’m of the rare breed who owns an e-book and a bookshelf, reads novels and Twitter threads, won’t mansplain your ear off in a hipster speakeasy about either. (Whoops.) Words — our main mode of communication — are the backbone of human progress.
I shouldn’t have been surprised, then, to find the written word all over the blockchain. But I was. It has not been underreported that NFTs are mostly used to sell seizure-inducing scribbles, TIME stories no one’s read in 20 years, and fucking Neopets. Still, we HORs believe they could be used for so much more, and get really excited when we’re validated.
This week, I discovered a small but diverse set of writers across various platforms selling NFTs. I knew I wasn’t the first to propose writers take advantage of a decentralized, secure means of transferring ownership and collecting royalties — which, when your entire career revolves around the whims of publishers and algorithms, is game changing. I’m just glad some are acting on it already.
Here are three brilliant use cases of crypto writing to claim you saw first before they go mainstream:
Blake Butler, founding editor of HTMLGIANT, sold a gif of a screen scrolling through the manuscript of his unpublished future fiction novel, Decade, for 5eth (~$15k). The 1/1 PDF went to the buyer as unlockable content.
Brickwall runs The Chaintale, an ongoing NFT project where the buyer of the last chapter gets to write the next.
Kalen Iwamoto released Twelve, an NFT poem doubling as a treasure hunt — written using 12 seed words of a wallet containing 12 NFTs from 12 artists, with 12 clues as unlockable content. Whoever solves them all takes the contents of the wallet for themselves. Talk about Unity of Effect.