Want to play around with the NFT thing while helping Linux and open source projects? The Linux Tycoon will show you how.
Brian Lunduke, the “Linux Sucks” guy who was once known as “The Linux Tycoon” (a moniker he swears wasn’t his idea), has come up with a way to harness the non-fungible token craze for the good of Linux and open source.
With tongue only partly in cheek, he announced on The Lunduke Journal of Technology on Monday that he has launched a “Tux on Tour” campaign to raise money for Linux and open source projects.
“While some of the larger — and more “Enterprise-y” — projects can sometimes be funded through the backing of large corporations, the vast majority of projects rely almost entirely on donations from the community,” he wrote. “Which can be, at best, unpredictable. And, more often than not, insufficient to fund full time development.”
“With that in mind,” he added, “we’re going to try something a little wild and wacky. Something fun.”
What the Heck Are Non-fungible Tokens?
If you’ve been living under a rock for the past several months, non-fungible tokens (better known as NFTs) are a blockchain related technology (I’m using the term “technology” rather loosely here), which has become a big craze as a way to “own” digital art.
Well, you don’t really own it, as digital copies of the art might still float around everywhere and no copyright actually changes hands, but you have some sort of proof that you spent good money to own something that everyone else owns for free — minus the bragging rights of course.
If that sounds as weird and crazy to you as it does to me, you should know that some rich and digitally inclined yuppies have paid as much as several million dollars for a single NFT — maybe even more (I honestly haven’t been paying much attention).
Needless to say, art dealers have been quick to jump on the NFT bandwagon. As have musicians, who’ve been selling NFTs of recordings of their latest songs, since hardly anybody’s buying music anymore and streaming services pay diddly-squat.
‘Tux on Tour’
To capitalize on the NFT craze, Lunduke has created a baker’s dozen original “works of art” (basically pixelated images of Tux superimposed over screenshots of famous and historical software, such as the old boot loader LILO, KDE 1.0, and OS/2 Warp 4), which he’s selling on the OpenSea online NFT marketplace.
At least one of these pics, Tux “visiting” Amiga Workbench, has sold since the campaign was announced, according to Lunduke.
Payment and pricing is in Ethereum cryptocurrency, with each piece of art priced at about $26 in real money (sorry, crypto enthusiasts, I’m not a fan), with 5% of the sale price (if I’m figuring right, about $1.30) going to Lunduke’s designated open source projects of the month, which until the end of January are Haiku and PCLinuxOS. The remaining money (somewhere around $24 minus expenses) goes to fund The Lunduke Journal, which kinda sorta keeps this from being an entirely altruistic endeavor.
Lunduke has added a twist to this that’s intended to raise even more money for his open source projects-of-the-month (and a twist I’m sure the folks at Amway will now be trying to figure out how to add to their pyramid scheme). If anyone buys one of these NFTs and then later sells them to someone else, 5% of that sale will automatically be set aside to go to an open source project, and if that person sells it, 5% of that sale…
I’m sure you get the picture. It could go on forever.
NFTs are kind of like the stock market, so resell prices can be higher or lower, but overall it’s a bull market right now and prices are generally on the upswing.
Donating Without Buying an NFT
“But…but…but…what if I want to help PCLOS or Haiku without buying an NFT. Can’t I do that?”
When a follower of @BrideOfLinux (that would be me) asked a similar worded question on Twitter, Lunduke chimed-in with a reply.
“Absolutely!” he tweeted. “And I encourage people to donate to open source projects they love!
“Tux on Tour is:
- Simply another way to contribute
- A way for those using NFTs to contribute
- Just fun!”
Most Linux and open source projects have an easy way to make donations on their websites.