NFT.NYC, the NFT 100, and the importance of rest and recuperation (Issue #27)
You're going to need to sleep eventually, anon.
It will come as no surprise that this week’s issue is all about NFT.NYC, the world’s biggest NFT conference hosted in one of the world’s greatest cities (or the greatest, if its residents are to be believed).
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Right, let’s get straight into it!
This week New York City played host to countless brunches, lunches, dinners, picnics, cocktail parties, sitdowns, standups, private theater shows, intimate gigs, rooftop parties, parties on boats, parties near boats, parties about boats… you get the idea. There were also talks and panel discussions galore, food trucks, flyer distribution, QR-code scanning, rubbing of shoulders, and shilling of projects. The reason? NFT.NYC (baby).
Arguably the jewel in the North American NFT conference crown, NFT.NYC (much like its host city) literally had more events happening than it was possible to attend. On Wednesday alone there were over 300 events. Of course, not all events are created equal, so the glut of them wasn’t enough to prevent lengthy lines outside some of the more popular ones.
Some of our highlights included the Women in web3 brunch hosted by Soho House, the Fewocious Paint Party, the Cyberbrokers shindig, the multi-day Ape Fest at Pier 17, Doodle’s event where it revealed a new partnership with Pharrell Williams, Madonna performing at World of Women’s party on Thursday night, Azuki’s party, Cool Cats’ get-together, Proof Collective’s banger, and Psychedelic Anonymous’s meet-up.
The folk from Goblintown disrupted a number of the lengthy lines by harassing/entertaining people, a fake anti-NFT protest achieved its goals by going viral — and produced our favorite slogan of the week: “Make fiat great again” — and NFT Now revealed the inaugural NFT 100 (disclosure: we were a sponsor), its list of 100 NFT-related movers, shakers, tastemakers, key players, collectors and connectors, at a gala dinner at The Rainbow Room.
It wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns, though. Understandably, various people felt various other people not making the NFT 100 list was a travesty, which is an inevitability when making any sort of finite list, but doubly so when a sector is so passionate.
Meanwhile, looking around at many events reminded us the space remains very demographically skewed, and our MetaLetters augmented reality letter hunt with Decentralized Dance Party got rained on (though the inclement weather did nothing to dampen spirits).
This sort of thing is to be expected though: NFT.NYC is only a few years old. Inevitably, some things are going to go wrong, and some kinks will take time and experience to iron out. Nonetheless, NFT.NYC attracted an estimated 15,000 degens to New York despite the ongoing bear market, and given its scale it was incredibly slick. For that, the organizers deserve massive kudos.
NFT.NYC and the innumerable conversations we had during it also served as a potent reminder that this space is growing incredibly fast and that many of its participants aren’t just here to flip and run — they’re building for the long run. Like us, they believe in the transformative power of NFTs to empower creators, connect them to their collectors, foster communities, rethink existing power structures, change how cultural creation and ownership work, and bring people with shared goals together while giving them the tools to achieve those goals.
What else did we learn? More speakers don’t make for a better event, you don’t have to have a ticket to the conference to get massive value out of it (being in town and at satellite events are more than enough — in fact, they may even be better than the main event), and that you can’t predict the weather any more than you can predict what’ll happen next in the NFT market.
We’re looking forward to next year’s event already… but we’re also looking forward to sleeping for more than eight hours in a row for a couple of nights.
💸 Uber drivers deserve it 🚖
Sounds rare 😲
Art of the Matter 🍔
On Monday, Metaversal’s Jessica Angel and Craig Wilson will be talking to the team behind Menches Brothers, an Ohio-based family business that not only invented the hamburger but is taking them from main street to the metaverse.
They’ll be unpacking what it takes to reinvent your image while staying true to your roots, how even small brands can harness NFTs, and what it was like serving hundreds of burgers to hundreds of hungry degens at the world’s biggest NFT event.
You can set a reminder for the session from the tweet below:
Probably nothing 🤔
Snoop and Shady go Ape 🙉
Rather than host a single event at NFT.NYC, Bored Ape Yacht club hosted a four-night-long ApeFest. Each night featured big-name acts, but it was the last night’s line-up that got the most attention (and generated the most FOMO) because it featured rap legends Eminem and Snoop Dogg performing together… plus, it saw the duo debut a new Ape-laden music video.
Both Snoop and Eminem hold multiple NFTs, and the former has previously announced plans to open a dessert restaurant that’ll feature his Ape in its branding. No matter what you think about BAYC there’s no denying its star roster of holders gives it unique access that’s tough for other collections to match. Whether it can turn that into ever more impressive events that match growing expectations remains to be seen.
