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AI-generative art predicted to be next trend for NFT sector

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AI-generative art predicted to be next trend for NFT sector

Sales of nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, reached $25 billion in 2021, demonstrating that the sector is one of the most sought-after markets in crypto. Art NFTs, in particular, made a big impact last year with Christie’s reporting over $93 million in nonfungible token sales during its fourth annual Art+Tech Summit that took place this past August. 

While notable, much of the crypto art scene appears to be dominated by cartoons and memes, as projects like CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club have taken center stage. Although these projects are some of the most successful to date, a new subset of NFTs is emerging based on advanced technologies and the human imagination.

AI-generative NFTs become a new art genre

Known as “AI-generative NFTs,” these nonfungible tokens are becoming increasingly popular within the art community, along with those interested in emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain and the Metaverse. In order to create AI-generative NFTs, one would typically use generative adversarial networks, or GANs. These are algorithms that leverage computers to use data to train models to produce machine-made images resembling art.

Claire Silver, an AI-collaborative artist, told Cointelegraph that AI-generative NFT art is a relatively new genre, noting that the basic principle is that art is created in tandem with some semblance of artificial intelligence, like GAN:

“There are code-heavy options and completely code-free tools that anyone can work with. I use the latter in my work. Being able to work with an AI to bring your ideas to life is an experience like no other, it augments creativity in a way that feels like freedom, a type of play you haven’t experienced since you were a child.”

In order to create AI-generative NFTs, Silver explained that she leverages a text-to-art generator called “Eponym.” Developed by the AI-generated art company Art AI, the Eponym tool allows users to create art based on their text of choice and then mint these creations directly to the largest NFT marketplace, OpenSea.

“Cassandra Ex Machina” Source: Claire Silver

Eyal Fisher, co-founder of Art AI, told Cointelegraph that Eponym allows for any phrase to be transformed into a unique NFT art piece that will forever be etched onto the Ethereum blockchain as a visual representation.

Fisher explained that Eponym was built on algorithms for personalized generated art that lets people create art by interacting with a computer. “Eponym is a collaborative NFT project. Users access it by coming to the website and typing any phrase or word into a text box. The AI then generates artwork based on the text entered.” Fisher added that each text prompt can only be generated once. “There is only one Eponym called ‘Bitcoin,’” he said.

“$btc” image produced by Eponym. Source: Eponym

Although AI-generative art is a fairly new concept, Fisher shared that the first Eponym project sold out overnight on OpenSea, making it one of the largest collaborative art projects created by 3,500 different artists. “This is an experiment in decentralizing art. People who own Eponyms are creators of that art and want to curate it,” he said.

While Eponym lets users create their own art NFTs, Metascapes is another project that was developed by three photographers looking to combine human expression with computer algorithms. Ryan Newburn, one of the photographers behind Metascapes, told Cointelegraph that the project consists of 3,333 rare AI-generated NFTs based on photographs taken across the world. Like Eponym, Metascapes leverges AI algorithms to create nature-inspired NFTs. According to Newburn, the first Metascapes collection is planned to be minted by the end of this month or early February.

“Ice Journey” Source: Metascapes

The AI-team behind Metascapes — which goes by the name Versus Labs — explained that the artwork in each collection is created by training data to recognize real-world images:

“We have images and labels for our photographs, which are called ‘training data.’ When it’s time to generate the output model, we put in a label that tells the model what type of images to put out. For example, ice caves and volcanoes were two categories the photographers have done work for in the past, but this wasn’t a majority of the input data, so we wanted to make sure the output contained examples of ice caves and volcanoes.”

Versus Labs added that Metascapes’ AI learns as it goes, noting that the generator that outputs data gets better over time since two models of learning are being used in tandem. “The generator outputs random noise at the beginning and the discriminator model tells the generator how to improve the output, so it looks more like the training data. This cycle continues, ensuring both models improve over time.”

