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uh welcome ladies and gentlemen once again this  is cni fall 2022 live and direct uh good to see   some folks that I haven't seen in a while good  to see some folks that I've seen uh recently but   only on screen uh I'll be the host and moderator  this afternoon my name is k Matthew Dames I am   the 61st president of the association of research  libraries and the Edward H Arnold dean of hesbrook  
libraries and the University of Notre Dame press I  am flanked by two esteemed illustrious colleagues   to my left is Dr Meredith Evans appointed director  Jimmy Carter presidential library and Museum and   the 74th president of the Society of American  archives from 2018 to 2020. to my right your left  
Michael meth is Dean University library San Jose  State University and he is the author of the book   blockchain in libraries published in 2019 on ala  Tech Source a special shout out to Tony Zanders uh   the fourth member of this partnership he couldn't  join us today but he will join us later on as I  
tell you about some uh something that we're  going to do a little bit after uh on Tuesday   couple of uh announcements and also  then some framing points I'm going   to take presidential uh and moderator  prerogative to announce that I'm hiring uh Notre Dame's doing a a group hire for three  associate University Librarians if you want  
to know more about that please see me and then  we're also uh as I mentioned Tony is convening   uh the lib nft happy hour on uh Tuesday tomorrow  December 13th at uh 4 30 to 6 30 p.m if you want   to join us please see one of us foreign so  now let's get into a little bit of framing  
we're presuming that folks in this room have  a wide range of knowledge with respect to nfts   crypto uh the blockchain generally and it'll  range basically from Advanced to curious and   so we're going to try to make this as widely  applicable as possible quick show of hands  
who in this audience owns an nft  or a coin like Bitcoin or ether okay let's see five six uh another show of hands   um who in this audience has  actually minted their own nft okay got one over here all right um that's good  to know that helps us uh it's helps us sort of  
figure out how we're gonna go with this we have  no slides for this I mean when we say this is a   crypto Cipher this literally is a conversation  about a project that we are all very excited to   be uh part of uh to that end uh Meredith and I  have been working on a white paper uh if you had   signed up for this session using sked uh we will  send that to you if you're interested in the white  
paper uh which we'll finish uh at the conclusion  of this conference then please see again one of   the three of us and we'll get that to you uh the  session is a follow-up to a January 2022 Twitter   spaces event that had all three of us plus Tony  plus some other folks talking about the role of   blockchain and nfts in the academy generally and  specifically with respect to uh libraries and  
when we open it up with with with Michael we'll  sort of um bring that back into the conversation this session is necessarily going to focus on  digital assets rather than cryptocurrency clearly   you all have heard a lot about the cryptocurrency  side of this there is some slight applicability   if you dig down into it but for the most part we  are putting that to the side and we're looking at  
the digital asset portion of uh of this blockchain  problem and ultimately uh what we're doing here is   premiering lib nft to a broader audience  that's a live research project that involves   the three of us and Tony Zanders and we're  focused on answering an empirical question   and that question is can Block Chain technology  generally and can nfts specifically facilitate  
the economically sustainable use storage  long-term preservation accessibility of   a library's special Collections and archives  and so and to that end one of the things that   we talk about a lot because we talk about  this a lot is you know how we actually got   into this particular space I got into it I  guess relatively late only this year I think  
Meredith also got into it relatively late uh  Michael literally has written the book on it   um and he and Tony Zanders were the ones  that were sort of ping-ponging these ideas   around early and so Michael if you  could start us off by sort of giving us   I guess the origin story of how you and Tony  got into the space in the first place sure   thanks Matthew and and uh maybe just one  slight Amendment which is you know at this  
point you're not late you're just entering at  this stage because I think in general when you   look around the landscape we're still fairly  early days uh but just by way of background   um I've been interested in in blockchain  initially via crypto actually from probably   like six or seven years ago and then a few years  ago I realized I would like to know more about it   um and I I started seeing some as I saw some  convergence because between conversations  
happening in the in the blockchain space and what  I think we can do and do in libraries and so I   figured the best way to learn something myself is  to write a book about it so I approached ala and   they said sure go ahead and gave me a contract and  then I ended up writing uh the book which is now   available in Open Access so anybody who wants to  catch up just look up blockchain and libraries you   can you can read it uh and that came out in 2019  towards the end of the year as I continued on that  
thought I started working and talking with several  folks just always exploring like what can we do   about blockchain one of the things is for a lot of  people there's still association with things like   Silk Road or other nefarious entities and then for  others they were seeing the promise so I tried to   find the people who are interested in the promise  of blockchain and I ended up in conversations   with Tony who we've heard a few times now his name  and Tony is also the founder of skill type and so  
we're talking from a training perspective about  how does the training space apply to libraries   uh and in there somewhere the conversation popped  up you know so if libraries should be engaged with   the blockchain does skill type have any content  and in the out of that came a conversation I   realized for both I'll say blockchain enthusiasts  uh whatever that may mean but we we found kinship   and so we started having conversations about  how does that apply to the library space  
and from there we started focusing more  on the distinctive special collections   that Library sold and we can talk a  little bit more about why in a minute   um but that's that's really where we went and  that's when we started engaging uh Matthew and   Meredith for their expertise respectively Matthew  for copyright intellectual property and also legal   perspective and Meredith of course for our deep  knowledge of archives and archival practice and  
