The Future of Digital Art & NFT with Monty Preston of Saatchi Art

Why are artists creating NFTs and what are the various NFT use cases going to be in the future?

In this edition of the UpTech Report, host Alexander Ferguson talks to art expert Monty Preston from Saatchi Art to learn more about NFT, digital art, cryptocurrency, blockchain tech, and where this is all going.

At its core, Saatchi Art is an online marketplace for independent artists to sell their artwork. It currently features over 1.4 million original artworks created by 94 thousand emerging artists from around the world, and 110+ countries are represented to date.

But in the future, it’s likely that the focus is going to be more and more about digital art. The real questions are, what will NFT in the Metaverse actually look like and how soon are we heading towards mainstream adoption? Plus, what are the environmental impacts of NFT and cryptocurrency, and should we be worried?

Monty Preston is the Manager of Art Advisory and Curation at Saatchi Art. Saatchi Art is the world’s leading online gallery for emerging artists, featuring one of the world’s largest selections of original art,  and helping people all over the world find art and artists they love.

As the creative director behind The Other Avatars, Monty is leading Saatchi Art’s entry into the NFT space. In addition to curating the list of artists participating in The Other Avatars, she is guiding them through the creative process to help them create high quality, unique works of art for this one-of-a-kind drop.

Prior to joining Saatchi Art in 2018, she worked at female-led, industry disrupting startups including Beauty Pie in London, where she managed content and creative, and The RealReal in San Francisco, where she specialized in luxury estate management with a focus on designer apparel and fine art.

As an artist and photographer, Monty has collaborated with renowned talents in the fine art and fashion industries, providing her with the unique insight into the creative process that she brings to her curatorial practice.

DISCLAIMER: Below is an AI generated transcript. There could be a few typos but it should be at least 90% accurate. Watch video or listen to the podcast for the full experience!

Monty Preston 0:00
The introduction of NF T’s allows creators to start seeing royalties on future sales as well.

Alexander Ferguson 0:11
I’m Alexander Ferguson. Welcome to UpTech Report. This is our applied tech series, UpTech Report is sponsored by TeraLeap. Learn how to leverage the power of customer stories at Today we’re going to be talking about art and NFTs. And I’m excited to be joined by my guest, Monty Preston. She’s the manager of art advisory and curation at Saatchi art based in LA. Welcome, Monty Good to have you on.

Monty Preston 0:35
Thank you so much. I’m excited to be here.

Alexander Ferguson 0:38
Now just to give some context, tell me a bit about Saatchi art and and then your role and intersection of NF t’s just briefly starting with Saatchi art.

Monty Preston 0:47
So Saatchi art is the world’s leading online gallery for emerging artists. And we work with emerging artists who are located around the world, so that they can list their works and can help advance their careers. And as an art advisor, I work very closely with collectors who are interested in finding work to beautify their homes add to their collections, you know, for their offices, etc.

Alexander Ferguson 1:09
I pulled up a few numbers from the website, 1.4 million original artworks created by 94,000 emerging artists from around the world, over 110 countries. That’s a lot of numbers, a lot of numbers right there. But now there’s this intersection of NF t’s the the conversation around FTEs have been exploding. So I’m curious. Let’s start with the basics of NF T’s how you see it coming into the art space.

Monty Preston 1:34
Well, NF T’s are a really exciting new technology that provide creators with the opportunity to have more ownership over their work and more control over their assets. It allows them the opportunity to participate in this new digital economy in a way that removes gatekeepers from the equation.

Alexander Ferguson 1:51
Traditionally, what what has been those gatekeepers that’s good in this art space.

Monty Preston 1:54
Traditionally, for a lot of digital creators, and not just artists specifically, there are a lot of platforms that make most of their money off of advertising. And that money goes back into the pockets of the platform, not into the Creator who are making money advertising the work that these creators have made. And it can be a really similar story for artists as well. If you think about the path of an emerging artists who maybe starts off, and they’re selling their works for not a significant amount of money, but as their career escalates, they start to earn more and more money on their sales, some of those original works, for instance, they will never see that. Like if they resell later at a higher price, they’re never going to see that money. You know, so the introduction of NF T’s allows creators to start seeing royalties on future sales as well.

