Looking left, owl updates, and y00topian ideas (Issue #36)
More like Pudgy Phoenixes, amirite?
A project that was pretty much left for dead has come back to life, a number of others have delivered masterclasses in how to maintain hype, and despite global economic conditions and the crypto markets continue to languish in the doldrums, there’ve been some massive NFT sales. So strap in, keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times, and try not to panic, anon, because as any astronaut will attest, no ride to the moon is smooth.
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Right, let’s get straight into it!
Drop alert 🚨
Loveletters to tones, cities, and sharks 🦈
Today, Gmunk’s new collection called “Tone Sculptures” hits Nifty Gateway. But be warned, it’s a “collectors drop,” so you’ll need to be an existing Gmunk holder to participate.
Meanwhile, over on MakersPlace today, Ukrainian artist Nadiia Forkosh is dropping a collection called “City Life,” which looks at the pleasures of urban life and considers what happens when their allure is replaced by tumult courtesy of an unwarranted, unrelenting, and unwanted war.
Then for something completely different, on August 31, the second collection of Baby Shark (do-do-do-do-do-do) NFTs land on MakersPlace.
A free boost for the superfans 🏎
If you bought one of the first 1,000 Omega RUNNER comic books, you’ll soon be able to claim a first edition NFT for free (even gas will be reimbursed if you claim in the first 72 hours). The team is keeping its cards close to its chest on everything the NFT will unlock, but tells us it’s going to be a serious “boost” for OG holders.
If you didn’t buy one of the first 1,000 comics, you’ll be able to pick up one of the first edition NFTs on the secondary market. Wen is it dropping? Sometime soon after The Merge, which is scheduled for mid-September. To keep up to date with the drop, and everything else about this amazing, genre-redefining project, follow the Omega RUNNER Twitter account.
Despite looking like it was destined for the scrap heap of NFT history, this week, Pudgy Penguins staged one of the sector’s most remarkable comebacks, increasing its floor price by 400% for a time, and chalking up a 400 ETH (~$625,000) sale for the rarest of the 8,888 Penguins out there, #6873 (despite its plain appearance, it’s rarity lies in it being the only one of the collection facing left instead of right).
A quick recap: Pudgy Penguins minted last July for 0.3 ETH (then ~$100). They sold out in under 20 minutes, and soon rocketed in value. The project was featured in The New York Times and other mainstream media outlets and looked like it had the makings of a blue chip… until the founders emptied the treasury, were ousted by holders, and the wreckage was sold off in April 2022 for 750 ETH (~$2.5 million) to Luca Netz.
Since the acquisition, a credential-laden new leadership team has been assembled, a range of plushie Pudgy Toys has been released along with a clothing line, a Pudgy Media Hub has been launched, and there’s even a dedicated Pudgy marketplace built using the Origin Protocol.
In short, it’s the level of commitment the project’s new leadership team has shown, combined with its ability to execute on what it promises, which has prompted the renewed bullishness for a project that less than a year ago was being spoken about as a lesson in rug pulling (when founders run away with a projects’ funds), a cautionary tale, and a poster child for all of the worst parts of the NFT market.
Can the PPs retain their recent gains? Time will tell, but one thing is clear, it’d be foolish to count them out again too soon, and it’s worth paying attention to whatever the team does next.
🤑 Jealousy makes you nasty 🐢
Probably nothing 🤔
Learn from the best 📝
NFT thought leader, avid proponent of the open metaverse, and prolific thread poster @punk6529 is launching an “open introductory course to NFTs and the Metaverse, delivered on-chain and in the metaverse” in partnership with the University of Nicosia (UNIC) in Cyprus. The course will be hosted in OM, 6529’s open metaverse/virtual gallery space.
In addition to 6529 himself and the UNIC faculty, the course is being taught by luminaries of the NFT space, including famous artists, collectors, and builders (check out the full list here). To register, you need to mint the free course NFT (you’ll just pay for gas). Class starts on October 3, so ready your notepads and sharpen your pencils frens. And if you’ve got web3-curious friends or family, let them know.
News from the parliament 🦉
Earlier this month, Kevin Rose of Proof Collective announced that its profile picture (PFP) project, Moonbirds, was moving to a CC0 — or “No Rights Reserved” licensing model — meaning anyone can use Moonbirds IP with impunity. The response from the birbs community was largely negative, with many users feeling the project should’ve been CC0 from the start, or holders should’ve been consulted ahead of such a seismic shift. But a mere two weeks later, sentiment and morale appear to be improving.
Rose this week announced a new initiative called Highrise, which will be Moonbirds metaverse, and which holders will get to test and help shape. There were also hints that the first benefits are coming for nesters (those holders who’ve effectively staked their Moonbirds), and news that Oddities (the Moonbirds derivative project) is going to be deflationary, suggesting holders will in future be able to burn Oddities in order to unlock something else in the Proof universe.