special Collections and that's how we arrived  here but the underlying premise that we got to   is if libraries already working on digital asset  management and the blockchain is a way to manage   digital assets is there not a connection and if  there is how do we take what's in our collections   that are items that are unique they're  distinctive they have a lot of interest not  
commercial interest actually scholarly interest  primarily but also in Enthusiast interest and how   do we take these unique distinctive collections  that we have committed to housing and preserving   forever and how is there a way that we could maybe  build around that models that allow us at the very   least engagement uh with a community and again  there were some who raised their hands on the   nft space so we can I'm happy to answer some  questions if you want to go down that pathway  
um and maybe in the best case scenario is  there a way that we can use these collections   in a way that is driven by us from within  the library to create policies rules   Etc that allow us to turn these unique collections  that are already digitized in many cases or can   be into the nfts that we're talking about and then  find a way to maybe even monetize them to actually   fund future either the special collection most  places that I know that I've worked at certainly  
can use additional funds or maybe find other  ways to to monetize that as well so that's a   lot of the underlying premise and that brings us  to today where we are chatting with all of you   thanks so so Meredith um maybe we're not uh late  but we are certainly this is the newer half of the   room Mike has experienced um so you and I talked  about this um late 2019 and then we were both  
on the Twitter spaces uh event I remember very  specifically and because I was thinking about this   strictly from the um Finance standpoint and not  the blockchain standpoint I I literally said this   territory just looks like the latest and greatest  Financial finesse and uh but I'm intrigued enough   about the possibilities to sort of dig a little  deeper into the technology and its applicability  
in in this space now you've spent your entire  career um in archives special collections what was   what intrigued you about this from a collection  standpoint an intellectual standpoint or otherwise   thanks Matthew um so first let me say these  are my ideas I'm a federal employee so this   is not representative of the federal government  anything I say um so just make sure my disclaimer  
is on record um what's intriguing about this  project to me specifically coming from a Glam   perspective galleries libraries archives and  museum is we are often challenged by financing   preservation and maintaining the items in which  we store and collect and continue to receive and   so this is just a great opportunity I feel  to maintain our repositories in ways that we  
hadn't thought about I also know that um you know  libraries and archives sometimes we think we're   at The Cutting Edge but we don't put our whole  body in we put our toe in the water and this   is a real opportunity for us to consult and work  with others to bring them on board before we miss   um miss it we talked a lot about you know Web  2.0 and we're already now in web 3.0 and we've  
missed a lot in that transition we don't want  to miss this this is an opportunity for us to do   digital surrogates and so that we still maintain  ownership of our items but also engage a larger   Community whether it's alumni or even broader  globally to bring attention to our repositories   and support whatever that support means to  you whether that's a number of likes whether   that's visitors or whether that's Financial we  have an opportunity to take advantage of the  
new systems that are out there for us so to me  that was the excitement of it all and who better   I will toot our horns than archivists I mean we  that's what we do for a living right we look at   things we see the intrinsic value we we see the  monetary value we see the cultural heritage value   of these items we are really good at knowing  what is not just popular but what needs to be   preserved for longevity right so that hundreds  of years from now somebody else can see it and  
know it and learn something new that's what  our expertise is so why not combine the nft   um the new process right with our work so that we  are remaining relevant and sustained in new ways thank you uh so Michael could you could you  sort of give us um sort of the frame this   conversation could you sort of give us  a um nice crisp sort of definition of uh  
what blockchain technology is things that are  associated with it like non-fungible tokens again   which we're framing as digital assets and sort of  help us distinguish this particular application   and use from you know what we're hearing about  with FTX and all the the currency stuff because  
I think that's really important to separate those  out and your definitions can help us do that   all right I'm going to try to unpack that because  that was a lot of different stuff okay all right   so let's let's start just the general uh let's  start with the general definition of what a   blockchain is sure so a blockchain there are many  definitions floating around the one that I use is   and I'm going to read this because I always forget  to get all the words right but blockchain is a  
logical concept that sequentially links verified  transaction data together in an immutable record   that lives in a distributed decentralized Network  and what that means is you have basically the idea   of computer Pro computer readable program  so that's the logical piece in there the   sequential is the immutable record that we have  that uh everything is lined up so you can see  
the provenance of items you can see how everything  is established and depending on how the blockchain   is set up is also auditable and that's where the  verify transaction comes in so there's no question   about who owns it who doesn't own it and the other  part that's really important certainly in the way   blockchain is set up also is that it lives in a  distributed decentralized Network meaning that  
we're going away from the one computer from the  server network but we're really going through if   you imagine sort of like a giant Google doc that  gets life updated all over the place all the time   so that would be the first part of the blockchain let me see our next question and we'll see where  we go from there all right so the next question   is could you distinguish uh the blockchain  from what we know as crypto or cryptocurrency   so and and I should make a couple before I  answer it I'm just going to say something else  