Alexander Ferguson 2:42
There’s kind of multiple sides of the conversation around NF T’s you have the technology itself, yet people think it’s just a Ponzi scheme, or things that are just wasting money around, but then to look at from the artists perspective. And if I understand that you’re trying to build this interconnected global art community of helping these starving artists need to be able to make money easier, faster, quicker off of their art, is the is the idea of a starving app artists, is it valid? Is it true?

Monty Preston 3:11
I think it’s valid. I’m actually the daughter of an artist. So I know firsthand how difficult it be to it can be to monetize your work as an artist. And it’s such a, you know, it’s really wonderful for me to be able to work with artists every day and help them make sales, help them connect with collectors who want to be patrons of their work, you know, to see them go off and get signed by galleries and you know, earn more money and get more exposure. And I think one of the really fantastic things about NF T’s is just first of all introduction to a greater economy of people who are interested in purchasing NF T’s and purchasing art and supporting specifically digital artists. But also just the ability to have more control and more say over how your work is shown where your work is shown, you know what you’re charging for it. It’s sort of an instantaneous payout process when you sell the work. So it really provides a lot of opportunities for artists who maybe aren’t necessarily located in major centers. So somebody who is you know, at the far reaches of the earth who has access to a computer, because of decentralization and blockchain, they’re able to have the same opportunities to sell an artwork as somebody who’s located in New York or LA or Paris, for example,

Alexander Ferguson 4:26
leveling the playing field, but where you are, but whether people know you or not. Well, I mean, it still comes down to people have to actually come across your art and like it to still buy whether it’s an NFT or not. There has to be that that base, but ideally, it’s just opening it up more.

Monty Preston 4:44
Yeah, I think it provides more access for people who are creative to monetize their work. And yes, obviously discovery is a big issue and something that can be improved upon, always, whether it’s, you know, an online platform Are you know whether you’re showing work in a physical gallery, for instance,

Alexander Ferguson 5:04
there’s been usually the the comment that’s when an artist is dead, is when they pass away, then then suddenly their art and people will value it is this theoretically going to help artists be able to monetize sooner, not before they’re gone?

Monty Preston 5:23
You know, I’m not sure it really has anything to do with whether an artist is living or not. But you know, what is really nice to see is how the NFT community and crypto natives are really interested in supporting artists. That the community very welcoming, encouraging wanting to see more people creating art and experimenting and a lot of artists who are creating NF T’s are also the collector is of other artists whose work they like. So it’s sort of this really beautiful sort of symbiotic energy that’s, that’s happening within the space. So yeah, there’s a lot of support for emerging artists who are who are trying to make a living.

Alexander Ferguson 6:02
I feel like the visibility of when you buy an NFT versus another type of art, it’s it’s different. Because you can show it you can you can display it online, you don’t have to worry about someone stealing it. Versus someone buys a very nice piece of artwork, either you keep in your house, or it’s stored in a I feel. I feel like I heard it somewhere that so much art great art is just stored in warehouses. Is that true?

Monty Preston 6:24
Yeah, I think that the just exactly, as you said, the visibility offered by digital assets, but you know, which are expensive, and they want to be shared and information is free to go all over the internet. It really provides people with the opportunity to interact with an experience so much more art than if you think about, you know, I mean, how many people are able to get to a world famous museum, right, versus how many people have access to the internet. So I think that, you know, decentralization, the metaverse, just NF T’s in general are really providing a way to spread information and spread art and have more people involved.

