Farmers to receive donation from crypto currency NFT art auction sale
O’Shea Collis was volunteering at the Barouallie Government School shelter when the volcano erupted for the 2nd time on April 9, shooting an ash column into the sky. She captured a photo and posted it on her Instagram, where it was shared multiple times. Tolga Akcayli, a local filmmaker, saw the photo and instantly made out the shape of a woman within the ash cloud. He was inspired by a comedic tweet that read, “if I were watching a film about a global pandemic, and suddenly a volcano erupted, I would switch it off because it wouldn’t make any sense” yet, Vincentians are living this “absurd” film. Tolga took inspiration and digitally drew over the image, creating a woman wearing a mask as she took a breath of ash-infested air. He believes the image symbolically represented what the people of Saint Vincent experienced in the lightest possible way, a volcanic eruption during a pandemic. He then paired the visual experience with Barbadian singer, Krisirie’s song, “Wind Blows” which was the final touch before publishing it online as an NFT Art Piece available for auction.
What is NFT art?
NFT stands for “non-fungible tokens”, which is a certified digital original art or asset. To better explain, there are millions of images on the internet of the “Mona Lisa,” along with replica reproductions. However, there will always only be one original painting by Leonardo DaVinci, currently valued at $US 876M. A NFT holds a unique string of code stored on a digital ledger known as a blockchain, which guarantees certification of being the original made by the creator of the NFT piece. Photos, music, digital paintings, GIFs, memes, videos, and books can all be minted into an NFT.
“Lady La Soufriere” was Tolga Akcayli’s first NFT ever created. It was up for auction for one week, until Gabriel Abed, also known as the Godfather of Cryptocurrency in the Caribbean, won the auction with the highest bid of 0.5 ETH (Ethereum.) Last week, 1 ETH had reached an all-time high conversion rate of $EC 11,334.60 but had recently stabilized at $EC 8,775. Unfortunately, the bid was finalized earlier in the month, when 1 ETH was valued at $EC 7,290 EC. This is one of the unfortunate cryptocurrency experiences, where cashing out a strong crypto-coin can have someone lose out on potential future growth. For example, ten years ago, 1 Bitcoin was worth $1 in 2011, and today that same 1 Bitcoin is $EC116,000 today, yet many people would have cashed out at $100, or even $1000.
You may think, anyone can “claim” that it was cashed out at a lower value and try to keep the difference of the actual value for themselves; but one of the beautiful things about cryptocurrency is that it is all backed by an automated digital ledger that is publicly available for anyone to see, eliminating any kind of dishonesty. Therefore, anyone can access Tolga Akcayli’s public wallet address and confirm that it was cashed out on a specific date, at a particular value.
Gabriel Abed, the highest bidder of the “Lady La Soufriere” NFT, wants to encourage Caribbean artists to learn how to publish their own NFTs, as it is a new and growing lucrative market currently valued at $2Bn. It provides exposure to an international stage, where Caribbean content is much sought out. Gabriel is very pleased to know that the funds are being used towards relief efforts for farmers in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines through the dedication and commitment of Edson Reese (Tequila Ross.)
Cryptocurrency is currently headlining all over the world and is believed to be the future of finance. On May 12, 2021, Vitalik Buterin, founder of Ethereum Network, donated $ US1Billion worth of Shiba Inu crypto tokens to the India Covid relief fund. So far, the highest NFT ever sold was auctioned at Christe’s Auction House for $US 69M worth of Cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency is being used all around the world for daily transactions such as splitting restaurant dinner bills, buy[ing] Lamborghini’s in Miami, book[ing] hotel accommodation in New York, transfer[ing] $USD1M across the world securely within 2 minutes, and soon, it can be used to buy property from the One Bequia Residence and Club Project that Storm Gonsalves is developing right here in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.