so when we talk about blockchain blockchain is a  concept but there are many blockchains that exist   so the most popular blockchain that people know  about in the most well known is Bitcoin Bitcoin   is a single person purpose blockchain that was  developed entirely for the benefit of the Bitcoin   protocol and when we think about blockchains  really it helps if you think of it almost like   an operating system an on that operating system  you can install different applications and so  
the next largest protocol is the ethereum  protocol ethereum was born as a result to   um of actually how single purpose Bitcoin is  and so ethereum was actually developed as a   platform develop other Bitcoin not sorry  blockchain applications on top of that   um you mentioned you mentioned FTX so it's really  important that if you have that distinction to  
understand that blockchain does not equal crypto  crypto is an application on the blockchain   now FTX in particular is a particular devious scam  I don't know how much you all care about financial   research but if you want to we can get into it  but basically from what it looks like and what   has been shared so far is that Sam bankmanfreet  who's the founder of that company came up with a   way to Arbitrage cryptocurrency prices between  the U.S markets and Asian markets he used that  
lag to make a lot of money he realized there's an  opportunity out of that he built another business   the original business was called Alameda then  he came up with the secondary which was called   FTX and then he came up with a very um devious  plan to basically leverage the money he had at   a ratio that is unfathomable because he basically  got usually like when you borrow and again I don't   want to go to die but you borrow at a fraction  of what the underlying asset is in this case the  
crypto in this case he actually went one-to-one  used that to make it look as if he had a lot of   funding and use that to leave her up even more  so thereby basically multiplying uh what what he   was doing and so he came up with a Ponzi scheme in  essence that broke apart once people start pulling   at the threads but but at the core of this you do  have a blockchain and you have the applications   including some sort of cryptocurrency on top of  the blockchain that's the fundamental at the core  
it was a Financial finance as you called it a  financial scheme that defrauded people but the   problem was not the blockchain the problem was  that a nefarious actor found a way to leverage   a technology like we've seen so many other cases  but the blockchain itself uh one of the things   that amazes me is so the first protocol was  developed by Satoshi Nakamoto which is uh is  
a person of Unknown Origin it's just a nine page  white paper that was published that established   what a blockchain is and then established Bitcoin  as a digital payment infrastructure it's open   access to I encourage you to look it up it's uh in  Parts very easy to read in Parts too mathematical   for somebody like me but it all worked out what's  amazing to me is that since the publication in   2009 and everything else that has happened  since the blockchain has never been hacked  
so the blockchain itself has been proven to be  resilient against any kinds of attacks Whenever   there is some kind of fraud committed is actually  usually it's been human error and that to me is   pretty remarkable that with all the advances in  technology that construct that he developed still   held up and holds up today but that's partly why  we're in this conversation right I mean we scared   you we know but the reality is if you have an nft  or you have something that's verifiable right and  
you get this really unique distinct number that  nobody can take away from you that identifies this   object whatever it whatever it is whether it's a  photograph or a painting or illuminated manuscript   whatever we've digitized that surrogate and you  get into that and you buy that nft then you own a   piece of that right and it's identifiable to just  you so there's a security in that um or I wouldn't  
be at the table if I thought oh there'd be some  crazy scheme I'd be like oh no but there's ways to   do this safely and authentically that and legally  right that will protect your assets but also   um give you some a broader audience people that  don't know your collection which is very typical   in archives right where digitizer we're digitized  we're digitizing and people still don't know our  
collections they still don't know what we have  this is an opportunity to expand that to millions   of other people around the globe just to start so  so Mary let me I'm gonna come right back let me go   to you uh Michael and could you explain uh what an  nft is and then I want to come back to Meredith to   talk about provenance because she it sounded like  she was about to get into provenance yeah which is  
but exactly I mean that's the important  thing that we're going to talk about now   an nft just for quick definition the letters  stand for non-fungible token right so meaning   you have a unique item one of one that  cannot be duplicated for something else   now when you look at nfts themselves there are  many analogies that have been made and when you   start going into the areas where nfts are being  created so you know you can look at different  
marketplaces like Open Seas or whatever you  see there's actually many different types of   nfts that get developed but just to to maybe make  that distinction nfts are an application on the   blockchain similar to how we talked about crypto  so just to to help you out with that as well   now what happens is when you are when you hear  about nfts and you hear people either purchasing   ridiculous amounts of them or money I'm sure  everybody here at some point another heard about  
the board ABR club or something like that that  is the application that you're buying and you're   buying a digital surrogate of something in those  cases these were specifically designed to be sold   as nfts and what people are buying is actually  less the image that they're buying which I know   a lot of people are saying like oh that's just  you know Photoshop or something like Image Maker  
from who knows when that kind of stuff but what  you what people were buying when they were buying   those nfts and at the peak they were selling for  a half a million dollars plus they were buying   access to a network they were buying access  into it's like their entry pass into something   and so that was an extreme example of a company  that figured out how to really leverage that   for marketing and then also generate the value for  that there are other type of nfts that I think are  