Alexander Ferguson 7:02
Here’s what what you guys are doing. I think I read something about this. Your latest project the other art fair, other avatars, the Okay, so yeah. So what is it’s like a virtual edition, people can see things in virtual reality or just fine. Oh,

Monty Preston 7:16
so the other? Yes, the other pair? Yes, two different things. So the other art fair is our partner fair. And as we are an online art gallery, we also want to be able to bring physical art experiences to people around the world. So we partnered with the other art fair who have fairs in various cities, you know, London, Australia, there in the US, we’re expanding to Canada soon. So we did during the pandemic have a virtual edition, where we had sort of a Metaverse experience set up. And because we couldn’t have any in person fairs, it allowed artists to still be able to exhibit their works and allowed collectors to come in and sort of experience the art in VR

Alexander Ferguson 7:59
interest, and you can look at things and things were on sale. So did people actually purchase stuff in virtual space?

Monty Preston 8:07
Absolutely. And I mean, it’s not really a novel concept. For us being an online art gallery. Most of our sales are happening online. So yeah, I think a lot of our clients were very used to the idea of seeing art online in a virtual space, it kind of gave them a sense of the size and scale of the work and what it might look like on their wall, we have an augmented reality feature too, on our app, and on mobile web, where you can place an artwork on your wall in your home, which is really great. If you’re like browsing and trying to see what’s gonna suit your space. It’s a very useful tool. So similarly, the virtual editions was, was a really great experience. We had a lot of positive feedback from collectors who had fun sort of just wandering around from home exploring. So

Alexander Ferguson 8:53
I feel like in the past, I mean, this technology isn’t new. But is the adoption increasing? Like can you share anything as far as numbers or what you’ve seen? Ideally, numbers or anecdotally, as far as the individuals wanting and ready to jump into a Metaverse a 3d environment and start looking at these, this art?

Monty Preston 9:13
I don’t think I have numbers for you. But I think that, you know, if you look at all of the brands that are sort of entering into the space and that are really interested in exploring Metaverse and NFT opportunities and getting into crypto, I think we’re gonna see, you know, a lot a much greater mainstream adoption in the near future and we’re seeing it every day. I have clients who are writing in interested in learning more about NF T’s and totally confused by the whole the whole concept and looking for guidance. So it’s a lot of fun for me to be able to help onboard people into this this new this new area, this new technology.

Alexander Ferguson 9:53
The headlines are definitely there to grab the attention. I mean, that was I think this year the NFT that sold Christie’s Auction House for 16 million. something crazy like that and grounds people tend to think what’s he selling for $69 million? Is it? I think some people still think it’s a fad and FTS will because it’s just big money spent on it because they have it but truly is, how is it gonna shift it? Are people just gonna NFT just gonna become commonplace? Because more are you seeing that adoption happen?

Monty Preston 10:28
Well, I think that, you know, if you look at our lives, they’re becoming increasingly more digital. Right? We are here on a zoom having a conversation, most people who were able to work remotely, were working via zoom. Everybody basically has social media. And I think with the sort of assurance of the new generations who have been digital their whole lives coming of age and and sort of now having more of an impact on shaping the direction of the future. I think that adoption of digital assets as just commonplace will, it’s inevitable, and it’s here.

Alexander Ferguson 11:05
Yeah, what pops in my head is I was listening recently to Freakonomics by NPR, and they were they’re doing a whole series on art right now. And I’m one great comment they made I feel like I’ve seen this art has been in some ways, an elitist type of group that certain people would go out and buy art. But in some ways, NF T’s are kind of bringing round to the millennials to others, people that would normally say I’m going to go buy this beautiful piece of art, are now buying NF T’s I remember, I was chatting with a friend the other night, and he said he just spent $2,000 And I’m like, on just this this this NFT I’m like you did he’s like yeah, I think the value go up and I’m just gonna buy these you see actually investment but also bragging rights. I don’t think he would have my my friends would have said I bought this this wonderful piece of art before and fts. So I’m fascinated with this whole trend and in not being less elitist.

