Posts tagged with "Creative Work"

Cryptocurrency illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Cryptocurrency × NTFs

By: Heather Skovlund-Reibsamen

Cryptocurrency × NTFs

In recent news, Tautachrome Inc. has announced its patent attorney’s opinion on the early applicability of its KlickZie patents. The KickZie application will enable users to capture images that are invisibly marked and verified as the original. The owner of the image or video will have the ability to use, sell, and monetize their images. A simple tap on the image will allow users to communicate with the image’s author or others currently viewing the image. The patent is among many in the market of NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens).

Cryptocurrency Breakdown:

Understanding cryptocurrency can be a headache! It is best to research thoroughly before investing your hard-earned money into just any digital asset. Let’s start with the basics: what is cryptocurrency?  Crypto, crypto currency, or cryptocurrency is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange where individual coin ownership records are stored in a ledger existing in a form of computerized databases using strong cryptography to secure transaction records, control the creation of additional coins, and to verify the transfer of coin ownership. Now, cryptocurrency does not exist in a physical form, like your wallet filled with dollar bills.

Crypto Coins – Altcoins: Tokens, cryptocurrencies, and other forms of digital assets that are NOT bitcoin are known as alternative cryptocurrencies.

A few examples:

  • Peercoin
  • Litecoin
  • Dogecoin
  • Auroracoin
  • Namecoin

Tokens: Created and given out through an Initial Coin Offering, or ICO – much like a stock offering. Crypto tokens are a blockchain account that can provide functions other than making payments. Tokens are usually issued within a smart contract running on top of a blockchain.

  • Value tokens (Bitcoins)
  • Security tokens (to protect your account(s))
  • Utility tokens (designated for specific uses)

What does it mean when a cryptocurrency forks?

Sometimes a cryptocurrency will ‘fork’ and yes, that does sound confusing. It can be broken down into Forks, Hard Forks, or Soft Forks. Forks can be classified as accidental or intentional. An accidental fork happens when two or more miners find a block at the same, or almost same, time. The fork is then resolved when subsequent blocks are added and one of the chains becomes longer than the alternative. The network then abandons the blocks that are not in the longer chain, then referred to as orphaned blocks.

Hard Fork: A hard fork happens if a protocol or rule is changed so that the old protocol version is no longer valid.

Soft Fork: A soft fork occurs when a protocol or rule is changed, and the old version accepts the new version; enabling it to continue working.

What exactly are NTFs?

 A non-fungible token is a unit of data within a digital ledger called a blockchain. This is where each NFT can represent a unique digital item and are not interchangeable. A blockchain is a growing list of records (blocks), that are linked using cryptography. Each block has a cryptographic hash (a mathematical algorithm that maps data), a timestamp, and transaction data.

NFTs can be used to represent digital files such as audios, art, collectibles, sports, pornography, video games, and other forms of creative work. While copies can be made of these creative means, the NFTs representing the original are tracked on their underlying blockchains; therefore, providing the buyers with proof of originality and ownership.

In order to create an NFT, a file is uploaded to an NFT auction market. This creates a copy of the file recorded on the digital ledger as an NFT. This enables it to be bought with cryptocurrency and then resold. The artist can sell an NFT representing the work and still retain the copyright to the work as well as create more NFTs of the same file.

In addition, the buyer of the file does not gain exclusive access to the work or the original digital file. Unfortunately, a seller does not have to prove that they are the original artist either. There have been many cases where are was used for NFTs without the true artist’s permission.

Most Common Types of Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin: Invented in 2008 by a person or group using the name Satoshi Nakamoto. The currency began being used in 2009 when its implementation was released as open-source software. Bitcoin was the first decentralized cryptocurrency leading the way for many others in the years to come. Bitcoins were created as a reward for a process known as mining (record-keeping service done electronically). Bitcoins can be exchanged for other currencies, products, and services.

Bitcoin Cash: A spin-off or altcoin of Bitcoin that was created in 2017 eventually splitting into two cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV. Bitcoin Cash is one of the most popular types of cryptocurrency on the market and holds a block size of 8MB. To compare, Bitcoin’s block size is just a mere 1MB. This means Bitcoin Cash processes at faster speeds for its users.

Litecoin: A peer-to-peer cryptocurrency and open-source software project released under the MIT/X11 license. Litecoin is nearly identical to Bitcoin. Created by Charlie Lee to improve on Bitcoin technology, with shorter transaction times, lower fees, and more concentrated miners. In May 2017, Litecoin became the first of the top 5 cryptocurrencies to adopt Segregated Witness – a soft fork implementation change in the transaction format of Bitcoin.

Ethereum: A decentralized, open-source blockchain with smart contract functionality developed by Vitalik Buterin. Ether (ETH) is the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum platform. It is the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. Ethereum is also the most actively used blockchain. It focuses on decentralized applications (phone apps) – almost like an app store. Ethereum looks to return control of apps to its original creators instead of the middlemen (like Apple, for instance). The token name is Ether, which is used as currency by app developers and users.

