Science Fiction Comes to the Metaverse | Decentralized Arts
BanklessDAO Weekly NFT and Cryptoart Newsletter
Dear Bankless Nation,
Humankind has used stories for millennia to try to explain the world around us when knowledge was limited. Take the Greek and their mythology. In similar fashion, we have the ability to evade the boundaries of the physical world by imagining and creating alternative narratives to actual truths.
In this edition we explore two science fiction projects. The first one, The Lunartics, is a cartoon series that follows the fictional inhabitants of the Moon in their efforts to return to their home after they were brought to Earth by the crew of Apollo 11.
The second project, Legends of Cypher, is a story set in the far future that explores the Bankless philosophy of freedom and self-sovereignty through the adventures of Hash, the main character, who has a technology that can free humanity from the slavery of the Centopoly empire.
The world around us is not always ideal, but we invite you to be part of these two communities so you may at least take a break from it all.
Welcome to Decentralized Arts.
🙏 Thanks to Our Sponsor!
Curated NFT News
Simpsons and Futurama Artist Julius Priete Announces the Lunartics Animated Series and NFTs
Created by Julius Priete (The Simpsons, Bob’s Burgers, and Futurama) and writer/producer Dan E. Fesman (Queen of Queens, NCIS), The Lunartics is an animated series that will be accompanied by an NFT collection of the characters.
The Lunartics are inhabitants of the Moon. When man went to the Moon in 1969, they took rock samples that were then gifted to 135 different countries in a gesture of goodwill and peace without noticing these tiny beings. Each Lunartics episode narrates the attempts of these displaced Lunartics to get back to the Moon.
The Lunartics NFTs will be a collection of 10,000 characters that will be available on SuperFarm for 0.08 ETH each, plus gas. The whitelist sale will start on April 19th for 24 hours with 2 NFTs allowed to mint per wallet. The public sale will then start with an allowance of 5 NFTs per wallet.
After the sale, the first episode will be released and NFT holders will have the chance to write a story for their character that the cartoon’s team may pick up for future episodes.
Mastercard Has Filed 15 Trademark Applications for the Metaverse and NFTs
According to trademark attorney Michael Kondoudis, Mastercard has submitted the applications to the United States Patent and Trademark Office on April 4, 2022.
The trademarks include the name Mastercard, the slogan Priceless, and its circle logos. This indicates that Mastercard is getting ready for the virtual economy and may have plans for NFTs and marketplaces for digital goods, as well as payment processing in the metaverse.
Tiffany & Co’s VP Creates a Jewel for His CryptoPunk
Alexandre Arnault, the LVMH heir and current executive Vice President of product and communications at Tiffany & Co., has created this piece of jewelry for his CryptoPunk #3167. The rose gold and enamel CryptoPunk features sapphire and mozambique baguette ruby glasses, along with a yellow diamond round earring.
Tifanny’s is also planning to let punk owners order custom-made Cryptopunk pendants for one week, but they have stated that they can’t do 10,000. We’ll wait for further announcements.
🙏 Sponsor: Rarible.com - multichain community-centric NFT marketplace 💛
The Cypher Legends
Freedom is creating your own options
In mid-2021, a group of BanklessDAO members came together to create a cultural project that would communicate the Bankless philosophy of freedom and self-sovergenity. After nearly a year of work, they released Legends of Cypher, a multimedia SciFi-themed story taking place in the far future, and StoryPrima, a new DAO focused on helping lore-heavy NFT projects gain visibility and success. The team is collaborating with BanklessDAO to release a special Legends of Cypher-themed NFT that will drop on Friday, April 15, 2022. Holders of this NFT will be eligible to receive an airdrop of $PRIMA, StoryPrima DAO’s governance token. This is their story.
The way stories have been told has changed significantly throughout human history. As we discussed in Decentralized Arts, Issue 32, the NFTBooks market is still in its infancy but has enormous potential. This week, let's take a deep dive into a growing community developing more content in the NFT Book space (and beyond), Legends of Cypher (LoC).
LoC is the first incubated project of StoryPrima DAO, a new organization dedicated to accelerating the growth and success of story-focused NFT initiatives. The DAO will provide storytellers of all stripes with tools, resources, education and funding to help them develop “built to last” rich, story-oriented NFT projects.
The Legends of Cypher Story
LoC is described as a “unique blockchain- and community-driven transmedia storytelling experience.” The main LoC story will be presented in a series of comics that will be released over multiple seasons, detailing a future human civilization fighting for individual freedom.
