You founded CryptoC last year. What does CryptoC do and what’s your expectation of it?
CryptoC is expected to be a decentralized think tank. We found the intersection of encryption and art is quite interesting and we’d like to do some research on that. So the first thing we did is a Crypto art exhibition in which we announced the establishment of CryptoC. Fortunately, Crypto art became popular and we built a community of thousands during this process.
We published an article on CryptoC’s WeChat official account named Our Content Stance Based On Web3.0. It demonstrated what we want to do. Being a typical content creator in web2.0 era, I could empathize with the depression of this generation. Writers left traditional magazines to embrace new media with a beautiful fantasy. While the reality is creators are slavers of web traffic. In the era of web2.0, the logic of monetization is more traffic, more ads, which is quite distorted. Then we started to explore knowledge payment mode.
However, there’s never a way more direct than NFT. It’s possible that you just sell 10 thousand article NFTs, which is much similar to selling newspapers back then. This is the actual pattern of web3.0 for content.
Aside from crypto art, other NFTs such as illustrations, videos and online novels will pop up. In one word, the whole market of content will be saleable. Although bubbles exist currently, far-reaching impact will definitely be seen. The field of digital content is undergoing a paradigm change, and that’s the very reason of CryptoC’s existence.
Poster of 'Don't Think XI is Expensive' (勿以西为贵)
You held an online experiment recently in CryptoC’s community named ‘Don’t Think XI is Expensive’. I heard the whole process is intense and exciting. What’s the meaning of the theme?
Actually, we raised a question to all participants. Which is more valuable, scarcity or consensus? As organizers, we tend to pick consensus. (The pronunciation of scarcity is ‘XI’ in Chinese)
Meanwhile, the badges airdropped in the experiment were designed by artist XI. Just like the slogan of Don’t Buy Meme, we say Don’t Think XI is Expensive. Haha.
So we did a pun here in the theme.
Interesting! What do you want to achieve through this experiment?
CryptoC is expected to do more. We established a Crypto art lab that connects artists, engineers and thinkers. ‘Don’t Think XI is Expensive’ is the first experiment conducted by the lab, and there will be more in the near future.
In 2019 or 2020, simply putting one’s artwork on chain is cool. But it’s not OK these days. Lots of artists mint their works into NFTs, and that’s it. They didn’t get the core concept of crypto art, so they won’t feel the real difference between crypto art and traditional art. I intend to change this situation and make it possible for traditional artists to go deeper.
At the right moment, the experiment was conducted, which is something that has never been done worldwide. Through this experiment, artist XI earned RMB200,000 worth of gas fee.
In the experiment, we touched issues below:
· The scarcity of NFTs.
· The consensus of the community.
· The relationship between artist and his/her community.
· The development of a community.
· The release of NFT.
We combined all these elements and played a fabulous game. The game was conceived by one from our community, coded by another.
It seems that you’re trying to find more possibilities between artists and communities.
Right. We all know that the most important thing about blockchain is community. Any blockchain project will die without community. Many crypto artists plan to thrive with support of funds and media coverage, however, without knowledge from the community. They may succeed, but the probability is low.
Then I thought, how can we assist artists to build his/her own community? And in what way, artists could participant in the operation of community? Can we prove that community is the key to artist’s success? These are the motivation for us to do more.
badge designed by artist XI
The punchline of the game is that if the token owner fails to transfer it within 24 hours, the token would be destroyed. What’s the purpose of this design?
If you don’t transfer the token in your hand, you don’t get the real token. You need to share in order to really gain. This concept is played to a very deep level in this experiment.
People will wonder at what time should they share to maximize their benefits? The next turn will think, the badges are getting less, should I make a move now? So it's an iterative game. Everyone made some mental investment in the game.
Through ISO(Initial Social Offering), we left some real impact in the community. The interaction went deep among community members and between artist and fans.
Can we expect more experiments like this from CryptoC in the future?
Yes, more events are under preparing. Aside from ISO, we’d like to explore more models like the combination of art, game or metaverse.