maybe a little bit more akin to what we're looking  uh to do and talk to you about which is um and   some of you might let's see how many Justin Bieber  fans we have in this room but uh Justin Bieber   created an nft and so there was an nft project  they sold about 10 000 of those the purpose of   that nft was to create engagement with the fan  base and the way it worked is that because if you  
own that nft and there's something about public  and private Keys which we can talk about as well   um I sorry there's like a lot of tangents in  this and it's hard to force it into one track   but what it allowed uh the holders of the nfts  is to receive presents or gifts or perks that   Justin Bieber or whoever's managing I'm sure it's  not himself to them so for example if you were to   go to a concert and you buy your regular ticket  and you show that you have this nft you would  
have access to a special area that's closer to  the stage you might be invited to a album drop   or a song drop those kind of things and so when  we're talking about that that's kind of where we   see a lot of the application it is this level of  Engagement that you can create now to also make   this part clear if you bought an nft of Justin  Bieber you're not buying Justin Bieber what you're   doing is you're buying a digital surrogate and  this is why nfts are so intriguing for us too as  
we're talking about as a solution for our some of  our problems that we have for challenges is that   if you are buying an nft you're buying that nft  you're not buying what is behind that nft so if I   uh say this was the most special iPhone in your  special collection you've ever seen if I admit   turn this into nft you would not be buying this  iPhone you'd be buying an image of it so as the  
owner of this iPhone I still maintain this so  whatever I have in my special collection still   stays with me I'm not selling commercial rights  unless I specify that I'm not selling any other   rights to this other than an image and so that  then you might ask well why would I want to buy   that and to that I say it's kind of like this  Affinity marketing that we do how many people   have bought pictures of the Mona Lisa have bought  the print have bought the mug have bought the  
T-shirt or Da Vinci's first touch or anything  like that this is kind of the same idea there's   an opportunity to engage with a community and  allow them access to something that otherwise they   might never have any kind of ownership with any  kind of feeling or are not able to connect with   thank you for that so I want to um with that  basic Foundation I want to engage uh Meredith  
in um sort of a conversation about uh provenance  and then sort of tie this back into um the the   technology so uh and I'm gonna try not to chuckle  here when I talk to Meredith because Meredith not   only Meredith and I not only are friends but we  have worked together on projects so some of the  
stuff that she's going to say is going to evoke  memories of projects that we've been involved in foreign let's just say there were  issues and we recognize the issues   one of the one of the major issues when we talk  about archives and distinctive collections is the   the issue of prone provenance right a provenance  of the actual item but then there's a whole set of  
documentation often legal documentation  that is supposed to attest to the provenance   and let's just say things can get a little sticky  so provenance is basically the origin of the item   right you you track the ownership and that and  then multiple hands at this item goes to to get   to your repository that's in layman's term  what it is when you have that there's Adida  
gift right there's always some legal document at  your Institution and I think we learned from the   web becoming the web and digitization that a lot  of those old agreements don't work right but we   also don't have any way to change them necessarily  because we can't find the people who signed them   so we have a lot of stuff fantastic stuff in our  repositories that we're not sure what we can and  
cannot do so actually can I just so there actually  is a way because because one of our right but one   of the ways actually is to go into court and  petition a court to actually change the uh the   intent or the language or the interpretation of  the actual deed of gift which can happen not ideal  
or you can do due diligence and send some  certified mail three times and make decisions   there's multiple ways to change that although  you have to deal with your general counsel so   hopefully you've made good friends um but with  that we digitize things and we put things on   the web and then we realize we can't put them  on the web because somebody's granddaughter or   great-granddaughter says you can't do that so  you take it down if you make a surrogate right  
and then you do an nft it's a different type of  ownership you're owning this item in a separate   way so kind of kind of avoids provenance in some  respects the challenge is that but I think most   importantly to me this project helps us rethink  how we do our donor gifts and donor Deeds because   we are collecting digital objects now right  and so when you look at that you got to see  
the authenticity of that and when you do an nft  there's this verification there's other ways to   stabilize that part of your collection that's  meaningful and it'll be useful to you in the   end but I really I really like this project also  because of what Mike was saying about the audience   it really is true people get a print of the Mona  Lisa all the time or they you know I used to get  
questions all the time about an object we had and  people wanted to take a picture and make a T-shirt   and be like no you can't do that but under this  you can't have some ownership of it and you can   be in a community that enjoys those same things  with a lot less ease and less stress so um yeah   and that's just that one thing just very quickly  to add to that from the library perspective also  
of you know many of you are enrolled positions  that fundraising is probably some some portion   of it uh one of the most common things that we  lament to libraries typically is that we run up   against our advancement offices we don't have the  graduates from the library right so the colleges   have claimed them all we get to pick whoever has  given to us right and then we get to work those  
a little bit more doing something like this  allows us if we structure it the right way to   actually engage community that hasn't graduated  from the library but is could be Affinity based   on University or your institution wherever you are  in the Glam sector but alternatively also what it   does is so I'm wearing for example today a vest  that has has Keith herring in designs in it if I  
