The Ethereal Summit and the $140K cat
May 11th and 12th marked the second annual Ethereal Summit, a two-day event that brought together builders, policy-makers, and artists from around the world to talk about our decentralized future. The event concluded with a live auction, courtesy of Codex Protocol and Rare Art Labs.
Guile Gaspar, Head of Art here at CryptoKitties, created an original CryptoKitty for the auction, with proceeds going to a new foundation to support creatives working at the intersection of blockchain technology and art. He was on site to present his creation, together with a physical representation of the token (and it looks pretty damn cool).
Guile’s speech explained the significance of “Celestial Cyber Dimension” as a piece with both digital and physical form. The physical manifestation is a hardware wallet designed by Richard Moore, which carries the Kitty’s private key. The digital piece is an exclusive one-of-a-kind CryptoKitty that lives in, and can be used within the game. Celestial Cyber Dimension is a personal representation of Guile’s feelings around art and blockchain, and what this relationship could become. Humanity tends to have either a great fear or a blind faith towards new technologies. We imagine either a Utopian or a Dystopian future, and think the technology must either solve all of our issues or decay our society completely.
Guile believes blockchain will create positive impacts on art and many other areas of human life, and hopes we continue to open this black box to make sure no one is left out. He knows artists and creatives should work together to ensure this is a strong, symbiotic relationship that will bring well-deserved value for digital art, and allow artists to use this amazing tool to truly express themselves.
As bids for the Cryptokitty crept above $100,000, a group of people in the crowd wearing shirts with the words “ARTISTS DESERVE MORE” cheered loudly. The final price for this delightful Kitty was $140,000, which the winner planned to pay in ether.
This is a huge success for the CryptoKitties team and Guile Gaspar, but more importantly, it’s proof positive that art on the blockchain has a powerful future. When we set out to make a game about cartoon cats, part of what we hoped to show was that blockchain is capable of being more than an unstable currency. The success of the Ethereal Auction shows that there is a thirst for art on the blockchain, that people understand its value, and that it can make a real difference in the world.
And what more could a Kitty want?