A few days ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Mike Cabaniss, founder of ArtByte. It is a digital currency that has the mission to help artists of all kinds: musicians, singers, writers, photographers, painters, designers, graphic artists and … virtual artists (artists working in virtual worlds, such as Second Life®). The financial aid which ArtByte gives artists comes from the eponymous foundation that is committed to supporting the art.

ArtByte supports Second Life® Artists

Mike contacted me to ask what ArtByte can do to support the art even in SL®, thus was born in me the desire to better understand the logic of virtual currency in general and in particular of ArtByte.
As for the digital currency, it is a new way to make electronic payments to anyone in the world. The first coin of this kind was Bitcoin. After Bitcoin, other digital currencies are born, including Dogecoin to support Internet posts, Auroracoin for Iceland country and Mazacoin for Lakota Indian tribe.

Speaking of ArtByte, the purpose of this digital money is to support artists.

Art lovers will have, therefore, one more chance to show their appreciation to a particular artist, paying him/her directly in “artbytes.” The donator can pay an artist via a Twitter account in a completely anonymous manner. To better understand the usefulness of this mechanism will give an example: if we want to receive a donation in SL® we have two alternatives: either we put in-world a box with an internal script to obtain a money-gift, or ask to be paid via PayPal or credit card. In the first case, that of the in-world contribution, anonymity is preserved by the fact that the donor pays with Lindens (another virtual currency) an account that coincides with our avatar. We can then sell lindens and convert them into euro/dollar or another currency. Or we can spend lindens in-world, as we prefer. In the second case, the donation via Paypal or credit card does not allow us to remain anonymous and, therefore, our real identity would inevitably be revealed at the time of donation.
Several times people asked me how to support the blog without having an account in SL® and, not wanting to confuse my Real Life with my Second Life®, I preferred to give up on that aid. Through the virtual currency, however, this anonymity can easily be preserved. ArtByte is a digital currency created on purpose to support artists.

How ArtByte works and is useful for SL® Artists?

How does it work?
I must say that it is not necessary to connect to the ArtByte account any credit card to receive donations and all ArtByte services are free for artists.
To open your own “ArtByte wallet” click here: get started.
If you use an online wallet it’s essential to write down your password in a safe place because ArtByte is a peer to peer digital currency, so the password is not saved on the server and, if lost, it can not be recovered in any way. The site warns several times the importance of preserving your password, so be careful, because if you can not access to the ArtByte wallet, you can not, of course, also to have access to your “artbytes.”

Once registered, by going to “receive” we can access our wallet, identified with a numbers-letters sequence.

ArtByte wallet
ArtByte wallet

This string can be shared with all those who wish to donate. I advise to publish it in your socials, on your blogs, and on your SL® profile so that those who want to give can do it without asking for the number of your wallet. You have to think of this alpha-numeric string as the number of your credit card or to your e-mail address for Paypal: it is the reference for those who want to give digital currency.
Easy, right? Open an account and share your wallet number.

If you prefer to receive donations via Twitter the only information that the donor needs is your Twitter account. Indeed through a specific ArtByte app, who donates can give artbytes through the famous social network. The ArtByte App Creates an ArtByte address for you if you don’t already have one.

The “Free ArtByte Showcase,” the stunning weekly contest

Another excellent opportunity for artists offered by ArtByte is to participate in the “Free ArtByte Showcase” that in SL® that we would call in a more familiar way “contest.” To do this, you must register for the forum and post your content, not forgetting to indicate the address of your wallet (if you have one). If you win, you would see increase your purse of 5000 artbyes (which, at the time of writing, are 99,50 Euro → Conversion here).

How to spend artbytes?

Ok, we have our artbytes in the wallet, as we can now spend it?
The best way to send Artbyte to LiteBit.Eu. LiteBit is an exchange system that allows you to carry their digital money in your LiteBite Wallet and convert it into Euros.
How to do? We should send their encrypted coin on LiteBit wallet. At that point, we can change the currency loaded on LiteBit into money we can spend in everyday life, such as the euro.

Mike explains better than me:

“If a person lives in Europe it is easy. On the LiteBit.Eu exchange, ArtByte can be traded directly to Euros. In the US and the rest of the world, it is a two-step process. On an exchange that trades ArtByte/Bitcoin, you trade your ArtByte for Bitcoin, then trade the Bitcoin for cash on another exchange. In the US the biggest one for that is Coinbase. There are many exchanges around the world that trade Bitcoin for that country’s currency.
ArtByte trades on these exchanges:
Bittrex (BTC/ABY): (EUR/ABY, BTC/ABY):

Cryptopia (NZ)

ArtByte Forum to promote your contents and activities in SL®

Finally, if you are an SL® artist and you want to promote your contents on ArtByte Forum, you are welcome to do. It’s free. You have just registered an account and post them!

For any question, please comment this post.

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