Miami Art Basel, doxxing season, and Apple's impossible demands (Issue #50)
Welcome to Miami (Bienvenido a Miami)
In this week’s issue of The Metaversalist, the masks come off, the rev counters climb, and we brace ourselves for Basel.
But first, we’re trying something new at Metaversal. Staying up to date with Discord servers for multiple NFT projects is hard work. What if someone did the leg work for you and presented you with a daily or weekly summary of key happenings in the servers you care about? If this sounds like a service you’d use, please fill out our five-minute Discord Digests survey.
Right, let’s get straight into it!
Porsche races into web3 🏎
German automaker Porsche (which — like Audi, Bentley, Ducatti, and others — is owned by Volkswagen) this week announced it plans to release a collection of customizable NFTs. There’ll be a total of 7,500 NFTs on offer, each a variation of the unmistakable Porsche 911, and each designed by 3D artist Patrick Vogel and rendered in Unreal Engine 5. They go on sale in January 2023, and pricing hasn’t been confirmed yet.
At first blush, this does feel a bit like our dads trying to tell us what’s cool, but it would be foolish to dismiss the cultural cache Porsche enjoys. Included in the announcement is the stock-standard reassurance that “Owners of digital collectibles by Porsche can look forward to a variety of customization options, an inspiring community of NFT holders, specially selected ‘money can’t buy’ experiences as well as the opportunity to co-create Porsche's future in the Web3 universe,” or what NFT communities like to call “utility.”
Is this reassurance deliberately vague and insubstantial? Sure. But most NFT roadmaps are. What’s different here is that the promissory note comes from an absolutely iconic brand that understands the importance of delivering what it tells the market to expect… and whose loyalists tend to have very deep pockets. We expect the collection will sell out faster than a 911 can do a quarter mile.
One of the few sectors minimally affected when macro conditions make a beeline for the toilet is the luxury market, and if Porsche isn’t a luxury brand, we don’t know what is. The fact that it’s chosen to pursue a web3 attack while the wider market is in the doldrums is a promising portend if ever we’ve seen one.
It also doesn’t hurt that minters can choose from over 150,000 design combinations when creating their Porsche 911 NFT. That ability to create something unique could make for a brisk secondary market as buyers choose combinations that appeal to them most. It also means that, by design, there’ll be far fewer actual NFTs than there will be possible combinations, which introduces an element of rarity from the outset.
There was so much initial interest that the Porsche Discord couldn’t cope with newcomers. It’s since settled down, but that’s another clear sign that this isn’t a project to be caught napping on. Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.
👊 Everything’s better with wings 🦋
Looks rare 🖼
There are too many events taking place in Miami this week for Art Basel, but these are some of the key ones we’re going to be attending:
NFT Now “Gateway” | All week
The Gateway is “a web3 metropolis” spread over a dozen different buildings and hosted by the premier NFT news site, NFT Now, and concierge NFT-acquisition service to the stars, Moonpay.
Snowfro x gmoney | All week
Holders of gmoney’s Admit One NFT can “mint” a T-shirt. Each of the 1,200 shirts is unique and carries a $585 price tag.
Fewocious Paint Party | Friday, December 2
There ain’t no party like a Fewo Paint Party because a Fewo Paint Party don’t stop. Okay, that’s not totally true. Like all good things, even a Paint Party ends, but it’s still not an event you want to miss. This week’s iteration promises a fashion element, and we can guarantee the FOMO will be strong if you are in Miami but don’t make it to this one.
FEMGEM | Saturday, December 3
We gave FEMGEM a punt last week, and we’ll do it again this week because it’s going to be one of the hottest events happening in Miami all week.
Doodle Putt | Friday & Saturday, December 2 & 3
Doodles have come in for some criticism in recent months for being way too quiet about what they’re up to… but they’re hoping a mini-golf-themed event in Miami can change that. If you haven’t preregistered for DoodlePutt, you can try your luck at the venue.
Probably nothing 🤔
It’s doxxing season 🎭
This week not one but two huge names in the NFT space, gmoney and Frank from DeGods, doxxed themselves. In keeping with the mores of web3, both opted to use Twitter for their reveals, and — as we’ve seen when founders or personalities reveal themselves of late — the response was pretty universally positive.
The tastemaker known as gmoney is, among other things, heading up 9dcc, a web3 luxury brand he created to experiment with “phygital” fashion, and he’s gone from being a famous collector to becoming a significant voice in the NFT space. Frank, meanwhile, heads the most successful project on Solana — DeGods — and is helping reimagine what community and participation look like with y00ts.