Monty Preston 12:02
Yeah, I think that people have so many different motivations for purchasing art, you might want to purchase art to commemorate like a life event or a trip that you went on, or you may be purchasing art because you really connected with that artist and the story that that work tells. And then for a lot of people, it is very status motivated. So I purchased this work, because, you know, it’s a cool artist, and I want to have something to talk about with my friends. And I think for NF T’s it’s very similar, right? The reason that a lot of people buy work is potentially to support an artist that they really love. They may be connected with the work or it could be because they want to be part of a community they want to have that, you know, sort of I we haven’t really talked about avatar projects yet that those little avatar profile pictures, and that’s your NFT on social media. And it signifies this is who I am, this is what I like. These are the sorts of people that I associate with. So I think there are a lot of different reasons that people buy art and for Saatchi art, you know, our mission has always been to democratize the art world and make art accessible and transparent to anybody who’s interested, not just a very specific subset of people who, you know, thought our world has generally catered to. So NF T’s are really exciting for us. And for us, you know, an evolution of our mission to bring art to more people. And that’s why we’re getting involved.

Alexander Ferguson 13:21
Can you share a bit more about the NFT avatar thing you’ve met?

Monty Preston 13:26
So avatar projects, it’s generally like a larger, larger series of collectibles and every avatar, I mean, typically they’re based on like a human or an animal character. And each avatar will be unique in that it has different traits. So that could be like its hairstyle or whether it’s wearing glasses, for instance. And then you know, people will purchase one of these avatars to be part of that community. And there will generally be like a discord community built around it so that people can, you know, connect and the avatar will get used on your social media. So it might be your like little Twitter profile guy. Yeah.

Alexander Ferguson 14:01
This, this growth of multiple ways. Nf T’s can be used a D, I’m curious. Are you are your virtual galleries going to always like include NF TS now? Is there going to be a combo of both physical and NF T’s or just NF T’s? How what’s how is this going to live all together? And what are you guys going to be doing?

Monty Preston 14:20
Yeah, so we actually had the Museum of crypto arts Mocha, calm and do an exhibition with us at one of our virtual editions last year, which was really exciting. So Colburn, Val, who’s the curator and founder of the museum, did a talk and you know, talking about NF T’s and it was really wonderful. And he put together a selection of works for the virtual edition. So we did have some NF T’s that were living alongside the digital renderings of the physical artworks that would have been sold at the fair in person. So I think we are seeing sort of a crossover of that. And for our current project that we’re working on the other avatars which is an avatar project but it is not generative art. We’re using the collective creativity of 150 plus artists who are all contributing handmade avatars to the series. So we’re really excited about that. And it’s sort of our first step into integrating NF T’s into our marketplace, which is a little bit further down the line. But you know, we are hoping that one day, you’ll be able to check out an NFT and a physical artwork in your cart at the same time and, and have both.

Alexander Ferguson 15:29
Interesting, interesting, I’m curious of how this combo together, both physical and NF Ts are all going to come together or not or keep separate people going to value them the same way. There’s also another side of the conversation. I’m not sure if you can speak on or have thoughts around is the environmental footprint of NF T’s I mean, there’s the concept of minting a new NFT non fungible token is the is then the final set of the unique instance of specific token on the blockchain, which then has a claim climate change issues depending on which blockchain is used. What have you seen as far as the conversation around this in the art community? Is it is it talked about at all? Or is it just kind of ignored or why it’s

Monty Preston 16:19
definitely a hot topic. I think for a lot of artists who do have a more environmentally conscious practice, there is some hesitancy to get into NF T’s because they’re concerned about the environmental footprint. And, you know, I’ve done a lot of reading on the subject. And there is a lot of misinformation out there about exactly what NF T’s are contributing to the problem. The blockchain itself does consume a lot of energy and NF T’s in total make up a tiny, tiny fraction of the total contribution of greenhouse gases. So, you know, there are obviously blockchains that are more environmentally friendly and use a proof of stake method versus a proof of work, which is what Aetherium currently is. So proof of stake. blockchains would include like tezos, for example, or polygon. And these are much more environmentally friendly. Ethereum, which is probably the most popular blockchain currently and seems to have, I think, in my opinion, the most staying power, they are moving towards a proof of stake model, and it will reduce I think 99% of overall energy consumption. So it’s going to be a really, really huge step forward in terms of the environmental impact. And I think everybody in the you know, everybody in the Etherium community is really looking forward to that. You know, of course, climate issues today are very important. It’s something that we all need to consider. So I think for artists who are who are maybe turned off by the current model for Aetherium, right now, starting to get into NF T’s using tezos, or on Polygon is definitely a great option and something to explore.