had the Keith Herring archive I can now engage  a community globally that is the Keith Herring   Enthusiast community so actually it allows me as a  as an organization to expand my Outreach based on   some interest Affinity that extends far beyond  the alumni base that the institution has and   that's the other opportunity that is tremendous  if you think about that and then around that   there's even more ideas that can evolve once  you really start playing out the scenarios  
so let's sort of stay with the this the whole  Community thing because one of the things that   one of the things that the three of us have  talked about is um the community aspects of   this including uh sort of the importance of  investigating this possibility in a way that is uh  
prioritizing uh the values and the ways of working  within libraries archives museums and galleries so   Meredith could you could you talk about this um  not only in sort of within this respect of um   this blockchain technology but generally because  one of the things that occurs to me is that we  
have these different approaches to doing this  and yet what we have talked about is doing this   project or at least investigating this project in  a way that would be consistent with the the Glam   sector sorts of value so could you talk a little  bit about uh that aspect of it and why you think   that's important yeah I think we have a lot of  things in our collection that are undiscoverable  
right and so you know we have the one person that  knows we have it and they come in to look at it   or they want a copy of it or they want to touch  it or whatever their challenge is this gives us   a different type of community this gives us  a community of basically a fan base you use   Justin Bieber as a as a as an example but there's  you know there's an illuminated manuscript in   somebody's collection that nobody knows anything  about that can create that kind of fervor and  
camaraderie around it something that we've never  publicized we never hyped it up what we store it   we keep we preserve it we take care of it and no  one's ever seen it so we can have a finding Aid we   can do it on we can send something on Twitter it  still doesn't mean that people really know that it   exists right we still are in that very collection  based mentality of if we can find that one faculty  
member that will teach this or use this in their  class once a year they'll know about it this   gives us an opportunity to showcase something to a  much broader audience and create some camaraderie   around it and a fan base around it that puts us  on a map in a different way the perk is we could   benefit financially from this activity but the  other issue is that people just know who we exist  
and having argued for distinctive collections  my entire career what's the number one thing a   Provost or a Dean always asks you well how many  visitors have you had right and now we're like   how many clicks have you had how many likes have  you had as if that changes the value of the item   in your collection that's worth half a million  dollars this is an opportunity to use what you've  
gotten appraised that you own and care for and  make it much more marketable and much more seen   so so to that end and I'll sort of put this  out there to both of you because both of you   have you know are literally today running  uh these types of Institutions if you are   um if you are in a position uh where you have  to uh sort of you know bring this to a Provost  
or to a a lead a government leader how what's  how do you um how do you present the how do you   present the opportunity how do you talk about you  know lib nft how do you talk about the blockchain   how do you talk about this in a way where they  can sort of see the the possibility and what do   you emphasize when you talk to them about this  well um I'll tell you I I have uh I guess I'm  
I'm very lucky in a sense that I'm somewhat in a  privileged position I've worked in Silicon Valley   so people generally know about the blockchain  already quite a bit but it's really trying to   and even with that I will say though there's still  resistance in some quarters um but for us it's   fairly straightforward I mean the way I explained  it over here it's basically it's an opportunity to   find a way to turn the library and our special  collections from what is purely a cost center  
and find something that we have committed to into  perpetuity and find a way to support the campus by   turning some of that collection into nfts that can  be used for alumni engagement for donor engagement   for Community engagement and possibly turn it into  some kind of a Revenue income Source possibly that   gets everybody to perk up then you get into  the next level conversations which is where  
of course it gets complicated and depends on how  sophisticated your organization is whether so if   you've done all of that how do you manage it and  of course if you do get to the money conversation   then it's uh so can we get the crypto or how  are we going to flow the funds through from one   direction to the next which we're still working  out quite frankly so that stuff gets really   complicated but I I found that the conversations  I've had generally there's fairly low resistance  
and a lot of curiosity especially in the senior  administrative ranks um there they get the idea   Meredith just generally from the same  question to you uh and you can take any   of your varied experiences I mean I would I  would say the same thing I just think it's   um a little more Oddities in it right um you  know at one of my previous jobs we had a group  
very enthusiastic about miniature books  and some that were very very high in value   people would come from all over the country  to do just to see these miniature books and   I think if we had nfts we could do that in a way  that's fundable we could do symposiums we could   bring in this very enthusiastic group all over  the world for miniature books something that  
I've had to justify my entire career specifically  to Provost who are like why do people want this   um so I think there's a you know a simpler example  we were talking earlier about were athletic photo   you know photos athletic departments Maryland  athletic department maintains their own archive   LSU's athletic department maintains a lot of  those archives but now they're have they have  
photographs and when you have a famous athlete you  you can have now nfts where you're not giving them   the original but you're buying a piece of support  or a fan base um that's going to benefit that   department and ultimately a special collections so  I think there's really interesting ways to utilize   this without having to do an expensive event and  trying to digitize and you know a huge map just  
