This newsletter I wanted to do sort of a virtual travel destination issue. The plan was simple, travel into the digital world, visit a few galleries, and check out artwork by some of my favorite artists. When I set out on this adventure I figured it would just be a quick to trip checking out popular digital locations. Little did I know that this trip would quickly get sidetracked. This became a week long adventure that led me down a rabbit hole of digital real estate and land ownership in the crypto metaverse.
Decentraland is the first fully decentralized virtual world. It was always part of the original vision to hand over control to the people who create and play in this virtual space. In short – you, the users.
While Decetraland is always free-to-visit, there are perks to owning land or “parcels” as they are called. The backbone of the of the virtual world is the Decentraland DAO “Decentralized Autonomous Organization.”
While Decetraland is always free-to-visit, there are perks to owning land or “parcels” as they are called. The backbone of the of the virtual world is the Decentraland DAO “Decentralized Autonomous Organization.“
Decentraland DAO controls the contracts and assets:
- LAND Contracts
- Estates Contracts
- Content Servers
It also owns a substantial purse of MANA which is the primary currency throughout Decentraland.
What does this all mean?
Think of it like being part of a HOA “Home Owners Association” in a neighborhood, except this neighborhood is virtual and consists digitally of people from around the world. These land owners in Decentraland are the ones who vote on adding new features, upcoming auctions, planning events, adding digital assets to the marketplace, and a voice in the MANA economy.
This is where the fun comes in, because once you own a parcel of land you are free to add whatever 3D assets you please. There are many pre-constructed objects that you can chose from to place yourself. But some people have gone on to create giant virtual museums, casinos, town plazas, and even stages for digital concerts.
The original goal of this trip in Decentraland was to revisit the Superrare and KnownOrigin galleries to take a few photos for this article. But I quickly got distracted by everything around me, which isn’t hard to do with the amount of things placed right off the main path.
When logging into Decentraland you are loaded into coordinates [0,0] “Genesis Plaza” where you are joined by other virtual visitors looking to go onto their own unique adventures. You are greeted by an animated build board displaying the current events with coordinates to each location. With these coordinates you can travel anywhere in Decentraland within seconds using the navigation map.
Now the sequence of events that followed loading in deviated a little from the original plan. I started wondering. I took a turn down a street and just started looking around at everything there was. Forgetting that I had an agenda set aside for this trip, I found myself exploring plots of lands as I walked further away from “Genesis Plaza.” Walking down the double lane road, buildings and sculptures towering along the sides. Seeing each of these plots of lands was like looking at a piece of art in it’s own, these were all built by individuals that either own the land or commissioned a structure to be constructed.
After walking a good distance, I couldn’t see the plaza in the distance this is when I decided I was a good time to take a break from walking. Looking around I spotted this cool bird sanctuary I had stumbled upon. Grabbing an access card I opened the doors and found myself at a serene water feature with turtles gracefully wading across the pond. There were birds chirping in the trees and even a friendly parrot greeting me by the water.
One thing lead to another and I was slowly finding clues around the sanctuary. Access cards were hidden under logs, buttons positioned behind stone wells, and secret doors containing hidden keys. What started as a peaceful break near the water turned into an adventure as I found myself navigating through a Myst like labyrinth.
Jumping from rock ledges, pulling hidden switches, and lastly being launched across the air atop a cannon ball. All of this was to unlock clues to help solve a puzzles, every step along the way allowed you to progress to the next stage. Needless to say I spent hours here exploring here, looking for any clue possible in the new mystery. To find the creator of this maze!
After logging out of Decentraland I immediately started doing some digging trying to find out anything I could about the person who owned this land. First place I looked was OpenSea, hoping to find a Twitter user attached to the NFT of the parcel of land. While I wasn’t able to find a way to contact the owner directly, I did however discover that they owned multiple digital parcels in Decentraland.
I set out to search the Decentraland marketplace, this is where users can purchase digital wearables, avatar names, or buy/sell land parcels. The difference in searching for land owners in the marketplace compared to OpenSea is that there is an interactive map that allows you to jump around from real estate to real estate.