Alexander Ferguson 17:56
It’s, it’s everyone wants to affect climate change negatively. So that I think is, is everyone’s saying, Alright, this is an issue, let’s let’s fix it. And it sounds like the community, which the nice thing around the blockchain is theoretically, it should be community based, is moving in that direction. So hopefully, in the next couple of years, it won’t be an issue.

Monty Preston 18:17
We’re told it’s 2022. So we’re all waiting. I know, I know. Aetherium the the developers are working really hard to make it happen. But obviously, it’s for complicated. So

Alexander Ferguson 18:31
I mean, for for a general artists, I mean, what does it look like to say, alright, let me make some NF T’s now. I mean, it’s a simple decision. Is that what’s what’s the just take me through a basic process of what that looks like?

Monty Preston 18:43
Yeah, I think it’s different for every artist. Um, you know, the reason to come to decide to create an FTA is it might be motivated by by different reasons. And I think that there are a number of considerations. First of all, I wouldn’t recommend minting every single artwork that you’ve ever created ever, as an NFT. I think that just as with a physical portfolio of works, you want to be selective, showcase your best work, you know, obviously, there is value in scarcity. So don’t put out 100 like sort of thoughtless, and it is all at once, right? Like if you’re going to start a series and you want to put together a body of work, you can do it slowly. It doesn’t have to be a mad rush, which I think a lot of people feel because the space just moves so quickly. And I think that you know, deciding what kind of platform you want to work with. So whether it is a closed curated platform, like super rare, for example, there’s an application process that you have to go through. It’s tough to get on there, or more of a community driven, platform like foundation where you have to receive an invite in order to to become an active artist. Again, can be difficult to get on there. But there are other platforms that are open platforms like open sea or reparable But then, you know, because they are open, there’s a lot more out there to compete with and discovery can be an issue. So whatever you do, it’s really important to make sure that you’re setting time aside to market yourself and promote your works and connect with people in the community to help shed light on the earth that you’re making

Alexander Ferguson 20:19
it feel like this is NF T’s also provide opportunity for non traditional artists to be able to make money off of their work can can you share about that?

Monty Preston 20:28
Absolutely. I think that’s one of the most exciting things about this entire space. For me, if you think about performance artists, for example, it’s got to be really hard to monetize your work, right, unless you get a corporate client and you’re doing like events, or you get a grant. Now you can create an NFT of your performance art and sell it and that’s, you know, something that has not been available to artists up until this point. The same goes for many digital artists and animators, right you you sort of have to rely on a corporate client who’s going to direct you and you know, you have to work within the brand guidelines. And ultimately, you know, my mom’s a graphic designer so I know what it’s like to have to compromise your artistic vision to meet a client’s requirements. And it’s it’s tough if you’re a very creative person and so I think for artists, it’s really exciting to no longer have those limitations.

Alexander Ferguson 21:24
This movement of purchasing coming back to kind of the economics of it because it’s exciting for artists yeah, now I can make money and people there’s there’s purchases going on. If I understood correctly, a lot of the purchasing has been happening with crypto like cryptocurrency and so like you see these big numbers but it’s actually been purchased using crypto that they happen to the valuations have exploded. Are you multipart question here is first off are you guys accepting cryptocurrency in the purchase of of NF Ts and etc? Or is it only like US Dollars etc.

