In Yuga — and speculation — we trust (Issue #20)
Facts can be priced in. Speculation, on the other hand, offers potentially infinite upside.
Although it often feels like the NFT space is getting more sprawling and impossible to stay on top of, most weeks there’s one project that sucks up all the oxygen in the room. Last week, that project was Proof Collective’s Moonbirds. This week, it’s Bored Ape Yacht Club (once again), which has a new drop coming right on time to pull attention back to it and remind us that it remains as dominant in the NFT economy as the United States does in the global economy. When Yuga sneezes, the NFT market gets a cold. Bless you.
Right, let’s get straight into it!
For full-time degens, weekdays are where a lot of the action takes place. But for part-timers or aspirants, the weekends may be the only time available for doing their own research, apeing into projects, pumping their bags (or FUDing other people’s), and other degen behavior. Which is probably why Yuga Labs, the company behind Bored Ape Yacht Club, has scheduled the next big reveal in its growing, multibillion-dollar universe for tomorrow, Saturday, April 30.
Otherside, Yuga’s metaverse, launches tomorrow. Like Decentraland, Sandbox, and others, Yuga will be selling land parcels in its metaverse. Unlike most other virtual real estate businesses, however, Yuga required would-be land barons to meet KYC (know your customer) requirements in order to be eligible to participate in the sale.
That put off many of the NFT collectors out there who prefer anonymity, and it’s unclear why Yuga required KYC. Some market watchers speculate Yuga could be creating a marketplace and that KYC was a requirement to keep in the good books of the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission). We’ll likely find out more tomorrow.
There’s been other unhappiness, too. Originally the sale was meant to kick off at 12 pm ET, but that’s now been moved to 9 pm… which is bad news for anyone in the US with plans for Saturday night, and even worse for anyone in Europe hoping for a full night’s sleep… as that equates to 3 am CET. Plus, to avoid gas wars, minting will happen in phases, so those looking to mint multiple plots will need to commit at least a few hours to the endeavor.
There will be 55,000 “Otherdeeds” available, priced at 305 ApeCoin each (Yuga originally planned to use a Dutch auction mechanism, but had a vocal change of heart). That’s around ~$6,700 at today’s prices — no small ask. Ahead of the minting, ApeCoin has climbed more than 35% over the past week and is now hovering around the $22 mark. What the price will do after the land sale might well depend on what people are able to do with the coin and land in conjunction with one another.
Buyers of land will also have a 5% shot at receiving a Koda, the new mythical creature/10K PFP project coming out of Yuga Labs. Considering the price point of the original Bored Apes and its Mutant and Kennel Club derivatives, it’s safe to assume Kodas will command a double-digit ETH price in short order.
What you’ll be able to do in the Otherside or with Kodas, or how they’ll interact with Apes or other NFT projects is unclear right now. Deliberately so. Yuga knows that secrecy and speculation aren’t merely more exciting for fans and onlookers, but they tend to translate into higher price points and trading volumes. You can price in facts to some extent, but trying to do the same with speculation is a fool’s errand.
Tomorrow we’ll find out what Yuga has in store. Whatever it is, we expect a feeding frenzy from the market, which this week pushed the floor price of BAYC to an all-time high of 152 ETH (~$430,000). Not bad for a project that went on sale for 0.08 ETH (~$200) just over a year ago.
🤑 Financial advice 💰
Goats only 🐐
Whether the collection of Otherdeeds you intend to amass tomorrow would make the British Empire at its peak blush… or you’re feeling like a digital serf… 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 talk about digital and IRL collectibles, NFTs, and the week’s news worth knowing.
This week, they unpack the NFT project EightBit Me, look at RTFKT and Nike's collab on digital sneakers called “MNLTH,” offer their take on Bored Ape Yacht Club’s The Otherside and Kodas, and dig into Akutars and runaway Solana success story, Okay Bears. 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 $56,000.
🚽 But is it art? 🎨
Probably nothing 🤔
Meta opened an IRL store 🛒
Facebook parent Meta, the same company which owns virtual reality company Oculus (now called Meta Quest) and which has ambitions of creating a market-dominating metaverse (as per its not-so-subtle rebrand) is opening a physical retail outlet in Burlingame, California, where people can try its VR headsets, its Portal video-calling devices, and try on, test out, and order its co-branded “Ray-Ban Stories” camera glasses.
