By Mike Gennaro, Publisher
Has the blockchain craze left you in its vapor trail asking, “Why do I even need to know about this?”
According to a 2021 study by Crypto Literacy, 96% of Americans fail to grasp the basic concepts of crypto. Zachary native Mya Parker is on a mission to bring that percentage down. She’s a 15-year-old Zachary High student leading conversations around cryptocurrency and NFT investment strategies on global platforms. She’s used her knowledge and influence in this sphere to make thousands in NFT sales, too. She sat down to share a few pointers in the hopes of making Zachary more crypto-literate.
“We’re spending more of our time digitally, so people want to flex there more right now.”
To start, let’s define some key terms.
Non-fungible means unable to be replicated. A digital token is created using blockchain technology. Therefore, an NFT – or non-fungible token – is an asset on a blockchain with unique identification code, or metadata, that distinguishes it from another. Transactions of NFTs are recorded in a blockchain, like Ethereum or Bitcoin, to certify authenticity and ownership.
Art and music are experiencing a renaissance, thanks to NFTs. Zachary’s own Mya Parker has become an expert on how to invest in, create and sell this new type of art.
She is a former track and soccer star with a proclivity toward math, repeating patterns and art. When a torn ACL forced her out of sports, she began tuning in to Twitter Spaces – live-streamed conversations from people worldwide.
“I think there was a reason I got injured. It was meant to be because usually, I’m out until 8 o’clock doing sports, but now I spend all of my time on NFTs, being on Twitter Spaces and learning a lot,” she says.
Young Investor gifted Mya her first NFT when she was tuning in to his YouTube videos and Twitter Spaces about stock market investing. The new type of investment – and art – piqued her interest.
“It was a Slacker Duck Pond, a really cool NFT—I think it was a scam, though, so I’m not going to recommend that one,” she says.
She moderated chats for a while before being encouraged to create her own NFTs by Young Investor. She posted her Genesis Collection, a common term for NFT artists’ first set of NFTs, for sale on OpenSea.io, where she currently displays all of her artwork. She explains that all of her art is inspired by experiences and often takes the shape of fun critters. Mya’s Infectious Critter is our personal favorite at P&P.
“This art piece is a reminder to always discharge love over hate. The balloon of love is released by the critter and put in the air. The individual hearts around the infectious Critter fly and infect other critters around it and create more critters with the Infectious Critters mindset,” describes Mya.
If you are thinking NFT art looks a little, um—different, you may be missing the point. While Beeple—Everdays, CryptoPunk #, and Bored Ape Yacht Club may not elicit images of Michelangelo using Adobe Illustrator, Mya thinks the NFT movement is a way to communicate in the digital world.
“I know kids love gaming and stuff, so all these digital items they want to spend their parents’ money on, games, Roblox, skins, all that—those are digital items,” Mya explains. “Digital assets are a big flex. People buy certain things like Jordans or Nikes to communicate. We’re spending more of our time digitally, so people want to flex there more right now.”
People show wealth through fancy vehicles, brand-name watches, and vacation homes in the physical world. In the digital world, NFTs are the new standard of wealth.
Where can you flex an NFT?
One way to showcase an NFT is to use it as a verified profile pic. Twitter rolled out a new feature that allows verified NFT owners to use their artwork as profile pics, which are framed in hexagons and shown whenever they interact on the app.
Celebrity Snoop Dogg has a Bored Ape NFT profile pic valued at around $300,000. Collectors also showcase NFTs in their wallets, which are on display for the world to see. And yet another option is to buy a parcel of land in Decentraland and display your collection there.
How much has Mya sold?
Just one of her collections reports a sold activity of .81 Ether. The total estimated Ether volume of her Genesis Collection is near 40 Ether volume. Ethereum currently trades at $3,053 at the time of this writing.
How does Mya find buyers?
I create the supply from my experiences, and then demand comes from them hearing me and a percentage of them really liking my art pieces and wanting to support me
She leverages Twitter Spaces to share her artwork with a wealthy buyer pool of people already familiar with her because of her consistent appearances in chats about NFTs, investing and entrepreneurship. “Most of my buyers heard me in the Twitter Spaces first, and that’s been like supply and demand. I create the supply from my experiences, and then demand comes from them hearing me and a percentage of them really liking my art pieces and wanting to support me,” she explains.
When asked whether she sells her pieces as fractional investments, she says no. Some NFT artwork is for sale in parts, much like owning a share of a company. Mya decided her pieces would each have one owner. However, each time her art sells on the secondary market, she earns a royalty from the sale, in perpetuity.
“I think Web3 NFTs have mastered credibility. I think that’s massive, and cool things are going to be built upon that—things better than just art pieces to sell, buy and trade. They’re going to be other things. Houses have been bought and sold with NFTs already,” she says with zeal.
She’s right. We have entered the dawn of the tokenization of real estate, which will bring many efficiencies to the marketplace. That, we will save for another day.
On the way out, I ask Mya how she feels about all the attention. She says she’s using the attention for good, so she’s cool with it. And she reminds us that an artist is anyone who deploys creativity.
The future of NFTs will involve more people, with a myriad of creative talents, like chefs, designers, and athletes.
You are not alone if all this has your gears turning or picking your jaw up off the floor. Submit your questions to Mya by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll have our newest tech correspondent, Mya Parker answer them on our website or episodes of Porch & Parish The Podcast, available wherever you listen to podcasts.
Listen to Mya Parker on Porch & Parish The Podcast here.