ConsenSys, HENI Group, and Heyday Films have introduced Palm NFT Studio, an innovation lab set up to collaborate with artists, marketplaces, and rights holders to bring projects and platforms into the Palm ecosystem.

Palm is a joint venture between those working in blockchain, with two teams in fine art and filmmaking, brought together by ConsenSys founder and Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin; film producer and owner of Heyday Films, David Heyman; and founder of art-house HENI Group, Joe Hage. The new venture will be led by co-founder and CEO Dan Heyman, currently General Manager of protocols at ConsenSys.

The first artist drop utilising Palm is Damien Hirst’s ‘The Currency Project’. A project five years in the making, ‘The Currency Project’ “challenges the concept of value through money and art,” according to Hirst.

Made up of 10,000 works on paper tied to corresponding NFTs. Hirst continued by saying, “Palm is by far the best platform for me. It’s new and art-focused, it’s the most environmentally friendly, and it is quicker and cheaper to use. With Palm, artists can invent the future.”

“Ever since I made the diamond skull I’ve been thinking about wealth and value. I have been working on a secret art project for the last five years. It’s been blowing my mind,” said Hirst when asked about how he came up with the idea. “It explores and challenges the concept of value through money and art. For the past three years, the project has been expanding into the blockchain and NFTs. I have been working on this project closely with HENI, who have partnered with the leading tech company in the crypto world. It involves 10,000 original works of art on paper, which I call “The Currency”.  I made them all five years ago, and they are in a vault but about to come to life through their launch on the blockchain. They also exist as NFTs and a related cryptocurrency. The whole project is an artwork, and anyone who buys “The Currency” will participate in this work, it’s not just about owning it. It is the most exciting project I have ever worked on by far.”

As well as the first project from Damien Hirst, today Palm is also announcing several launch partners from the crypto space who will be supporting The Currency Project and other future drops on Palm: DeFi trading protocol Uniswap, which will deploy a version of the Uniswap v3 protocol to support trading of art assets within the Palm ecosystem; $MEME, the popular experimental NFT project; Nifty’s, a new NFT-focused social media platform; and Protocol Labs for decentralised storage of NFT metadata on IPFS. The Palm sidechain will be accessible via a custom network on MetaMask, the most popular Ethereum wallet in the NFT space, currently serving over 3million MAUs, with infrastructure operated by Infura, the leading Ethereum and IPFS API service.

In recent months, NFTs have risen in popularity with artists and creators for their transformative role in ownership, commerce, and how creators connect directly with buyers, fans, and collectors. The Palm ecosystem is designed from the ground up to provide artists and creators an optimised experience today, including low gas costs, fast transaction finality, and 99% more energy efficiency. At launch, Palm will exist as an Ethereum sidechain that is fully interoperable with the main Ethereum network. The project intends to transition to Layer 2 solutions while making the transition as seamless as possible so that artists can stay focused on creativity.

“I’m thrilled to partner with Joe, Dan, Joseph and the teams at ConsenSys and Heni on this venture,” says David Heyman. “NFTs have extraordinary implications for how stories can be told, how art can be made and how creative projects can be financed, not to mention the range of new ways fans can engage with them. Creators can now connect directly with their audience, unfettered and independently. Rightsholders can monetise and market their libraries with no intermediaries. Through Palm NFT Studio, we’re eager to partner, build and experiment with artists, platforms and IP owners to demonstrate what this new format makes possible, and help create a fresh, exciting new ecosystem for content creators.”

“For the last three years I have been planning some really amazing NFT projects with Damien Hirst, as well as other artists and art institutions,” added Joe Hage, “but we needed to find the best place to launch these projects. I am proud to partner up with Joseph Lubin, ConsenSys, David and Dan Heyman to create a great new technology stack for these and other creative projects, that takes advantage of all the benefits of the Ethereum blockchain, while minimising fees and environmental impact.”

“We’ve only just begun scratching the surface of what NFTs mean for creators,” says Dan Heyman, CEO of Palm NFT Studio. “It’s incredible to partner with Damien Hirst on ‘The Currency Project’, which really demonstrates what NFTs can do. Our hope is that by developing marquee projects such as this with iconic artists, creatives and catalogues, while onboarding platforms, curators and fans to Palm, we can empower everyone in the business of creativity to bring their most imaginative works to life, access audiences directly, and transform the creative industries in a way that is scalable, equitable and efficient.”

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