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How Melbourne meme artist Lushsux made half-a-million bucks from NFTs

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Lushsux is Australian street art royalty. One of the country’s most prolific street artists and founder of the meme art movement, his work is both instantly recognisable and bitingly funny, taking the most familiar parts of internet culture, giving them an otherworldly gloss and pasting them all over Melbourne’s walls.

Being one with the internet hive mind, it perhaps isn’t surprising that Lushsux’s latest pivot has been toward the NFT (non-fungible token) craze. He talks to CoinJar about his own crypto journey, what NFTs mean for the art world and, well, the half-a-million dollars he’s already made.

CJ: So, could you tell us how you got started making NFTs?
LS: I’ve always been interested in the crypto scene, but more from a safe distance. I’d take payment in crypto if people offered it to me, but I wasn’t in deep. Fortunately I had a mate, GT Sewell, who’s been a big crypto evangelist for years now and he sat me down one day last July and talked me through the whole NFT concept in detail. And it blew my mind. Like I could barely sleep for the next two weeks. Although the thoughts keeping me up were mostly like, “So, I might be able to sell some JPEGs for a couple thousand bucks? Cool.”

CJ: That may have been underselling yourself.
LS: But it was still the crypto bear market! Getting people to pay real money for digital art seemed insane. Even being that early I was really lucky to get in when and how I did.

CJ: What do you mean by lucky?
LS: I realised that if I was going to make this work I needed to get on one of the major sites like Nifty Gateway or Rarible. But even back then it was becoming hard to get a drop happening with those guys. I knew I had to find some way of getting to the front of the queue, so I started doing paintings of crypto figures like the Winklevoss twins, Satoshi, Elon and a Shiba Inu. I did a painting of Beeple and someone shared it with him and when he posted it someone from Nifty Gateway saw it and that was basically my in.

CJ: Part of your deal as a street artist is anonymity. Did you feel like you saw a crossover there with the anonymous elements of the crypto world?
LS: For sure. There’s people making ludicrous amounts of money in crypto, but pretty much everyone is known by some anonymous Twitter handle. No one wants to get robbed and obviously there’s the tax component too. It’s also that weird thing where the blockchain makes it totally transparent how much money you’re making, yet you’re still this invisible figure.

CJ: Which, in your case, is around half-a-million bucks. Does it weird you out that people can see exactly how much your art is selling for?
LS: Nah, I reckon it’s great. I mean, not ATO-wise, obviously. But you’d never get that sort of transparency in the art world and that’s why the market’s so fucked. With NFTs you know how much the work’s been worth every time it’s been bought and sold. It makes it possible for investors to do their due diligence and make well informed decisions. It’s why I’m not worried about counterfeiters or people trying to sell my work themselves. You can literally just follow the money.

CJ: And you get a cut every time one of your pieces is sold on, right?
LS: That’s one of the best things about NFTs for content creators (and especially musicians). Rights are one of the shittiest parts of being an artist. Every state in Australia is entirely different and you need a lawyer and all these resources to make sure you’re being properly paid for your work. NFTs mean that part of the process is locked and automatic, no matter where your work goes in the world.

CJ: The NFT market feels pretty frothy right now. Is it sustainable?
I sold a piece called ‘The 8’ for 88.8 ETH, or like $250,000. I’m literally one of Australia’s highest paid living artists. Top 20 at least. And some guy is trying to sell one of my Elon Musk portraits for $1.4 million. You could buy a Whiteley for that price. Or, like, a 2-bedroom house in Melbourne.

So, yeah, bubble’s gonna burst and most of these things are going to be absolutely worthless. 95% of the stuff being produced right now is trash – and that includes me. Is a picture of some shitty crypto meme worth hundreds of thousands of dollars? According to the market, yes, but give it a few months and we’ll see where we’re at.