trying to get these things to people when there's  already a base for it and I think it also brings   attention to things that only a few Scholars  really know and understand and utilize so for   me it's a marketing piece the fundraising or the  whatever money that's generated Revenue generates   is sort of a bonus but to archives and special  collections that have to justify their existence  
based on the number of people that have seen an  item or come through the building or touched their   website this is a new way to bring in a much  broader audience to kind of keep those numbers   up in a in a way that'll blow people's mind and  maybe get you a staff person what I'm surprised   to give a concrete example I'm just looking at the  date last summer and summer 21 that is Berkeley  
created an nft of a Nobel prize winning formula  by Jim Allison and they were able to sell that   for fifty thousand dollars as a singular item  so you know that's the kind of I don't want to   promise anybody that's what's you should expect  but it shows what's possible of a singular nft   all right so uh before we go to to  questions let me sort of bring it back into  
um the actual project so um we're involved with  this lib nft project with with Tony and again   um we we're approaching this as a as a research  project right and so when we say a research   project we have empirical questions that we think  are interesting to pursue that we believe might  
actually have some uh positive benefit economic  or not to this community but we also believe that   if we find that there is no economic return or  if we find that somehow the technology is not   apt for what we're trying to do the findings  finding that out also has some value right so  
that's sort of the nature of a research project  you may find okay you know we've got the next   you know sort of academic or Glam sector Sotheby's  or we may find that we're all buckets however   finding out that where bobkus is actually a good  thing because now people don't have to waste   time we've answered the question we've answered  the question and so with that again let me sort  
of repeat the question and when we send out this  this white paper the question will be in it again   um lib nft is an applied research project that  asks and seeks to answer a fundamental empirical   question can block tank blockchain technology  and nft specifically facilitate the economically   sustainable use storage long-term preservation and  accessibility of a library's special Collections  
and archives and so that's what we are looking  to put together is anybody from UCSB here   Hi how are you okay so we we have partnered  with uh UC Santa Barbara uh as a as a partner   to help us start beginning to ferret  out these the answers to these questions  
um great we've not met but great to meet you in  person uh oh we did mate okay all right sorry take   that back good to see you um one of the things  that is uh that I'm also interested in and this   sort of goes we we talked about this is uh there's  so much in terms of um generally applicable work  
that we already know about that applies to this so  for example uh Meredith talked about Deeds of gift   right and the general inapplicable inapplicability  of Deeds of gift to sort of a digital environment   generally and that's just the web we're not even  talking about sort of the blockchain so how do we   navigate that so this is sort of the some of the  questions that we're working on with with UCSB  
um another question um that comes to me  um pretty often is sort of what are the   copyright implications or are there copyright  implications involved quick answer is yes   um another piece of the puzzle is uh in terms  of security you know sort of the security of   the actual how secure is the actual blockchain  and so we're looking essentially for a handful  
a handful more Partners to sort of engage in this  journey with us to answer these questions to again   see whether or not where does this actually  come out and the reason this is important   um to all of us and then we'll go to questions   is um I'll tell a story based upon my time in DC  so I was living in Washington DC basically at the  
um when things were really getting hot and heavy  uh with the web and search so the early days of   Google Google used to have this bright yellow  blade server blade that you would put in and it   would sort of run the searches off of This  Server blade and at the time this is early this is early Arts 0102 they were  hiring every librarian they could find  
to go through and work on metadata and  work on indexing for their search engine   engine and I know because I was a sub  subcontractor on some of these projects a lot of those Librarians and a lot  of people who were working on those   projects are not working on those projects anymore um for a variety of reasons but one of the  things that I noticed in that sort of transfer  
in that sort of what we would call Web 2.0 is  we put a lot of we this community you all some   of you may have been working on these projects  put a lot of time effort energy and expertise   into helping build that community and that service  so that it could be the best that it could be   and now we're in a position where we're kind  of paying through the nose for a lot of these  
same Services whether it be through cash I'm you  know I'm a campus that uses the Google suite for   email and all these other things or uh with your  own personal data and so one of the things that   we're concerned about and part of the reason  we're going through this project is to say   we don't know exactly where this is going  but if history repeats itself at all  
we need to not only be in the room  when these things happen but we need   to shape not only the conversation but  how any Market actually manifests itself   and so our skin in the game collectively is  let's find out what this is about and let's   share the findings uh with this community so with  that we will now be glad to answer your questions
hi Matthew [Music] um that from the sound of  it it sounds like Joe Lucia from Temple it is   um you are right in the spotlight I'm gonna knit  profound skepticism about this idea and the reason   is nfts are speculative assets right and and  so let's say you sell an nft for a book in your  
special Collections and you sell it on Exchange  for a hundred dollars or the person buying that is   buying it as a speculative object to accrue value  so they can resell it right and the nft market   has collapsed 97 since January 1 of this year  right it's paralleled the collapse in crypto so   I'm really nervous about the idea that  we would be selling what amounts to  
speculative assets into crypto space for  our cultural heritage collections doesn't   make a lot of sense to me and the challenge  is that when you look at the crypto world   in general and including the nft world there  aren't a whole lot of good actors there   period period so there's a real issue  here around if I could sell some tokens  
