Minting NFTs & Taking Photos at the Ends of the Earth: A Conversation with FOTO’s John Knopf


  • John Knopf, an Emmy Award-nominated landscape photographer and National Geographic contributor, is part of the FOTO collective of digital artists.
  • FOTO works to elevate the art form of digital photography by curating the work of its members in sponsored galleries and events.
  • Time magazine partnered with FOTO on its own NFT drops in 2021.

John Knopf and FOTO

John Knopf is an Emmy Award-nominated landscape photographer who works for National Geographic. He was an early adopter when it came to crypto and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). While he initially thought he could make a “quick buck,” he quickly became enthralled with the potential of distributed networks. Together with seven other prominent photographers, Knopf helped found FOTO – a collective geared at training artists to work in Web3. This collective boasts hundreds of amateur and professional members today. Knopf curates these members’ art for display at sponsored galleries and events. The goal is to elevate digital art – Knopf makes no money from the artists regardless if their work sells or not.

Time Magazine Partnership

In 2021, Time magazine partnered with FOTO on its own NFT drops. The collaboration allowed people to purchase limited edition prints through NFTs. Furthermore, Time featured some of FOTO’s collections on their website such as ‘The Great Outdoors’. This project highlighted outdoorsy scenes from around the world captured by different photographers from FOTO’s community. As well as this, John Knopf’s work has been featured multiple times in publications such as Forbes, The New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

Digital Culture & Community Building

Knopf believes that Web3 technology can help build communities around art forms like photography as it allows them to collaborate in ways that have never been possible before. For example, earlier last year he founded Bored Apes – an online platform that provides education tools for photographers looking to break into cryptoart space or increase their understanding of blockchain technology. He also launched his own NFT gallery called ‘Ends Of The Earth’, where he minted a series of photos taken during his travels around the world using the Ethereum blockchain transaction layer Matic Network – allowing anyone to buy a piece of artwork without ever having met him or seen it first hand!

“Photography” NFTs Taking Off

Good photography often requires technical skill as much as artistic sensibility making it a prime candidate for experimentation within Web3 technologies like non-fungible tokens (NFTs). While talk to any collector or creator about “photography” NFTs taking off might have seemed slow initially, now there are many examples out there showing how photography has been successfully integrated into cryptoart space thanks to initiatives like Time magazine partnering up with Foto!

With initiatives like Bored Apes teaching people about blockchain technology, combined with organizations like Time magazine teaming up with collectives like Foto giving people access limited edition pieces through NFT drops – it’s clear that Johnknopfs vision is coming true! People are startingto understand how we can use digital currencies & platforms such ascryptoart space to truly elevate one another’s skillsets & turnan industry into a community!


New York AG: Ether Is a Security in KuCoin Lawsuit

• New York State Attorney General Letitia James has filed a lawsuit against KuCoin, alleging that the Seychelles-based crypto exchange is violating securities laws by offering tokens – including ether – without registering with the attorney general’s office.
• The suit is the first time a regulator has claimed in court that ether is a security.
• The Martin Act, an 102-year-old anti-fraud law gives James powers to investigate securities fraud and bring both civil and criminal actions against violators.

New York Attorney General Alleges Ether Is a Security

The New York State Attorney General Letitia James recently filed suit against KuCoin, alleging that the Seychelles-based crypto exchange is violating securities laws by offering tokens – including ether – without registering with the attorney general’s office. This marks the first time that a regulator has claimed in court that ether is considered a security under the Martin Act, an 102-year-old anti-fraud law which grants James powers to investigate securities fraud and bring both civil and criminal actions against violators.

KuCoin Lawsuit

The press release said this lawsuit was part of ongoing “efforts to crack down on unregistered cryptocurrency platforms.” Despite Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler hinting that his agency might consider ether to be a security, its sister regulatory agency – the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) – have long maintained that both bitcoin and ether are commodity assets.

Martin Act

The Martin Act grants sweeping power to New York’s attorney general for prosecuting crimes related to various financial instruments such as stocks and bonds as well as commodities like oil or foodstuffs. It allows for greater prosecutorial flexibility than federal statutes such as those enforced by the SEC because it does not require proof of intent or reliance on misrepresented information in order to secure convictions.

Cryptocurrency Platforms

This lawsuit is part of ongoing efforts by regulators around the world to crack down on unregistered cryptocurrency platforms in order ensure compliance with local laws regarding financial services offerings like stocks, bonds or cryptocurrencies. To date, many countries have yet to create comprehensive regulations governing these activities although some jurisdictions have taken steps towards doing so through frameworks such as Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA).


This case could set an important precedent for future legal action involving cryptocurrencies since it will likely determine whether or not Ethereum can be considered a security under U.S law. Furthermore, if Kucoin is found guilty then other exchanges may face similar repercussions due their failure comply with applicable regulations.


Bitcoin Price Holds Steady Despite Silvergate’s Collapse

• Silvergate Capital stock falls by 58% amid FTX exchange collapse and regulatory inquiries.
• Bitcoin (BTC) price remains steady above $23,000 despite the news.
• Analyst Julius de Kempenaer views the lack of a negative catalyst as a positive.

Silvergate Capital Troubles

Bitcoin (BTC) wobbled a bit early Thursday as crypto-friendly bank Silvergate Capital (SI) shed more than 50% of its value on worries it may not survive, but turned upward in afternoon trading and is now higher by 0.4% over the past 24 hours at $23,500. California-based Silvergate said in a filing late Wednesday that ​​the impact of recent events – notably the FTX exchange collapse and subsequent regulatory inquiries – raised questions about the bank’s ability to “continue as a going concern.” The news led to at least two sell-side downgrades and a wide range of crypto firms pulling their business from the lender. Shares were down 58% shortly before the close of Thursday trade.

Bitcoin Price Holds Steady

Unlike, for instance, the FTX collapse in November, which sent bitcoin plunging to multi-year lows, the looming concerns on Silvergate had little effect on the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market value. The price of bitcoin on Thursday remained in the mid-$23,000 area. That the news around Silvergate has not been working as a negative catalyst “has to be seen as a positive,” said Julius de Kempenaer, senior technical analyst at StockCharts.com.

Positive Catalyst?

If they (crypto traders) really would be scared off and start selling then we probably would have seen Bitcoin below $20k again,” he added.”But instead we are seeing BTC stay relatively firm while altcoins are taking some heat.” Of course one day does not make or break any trend but it seems like there is still enough speculative demand out there to absorb bad news such as this one without too much damage being inflicted onto BTC’s price action.

Views From Analysts

“That it hasn’t been acting as a negative catalyst has to be seen as a positive,” said Alex Thorn of Galaxy Hear Alex Thorn share his take on “Bitcoin and Inflation: It’s Complicated” at Consensus 2023 Secure Your Seat event organizer Consensus 2023 . Other analysts suggested that while traditional banking institutions are dealing with their own set of challenges due to COVID-19 related restrictions, cryptocurrencies continue to prove resilient in light of potential risks such as those associated with Silvergate’s troubles.


In conclusion, despite initial worries about how Silvergates’ troubles could affect Bitcoin’s price action, BTC continues to remain relatively stable above $23K and even shows signs of growth amidst traditional banking institutions struggling with COVID-19 related restrictions . Analysts see this resilience in light of potential risks associated with Silvergates’ issuesabilityas having potentially positive implications for cryptocurrencies moving forward .