A funny thing happened on my way to the crypto market …

I learned about art.

Or perhaps I should rephrase: I learned just how much I do not know about art, blockchain, and cryptocurrency.

Purchasing bitcoin and alternative currencies is certainly not traditional, and often quite cumbersome. One is bound to find interesting stories and experiences along the journey.

I had no idea that one of my cryptocurrency news radio show cohorts, Augi, was an artist, until I took a field trip to see some of his work. From sculptures, to ink drawings, cartoons, illustrations, and paint on canvas and more, I was astounded. My photography does not do it justice, but here are a few samples of his work.

Augi’s Art

After listening to the history, stories, and thought behind each piece, my friend and I knew that these were too good not to be shared. We were uncertain where to begin. The extent of my art appreciation lessons from college seemed to be buried in notebooks with a failed attempt at “Tippy the Turtle.”

During one of our radio shows, my iPad and Apple Pencil caught Augi’s attention. He managed to pry it out my hands during a brief commercial break to take it for a test drive with a doodle. Panicked that I would be separated from my notes and questions for the guest, I regained control of my iPad and passed over the scribble.

As I was preparing to review the FRESCO whitepaper, I found Augi’s sketch nested inside my notes. I had no idea that in a matter of seconds, he put together a sketch of political figures. I tweeted it out, not prepared for the subsequent attention.

Nor I was prepared for how interested I would become in FRESCO.

What is FRESCO?

“Through blockchain technology, FRESCO enables liquidation, promotion, and provenance of artworks at a global scale.”

FRESCO seeks to unite current and future artists, collectors, dealers, galleries, museums, administrators. The platform is positioned to raise awareness, provide an environment where newcomers can learn from experts, and encourages users to experiment with the art ecosystem using the FRES Cash token.

Artists and owners may create a digital asset, FRES Edition, and test what may be the appropriate number of editions to offer. Owners, investors, and others may use FRES Cash to purchase a FRES Edition or allocate FRES Cash to the work to increase its value. The sale, purchase, and transfer of the FRES Edition does not impact the artwork transactions outside of the platform. The appreciation of the FRES Edition is measured by FRES Trust, an accumulation of FRES Cash nominated to this work. While the transactions that occur within the FRESCO ecosystem are independent of those outside, the platform has the ability to expand an artist’s presence; better prepare a novice investor; and increase attendance at fairs, museums, and galleries.

I had already considered FRESCO a serendipitous and timely find. This project is one of the first to announce a strategic partnership with the Elastos platform. Elastos alone has elevated my study of blockchain technology. My interest metamorphosed from 20-minute drive-thru reviews of utility tokens to a desire to understand the implications of merge mining, delegating data storage to sidechains, and reducing security vulnerabilities.

Friends, family, and followers can attest to my obsession with AirDrops. Not in the typical consumer sense of “free money.” I am more intrigued by how projects account for them and the cost/benefit to the project. The current market suffers from ICO fatigue, social media platforms have limited or banned ICO advertising, and the “Magic 8 Ball” can likely predict the impending regulations equal or better than any of us. One option is for a project to deviate from the ICO and distribute tokens (ICD) without an attempt at raising capital. This is exactly what FRESCO decided to do. This at least signals to me that they have the funding and support capable of absorbing the “gas” ETH fees needed to create and distribute the tokens. But in order for a project to increase the chances for long-term success, getting these tokens into the hands of the likely platform users rather than speculators is critical.

It is not uncommon for projects to encourage social media proliferation in exchange for an AirDrop. FRESCO went beyond. In the spirit of the Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus algorithm found in Bitcoin mining, FRESCO required interested participants to take a 100-question quiz requiring either extensive knowledge in art, ability to use a search engine, and/or knowledge from the whitepaper. The ICD spans several weeks, and as the PoW algorithm (hash difficulty) increases, so does the degree of difficulty of the quiz questions. Given I read the whitepaper, I decided to give the quiz a go. Of course, I made this decision late in the process, attempting the most difficult and final version!

A welcomed distraction, (well perhaps not to technical analyst, Andy, who I already struggle to keep pace with his recommendations on Seeking Cryptos) I put down scholarly journals on the governance and economics of mining for a crash course in the global art market. Wow, did I ever get an education on how much I do not know … here are just a few global items that caught my attention beyond a correct answer.

There is a fascinating intersection of art and technology found in the DSLcollection. Collectors, Sylvain and Dominique Levy have a fascinating Chinese Contemporary Art collection available for view by anyone, anywhere using virtual reality.

Japan is host to a 760 kilometer art festival every three years, the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale. This year will mark the seventh festival, which examines “the role of architecture and the power of art.”

The Affordable Art Fair began in 1999 in London and now boasts fairs in 10 cities around the globe.

What started as a ‘simple’ trip to accumulate bitcoin, yielded the discovery of a local artist; a possible platform to display his work; exposure to the global art market; and an understanding of how FRESCO is positioned to raise awareness, provide clarity, and increase access.

Finally, I am a big fan of Unsplash, where photographers share their work for us to use. With this post, I learned that I am able to search and upload photos from the Medium toolbar.

Photo by Oneisha Lee on Unsplash

Do you have a serendipitous find or a funny story about your first introduction to blockchain or cryptocurrency?