Moonbirds, Akutars, and other curious creatures (Issue #19)
Lessons in FOMO, sleeper hits, and a first birthday worth celebrating.
Tomorrow is the one-year anniversary (or birthday, if you prefer) of the Bored Ape Yacht Club. We know, we know, it’s hard to believe it’s only been a year since the simian sensations arrived and forever shook up the NFT market. Meanwhile, in the last eight days, another project has frantically moved moonward like a bird possessed, showing in the process that even a project like BAYC isn’t immune to competition.
Right, let’s get straight into it!
This week was a potent lesson in FOMO for many. But specifically for those who considered entering the draw for the chance to mint a Moonbird — the first profile picture (PFP) collection from Proof Collective — but didn’t.
Of the 10,000 Moonbirds on offer, 2,000 were allocated to holders of Proof Collective’s eponymous membership NFT, 125 were set aside for “future collaborations, marketing, and advisors,” and the remaining 7,875 were available for public minting via an allowlist.
The mint price was set at 2.5 ETH (~$7,500), and to enter the allowlist draw you had to connect a wallet with 2.5 ETH in it. If you did so and your number came up, you’d be smiling right now. Or slackjawed. Or alternating between the two. Either way, you’re likely tired and in a state of disbelief, because a mere eight days after minting, the floor price for Moonbirds is sitting at just under 34 ETH ($100,500)… that’s a 13.4x return in just over a week. 🤯
So, what’s driving the frenzied price action on these pixelated hooters? A number of factors. First, there’s Kevin Rose, the founder of Proof Collective who has 1.6 million Twitter followers, a proven track record of successfully building brands, and an impressive (and doxxed) leadership team.
In only five months, the floor price for Proof Collective’s membership NFT climbed from 1 ETH to 90 ETH. On the back of Moonbirds’ success, it’s now trading at 144 ETH (~$427,000). With only 1,000 passes, Proof is a relatively exclusive club, and it comes with accompanying benefits. Aside from access to other members (who collectively hold thousands of NFTs, many of them blue-chips), Proof members got access to Grails: a collection of 20 NFTs from 20 prominent artists.
Proof has repeatedly promised big things. Proof has repeatedly delivered on those promises. And it’s shown it understands not only how to build and harness hype, but how to sustain it. Moreover, it shows no signs of faltering, and it now has an enormous war chest with which to challenge, well, anyone it wants to.
In addition to getting access to the Proof community, Moonbirds holders can look forward to real-world events, access to Proof’s next NFT projects (like its forthcoming metaverse, Project Highrise) and if they’re willing to lock up their Moonbird via a process called “nesting,” they’ll unlock additional yet-to-be-confirmed rewards. That could reduce the number of Moonbirds on the market, potentially driving the value even higher.
Moonbirds has all the hallmarks of a blue-chip and — if its early success is anything to go by — all the makings of a project with serious longevity, too. If you’re feeling FOMO, we assure you, we empathize. Oh boy, do we empathize.
Data scientist Jamesin Seidel’s in-depth Moonbirds analysis.
🏰 Keep building your dream 🦄
Goats only 🐐
Whether you minted a Moonbird or hadn’t heard of them until today, you should be watching or listening to Goats and the Metaverse. In fact, if you’d tuned into the show two weeks ago, you’d have known all about Moonbirds, because they were covered on April 8.
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 “move-to-earn” service StepN, looked at the stratospheric rise of Moonbirds, offered their take on Azuki’s Beanz, interviewed the founder of Bored & Hungry, the Bored Ape-themed restaurant in LA, and offered the lowdown on securing some virtual turf in BAYC’s highly anticipated Otherside. 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 which, at last count, was valued at over $67,000, or you know, more than half a Moonbird.
💥 Pop it like it’s hot 🍾
Probably nothing 🤔
Break on through to the Otherside 🔃
BAYC creator Yuga Labs took a bit of a backseat to Proof Collective and Moonbirds this week, but that could change tomorrow when it’s expected to announce more details on how land sales will work for its forthcoming “Otherside” metaverse. Why tomorrow? Because the date marks one year since the first Bored Apes were minted.
Details haven’t been confirmed, but here’s what’s expected: 5% of landowners will get airdropped “Kodas,” a new 10K PFP project from Yuga, and land sales are rumored to start on April 29.
