through to convert their art into NFTs and put it someplace?
Rylee Armond 34:39
Yeah, so any file, you can basically make it to an NFT. So if I have you know, an mp3 or a JPEG like I can definitely turn that into an NFT and I feel like a lot of traditional artists are already good at kind of digitizing their physical paintings just for social media in general to market, but I think the major thing is if you already have a strong community behind your art, like make sure that they don't already hate NFTs. There's a lot of artists who are like, Hey, I'm gonna start getting into NFTs and then they get into, like, absolute flame wars. And I feel really bad for them, because a lot of people are just uninformed and they're like, hey, NFTs mean, you stole the art. And they're like, that's not true. Like some people steal art, but that doesn't mean that you know, the NFT creator definitely steals the art because they made an NFT or something like that. So you know, telling people like, Hey, it's, it's safe and this is not a weird cash grab, like getting people to understand like, this is really what I want to do with the community and it's special in a way that, you know, helps people who are only physical traditional artists kind of break into that mold. And I think a lot of people are trying to stay away from the use of like, using the word NFT until they like, absolutely have to, as well, just to, you know, help people understand, like, hey, if I was able to create a thing that I could get secondary royalties off of, if I sold it. They're like, Oh, that makes more sense. And you have to get people to talk about it for a little bit. And then they kind of get the Aha! moment, you're like, Oh, if I were an artist, like that would be cool for me.
Dave Erickson 36:16
An NFT, since it can be many different things. What makes for a good NFT experience, whether it's art, or whether it's a piece of music, or a piece of code or anything? How do you make, you know, the experience of an NF? T better for someone? Right?
Rylee Armond 36:39
Yeah, I think that, you know, removing barriers to entry is definitely the first, like, how do we just make it easier for one like, and I think that wallets are kind of changing their UIs to see like, Okay, this is confusing, let's just fix it up. So a lot of these products are still in beta. So it's good to remember that, that if it's hard to work with, that's probably because it's new. And a lot of these, you know, are harder to work with, but they're being worked on. So when I joined NFTs in, like 2017, the space looked radically different than it is now basically, like, now you can go on Open Sea, you can have your first NFT in like five minutes with a credit card. But when I first started, like, you definitely had to have a theorem , um, and I didn't know how to make a wallet, and then it just, it keeps adding on to more things. And you're like, Okay, I have to understand this to be, you know, safe to hold this investment. Because a lot of people do think of it as an investment. So if you're not treating it, like how they would treat it in their heart, right, you can see why that would be like a bad experience. And then you get flame wars on social media and things like that. But you know, user expectations are definitely going to be different from project to project, right?
Dave Erickson 37:52
Well, you hit on something of value. How do people value NFTs like how, you know, I'm going to become a billionaire. I'm going to take one of my daughter's kindergarten drawings and make an NFT out of it and sell it for millions of dollars. You know, that's not gonna work. But I mean, how do people find value? And maybe you're a new artist, and you put up something, it has very little value, and a year later, people all want it, so then it has great value. But how do people determine the value of, of art in the NFT world?
Rylee Armond 38:32
Yeah, so personally, I like to encourage everyone to make their own like, Okay, what do I want to invest in kind of internal conversations, because everyone's going to look at, like, what they want to invest in differently. Like, if you're really interested in energy, then you might consider more projects that are more like, Hey, we're gonna create validators if you own our NFT or mining things or if you really are into like community and you want to, you know, find a community like you might think about, okay, just buy a board. Like their community is very strong, or even if you couldn't afford that price point, buy like a mutiny, because that has, you know, included their community to a larger span. So if you don't want, like, community or technology, then it's probably going to be like a pure art investment and the art world is very odd. Like it doesn't really follow the traditional investment market. But some of these and you know, these other you know, famous art auction houses are looking into NFTs so if you were like an art investor, I would say look into what they are looking into as well. And they actually sold a Crypto Kitty in one of their last auctions. So I think that you know, understanding, like, why a project might be considered like art because that doesn't even look like fine art compared to what like Sotheby's typically sells. So I think it's, you know, really understanding like, is this a historical project? Do people really, like, love the creator? Is it just a meme project like the Nyan Cat, things like that. So it can definitely vary a lot. But that's what makes the space really unique. And I think it's hard to explain to people as well, because it's saying, like, Oh, you can invest in oil and gas and education, but it's all in one little category and it doesn't seem to fit well into people's brains yet.
