HyperCube
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HyperCube Whitepaper v1.0
The platform for blockchain-native art

Overview

HyperCube is a community curated platform for blockchain-native art. It supports minting of art that:
  1. 1.
    Incorporates features that were not possible prior to the blockchain/NFT revolution
  2. 2.
    Has been curated by a nominated expert curation board, guest celebrity curators and the Hypercube community
Our initial focus is generative art, similar to that found on ArtBlocks, EthBlockArt, gen.art etc.

What is Blockchain-Native Art?

Whenever a new platform emerges, the first set of applications are simple translations of popular applications on the 'old' platform. e.g.
  • The first TV shows were simply radio shows with pictures
  • The first websites were simply digitized magazines
We are at the beginning of the NFT revolution. The first NFTs are simple translations of existing digital art - a photo or video stored on a filesystem, with the URL then stored in a token.
However, the most exciting developments on a new platform happen when applications are developed that are only possible on that new platform, and weren't possible before. Movies with beautiful cinematography were't possible on radio. Websites became increasingly interactive, personalized, social, mobile.
What types of art are possible on the blockchain that just weren't possible before?
Generative art is one example, and ArtBlocks has been the biggest innovator in the space to date. Not only is the art stored as code, completely on-chain (not just a URL to a file stored on a server that could possibly change or disappear), but the art is not actually generated until the moment it is first purchased (minted) using randomized parameters that are impossible to predict, derived from the blockchain transaction itself. This means that neither the buyer, nor the artist, know exactly what the piece will look like until the moment it is minted. This wasn't possible before and is an example of blockchain-native art.
This is only the beginning of what's possible. See Hypercube Platform Roadmap below for details about how this will evolve.
To be clear: we believe there are many amazing examples of NFT art being produced today that are not blockchain-native - photos, digital art, 3D animations and yes even cartoon PFP collections. We are fans and owners of many such pieces. It's just not our focus with HyperCube because there are already a great many platforms supporting this art like SuperRare, Foundation, Rarible, Nifty Gateway etc. We are interested in helping to pioneer the next big genre of digital art and we believe it will be blockchain-native.

The Market and Why Now

The NFT market had its first major hype cycle in March 2021 and a subsequent pullback. People were quick to declare the "NFT bear market", but the reality is people didn't stop buying NFTs. New projects continued to launch. In August 2021, March felt like a small blip:
August 2021 🚀
Like all markets NFTs will be cyclical, with corrections and then greater highs in the future. We can be certain that NFTs are firmly here to stay. It is not a fad, as many believed earlier this year, but rather the very early stages of crypto/blockchain moving into mainstream culture. That doesn't mean all NFTs will hold their value (most will go to zero), but the concept of NFTs and a new genre of digital art is now inevitable.
There are several reasons why NFT have grown so quickly in popularity:
  • DeFi took off quickly in 2020 as blockchain transformed finance. But finance is mostly only interesting and understandable to crypto and finance geeks. NFTs took off much faster because they are interesting and understandable to a mainstream audience.
  • Trading beautiful art or cute profile pictures is more fun that watching numbers go up and down.
  • NFTs can be bought and sold instantly from the comfort of home, are (relatively) liquid, and are accessible to everybody. In contrast, buying high quality traditional art involves visiting galleries, building a network of connections and gaining access to relatively closed social circles. In fact, NFT trading is a gateway to traditional art collecting - many people are discovering a love of art for the first time thanks to NFTs and then start exploring non-blockchain art purchases.
The supply of NFTs is growing exponentially, with many artists and non-artists scrambling to figure out how to launch their own projects. The good news is that demand is also growing like crazy, and we are still early. There is still a lot more upside. Most of the traditional art world buyers still do not understand what is happening in the NFT world and there is still a lot of capital that will be entering the market.
The $4.23B of trading volume on OpenSea in August came from only 213,000 wallet addresses.
A Note on ArtBlocks. ArtBlocks is one of the most successful NFT projects overall, and certainly the most successful generative art platform. On its peak day in August 21,421 ETH (approx. USD $70M) of ArtBlocks art was traded in a single day. There is currently a waiting list of over 250 artists wanting to launch their generative art projects on the ArtBlocks platform. The demand exceeds ArtBlocks' capacity. Some artists who are able are launching projects on their own with custom contracts and websites, but sadly few artists have the money or technical skills to do this.
We are huge fans of art blocks, own many AB pieces, but we believe there is room for many more successful generative art platforms as this market grows.