Monty Preston 21:59
So for the other avatars project, all purchases will be neat will be accepted in Aetherium. So we’re only selling the NF t’s on Aetherium, you can check out using USD yet, definitely on our roadmap of things that we want to explore and introduce would be the opportunity to purchase physical art NF T’s using crypto or using Fiat. So really exciting opportunities in the future. But currently we have we have them separate.

Alexander Ferguson 22:29
Gotcha, gotcha. And this this concept of of NF Ts, do you think it will, everywhere will eventually become you fiat money will be used to buy NF TS or will always be kind of more tied to your using and buying NF T’s with crypto.

Monty Preston 22:48
I think that when you do purchase with crypto, you’re you’re creating that record, that transaction is being recorded on the blockchain, right. And it supports being able to see what was paid for, for that NFT. Right. And that is going to add to the value of that NFT because it’s part of the provenance as part of the sales history of that work. So being able to have access to that information is really helpful and really important. So, you know, I think that more people will start using crypto especially because once we sort of get past all of the onboarding issues and how difficult it is to sort of get started now. You know, the ease of being able to send crypto anywhere in the world and in a matter of seconds is just phenomenal.

Alexander Ferguson 23:36
I guess this is helpful for me and others may already knew about this. So sorry, if you have but it it has to be purchased via a Aetherium or crypto, like if you’re on that if you’re using Aetherium. As to mint the NFT. It has to be purchased using Ethereum, is that is that correct? Is that a technical aspect?

Monty Preston 23:57
Yes. So if your NFT is mented on the Ethereum blockchain purchases will need to be made in Aetherium. You know, likewise, if you are minting an NFT on tezos blockchain the purchases would be made in tezos.

Alexander Ferguson 24:10
Gotcha. So first, you’d have to to purchase that cryptocurrency and have that cryptocurrency to buy NFT. So if anything a barrier to get involved in this is you have to then also understand cryptocurrency and I get that it’s always it’s layered on top of each other, but in my head, I guess I’ve always seen them as NF T’s over here using Blockchain and you have crypto also using Blockchain. But obviously, they’re tied and I just didn’t realize how closely they’re tied. Is that an issue then? Is it or is it not an issue people get it? They’re like, jump on right away, have a great about let me buy some crypto and buy some NF T’s. I’m good.

Monty Preston 24:48
I think that obviously the onboarding process for getting into crypto is a little bit complicated. And if you think about the fact that you have to like go to an exchange buy cryptocurrency it transfer it to a wallet, whether that’s like Metamask software wallet or a hardware wallet, which I would highly recommend over a software wallet, because software wallets are not secure, you know, then so then and then you have to purchase the NFT. Right? So it requires a lot of sort of preparatory work in order to get yourself to the point where you can just buy an NFT. But it’s something that, you know, obviously, it’s an issue. And in order to have more mainstream adoption, the process is going to need to be simplified. And there are a lot of, you know, great thinkers and devs. And, you know, just the community is really knocking our heads together on how to how to solve that problem

Alexander Ferguson 25:42
is aside from the environmental footprint issue. I mean, that seems to be to me the biggest issue of mass adoption and lefties, it’s just the the cumbersome of just buying it purchasing it. You have the whole community that’s already in crypto, no problem for them. But what percentage are, are those who get it understand it are buying crypto and versus the rest of the world? That’s not I have to look up those numbers. I should probably already know those numbers. But that feels like that has to be that has to change.

Monty Preston 26:18
Yeah, I mean, I think there’s a growing number of people who are interested and open to learning more. And obviously, as I said, the NFT community is very welcoming and helpful. So if you’re new and you want to learn more about crypto and you want to learn more about NF T’s go to crypto Twitter, follow some people read some threads. You know, it’s a really it’s a really great place to sort of figure things out.

Alexander Ferguson 26:42
If anything, it’s NF T’s will drive the adoption of of cryptocurrency, because it’s actually something to to spend your money on, like versus just money and wait for it to go up and down. Now I have a reason to go and get some crypto aside from I want to invest in it to make money off of it one day.

