GraffitETH is the Ethereum graffiti wall. It’s an experiment in market socialism, a collaborative artwork, and a window into Ethereum for the world.

The problem GraffitETH solves

What is the fair price of a pixel? GraffitETH offers an answer. It’s an experiment in market socialism wrapped up in art, living on Ethereum.

The problem: Ethereum is way too hard to explain. GraffitETH is something visual, interactive, and intuitive that can help the world understand the kinds of innovative markets that are possible to create on Ethereum—and it’s simultaneously a way to show off the unique culture of our community.

GraffitETH is a digital graffiti wall in which pixels are NFTs subject to the Harberger tax. What that means: You can paint a pixel by buying the NFT, but anyone else can buy it from you immediately and paint over it. To prevent other people from painting over your pixel, you must set a high price. But you can’t set it too high, since you will have to pay pixel taxes on it!

The Harberger tax is a market tool theorized to encourage fair property prices, and thus ensure that everyone pays an appropriate amount of taxes. It’s not a new idea, but it hasn’t been put into practice on a large scale. Ethereum is an excellent environment to test innovative market tools like this one, that would otherwise disappear under logistical roadblocks or political inertia.

Using the Harberger tax may help us discover the fair price of space on the graffiti wall, pixel by pixel. We will also be able to better understand how people interact with property (like pixel NFTs) under these unusual market conditions.

Finally, a DAO will use the money raised through pixel taxes to display the evolving artwork over time (on billboards, online ads, etc.). Perhaps someday your pixels will appear on a billboard in Times Square, ETHDenver t-shirts, or even a flag on the moon...

Challenges we ran into

We wanted to launch on Ethereum mainnet, but it’s just too expensive. We chose to use the xDai Chain instead, since it was cheaper, faster, and also supports many other applications. However, we would have preferred to use a sidechain that was not PoA based or even a rollup. Unfortunately, there’s not such a long list of sidechains to use if you’re relying on integrating with supporting applications.

After launching on xDai and everything else going smoothly, it seems we are being rate limited. We're still trying to solve this problem, but switching RPC addresses or VPN IP appears to be the quick fix.