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Programmable art is dynamic art: what if a painting changed colors?

Moolah
Hey friends,
This week I dipped my toes in programmable art, which is digital art that can change appearance as the artwork’s inputs change.
A leading pioneer for programmable art is Async Art, which interestingly enough is now getting into programmable music as well. Both concepts revolve around a novel idea: the artwork or song is made up of layers, and people can purchase those layers separately or buy the whole known as the master. However, the look or sound of the master is still dependent on what the layer owners choose to input. The number of layers could be many or few, it all depends on the creator. This all probably sounds really confusing, so the best thing you can do is head over to Async Art and check it out for yourself.
Most (maybe all) programmable art is in the form of NFTs. I linked a programmable NFT below in this issue: it’s a digital painting that shows a figure staring out of a window. The master is made up of two layers: one that can change the figure peering out, the other which can change the scenery outside the window. Pretty cool, right?
My theory with programmable art is that people will want to show it off like a physical painting, so companies that sell screens to show off these NFTs will benefit from the adoption (Infinite Objects is one example). Personally, I would love to own a large-scale programmable NFT that could change depending on the weather, time of day, or even what my friends and family are up to. I don’t think I like the idea of letting strangers (i.e. layer owners) decide how my artwork will look, but I can see the benefit of a community art piece whose community members decide what to show the public. It gives visitors a vibe of the community and who lives there!
That’s it from me this week. Hope everyone stays healthy, and please share this newsletter if you think someone will enjoy it!
All the best,
Phil

Discoveries
Sharding is how Ethereum gets bigger. Vitalik Buterin wrote this essay to explain it to a wider audience, since most explanations out there are like trying to explain rocket science. There’s a famous problem in blockchain scalability called the “Scalability Trilemma”. It refers to how blockchains can only achieve two out of the three necessary attributes for mainstream adoption: scalable, decentralized, secure. Bitcoin and Ethereum are both decentralized and secure, but are not scalable. Sharding solves for the scalable piece by limiting the amount of data that validators need to process. Currently, every single piece of transaction data must be validated by the blockchain. That’s why throughput is as slow as it is, and gas fees so damn high.
This is a book I’m reading by Niall Ferguson that should probably be re-titled: The Ascent of Finance. I’ve been reading it for research purposes as I write my collaboration piece with Sam, and it’s been really informative when it comes to early banking and the rise of paper money. Niall argues that financial education is imperative, and a great way to get educated is to learn a topic’s history. I agree with this assessment, though much of it could probably be skimmed for the casual reader.
Chamath is widely recognized as the CEO and founder of Social Capital, an investment management firm. Before Social Capital, Chamath was a VP of Growth at Facebook. He was largely responsible for not only expanding the user base but also determining Facebook’s early monetization efforts pre-IPO. This video is an amazing summary of how he thought about growing Facebook to 1 billion users. I highly recommend this video to anyone that manages a product, whether it’s a personal product or an employer’s.
NFT of the week
Soulmates
This week's tweet
Sam Auch
USDC and other dollar backed stable coins could further solidify the USD as the reserve currency of the world
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Phil Hendricks
Phil Hendricks @PhilLHendricks

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