The store opens on May 9 and looks like you’d expect a tech company’s retail outlet would: think lots of recessed lighting and pale, wooden paneling peppered with strategically placed hardware for sale.
Will it turn into an Apple Store-scale multinational chain? Probably not. Facebook doesn’t sell that much hardware. But giving someone the chance to try the Quest 2 VR headset is definitely a great way to encourage them to buy one — VR is much better experienced than explained. It seems inevitable VR hardware will play a role in the metaverse one way or another, whether or not it’s hardware made by Meta or for use in its metaverse. So getting people more accustomed to it is, at least in our books, probably a good thing.
SuperRare is opening an IRL gallery 🖼
In more IRL news, marketplace SuperRare is opening a pop-up gallery in SoHo, New York this summer. It’ll run from May 19 to August 28 and be open from 11 am to 5 pm Mondays to Fridays, and 11 am to 7 pm on weekends. According to the company:
SuperRare Gallery serves as a space to convene digital artists, collectors, and enthusiasts as well as a unique platform to experience digital art and Web3 community in an immersive environment.
Amusingly, and fittingly, SuperRare is using digital renders to show off what the space will eventually look like. The first exhibition will be a group show entitled “Visions from Remembered Futures” and will include work from (in alphabetical order) ACK, Blake Kathryn, Botto, Dangiuz, David Bianchi, Federico Clapis, Jarvinart, Krista Kim, MadMaraca, Maskarade, mgxs, NessGraphics, Reuben Wu, Vintagemozart, Xsullo, and Zomax.
Bag boosters 💰
The week that was (April 22 - 29, 2022) 🗓
Last week, Moonbirds topped the NFT sales-and-volume charts. This week, the hooters have slipped to second, but that’s still impressive staying power for a fresh project. Ape projects complete the podium, while the aforementioned star of the Solana blockchain, Okay Bears, grabs fourth place, and the second version of Gary Vaynerchuck’s VeeFriends rounds out the top five.
Sounds rare 🎧
Art of the Matter
On Monday, our weekly Twitter Spaces series will be investigating NFT scams, fraud, IP infringement, and other scary things all degens should be aware of. Hosts Jessica Angel and Craig Wilson will be joined by experts Jason Schwartz (AKA @CryptoTaxGuyETH) and Vandana Taxali (@medialegal).
If you’ve got questions for the panelists you’re encouraged to join the session and request to speak. Head over to the link below to set a reminder, or set one of your own and tune in at 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT.
Another Ape hack 🙈
Bored Ape Yacht Club’s Instagram account got compromised on Monday. A subsequent post to the account promising an airdrop of land in the forthcoming Otherside metaverse led some people to connect their wallets (and likely approve a transaction) only to see the NFTs in the connected wallet vanish.
The Block reported that four Bored Apes, six Mutant Apes, and three Bored Ape Kennel Club NFTs were stolen, along with more than 80 from other projects, all with a combined value of around $2.8 million at the time.
To the moon 🌜
This week saw the reveal of VeeFriends Series 2, the second edition of Gary Vaynerchuck’s flagship NFT project.
And Decentraland hosted the world’s first metaverse marathon (which it called a “Metathon”).
Finally, MoonPay — the concierge blue-chip NFT acquisition service to the stars — announced it’s recruiting technical staff for HyperMint, a service it’s describing as the “AWS of NFTs.”
🪡 Thread of the week 🧵
Money <> mouth 💸
Each week we offer you a look at an NFT project we’ve invested in and the motivation behind it. This week we’re looking at “(kinder)Garden, Monuments #286” by generative art pioneers Yazid and Zancan.
Aside from pairing together two artists we love, this collection was one of the first collaborative projects launched on the post-beta version of the generative art platform fx(hash). That combination alone makes it historically relevant. It doesn’t hurt that the art is beautiful, nor that the accompanying rationale is, too:
Every kid was born a builder; every kid likes to sit in nature. It’s their way of discovering the world and dreaming of their future accomplishments. While they marvel at the heights of the cities and monuments they construct out of stacks of cubes, parents marvel at their ability to elaborate an unlimited range of worlds out of a limited range of materials.
This project celebrates the humble and versatile cube. A deceptively simple yet powerful object of play and learning, regardless of age, whether you’re stacking them up in a sandbox, or learning 3D graphics for the first time. This project is dedicated to kids, those who were once children, to the dreamers and builders who still enjoy playing with cubes.
Until next time, see you in the Metaverse.