Nifty News: PROOF cancels NFT conference, Bitcoin meme creator cashes in $150K and more

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The conference known as “Proof of Conference,” slated to run in May, has been canceled due to “less interest than anticipated,” according to co-founder Kevin Rose.

‘Less interest than anticipated’ — PROOF cancels NFT event

Kevin Rose, the co-founder of the nonfungible token (NFT) collection Moonbirds, has confirmed that their flagship conference, “Proof of Conference,” scheduled for May, has been canceled, citing “less interest than anticipated.”

The conference was first announced in early November. It was scheduled for May 11 to May 13 in Los Angeles.

However, Rose explained in a Feb. 20 letter to ticket holders that it wasn’t “the right time” for the conference:

“As you know, in the world of NFTs, timing is everything. And today, it’s time for us to recognize that right now isn’t the right time for the PROOF of Conference.”

Rose explained that he and his Proof team considered alternatives, such as opting for a smaller venue in Los Angeles, reducing the scope of the event and lowering ticket prices.

But ultimately, it was best to cancel the whole event, he said.

“After several weeks of sales data, speaking with potential sponsors, and talking to community members, it’s clear that there is considerably less interest than anticipated for an event like this right now.”

Rose confirmed that the company is processing Ether 

ETH

$2,576 refunds and that Proof has a claim page for people to submit non-refundable flight cancellations.

Kevin Rose and the Proof team’s message regarding the cancellation of PROOF of Conference. Source. Proof.

The event would feature Michael “Beeple” Winkelmann — the artist behind the famous NFT that sold for $69 million in March 2021 — Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian; Greg Solano and Wylie Aronow of Yuga Labs; and NFT entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk — among others.

The announcement comes despite the NFT market soaring in recent months, with January seeing an eight-month high in monthly NFT trading volumes above $1 billion.

Artist paid $150K for Bitcoin wizard meme on Ordinals

The emergence of NFT-like “Ordinals” on Bitcoin over the last month has brought a series of meme images to the network of late, including a famous Bitcoin wizard meme that first made rounds on the Bitcoin subreddit in 2013.

Thanks to Ordinals, the meme artist known as “Mavensbot” has just received 6 Bitcoin 

BTC

$42,982 — worth $150,000 at current prices for his iconic work.

This was made possible after blockchain research analyst Udi Wertheimer and meme-inspired Bitcoin community Taproot Wizard inscribed the wizard meme on Bitcoin to not only “celebrate the 10-year anniversary of his art” but reel in some cash for the creator of the meme, “Mavensbot,” according to Wertheimer:

Within the first three hours alone, 6 BTC were sent from “NFT enjoyers” to Mavensbot via the Lightning Network.

“Watching this made me really happy. The NFT community that I admire, using the Bitcoin asset and Lightning Network that I believe in, to support an artist whose work means so much to me.”

“You love to see it,” he added.

Taproot Wizards is part of a movement that wants to “make Bitcoin magical again” with magic internet JPEGs inscribed forever on the Bitcoin blockchain.

However, Wertheimer highlighted that not everyone is on board with the whole Ordinals concept — particularly the “Bitcoin maximialists.”

But Wertheimer doubled down, demanding Bitcoin maximalists not to take everything seriously:

“It’s time to go back to the spirit of the 2013 Bitcoin wizard. Playfulness, experimentation, innovation. Not taking ourselves so god damn seriously all the time. HAVING FUN, for Satoshi’s sake. I truly believe that with ordinals we finally have a chance to do this.”

Australian cocktail bar launches NFT membership program

Australian cocktail and NFT connoisseurs have a new venue in Sydney to haunt — one that allows holders of its NFTs access to additional privileges at the bar.

The Sydney-based cocktail bar, Bar Lulu, launched on Feb. 21, along with an NFT members club bar named Cryptolulu.

Based in Sydney, patrons must buy the NFT member club bar on NFT marketplace OpenSea on the Ethereum network to access certain privileges.

NFT Artist Credit: Arturo Rodriguez and Mark Monfort. Source: Bar Lulu.

There are three tokens that can be purchased — Jia Lulu, Joo Lulu and Ryuu Lulu.

Each NFT represents a different tier to their membership which will unlock unique and incremental rewards, priorities and benefits.

