The SEC vs. a Kardashian, select simians, and Project Animus (Issue #42)
Would a Kardashian by any other name shill as sweetly?
If we sound like insiders, it’s because we are insiders. The team at Metaversal builds and invests in iconic NFTs and the technology that powers them. We are collectors, creators, coders, designers, musicians, and artists who believe in a decentralized and creator-first future.
The Metaversalist helps you stay on top of what’s essential in the digital art space. Delivered fresh each week, and seasoned with our signature blend of editorial spice, memes, and AI-generated cover art.
In this week’s edition:
Apes get organized 🐒
RTFKT adds eggs to its Clone X basket 🧺
Zuck’s battle for relevance continues
And the SEC cracks the whip 🤠
Right, let’s get straight into it!
It’s a fact universally acknowledged that anyone creating a list will incur the ire of those who believe their own list would be more inclusive, exhaustive, fairer, or simply better in every possible way. We were reminded of this thanks to the announcement from Bored Ape Yacht Club creator Yuga Labs that it’s appointed seven holders of its illustrated simian avatars to a “BAYC Community Council.”
The purpose of the council is “to help the community grow and thrive,” and to provide “an avenue for new perspectives.” It’s comprised of “Apes with a proven track record of proactively and positively contributing to the club since the start,” and Yuga Labs says the council will likely grow over time.
The initial seven members are Laura Rod, Josh Ong, Sera, EthanDG, Negi, Peter Fang, and 0xWave, and Yuga says they were chosen, at least in part, “because they already have been proactive leaders in the BAYC community,” and that their presence in the community and interaction with other holders means they’re ideally suited to “provide community feedback” to Yuga directly.
While there was plenty of praise for the move from BAYC holders, there were also many community members who took to Twitter to share their ideas about which Ape holders should’ve been included, whose exclusion was absolutely criminal, and who was more deserving of a spot at the table. Others saw fit to suggest what the council’s first orders of business ought to be, and pontificated about how they’d run things were they included.
Fortunately, however, the BAYC is not a democracy. It’s a private entity that do as it wishes. And while we’re sure it appreciates feedback (after all, that’s what the council is for), it’s done a very respectable job of going from zero to a multi-billion dollar business in 18 months without comments from the proverbial peanut gallery. Which is why we’ll be keeping our thoughts to ourselves on this one… and congratulating the very deserving appointees on their new roles.
📣 Have you helped a fellow degen today? 🪜
Probably nothing 🤔
Very egg-citing 🥚
Nike-owned and Clone X-creating studio RTFKT teased something called “Project Animus” this week which it says will arrive in 2023. There’s an “EggDrop” coming ahead of it this November, which seems to suggest Clone X avatars are going to get, err, companions sometime next year. Because as Bored Ape Kennel Club first demonstrated, why shouldn’t NFTs have pets?
In fact, it looks like the Bored Ape Yacht Club could play a direct role — or at least its Otherside metaverse might — because the clumsy laggard in the teaser video is none other than a Koda, one of the avatars some lucky minters received with their Otherside land parcels. Curiouser and curiouser.
Zuck adds NFTs 🖼
Facebook users in the U.S. and Instagram users in 100+ countries can now share NFTs — or, as Facebook euphemistically calls them, “digital collectibles” — on the Meta-owned platforms. It’s the closest thing to innovation we’ve seen out of Facebookstagram in, well, many moons. To date, most “innovation” has meant copying features from TikTok or Snapchat and forcing them on users, but we digress.
Will we be using Facebook or Instagram to share our NFTs with the world? We will not, frens. Because if ever there was a company we don’t want to be able to connect our wallet address to our real-world selves, it’s Meta. Also, our moms are the only people who still comment on our Facebook posts, and they don’t care that much about our NFT collections. Still, despite getting worse with every update, Instagram has over 2 billion users… so we’re chalking this up as an overall win for web3.
Cool Cats x Animoca 🐈⬛
Animoca Brands is a household name (at least it is if your house has any degens in it) thanks to its work with the likes of Axie Infinity and The Sandbox and its investments in OpenSea and Dapper Labs, among many others. Now it’s entered into a “strategic partnership” with Cool Cats that it says will “drive Cool Cats' mission to become the largest global NFT brand and a robust media and content company, including through [the] expansion of its gaming offerings.”
As one of the longest-standing and most recognizable brands in web3, it’s little wonder the news saw the Cool Cats floor price rise. Last month the project announced it had appointed a new CEO, Stephen Teglas, who previously worked at Disney, Recur, and Warner Bros. Clearly, the cats are up to something… and the market is paying attention.
