Lessons Learned in the Cryptoverse

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Well, folks, that’s it! ticker.art launched on October 1st, and as of October 26th……………


Every one of the 60 pieces has found a happy home now. Of course, the site will remain up forever, and you can always go there and make an offer for any of the pieces that interest you, just in case the owner is interested in selling.

I learned dozens and dozens of little lessons along the way, since I started off knowing absolutely nothing at all about NFT and, in the end, had put together a gorgeous website, 60 fantastic art pieces, an amazing virtual reality gallery, and all the business bits and pieces needed to promote the site and make the sales channel function. It was a great learning experience, and I wanted to share five of those many lessons off the top of my head:

Gas, Gas, Gas. Everything Takes Gas – This was the biggest surprise of all. Every time I turned around – – whether I wanted to change the price of a piece of art, or transfer an NFT from one place to another – – or send money from one wallet to another – – EVERYTHING cost “gas”. It’s like driving on a road where every 500 feet there’s another really expensive toll both. I think this is a massive obstacle to widespread interest. It would be nice if everyone could wander out there and buy an NFT for five cents. There’s plenty of stuff available for five cents! I’m not kidding. But you’re going to have a gas fee of $80 tacked on top of it.

Things Are Really, Really Slow – As super-duper, space-age, high-tech, cutting-edge all this crypto stuff is, much of the stuff surrounding it moves with the speed of a 19th century telegraph office. One would assume everything would be instant. Nope! Want to send some crypto from one wallet to another? Go right ahead, and check back in five minutes. Maybe it’ll be done. Maybe not.

An “Account” is not a “Wallet” – Boy, was this an eye opener. See, I had sent all kinds of money to and from my Kraken account. Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth with no problem. I happened to wind up with a few hundred dollars worth of $MATIC that I wanted to send to Kraken. No problem! I dutifully sent it from my Metamask wallet to my well-used Kraken account, already built into my address book. Ummm, nope. What I was supposed to do was find out the address (a totally different address) for ERC-20 or some such thing. In other words, there was a very specific address to use for receiving that particularly kind of coin. So what happened to all the money I sent? Gone forever. Vanished. More on this in a moment.

Sometimes Gas Makes It Not Worth Doing – Tonight I got a lowball offer for the very last piece of art. I was going to take it, but it shows the gas fee was actually substantially higher than the sale of the art piece in the first place! I would literally be losing money by selling it. Umm, yeah, no thanks. This happened plenty of other times too. And there were many instances in which I spent gas (for example, to cancel a listing on Opensea – – you have to pay gas just to cancel a listing!!!!!!) and it turned out to be unnecessary. Indeed, I’d say the biggest overarching lesson is that there is NO hand-holding to help you out. If you make mistakes, even expensive mistakes, tough titties.

There is no Ctrl-Z – Going back to my little tale of sending MATIC to myself but using my “normal” Kraken address and not the ERC-20 hash or whatever-the-hell it’s called……….once again………….TOUGH! The money is just plain gone. There’s no form I can fill out. There’s no Cancel button to click. There’s no waiting period of 5 days and, after it finds it has no home, it goes back to its source account. None of that. The money simply is gone forever. End of story, and stick it up your backside. Suffice it to say, the crypto world has no Complaints Department.

Anyway, I hope some of you benefit from some of this hard-won wisdom. Some of the above probably sounds bitter or pissed-off, but it isn’t meant to be. It’s more of a warning that – – it ain’t easy out there in crypto-land, and you’re kind of on your own!