On one side of the conflict is Hash and his "gift," a technology that can free humanity from slavery. On the other side is Malarian, a high-ranking agent of the interplanetary Centopoly empire, who will stop at nothing to stop Hash and his allies from freeing humanity. In addition to the comics, LoC fans can collect and enjoy artifacts from the universe, including NFTs, stories, movies, music, and art.
The Legends of Cypher Origin Group: BanklessDAO OGs
LoC is being developed by a group of creative individuals, the LoC Origin Group, who have been working on the project for nearly a year. Their goal is to create an immersive environment in which their community participates primarily for enjoyment and stimulation. As such, this is no get-rich-quick scheme. The Origin Group believes firmly that projects focused on the "floor," speculation, overnight NFT flipping, token issuance cash grabs, and other under-handed tricks, are sacrificing the long-term impact of their project for short-term gain. In the words of the Origin Group: “We feel that if we can create a healthy community that puts self, wonder, and exploration before potential benefit, then we will have succeeded and this universe will come to life.” One of the key aspects in any NFT project is trust.
The LoC and StoryPrima DAO founding team consists of early builders in BanklessDAO, which supports the idea that this really is a long-term project.
The Book: Meru-36: Destiny’s Fall
One of the clearest things the founders wanted was to involve the community without members having to pay for access. That's why you can read their first NFTBook, Meru-36: Destiny´s Fall for free. This NFTBook presents vital historical information about the Synthetic War, which takes place millennia before the rise of the Centopoly. The book also offers a glimpse into the minds and hearts of the nanoengineered warriors who fight in the final showdown of the Synthetic War: The Battle of Meru-36.
In addition to reading it for free, you can buy the NFTBook and become one of the first to support this project, receiving additional perks, including a share of an upcoming token airdrop.
The project's Origin Group has carefully developed a two-year roadmap of activities. Their goal is to ultimately make LoC a global, community-driven universe.
The Legends of Cypher Origin Collection and $PRIMA Airdrop
Over the course of developing LoC, the Origin Group learned many lessons about the operational aspects of launching Web3-focused projects, the difficulties story-focused NFT projects have in capturing mindshare and attention in today’s highly transactional and chaotic NFT markets, and many other lessons.
To share these lessons learned and to help other story-focused NFT projects succeed, the LoC Origin Group launched StoryPrima, a new DAO focused on helping make the journey easier for other individuals and teams seeking to harness NFTs for storytelling.
StoryPrima DAO will focus its efforts in four areas: story-focused NFT project incubation, media platform development—including its podcast #StoryFirst—education, and community building.
StoryPrima DAO is just getting started, and the DAO’s founders (the LoC Origin Group) have developed a unique token distribution mechanism. Owners of the LoC NFT Origin Collection will be eligible to receive an airdrop of $PRIMA tokens later this year.
Origin Collection NFTs are closely connected to the history and lore of the LoC universe. One of the Origin Collection NFTs, scheduled to be dropped on April 15, 2022, features a ship developed in honor of the BanklessDAO community.
The NFT, Lunastus and Sine Ripae, is an animation of a starship and scoutship active during the Synthetic War era of the LoC universe (the Synthetic War is described in the Meru-36 story). The Sine Ripae features the BanklessDAO’s distinctive red and black colors—and a familiar name.
Holders of the Lunastus and Sine Ripae NFTs will receive a portion of the $PRIMA token airdrop scheduled for later this year. Details about the airdrop can be found here.
Owners of other Origin Collection NFTs, including a special collector’s edition of the Meru-36 book cover, will also qualify for the $PRIMA airdrop.
In addition to the NFTs, the LoC Origin Group will release lore in other formats, including:
An Anthology Series—Hash’s Followers: This will be a series of short films telling the tale of the people who chose to join Hash’s quest for humanity’s freedom.
Historical Briefs: These will be in-universe documents developed by the Centopoly empire focusing on the overall political state of the Legends of Cypher Cosmos, travel technology, and other information.
The Lunastus and Sine Ripae NFT will drop on April 15, 2022. It will be sold via the BanklessDAO Rarible NFT store.
Just for fun, here is a list of epic movies that were born from a novel. Taking into account the enormous possibilities that Web3 offers, it’s not impossible to think that we may see Legends of Cypher on the big screen in years to come.
A Chat with the LoC Origin Group
We have contacted Davoice, co-founder of the LoC Project, who kindly offered to answer a few questions.
DA: How did the idea of getting together to create LoC come about?
