Monday, January 17, 2022

Murder is Everywhere in the Metaverse

 Ovidia--every other Tuesday

I just created my first NFT!

Why? In an attempt to start off this year as an informed person, I attended a breakfast convention (with health checks, masks and social distanced seating) on what we can expect in 2022.

The best part was Kishore Mahbubani quoting an Arab proverb, ‘he who predicts the future lies, even when he tells the truth’.

That’s pretty much the last thing I understood though I did pick up something about NFTs (?) in the metaverse (?) replacing copyrights… 

As I understand it, an NFT or ‘non-fungible token’ is a record of who owns a unique piece of digital content. As long as something is digital and was created, it can be an NFT. Selling an NFT is like selling a license to use something you write, draw or otherwise create. You retain copyright and if the NFT you sell gets resold, you get paid 10% on subsequent sales.

It sounds like it should be a good thing, but made me very uncomfortable.

I don’t know if that's because this is how stone chiselers felt about calligraphers, how leather tanners felt about paper makers, how all of them felt about Johannes Gutenberg… (another time I'd like to write about Choe Yun-ui and his movable type frames 200 years before Gutenberg but with practically no lasting impact) or whether we’re being offered the latest Kool Aid?

So I decided to make an NFT and write this post about the process, because 
1) the best way to figure out something is to do it 
2) a deadline is my best motivation.

Step 1: I made this collage of all of us. Now it's digital, but how can I sell it as an NFT?

I need to choose a Gateway.

Gateways seem to be the department stores of the metaverse. 
Some I found are: Christie’s, Super Rare, Foundation, Nifty Gateway, Rarible, Mintable… but OpenSea claims to be largest with over 200 categories and 4 million items. I’m going by crowd wisdom this time.

This is the OpenSea landing page.

But now I find I need to create a digital wallet in order to sign into OpenSea. 

Step2: Getting a Digital Wallet

On a recommendation from OpenSea, I Googled, downloaded and installed a Chrome extension called MetaMask. 

Once there, following the instructions that came with Clicking on Create A Wallet was easy and the ‘secret recovery phrase’ (no, I’m not posting a shot of that here) makes me feel pretty safe and secure despite warnings that if I lose my recovery phrase, even their staff won’t be able to retrieve the Ether (which at the moment is zero) in my wallet. 

Step3: Back to OpenSea
Back at OpenSea, setting up an account was easy as OpenSea detected my MetaMask wallet as my ID. All I had to do was click on My Profile and respond to prompts. There’s an email confirmation to click on and I’m in!

Step 4: Creating my first NFT!
There’s a host of exciting stuff to look into—but right now I want to create my first NFT—and here it is! 

Clicking on ’Sell’ brought up options of selling at a Fixed Price or via a Timed Auction or in a collection with other creations. Since I’ve no idea what’s a good price and don’t have any other creations, I chose Timed Auction.

Step 5: $$$ or rather ETH

Up till this point, setting up everything was free, but to set up an auction I need to pay a one-time transaction fee called a ‘gas fee’ in ETH.

Google tells me Ether (or ETH, or units in the Ethereum blockchain) is the main currency in the metaverse. 

Also: WETH stands for Wrapped ETH because apparently Ether needs to be Wrapped before it can be used. There’s no packaging charge though—1 ETH is worth 1 WETH. 

I bought my ETH via MoonPay using my Visa card (I could also have used PayPal) by clicking Wyre on my MetaMask wallet. 

(Please click on the links to take a look--it doesn't cost anything and is just a way in so you can take a look around without setting up an account. Like so many other things, the Metaverse is less intimidating up close)

I've set the timed auction to run for a week. This way, I can write about how it turns out in my next post but one (because I’m saving my next post for Chinese New Year). 

Even if no one buys my first NFT I’m feeling really pleased with myself for having created it! I actually have an NFT out in the Metaverse!

So please come back on the 3rd Tuesday of February if you’d like to see how this works out. Or doesn’t.


  1. This is a wonderful post. Thank you. Now, after your post on the 3rd Tuesday of February, please write your next one on cryptocurrency. Enquiring minds need to know.

    1. I’m finding that writing posts is a great way to educate myself about stuff!

  2. Hi Olivia, I intend to bid in the auction. I take it I have a couple of weeks to figure out how to do that. I’ve been paying a lot of attention to this subject through a few of the podcasts that I listen to. It’s hard for me to take it serious, when it comes to the art market. But I do like to watch the beginnings of these advanced tech developments. Like all the rest, I think this one may find a way into the main stream, perhaps as a different incarnation of itself. This is a wonderful post. Thanks for it!

    1. Thanks for this great introduction, Ovidia.
      But you only have one week to bid, AA. In case there are other bidders, what is 0.01 in any currency someone over 70 would understand?

    2. Oh no—someone just told me that 0.01ETH = $38 human American dollars which is way more than I assumed! Apparently the value of ETH varies with demand and at the moment it’s high but falling.

  3. Replies
    1. Yessss!! I find him a pretty fascinating character!

  4. I am lost on the subject of Meta, seeking to find my way through it. Your post has gone a long way toward pointing me in the right direction. It's easy to dismiss it and keep doing things as we have but with Microsoft just announcing a 67 billion dollar (not ETH) deal to jump fully into the meta arena, I'd say the Meta Universe is here to stay. Whether or not we opposed to our another story. THANKS, Ovidia.

  5. There are a lot of pros and cons to the Metaverse, but, with that comes the flip side: We're celebrating advantages and alleviating anxieties...