If you’re reading this article, then your social media feeds likely resemble our own, an eclectic mix of creators, developers, and crypto fanatics raving about their newest NFT collection and the roadmap behind it. The growing popularity of NFTs has enabled artists in every sense of the word. We’ve spoken to graphic designers, sculptors, musicians, and expressionists. There are categories of NFTs that don’t yet have an agreed upon name. The flexibility of the NFT space has enabled digital “art” that is not limited to what you can hang on your wall or play on a speaker. We are confident that the avenues through which we consume art will radically shift in the coming years.
We’re not alone in that thought. Everyone’s favorite Shark mused,“I think the collectible side of [NFTs], it is going to completely turn the [art], music, and movie industry upside down” (Mark Cuban). Funny enough, the idea for the Concrete Cowboy MetaCollective (CCMC) came to us while we were discussing the answer to a question derived from that quote. What exactly does it mean for these industries to be turned upside down?
The conclusion we came to was that there would be two primary ways in which blockchain technology would revolutionize the art community, across all mediums. The first shift has already happened, and that is in the creation of the art. Actually, not the creation of the artistic content itself, but in the creation of a singular instance of a work with value derived from the quality and scarcity of the art. Scarcity is an inherent characteristic of physical art, but not one of digital art. The music and video industries have solved this problem (ineffectively) with massive legal departments and strict licensing policies that seek to prevent people from accessing the respective media without coughing up a few bucks. The visual art industry had struggled to solve this same issue- until the NFT came along. The ability to imbue scarcity into digital goods, which previously could be trivially copied, disseminated, and pirated with no meaningful distinction between the original and the copy, is the most clear and widely understood value proposition of NFTs.
The other less talked about shift will be in the displaying and sharing of personal art collections. Previously, to share visual art that you owned, you either needed to invite people to your home to view your collection in person, get it shown in third party galleries to be displayed to the public, or post it on the internet, with no certification of your ownership. Though most people don’t have the budget or artistic talent to be donating works of art to prestigious galleries, they still want to share their content with the wider art community for it to be viewed, discussed, and appreciated, with some verification that the art belongs to, or was created by, them. While previous generations have gifted records, burned CD’s, and shared Spotify playlists, the new medium for the musical artwork of this generation will be the NFT. There is essentially no audio equivalent to the art gallery. Again, NFTs provide the solution. Our verified ownership of NFTs proves to the community our genuine involvement and engagement with whatever mediums of art we’re passionate about. They allow us to display any art we own with ease to a broad audience.
What’s missing is a shared platform on which to do so. How can we see all of the cool stuff that someone is passionate about, and how can wee show someone what we’re passionate about? Well, you could look at each other’s interests on Facebook or Twitter, but that isn’t very interesting. How can we replicate the feeling of pride you had as a kid showing off your favorite posters, playlists, and Pokemon cards, and the feeling of genuine engagement you had as your new friend showed you theirs? We think this is an incredible example of a problem that can be solved by a socially and artistically focused metaverse, full of citizens who are deeply interested in the world of art and its potential to be transformed by NFTs.
Our team at Sand Hill Labs is building that metaverse, and the first project in it is called the Concrete Cowboy MetaCollective. Our diverse team grew up playing Club Penguin, Habbo Hotel, Pokemon, and RuneScape, and our vision for the metaverse takes inspiration from all of those nostalgia-triggering games. We plan to provide a flexible platform to act as a hub for NFT appreciation, creation, donation, sharing, and exchange for fanatics like us. We want to be able to invite friends over to our virtual flats in Solana City to check out our NFT collections in our display rooms, interact with our dynamic NFTs in our game rooms, and watch all our NFT videos in our virtual home theater. We want them to be able to invite us to view their art, so we can learn of new collections they’re passionate about and listen to their favorite NFT tracks.
We’re working to build a strong community and a complex world around it, making it more than just a set of galleries to walk around in. The world will also have games, coffee shops, bars, clubs, and galleries sponsored by the MetaCollective. Each person in the community can build a following of people who appreciate their NFTs, and can climb the leaderboard as they accumulate stronger and stronger collections. In the metaverse, you can conceptualize, create, and mint your own new NFTs with friends in the MetaCollective’s art studio. Members will also have exclusive access to community-only events to vie for rare airdrops & merch.
Lastly, we know that many people have NFTs scattered across different chains like Ethereum, FLOW, and Solana. We’ve chosen Solana as the backbone of our project, and the blockchain on which you’ll own CCMC NFTs. However, our mission to be not just a game, but also a complete solution to the problem of sharing your passions with the world through your NFTs would not be accomplished if we prevented people with NFTs on non-Solana blockchains from showing off their full collection. For that reason, we will include support for NFTs on any blockchain, starting with Ethereum and FLOW, making this one of the first cross-chain game projects of its kind. We sincerely hope you’re as excited about this as we are, and that you’ll join us on our quest.