Davoice: We were all part of initial conversations within BanklessDAO, where a number of us had the idea of creating some type of comic or narrative about the Bankless philosophy. One day, the person who would become the lead writer of LoC, Crayonz, posted the image below. He had come up with a character named Hash who was standing on a bridge gazing upon the stars—and a moon called Ethos.
I was immediately excited by this image and contacted Crayonz. There were a few others who were also inspired, including our artistic director, James, who created some early sketches of Hash’s ship; and Devin, who handles a lot of our production, business development, and other tasks that help keep us on track and focused. I started jamming with Crayonz about this world, which ultimately became the cosmos (the area of known space where the events of LoC take place).
From there, the project quickly expanded. We developed an in-depth Story Bible outlining the overall story, technologies, civilizations, organized groups (we call them Factions), and the nature of the Centopoly—the main antagonist of our story. One of the major things we did early on was to create a system, called the Metric, which is used to control the citizens of the Centopoly, and, by extension, all of known human space. The Metric is a powerful artificial intelligence that measures and scores all Centopoly citizens. Those with high Metric scores can advance very far. The Metric not only evaluates citizens, but entire planets. In fact, low-scoring worlds are kicked out of the Centopoly every 100 years during an event called the Conclave.
We thought the concept of theMetric was an interesting commentary on how centralized authorities exert control in contemporary society. For example, in the United States, a person’s credit score influences a lot, including where they live, their job, and their ability to advance financially or accumulate wealth. One of the big things we explore in the Legends of Cypher are the pros and cons of centralization and what freedom actually means.
The conflict between the forces of unfettered personal freedom versus control is a recurring theme in the LoC universe. For those interested in getting deeper into this debate, we have developed a series of videos featuring Hash and his Centopoly opponent, Malarian, talking about these concepts, and the Metric, which can be found here.
DA: Where does your passion for the Sci-fi genre come from?
Davoice: Personally, I’ve been a Sci-Fi fan from an early age. My formative years were spent reading classic Sci-Fi novels such as Dune and the Foundation series. Collectively our team believes strongly that Sci-Fi does a very good job of exploring and uncovering important topics and themes that are present in contemporary society. We think LoC reflects this approach.
DA: Is the project connected with BanklessDAO?
Davoice: The LoC and StoryPrima DAO are not officially connected with BanklessDAO. However, we’re open to exploring a range of collaborations with BanklessDAO, via StoryPrima, in terms of highlighting and supporting story-focused NFT projects and building media properties that shine light on these types of initiatives. Our door is open to any and all collaborations.
DA: What can we expect in the coming months?
Davoice: Currently, we’re focused on releasing the LoC Origin Collection, a series of NFTs that are connected to the period between two major eras of the universe: the Synthetic War, discussed in the Meru-36 book, and Book 1 of the LoC graphic novel.
We are also developing a series of six short films. Five of them focus on characters on Hash’s ship. The final film highlights an encounter between Hash and Malarian and launches the first in-universe quest, which will have a big impact on the future of the cosmos.
After the films are released fans can look forward to the Legends of Cypher comics, which will push the main storyline forward.
DA: Where do you see LoC in 5 years?
Davoice: We very much see LoC as a universe with a scale on par with major properties such as Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The LoC timeline stretches across millennia, and we’ve only started exploring two eras so far.
We’ve built a large-scale universe that has plenty of room for our community to begin developing LoC lore, whether it is music, art, poetry, novels, and more. We’d love to see a lot of community-developed content based on the LoC Intellectual Properties (IP) and even major productions, such as animated films, based on major events in the universe.
Of course, LoC virtual and real world conventions and gatherings are also on the table. loC is a multi-decade project and we’re only in year 2. There’s a lot of story yet to be told and we’re looking forward to it evolving in unexpected ways.
🙏 Thanks to Our Sponsor!
Rarible.com is a multichain NFT marketplace that puts community first, empowering it with numerous user-specific features like messenger, floor bids and NFT portfolio tracker. It also offers extra liquidity by aggregating orders from other marketplaces. Rarible.com is built on the Rarbile Protocol, a multipurpose open source and multichain NFT protocol that helps build products and services across the NFT ecosystem, including white label marketplaces tailored to specific NFT communities.
👉 Visit Rarible.com to put a floor bid on your favorite PFP project.
👉 Download Rarible mobile app to track your NFT portfolio's value.
👉 Trading NFTs on different chains? Use Rarible's multi-wallet feature to get them all in one place.
Call to Action
Participate in the NFT-Club channel: Share your passion for NFTs, your favorite collections, your favorite crypto artists!
Follow Decentralized Arts on Twitter.