Did you arrive here because some kind soul shared this issue of The Metaversalist with you? Show them they’ve got great taste by subscribing.
Drop alert 🚨
Smells rare 🍔
We love burgers, we love small businesses, and we love NFTs, which is why we’re very excited to be able to combine all three. We’ve worked with Ohio-based and family-owned burger purveyors Menches Brothers (who invented the hamburger way back in 1885) on lil Mench, a collection of hand-illustrated burger NFTs that pay homage to innovative brothers throughout history — from the Wright Brothers to the Super Mario Bros.
We’re hosting an in-person mint in Ohio this weekend, but if you can’t get there, you can still mint a lil Mench of your own for 0.9 ETH / $120, which will give you in-store discounts next time you are in the neighborhood, Menches spice packs so you can recreate the Menches magic at home, tickets to sports games, grills, merch, access to lil Mench parties, and more perks in the future.
😨 Tell your mama not to worry
To the moon 🌙
The Museum of Crypto Art (MoCA) received a $100,000 grant from the Filecoin Foundation that it intends to use to “securely archive all art, curation, and projects within the museum ecosystem.”
Moonbirds released an overview of what its forthcoming DAO will look like.
Art Blocks laid out the details of Art Blocks 2.0.
A company called Monuverse is making 3D renders of famous monuments and turning them into NFTs in an effort to preserve them in case, you know, some sort of global calamity destroys them.
Epic Games is teaming up with beauty brand and soap maker Dove to improve diversity and representation in gaming.
OpenSea has entered into a new partnership with Warner Music Group that’ll make it easier for musicians to sell their web3 wares on the world’s most popular NFT marketplace.
Thou shalt not shill 💸
Celebrity influencer and media mogul Kimberly Noel Kardashian (the “Noel” was a surprise to us, too) has landed in hot water with federal regulators. She has agreed to pay over $1 million to settle SEC charges for failing to disclose a $250,000 payment she received for touting a crypto security on Instagram. She also agreed not to do any more crypto promo for three years.
Of course, one has to wonder whether the SEC doesn’t perhaps have bigger fish to fry. Like, say, protecting consumers from lending platform Celsius, which materially affected far more consumers when it imploded than Kim K shilling something called “EthereumMax” on Instagram (seriously, do you think the creative team set out to create the scammiest name possible?).
Or, you know, the SEC could use its resources to investigate the rampant insider trading on both sides of the aisle. Just a thought. Nonetheless, when it comes to matters like these, our suggestion remains unchanged: Don’t take financial advice from celebrities. After all, you wouldn’t take lip gloss advice from Gary Gensler, would you?
Looks rare 🖼
DMINTI fresh 🎨
A word from our frens at Web3Daily 🤝
Web3 Daily is a free newsletter where you can find the most important and interesting web3 and crypto news, without all of the jargon.
Head to web3daily.co to sign up, and get the day’s web3 news straight in your inbox.
Bag boosters 💸
The week that was (October 1-7, 2022) 🗓
RENGA stormed from seventh position a week ago into first place this week, and it’s bookending this week’s chart thanks to its Black Box making an appearance and commanding an even more impressive floor price than its progenitor project. The only other surprise comes from Kitaro World Official, which nabbed third place thanks to impressive sales volumes of 2,463 ETH (~$3.3 million).
The Metaversal Interview 📝
Bryan Brinkman is an animator, visual effect artist, reformed/recovering late-night TV graphic artist, pop culture gallery artist, and advisor. He’s also one of the most recognizable and friendliest faces in the NFT scene — seriously, look at that friendly mug of his below, wouldn’t you want to bump into that in a dark alley?
His work can be found on SuperRare, Nifty Gateway, Rarible, and almost anywhere else NFTs or digital art are sold, bought, or traded… and he knows a thing or three about what it takes to make it as a digital artist in NFT Land.
We sat down with him to talk about his journey from late-night TV to NFTs, notions of “control” in the NFT space, why the art establishment continues to resist the inevitable ascension of blockchain art, and much more besides.
Read Part I of the interview over here, and look out for Part II coming next week.
Follow for more 🐦
Congrats on making it all the way down here, fren! And to think your mom used to complain that you never finished anything?! You sure showed her.
If you’re reading this, it’s not too late to follow @HelloMetaversal on Twitter. We’d love to hear which stories left you cold, steaming mad, or lukewarm.
Until next time, see you in the Metaverse.