Gas wars, hungry monkeys, and portly penguins (Issue #17)
The NFT world sure does love animals.
If you were hoping to get hold of a VaynerSports Pass this week odds are you either paid a lot of money for one, missed out, or a combination of the two. If, however, you’ve been clinging onto your Pudgy Penguin hoping your perseverance and faith would be rewarded in time, well fren, your time has come. While one hand giveth, the other taketh away… that’s often how it goes in NFT land.
Right, let’s get straight into it!
AJ Vaynerchuk, brother of Gary Vee, had a very bad week. But many of those hoping to buy his VaynerSports Pass NFT had an even worse one. On Tuesday, a public mint turned into a gas war as demand for the 15,555 NFTs pushed gas prices into the stratosphere. Then came the failed transactions due to issues with the smart contract used for the mint.
In the end, many would-be buyers spent thousands of dollars on gas only to have their transactions fail, leaving them without the NFT they were chasing and out of pocket.
Of course, the drop still sold out, and the passes are now selling for double their mint price on OpenSea, but for those who paid many times the 0.155 ETH (~$500) asking price, the passes will need to go a lot higher on the secondary market before they’ll even break even, let alone realize any profits.
Those who hold the passes have been promised future access to drops where all they’ll pay is gas… but this is a reminder that doing drops well is difficult even when you’ve got a big-name attached to a project, and that allow lists, raffles, or other mechanisms to combat gas wars exist for a reason. Not using them doesn’t just cost projects goodwill, it hurts their supporters in real terms, and it’s fodder for NFT naysayers.
⭕️ The circle of life 🦁
Probably nothing 🤔
On Her Majesty’s secret whitelist 👑
The Royal Mint is planning to release an NFT this (northern hemisphere) summer. If this feels like a how-do-you-do-fellow-kids moment, you’re not wrong (nor are you alone in your skepticism). We don’t imagine there’s much overlap between people who collect commemorative £1 coins and those who buy NFTs (plus HM Treasury didn’t proofread “the the forward-looking” announcement tweet).
But that’s not the takeaway here. The takeaway is that NFTs are increasingly expanding their audience beyond the world of degens. When the government of the U.K. begins paying attention you can’t exactly continue to argue something is niche.
Bored and hungry? 🍔
Speaking of takeaways, tomorrow a new burger joint opens in California’s Long Beach. Usually, that wouldn’t be NFT-related news, but this eatery — called “Bored and Hungry” — is Bored Ape Yacht Club-themed.
Andy Nguyen is using the images of the Bored Ape and Mutant Ape he owns in the restaurant’s decor and on its packaging. It’s just the latest reminder of the power of giving NFT holders the right to leverage the IP of these assets. Bored Ape Yacht Club might not make a cut on every burger sold as they might with a conventional licensing deal, but the goodwill and free marketing are — unlike a Bored and Hungry burger — hard to put a price on.
Pudgy protests pay off 🐧
The once-embattled Pudgy Penguins PFP project has gone from staring down the barrels of a one-way ticket to zero following shady moves by its founders, to finding new life and seeing its floor price triple, largely thanks to the tireless efforts of some committed holders who eventually managed to buy the project and take over the day-to-day duties of running it.
It’s a feel-good story that demonstrates what’s possible when like-minded individuals pool their energy and resources and organize around a shared goal.
Bag boosters 💰
The week that was (April 1 - 8, 2022) 🗓
This week’s chart was dominated by Azuki, which continues to grow its floor price despite pranking its holders with an airdrop. Meanwhile, Azuki’s forthcoming Beanz project has also seen enthusiastic trading over the past seven days. Bored Ape Yacht Club’s floor has held steady, and despite how high it is, few owners seem to be cashing outgoing on the trading volume. Kiwami and Akuma suggest the market’s appetite for anime-style projects is far from being sated.
🗿 Stone cold 🪨
To the moon 🌜
Teenage artist FEWOCiOUS sold nearly $20 million worth of “Paint,” the NFT that grants access to, and unlocks items in, his forthcoming FewoWorld project. That makes it the third-largest drop in Nifty Gateway’s history. Speaking of FEWOCiOUS, we made a video of the Paint Party we sponsored in LA last week:
Browser-plug-in/hot wallet MetaMask has added support for Apple Pay, enabling users to buy up to $400 worth of ETH a day via linked debit or credit cards.
The holding company of iHeartRadio, iHeartMedia, has announced plans to collect a selection of NFTs from big-name projects and use them to launch NFT-related podcasts.
This week in Ape acquisitions, Vitalik Buterin fan, husband of supermodel Gisele Bündchen, and NFL star Tom Brady bought a joint-smoking Ape.
And gigantic balloon animal fan, Jeff Koons is literally sending some of his work to the moon (as in the celestial body which orbits the earth, not the price point at which you really should take profits on an NFT but probably won’t) and releasing accompanying NFTs called “Moonphases.” If you hear a whooshing sound it’s probably the collective eye-roll of NFT collectors reacting to the news.
In better lunar-related news, next week Proof will drop its official PFP called Moonbirds. If you want a chance to grab one of the pixelated owls, you’ll need to sign up for the allow list raffle on Premint using a wallet with at least 2.5 ETH in it, which — not coincidentally — is the price to mint each bird.
🪡 Thread of the week 🧵
Goats only 🐐
In each episode, collectibles OG and entrepreneur Stan “The Goat” Meytin and Metaversal co-founder and CEO Yossi Hasson talk about digital and IRL collectibles, NFTs, and the week’s news worth knowing.
This week, they spoke to Dez from Maison de GOAT about what it takes to launch a successful NFT project, provided an update on Veefriends Series 2, and offered their take on Moonbirds. 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 almost $83,000!
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 “Fidenza #74” by Tyler Hobbs.
We’ve previously featured a Hobbs piece from his “F(l)ight” series in this newsletter, and while we continue to adore it, we believe Fidenza is the most versatile algorithm the artist has produced to date.
“Fidenza #74,” in particular, is a piece that really embodies the essence of a flow field algorithm — it has a uniform scale and the elements run through the canvas with no margins. Plus, the luxe color palette and low density make for an eye-catching piece. We’re proud to have added it to our collection.
Until next time, see you in the Metaverse.