But even when it does pop the technology and the whole idea of it will grow in other ways. It still feels gimmicky now, but soon every industry is going to have that moment where they start to use it to their advantage. Music, film, TV, writing – they’re all working on it. I saw the other day that people are even starting to tokenize their houses. That’s wild.

CJ: So, what’s coming up for you in the NFT space?
I’ve got another drop coming up with Nifty Gateway on April 24th and I’m doing a project with Chainlink that’s gonna be pretty cool. We’re working on a new NFT mechanic that no-one’s done yet.

More than anything, NFTs are an excuse to spend more time building things in the digital world – VR, AR, etc. It’s always been part of what I do, but now I can actually justify playing around with it all.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://blog.coinjar.com/lushsux/

Blockchain

A pillar of the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Robert J. Brown, will keynote a global blockchain leadership event.

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Blockchain and Liberty for All

Broadcast live from Washington DC, June 18-19, 2021, with contributions from chapters around the globe, GBA will virtually present its’ annual state of the union to the world. The GBA global leadership team will present their blockchain results so far and discuss where we are headed for the next decade. 

The featured Keynote speaker, Dr. Robert Brown will share his wisdom gained from decades of working with world leaders, industry titans, and civil rights leaders. The Washington Post called him a “World Class Power Broker”. Just some of his many accomplishments include:

  • Key advisor to the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 
  • Involved in the Robert Kennedy campaign
  • Special Assistant to President Richard Nixon
  • Close friend and confidant of Nelson Mandela 
  • Consulted with many prominent US corporations on race relations and crisis management
  • Worked on the committee that established the legislation creating the Office of Minority Business Enterprise within the US Department of Commerce
  • He signed the documents that increased funding for historical black colleges & universities under President Nixon
  • Serves on the boards of numerous universities and corporations 
  • He holds eleven honorary doctorate degrees from prestigious institutions of higher learning.

Dr. Brown has handled communications and race relations during pivotal moments of the civil rights movement. His ability to build bridges between Democrats and Republicans during the Civil Rights heyday, makes him an exceptional choice for blockchain leaders who will face inevitable backlash as this technology revolutionizes the landscape for many in power. How are we to move forward in a respectful and mutually beneficial manner? 

As blockchain technology continues to disrupt every industry, GBA influencers will need to hear the lessons learned from this icon of history.

The Government Blockchain Association, (GBA), is honored to have Dr. Brown as a keynote speaker for Blockchain and Liberty for All.

Political freedom must be accompanied by economic freedom for people to be truly free. Blockchain Technology is a new frontier in the economic landscape.” -Gerard Dache, Executive Director, GBA

 

You do not want to miss this event. For more information, go to

http://bit.ly/block4all

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Blockchain

The fees sting but Uniswap v3 sees more volume on launch day than v2’s first month

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The founder of Uniswap, Hayden Adams, has reported that the launch day of Uniswap’s v3 iteration was more successful than its predecessor in terms of volume.

In a tweet on May 6th, Adams declared the launch of Uniswap v3 the day before a resounding success. He noted that over its first 24 hours of going live v3 had already processed more than twice the volume that v2 saw in its first month.

Dividing Uniswap’s volume by total value locked, or TVL, Adams asserted the platform is operating with greater efficiency than its v2 form. While v2 saw $1.1 billion in volume and $8.1 billion in TVL during its first day for an efficiency ratio of 13%, v3 hosted $150 million in volume and $300 million in TVL for an efficiency ratio of 50%, according to Adams.

At the time of writing, the Uniswap dashboard was reporting a daily volume of $214 million with a TVL of $350 million for v3. Over the same period the version 2 stats of $1.1 billion in daily volume and of course it’s built up around $8 billion in TVL over the time it’s been operational.

Gas guzzler?

Not all have been as enamored with the latest iteration of the world’s most popular DEX, with users complaining about the costs associated with using v3. One respondent to Adams stated:

“Even more expensive to make mistakes now. Tried to migrate my UNI/ETH liquidity to V3, failed and paid 108.09 usd worth of gas.”

