Breaking the first rule of Monster Fight Club and ETHDenver (Issue #10)
Fights, frights, and the importance of having a good coat.
This week NFT and blockchain fans descended on Denver, Colorado, for ETHDenver, the rapidly expanding annual conference dedicated to all things Ethereum-related. During the event, Crypt TV announced it’s taking its menacing monsters into the metaverse next month, another new NFT marketplace with a taste for blood launched, and Etherscan added new features, some welcome, some less so.
In other words, like a supermarket employee replenishing the tortilla chip racks after Super Bowl Sunday, we’ve got a lot to unpack.
Right, let’s get straight into it!
The first rule of Monster Fight Club 🥊
Inimitable horror franchise and entertainment company Crypt TV is entering the metaverse… with a little help from the Venture Studio team here at Metaversal. The company posted a teaser video this week for its forthcoming, NFT-powered “Monster Fight Club,” and Variety broke the exciting news.
Fans will be able to mint 10 iconic monsters from the Crypt TV universe as Monster Fight Club NFTs, bolster their powers and attributes, and pit them against one another in epic battles. NFT holders will also be able to create PFPs of their monsters, get access to special events, and many more things that are yet to be revealed. Monster Fight Club NFTs will be available via Mint Passes, sold on March 9, 16, and 23, and a public sale will follow on March 30.
Founded by Jack Davis and Eli Roth, Crypt TV has gone from creating short-form, mobile-friendly content to seeing its characters appear in video games and podcasts, creating the series Girl in the Woods for NBC’s streaming service Peacock, and having a movie (Chhorii) on Amazon Prime. In short, the company has transitioned from being a scrappy startup to an entertainment powerhouse at breakneck speed.
Part of its success comes from the way it engages its community and the way it lets its IP evolve, growing the lore and the universe in the process... which are all things successful NFT projects do too.
“I truly believe NFTs and Web3 could set off a new era of IP creation, community development and restack the deck in favor of creators,” Davis says. “When I started Crypt in 2015 I did so wanting to create IP for a new generation of internet consumers. With this step to NFTs, I feel we are closer than ever to fulfilling our original mission.”
We’re honored to be helping Crypt TV make the leap into the open metaverse. By doing so, it’s giving fans the ability to participate in the future of its IP in ways that previously simply weren’t possible. And this is just the beginning.
🥳 Degen discount 🤑
Click. Win. Simple. 🚨
We’re sponsoring Boston’s first NFT exhibition, “New Horizons,” taking place at the Pellas Gallery later this month. The show features new artworks from 10 extremely talented digital artists, and the pieces will be showcased on hardware provided by Atomic Form, the leaders in NFT display technology. If you’re in Boston, you can register for the opening night, February 24, over here. And whether or not you’ll be there, you could get the chance to collect one of the works!
On offer is the chance to purchase a new work from Archan Nair, Annibale Siconolfi, Gernge, GMUNK, Idil Dursun, Planttdaddii, Raf Grassetti, Raoul Marks, Ryan Talbot, and the show’s curator, NessGraphics. With the show almost sold out before it’s opened, this might be the only way to collect one of the pieces on the primary market. And given how hodlable they are, you may not see many of them on the secondary.
Probably nothing 🤔
Nike turning us green with envy 👟
Nike, the sportswear maker which earlier this year acquired NFT-focused design studio RTFKT, is releasing a new physical sneaker alongside 120 NFTs. Complex says the Tinker Hatfield-designed “Oregon Ducks Nike Air Max 1” will support an initiative called “Ducks of a Feather,” an NFT program benefiting Oregon student-athletes.
Each of the 120 NFTs will be unique, and each owner will also get a pair of sneakers. How the NFTs will be made available remains to be seen, but you can bet they’re going to sell out instantly... prompting those who miss out to turn green with envy.
Like MySpace for NFTs 📷
With no real fanfare, Etherscan’s launched a pair of new features. The first is the ability to display NFTs natively (hurray!), the second is an option to “Chat with Owner,” which could be handy for pleading one’s case should one fall victim to scammers or other ne'er-do-wells.
It could also lead to a slew of unsolicited low-ball offers, of course, (boo!) so we expect plenty of users will simply ignore it entirely… much like they do other messaging services like, for instance, LinkedIn’s inbox.
x2y2, Brute? 🛒
Last month OpenSea got its first serious rival in the form of LooksRare, an NFT marketplace that shares fees with users and which airdropped its own token to OpenSea power users (in a move dubbed a “vampire attack”) in the hopes of getting them to switch to its platform. Now another contender has thrown its circular hat in the ring using similar tactics.
