Introducing Totemic — the new digital trading card exchange built to give artists and creators a new model to fund their work.

By Sean Moss-Pultz

Jamie King & I met about three years ago, introduced through a mutual friend, one of the founders of BitTorrent Inc. Jamie had distributed his documentary STEAL THIS FILM via the Bittorrent protocol, and gone on to found VODO, one of the first distribution companies based on P2P tech. I just started Bitmark, and was looking for new distribution channels for artists.

Right from the start, it was clear something interesting could happen.

Over the next year or two, Jamie and I discussed different ways that Bitmark could support people creating all kinds of digital work — music, photography, video and writing. The “ah-hah” moment came after we found out, separately, about Rare Pepes — a platform using blockchain to create scarce assets from memes. Having both decided that blockchain-based, digital trading cards would be the wave of the future, we decided to work together and build a new platform: Totemic.

Totemic is a digital trading card exchange in which artists can issue limited edition digital card sets for their fans to purchase, sell, and trade. One of the things I like about trading cards, is that they can allow artists to re-use bits and pieces of their original works. They’re not having to create whole new assets to get access to this valuable new revenue stream. And for fans/collectors collectibles trigger this kind of immediate nostalgia. To this day, I can remember opening up baseball cards with the stick of gum. You never knew what you were going to get. Even the duplicates created more fun — you could easily trade those with friends for cards you did not have.

Where Totemic stands apart for buyers and collectors is that card ownership is completely decentralized. On any other digital collectibles platform, a company owns your collection. By using the public Bitmark blockchain, however, Totemic makes sure your cards are truly yours, forever. Ownership of a card and its ownership history are always maintained independently from any third-parties — even including Totmetc and Bitmark Inc.!

An important part of Totemic’s raison d’etre springs from Jamie’s insight, from both his own experiences as a filmmaker, and distributing other people’s work at VODO, that artists increasingly don’t make money from their artwork directly. Popular new platforms like Patreon, for example, are based around indirect ways of monetizing the creative practice. This can lead to skewed incentives and peculiar projects endorsements that don’t really create value for their fans.

In contrast to other platforms, which pay creators through one-time licensing fees, artists who publish trading cards via Totemic profit from their cards’ appreciation. When fans sell and continue to trade cards they are extending the value, funding and visibility for the artist who created that card. This in turn motivates creators to offer unique and compelling experiences within each card to their fans, like adding giveaways, concert tickets, videos, etc. And fans can feel like they are participating in their favorite artists success, plus they gain value from the cards themselves. Totemic becomes a jumping-off point for a deepened relationship between the artist and supporter — a dynamic missing from crowdfunding and digitized campaigns like Pateon, Kickstarter, Behance, etc. We think Totemic is one of the first platform to align creator and fan incentives, creating a valuable new channel in digital arts.

Totemic has been through a number of different prototypes and iterations already, and it’s now in testing with the very first, live sets of cards from a few invited creators. Soon we’ll be opening up the platform to more artists — we hope you can enjoy creating and collecting cards! Join the site here.

By Bitmark Inc. on May 5, 2018.

Art and Blockchain [Part1]: VRintelligentART and the Bitmark Blockchain

I just recently bought my first two pieces of #VRintelligentART and thought, that the process and underlying blockchain technology is interesting enough to share with you.

The output for numbers 2 and 3 on DApp Gen1

VRintelligentART

I came across this digital art project through a small conversation, that I had with twitter user Von Likenstien, who is an Economist and Aerospace Engineer with an interest in AI, VR, and AR.

He created a small AI tool, that is called “DApp Gen1” and that transforms any input into a small piece of digital art.

Screenshot from DApp Gen1

If you like the output, you can then contact Von Likenstien on twitter and purchase the small digital AI-artwork using Ethereum. He then uses a blockchain called Bitmark to transfer the ownership of this digital asset to you.

Bitmark

The Bitmark blockchain has been designed to particularly enable the making of property from digital data.

By bitmarking the first public instance of your data, for example editions of photographs on your webstore, you can absolutely control the number of bitmarks there are and who owns them. Using the Bitmark tools you can easily begin registering your claim of ownership by bitmarking your data.

Source

You can either upload a digital file, input a text or even use IFTT applets to automatically bitmark your output on several social media sides and apps.

Screenshot from IFTT

The IFTTT service gives individuals the ability to easily extract their data from the places where we create and share things: social media, fitness and health apps, productivity and financial software, and much more. Bitmark Applets allow users to simply apply a mark of accepted ownership to a new creation (photos on Instagram, articles on WordPress, code on Github, and more) and embed it into Bitmark’s standardized, universal crypto property system.

Source

Transfer of Bitmarks

After someone has bitmarked a digital asset, like the output of the DApp Gen1 by Von Likenstien for example, these bitmarks can easily transfered to another Bitmark user. All you will have to know, is the email address of the user, you want the asset transfer to.

There is a Web App where you can see, manage and transfer all your digital assets.

After I sorted out the payment details with Von Likenstien and gave him the email address, I signed up with on Bitmark, he transferred the outputs of his DApp Gen for the numbers “2” and “3” to me.

I took a while until I received an email for every digital artwork, in which I was asked to accept the transfer of the properties by signing them.

Screenshot from Bitmark email

After that, I was able to see and download those artworks at my Bitmark account.

Screenshot from Bitmark

As you can see, I could also transfer those bitmarked artworks to another user and there will always be a provenance and history of ownership available on the Bitmark blockchain.

The block explorer is called The Bitmark Property Registry and is a historical ledger of all property transactions in the Bitmark property system. At this place you can check, if the transfer was successful.

Check it out!

If you are an artist or art collector, you should definitely check out the DApp Gen1 VRintelligentART generator. For example the output for “steemit” looks very rad.

Screenshot from DApp Gen1

Just contact Von Likenstien on twitter and ask, if it is still available.

Bonus (for Steemit users)

Alternatively you could purchase a digital artwork from me called “bomomo blue”, that I just issued as an edition of 10.

If you’re interested, you can buy one of those digital artworks by sending me 2 Steem/SBD to my Steemit account (@shortcut) and add your email in an encrypted memo. You can encrypt the memo by adding a # followed by a space in front of the memo.

For example # For 1 bomomo blue artwork. Here is my@email.com

Thanks in advance!

This was just the beginning of a series about blockchain and art, please follow me to keep yourself up to date!

@shortcut


Originally published at steemit.com on April 3, 2018.

By Joern Bielewski on April 04, 2018.