It’s expected there’ll be two areas: inner and outer rings. It seems likely the inner ring will be limited to Ape holders, with affiliated project holders (CryptoPunks, World of Women, Cool Cats, CrypToadz, and others) getting the option to mint land parcels in the outer ring. We should know more tomorrow.
Here comes the hotstepper 👟
Another NFT project burning up our Telegram groups, Discord servers, and Twitter this week is StepN, a “move-to-earn” application on the Solana blockchain that lets users earn Solana from steps taken in the real world.
To participate, users need to buy a virtual sneaker (the digital kicks start at around $1,200) and different models earn different rewards. StepN is part fitness game, part pedometer, part digital collectible platform, and though it’s not the first service of its sort, it’s one of the first to reward users in tokens that can be converted to fiat currency, and thus used outside its ecosystem (unlike forerunners Sweatcoin and Step Coin, which — for the time being — only allow users to spend their tokens inside their respective ecosystems).
Coinbase’s NFT marketplace is here… sort of 🛒
Six months after it was announced (AKA, two eternities ago in NFT time), Coinbase’s NFT marketplace launched in beta this week. The early response has been… mixed. First, volumes have been extremely low (though, given it’s only been live for a few days, that’s not entirely surprising). The second major criticism comes from an unusual interface decision.
Inexplicably, Coinbase has built in the ability for users to comment on NFT listings. If you’ve ever spent even a brief period in almost any comment section anywhere on the internet, you’ll understand why this is a bad idea. Comment sections are magnets for trolls, shitposters, and other anti-social elements. By adding degens to the mix, Coinbase is all but guaranteeing a cesspit of vitriol, shilling, and scams. At the very least, it’s setting itself up for a moderation minefield.
Get a little Crey 🤪
Master of memes and paterfamilias of mfers, Sartoshi, airdropped holders of his original project a new one on 4/20. Called Creyzies, the collection of 9,999 PFPs hand-drawn by artist Pablo Esteban Sánchez Rijlaarsdam (AKA Reylarsdam) now has a floor price of ~0.4 ETH (~$1,200).
The original mfers were released with no “roadmap,” “utility,” or the other accouterments many NFT projects tout (but often fail to deliver), and the stick-figure artwork wasn’t exactly revolutionary. But none of that mattered — and the mfer floor is now at 2.58 ETH (~$7,800) — because Sartoshi’s community is huge and loyal, and the fact that mfers didn’t take itself seriously was a massive part of its appeal.
Now believers have been rewarded, and Sartoshi’s conventions-be-damned approach has been further validated in the process. It turns out there are as ways to skin an NFT project as there are ape derivative projects.
🪡 Thread of the week 🧵
Bag boosters 💰
The week that was (April 15 - 22, 2022) 🗓
You get no points at all for guessing which NFT project has dominated this week’s charts (and newsletters). So the actual news lies elsewhere. Despite a lukewarm response from some collectors, Azuki’s Beanz have put in a solid showing, and the hype around Murakami Flowers has translated into plenty of trading volume.
Sounds rare 🎧
Art of the Matter
On Monday, our weekly Twitter Spaces series will be looking at the ingenious world of “NFT Legos.” Bruno Skvorc will be joining hosts Jessica Angel and Craig Wilson to talk about this, and related topics, like “nested and multi-resource NFTs.”
If that’s Greek to you, or you have other burning questions for Skvorc, 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.
Always check for swastikas 🤦
Binance this week accidentally released an emoji that looked uncannily like a swastika. For extra cringe, it did it on the birthday of a certain genocidal dictator with a penchant for small mustaches and appropriating (and corrupting) Eastern iconography.
Once Binance realized the error of its ways, it speedily backpedaled, removed the offending emoji from circulation, and admitted the incident was more than a little awkward.
“Well that was obviously really embarrassing,” the opening line of its apology Tweet read. “We’re not sure how that emoji got through several layers of review without anyone noticing, but we immediately flagged the issue, pulled it down, and the new emoji design is being rolled out as we speak.”
And that’s why you always, always, triple-check for accidental swastikas before signing off on a design, folks.
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 “Subscapes #487” by Matt DesLauriers.
DesLauriers is one of the finest contemporary generative artists working today. His name often gets mentioned in the same breath as the likes of Manolo Gamboa Naon, Tyler Hobbs, Dmitri Cherniak, and Zancan. Meridian and Subscapes are his flagship collections, and #487 of the latter has a special rarity in the form of its hill landscape: the third rarest trait in the collection.
Until next time, see you in the Metaverse.