Coinbase announced a major new project today in the form of Base, a layer-2 scaling network for Ethereum built in collaboration with Optimism. To mark the news, the crypto exchange dropped a free open edition Ethereum NFT for anyone to mint—but it’s not through Coinbase’s own struggling NFT marketplace.

“Base, Introduced” is a free NFT that Coinbase made available through Zora, an NFT minting platform and startup focused on Web3 creator tools. It’s an open edition NFT, which means that anyone can claim one of the identical collectibles until the minting window ends on Sunday, with a limit of one NFT per wallet.

Already, more than 24,000 of the Ethereum NFTs have been minted since this morning’s announcement of Base. As a result, the NFT’s smart contract—which contains the code that powers the project—has become the largest “gas guzzler” on the Ethereum network, with over $271,000 worth of gas (or network transaction fees) used over the past three hours.

Zora is a well-known NFT minting platform for Web3 creators, but Coinbase already has its own NFT marketplace. However, Coinbase NFT has gained very little traction since launching last spring, with public blockchain data showing less than $8,000 worth of total NFT trading volume over the past week.

Compare that to some $596 million worth of trading volume over the last week at Blur, the top NFT marketplace that recently surpassed longtime leader OpenSea on the back of whale traders flipping assets in a rapid race to maximize BLUR token trading rewards.

Coinbase NFT shows the Base, Introduced NFTs on its marketplace, but they’re secondary listings posted by users who minted through Zora. Coinbase President and COO Emilie Choi said on an earnings call this week that the exchange is “not throwing in the towel” on its NFT ambitions, despite having “a very lean team on it now.”

The exchange’s NFT marketplace has supported NFT mints in the past, including significant drops like The Bill Murray 1,000. However, the company confirmed earlier this month that it “paused” creator drops on Coinbase NFT to push resources toward other features on the marketplace.

The free Base NFT nods towards the recent “open edition meta” in the NFT world, in which creators launch low-priced NFT mints that then layer in gamification elements, in some cases providing incentives to holders to “burn” (or permanently destroy) a number of them in exchange for a unique, rarer version that isn’t identical to the others.

Coinbase hasn’t promised any future utility or benefits for the Base NFT. However, NFTs are finding some traction in secondary markets. Most of them are selling for a relatively low price right now, about 0.01 ETH ($16) apiece, but some of the early-numbered editions or those with so-called “vanity numbers” are commanding higher prices.

For example, NFT #888 sold for 0.888 ETH (about $1,455) this morning, and the buyer has listed it for 8.888 ETH ($14,700) in the hopes of securing a sizable flip. Other three-digit NFT editions have sold for hundreds of dollars since the free mint launched this morning.

A federal judge, Victor Marrero, ruled on Wednesday that the NBA Top Shot non-fungible tokens (NFTs) issued by Dapper Labs may meet the requirements to be considered unregistered security. The case arose in 2021 when an NBA Top Shot collector sued Dapper Labs, claiming that the NBA Top Shot NFTs, known as “Moments” issued via the Flow blockchain, are securities.

Judge’s Ruling Allows Friel v. Dapper Labs Case to Continue

United States District Court Judge Victor Marrero agreed with the plaintiffs who filed a lawsuit against Dapper Labs on Feb. 22, 2023, noting that NBA Top Shot NFTs could plausibly be unregistered securities in the eyes of the law. On May 13, 2021, Jeeun Friel sued Dapper Labs for selling Top Shot NFTs without registering with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Dapper Labs attempted to get the court to dismiss the case, but Marrero denied the company’s motion.

Marrero’s ruling simply allows the case to continue based on the judge’s opinion that NBA Top Shot NFTs may be considered a security. Marrero said the ruling does not apply to the sale and distribution of FLOW, the Flow blockchain’s native crypto asset. However, the Howey Test was applied to the NBA Top Shot “Moments” NFTs, and the Howey analysis is what supports the judge’s decision.

“Although the literal word ‘profit’ is not included in any of the tweets, the ‘rocket ship’ emoji, ‘stock chart’ emoji, and ‘money bags’ emoji objectively mean one thing: a financial return on investment,” Marrero said in the court filing. “The court is persuaded that Dapper Labs’s scheme to sell Moments plausibly reflects horizontal commonality by being ‘intertwined with interest in Dapper Labs,’ its burgeoning new blockchain, and the token that ‘powers it all.’”

Dapper Labs Responds to Judge Marrero’s Ruling on NBA Top Shot NFTs

On Wednesday, Dapper Labs commented on the lawsuit and the judge’s recent decision. “Today’s order in the Friel v. Dapper Labs matter – which the Court described as a ‘close call’ – only denied our motion to dismiss the complaint at the case’s pleading stage,” the company said on Twitter.

“The judge did not conclude the plaintiffs were right, and it’s not a final ruling on the case’s merits. Courts have repeatedly held that consumer goods – including art and collectibles like basketball cards – are not “securities” under federal law. We’re confident the same holds true for Moments and other collectibles, digital or otherwise,” Dapper Labs added.