Dave Erickson 40:20
You mentioned something a little while ago about scams and tricks and different types of, like wallets, you got to figure out what are some of the things that people need to be aware of concerning NFTs and, and what type of scams or tricks are people trying to do? If you were to give someone who doesn't know much about NFTs some advice on what to be aware of? What would those be?
Rylee Armond 40:50
Yeah, I would say, definitely make multiple wallets, you know, one to just be like, I'm just gonna put, you know, like a savings account or something like that and then one to interact with contracts that you may or may not know if they're malicious, just so that you can, you know, safeguard some of your funds. Like if you're minting an NFT, you definitely don't want all of your super expensive NFTs and funds in the same wallet. Right? That could make it a lot more vulnerable. And if people are DMing, you or like things on Discord or Twitter about like, Hey, join my project, like it's probably a scam. I will say that I love NFT creators as well. And I don't think that all of us are scammers. But I think you should be able to really connect with the person and it's not like a copy and paste message or, you know, you should really look at their website, like, really see what they're saying. Does it seem like somebody who grew up made this in like five minutes or are they really, you know, active in the community. And I think that you know, Docsing can help like, I'm Doc's, you can call me, Rylee, that's fine. But it doesn't necessarily mean that a person is like, 100% safe. If they are.
Dave Erickson 41:59
What does Docs mean? I've never heard that.
Rylee Armond 42:02
That, like, you're not anonymous, right?
Dave Erickson 42:06
So you actually use a name, and you've been out there and okay, well, I would, I would assume it’s someone who's trying to pursue an art career. You want to have a pretty valid, you know, name and recognition, because you may be selling your art in other places. And so you'd want to have that. Okay. All right.
Rylee Armond 42:28
Yeah. And I think, you know, for me, like, I don't mind at all, I'm definitely willing to talk to a reporter and be like, Hi, I'm Rylee, but you know, I'm not everybody. So, and, some people want to be anonymous and that's okay too. You can be anonymous and not be a scammer in the space. But you just need to be aware that like, you have to show up, like you have to add value, right to your community, especially if you're anonymous to gain that trust, right?
Dave Erickson 42:52
All right. Now, I have another question for you. Because one of my favorite food groups is cake. So tell me a little bit about Omnicake. And what is it? And what is it that you do with Omnicake?
Rylee Armond 43:09
Yeah, so Omnicake is the name is sort of like a play on, like, words basically of like, have your cake and eat it too, and having it be everywhere. So it's really a visual company. It's about, like, the visual arts and visual experiences for sure. So we work with other, you know, projects or events to you know, help them you know, have educated fun NFT times definitely. So we were at NFT Expoverse LA just showcasing my physical art. That was like the last event that we did. We might be in Vegas soon. But yeah,
Dave Erickson 43:43
Can you kind of tell me a little bit about the type, of, of consulting that Omnicakes would be doing? Or who would you be normally working with, with Omnicakes?
Rylee Armond 43:55
Yes, so I did work with a company called Flavor Universe, which is like a play to earn game on Solana for a while just doing their you know communities, summer fun events and things like that. But I'm also willing to help people out with, like, their white papers or reach out to journalists because my project isn't necessarily every aspect of the NFT space right? But I can definitely help people with media and helping make sense of the technology.
Botond Seres 44:24
I was wondering if it was a place where there was a way to trade exclusively for 4K, 4K pictures so I could hang my TV in the wall and display all my 4K NFTs. All the other things I see are like 200 x 400 or something ridiculous like that. So what do you think Rylee, is this a thing or would you like it to be a thing?
Rylee Armond 44:52
I would definitely love it to be a thing. Usually when you miss an NFT there are like two pictures. There's like the preview picture which is a smaller version of the image and then like the full size image and the full size image should be, like all quality or if they don't give it to you as the NFT. They should give you a link to the, like, very high quality image as, like, a downloadable or an unlockable or something like that. But I think that's another reason that, you know, NFT marketplaces do have room to innovate, right? We should be able to be like, I only want 4k NFTs. That's all I care about. Right? Exactly.
Botond Seres 45:26
That'll be awesome. I believe it saw some events remotely in LA, which had all of these TVs on the wall, right, like 10, 20 TVs, and they all showed gorgeous art, though, since then, I was like, where could I buy these? Every time I have to answer I have no idea.