Expanding the Market

Our mission is to expand the market and introduce many more artists and buyers to this new genre of code-based art. We believe this is a special moment in history where a new genre is being born. We want to help as many people as possible participate and we want to encourage the highest quality art to be produced. We have several initiatives in place to do this:
  • Artist and coder matching. There are many artists with creative ideas for generative art who would like to participate in this new genre, but don't yet have the coding/mathematical skills. Similarly, there are coders with these skills who wish to participate in the NFT market but don't have the creative inspiration for high quality art. HyperCube facilitates matching and collaboration between artists and coders and the sharing of proceeds from successful drops.
  • NFT university. We are producing a series of free educational content aimed at teaching artists how to navigate the new world of NFTs and how to create a successful drop, as well as teaching the broader market about blockchain-native art. Many talented artists and curators from the tradart world tend to be digital laggards and we will help bridge the gap.
  • Community ownership. All artists, coders, curators and the community will benefit from each others' success thanks to our community token. See governance-and-tokenomics below.
  • Community artists patronage. Artists can submit a proposal of a work they want to produce and community can vote to give them a grant from the community treasury to work on the art and then launch it on HyperCube.

HyperCube Platform Roadmap

The HyperCube platform will be launching in phases, beginning with our MVP (Minimum Viable Product):

MVP

  • A smart contract for minting on-chain generative art:
    • On-chain storage of generating code for each art project, and minting of pieces with unique token
    • Native dutch auction support with continuous price reduction
    • On-chain revenue splitting (between artist, collaborators, curators, charities and HyperCube platform)
    • On-chain secondary sale revenue splitting
    • On-chain properties representing external dependencies (see note on on-chain purity below)
    • Artist's choice minting. Artists can mint up to 5 pieces once the drop has sold out, with their own handcrafted token value (can't be the same as any minted token). These pieces will have an 'artists choice' property added. They are free to be kept or sold by the artist.
  • Reference implementation of backend and APIs to render artwork
    • While the artwork is on-chain and can be rendered by anyone, HyperCube will provide a backend and APIs to easily render each artwork for those who wish to use it.
  • An incredibly easy to use, and aesthetically beautiful web and mobile front-end
    • Easily browse collections, connect wallet, and mint pieces
    • Designed for mobile first
    • High-performance, high-uptime (especially during peak loads when pieces are being minted)
  • Advanced live minting UI
    • Live updated price
    • Sales and # remaining
    • Stats such as pending transactions, gas price predictions and indications of when to mint or risk missing out
    • This minting UI is designed to help combat gas wars and bot nets that are common in NFT drops today
  • Properties shown clearly and consistently next to each art piece
    • Badges representing number and type of external dependencies
    • Revenue splits between artist, coder, curator, charity etc
    • Artist defined properties
  • Built-in rarity guide functionality
  • The HyperCube platform will donate to carbon offsets and ensure no negative climate impact from minting NFTs
HyperCube supports varying levels of on-chain purity for blockchain-native art on the platform. The most pure pieces contain code and nothing more. Some purists would claim that even a JavaScript interpreter is a dependency and will write their code in C, or even generate SVGs directly from Solidity. Some pieces may contain references to external libraries (to avoid storing large amounts of code on-chain which is expensive). And some pieces may even import assets (image files, textures etc) that are used by the generative algorithm, in which case these assets will be stored on decentralized systems such as IPFS or Arweave). Rather than having a strong opinion on purity, HyperCube allows artists to decide how many dependencies to include and displays the dependencies clearly to buyers so the market can decide how to price the pieces.