Ripple: A real-time gross settlement system, currency exchange, and remittance network created by Ripple Labs Inc.  Ripple was released in 2012 upon a distributed open-source protocol that supports tokens representing fiat currency, cryptocurrency, commodities, or other units of value (frequent flier miles, for example). Ripple is geared more towards large companies and corporations than it is for individual users. Ripple is well known for its digital protocol because it allows large amounts of money in any form to be transferred.

book, reading, Vaughn Lowery, 360 Magazine

Annalisa Parent – Writing Tips

How to finally write that book this summer, even if you haven’t written a word

By Annalisa Parent

Many would-be authors get overwhelmed by the size of a book-length project. Many of us find ourselves with additional free time on our hands this summer with fewer barbecues, farmers’ markets or fairs. How can you use this time to finally write your book? Here are some of my top tips from my writing coach archives.

Write down your end goal.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. We’ve heard this one a million times. But, look, if you don’t know what you want to accomplish, you’ll never get it done. As Lewis Carroll famously wrote, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”

Know what you want to accomplish.

If you’re like most writers, when you start to untangle this “what I want” knot, you’ll find it’s far more complicated than you first thought. For example, maybe your dream isn’t just a book, it’s a series, and movie rights, and a worldwide book tour. Those are all great ideas, but one step at a time. If you can hone in on the first step toward your dream, then you can break it down into actual action steps, moving it from nebulous dream to achievable goal.

Choose a deadline.

Choose a day that you are going to have this project done. This step cannot be overlooked, however, while deadlines are a huge motivator, here’s a pro tip: Post your deadline out on social media. Tell your friends, your parents, and especially someone who intimidates you just a little bit. Let these people hold you accountable and keep you motivated. Once you set that deadline for yourself, you’re going to work backward from that date to create your work plan. How much writing do you have to do each day to reach your goal, and how can you carve out the time to make it happen?

Remember that Creativity is Wonky.

Despite the best-laid plans of mice and men (Thank you, Steinbeck and Burns) to write 5,000 words a day or a chapter an hour, creativity is not always a linear process. You may want to finish that chapter today, but your book–and your brain– have other ideas. When our characters (or ideas) misbehave, they’re often right. You may feel like you want the piece to take a certain shape or go in a certain direction. The brain is sending us a caution flag, though. When your creativity takes the lead, following it always bears fruit. Really. I promise. Now, the piece you create today may not make the final cut for your book, but the information you garnered from the experience of following your creativity will always bring a benefit to the piece as a whole.

Find your best writer and be that writer

All kinds of would-be mentors want to tell you that you have to do it this way or that way in order to be a real writer. There are some rules, especially if you want to traditionally publish. That said, in the creative phase the most important consideration is finding your creative flow.

Write with a pencil or a tablet. Write outdoors or in your bed. Use an outline, or allow the natural flow of ideas. None of this fluff matters; here’s what does: Find the place where you can be at your creative best to get that draft out of you. After all, you can’t publish until you have a book. And you can’t have a book until you get it done.

The biggest key to success I have seen in writers who finish and publish well is that they find and embrace the writer they are, so they can write book after book with creative ease.

Show up every day like it’s your job.

My writing mentor Julia Alvarez, wasn’t the first one to say it, but she was the first one to say it to me: Being a writer is 90% applying butt to chair. Write at the beach. Write in a hammock. Write on your lunch break. Whatever you do, make writing a habit, and you’ll see the results. You don’t get a dream body by going to the gym once, or even once a week. The same is true of writing a book. Show up. Do the work. Even when it stings.

Remember that writing is art, and art takes time.

Many writers get lost in the rabbit hole: Why is it taking me so long to finish my manuscript? This trap turns into self doubt. “I must not be a good writer.” “I’m never going to get it done.” Believe me, I’ve heard it all, and I’ve seen self-doubt and fear stymy project after project. What if you reframe this fear? What if instead you say “Writing is art and art takes time.” Consider the Sistine Chapel, painted by Michelangelo. It took four and a half years for him to complete that masterpiece, which–frankly, if you’ve seen the level of detail–you know it’s astonishing he completed it so quickly. What else? The Washington Monument took thirty years to construct; thirty full years. Let’s think about more writing-related references. It took Victor Hugo twelve years to write Les Miserables and Harper Lee spent two and a half years writing To Kill a Mockingbird. Writing is art, and art takes time. Completing your manuscript is not going to happen overnight, not because there’s something wrong with you, but because you are an artist. Allow yourself to get into creative flow, and creativity will reward you with a cornucopia of ideas and finished pages. Promise. I’ve watched it with my own eyes hundreds of times.

Pace yourself.

Working with the creative process and the brain’s natural function means you must be really honest with yourself about how much you can get done. It’s very admirable and ambitious if you say you’re going to get everything done today, but you also might be setting yourself up for failure. When you set yourself up for failure, you’ll feel yucky about yourself. You don’t want to come back to the project feeling like you failed. So, make reasonable goals for yourself and pace your project in a reasonable way.

Follow these steps above and you will notice how much lighter it feels to write and finish your project.

About Annalisa Parent

Annalisa Parent is a writing coach who has helped hundreds of authors to finish and publish well. She used neuroscientific principles to guide the writing process through her programs in the Writing Gym. To find out more, and to download her free e-book The Six Steps to Go from Struggling Writer to Published Author, visit www.datewiththemuse.com