Skip to main content
Education

Not Your Contract, Not Your Collection.

By August 11, 2021September 7th, 2021No Comments
Not Your Contract Not Your Collection

If you’re an artist you’ve likely heard your fair share of NFT evangelism. Sold on the promise of breaking free from the platforms that own you. And yet here you are once more, paying the price for convenience, getting owned by a platform.

Ready to leave your mark on the metaverse, you minted your NFTs where all the action was – the marketplaces. They made edgy new tech accessible. But although convenient, they come with their trade-offs.

Not your contract

An NFT is a token on a blockchain such as Ethereum, attached to some code called a Smart Contract. This code abides by a standard, or specification, known as ERC-721.

Since smart contracts are quite technical and often expensive, the marketplaces decided to make a compromise. Rather than asking artists to pay hundreds to deploy their own, they deployed just one contract for everyone to share. Which is totally reasonable, since the artists still needed to pay for minting each of their artworks.

But as an artist who is serious about your oeuvre, or body of work, such a compromise could prove dilutive and detrimental to its value. Reason being that when it comes to NFTs, another word for contract is collection.

Not your collection

When minting an NFT to a shared smart contract, your work is effectively bundled with the work of many others, and permanently tagged with marketplace branding. This is analogous to a gallery or auction house replacing your signature with their logo.

In the realm of NFTs, your life’s work deserves its own home on the Ethereum blockchain, or another of your choosing. The current way of doing things favours disparate contributions to someone else’s collection. When it’s far more important to establish your life’s work in such a way that is authentically yours.

crab mentality

Buckets of crabs don’t need covers.

Investors and collectors who purchase your work are first and foremost acquiring a token attached to a smart contract. So before you continue pouring your heart and soul into your art, consider which of these truly empowers you (hint, it’s b):

  • a) Token “Marketplace Name” with symbol “ABCXYZ”
  • b) Token “Artist Name” with symbol “ARTIST”

Replace Artist Name with your own name, and symbol ARTIST with whatever you like. Perhaps you have a brand or moniker you’re already known by, in which case, you’re ready to own your place in history, forever on the blockchain.

An expensive example

Before empowering you with an authentic and immutable body of work that is truly and provably yours, let’s look to Beeple’s infamous $69 million sale. You see, despite the record breaking numbers and hype, “EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS” was indeed minted to a shared contract, tagged permanently with marketplace branding.

At time of writing, the $69 million dollar piece owned by MetaKovan is one of 67,656 tokens named “MakersTokenV2” with a “MKT2” token symbol. The smart contract is titled “DigitalMediaCore” and when viewed on a marketplace such as OpenSea, the collection with a blue verification tick reads “MakersPlace.”

Beeple blunder

Collection name is retrieved from smart contract.

Since asset permanence is critical to your art standing the test of time, why is the most expensive NFT of all time minted to MakersPlace’s collection? How will future collectors value a work that’s permanently and immutably tagged by a company who will very likely cease to exist at some point?

Could those responsible for bringing this artwork to its historical auction at Christie’s not have spared a few hundred bucks to mint an authentic “Beeple” collection?

Becoming a household name

By now you might be convinced that the assets you’re selling deserve their own ‘forever home’ on the blockchain. Perhaps you’ve thought about your legacy and how to protect it for when you become a household name.

ART HAUS was originally intended to be a marketplace and we actually spent months building it out. But we decided instead to focus on becoming a “dropletter” – a newsletter that premieres artists and their drops – in order to help investors and collectors find emerging artists before they’re household names.

Collection Etherscan

Branding on the blockchain isn’t only for apes.

We understand better than most that smart contracts and blockchains can be overwhelming, especially when you’re already consumed by the work you’re doing. So we are wearing the cost and giving away custom smart contracts to emerging artists on Twitter!

As a winning artist you only need to provide:

  1. Name and SYMBOL
  2. Ethereum address

We generate the smart contract, deploy it to Ethereum, transfer ownership to you, and cover all the gas costs. Then you can mint your work in a way that’s authentically yours, premiere it on ART HAUS and sell it wherever you like (they’re universally compatible).

If you’re an emerging artist, enter to win by visiting this Tweet

Joshua

Joshua

Joshua is a multidisciplinary creative, forward thinking technologist, and lifelong participant in the arts. His background in distributed power systems and eventually marketing strategy, have positioned him well to appreciate the intersection of creator economies and the metaverse. As an inquisitive data junkie and seasoned blockchain explorer, he keeps a finger on the pulse of Ethereum, web3, decentralised hosting, and emerging non-fungible token standards. Avatar is an NFT from his own project – This Punk Does Not Exist.