Monty Preston 27:00
Yeah. And FTS, have sort of provided this something that you can actually spend crypto on right, that’s that’s native to the blockchain. So that’s really exciting. And I think that that’s why we’ve seen sort of this, like boom and interest in crypto over the past year. And it’s really, really grown and become much more of an area of focus. And we are seeing more people who are getting into it for that reason, because they hear NFT what is that it’s art, it’s something pretty I can look at it, I understand the concept of art, maybe the fact that it’s digital is a bit of a stretch, but you know, now I understand. And then there’s also, you know, all of this built in utility that can come with NF T’s. So whether it’s access to a community or if you’re talking about, you know, like digital assets for use in the metaverse or in gaming, for instance, right. So, I mean, if you talk to somebody of younger generation, or somebody who’s very familiar with video games, I guess I won’t assume age, purchasing something in a game is a very normal concept. And so the idea of purchasing an NF t is not going to be a stretch for people who are really familiar with that.

Alexander Ferguson 28:08
I definitely see a transition or increase adoption in games, too. Let’s just make NFT is part of it, where you buy something in here and then trade with other games like I hear the conversation I have yet to actually see it commonplace yet, or have you seen any of that any games that have adopted the the exchange of NF T’s?

Monty Preston 28:31
I think it’s something that’s being worked on. I’m not a huge gamer, so I won’t pretend to be an expert on this. But there are a lot of games that are developing sort of a player or an economy where you know, like xe infinity, for instance, you can go on and there are people who are playing axes making their axes and getting love potions and selling these assets for you know, crypto, which is then turn turned into VR, so people can earn a living playing this game. I think we’ll see a lot more of that in the future and and likely when all of the different meta verses, I guess, become more well established, more interoperable interoperability between them.

Alexander Ferguson 29:13
So this is this the beginning it finally for those that have been struggling with with crypto overall and getting into this and NF T’s by itself, but it’s when you look at the two together, you start to see okay, now there’s a use case to get some crypto and because you want some art, if there’s a desire, which then fuels everything. This this future of of NF T’s is that you see any other roadblocks or just is it those the kind of the main ones that’s in the way?

Monty Preston 29:46
Hmm, that’s a very good question. Um, I think that I mean, right now, that’s sort of where my mind is because I’m thinking about the best ways to you know, help more people understand this technology and use it for for their benefit. So, you know, thinking about the environmental and thinking about just the onboarding process. I think also, you know, there’s a big issue when it comes to just security and people not understanding that blockchain and FTS cryptocurrency, these are, these are all web three technologies. And using a web two device like a smartphone to store your web three assets. It’s not, it’s just not secure. So, you know, thinking about hardware wallets as a way to, you know, having them become more mainstream when it turns when it comes to onboarding to crypto is really important.

Alexander Ferguson 30:42
What’s a hardware wallet,

Monty Preston 30:43
a hardware wallet is hardware wallet is a it’s a device through usually like this big and it basically just stores your crypto for you. So it has a set of private and public keys. The public keys are what other people can see in the private key is just for you. You’re the only person who has access to it, essentially. And it’s not connected to the internet. So basically, it’s sort of this like impenetrable way to secure your assets

Alexander Ferguson 31:13
in offline into physical spaces this way to secure digital Exactly.

Monty Preston 31:18
And I mean, it does live on the blockchain. It’s just that it can’t be accessed by anybody else. Because you’re you hold the keys to control that crypto or those NF T’s.

Alexander Ferguson 31:27
I already feel like I’m going to see movies now with hardware wallets are organized. Oh, have

Monty Preston 31:35
you seen? Have you seen billions? There? They’re a bunch of a bunch of scenes and billions where Bobby Axelrod, who is one of the main characters is like giving hardware wallets to some of his employees and sort of shady deals. So it’s happening, it’s happening.

Alexander Ferguson 31:53
It’s happening, it’s happening. I love it. I love so I mean, so one way is is is storing it. And then the other thing is people we talked about this earlier, but wanting to show it off. I mean, if you have physical art you put up on your wall, what’s gonna be the wall? What is the wall that you’ve seen for, for your digital art here in the US?