Tokenholders can attend various Web3 networking events and educational sessions and be granted access to exclusive private lounges and dinners, among other things.

Bar Lulu claims the NFT membership program to be an Australian first.

The bar added that the launch comes on the back of months of seeing how similar experimentations worked out overseas in the hospitality sector.

Former Amazon exec launches Yelp-like platform to review NFTs

A former Amazon and Starbucks executive, Ben Straley, has launched NFT startup, “Thred,” which aims to be the Yelp, Tripadvisor or Zillow of the NFT industry.

The NFT-focused startup launched Feb. 16 and will help users discover NFT collectibles and review them, according to a report from TechCrunch.

A screenshot of the current Thred homepage. Source: Thred.

Straley’s move into the NFT space comes from 25 years in digital product and customer experience leadership roles.

Thred’s platform will combine automated machine learning and algorithms to rank NFTs on the Ethereum and Polygon networks.

It will help potential buyers better understand the collections’ significance and help distinguish which NFTs are legitimate.

Other Nifty News

One month into the “Ordinals” mania on Bitcoin, a protocol fork has made Ordinals possible on the Litecoin network. Australian software engineer Anthony Guerrera said it was “quite simple” and that he was motivated to make the fork due to a 22 Litecoin 

LTC

$69.40 bounty.

Real Vision co-founder and CEO Raoul Pal stated on Feb. 20 that NFTs will act similarly to high-end property in the traditional economy and potentially outperform ETH during bull markets.

The former JPMorgan executive explained that NFT collections, such as CryptoPunks and the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), had become status symbols, much like luxury cars and houses, and he expects that trend to continue.

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Mark
Monfort

Mark drives innovation with his deep understanding of AI, blockchain, and data technologies. His experience spans over 15 years of contributions to finance, technology, and operational strategy across Australia, Europe, and North America.

In 2021, he transitioned from Head of Data and Technology at a leading Australian accounting firm to startups. Prior to this, he worked in equity and macroeconomic research in the capital markets space.

Mark brings a passion for data and insights to NotCentralised. His understanding of AI and blockchain technology is central to the development of workplace productivity and financial system modernisation products, including SIKE and Layer-C. Mark’s dynamic and solutions-focused methods enable the navigation of complex technological landscapes and new market potentials.

Mark holds an Executive Master’s and a Bachelor of Commerce. He led the creation of the Australian DeFi Association and serves on the advisory board for the Data Science and AI Association of Australia. His commitment to such communities demonstrates his enthusiasm for emerging technologies and vision of positive change through technology adoption.

Nick
Bishop

Nick spearheads product strategy and institutional business development, leveraging a rich background spanning 23 years in capital markets and financial services across the UK, the US, and APAC.

In 2020, Nick transitioned into startups, bringing extensive experience in asset management and corporate advisory from roles including Director, Head of Australian Fixed Income at Abrdn and Managing Director, Head of Corporate Credit at Gresham Partners. His expertise extends to client management across the government and private sectors.

With a First Class degree in Law and Criminology and Chartered Financial Analyst experience since 2002, Nick is known for his energetic and creative approach, quickly appraising business models and identifying market opportunities.

Beyond his role at NotCentralised, Nick actively contributes to multiple startups and SMEs, holding various Board and advisory positions and applying his institutional expertise to early-stage ventures. Nick is fascinated by emerging technologies with significant societal impact and loves to immerse himself in nature.

Arturo
Rodriguez

Arturo leads product development and software engineering, applying over two decades of experience in technology, capital markets, and data science. With his years of programming expertise, Arturo smoothly transitioned into blockchain, AI, and machine learning.

Arturo has built and sold technology startups across Europe, following quant derivatives roles in global investment banks. His prior experience includes data projects for the NHS in the UK, Strategic Technology Advisor at Land Insight, and Senior Advisor to OpenInsight, where he built predictive models for vessel usage in commodity markets.

A mathematics and statistics graduate from Stockholm University, Arturo’s early grounding in logic problems and data manipulation techniques is evident in his practical applications. His work building equity derivative pricing models for Merrill Lynch and Royal Bank of Scotland showcased Arturo’s highly specialised skillset.

Arturo relocated from London to Australia in 2020. Beyond NotCentralised, his passion for technology and industry involvement extends to the Australian DeFi Association, which he co-founded, and regular contributions to the Data Science and AI Association.