Iurie Belegurschi, another photographer behind Metascapes, told Cointelegraph that as photographers, the Metascapes team chose to work with AI to generate images because everything related to NFTs and Web3 is about machines, computers and code:

“We decided to collaborate with a machine to create an entirely new world in the Metaverse. Everyone now is buying PFP avatars, but in our case, people will get a unique piece of land in the Metaverse.”

AI’s impact on artists and NFT collectors

Although AI-generated NFTs are still an emerging concept, this model has started to impact both artists and NFT collectors. For instance, the digital artist known as “Kami was Here” told Cointelegraph that working with AI has fundamentally changed the role of the human artist:

“The human needs the algorithm and the algorithm needs the human. For me, this new role meant data collection, writing code, curation, the inspiration to create a theme and, most of all, ‘coaching’ an algorithm. The process is dynamic and the outcome collaborative.”

“The Cartographer” Source: Kami was Here

In terms of how generative art NFTs differ from other nonfungible tokens, “Kami was Here” explained that each result is fully unique since it is birthed from an algorithm. “Generative art explores the future of a society hardwired with human-computer interaction,” the artist mentioned.

Moreover, Fisher pointed out that accessibility and a newfound desire to own NFTs has been an outcome of AI-generated images. “Many of our users are creating NFTs for the first time, while NFT collectors and buyers are making their own creations. This is unusual, as most people in our community are not professional artists.”

Dr. Alex Alter, principle AI-scientist for Altered State Machine — a protocol that uses NFT intelligence to create smart AI agents — further told Cointelegraph that not only do AI-generated NFTs look unique, but they also bring a deeper abstract feeling to individuals. “These NFTs are truly unique in the sense that there is no single area in any of the AI works that have similar pixels. Also, in the future, people will be able to create AI artwork through DAOs and chatbot technology. This is far more than what other NFTs can do today.”

“Abyss” Source: Dr. Alex Alter

Can AI be trusted to create meaningful NFTs?

While the potential for AI-generative NFTs is apparent, the question of whether or not artificial intelligence can be trusted to generate quality images based on text or photographs remains a concern. 

As such, Newburn mentioned that Metascapes carefully curates each of their collections. “Our AI team has generated tens of thousands of images. Not all of these will be showcased in our mints. If we aren’t satisfied with the category, we strategize and retest what categories will work with each other. Our AI has learned from multiple tests.”

It’s also important to note that there are different ways to generate AI-based NFTs. For instance, Fisher mentioned that Eponym has two versions of its generator available to the public, one on the company’s Discord channel operating as a chatbot and the other as a private link that contains more complex algorithms capable of creating more advanced images. “Kami was Here” further pointed out that some AI-art pieces can take only a few minutes to generate, while others can take longer:

“There are free apps now like Wombo that can easily generate images. It’s simple for people to create. On the other hand, AI art can also take months to build and train your algorithms, collect input data and pay for processing power. AI art can also be very resource intensive and personalized.”

Technology aside, AI-generative NFTs are bound to be a disruptive trend moving forward. According to Dr. Alter, AI-generated art has already seen huge volumes on OpenSea, noting that the market will continue to grow this year. He mentioned that this will be the case partially due to the functionality of AI-generative NFTs. “In the future, people will be able to own their own ‘AI artist’ NFT (AI which can produce art) or use a DAO AI to create art together with that AI artist.”

Additionally, the rise of the Metaverse should prompt the growth of AI-based NFTs. For example, Fisher remarked that Eponym’s next project will feature interactive virtual identities where users can take their own portraits to create 3D avatars and animate them using artificial intelligence. “Our idea is to use AI that will allow for avatars to take different shapes that are compatible in metaverse environments like Sandbox. In February, the company will be introducing additional algorithms that will allow users to generate personalized avatars.”

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Korean Police Ask Crypto Exchanges to Freeze Luna Foundation Guard’s Assets

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Korean Police Ask Crypto Exchanges to Freeze Luna Foundation Guard’s Assets

Korean Police Ask Crypto Exchanges to Freeze Luna Foundation Guard's Assets

The South Korean police have reportedly launched an investigation into possible embezzlement involving an employee of Terraform Labs. To prevent fund transfers, the police have requested crypto exchanges to freeze the Luna Foundation Guard’s accounts.