Rylee Armond 45:48
And I think it is super cool that, like, you can display NFTs in your home with those like physical TVs are, like, there are some products now that are kind of like digital, like, frames and things like that for sure. Just add the art everywhere.
Dave Erickson 46:06
For NFTs, um, are there any downsides to having NFTs or putting your art as NFTs? Are there challenges or downsides that people need to be aware of?
Rylee Armond 46:20
Yeah, I think that, you know, once you have an NFT collection as an artist, if you just disappear, and you're like bye piece, you know, that can definitely hurt, you know, your online presence as an artist later because this is a community and you don't want to just be like I'm here and then buy something like that. But also just in the aspect of being safe, like you don't really want to be stressed out that, like, Oh, I just got drained. Or like, Oh, I really need to mint this NFT at three in the morning, because you will have moments like that if you're continually active in the space. Like you can't have every minute, you will have you miss something, right? So avoiding that, like FOMO or you know, just having, like a really strong, like, mental health day can be really good as well, because maybe you know, your auction doesn't go as well as you thought it was as an artist or maybe your full price dips a little bit because you know, a theory of depth a little bit or something like that. So there's a lot that can go on from, like, the day to day as well, that causes stress and can definitely be perceived as, like, a negative of joining fts. But I think that the positives can definitely outweigh that negative.
Dave Erickson 47:32
Yeah, I see that with like, influencer marketing, a lot of influencers who are producing social media daily or weekly. After two or three years, they really are worn out. It's really hard to be a creator, who's creating constantly all the time. And to be one of these people who are very popular in a digital community. They have to be on it every day of, basically, I mean, it's hard enough work just doing a podcast once a month, I would hate to be some YouTube influencer who's having to produce a video a day. Right? And it seems like for the NFT marketplace, that community or that having an active content flow through social media and other places that NF T's are communicated or communities right, you have to put in work a very consistent work to add value to your NFT Is that correct?
Rylee Armond 48:45
I would say so. And even if you have, like, a larger community, if you did like a 10,000 PFP project, for example, if you go to bed, like okay, that's you know, somebody's awake time. So if you want to hit Europe and Asia and America in the NFC space and truly have, like, a global community, then you really need a team of, like, moderators all watching your discord all the time. So creating that content. Yeah, for sure.
Dave Erickson 49:14
Yeah, that could, that could be kind of stressful. On the other hand, I would say if you were, and correct me if I'm wrong, but if I was going to start, say producing NFT art and I assumed that I would first have to kind of get my social media channels together and put together what I'm going to display as my personality, my name and start having conversations. Hey, I'm an artist. you know, here's some examples of my art. Start that way and then start going into the process of creating NFTs and then talking about it in your community and on your social media feeds. But everyday or every other day, putting out some piece of content that says I'm alive, I'm working on stuff, these are the things I'm working on, I've released my first NFT, this is what it looks like. And you know, that, that thing and then cons, doing it consistently. I guess consistent flow is probably the best advice somebody can do for starting out as a digital artist or trying to produce NFTs. Did I get that kind of correct?
Rylee Armond 50:33
Yeah, I would say that's the best way to go about it. Like if you show up and you're like, hey, you know, I'm gonna, I'm an artist, and I'm gonna start creating NFTs, soon, even a little bit earlier before you, you know, release your piece like that is the best way to start getting integrated within the community before you have your big drop, right, or your Genesis drop, as some people will say. And, you know, once you have your Genesis drop, and you sell your NFTs, right, you can definitely, you know, be there. You can even post like, you know, not even every day, but like every other day and things like that, just to let people know, hey, you're still alive. And you don't even have to mention, you know, every piece of artwork that you make, if you just want to share a piece of artwork on your timeline and be like, hey, you know, I just created this, like, it doesn't have to be that it's for sale. Right? So I think that, you know, just showing up as an artist can be helpful. Even if you don't like mint, it is an NFT, right? Because the community is still going to be like, hey, they're there. They're creating stuff like they remember us.
Dave Erickson 51:31
What, what's the process for selling an NFT? And how difficult is it?
Rylee Armond 51:37
Yeah, so if you never list your NFT, then the only thing that you will get is like if somebody gives you an offer, and then you would have to actually accept that offer. And then like pay the gast transaction for that. But if you list the NFT, then it's for sale, right? And anybody can be like, I want that, pay the gast, and then just own it, basically. So it's the transactions, right? Like, am I listing it or is it just kind of in my wallet, and somebody's gonna see it and then make an offer?
