Cover photo

Decentralised documentation of Invaders?

Street art is everywhere. It can turn a grey building into something wonderful. It can be political, it can be beautiful, it can be performance based, it can be collection based. It is a fantastic form of expression that subconsciously improves the lives of everyone who sees it.

Space Invader in the Big Apple with Joey Ramone

Invader is an artist from Paris who places mosaic murals in different cities around the world. There are various websites that document this artwork. One of the websites, provides invaluable data about his work. There are articles, journal posts, and thousands of pages with pictures, status' and names for each Invader piece. Invader Spotter has a research database, where Invaders can be searched for based on their traits. There is also detailed documentation, with pictures, about the last reported status, and numbering of Invaders in different cities. It is a behemoth of information, offering data about almost any Invader.

Invasion of Tokyo - Official Map

I have been lucky enough to be able to travel to a few of the cities containing murals. For each city I have been to, I have researched Invader locations. This involves Google, Instagram, The Web Archive, Flickr and adhoc websites. It's fascinating to look back at the history of the Space Invaders website ( using the time machine. For a while, When a city was invaded, a map of each Invader location was released. These maps were added to - this is all viewable on the web archive! The maps are the first bit of data I look for when looking for Invaders in a new city. There are also SlideShares which offer insight into Invaders in cities. A collective, or individual, creates these and sometimes links to google MyMaps with the latest locations.

This is great, and has allowed me to create a MyMaps for Invaders world wide, which can be found here:

There are blog posts, Instagram, and Flickr pictures of Invaders. Once all of this information has been collected, it becomes possible to build up a plan for a day of discovering Invaders.

All of this has got me thinking. There is so much information out there about Invaders, but it's all over the place! To find all the Invaders in in one city, in an efficient way, you need to visit many websites, and collect all of the information. Alongside this, there are events, and articles, and YouTube videos (exit through the gift shop for example) which are so interesting and contribute to the artwork out there for Invader. For example, one of the Invaders in Geneva was really hard to find because it blended in with a bridge (yep looking at you GNV_28).

Space Invader GNV_28 | Denis | Flickr

The intention here is not to centralise all information about Invaders. Having information spread out all over the internet is self-documenting in itself. It also adds to the excitement of hunting Invaders, as it requires first hunting the web for locations and status updates. The intention here is to build a system that pulls together all the documentation that is currently in different places around the web and provides pointers and an aggregated layer of said data.

What if there was one place to go to get all Invader content? What if people could be rewarded for positively contributing images, status', locations? What if there was an incentive structure, on a decentralised database, that anyone could contribute to, and be rewarded for doing so?

I would like to propose a system that allows for the documentation of Invaders. I believe that a blockchain and smart contract is a good approach for building this system due to the decentralised, and open nature of data on there and the financial requirement for contributing data.

This system should:

  • Allow people to retroactively upload images, descriptions and locations of street art, using data that is already available online

    • There is so much information online already, but it is spread all over the place. For example, many Invaders can be found on Instagram and Flickr simply by searching the Invader number. For Flickr, it's the same. Googling PA_35, for example, reveals a link to Flickr straight away.

    • The goal here is to allow people to research and collate this information online, then upload it to the platform and document it. This would be helpful for others, who would like to find everything out about a particular Invader piece.

  • Reward positive, constructive contributions, and continued contribution

    • Positive, constructive contributions are fundamental to a platforms longevity and success. Recently, I ran a competition on Farcaster (ref:, which encouraged people to upload their own images of Invaders in return for DEGEN tips. This was a success, and as a result many community members uploaded high quality and interesting images. To this point, farmers can get involved. This is a constant battle for the Degen team, who recently disqualified many Airdrop farmers from their Season 2 Airdrop (ref:

    • The Ethereum network utilises two standards for NFTs today. ERC-721 and ERC-1155. By using this, people who contribute get ownership of their contribution. The ERC-721 itself will have a few unique properties. The first being an array of images. When a user uploads for the first time this array would just be the first image. As a subsequent contributor, I can decide whether I want to create a discovery, or contribute to an existing discovery. The latter would cost less to do, however the former would allow for ownership of a discovery.

    • This system works for a few reasons...

      • People can display that they found a certain number of Invaders on any platform that allows for displaying NFTs

      • These are stored in the contract, and can be sorted through based on data related to them (status, city, name, number etc)

      • Once created, they are, to a certain extent immutable. Perhaps you are on a hunt, and you discover an Invader. If you document it immediately, then the exact time you discovered that Invader is preserved on the blockchain as you create the NFT at the time of discovery.

      • The opportunity for Token Gating can be introduced, requiring people who have over 1,000 discoveries and so on. This is tightly couple to the community aspect, and ensuring that the content uploaded is of high quality and is a positive contribution. I outline a voting system below.

    • There is also an opportunity for a points system utilising ERC-20 tokens. However, this needs thorough thought. Vitalik discussed community tokens being used to fund causes. There is potential here. The tokenomics would probably shape around the way the platform is adopted by the community. (ref: Vitalik article

  • Allow for voting, reporting and discussion about contributions

    • By allowing for voting, and contribution discussion, the system can be self-governing. This may require some hand-holding in during the first few cycles of the release, just like many decentralised platforms. However, once traction is gained, the system will govern itself. This can be seed on Reddit, Farcaster, and many other platforms which have moderator roles for communities.

    • There should be a system for recording votes. This should be tied to a public wallet address, and record the sentiment of the vote. These votes should be publicly accessibly. A vote is used here to describe a few things:

      • Status of an Invader (OK, Damaged, Destroyed)

      • The intent of a contribution (negative/positive)

    • When a vote is changed, there is a record of this. The blockchain can be used to discover all votes placed by wallets, or all votes placed on a particular Invader, or the vote history of a specific city.

  • Allow for the storing of metadata related to a certain Invader or city

    • As described before, there is a wealth of information available including maps, journals, and articles. These are all on servers distributed far and wide through the world wide web. There should be a way for a user to upload a metadata item and link it to an Invader, specific city, or keep it completely loose and have it appear in a contributions list.

    • This data should be stored in the contract and accessible to clients through read functions. Ideally, if there items should utilise IPFS. The goal here is to have pointers to all information in one, accessible place.

Of course far more needs to be spec'd out, however I am in the phase of building now. I have so far achieved two things:

  • Deployed a contract to the DEGEN Layer 3 Chain (explorer: and experienced the incredibly low gas cost to do so

  • Created a basic contract, and collaborating with a friend to introduce a lot of the features discussed here. It continues to be worked on and, once a testnet version is released, I will share a progress update

I can be found on Farcaster as @henry or in the Invaders channel /invaders

Collect this post to permanently own it.
henrypye logo
Subscribe to henrypye and never miss a post.
#art#street art#documenting#blockchain
  • Loading comments...