Phase 2+

After the MVP we will progressively add features to the platform including:
  • Expand the range of blockchain-native features available to artists, e.g.:
    • Programmable mutations. A piece can mutate each time it's transferred/sold, or change how it is rendered depending on the time of the day, or day of the week, or it can just mutate and evolve over time etc.
    • Support combination/stacking of pieces (e.g. burn two, mint one)
    • Programmable/interactive layers (e.g. asynch.art)
    • Corresponding physical pieces and burn-to-exchange (e.g. Damien Hirst currency, Tom Sachs rockets etc)
  • Alternative minting mechanics e.g. pre-registrations, setting aside some pieces at a fixed lower price, minted via lottery
  • Support for L2s and/or side-chains, allowing fast drops without gas wars. NFTs can be transferred to Ethereum for listing on Opensea or elsewhere.
  • Much more that will be revealed in time

Artist Curation

A key differentiator of the HyperCube platform is artist curation. There are three types of collections possible on the platform:
  • HyperCube curated collection. Our initial launch will include a collection of artists curated by the HyperCube core team. We may launch additional HyperCube collections in the future.
  • Expert curated collections. We will launch collections and artists that are curated by well known curators, art collectors, critics, and celebrities. This allows a variety of collection styles, and buyers can focus on collections curated by those who share their tastes. Curators will receive a revenue share on sales of artists in their curated collection.
  • Community curated collections. The third type of collection is curated by the community, as voted by holders of the HyperCube governance token (see governance-and-tokenomics). This is an important type of collection in line with HyperCube's philosophy of community ownership.
For comparison ArtBlocks has an incredibly successful curated collection but the curators are not widely known and the curation process is not transparent. From the ArtBlocks wiki:
"While the processes for generating and viewing unique generative content on the Art Blocks platform are decentralized, the organization and operation of the Art Blocks platform itself is not decentralized. Artists/creators are selected to deploy projects at the sole discretion of the Art Blocks team. We reserve the right to curate the content on the platform without explanation."

Community Governance and Tokenomics

HyperCube is a crypto-native, community owned platform. For speed of launch the protocol will initially be under the centralized control of the core team, but we will be following a best-practice progressive decentralization strategy to turn control over to the community.
Importantly, HyperCube will have a governance token and a community treasury. As with other platforms in the NFT space the protocol will earn a percentage of every mint and a percentage of every secondary transaction. These revenues will flow into the community treasury and holders of the governance token will be able to vote on how to allocate them. For example:
  • Payments to developers and contributors of the HyperCube platform
  • Artist grants (as described in Expanding the Marketabove)
  • Staking rewards to governance token holders
Governance tokens will initially be distributed to:
  • The core team and advisors (on a vesting schedule) as payment for the work involved to launch the platform.
  • Artists and curators featured on HyperCube (the intention is that everyone on the platform benefits from each others' success rather than just their own drops)
  • Active community members that help support and grow the platform
  • If we need additional early capital we may consider a private pre-sale with select investors, but it is important to us that tokens are widely distributed and held by the community. We will explore ways for community members to buy-in and purchase additional governance tokens.
For comparison ArtBlocks earns 10% of every mint, and 2.5% of every secondary transaction. A recent curated drop sold out 1,000 pieces in 30 minutes for a total of approximately 6,000 ETH, earning ArtBlocks 600 ETH (USD $1.8M). On ArtBlocks' peak day of secondary trading in August, 21,421 ETH in value was traded earning art blocks 535 ETH (USD $1.6M). ArtBlocks is a traditional US company that does not distribute revenues to the community treasury.

Core Team

Electralina - Artist Relations and Curation
Alina Karo started her career shooting fashion (Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Marie-Claire). She then turned to fine art photography and has exhibited her work in Paris, New York, Miami and Los Angeles. With a passion for the emerging NFT and digital art market, she now brings her expertise and deep network in the fine art community to HyperCube.
ryan.xyz - Strategy
Ryan Junee is an entrepreneur who has started 6 different companies over the last 15 years, worth today more than $400M. He sold one of his companies to Google and worked on the product team at YouTube. He is a managing partner at Electric Ant, a seed stage venture capital firm, and was previously a part-time partner at Y Combinator - the world’s most successful startup accelerator that helped create companies like Coinbase, AirBnB, Stipe, DropBox and many more. He holds a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.
Sergey - GM and Operations
TODO
fmc - Tech Lead
TODO

Advisors

TODO
Last modified 6mo ago