Then there’s the suggestion of expanding the community… but no details on what that looks like. But intrigue breeds excitement, and Rose and the rest of the Proof team know that.
Are y00ts ready?
If you’ve spent any time on crypto/NFT Twitter over the last two weeks, you’ll likely have seen mention of y00ts or the y00tlist. Powered by the team behind DeGods (one of the most successful NFT projects on Solana), y00ts is a mixture of a composable PFP project, an experiment in rights management, and an effort to build a collective of 15,000 web3 enthusiasts devoid of the usual allowlist/insidery/smoke-and-mirrors mechanisms common to so many projects.
Those interested in joining the collective can apply here, by connecting their Solana wallet, verifying their Twitter account, and answering a handful of questions about their web3 interests and aspirations. If you’re curious about how the composable NFTs will work and why it might be worth contributing if you’re an artist, you can read the “ⓨ paper” which outlines its “common-sense approach to NFT intellectual property.”
Bag boosters 💸
The week that was (August 18 - 25, 2022) 🗓
Given how much press they’ve been getting, it’s no surprise to see Pudgy Penguins in second position this week, and even though the floor price has simmered down from its highs of around 3.7 ETH, it’s still holding steady above 3 ETH. Meanwhile, the bottom half of the top 10 is filled with fresh faces, including 10KTF Stockroom, Finiliar, Isekai Meta, and ABC(abracadabra).
🔪 Salt in the wound 🧂
More Meta mayhem 🤷
Meta (the rebranded Facebook) announced earlier this year it would allow users of its VR devices (which it also rebranded to Meta from Oculus) to eventually use them without having to create a Facebook account… which it originally promised Oculus users they wouldn’t have to do, but then reneged on, and which it’s now reneging on once more. Indecisive? Well, yes and no.
If that sounds confusing, it’s because it is. But then, this is the same company that now has a VR headset called the “Meta Quest from Meta.” Still, before we get further sidetracked, as previously promised, Oculus/Meta Quest users can now create a Meta account, sync their purchases from their existing Oculus or Facebook account, and then remove the connection to Facebook if they want to. In fact, if they have an Oculus account, they have to do so before the end of the year.
Except… many users have been reporting problems with the process. So perhaps wait a week or two before doing so yourself if you plan to, especially if you’ve got a substantial library of games. But thereafter, you’ll be able to delete your Facebook account and not lose your content, which is a pleasing prospect.
💄 Beauty is in the eye of the bagholder 💰
To the moon 🌛
NFT marketplace Nifty Gateway announced a new partnership with Atomic Form to make it easier to display NFTs on your walls.
Cryptocurrency bigwig Cobie donated $100,000 to YouTuber Atozy (Erling Mengshoel) to help him fund his defense against a lawsuit brought against him by fellow YouTuber BitBoy Crypto (Ben Armstrong) after the former called the latter a scammer in a November 2021 video. Armstong has since backed down and agreed to drop the lawsuit, but the reputational damage to his already divisive brand remains.
Azuki dropped hints about the forthcoming Azuki World, along with the first glimpse of it, called The Alley. Details are light, but clues on the teaser site suggest something big is coming in October… and holders are working hard to decode the teaser-laden website.
New York Fashion Week has partnered with buy-now-pay-later service Afterpay to create NFT “keys” that provide access to unique NYFW experiences or limited edition clothing or accessories. Which is probably nothing.
Generative art platform fx(hash) is launching fx(text), “[a] web3 publishing platform for everyone.” on August 30.
In the latest instance of Ape-flavored partnerships, you can now buy M&Ms featuring the likenesses of the members of Kingship, the Bored Ape Yacht Club band.
🪡 Thread of the week 🧵
Goats only 🐐
Whether you like your penguins rotund or slim, 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 unpacked Proof Collective’s announcements about the future of Moonbirds, and dive into one of the fiercest comebacks in NFT history. 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 10 ETH (~$17,200).
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 “Anticyclone #157” by William Mapan.
We’ve previously enthused about Mapan’s work, and in particular, his “Dragons” series on fx(hash). But when we had the opportunity to collect an “Anticyclone” we had to pounce. The combination of meteorological elements and the paper-like feel give a fundamentally digital and computer-generated work an inescapable analog appearance. The stealthy RarePepe doesn’t hurt, either.
Until next time, see you in the Metaverse.
P.S. This week’s email header image (or footer image if you’re seeing this on Substack) is courtesy of AI art platform Midjourney and the efforts of Metaversal fellow and generative artist, Chris Barber. Thanks Chris!