So long Sartoshi, and thanks for all the memes (Issue #25)
When the going gets tough for mfers, the tough mfers get going.
This week, one of the most recognizable Twitter personalities in the world of NFTs said their goodbyes and rode off into the sunset, two icons of the art world announced a new partnership, and free-to-mint projects continued to dominate trade volume charts. You know, just another rollercoaster of a week in NFT land.
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Right, let’s get straight into it!
Alpha drop 👀
This week the first RUNNER comic book goes on sale. Comic holders will also get allowlist access to the PFP drop coming later this year. Ahead of the comic book drop, the team behind it spoke to NFT Now about what it means to build a media3 project, why involving fans from the start is the future of media creation, and how NFTs are set to fundamentally change the way we think about storytelling and IP.
The comic book drops on June 14, and everything you need to know about it is on the RUNNER Twitter account, which will also be the best place to get live updates not just for this drop, but for all future ones.
Meme lord extraordinaire and creator of the (in)famous stick-figure NFT project mfers, Sartoshi, deleted their Twitter account this week (which had over 180,000 followers) and gave the mfers project back to the community.
It was a move a few people had predicted, and one which — with the good old power of 20/20 hindsight — seems inevitable given Sartoshi’s namesake was, after all, Satoshi: the anonymous creator(s) of Bitcoin who disappeared once the cryptocurrency and its community were robust and self-sustaining.
Sartoshi announced their departure/retirement/vanishing act in a Mirror post, and tied up some loose ends, including how royalties will be treated. The reins of the project have been handed to the @unofficialmfers Twitter account and a handful of mfer loyalists.
The market didn’t take the news very well, with mfers shedding ~1 ETH (~$1,700) from its floor price. But as anyone who’s been in this space for any time at all knows, sentiment can turn on a dime (or a tweet).
In the coming days and weeks, it’ll become clear whether there is a real, sustainable community behind mfers, and whether new leadership will emerge to shepherd it into whatever phase comes next. Given the project is CC0 — meaning owners can do what they like with their mfers — there are definitely the necessary resources for continued success, even without the project’s charismatic (but anonymous) founder.
This may well prove an important test case for PFP collections generally: With any project, there’s the risk that the creators or leadership team will leave, but in a truly decentralized world, a project should be stronger than one personality (or a handful of them). If a project’s success is predicated on the cult of personality of an individual, how strong is it really? Especially if that person is anonymous.
On paper, mfers have a strong community, and coupled with the possibilities afforded by CC0, it should be able to replace the narrative that it was merely a “Sartoshi project.” That said, few projects that have lost their leadership have managed to succeed as community-run initiatives.
However things play out, though, mfers have secured a spot in the NFT annals of history… as has Sartoshi.
💰 Putting your money where your mouth is 🦷
Sounds rare 😲
Art of the Matter 🎨
Be sure to tune in to our weekly Twitter Spaces on Monday where we’ll be talking to Elena Zavelev and Andrea Steuer from CADAF, a new Tezos-based digital art marketplace launching later this month!
Probably nothing 🤔
A slick collab 🛢
Generative art platform Art Blocks has partnered with contemporary art gallery Pace Verso to “release boundary-pushing generative NFT projects by Pace’s artists as well as crypto-native artists selected by and developed in partnership with Pace Verso.”
The first collaborative release is a new project from artist John Gerrard comprised of 196 pieces called “Petro National,” which will be on show at Pace’s New York Gallery during NFT.NYC from June 21 to 23.
Swipe to collect 💳
Mastercard has announced it’s planning to expand the reach of its NFT integrations, which started with Coinbase’s NFT marketplace and allows consumers to use their Mastercards to buy NFTs without needing to buy cryptocurrency first.
As Mastercard itself points out, there are nearly 3 billion of its cards in the world, so making it easier to use them to buy NFTs could lead to a significant boost in adoption, especially from those who are NFT-keen, but crypto-reluctant.
Premier preparations ⚽️
The English Premier League (EPL) has filed two trademarks related to cryptocurrency and NFTs, which all but guarantees a web3 play is coming from the world’s most popular soccer/football franchise.
The trademarks cover a huge array of use cases, and we’d be very surprised to see them arrive all at once, but tradeable NFT player cards, virtual kits and footwear, and possibly NBA Top Shot-like video clips seem like the most likely starting points.
Bag boosters 💰
The week that was (June 3 - 10, 2022) 🗓
If there’s a theme to this week’s chart it’s that free mints are having a moment, but how many of them will still be around in a week, a month, or a year, remains to be seen. Bored Ape Yacht Club (and its related projects) is the only blue-chip in the top 10, and projects on Solana continue to make inroads. What will next week’s chart look like? Well, anon, that’s anyone’s guess.
💀 Your time will come ⌛️
To the moon 🌜
OpenSea is working on a slew of new features to cut down on copymints, fraudulent accounts, and other scams.
Paris Hilton is partnering with the LA County Museum of Art (LACMA) to create a new fund intended to support female digital artists.
PartyDAO announced a $16.4 million fundraise led by a16z crypto.
And, CryptoPunks turned five.
Goats only 🐐
Whether you’re secretly Sartoshi or you’re just a run-of-the-mill mfer, 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.
Recent episodes have seen them unpack Tigerbob NFT Project by Gossamer Rozen, dig into Goblintown and CC0 NFT projects, explain Solana-based project DeGods, offer advice on how to avoid falling victim to popular scams, outline the NFT.NYC events they’re most excited about, and interviewed two of the team behind the forthcoming project, RUNNER. 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 nearly $25,000.
lil Mench, big dreams 🍔
Menches Brothers is a family-owned burger business in Ohio that’s taking its burgers from Mainstreet to the metaverse, with a little help from Metaversal, and a little collection of 5,655, hand-illustrated lil Mench NFTs.
If you’re going to be at NFT.NYC look out for the Menches food truck, grab a burger, and find out how you can mint a lil Mench (or two) of your own.
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 “Hashed Cities #156” by Yazid.
Yazid Azahari is a self-described “experimental artist” working in the field of generative art. His work continues to push boundaries, has appeared at the likes of Art Basel Hong Kong, and is regularly among the most traded work on Tezos-based platforms like fx(hash). In short, Yazid’s work is already iconic, but in decades to come it’s only going to become even more acclaimed… and sought after.
Help wanted 🥷
Metaversal is building out a world-class team to help bring our partner projects to life, provide market analysis for our investment team, and further our mission of creating the community of communities for web3. You can see our full list of open roles here. This week, we want to highlight the following vacancy:
⛓ Blockchain developers 💻
We’re helping artists, creators, and IP owners harness the power of web3 to bring their projects and ideas to life. One of the most potent tools in the web3 toolbox is the smart contract. To that end, we’re looking for developers with demonstrable blockchain experience and technical expertise to join a growing team.
If you think you’d be a good fit, please apply by sending a cover letter and resumé to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you know someone who might be a good fit, please share this newsletter with them.
Until next time, see you in the Metaverse.