The fact that both opted to reveal their identities this week may be coincidental, but it’s nonetheless significant. As more and more web3 projects look to raise capital and achieve mainstream recognition, knowing who’s behind a project is only going to become more important. Pseudoanonimity may have been a badge of honor in the early days of NFTs, but with few exceptions — like punk6529 — it’s no longer the norm. People want to know who’s looking after their investments.
Uniswap: Now with NFTs 🦄
“At launch, Uniswap will support OpenSea, X2Y2, LooksRare, Sudoswap, Larva Labs, X2Y2, Foundation, NFT20, and NFTX,” the platform explains. We’d argue that increased competition can only be good for the space. The fact that it’s coming from a well-established name in the space doesn’t hurt at all, and neither does the fact that it’s airdropping USDC to users of the platform Genie, which Uniswap acquired.
Rug Radio PFPs are incoming
Web3-focused media company Rug Radio announced during Miami Art Basel that it’s releasing a profile picture (PFP) collection early next year. Details are slim for now, but Rug Radio co-founder Farokh Sarmad says the collection will be holders of the Genesis Rug NFT.
Renowned digital artist Cory Van Lew is behind the blue-hued characters. Given the popularity of his existing body of work and Rug Radio’s substantial reach, we expect there will be a lot of interest in this project when the mint details are revealed. We’re also understandably enthused about the move because we recently took a sizeable position in Rug Radio (you can read about that over here).
Apple doesn’t get web3 🤷
Unless you’re a giant retailer like Amazon that has the power to haggle, if you want to have your app in Apple’s App Store, you have to agree to pay the Apple Tax, a 30% levy on items you sell via any app designed for the iPhone, iPad or Mac devices. That’s an unfortunate burden for small businesses, but it’s an impossible-to-comply-with one when applied to some blockchain technologies.
As Apple’s systems don’t support cryptocurrencies, this presents a particularly vexing and intractable challenge, as Coinbase explains: “For anyone who understands how NFTs and blockchains work, this is clearly not possible. Apple’s proprietary In-App Purchase system does not support crypto so we couldn’t comply even if we tried.”
Also, Elon 🙃
Mr. Elon Reeve Musk (we know, right, “Reeve?!”) continues to do his level best to end up in business school textbooks for all the wrong reasons. This week he picked a fight with the most valuable company on earth, the aforementioned Apple, over vague and unsubstantiated claims it’s cutting its advertising on our (regrettably favorite) hellsite, Twitter, and that this — a private enterprise’s decision over where to spend its cash — somehow amounts to an assault on free speech. Sigh.
Alexandra Petri at The Washington Post had a great tangentially-related piece, helpfully titled, “To be very clear, free speech is when you give me money.” We wish we didn’t have to report on the latest dumb thing the world’s richest-for-now man keeps doing… but he keeps doing dumb things. So it goes.
To the moon 🌛
Nike-owned studio RTFKT announced that Clone X holders can claim an “egg” NFT this week which form part of its forthcoming “Project Animus” initiative, and it also unveiled a new “WM” (world-merging) chip that’s coming to future Nike sneakers and which will allow owners to link their physical footwear with virtual collectibles.
ClubNFT released its updated “pinning” tool for collectors. Collectors of select artists can use the new service for free:
NFT marketplace OpenSea has launched on Binance’s BNB Chain. As a result, OpenSea users can now trade BNB NFTs on the platform. Also, the platform announced it’s paid out over $1 billion in creator fees this year:
The New York Times reported on the ICA Miami CryptoPunk and continues to preemptively (and erroneously) predict the imminent demise of NFTs. Lol.
Moonsama announced “a multi-million dollar investment” from Scytale Ventures:
Sony is launching “metaverse wearables” that will allow for digital avatars to mimic wearers real-world movements.
Hardware wallet maker Ledger is setting up a new fund to finance NFT art projects.
Solana marketplace Magic Eden had launched a new protocol to enforce creator royalties.
Bedtime reading 📚
ArtNet’s 2022 installment of its “Innovators List” is out, and there’s a section dedicated to “The Web3 World-Builders” which includes the likes of Beeple, Erick “Snowfro” Calderon, and Casey Reas, among others.
Don’t let The New Yorker’s weird predilection for styling NFT as “N.F.T.” put you off reading its fascinating piece on World of Women founder, Yam Karkai. It really is essential reading for anyone interested in NFTs (or “N.F.T.s”).
Goats only 🐐
Whether you pronounce it Porschè, Porchë, or Porché (you animal), 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’re heading to Miami for Art Basel, and they break down what they’re expecting from the event. Check out the latest episode here:
Aside from providing invaluable insights into digital art and collectibles, Stan and Yossi have also put 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.
Until next time, see you in the Metaverse.