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Art in the Metaverse: Shining Light on Crypto

Image taken from TENSPACE

Max Abbatiello, Web Editor

Hello everyone! My name is Max Abbatiello and I am the new Web Editor for Variant. I’m grateful to be a part of such an amazing publication! I thought I’d provide a little information about me to introduce myself to you lovely readers.

I’m a junior at OU studying Journalism. I like to read, write, draw, listen to music, and play video games. I’d have to say throughout my time in Athens my favorite memory would have to be meeting all of my best friends only two days after moving into my dorm freshman year. Last spring some of those friends and I started the Ohio University Cryptocurrency Club. The club started off as an idea we’d play with when we were together, but we eventually decided to get serious with it, and as of now we are an official OU organization with a total of forty members!

Last week a couple of the exec board members and I traveled to Columbus for an event about the cryptocurrency space. This event – named Shinging Light on Crypto – focused on how Columbus was getting involved with the metaverse.

I had the opportunity to meet some very inspiring leaders in fields such as fashion, tech, marketing, and art. I think my favorite part about the panel was hearing from Thomas McClure. Thomas is the Founder/Executive Director of the Columbus Fashion Council and Fashion Week Columbus. I thought I had a good understanding of what the metaverse was, but after this event I now know there is still so much to learn!

Thomas was not the only guest speaker in attendance, there was Lisa Steward from ZHEN, an NFT marketplace powered by the ethereum blockchain. Rob Richardson, who started Disrupt Art, an NFT marketplace dedicated to compensating artists for what their worth as well as promoting black and brown creators. The panel was hosted by Rachel Friedman, CEO of TENSPACE.

Before I got to hear from these amazing speakers, we first explored the amazing event space. The place was decorated and put together so well! When you walk in, directly to your right is a wall of different kinds of NFTs. Did you know there are NFTs dedicated to Marilyn Monroe? It’s called MM3, I think they’re super cool!

Nathan Davis, Vice President of OUCC, looking at the wall of different NFT projects.

At the end of the different NFT projects were two curtained doors. In between the two doors was a wall of hard hats with backlight flashlights on them. We were instructed to put them on before entering. The first room was pitch black, but the blacklights showed writing on the walls. The writing took us through the steps of mining crypto. The other door showed what a crypto mining pool looks like. I’d never known what one looked like so I was very surprised!

There was a wall that showed the definitions of different cryptocurrency terms. I think this event did a great job at explaining some complex topics in a clear manner. Anybody at any knowledge level would be able to understand. At the left hand side of the space was a tv that explained what a blockchain was. Next to it was a wall that asked attendees to write on a post it note what Web 3 meant to them and place it on the wall. There was so much do! As I walked around I got a chance to talk to everyone there, even the speakers.

Image taken from TENSPACE

Eventually, the time finally came around for the panel to begin. Some of the topics they touched on were the value in NFTs, what decentralization is, and Web 3. There was one central theme that stood out among the rest, and that was giving creators/artists the credit they deserve. A major issue that has been around for a while has been artists not being properly compensated. With NFTs, creators can receive the compensation they deserve.

After about two and a half hours the event ended and we headed home with a goodie bag that contained a t-shirt, mug, and some stickers. Overall, I was very satisfied with this event and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to have gone.

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