Issue 10 🍵 Deepfakes VS NFTs

NFTs and authenticity, a tweet sale, and burning a Banksy!

NFTs as a source of truth

If you’ve been on the Internet lately, maybe you’ve seen those deepfake videos of Tom Cruise. Eerie, right?

And if you don’t know what deepfakes are, they’re basically very convincing fake videos of people. The tech has gotten so good at this point that someone can feed an AI some clips of a person, and it can then generate a completely new video.

We personally learned about them during the fake news cycle of the American election. And even back then, deepfakes always presented the disturbing possibility that someone can take your likeness and use it for whatever they want—all without your consent.

On the other end of the spectrum, though, we have NFTs.

NFTs do feel like a counter to deepfakes, because the value comes from the fact that the creator is the one bequeathing ownership. No one wants an NFT if it’s not authentic, and the blockchain makes it easy to verify that authenticity.

For example: anyone could mint that Tom Cruise deepfake. But the value of that NFT will fluctuate—did an anonymous person mint it? Did the creator of the deepfake mint it? Or, what if Tom Cruise himself minted it?

In NFTs, context is king.

Other news

🐦Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s selling his first ever tweet. It’s currently got a bid for $2.5M, and he’s declared that he’ll be donating any proceeds at the end of the 21st. Wonder what other tech names are watching, and what will come out of it.

🔥 Someone literally made an NFT of a Banksy, then burned the physical version. Interestingly, when typing this out, the first instinct was to say that “they burned the real version.” What’s real and what’s not, in this situation?

👑 The band Kings of Leon released NFTs for their new album. Some perks include free front-row tickets at any show in the future. Personally loved this quick analysis about how NFTs like this enable ownership of the relationship between musicians and fans.

🎰 Decentral Games is a casino that runs completely in the virtual world of Decentraland, and the gaming legend Atari has partnered with them to create a new casino. If that sounds interesting to you, they’re also hiring for hosts! This is real life, y’all.

📈 NFT trading volume in February hit $342 million! For context, it was only $12 million in December 2020.

👀 And some interesting discoveries of the week:

Reading list

And lots of good, visual tweets this week!

Creative corner: toomuchlag’s Le Anime drop

Yes, today, we’re specifically tackling a drop. It’s creative corner, and everything goes, including drop mechanisms!

In this drop, the artist toomuchlag sold an open edition of a piece called “Le Anime”. Anyone can mint as many pieces as they wanted in the first 5 minutes, before it was closed forever.

The cool thing, though, was that each edition was linked to a “soul” figure (that’s the figures in the video). The soul for edition #1 is different from the soul for edition #200.

Open editions usually function like prints, where everyone gets the same copy. So it was really cool to see someone create unique pieces for open-edition buyers.

Currently, a community has formed to decipher the rarities of objects. Cup participated in the drop, and it’s been a really fun hunt. :D

You can view different souls here, and if you want to dig deeper, join the Discord.

View more of toomuchlag’s work on Instagram, and find his Linktree here.

Try this: test out Niftex V2

Niftex allows you to take an NFT and turn it into shards. These shards can be bought and sold by other people, so their fractional ownership model suits more expensive, exclusive NFTs. Think 1/1s, or the rarest CryptoPunks!

The platform has opened their Version 2 up for testing. It does require some crypto know-how, such as how to use Metamask and testnets.

So if that’s you, please try it and let them know! Go help make the experience better. And maybe you might get rewarded for it? (Not investment advice! Rather, learning opportunity motivation?)

That’s it for today. NFTs are attracting a lot of opinionated attention, so just a reminder to stay safe and sane out there.

🍵 See you this Friday, because we got a longer essay we can’t wait to share!