What do you think the implications of this ruling could be for the NFT market as a whole? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is the News Lead at News and a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open-source code, and decentralized applications. Since September 2015, Redman has written more than 6,000 articles for News about the disruptive protocols emerging today.

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods, or services mentioned in this article.

Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing every aspect of our daily lives. What will it mean for Web3? IntoTheBlock’s Jesus Rodriquez learns from the machine.

By Jesus Rodriguez

AccessTimeIconFeb 8, 2023 at 10:51 p.m.Updated Feb 9, 2023 at 9:20 p.m.

The home page for the OpenAI ChatGPT app (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

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ChatGPT has stolen the headlines as one of the most impressive technology releases of 2022. Initially unveiled to highlight the capabilities of the upcoming GPT-4, ChatGPT quickly transcended the boundaries of the artificial intelligence (AI) space to become a pop culture phenomenon. For the first time in history, we are seeing AI actively discussed all the way from mainstream media outlets to dinner conversations. The fact that an obscure area of AI was going to cause this revolution was unfathomable just a year ago.

Jesus Rodriguez is the CEO of IntoTheBlock.

ChatGPT is the latest in a family of large generative language models (LLM) that are clearly transforming the nature of content creation, application development, and user experience. The speculations of how ChatGPT and the upcoming GPT-4 type technologies might impact different industries have run high and wild and Web3 is not the exception.

The hype about the possibilities of ChatGPT has certainly found its way to the Web3 space. In recent weeks, crypto media outlets have openly discussed the role that ChatGPT can play in ending Google’s dominance, completely automating smart contract development, and making Web3 the dominant architecture paradigm. A different perspective becomes apparent once you look into the specific capabilities and limitations of ChatGPT and match it to the current state of Web3 technologies.

Inside ChatGPT

For all the hype around ChatGPT, there has been very little discussion about the specific capabilities and differentiators of the model. ChatGPT represents a major evolution in OpenAI’s GPT family of models but that evolution has materialized in a very specific dimension. The main difference between ChatGPT and its predecessors is that the former is key to following instructions. Models like GPT-3 were able to perform a handful of language tasks such as summarization, question answering, or text completion based on carefully curated prompts.

Read more: Here’s Why Artificial Intelligence-Focused Cryptocurrencies Are Vastly Outperforming Bitcoin

However, GPT-3 exhibited major limitations following more generic instructions. In early 2022, OpenAI quietly unveiled InstructGPT, a fine-tuned version of GPT-3 that uses a technique called reinforcement learning with human feedback (RLHF) to better follow human intents. OpenAI published the research behind RLHF back in 2017 and went mostly unnoticed until InstructGPT was created. InstructGPT is the crown jewel at the center of ChatGPT and one of the key differentiators from its predecessors. These days, when you are using the OpenAI API by default it uses InstructGPT.

The AI community recently started referring to models such as ChatGPT with the term “foundation models.” Quoted by Stanford University, this term refers to the unique character of these models to be fine-tuned for specific scenarios. For instance, OpenAI created Codex, a new fine-tuned version of GPT-3 to generate programming language code that is powering programs such as GitHub CoPilot. Codex is also integrated into ChatGPT.

Now that we understand the core capabilities and differentiators of ChatGPT, we can extrapolate those to our Web3 universe and start dreaming about the potential.

ChatGPT in a Web3 world

The foundation model revolution with platforms such as ChatGPT is going to deeply influence how software is created and experienced across the entire technology market. Web3 also represents a new paradigm for distributed computing, so the combination with foundation models like ChatGPT offers a blank canvas full of opportunities. Some of those opportunities are already possible with today’s technologies.

Language-based explorers

Explorers are the search experience in Web3 and the core building block for human interactions with blockchains. However, the user experience of blockchain explorers is designed for domain experts. Imagine an explorer powered by a fine-tuned version of ChatGPT for blockchain activity. In that experience, a normal user could ask questions such as “Any large institutions transferring funds to Binance?” “When was the last time something similar happened?” or “Are there any interesting patterns in the recent transaction activity?” Search is one of the experiences that might be reimagined with technologies like ChatGPT, and explorers could be a perfect candidate.

Smart contract development assistants

Programming smart contracts remains a highly sophisticated task for developers. ChatGPT components such as Codex are able to generate Solidity code from language descriptions. Imagine a smart contract assistant in which a developer can type something like “What’s the solidity code to request a flash loan in Aave?” and it will generate the corresponding smart contract code snippet.

Read more: Jesus Rodriquez – The Coming Convergence of NFTs and Artificial Intelligence

Smart contract security testing

Smart contract audits are slow, expensive, and tedious processes that are nonetheless necessary. A large majority of the auditing process relies on executing tests that are quite often not obvious to smart contract developers. Imagine having a fine-tuned version of ChatGPT for smart contract audits that could take a language input such as “and run a battery of tests in a given smart contract.

