An AMEinfo exclusive
“I’m launching the world’s fastest piece of art; the satellite has already been built.”
“We are on a mission to decentralize the world.”
“We’re going to boost the creative economy and in the next 5 years, the creative output
per capita will increase at 10% per year, and we are indexing it to prove that.”
Nearly 90 minutes spent talking to Saudi artist and entrepreneur Abdullah Qandeel convinced me I was dealing with a person driven by vision and passion to change himself, you, me, and the rest of the world as we know it.
In the process, he wants to decouple our dependence on money, reconnect us to nature and allow us to tap into limitless richness, regardless of our limitations, professions, social class in society, or geographic location.
And he’s doing it using creative energy.
It’s time to explain.
Meet the creator
Abdullah Qandeel is a world-renowned Saudi artist and entrepreneur. Qandeel defies cultural boundaries to create progress in the realms of art, science and decentralized positive impact (DePi). Working primarily with oil and canvas, Qandeel succeeded in creating bold, unapologetic works of art that have been displayed across the globe, drawing record-breaking sales at Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Phillips.
In 2021, recognizing both the potential and shortcomings of the current system of NFTs, Abdullah launched a new ecosystem to empower creators, enabling them to fully tokenize their creative energy.
“Existing NFTs today are a step forward but they’re mostly hype. If I spent $1000 or $1 million buying an NFT, I won’t be able to even print it out on paper, T-shirt or use it in a marketing campaign, because I don’t own the IP.”
He’s right. With a regular NFT purchase, the buyer owns the token but not the intellectual property (IP).
Digital artist Mike Winkelmann, known as Beeple, made history last March when his NFT titled “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” sold for over $69 million in an auction at Christie’s. Winkelmann told CNBC: “I think people don’t understand that when you buy the NFT, you can show you own the token, but you don’t own its copyright.”
Through this new ecosystem, Qandeel is launching a new standard for token-based creation, which he believes will disrupt the current system of NFTs to allow for an inclusive approach for all creators.
This new standard will not only be limited to digital creation as it is today. It will apply to all forms of creations, physical as well as digital, and feature new classes of tokens: Artist Approved Physical and Artist Approved Digital (APAD) Tokens.
For his part, Abdullah is motivated by his belief that today’s financial system does not value our creative energies.
“To discriminate or empower based on levels of education is not a fair way to reap the benefits of who we are and perform our role on this planet. We’re all artists with unique fingerprints. I believed in that fingerprint and took it to new stratospheres, literally, and so can others,” he said.
Abdullah said APAD will put a clear line between money and creative energy with a new kind of token that supports the creator-collector ecosystem. He believes APAD Tokens will redefine the landscape of tokens by marrying, for the first time, physical and digital creations.
“APADs are revolutionary tokens that are already adopted by Chilliswap, a global authority in the world on decentralized token platforms, and will shift the way we live, and work,” added Abdullah.
Every APAD Token will contain both the rights to the physical creation in the real world, and a corresponding right to a digital creation. These aspects are combined in the token and cannot be separated from one another.
AP vs AD Tokens
The AP-T is the artist-approved physical token, which is minted by the artist or creator him/herself and approved by him/her.
But what if you are a musician, or movie maker and don’t produce something tangible/physical?
“We have you covered with AD. These are again minted by the artist himself/herself, and it’s a digital artwork like videos, sounds, and “other” categories because I believe we are soon going to integrate things like sense of smell into our digital experiences. We are just at the beginning,” Abdullah said.
So, what is the difference between APAD Tokens and regular NFTs which are digital non-fungible tokens often selling for millions of dollars on the market?
Well, two major differences are of course the fact that now a physical asset like a car can be turned into an AP-T, and fractional ownership is now also possible with APAD Tokens, as in many investors can be part/fractional owners of one NFT, as you’ll see later.
As for the third, fourth and fifth, Abdullah explains: “As I mentioned in my recent CNN interview, if we mint an AP like a painting, token buyers will actually own the design and the artwork in the token. And you can read what you can use it for, such as posting on Instagram, playing it at events or on the street for the public, or using it for mass marketing campaigns. It’s all covered under the CTUs.”
“APAD Tokens also feature an Enhanced Royalty System, whereby the platform takes a minting fee of only 2% from the creator and another 2% success fee, enabling the creator to retain 98%. On every secondary market transaction, the platform takes a 2% success fee and the creator receives 16% of capital gain realized upon resale. If there are no capital gains achieved, the platform still receives the 2% success fee. So, it’s a win-win for all,” Abdullah further explains.