Embezzlement Investigation and Asset Freeze

The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency’s Cybercrime ​​Investigation Unit announced Monday that it has launched an investigation into possible embezzlement by an employee of Terraform Labs, local media reported.

An official from the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency was quoted by Chosun as saying:

We have received information that there is a person suspected of embezzling corporate funds who is believed to be an employee of Terraform Labs.

The police received reports of the alleged embezzlement in the middle of this month and have been looking into the case. As part of the investigation, the police plan to check the details of cash and crypto transactions of Terraform Labs and the Luna Foundation Guard (LFG).

The police explained that there is evidence that embezzled funds had flowed into the Luna Foundation Guard’s accounts. The cybercrime unit has therefore requested major domestic cryptocurrency exchanges, such as Upbit and Bithumb, to “urgently” freeze the accounts belonging to the Luna Foundation Guard to prevent withdrawals of funds held at crypto exchanges.

However, the police’s freeze request is not a compulsory matter according to Korean laws and regulations but a matter that needs to be arbitrarily performed by each crypto exchange. Therefore, it has not been confirmed whether the freeze requests have been carried out, the publication conveyed.

Cryptocurrency terra (LUNA) and stablecoin terrausd (UST) collapsed earlier this month after UST lost its peg to the U.S. dollar.

Following the collapse, the Korean government launched an emergency investigation into the two coins and met with representatives of the country’s top crypto exchanges to discuss measures to prevent similar incidents from happening.

Last week, a number of victims filed a lawsuit against Terraform Labs CEO Kwon Do-hyung (aka Do Kwon) with the Seoul Southern District Prosecutors Office on charges of violating the Act on the Aggravated Punishment of Specific Economic Crimes (fraud) and the Act on the Regulation of Similar Receipts.

In addition, Do Kwon dissolved Terraform Labs Korea days before the collapse of LUNA and UST. While many suspected foul play, Kwon claimed that the timing was just “coincidental.” He also claims that his company does not owe the Korean government any taxes.

What do you think about this case? Let us know in the comments section below.

Kevin Helms

A student of Austrian Economics, Kevin found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open-source systems, network effects and the intersection between economics and cryptography.

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Registration For The Upcoming VERSE Token By Bitcoin․com Is Now Open

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Registration For The Upcoming VERSE Token By Bitcoin․com Is Now Open

press release

Registrations are now open for the VERSE token sale, which will begin in the later part of June 2022. Interested parties who register can participate in the token sale immediately upon launch.

Miami, Florida – May 23rd, 2022 – VERSE is the rewards and utility token distributed to holders who participate in the Bitcoin.com ecosystem. Bitcoin.com is a global leader in introducing newcomers to cryptocurrency and is the go-to platform for educational resources, news, and more. Bitcoin.com’s ecosystem includes 30 million wallets and more than five million monthly active users across various products and services.

The VERSE token will reward users who engage in buying, selling, spending, swapping, and staying informed about cryptocurrency. Rewards will be allocated by interacting with the Verse DEX, staking VERSE, cashback paid in VERSE, and using VERSE as collateral in various lending pools. Additionally, token holders will receive access to exclusive products and services.

VERSE is a cross-chain token using the ERC-20 token standard on the Ethereum blockchain. The Verse team will actively explore opportunities to expand the token into low-fee Ethereum Virtual Machine-compatible networks to provide an optimal user experience.

The VERSE supply is fixed at 210 billion tokens, distributed over seven years through a block-to-block approach. A further breakdown looks as follows:

  • 10% sold during Sale A (completed in May 2022)
  • 6% being sold during Sale B (coming in June 2022)
  • 15% allocated to the team
  • 35% set aside for ecosystem incentives
  • 34% will be used for funding future development of Verse and its ecosystem

The first token sale raised $33.6 million last month from notable market participants such as Blockchain.com, KuCoin, and Digital Strategies along with thought leaders like Roger Ver, Jihan Wu, and David Wachsman.

