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Artonomous Re-Design: Minting Generative Artworks Using A Bonding Curve #45

simondlr opened this issue Apr 17, 2019 · 2 comments


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commented Apr 17, 2019

Hey all.

After chatting to various folks & thinking some more, I want to put forth a re-design and re-imagining of Artonomous that fulfils part of its original goals, makes things simpler, but still maintains its interesting approach: an autonomous artist selling generative art, and using the market to curate & find good generative art. The better job it does at finding/minting new generative work, the more successful it is.

It is made simpler by reducing complexity, removing complex auctions & the reliance on many magic numbers, and thus reduces code required to create a new MVP. There's no auctions & also no generator curation. There's no SOUL anymore. However, the market will still curate the best artworks.

Reasons for the re-design was to reduce complexity but also combine new thinking around auctioning/minting.

Here's how it works:

There's only one generator (a generative art algorithm using input to create an artwork).

All artworks are minted on a bonded curve, with ETH used going into the reserve. This means that anyone can mint a new artwork with a new input they choose for the generator at the current hardcoded price as long as no art pieces are being decommissioned. If an artwork is minted, the next artwork will be more expensive to mint if the supply of artworks is not reduced.

An art owner can choose to decommission ("burn") their artwork in exchange for ETH in the reserve (at that current price point). When it is put up to be decommissioned, it is then put up for auction at the current price (in the curve) for a week. If no one buys it from that owner, then the artwork is decommissioned (burned), and the owner receives ETH back at that current price. This then lowers the price to mint a new artwork (and subsequently the minimum value of all artwork in circulation). As originally stated, a new participant can only mint their new artwork if there's no artworks that are in the queue to be decommissioned.

Thus: if someone wants to buy a new artwork with new generative input, they can do so, but only when they believe its value would basically be more than the current minimum price. Thus: over time, poorer quality artwork would be decommissioned (because no one wants it and those holders get their ETH back), and only the highest quality artwork would remain. This is because those holding the artwork can choose to keep holding it [because they like it], OR decommission their artwork at any time.

At any time, current holders of artonomous works can choose to sell at whatever price they want to.

This is thus substantially simpler:

  • No complicated auctions.
  • Less magic/made-up numbers (like how many artworks to mint over a set period).
  • No need to curate explicitly [market does it].
  • No separate token.
  • The curation space is still incredibly broad. Instead of changing the generator to mint new and interesting artworks, the search space is any inputs. These inputs can be searched & discovered by anyone running the generator themselves. They have to pick which ones they like. If they find one, they can go mint it.
  • It adds a mechanism for managing scarcity by adding an incentive to decommission artworks if no one wants it anymore.

The trade-offs are:

  • No options currently to change or swap the generator. This could be implemented, but it's not necessary atm.

Thanks to Billy Rennekamp & Niran Babalola for sparking some thoughts around this.

PS: Thinking of forking and modifying Massive contribution to this space! :)


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commented Apr 17, 2019

Love this - much simpler and more elegant.

One thing to consider regarding the following...

over time, poorer quality artwork would be decommissioned [...] and only the highest quality artwork would remain.

This objective would be skewed if/as the price of ETH fluctuates. As ETH rises in value, for example, the relative value of an artwork decreases; for the same artwork quality, a higher ETH price will result in a higher likelihood that an artwork will get decommissioned, which will overall lead to fewer quality artworks existing.

On the flip side, as ETH falls in value, lower quality artworks would increase relatively in value, which would lead to more low quality artworks existing.

Using DAI instead of ETH for the reserve currency might better facilitate the goal of finding quality artworks.


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commented Apr 17, 2019

Thanks @slgraham! Yes. Ideal would be DAI.

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