In short, it's about exploring where the boundaries of crypto art are. We want to go far beyond the simple act of putting artworks on chain, and let artists understand the spirit of the blockchain. I believe it’s much more meaningful and worth trying.
In this direction, is there any other project you’re doing?
We are also incubating a gallery called Wave. This gallery is not like an art exchange, it's more like a place to showcase experimental works of niche artists. Indeed many artists are migrating from physical world to the chain nowadays, but they are encountering many problems. One is that there is an extraordinary influx of people, and the other is that the number of purchases is not quite enough.
In fact, since April this year, NFT's trading volume globally is declining. The fever over NFTs is gradually cooling down in the west, while it’s just emerged domestically. In China, we will face the decline without a doubt. In such a process, Wave Gallery is not in a hurry to go in volume. We could conduct a lot of pioneering experiments here.
Is there any competitor in terms of your gallery?
No gallery is willing to conduct such an experiment because essentially we differ from them - CryptoC is based on the content revolution of web3.0. A gallery is not my initial intention, except that currently in this wave, crypto art is the most intuitive and dramatic. In the future, besides galleries, we can do more interesting things.
I suppose essentially, it's the medium that has changed again.
That’s right. We can see some very profound changes of media happening. We're also looking beyond crypto art, it's just the entry point for CryptoC. The influence of crypto art is still not enough which probably only reach the middle class, but content matters for anyone.
Let’s talk about DAO. Do you think it’ll play a very positive role in the process of building and running communities for artists?
I think so, but I also heard that artists have encountered all kinds of problems exploring DAO.
Currently, DAO are mainly used to run various foundation programs. In terms of artists’ DAO, who will be the leader? How to find buyers and build community more quickly? It’s still very passive if we only rely on artists themselves to handle all these things. So we’re still in the early stage of exploration, and I think it will take time to launch a mature DAO organization for art.
I noticed that you started the project Think DAO, how did you conceive it?
It's not a public organization. It’s made up of a diverse group of insiders, all with quirky ideas and focusing on change. Think DAO is also involved in the artists' experiments. The idea of ‘Don’t Think XI is Expensive’ was actually suggested by one of Think DAO members.
Such an organization is very crucial to CryptoC because artists don't understand blockchain. They don’t know how to play in the community, or what the insiders are thinking. So a group of people are needed who specialize in thinking about these things, and that's what Think DAO is doing.
Crypto art lab, Think DAO, and Wave Gallery is trinity, to some extent.
On a scale of 1-10, please rate what stage you think China’s NFT is in.
Score 1. NFTs in China is in a very early stage.
What role do you think CryptoC will be in the crypto field, or even in web3.0 era?
It will be the bridge for content creators to jump from web2.0 to web3.0. Of course, we are not alone. We’ll have companions, including education institutes, tool providers, identity aggregator, other galleries, etc.
How do you think the development of NFTs in China differs from the West? In what direction can we generate unique value?
The difference is huge. There’s no Chinese exchange like OpenSea or SuperRare yet. It’s obvious that we’re losing the right to set standards in the global crypto world.
Nevertheless, there are some good attempts, such as TopBidder, which NFTChina interviewed before, and there are people who want to take Chinese style to the world, as well as some innovative experiments that we did at CryptoC.
If we look at it from a future perspective, there are probably two things worth doing.
One is collaborative creation. Since ancient times, we Chinese had a tradition of collaborative creation. Think about the creation of responsorial poems. Through the form of encryption, it’s possible to collaborate again. I am very looking forward to the emergence of tools for collaborative creation in China.
The second is integration. The combinability of NFT is very low at present. Chinese are very capable of engineering, I suppose there will be some kind of integration tools soon.
Founder of CryptoC
Studied Finance in college, thesis topic was about digital currency
Worked in blockchain industry for 5 years
Co-founded ‘Carbon Chain Value’ in 2018
A team of 10 people, with average age at 24-25. Most of the core members are from Peking University.
Curated crypto art exhibition, wrote crypto art reviews, formed community of NFT and crypto art investment, got to know tons of crypto artists
Conducting crypto art experiments
Will launch a small crypto art gallery in May 2021