Greg Walsh


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My Entrance into NFTs

March 30, 2021

COVID-549k, Greg Walsh. Done with Python and pixels In 2013, I got into cryptocurrency mining and did relatively terrible. Then, I got into cryptocurrency trading and turned $20 of BTC into $1000 value of alt coins. Then the exchange I was using, Cryptsy, got “hacked” or possibly embezzled or lost in a divorce settlement…I’m not really sure. So, I decided to just buy on Coinbase (referral link) at a slow and steady pace instead of trying to invest in hardware and electricity.

I had everything on autopilot and then heard about Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) recently (you can watch SNL to learn more about them). I’ve always been a fan of the idea of blockchain even if it felt like a solution without a problem. The idea of digital items that only officially exist in one place is really interesting to me as I’ve often seen digital assets as easy replicable from a technical standpoint even if copyright owners see it differently. NFTs allow a digital file to be signed as if they are the original. Even if a copy can be made, the blockchain transactions ensure who has the original. Think of it like a Picasso painting: you can buy a highquality print of the painting in the museum gift shop, but, that’s not the same as having the original thing.

In order to learn more about this, I made some of my own NFTs using generative art. I’ve written a program that makes a non-representational (abstract) picture based on the number of victims of COVID-19 in the US. While grim, it has helped me work through the last year’s trauma that we’ve been sharing. I used Opensea to “mint” my NFTs. Minting requires using the cryptocurrency Ethereum (I had some from Coinbase) and a wallet (I’m using MetaMask. To mint the first time on Opensea, it cost about $75 but that varies throughout the day and depends on the Ethereum blockchain.

I do not think I will make $69M, but I do think this is a next step in Web3, a more decentralized web that supports transactions and builds on the backend as Web 2.0 did on the front end.

My collection is viewable at

Greg Walsh, PhD is an associate professor of design at the University of Baltimore. His main focus is co-design and works with people to incorporate more voices in the design process. You can follow him on twitter @gxwalsh or email him at greg [at] ] gregwalsh [dot] com