Intelligence NFTs

Arguably one of the most obvious applications of models such as ChatGPT is to enable a new generation of non-fungible tokens (NFT) that incorporate conversational intelligence. Imagine a version of your favorite NFT collection that allows you to ask questions about the creator’s inspiration or specific artistic details.

Conversational wallets

Wallets are the main entry point for interactions with decentralized applications (apps) in the Web3 world. Just as the user experience in Web2 applications is being reimagined with foundational models such as ChatGPT as a fundamental construct, we can think of a similar trend for crypto wallets. Imagine a wallet experience in which a user can simply express their intentions to perform a transaction, request information or execute specific tasks simply using natural language. The conversation is going to be one of the most interesting trends in Web3 user experience in the next few years.

Web3 in a ChatGPT world

Foundational models such as ChatGPT will, undoubtedly, enable a new generation of capabilities in decentralized applications, but Web3 can play an interesting role in the infrastructure powering these models. Auditability is one of the key concerns around the emergence of models like ChatGPT. Understanding the causes of harmful, fake, unbiased, or unfair content has been at the center of the debate for the mainstream adoption of ChatGPT and similar models. Distributed ledgers are the perfect technology to enable trustless transparency and auditability for models such as ChatGPT.

Pre-training and fine-tuning are other aspects in which Web3 platforms can contribute to models like ChatGPT. The computational requirements for pre-training or fine-tuning foundation model results are prohibited for most organizations. Decentralized computation networks such as blockchains can enable scalable computation economies that can facilitate the pre-training or fine-tuning of models like ChatGPT.

Not just ChatGPT

ChatGPT and the upcoming GPT-4 release represent some of the most overhyped technologies of the last few decades. While it might be easy to get caught up in the hype, the transformational impact of these models is real and it definitely applies to Web3. One thing to understand is that ChatGPT won’t stand alone in this area much longer.

Companies such as Google with its model LaMDA, DeepMind with Sparrow, Anthropic with Claude, and Stability AI with an open-source version of ChatGPT are likely to become relevant players in this market in the next few months. In the Web3 world, these models will power new experiences for how to author and interact with smart contracts, apps, Wallets, decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols, NFTs, and pretty much every area of the ecosystem. The era of language models in Web3 is here and ChatGPT is just the beginning.

SPiCE VC co-founder and managing partner Tal Elyashiv discusses the “pressure” on VC firms to make timely investment decisions in the past few years and adds that the same fate is “beginning to happen with generative AI companies that are now the new shiny object.”

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The 20 artists behind the latest installment of the NFT collective’s Grails project, including Matt Kane, All Seeing Seneca, and Josie Bellini, were revealed post-mint.

By Cam Thompson

AccessTimeIconJan 28, 2023 at 3:08 a.m.

Updated Jan 28, 2023, at 3:41 a.m.

Grails Season III by PROOF Collective
Grails Season III (Proof. XYZ)

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After weeks of anticipation, the 20 artists behind non-fungible token (NFT) collective Proof’s Grails III collection were revealed Friday.

The collection features a wide range of notable digital creators, including generative artist Matt Kane; All Seeing Seneca, the digital artist that helped create art for the NFT collection Bored Ape Yacht Club; and founder of NFT collection Cyber Brokers Josie Bellini.

Each artist contributed one unique work, available in limited quantities, to the collection.

Earlier this month, Grails III opened its mint passes for collectors to purchase ahead of the artwork reveal. Once the digital art was unveiled, users purchased NFTs until the mint period closed Tuesday.

At the time of writing, the collection had done 199 ETH in sales, or about $318,300, and had a floor price of 2 ETH, or $3,200.

While Twitter users speculated on the mystery names behind the art, Proof says Grails isn’t meant to just be about the artists and their historical bodies of work. Rather, the work is focused on allowing a collector to first engage with the artwork before diving deep into the artist’s portfolio. Eli Scheinman, head of art at Proof, told CoinDesk that the purpose of the collection is to let the digital work speak for itself rather than by virtue of the creators behind it.

“In our space, and almost always for most collectors, engagement with a piece of art is tightly bundled with the name of the artist behind it and by extension, the value that’s ascribed to that work,” said Scheinman. “Grails emanated from this place of trying to disrupt that in some respects and to focus the work and the engagement with that work on the piece from a collector perspective.”

Proof’s Grails III is the third iteration of its mystery NFT compilation series. In February 2022, Grails I dropped, with work from entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk, CryptoPunks and Meebits creator Larva Labs, and generative artist Tyler Hobbs. The next edition, Grails II, was released in August and featured works from Art Blocks founder Erick Calderon, Pussy Riot co-founder Nadya Tolokonnikova, and generative artist Refik Anadol.

The proof is a prolific player in the NFT space, landing itself on the map for its Moonbirds NFT collection, which raked in $200 million in sales upon its release in April. Earlier this month, the collective signed with United Talent Agency to help expand creative and entertainment opportunities for the Moonbirds brand.

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