Welcome to the wonderful world of NFTs. The alternate title for this post is “NFTs are crazy, right?”
As we have discussions with people in and around the cryptocurrency universe, we feel we’re almost always needing to provide evidence of our own bona fides. Typical conversations:
“Oh, you got $4,000 from Uniswap? Well, have you ever made $150,000 off of airdrops?”
“I bought my first Bitcoin at $20!”
“Gee, you shouldn’t have sold your $ETH; I met Vitalik once and he’s the real deal.”
These discussions remind me of the typical indie-rock tropes, like “well, I saw Arcade Fire when I was a student at McGill,” or “I saw Fishbone at the Lost Horizon in Syracuse in 1991.” (The second one is true for me; for the record, though, none of the crypto ones are my own story.)
The subsets of crypto have developed their own parlance, and the early adopters are known by the lingua franca of “yield farming” and “LPs” (for DeFi) and, for today’s it girl, NFTs, things like “1:1” or the “Floor” or “Up Only.” (To say nothing of the overriding crypto lingo that is, simply, the word “Few.” As in: “Few understand.” As in: “check out this LP from the band Morphine, they’ll be bigger than Pearl Jam. Few.”)
Enter the Rocks and the Bored Apes.
Item: someone paid a lot of money for a picture of a rock. These rocks (all of which can be found here: Ether Rocks ) would be “selling like hotcakes” if there were tons of them but there are only…wait, you’re telling me there are 100 of these? Hold on one second, someone paid $2m for a JPG of a rock?
A couple things should be noted here: one is that this is a limited supply JPG — only 100 total here, which is REALLY limited — and it’s also what’s called a “1:1,” or “1 of 1.”
Other projects have decided to make their artwork limited but not limited to only one piece. Like this collection, from a startup called DADA, which has five or ten of each piece of artwork.
Well, it appears we missed the boat on the rocks. Maybe there’s another project we’re not too late on…ah, I see here there’s something called the Bored Ape Yacht Club and we might be able to get one of these beautiful Bored Apes?
Oh, you have to call Sotheby’s?
Good thing we got in on THIS one early…oh…wait…we missed it.
N.B. these are limited to 10,000 different 1:1s. So it’s possible a lot of people are sitting on a lot of money today; it’s also possible that you aren’t one of those people.
What to do, what to do…
Not Too Late For THESE NFTs, Are We?
Still time to jump into the pool with both feet. Right? Here we go…AlphaBettys!
One of these didn’t cost us too much — 0.19 ETH for this one, number 7888 in the collection — and there’s a chance that the market will heat up. Or maybe it won’t, and we’re holding onto an asset class that’s going to be like our POW Tokens. Time will tell.
Other projects we’ve dived in on include something called Space Shibes (DISCLOSURE: we were part of the early group of investors in this project) and Shael Onions and some sort of panda/raccoon prison/pool party mashup. (See below.)
If You Can’t Make Sense Of It All…
Neither can we. So we launched another project of our own.
The first couple projects were lower-price experiments with NFTs. We began our journey with the Obvious Statement Collection. Next was the “One Hundred NFTs.” Both were more graphic design projects than art projects.
And the above projects are best described as NFT Avatars: if you get a Crypto Punk, your goal is to use that punk as your PFP (profile photo). (In case you’re wondering, we missed the boat on that one, too.)
Actual NFT artwork, like DADA or the work of someone like Meg Thorpe, is the same animal but a little (or a lot) different.
Our goal with our own project, “Sketches2021,” was to create one-of-a-kind pieces; modern, simple sketches with bright colors. We’d also make it a limited number (we settled on 256 thanks a little to a suggestion from our friend Von who calls himself “Lazy Crypto Guy” on Twitter) and we’d go for a floor of 1 ETH.
We’ve released the first 100 pieces and they’re all on OpenSea as we speak. The entire set is complete — we worked on them during Summer 2021 — and the rest will be launched in short order. Perhaps with a giveaway or two, stay tuned. (For now, we started with the first dozen on the web page here: Sketches2021 on Metacoin.
What’s The Point?
We’ve been asking that question about a lot of what’s in the crypto universe since it launched. Will Bitcoin really disintermediate the banks? Will Ethereum really have a layer that allows for transactions and tokens everywhere? Will these DeFi lending platforms do anything? Will these digital avatar JPEG thingies make me rich?
Time will tell, folks. Time will tell.