Doodle x Pharell
Doodles announced Doodles 2, a second collection coming later this month. Existing Doodle holders could mint a free (except for gas) “Dooplicator” which will play a role in the later reveal. It also announced Pharrell Williams is joining the Doodles team as a chief brand officer and joins the board (and one of his tracks soundtracks the reveal trailer below).
Williams is also executive producing an album of Doodles-flavored tunes which will be sold as NFTs (and available to stream on major platforms). The Doodles team used NFT.NYC to announce it’s concluded its first funding round, which was led by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian’s VC firm Seven Seven Six.
Bag boosters 💰
The week that was (June 17 - 24, 2022) 🗓
Like last week’s chart, this week’s is dominated by recognizable names. CryptoPunks saw a massive boost in price and trading activity thanks to news about new appointments and suggestions there’s a big announcement in the works, while Doodles reveal that it’s working with Pharrell Williams and there’s a second NFT collection incoming saw its OG collection and Dooplicator NFTs received plenty of action.
🪧 “Believe Bill Gates” 😆
Yuga responds to Nazi claims
For months, conceptual artist and one-time boyfriend of musician Azealia Banks, Ryder Ripps, has been waging war against Bored Ape Yacht Club creator Yuga Labs, alleging its flagship creation of 2D simians is laden with Nazi and alt-right imagery and dog whistles.
After initially responding to the accusations six months ago, Yuga has studious ignored Ripps, who has only ramped up his campaign. This week Yuga responded again with a blog post on Medium debunking Ripps’ claims and accusations.
Ripps is no stranger to the NFT world. He sold an audio sex tape featuring ex-girlfriend Banks as an NFT (👀), and was the co-creator of the Million Token Website, a 1,000-by-1,000 pixel digital land project buyers can purchase a pixel-sized plot of.
Ripps has also been selling a rip-off of BAYC (called RR/BAYC) that realized ~2,900 ETH in volume (~$3.5 million) before OpenSea pulled it… which seems like an incongruous and cash-grabby move for someone claiming BAYC is itself profiteering from fascist iconography. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
To the moon 🌜
Hardware wallet maker Ledger launched an NFT market “for curated NFT drops and collaborations from highly coveted brands and artists.” For now, details are sparse, but interested parties can sign up via the website and hope they get picked for the allowlist.
Infinite Objects, which makes high-end, collective video displays pre-loaded with single artworks, is launching a membership NFT for 0.41 ETH or $499 that’ll grant holders discounts and which will come with a physical version… on an Infinite Objects display, of course.
Solana marketplace Magic Eden raised $130 million at a $1.6 billion valuation.
Uniswap bought marketplace aggregator Genie, which means that from this fall, consumers will be able to trade NFTs directly from the Uniswap web app.
Online auction site eBay has acquired NFT marketplace KnownOrigin for an undisclosed sum.
Head of web3 at Christie’s, Noah Davis, is leaving the auction house to join the CryptoPunks team at Yuga Labs (you may recall Yuga bought the IP rights for Punks from Yuga earlier this year).
And soccer/football player Christiano Ronaldo is launching NFTs with Binance.
🪡 Thread of the week 🧵
Bedtime reading 📚
Accenture put out a new report called “Meet me in the metaverse” that both outlines the firm’s views on the emerging world of web3, and tries to dispel some misconceptions about it for its clients. You can read it below:
Goats only 🐐
Whether you’re still recovering from NFT.NYC or you’re dealing with FOMO from not having been at it, 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.
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 $17,500.
Eat, run, dance🕺
If you were at NFT.NYC this week you may have seen our logo or some of our projects. In between running between dozens of events hosted by other people, we had a number of our own. For starters, we dished out delicious Menches Brothers burgers from the lil Mench foodtruck…
We co-hosted a dance party and AR scavenger hunt in Midtown with the effervescent folk from Decentralized Dance Party…
We also held a private performance of Sleep No More for RUNNER, along with an afterparty that Ja Rule turned up to for it to get shut down — we know, correlation does not imply causation… but… well… anyway…
Why are we telling you all of this? Because this was just the start for many of these projects. RUNNER is launching an incredible PFP project later this year that’ll push the boundaries for collectible NFTs. Meanwhile, lil Mench (also dropping soon) is one of the cutest collections we’ve ever seen, let alone gotten to be involved in. Because we believe in long-term partnerships where the drop is just the beginning, not the end.
We can’t wait to show you what else we’ve got in store. Watch — as they say — this space.
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 “MAX PAIN #2671/7394” by XCOPY.
XCOPY is a true OG crypto artist whose work is as instantly recognizable as it is iconic. Whether you’ve been interested in digital art for years or you’re a newcomer to the space, XCOPY’s influence is as undeniable as his work is unavoidable — eventually, it seems to turn up everywhere… and with good reason. XCOPY is constantly innovating while never compromising on his unique style or vision.
Until next time, see you in the Metaverse… and get some sleep, anon.