30/01/2023 Amazon NFT Initiative Coming Soon: Exclusive

Amazon is launching a digital assets enterprise, according to four sources familiar with the matter, who said that an NFT initiative is expected in the spring.

Amazon has been shopping the digital collectibles effort to no shortage of power players in the industry, per multiple sources. Said to be among those entities are layer-1 blockchains, blockchain-based gaming startups and developers and digital asset exchanges. There’s a focus on blockchain-based gaming and related NFT applications, two sources said.

One example in the works, per one source: getting Amazon customers to play crypto games and claim free NFTs in the process.

The effort is still developing, sources said. April appears to have been penciled in for the e-commerce giant to make its bold crypto ambitions public.

Amazon “coming into the space” is “a big one” for crypto “for many different reasons, one source said.

“We knew it was possible,” the source said. “But now it seems like it’s really happening. That’s going to affect the existing players in the space — if they execute and do this right and are smart about it.”

Amazon executives leading the push reached out to at least one family office in recent months, one of the sources said. At the time, the plan, in its earlier iteration, was to do at least one NFT drop with an artist, the same source said. Amazon’s Web3 blueprint appears to have significantly evolved since.

It wasn’t immediately clear who in terms of personnel is leading Amazon’s NFT initiative. Details about the platform, which would include certain NFT gaming initiatives, are still unfolding, but two sources said the platform is set to run out of Amazon proper, rather than its popular web-hosting platform, Amazon Web Services (AWS).

An additional fifth source said Amazon has been exploring a number of other Web3 initiatives of late. When it comes to both the platform and Amazon’s additional crypto forays, a number of internal hires would likely be a prerequisite, one source said.

While Amazon Web Services has posted occasional roles for developers and engineers in the Web3 realm, the e-commerce site is not as well known for exploring the crypto or blockchain arenas. An AmazonCoinsprogram continues to exist, following an introduction in 2013, but it is more akin to a straightforward loyalty program than a crypto initiative.

Andy Jassy, the CEO of Amazon, has previouslystatedthat he is open to the company selling NFTs — and that the company is not closing the door to cryptocurrencies generally.

Also an open question: the full extent of Amazon’s Web3 ambitions and end goals. Whether the company intends to compete with the likes of OpenSea and Rarible isn’t exactly clear, but two sources said both entities would view a successful launch as a substantial threat.

“With the [number] of customers Amazon has, they could make a huge splash in the NFT marketplace,” one source said.

Over 2.5 million users have so far interacted with OpenSea, the leading NFT marketplace today by trading volume, according todatafrom Dune Analytics. There are now multiplewell-established places to buy and sell NFTs.

AWS recently inked a partnership with Ava Labs, the company behind the Avalanche blockchain, which Emin Gün Sirer of Avadescribed as“a huge boon for both individual and enterprise developers to be able to spin up nodes and test networks on the fly with AWS in whatever legal jurisdiction makes the most sense for them.“

A representative for Amazon did not immediately have a comment.


Arts

https://blockworks.co/news/amazon-nft-marketplace-web3

Interesting NFTs
Lovers and unravelled obi, from the series Picture-book Models of Couples
Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) Lovers and unravelled obi, from the series Picture-book Models of Couples 1812 - Japan
The King
Part of a series of three artworks entitled "The Rulers". Inspired by the rulers of the animal kingdom, african mandalas & diamonds. A very complex digital illustration, each lion consists of hundreds of custom diamond shapes. Each background is an intricate custom mandala that compliments the lions facial features.
Alex in Wonderland
A figure, Alex, stands mostly naked in the midst of a physical and psychological maelstrom. He is clad only in nostalgic 80’s era socks, on a tenuous island between active waters and a variety of shark denizens. Sharks on the right side of the image are all beached, including a shark with a quartz crystal snout, an orange shark wrapped in a life buoy, and a shark further in the distance wearing an 80’s style shirt with the number “88”. On the left side is the largest shark, wearing bright glossy red lipstick and brandishing prominent teeth with braces. She is cordoned off from the figure by a roped float divider, and within her thought bubble is a warning symbol. Behind the figure, hovering in the air, are Grey aliens emerging from the distance, out of a series of elliptical UFO shaped interdimensional membranes. The Greys take on the visual form of spermazoa ostensibly impregnating the interdimensional thresholds. As is typical, these Greys inhabit a zone just behind the unconscious topology of Alex’s dissociative mind. Though Alex’s bottom half is representative, his top half mutates into a psychological cornucopia. In a manner akin to “Auto-Erotic Sphinx”, a predecessor work, the figure has self suctioned—an act of sensual infatuation, enjoyment, and exploration. Upward exists the figure’s primary conscious eye, adorned with a revolutionary beret emblazoned with a Bitcoin badge. The figure’s summit features the nose of a fighter jet facing off against video game Bullet Bills, one of whom is marked by a communist North Korean star. A cropped section of a UFO observes the contest. Alex’s mind branches both left and right. To the left is more singular embodied consciousness, manifesting two eyes and a Ganesh trunk grasping crayons. The right branch dissociates upward diagonally, emerging into an array of eyes, faces, teeth, tail, a unicorn horn, and much more—all of which participate in expressing his unconscious being; a democracy of psychic factions representing thought impressions and associations. All illumination and darkness– fernal, infernal, high consciousness and corporeal underbelly–reside in this realm. In the distance are relatively languid, light clouds, and against the firmament hovers a colossal distant eye peering over the scene and far beyond. This painting possesses underlying genetic traits with previous works such as “Auto-Erotic Sphinx with Toys”, “Dionysus”, and “Fuku-Shiva”. The work serves also as a nod to an earlier period of art inspiration during late teens and early twenties— born out of the nakedness, vulnerability, curiosity, and wonder inherent to coming of age and all subsequent psychedelic revelation.
Who Is The Creator 2
The idea for this piece was borne out of a tweet of mine that caused a bit of a stir. I’d posted a link to a blog article I’d written a number of months previous titled ‘Who is the Creator’ discussing various types of creative collaborations and why I hire people to work on my animations. It generated a lot of debate around creation and attribution with the community split on whether it’s right or wrong for an artist to hire other professionals to help them realize their art projects. I decided to push the boundaries even further and see how the cryptoart community responded. What if I quite literally had nothing to do with the physical or digital elements of the work other than coming up with the concept and coordinating it? I decided there was one artist in the space who could add huge value to this idea on levels that none other could and so I gathered my courage and contacted the great José Delbo to ask him if he’d be interested in a very unique collaboration. I explained to him that to make this piece ‘work’ he couldn't have any say in what I produced and moreover, he wouldn’t even be allowed to see the animation until it was dropped on MakersPlace. To my surprise, Mr Delbo agreed to my proposal. The animation tells the story of the creative process, which includes my roles as writer, director, and producer working with a team and making edits and changes ‘in real time’. The dialogue between myself and my ‘hired guns’ plays out in front of the viewer. The music written for the piece adds to the nostalgia of the comic book superhero theme but other elements such as the snapping and kicking of the pencil and the signing of my signature at the bottom incorporates further layers and challenges the viewer to ask important questions, such as, is the ‘Art’ the final animation (the creation) or is the ‘Art’ the concept/credit for the creation itself?
Calicool Cat
*hissing noises*! I'm Calicool Cat. My friends describe me as vegan and smelly. I once got in a fight with a dolphin, and won. Our friendship will be vegan, smelly, and full of wet food.