ConsenSys Mesh has announced the NFT platform TreeTrunk.io and introduced a new way for NFT artists to get paid that eliminates the risk of platforms failing to pay correctly or on time. The NFT smart contract pays collectors directly on the blockchain and uses zero-knowledge cryptography.
Ethereum co-founder, Joseph Lubin’s blockchain incubator, ConsenSys Mesh has announced the NFT platform TreeTrunk.io at the celebrated ETH Denver developer conference. Launching in a beta release on the Polygon Mumbai testnet, TreeTrunk has introduced a new smart contract that, for the first time in the Ethereum ecosystem, collects and distributes royalty payments from the secondary sales of non-fungible-tokens (NFTs) immediately and securely on the blockchain. This eliminates the risk of centralized platforms failing to pay correctly or on time.
NFT Smart Contract That Pays Royalties to Creators
A group of prominent NFT artists, including Ishita Banerjee, Brandon Breaux, Vimal Chandran, CryptoJeweler, Parin Heidari, LA+CH, Logik, Sam Madhu, Arabella Proffer, Dilek Sezen, and Carmilla Sumantry will be featured at the launch. Each of them submitted one special artwork to support the kick-off of the innovative marketplace. Early collectors can test buying, selling, and making digital prints of these NFTs immediately. These pieces will be the only works on the platform while the system is tested for stability and scalability. At a later release, collectors will be able to buy and sell them, and soon after, TreeTrunk will open up for all artists to create their own NFT families.
A Game-Changer for Artists
For creatives, the business of promoting and selling their art can be a lonely, tournament-like game. Even with NFTs, artists tend to make little to no profit until they reach a certain level of popularity. The TreeTrunk approach treats collecting, and fandom, more like a team sport. The TreeTrunk smart contract distributes royalty payments not only to a single creator but also to collectors who make and sell authorized digital ‘prints’. The buyers of the prints can, in turn, make new prints from their NFTs until the number of generations set by the creator is reached. This allows the artist to construct a network that looks like a family tree around their work, generating perpetual passive income for themselves and their fans as the community grows.
A Better Business for Artists, Influencers, and Grass-roots Art Lovers
“The TreeTrunk approach holds the promise of building long-term financial strength for artists and other creators. It offers a powerful business opportunity for influencers, who can hold first or second-generation NFTs and syndicate prints to collectors in their community. And it can deliver financial inclusion by letting people buy into the ‘NFT family tree’ of their favorite artwork at a price they can afford,” said TreeTrunk CEO, John Wolpert.
In order to make authorized digital prints that can prove their relationship to an original, the TreeTrunk team took inspiration from traditional lithographic printing techniques and used zero-knowledge cryptography to develop what they call ‘crypto-lithography’. This technique allows a creator to shield their originals (treating them like the plates of a lithographic printing process) while letting people see, enjoy and sell prints. Each print is digitally unique, verifiably derived from the original plates, but also verifiably not the original used to create them.
“The TreeTrunk method is the closest thing in the digital world to owning a physical piece of art and displaying it in a museum without the fear of anyone making and selling millions of unauthorized perfect replicas just by looking at it. This means that so-called ‘right-clickers’ are merely copying a known facsimile, not the real thing,” said TreeTrunk CTO, Dr. Andreas Freund.
The TreeTrunk approach promises to help reduce problems of fraud and misappropriation plaguing the NFT community, especially when combined with a rising culture that assumes unsigned content is fake and filters it out.
Baking in Legal Rights
Well-known technology attorney and TreeTrunk co-founder Ira P. Rothken, remarks, “We made improvements in the NFT standard for artists’ rights and collector protection from content verification to license management. It was important to improve on the way NFTs handle legal rights so that it’s no longer a game of guessing what the license agreement terms are, especially on secondary market transactions. Unlike the previous NFT standard, with TreeTrunk the license agreement is embedded in the NFT metadata itself. Using TreeTrunk, NFT collectors will be better informed on what rights they are getting, and artists can more easily control their intellectual property.”
Make Money Without Having to Sell Your NFT
“TreeTrunk is a fundamentally different way for artists to envision NFT drops,” said noted art collector Kent Charugundla. Traditionally, an artist mints one or more NFTs and sells them to generate income. Now, the artist creates their original NFT and holds onto it. Owning the top NFT is how they control their original, make and distribute prints, and earn passive income from their network for as long as they hold the token. When they want to cash out and pass on their rights, they can offer a buyer the value of control over a truly unique, exclusive asset (one they can be confident has never been copied, even by the previous owner) and an ongoing revenue stream.
Your Print is Your Pass: The NFT Family Chat
The TreeTrunk NFT platform will include features like a chat channel that can be accessed only by current holders of the NFTs in an artwork’s “family tree”. This gives owners exclusive access to each other, making every owner of a TreeTrunk NFT a real part of the value others get from buying into the family.
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