It was last September. Sept 13th. A team of Bitcoin lovers gets together at Comptoir Brunet in Lyon, France. It was a big day for me: the first time I met NFT artist CryptoClay.
We Bitcoin lovers get together regularly around my friend @jfavier92300, former General Secretary of Le Cercle du Coin (the Coin club) and organizer of Les déjeuners du Coin (the Coin lunches). This day, I sat down next to Chloé, aka @CEOFEELMINING, and understood in more technical details how to add heat to my room, one GPU at a time. I also had interesting technical, philosophical and monetary discussions with other bitcoiners that may not be pleased to be mentioned here. So I’ll keep their names secret!
Starter. No Lyon Sausage. Hard disappointment. I take a vegetarian tart or something. I discuss about a project I support: Bitcoin savings plan Stackinsat. I like the project, i love @Joss_do_it_BTC. Starter gobbled in less 10 seconds. Better taste than ArtGobblers.
While I order fish as main course instead of the greasy pork option, I ask to replace wine with sparkling water in order to work more efficiently in the afternoon. The waitress assumes I am muslim and accepts to bend her strict menu rules for me. Barakh allah ufik!
There is a compliance officer seated at my table. He is kind. Very kind. And pragmatic. And bright. Gigantic astonishment in my brains. Compliance officers are not ALL narrow-minded. Even when it comes to Bitcoin. All in all, although this shock shakes the foundations of my hardest beliefs, I finish the lunch relatively unhurt. And indeed, that was before FTX!
At the end of the lunch, I need to fly and work in the train back to Paris to make up for ‘lost’ time. I don’t know why I say hello to a very smiling guy while rushing away. Out of politeness, I introduce myself: ‘I am Laurent Benichou, I am married to Bitcoin, Ethereum is my occasional mistress’. The guy answers: “I am @CryptoClay. You may have heard of me”. You bet, I heard of him. One of my favorite NFT artists. My heart beats 310 a minute, almost breaking. Last time it did, it was when I met my wife for the first time, that day I wrote the white paper of my father-in-law Satoshi Nakamoto. I tell him I love The Last rug and clumsily introduce Scratch Tech to him. He says it’s clever.
As I get back, I am puzzled. This compliance officer? So smart! And this NFT artist? So humble and so cool! And his partner @renatefrotscher is also so nice and such a great artist. I select What a wonderful world on Spotify, listen to it 34 times between Lyon and Paris. I catch up with my mails. I look again at CryptoClay’s work. Fabulous.
As I come back home, I buy CLAYPEPETWO on Counterparty, learn how to mint on this Bitcoin ramp for NFTs. While learning, I get some MOULACOIN from @Grittoshi. What a grit boy!
The aftermath: buidling Scratched ClayPunks
A few days later, @CryptoClay is a new contact and we exchange a few texts. As we create a whatsapp channel called Counterparty lovers, the discussion gently diverts to Cryptopunks. I suggest I can inject a punk’s serial number in its hash. In the mean time, CryptoClay thinks about a full tribute to the Cryptopunks. With 3D scans of its art. Renate invents an Matric-like image using words of Scratch Tech’s white paper. All ingredients are here… and already assembling in our minds. One day, it becomes obvious. We will launch the Scratched ClayPunks collection. We share our project with legendary collector @danpolko. He likes our project and supports us. We will start our Cryptopunk derivatives with his punks, starting with the famous Cryptopunk #2560. I also exchange a few messages with my advisor @BnoiitC on the project.
It will be a collection full of WORK. Hand work, loaded with the art of CryptoClay and the majesty of his characters. 3D work, as all punks are 3D-scanned and remodeled in 3D. When ancient art (hand-made clay work) meets new technology (3D modeling). CPU work, with the Proof-of-Work applied to each image of Scratched ClayPunk. A Scratched ClayPunk will not be an umpteenth generative art cash machine! Rather, it’s a collection of NFTs that all need time and energy to be mined before minting. We call that scratching the image, i.e. ajusting it until they get the hash we look for. And in the end, all Scratched CryptoPunks will have a SHA-256 hash that starts with their serial number.
Will you enjoy our work?