Inside DCanvas: The Interview
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“dCanvas was created to expand the utility of NFTs and blockchain technology in a way that is easily accessible by literally anyone.”– Andrew Chen, co-founder of dCanvas
Describe dcanvas in a tweet.
dCanvas is a collaborative NFT project based where each 4×4 pixel block is an ERC721 NFT that grants only owner rights to change colors on their pieces of the board. The project promotes community interaction at scale, while upholding values of blockchain tech.
Do you remember a moment when you knew the crypto community was the place for dcanvas to thrive?
We realized this year in March that the valuable features of NFTs such as scarcity, ownership, and decentralization were getting diluted by the massive influx of projects with little added originality or utility. It inspired us to create this project. Our core mission is to show how NFTs have much greater applications than what’s popularly current. dCanvas achieves this in an interactive, community oriented project with mainstream appeal–driving long term value is only secondary to those philosophies.
What is the most exciting part of what you currently do?
Meeting others within this community… Hands. Down. It’s incredible how intelligent and inclusive the crypto community has been. We never could have imagined that we’d learn so much from others, nor receive such tremendous support from those who shared our core values before starting this project. We’ve been incredibly fortunate to have connected with others that truly believe in the values of blockchain.
The dcanvas pixels are high energy, colourful and full of eyes. How do you bring out the artists’ creative energy out like this?
We always have the end-user experience in mind. This is why we created the Transience board, which is essentially a state-channel that allows dCanvas NFT owners to input color data gas-free. NFT holders also have exclusive ownership of the same locations on every other dCanvas board such as Permanence, which allows you to store color data immutably on the Ethereum blockchain. Additional features include the ability to set profiles and message other owners through the app. However, we are most excited by the proxy address feature. An owner can designate a second wallet address as a creator “proxy”, who can change the owner’s pixel colors for them without ownership rights, such as transferring or re-auctioning the NFT. This promotes sponsorship of creators and integration of a global community.
What single thing do you wish people understood about your dcanvas?
dCanvas was created to expand the utility of NFTs and blockchain technology in a way that is easily accessible by literally anyone. The project stays true to the fundamental values of blockchain technology: decentralization, scarcity, authenticity, and provenance through the option to store all data on-chain. The possibilities of expanding are endless! We envision creating a DAO consisting of NFT owners that can govern commissions of the entire dCanvas board through minting timelapses or snapshots of a board. In this way, the project continues to live on without reliance on anyone but the NFT owners themselves!
To dcanvas, what is the most important NFT you have ever bought and why?
Most would assume it is our Cryptopunk (which we love), but it is New Romantic by @jazsi_. I hope Jazsi forgives me for sharing, but he is an amazing artist who is working as a bartender in the UK. Blockchain provided an avenue to display his incredible talent to the world and we bid on a piece that simply reached us in an indescribable way… three times in a row. I think it further demonstrated to us, who have been in the technical field of medicine all our lives, the importance of culture and art. In addition, we learned that @jazsi_ was someone who knew the value of this piece and completely respected that. We kept outbidding ourselves until we finally acquired it
What most excites you about the NFT space? What most worries you about the current NFT space?
We don’t think that most people have fully grasped the utility of NFTs yet. While the values of authenticity and ownership have naturally integrated NFTs into the digital art space, few understand even the true definition of “non-fungible token” or “minting”. The ERC721 standard provides a flexible framework for interoperability between marketplaces and even other Ethereum layers or blockchains. It’s customizable such that anyone can incorporate features such as secondary royalties, fractionalized renting/ownership, or even DeFi into the contract itself.
However, development within the space has experienced some setbacks such as copycat NFT projects with no added value or utility that have flooded the space, which undermines the fundamental values of NFTs such as scarcity. Furthermore, the tech behind crypto has a high learning barrier which naturally results in centralized sources of information dissemination. Lack of transparency about smart contract details (such as centralized metadata storage) is also something to improve. We believe though, the vast majority of the community shares common values and will naturally gravitate towards platforms who are good-actors. The community will naturally select for platforms that make a good faith effort to move towards full decentralization as the space matures.
What about your life as an individual changed since the boom of NFTs?
To be honest, just less sleep because the space moves so fast. It’s been more than worth it though! The dCanvas team is just two friends who happen to also be physicians (surgery and oncology) who have been passionate about crypto for many years. We were inspired to create dCanvas to promote the fundamental values of blockchain in an easily accessible platform and have been able to thanks to the foundation built by other giants. When we describe how dCanvas provides scarcity, ownership, provenance, and new utility, even our crypto-naive friends can grasp how powerful blockchain is.
We also wanted the project to be one that benefits other communities both inside and out of crypto. This is why we have been facilitating integration of various communities by purchasing, donating, and connecting other creators.
What is the future of dcanvas in this space?
At first glance, dCanvas may seem like just another pixel project. However, future possibilities are broad and exciting! We wrote a flexible smart contract that can allow for real-time display of the canvas board IRL or in a metavase, fractionalization of collaborative canvas art minted as separate NFTs, sponsorship of artists, or even “real-estate” rental for advertising. As doctors who created dCanvas during our free-time, we strive to create a culturally significant project that expands the utility of NFTs. Our vision involves future creation of a DAO consisting of dCanvas NFT owners who govern commissions, potential royalties, and the trajectory of the project. In that way, dCanvas NFT owners will direct the project without any reliance on us as the creators.