Sharing my limited knowledge of blockchain at Awake Festival

Alex Rourke NFT talk at awake Fest.jpeg

I'm incredibly happy that slowly but surely, music events are starting to come back to life. A few weeks ago, the organizers of Awake Fest approached me to ask if I'd be interested in giving a talk about blockchain, to which I replied something along the lines of "hell yeah!"

Awake Fest is a yearly event that brings together music, art, dance, yoga, meditation, sports (kite surfing), super foods and this year: blockchain.

My slot was only a 45 min long including Q&As, so I had to keep it short and normie friendly.

Here is a brief overview of my talk titled "Tokenized assets in the Metaverse"

First of all, what is the Metaverse?

The metaverse is this ever connected space that includes both physical and virtual worlds, and in fact merges de two. It is something far more pervasive and powerful...If there were ever a company that could control the metaverse, they would be more powerful than any government on Earth. The plot of the science fiction book/movie Ready Player One sort of based on this concept (you can love or hate it, it's not the point) where your identity, data and wealth are controlled by a single corporation.

And the thing is, the metaverse is not a science fiction story in some distant future. It's emerging right now.

We MUST consider the choices we are making right now to shape the structure of this metaverse

Fortunately, at the same time, we're also witnessing the development of web 3.0.
With the birth of Bitcoin, we're starting to see a permisionless economy (not owned by anyone) with features such as privacy, immutability and decentralization at its core.

What is web 3.0?

Before we can understand web 3.0, let's briefly look at the history of the internet and the world wide web.

web 1.0

Millions of years ago, in the early 90s, when the world wide web first got started and we used dial-up to connect to the internet and browsers like Netscape Navigator, websites looked something like this:

First website ever.jpeg
That's right. This is an image of the very first website.

Ever wonder what the first picture posted to the internet was? well, here you go:

first picture on the internet.jpeg
This is a photo of Les Horribles Cernettes -- a comedy band based at the CERN laboratory in Switzerland, where Tim Berners-Lee and his team were busy developing the World Wide Web.

So the web 1.0 was very successful, bot also very static, passive. More akin to a library where you have access to information but cannot make changes.

Along came web 2.0

With web 2.0, The web started to become more dynamic. Read-write if you will.

Basically you could now go from being a consumer of information, to an information generator. Each one of us can now contribute to building and transforming the information on the internet.

Think of it as a conversation between a group of friends. You can receive information but you can also contribute to the conversation and make others' experiences richer.

in web 2.0 you could now

  • make product reviews
  • upload videos
  • send and receive information

Social networks are a big part of web 2.0 and those who were quick enough to monetize this data became the rulers of web 2.0 (Google, Facebook, etc)

Web 3.0 - Decentralized web.

With tools such as Meta Mask, web users now have a cross-platform online identity and wallet secured by blockchain technology.

With my Meta Mask account I can hold different tokens from different blockchains. I can log in to blogging websites such as Leo Finance, Cub DeFi or virtual worlds like Decentraland.

And here is where the magic starts to happen.

Assets and ownership on blockchains (NTFs)

A token is a digital representation of an underlying asset. You can think of a casino chip as a token. A $100 chip says $100, it represents $100 even though the token itself isn't worth $100. A non-fungible token is simply a token that represents something unique, something non-fungible, like your pet golden retriever named Winnie.

You wouldn't accept a different golden retriever in exchange for Winnie , now would you?

I focused this bit of the talk on how I'm using NFTs in my business.

At @recording-box , we're using NFTs to create collaborative art pieces with musicians and artists to finance the production of music albums, music videos, etc.

We're starting to put NFTs for sale as commemorative, limited-edition posters for gigs or milestones in the recording process of a particular album.

Here is the very first piece we minted with the band @wrongband and artist Walter Wirtz to help finance the recording of their 2021 album Liber AL vel Legis:

Wrong Band & Walter Wirtz piece NFT.png

The piece features a unique audio recording of a live jam by the band recorded in our studio and was minted on @nftshowroom. It was purchased by an amazing and supportive collector before I could even make a post about it, which was very encouraging.

We've also started using NFTs to distribute tickets to our events. holders of certain tokens have special privileges such as free drinks and exclusive access to shows.

here is our very first Star-Child ticket which includes the Awake Fest logo modified by artist Jaba Prints. We gave some of these away during our talk.

I'm hoping I can come up with new ways of using NFT technology, but I'm happy with the progress we're making at the moment.

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