“We were honored to see such outspoken support during our first token sale round. Furthermore, we could not be more excited about bringing our second token sale to the public and providing more people with access to VERSE. This new utility token marks a crucial milestone for the Bitcoin.com ecosystem. It will enable us to enhance the mainstream appeal of cryptocurrency and blockchain through our buy/sell services, news coverage, and educational tools” said Dennis Jarvis, CEO Bitcoin.com.

To participate in the upcoming VERSE token sale, interested parties need to register on the Verse website. They will be the first to know when the VERSE token sale is live.

Registrants need an Ethereum wallet – such as the Bitcoin.com Wallet – to receive the VERSE tokens. Payment for the token sale is possible with Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, USDT, and USDC.

The Verse community already counts over twenty-five thousand participants combined across Telegram and Discord. VERSE tokens will be minted following the conclusion of the Verse public sale in July.

The VERSE token sale is not available to U.S. purchasers.

Bitcoin.com

Bitcoin.com is your premier source for everything Bitcoin-related. We can help you buy bitcoins and choose a bitcoin wallet. You can also read the latest news, or engage with the community on our Bitcoin Forum. Please keep in mind that this is a commercial website that lists wallets, exchanges and other Bitcoin-related companies.

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Popular Radio Presenter Suspended for Alleged Ties to Bitcoin Scam

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Popular Radio Presenter Suspended for Alleged Ties to Bitcoin Scam

South Africa’s national broadcaster has suspended one of its employees that is accused of convincing unsuspecting people, including pensioners, to invest in a cryptocurrency scam. More than 100 people are believed to have fallen victim to promises of very high returns to investors in the bitcoin investment scheme.

300% Return on Investment

The South African state broadcaster recently suspended one of its radio presenters, Sebasa Mogale, after a media exposé suggested he may have been part of a cryptocurrency scam outfit that reportedly promised a 300% return on investment.

The decision to suspend the popular broadcaster, who also plays a role in South Africa’s popular television series Skeem Saam, was made after an investigative report by the media outlet Carte Blanche identified him as one of the masterminds behind the scam that allegedly fleeced more than 100 people.

Reports of Mogale’s suspension were confirmed by Gugu Ntuli, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) group executive responsible for corporate affairs and marketing. In a statement, the executive said:

Thobela FM has taken a decision to unschedule Sebasa Mogale, (Ntshirogele) Afternoon Drive presenter, following the Carte Blanche exposé. Mr Mogale is being afforded an opportunity to resolve the issues raised in the recent broadcast which pertain to his personal business dealings involving cryptocurrency.

Ntuli added that the SABC will “leave no stone unturned” in its own probe into Mogale’s role in the scam.

A Confidence Trickster

According to an exposé by Carte Blanche, Mogale had used his celebrity status to lure some listeners of his radio show to invest. The media outlet’s report said investors with no training in personal finance management had “cashed in their pensions and savings policies.” However, in the end, Mogale’s promises turned out to be empty.

“But for at least 140 people the man they trusted to guide them through the crypto maze appears to have been little more than a confidence trickster,” reads part of Carte Blanche’s summary of the exposé.

Following news of Mogale’s suspension, some of the victims of the scam have come forward to reveal their losses. Sello Bonoko is quoted in another report explaining he became a victim after he listened to Mogale’s bitcoin investment pitch that “sounded convincing.” He also said he trusted Mogale’s promises primarily because these were made on national radio. Bonoko said he lost more than $14,500 (R230,000).

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the South African police is quoted in the report telling Mogale’s victims to file reports with law enforcement. He said the police can only act after formally receiving the complaints.

What are your thoughts on this story? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Terence Zimwara

Terence Zimwara is a Zimbabwe award-winning journalist, author and writer. He has written extensively about the economic troubles of some African countries as well as how digital currencies can provide Africans with an escape route.

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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