Dave Erickson 52:07
So are there different listing platforms? Or is listing it just part of the NFT? Or maybe talk a little bit about what, listing is?
Rylee Armond 52:18
Yeah, so there are aggregator sites that kind of look, if an NFC is listed anywhere for some of these marketplaces, to just put them all in, you know, one box, but if I go to Open Sea, like, I can just list it on Open Sea, right? Or there are other ones like RedBubble and other marketplaces as well. But really, it's just about finding an NFT marketplace. And a lot of them have their own, you know, unique little vibe as well, like foundation used to be just like very heavily like one of one serious artists. So if I wanted to be like a one on one serious artist there, I would go mint on foundation, right? But so kind of seeing like, a little bit of like, what is the vibe of the NFT marketplace as well, that can kind of be helpful to be like picking your first marketplace to mint an NFT yet.
Dave Erickson 53:04
Got it. So there's actually research you have to do to figure out what are the marketplaces and then look at each marketplace and figure out does this fit what you like to do? Or what you're trying to do? Correct?
Rylee Armond 53:17
Yeah, I mean, you can definitely start with Open See, kind of the one that everybody knows and stuff, but just know that it's like Amazon, nobody's gonna really see your NFT unless like they're searching for it, right? Because it's so big.
Dave Erickson 53:28
If I just made an NFT, minted it and just stuck it up on any listing place. It would, you know, the odds of somebody saying, Oh, wow, I want that I'm gonna buy a, you know, for $5,000 or whatever is pretty low. Right?
Rylee Armond 53:44
Right. Yeah. Or let's say, if you wanted to create your own, like minting website, like, you might need to hire a developer or use like one of those, like launch my NFT websites that will kind of, like, do some of the process for you in exchange for maybe some of your royalties or an actual like payment upfront, right, to help you with the software. So I think it depends, like, Okay, how much time do I have to learn it and then what, how it works, the experience that I want to offer is, is it gonna be like a PFP collection where there's a lot of them or is it going to be like one of ones and maybe there's like, it's a $5,000, but I don't care if it doesn't sell right away, or things like that.
Dave Erickson 54:24
Got it. So if you are not a developer, and you wanted to kind of become a developer who could do their own blockchain and NFT work, and you know, besides some basic web 2.0 technologies, what would be the things that you would have done or what kind of development tools or languages would you need to learn in order to do that?
Rylee Armond 54:52
Yeah, I know Ethereum is very heavy on Java and Solidity, which I think is also a very useful language just to learn Java if you can.
Dave Erickson 55:03
Okay, okay. Yeah. And then
Rylee Armond 55:05
I would look at a lot of different, like get hubs that are kind of open source and just see like, okay, what are the open source projects people are working on, because you want to see how other people are, you know, structuring their smart contract and then see how you know, your smart contracts might benefit from that. I definitely am an advocate of learning from other people's code as well.
Dave Erickson 55:26
Okay. So you want to try to find some open good hubs and smart contracts. So you can look at those, look at the coding, and learn from that. And then, obviously, you want to experiment by trying to make your own coding and your own smart contracts. Why are most smart contracts coded in Java?
Rylee Armond 55:50
I think solidity.
Dave Erickson 55:52
Solidity, okay, got it. Well, Rylee, thank you so much for helping us understand NFTs and Web 3.0. And, and the connection between them and art. Next month, we will have another ScreamingBox technology and business rundown podcast. Please join us then. Rylee. Is there any information you'd like if people want to connect with you or contact you or look you up?
Rylee Armond 56:20
Yeah, absolutely. I am Rylee Armond on all of my social medias like Twitter, Tik Tok or if you want to learn anything more about NFTs, but thank you so much for having me on. I really appreciated it. And it's, it's been a great conversation. Thank you.
Dave Erickson 56:38
Thank you very much for taking this journey with us. Join us for our next exciting exploration of technology and business in the first week of every month. Please help us by subscribing, liking and following us on whichever platform you're listening to or watching us on. We hope you enjoyed this podcast and please let us know any subjects or topics you'd like us to discuss in our next podcast by leaving a message for us in the comment sections or sending us a Twitter DM. Till next month. Please stay happy and healthy.
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