This information is captured in the Whitepaper titled “The APAD Standard” written by Abdullah Qandeel and his partners, and recently published on REAT.io, home of the asset-specific layer one blockchain that merges real-world assets with digital ones.
Token minting and community validation
Because physical assets can now be minted with AP, anyone can take a photo of the asset, mint it, and claim it’s his or hers.
“How do you make sure the minting is done by the artist himself? We have something called community validation for that,” Abdullah indicated.
In the beginning, validations will be done with people familiar with the standard and community.
“They would perhaps contact the creator who is minting, and ask for a video of the minting process, and a dated newspaper on the day of minting. Validation could also include visually seeing the work being done and comparing it to other works by the same artist. We are designing an algorithm for that process,” Abdullah explained.
Variances in validator quality are inevitable. Validator rating is derived from the community that will naturally allocate higher validator rating and preference to the best, most accurate, and efficient validators. If mistakes start to happen, a validators’ rating goes down while others with zero mistakes will earn higher value validations.”
Validation assignments will be highly coveted because there is serious money behind them.
Validators earn 5% of the 2% success fee that the platform earns. That’s quite the sum as we will see when going through the business model behind APAD and the huge amounts these token sales generate.
“APAD will revolutionize the exchange for art creation between creators and collectors. It will remove middlemen and bring clarity to all forms of art being traded, copyrighted, and distributed to end-users,” added Abdullah.
We asked Abdullah if he has already launched any APAD Tokens.
“Ambition Man”- The first APAD Token
The first-ever APAD bid for an artwork called “Ambition Man” has already been initiated by Abdullah.
“The digital component is a 1 min video, the first-ever video I introduced as an Artist, through which I tapped into a new world of expressions not limited to the 3D realm,” Abdullah announced.
“The physical component is an oil on canvas, 60in x 40in, located in a safe in Zurich. The two components are inseparable in the token sale. The highest bidder will get the artwork delivered to their doorstep.”
The Ambition Man AP-T, considered the world’s first in the time-stamped marriage between a physical and digital artwork on the blockchain, was auctioned by Chilliswap.org, a DEX (Decentralised Exchange) platform and ecosystem for users to trade tokens, yield farm/stake, and the only AP-T and AD-T marketplace worldwide to date.
“The bid for Ambition Man reached 263 ether coins and was sold for 243 ether or $900k at current prices on Chilliswap.org (July 27, 2021).”
The King of Offset (TKOO)
The next APAD Token is The King Of Offset (TKOO). The project is tied to a green initiative that offsets carbon emissions, thus the name.
It’s an AP with an ‘f’ inscription that stands for fraction. This project will be tokenized using 50,000 APf tokens, each priced at $1500, allowing for fractional ownership of the asset. This means that buyers of each APf-T (Artist Approved fractional token) will become 1/50,000th owners of The King of Offset, the IP and CTU, and become entitled to the sale of such tokens as fractional owners.
“The King of Offset was minted in 1.5 hours at the Dubai Opera, a first on many levels. I captured it, and now it’s a marriage between two assets, i.e. the digital image and the physical asset of the car and the artwork on it. The physical and digital asset form the APf pair. They cannot be divorced,” explained Abdullah.
The underlying asset, the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ, which costs $600,000 USD to purchase, along with the painted artwork on it, is currently owned by a trust.
The sale of The King of Offset will commence on Chilliswap.org as well, starting August 15, 2021.
The bet is that the sale will raise the value of the asset and its artwork, and proportionally the value of the purchased APAD Tokens.
But beyond the fact that Abdullah is a world-renowned artist whose works are highly sought after and have generated millions, what other arguments could entice investors to buy this APAD token?
“I have no doubt that the token sale will be a complete success. I have bottlenecked my demand for 15 years, having made myself accessible only to UHNWIs, but now I am making my work accessible to everyone with a low entry point of $1500. I know my following and know they are ready to transact. The quick sale of Ambition Man attests to that,” Abdullah assured.
Abdullah said he might take the car (Lambo) parachuting, bear rescuing, underwater diving or even launch it into space, reminding us of Musk’s Tesla Roadster that served as the dummy payload for the February 2018 Falcon Heavy test flight.
“This might take the price of individual tokens to a million dollars a pop,” Abdullah predicted.
Around 50% of the sale revenues will be donated across 2 organizations: Rainforest Partnership and Mangrove Conservation & Restoration (Pvt) Ltd. The other 50% will be paid back to token holders.
“It’s important to maintain the environment we live in. Mangroves are the most effective method in the fight against climate change, and solve the failure of 3-5 ecosystems,” Abdullah said.
Stay tuned. Much more to come from this disruptive creator and innovator.