Exploring the map and the parcels of land around the bird sanctuary, I noticed that a large number of plots were also owned by the same name. Remembering these neighboring plots also had themed structures on them I set back out into Decentraland to find more clues.
Doing a little bit of investigating, I got a few good leads that took me back to Twitter. A couple Twitter searches later, I discovered that these where all entries to a Decentraland Creators Contest. Through the power of blockchain, digital asset ownership, and Twitter I was able to locate the creator of the “bird sanctuary” aka Puzzler Planet by @DogGodFrogLog. Finally able to tell the creator how much I appreciated their maze, and how that was more of a reward than watching the rocket blast off into space.
This was a fun little adventure that got me on the ground running in digital land ownership and virtual real estate. I plan to take many trips back into Decentraland to attend some of the many events that happen. If there are any projects that you would like me to check out or would like to give me a tour of one of your creations please feel free to reach out at anytime. @DopeRadCool
Hey everyone! And thanks for having me on Dope Rad Cool!
I’m an independent 2D animator, illustrator, and designer. I graduated from Full Sail University in 2014 and I spent the first 7 years of my career in New York City working with brands, agencies, and production studios like Apple, R/GA, Buck, and Brand New School. (Among many others). I’ve worked on projects for clients such as Playstation, Google, Snapchat, Vox, and MTV.
While working with these places was great to develop my craft and for getting a ton of different insightful perspectives, I always had a huge sense of urgency to create my own work. So outside of work hours, I would explore and work on my own projects in a lot of various ways.
What is CryptoBeanz and where did the idea come from?
I was born in the 90’s and was hugely inspired by all things Pokemon. As a kid, it inspired me to want to create my own monsters, with their own movesets, every chance I got. I was one of those kids that would take their duplicate Pokemon cards and draw my own monster on the artwork frame.
Something about that just stuck with me, even up until this day. The idea of creating an entirely new being with their own little world and personality is so much fun for me. In 2016 I created something that I called the Monster Guidebook which explored this very concept. Every day for 100 days straight (while working at studios full-time) I would wake up at 5AM and create a new monster. When I got home from work I’d finish coloring it and would write a little story about the monster before posting it online. I’d usually finish that part around 1AM.
I kept in mind all of my learnings as a collector myself and applied them with my passion + skillset as a creative.
What has brought your interest to collectibles?
I have always been a collector at heart. I have a complete Shadowless Pokemon set that I built out around 2012 that I cherish. The hunt for each piece and the communities that form around these collections are what draw me in the most. When I first went to create Cryptobeanz I kept in mind all of my learnings as a collector myself and applied them with my passion + skillset as a creative.
How did you get introduced to crypto and how long have you been involved?
I’ve known about cryptocurrencies for a while but didn’t start getting more involved until 2014. I didn’t have much money at the time so I couldn’t invest but by 2017 I was building mining rigs to mine for Ethereum.
After GPU prices skyrocketed I realized my money was best spent as an investor rather than as a miner. So I broke down my rig for parts and began trading. At the time, ICOs were all the rage and in the bubble I lost most of the capital I had gained on the 2018 bullrun. I was young and quite inexperienced but I feel I learned a lot during 2018 and although those losses hurt, it helped prepare me for 2021.
How did you get started in collectibles? Any resources or people that played great role in your crypto success so far?
I’ve been into physical collectibles for awhile but I hadn’t considered creating any digital collectibles as there was no real way to authenticate them until now. I have to pay homage to CryptoPunks as they really set the bar for the scene. Another community I owe a lot to is the Axie Infinity community. Seeing what they’re building there was also really inspirational. My good friend Gavin Shapiro is the first one who really opened my mind to the concept of non-fungible tokens as a new medium for digital art.
In the future, eventually every major artist will have an NFT collectible series in some way.
How has your vibrant character style from your past commercial work and personal projects carried over to CryptoBeanz?
To break down the process of creating this project in detail would be almost an entirely new article haha. It didn’t begin right when I set out to do it, rather it was the culmination of years of failure, exploration, and dedication to the craft.
When I set out to create the project I already knew the style it’d be in as this is a style I’ve been honing in on and developing for years. When it came into the planning of it, I originally wanted to do something very different but I am a bit limited in some of my technical knowledge so I had to adjust it to what we see now.