that might get me some money for a short term  but the long-term viability of the nft as a   essentially bearer of value has already been  fairly profoundly questioned by the market   just this year so I I just I this makes me very  nervous on behalf of our community because it's   entering into a speculative game really and  you're not unless you're going to hold the  
nfts and be the speculators which it doesn't  sound like that's the plan the plan is to put   the things out on a market right and exchange of  some kind which is you know what's been collapsing   around the world FTX binance there's a whole  bunch of them that have collapsed in the last   month right so there's a lot of weird stuff going  on in this world right now it's very troubling  
so I just I I mean so the the experiment is  can you can you mint nfts and sell them and   then get them out into you know like what's in  terms of the actual sale of nfts for our objects   what to see if there's a market for them to  determine if we can make money off of them I'm   just curious what the experiment is okay so do you  want to you want to start or you want me to start  
go ahead as you can see we're both like I  appreciate the comment Joe and I I would   say I want to call it a provocation and in the  sense that it's a thoughtful provocation in that   if we consider nfts a speculative assets you're  right but I don't think that's the framing that   we're coming at with this conversation and  that's the reason why we kind of joke I keep  
on saying we're like the Three Musketeers where  you know maybe blockchain and Innovation we got   copyright and then we have archives and then  we've also partnered up with somebody who's   actually coming from the commercial side but what  we're trying to do is firstly bring our library   our Glam sector our information sector values  to it so I think that is first of all a big   distinction between some of these projects that  you see going down and failing and that has been  
really not been a big secret I would say I mean  if you look at the to start an Ico which was an   initial coin offering like I could set something  up in five clicks and it could have been Mike's   whatever coin and if I found a market for it  that's great but that's not what we're going   for here what we're going for here is uh as we  mentioned it's it's about preservation it's about  
engagement it's about creating community and if  as a byproduct of that we find a way to also find   commercial value for that commercial value is in  the eye of the purchaser so if somebody thinks   it's worth something it's worth something to them  that's not really our main objective here um so   but I I get your point the other thing that I  would say is when you look at the majority of nft  
projects that are either failing or have dropped  and you're right there is a correlation between   the value of crypto that asset uh the class  going down as well of course then nfts go down   is this is a very different thing if you're  buying a digital surrogate of something or   digital creation an nft or something that has  a community doesn't exist and has to be built   that's very different than actually working with  an nft of a community that already exists and has  
in some cases hundreds of years of background  and history so we're actually taking that which   is sort of like a lot of what's created in  the wild wild west and what we're seeing is   in some cases succeeding in more cases most  obviously failing and saying how do we take   those lessons leverage the underlying technology  of the blockchain and shift it to a space that we   want to and can operate in so um to that end I  would say the the speculative asset is a legit  
challenge for those who are positioning it as a  speculative asset that is not the purpose here   yeah I feel like um for you know my perspective  is how do we get the world to see us   and this is one of those ways um if we benefit  financially from it at some point so be it but   the reality is my small community on my campus  only you know and what maybe five percent of  
those people on that campus know we even exist  here's an opportunity to have a global community   recognize us for Whatever item that we've  put forth and to me that's a win we spend a   lot of time scanning documents manuscripts taking  photographs doing you know quaint exhibits doing   programming you know we spend a lot of time a  lot of time you know and we see five people right  
um and so if you balance the amount of Labor that  we are doing to make our things discoverable and   it's still not discoverable or acknowledged that  it's discoverable you know this is an opportunity   to hit a whole nother Community that's vibrant  that'll say hey I know that place and this is   why and I'm okay with that yeah I alluded  to this um sort of in the in the opening  
um again in the you know the in  our Twitter spaces I I said this   all looked like the latest and greatest  latest and greatest Financial finesse   um I think that there is some truth to that in  one aspect of this space right but the one of   the first things that we said was we wanted  to focus this conversation on digital assets  
and everybody in this room is familiar with  has control over is interested in has the duty   to preserve conserve distribute make accessible  digital assets we wanted to have that conversation   which in the white paper we call sort of the group  two conversation and to distance ourselves or not  
get into the financial the financialization aspect  of it right and what I would argue and actually we   do argue this in the white paper is that because  things have Tanked on the financial side that   actually now we got all the you know all the Matt  Damon Larry David all that stuff we can put that  
to the side right all the fomo have you know  have fun staying for we can put all of that to   the side and we can say okay what do we really  have in terms of the technology that may may   Advance what we're doing in the Glam sector right  so put put all the finance put Sam bankman free   put FTX binance put all that stuff to the  side everything that you see in Wall Street  
Journal Bloomberg put that to the side and  let's talk about this and this is what the   project is about let's talk about this from a  blockchain and digital asset perspective what   does this mean to us as a community and for the  future of distinctive Collections and archives that's actually on you're on now perfect um  sorry I wrote my question down so blockchain  