Monty Preston 32:15
I’ve seen a number of different things, digital screens, right. So that’s sort of not very much of a stretch. It’s just kind of like a TV. I haven’t seen any that are beautiful, yet. And I think that there are a number of companies that are working on this right now, trying to make, you know, like a much nicer display and experience for NF T’s. And that’s important too. Because if you think about the fact that many NF T’s are animated, right, you want to be able to have a surface that’s going to reflect that and show the art in the way that it was meant to be experienced. A lot of artists are purists and they’re like, hey, yeah, I mean, this is a digital art, it’s meant to be experienced in a digital format. So your phone is fine, a computer is fine, you know, you can put it on a TV. That’s cool. And then I’ve also seen at some galleries like projection installation, so just projecting the NFT onto a big white wall and having something like much you know, larger and sort of that you can you can experience but there are obviously issues with that, you know, color, quality, etc.

Alexander Ferguson 33:14
What about just being your width three and like Metaverse, and being people wanting to share it in a more digital environment? Is there sites or places that a lot of people are congregating in showing off that hey, look at my NFT

Monty Preston 33:27
yeah, there’s something called Rainbow wallet, which allows you to basically look at the context contents of any address. So you can look up somebody’s like Aetherium address and check out all of their NF T’s is a platform where a lot of collectors will show off their works you basically connect your wallet and it will pull and show all of the NF T’s that you have in that wallet. And then I think you know obviously the most popular is just open C which is constantly listening for all activity that’s happening on the blockchain it’s pulling in all of the listings you can you know view somebody’s wallet you can you know, view somebody’s portfolio of works for instance, you can check out an entire collection of avatars there really easily and do secondary sales and you know, make make bids etc. So

Alexander Ferguson 34:10
it’s it’s because it is on the blockchain, theoretically, anyone can access it right that you can see what’s on there who owns it. So it’s inherently visible, but I’m curious. As more technology platforms pop up, how it will be viewed. You want a whole nother piece, which is the VR Metaverse, you have said company has changed that. That will We will now be able to go in via virtual environments. And we’ll just plug into our wallet and be able to show off our NF T’s invite our friends over and now you have your virtual home that is covered in NF T’s

Monty Preston 34:41
Absolutely. I’ve seen also some platforms offering sort of like a DIY museum or gallery space so you can like you can like sign up connect your wallet and then you can sort of arrange all of your NF T’s into this like virtual museum environment or gallery environment, which is really cool. So There are a lot of you know, just a lot of different ways, especially when it comes to like the metaverse and sort of virtual reality of being creative and showing off your works in an interesting way.

Alexander Ferguson 35:11
I just really, I don’t know if this works or compares. But I think about showing off, I go back to old social media platforms like MySpace and you have your wall. I mean, the future is now you’re going to have a wall just in a different way. You’re maybe in your own museum of NF T’s and your hands that you can show off to all your friends. Yeah, and

Monty Preston 35:30
I mean, you know, social media is obviously still a very popular way to share your work if you go on Twitter, and lots of people are sharing their purchases that they recently made or the artwork that they created. So you know, it’s a very visually stimulating experience.

Alexander Ferguson 35:43
Yes. on multiple fronts. Well, I really appreciate it you kind of walking us through this is an assumption for everyone you know, what NF T’s we didn’t go into the one on ones of it but it’s it’s it’s powerful understand the the increased adoption and and how it’s actually bringing down the barrier in some ways for for artists to be able to monetize and for access for anyone to say I’m going to get into arts just in a different way. In online so thank you for for walking this this through and sharing some time with us.

Monty Preston 36:13
I don’t thank you so much. It was my pleasure.

Alexander Ferguson 36:16
I will see you all on the next episode of UpTech Report. Have you seen a company using AI machine learning or other technology to transform the way we live work and do business? Go to UpTech and let us know


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