After a lot of sketching and character designing I eventually landed on three different ‘evolutions’ for a total of six Cryptobeanz. I then animated them using After Effects. I drew the backgrounds in Photoshop. Then I composited each scene together back in After Effects. After that I composed, mixed, and mastered the track in FL Studio. Then I did the sound design in FL Studio. After I brought it all together I prepared JPEGs, GIFs, and MOVs for posting (for each Cryptobean, by hand). Then I post them all individually on OpenSea and input the meta-data properties (also by hand).
How do you see the future of cryptoart, NFTs, and digital collectibles going for artist looking to experiment with new ideas or mediums?
In the future, eventually every major artist will have an NFT collectible series in some way. Theoretically, this gives an artist the potential to create a price-point that is easier for collectors of many different socioeconomic backgrounds to own an artist’s work even though they may be priced out of their typical work.
I’m very inspired, hopeful, and excited for the NFT collectibles space and I can’t wait to see how people challenge it going forward.
These are all the NFTreats I got today. The theme today was pairs for the most part 😉 and I got an open nifty too which apparently so did everyone else in our space! 🤪 shout out to @Cryptobeanz for my last two #NFTreats of the day. #nft #nftart #cryptoart #nftsrule pic.twitter.com/KjHaing2gs
— DJ FATHEAD (@ViciosoEdgar) February 21, 2021
Are there any rarities, secrets, or future information you would like to discuss about CryptoBeanz?
There are definitely hidden attributes in each Cryptobean that isn’t being tracked in the properties panel. I’m excited for the community to start hunting these down and seeing how deep that actually goes.
In terms of the future, what Cryptobeanz is now is really just the tip of the iceberg. I have a lot of future plans for the project outside of how it currently exists, I just need more time to focus on it. I’m currently working full-time and focusing on Cryptobeanz in the mornings, nights, and weekends. I’m hoping to work on it as my main focus full-time soon.
Over the past few weeks I had been hearing about Avastar NFTs on Twitter being mentioned. Most of the talk was about how their data was stored differently than other NFTs or even platforms. The discussions usually revolved around the longevity of the data. Will your NFTs data still be there in a couple years? What happens if the data center goes off line? Where is your NFTs data stored? Usually someone from the NFT42 dev team would chime in and let people know about what they are doing with Avastar NFTs.
Fast forward to present day, I see @BeautyandPunk showing some interest in the Avastars project. Heeding her advice I decided I would take a dive into the project and experience what it was like to collect an Avastar NFT.
When you entering the website you are given a task, discovering the best applicants to be teleported to the Planet Avastar. With the job of Teleport Engineer you set off search the global feed to discover the first citizens from Earth to travel to this new planet. This proves to be not an easy task as no two applicants are the same, each one genetically unique, and some with rarer than others.
As I’m searching through the application pool I’m looking for things that stick out to me like hats, sunglasses, features, background textures, and even poses. Each one of these things make an Avastar unique, and with a little digging you can find a few treasures hidden within.
I decided on an Avastar I like some interesting attributes like a soft pink background, playful bubble of gum blowing up, and a tall feather headpiece. But what stood out the most to me about this one was the fact that she was wearing VR goggles. This was something I didn’t notice on many of the other applicant’s profile photos. Upon further investigation I found out that these “VR Goggles” were in fact a RARE item! I was sold, I added my Avastar to the queue, and paid the finder fees to have her teleported.
View Avastar #17871 on OpenSea
This was a new experience for me, finding randomly generated NFTs in the browser. Most of the time when searching for NFTs it is within a marketplace setting and often times when “claiming” NFTs they are randomly generated. This was a fun twist on both of those, it make’s it feel much more involved being able to discover and pick your own unique Avastar.
Make your way over to the Avastar Teleportation website and help bring all the citizens over to the new world.
“Avastars are gorgeous on-chain art collectibles that are already among the most highly-sought 2D and 3D avatars for the metaverse. The possibilities around these collectibles are endless, too, since Avastars’s means collectors can take their Avastars and extend them to new entrepreneurial horizons!”
As long as you own the Avastar NFT you own the commercial license to that Avastar! Digital Asset Ownership License