technology can have a pretty outsized  carbon footprint and I'm wondering how   you reconcile the vast amount of computational  power necessary to accomplish this work and its   negative impact on the environment and whether  or not this is something you all are considering   Mike you want to take that sure um so  the end so the straightforward answer is   the blockchain itself because it is computational  requires a lot of energy so no denying that I  
think most recently I saw some stat that estimated  that blockchain if it was a nation would consume   something like the 20s would be number 27 in terms  of power consumption so without a doubt however   I don't want to while not wanting to minimize that  what I would suggest is that there's a bunch of   other factors to consider which is number one  Innovation takes energy and we are working in a   space that is very computationally intensive I  have not seen anybody produce the same kind of  
data for how much big data calculations cost how  much the storage of special collections or other   things cost um and we're not having those kind of  same conversations necessarily when we're talking   about other also uh tools that we're using in our  environment that are using a carbon footprint so   most of us either flew or drove over here that  kind of stuff so in some ways and again this is  
not to belittle the environmental impact I would  say there is a there's a cost to doing business   in quotation marks if you want the other thing  that's happening is that their Innovations in   blockchain that you're seeing right now that are  also really like Shifting the consumption itself   there are two points or two things that I want  to I particularly want to point to which is one   there's Innovation happening where um there's  thermal energy capture that is so where you have  
oil fields for example usually have a lot  of burnoff so a lot of the miners that are   used for blockchain transactions are now being  collocated to those kind of locations or using   hydropower other sources of energy as well so not  all the consumption of energy and the creation is   necessarily bad energy if you will in that sense  and energy also if you know about the transfer   of energy there's loss so by locating them closer  you're actually capturing some of those that loss  
and turning into efficiency um the other thing  that happens is and you know Cliff made a comment   this morning about how Innovation and thinking  can lead to improvements in energy consumption   is that as I mentioned not all blockchains are the  same so the Bitcoin blockchain is one that's going   to stay the way it is it's built on a concept  called proof of work it takes a good size amount   of computational power to basically transact on  that blockchain however on the ethereum blockchain  
which I mentioned earlier there was a change and  the changes that they went from proof of work to   something called proof of stake and we can get  details of that if you would like but the short   version of that is by making a change in how the  blockchain gets verified the energy consumption   was dropped by at least 99 percent so what we now  know in what I consider the really early days of   still blockchain is something that we're going to  be seeing changes in one one further comment which  
is the blockchain itself as I mentioned there's  not only a singular blockchain and what we are   typically talking about when we're talking about  energy consumption we're talking about what's   called the public blockchain the public blockchain  is one where the entire data set of transactions   is accessible so if anybody here want to become  a Bitcoin miner you can go download the entire   data set of all Bitcoin transactions at least  the public the available portions of course and  
you can start running a node right now and you can  start mining however there's something also called   a private blockchain or hybrid blockchains  and those ones allow you to completely set   the requirements for how you verify transactions  differently and in doing so you can also massively   massively decrease the energy consumption so  I would say like there's a conversation to be   had to make sure we're in the right spaces but  the reality is yes there is power consumption
I don't we want to be at the table like  energy is important I get that but for   us not to participate at all to me um I'm  challenged by that because we don't want   to be we don't want to miss it we just need to  be at the table so that as these things evolve   we can contribute to that and we can contribute  our ideas and make it better along the way but   to not participate we can't we can't make  the improvements that are that are needed  
all right um if your institution  oh we got oh yeah one more because   it looks like that sounds like it's Lavon  okay I'm Melissa salon at the University   of Michigan library and uh Matthew and  I have been arguing for like a decade   um so there's tons of things my only sort of  comment slash question is the Assumption of   your motivation is looking at this in terms of  like um elevating visibility of our Collections  
and what we can do with them and those kinds  of things we've been digitizing collections   for the last 30 years and if that ain't working  I think we also need to look at that underlying   question of if we're digitizing and they're not  coming to the party are we doing the right thing   because digitizing like wasn't a core activity of  museums libraries archives 30 something years ago  
not that long ago it in the 90s we were looking  at things like the museum education what was it   Museum education site licensing program which is  actually kind of an interesting jumping off point   for like looking back at like what's new and  how do we get on be participate appropriately   I I just there's this is you know I'm like  listening to this and thinking okay there's no bad  
blockchain there's only like bad blockchain users  or something but I there's like this underlying   question that's what I found myself thinking but  uh there is this underlying question about like   not just the things that you're talking about  but are we putting our resources into the right   things in the first place yeah so I think that's  actually a great place to end because it really  
is it sort of to me what it what Melissa's sort  of question statement sort of brings to me is   all right again we came here to say we have this  empirical question we have additional empirical   questions let's figure out the answers to these  empirical questions and we can do it without   necessarily relying on the financialization aspect  of this so if you are interested uh in having your  
institution be involved in lib nft project you  can see one of us or you can go to libnft.com   Meredith Evans Michael meth K Matthew  James thank you very much thank you
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