Called x2y2 (a nod to the equation for a circle), the new marketplace uses a similar model to LooksRare, but which has changed some key elements, like how it’s rewarding its founders, how its staking model works, and it’s broadened the eligibility criteria for airdrops. The platform’s early days haven’t been without problems, but it remains to be seen whether those teething problems turn into long-term worries or not. However it plays out, we’ll be watching.
🎸 Can the devs do something? 👀
Self-love is self-care 👒
One of the advantages of buying NFTs is the transactions are immutable and public. One of the disadvantages of buying NFTs is the transactions are immutable and public. Former First Lady and fan of fancy headwear and watercolors, Melania Trump, learned this important lesson the hard way this week.
An excellent breakdown by Vice shows the wallet that eventually won the auction for the “Head of State Collection, 2022,” (a hat, a watercolor of it, and an NFT) was the same one that created the NFT in the first place. Curious.
Curiouser still, the winning bid was $1,800 SOL, which before deflationary market movements, was worth around $250,000, or precisely the minimum the collection was expected to sell for according to the press release announcing it. Mrs. Trump’s office claims the purchase was made “on behalf of a third party.” It is not our place to pass judgment, so we leave it to you, dear reader, to make of that what you will.
In a move that proves the bon mot, “sometimes you live and learn, and sometimes you just live,” the snafu hasn’t tempered Mrs. Trump’s enthusiasm for NFTs. This week she announced another collection planned called the “POTUS Trump NFT Collection” commemorating key moments of the 45th President’s time in the Oval Office. Pricing starts at $50 for the 10,000 pieces. Which would mean around $500,000 should someone be forced to buy the whole collection to save face.
💙 Blue chips only 🥏
To the moon 🌜
Darling of the burgeoning play-to-earn NFT gaming sector, Axie Infinity, celebrated its fourth birthday this week. In four short years, it’s blossomed from a fledgling business with a bold idea into a multi-billion dollar enterprise, economic lifeblood for many, and the standard-bearer for the new economy it’s helping to spearhead.
Meanwhile, the New York Stock exchange filed trademark applications for NFT trading.
NFT aggregator service Gem added a new “sweep mode” tool to make it easier to buy NFTs from a single collection in bulk.
And Zak Williams, the son of the late comedian and actor, Robin Williams, wants to use NFTs created by artist Jesus Ramirez to raise money for mental health-focused causes.
🧵 Thread of the week 🪡
Goats only 🐐
Whether you’ll still be wearing your ETHDenver wristband when you arrive at 2023’s event or you’ve never been to a blockchain conference with thousands of marauding degens, you should be watching or listening to Goats and the Metaverse.
In each episode, collectibles OG and entrepreneur Stan “The Goat” Meytin and Metaversal co-founder and CEO Yossi Hasson sit down to talk about digital and IRL collectibles, NFTs, and the news worth knowing. This week they’ve covered the Super Bowl (which should’ve been called the Crypto Bowl), a $52.4 million NFT sale intended to help Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, and done a deep-dive into one of the most hyped NFT projects of the moment, mfers. Check out the latest episode here:
Aside from providing invaluable insights into digital art and collectibles, Stan and Yossi are also putting together a collection of NFTs dubbed “The Goat Vault.” When the show hits 5,000 subscribers on YouTube, one of those lucky subscribers will win the contents of the vault which, at last count, was valued at over $75,000.
Spelling it out 🔠
This week we set up shop in the Maker Space at ETHDenver and dished out swag. Because everyone loves swag. But we weren’t merely distributing the finest merch of the conference, we were promoting the forthcoming MetaLetters DAO which launches soon.
Last month we put out our first call to artists to create the letters of our company name (M-E-T-A-V-E-R-S-A-L). We chose 10 finalists, printed their letters on the aforementioned swag, and could barely keep up with demand as ETHDenver attendees snapped them up.
What’s next for MetaLetters? Only daily auctions that’ll empower artists, give them access to unique events and power a DAO to help discover, enable, and elevate the digital artists of tomorrow. You know, no big deal. Look out for more info about the grand launch, coming soon.
Money <> mouth 💸
Each week we’ll offer you a look at an NFT project we’ve invested in and the motivation behind it. This week we’re looking at a mesmerizing piece from generative art superstar and pioneer Tyler Hobbs. “F(l)ight” is a collection of 30 NFTs, and the original buyer of each was able to claim a corresponding 16 × 20 inch plotter drawing made with a black archival ink pen on cream Stonehenge paper.
Hobbs has already cemented his place in the annals of digital art history, and we believe his work is only going to become more historically significant in years to come, which is why we acquired three pieces from the “F(l)ight” series, and why we hope to acquire more of his work in years to come.
Until next time, see you in the Metaverse.