Dragonfly Capital Managing Partner, Haseeb Qureshi, also asserted that v3 is more expensive to use than its predecessor, noting an example transaction in which he attempted to swap 3 Ether for DAI.

“Looks like Uniswap v3 is more gas expensive than v2, roughly as expected. Specifically, it’s about 28% more expensive for single-hop transactions it looks like. For larger transactions that cross multiple ticks/buckets, the gas costs should be slightly larger.”

Others complained of the cost incurred by creating a pool and adding liquidity on the new platform, with one claiming to have paid 0.2 ETH worth roughly $750.

DeFiPrime commented on the complexities of using the new interface via its Telegram feed, stating:

“Add liquidity UI now requires a master’s degree to figure out how to price your liquidity position. It’s a huge step backward from the simplicity we had in v2.”

Fees still seem to be the major drawback of using the platform — although the same can be said of most DeFi projects on Ethereum in recent months. Uniswap needs to wait for the launch of Optimism to bring layer-two scaling to v3.

On March 29, Cointelegraph reported that Uniswap’s daily fee generation had topped Bitcoin’s by $1.7 million.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/the-fees-sting-but-uniswap-v3-see-more-volume-on-launch-day-than-v2-s-first-month

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Ivanka Trump’s luxury Miami apartment block accepting crypto for condos

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Luxury Miami apartment Arte Surfside will now accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment for its remaining luxury residences — including the Villa Nove penthouse, currently listed for $38 million.

The firm has partnered with trading platform SolidBlock, allowing potential buyers to pay in multiple cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ether.

The region’s “most exclusive” condominium is already home to Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, as well as fashion blogger Arielle Charnas from Something Navy. It’s now attempting to appeal towards crypto millionaires and billionaires attracted by Miami’s Bitcoin-friendly reputation. 

According to the announcement, the cheapest condo available starts at $10.3 million with spaces ranging from three to five bedrooms, with access to a 75-foot indoor pool, meditation pond, rooftop tennis court, and private temperature-controlled parking spaces. The highest sale to date was $33M for the penthouse condo — the same one that has just been relisted at $38 million.

Developers Sapir Corp noted that a number of top Silicon Valley companies and venture capital firms had moved to the city and this played a role in the decision to accept cryptocurrencies.

Miami Mayer Francis Suarez has already met with ‘Dogecoin CEO’ Elon Musk, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and Google CEO Eric Schmidt in an effort to convince them to move operation to the sunny state. Cryptofinance firm XBTO Group has a new office there, Scott Minerd from global investment firm Guggenheim Partners and Peter Thiel-associate Keith Rabois have bought property, and VC Delian Asparouhov joked on social media about moving Silicon Valley to Miami. 

Chairman of Sapir Corp Alex Sapir said the company supported Mayor Francis Suarez’s vision to make Miami a cryptocurrency and technology hub.

“As the most exclusive luxury building in the city, we’re positioning ourselves for a future where half the world’s billionaires are crypto billionaires, which will happen once Bitcoin reaches $200,000. With cryptocurrencies already creating incredible worldwide wealth, it’s real estate that will sustain that wealth and provide buyers with a legacy.”

Over the last year, Suarez has made it clear that he wants to landmark Miami as the country’s crypto center and he hailed Arte’s announcement as the first of many.

“The embrace of cryptocurrency and emerging technologies across all sectors of industry is precisely how Miami will become the city of the century,” said Mayor Francis Suarez. “Arte is setting an important precedent and I won’t be surprised to hear similar stories in the near future.”

A resolution for a new cryptocurrency task force passed on May 6, looking at the feasibility of allowing the Miami-Dade county to accept cryptocurrencies as a form of payment for taxes, fees, and services.

Next month, Miami will host the world’s largest Bitcoin conference, Bitcoin 2021 conference.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/ivanka-trump-s-luxury-miami-apartment-block-accepting-crypto-for-condos

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