I forgot more about programming than many people ever knew 😂

Okay, that's a ballsy statement. But I was a professional programmer, in a role that is now often called individual contributor (IC). I started with developing Visual Basic applications for the Austrian Bank of Exports (OEKB) in 1994 and then moved on to develop C command line applications, Oracle FORM applications and Visual C++ with Microsoft Foundation Classes apps.

In 1998 I moved to the bleeding egde and started coding in JAVA, which was still run by Sun Microsystems at that time. We developed a content management system for ORF ON, the website of the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation. That was fun work, or, as fun as Java can be. And it was also the end of my programming career. Somewhere along the way I got tired of programming and felt drawn towards art. Music in particular.

So I became a sound engineer and worked in that field for 20 odd years. What drew me to sound engineering was my love of music. But especially helping artists to deal with the technical side, and focus on their art. My goal was to make the technical aspects of recording as transparent as possible for the artist.

Last year the pandemic and its related closures of venues and theaters, meant I was suddenly out of work. A well booked year turned into an empty calendar in a matter of 2 weeks. After grappling with the situation for a while, a realisation hit: I could still help artists focus on their art!

The perfect opportunity arrived: NFTs allow artists to interact directly with their audience in a way never before possible. The "curse of digital art", it's infinte potential for identical copies, suddenly becomes a strength. The more your art is distributed and copied, the more valuable the original becomes. And what the original is, is suddenly very real and verifyable. The one copy, that the smart contract of the NFT points to. Case in point: Jack Dorsey's first Tweet, the first Tweet ever.

https://twitter.com/jack/status/20?s=21

Is now worth more than $2MM to collectors:

https://twitter.com/justinsuntron/status/1368223597106327553?s=20

I decided to learn all I can about NFTs and help artists release their works on this new medium. I want to create an online course, where artists can learn just enough of the technical aspects to publish with confidence. While mainly focusing on their art.

So why FLOW? I've been following Roham and Benny from Dapper Labs since they launched Crypto Kitties. While most of the crypto community was involved in building tech that apparently banks the unbankend or creates the future of finance, Roham and Benny actually used the technology to build something fun. Something people were crazy about, and collected and traded. At the height of the Kitty craze the Ethereum network was clogged with Kitty-transactions!

https://qz.com/1145833/cryptokitties-is-causing-ethereum-network-congestion/#:~:text=Collectors of the digital tchotchkes are clogging up,breed cartoon kittens or trade with other players.

I thought about ways to create NFTs since back then, but mostly focused on integrating physical objects like rings or paintings into the chain. Benny and Roham went on to expand to Cheese Wizards, another block chain game, that had a fervent following.

Cheeze Wizards: A blockchain battle royale with cheese

As you can see both Crypto Kitties and Cheese Wizards ran on Ethereum, so why build FLOW?

Ethereum is probably the most vibrant eco-system of the crypto scene. There are literally thousands of projects built on its chain and using its programming language called Solidity. With Solidity and ETH in general every transaction, and every execution of code by miners has to be paid for in a sub-currency called Gas. When the Ethereum price rises and transactions mount up, Gas can be extremely expensive. Setting Gas fees for speed of execution while not loosing a ton of money is an art and a science of it's own. This is a major road block for artists that simply want to mint tokens on a reliable, fast and scalable chain.

Ethereum Gas Price Charts & Historical Gas Fees - ethereumprice

Below is an article on how someone spent more than half a million dollars on Ethereum transactions - within a few minutes! Remember: this is just for the transaction and not for the value of the transaction!

Most expensive transaction in Ethereum Blockchain history??

Especially in peak transaction times, Ethereum becomes very slow. It can take literally up to days for a transaction to finalize. Making selling art and releasing art unpredictable and cumbersome.

Imagine telling your fans your next drop will be on Monday and then the actual release is Tuesday afternoon, because you set the Gas fees too low, and your transaction wasn't mined. Not good.