[UPDATED] Better the Goblins you know, here comes NFT.NYC, and a slimed Chevy (Issue #26)
When times are tough, frens are plentiful... if you're living in NFT Land.
Yesterday, a draft version of this newsletter was published inadvertently instead of the final version. This is why you’re getting it again, although this time it’s fully baked. We regret the error, and apologize for any confusion.
Sincerely, The (blushing) Metaversalists
Last week there was blood on the streets. This week, well, there’s even more blood. Sorry. And there are 1,100 Coinbase employees who are now unemployed (perhaps they should try Binance, which used the news of its rival’s downsizing to announce a hiring spree and take a dig at it). Oh, and if you’re a Celsius user, you may have found yourself unable to make any withdrawals after the company froze them last weekend. Yikes.
There’s no telling how long this bear market/crypto winter/whatever you want to call it will last… but it won’t be forever, anon, and for those creators, entrepreneurs, collectors, and other players thinking in five or 10-year increments, it’s time to knuckle down, buy the grails that used to be too expensive, and shore up ETH for the next bull run.
Also… there’s NFT.NYC to look forward to next week, so at least if your sorrows do need drowning, you can be do it in empathetic company.
If you’re new to The Metaversalist and arrived here via a link or an email someone shared with you, please consider subscribing:
Right, let’s get straight into it!
Alpha drop 👀
Last week we told you about RUNNER, the media3 project from legendary Hollywood production company Clubhouse Pictures (The Hunger Games, Birds of Prey, I, Tonya) that’s launching with a comic book and dropping a PFP collection later this year. Well, the comic book sale is live, and stock of the first editions is dwindling fast.
Why buy a comic book? Because collectors of the first edition get so much more than the beautiful, printed, comic packed with world-class storytelling and beautiful art delivered right to their doorstep… they get allow list access for the PFP drop coming later this year, priority access to future RUNNER drops, and the chance to attend an exclusive performance of Sleep No More during NFT.NYC.
When Goblintown dropped as a free mint last month and proceeded to storm up NFT sales charts, speculation was rife as to who was behind it. Was it a bit of bear-market malarky from Bored Ape Yacht Club creators Yuga Labs? Or could it be Larva Labs — the team behind CryptoPunks — pranking NFT collectors while making a pithy comment about aesthetic sensibilities in the sector? Perhaps it was Snoop dee-oh-double-gee?
If you watched the rather long video above, we’re sorry, we should’ve told you ahead of it the answer is Truth Labs, a creative studio that’s launched two previous NFT projects (Illuminati Collective and The 187), neither of which achieved anything like the success of Goblintown at launch (though The 187 now boasts a 12 ETH floor, thanks to the infamy of its garish, gargling, and — by some estimates — grotesque, stablemates).
While doxxing has proven good for the bottom line of some projects, that’s not how things have played out in this instance — post reveal, the floor price tumbled.
In Goblintown’s defense, though, almost everything is down, and the dip in consumer sentiment may have more to do with wider market conditions than being a vote of little confidence in the founding team.
Whatever the cause, fluctuations in the NFT market can be significant and rapid, and with the Goblintown team promising a presence at NFT.NYC, merch (including something called “goblin sauce”), and more surprises to come, you’d be foolish to count them out.
Plus, a 3 ETH (~$3,350) floor price and nearly 38,000 ETH in volume is still impressive in the current market, especially for a project that was free to mint and which has “no roadmap, no Discord, no utility,” and — umm — niche-appeal art.
We expect NFT project founders self-doxxing — that is, revealing their identities voluntarily and deliberately — will become increasingly common, especially for high-valuation projects, and especially as the NFT market matures and continues the oft-stated mission of “onboarding the next billion users.”
With the market in the doldrums, trust — like many projects’ floor prices — is at an all-time low. Secrecy and anonymity aren’t the play that’s likely to change that.
🤑 He’s not wrong, though 🙃
Probably nothing 🤔
It’s Tezos time ⏳
Performance artist Marina Abramovic is releasing an NFT version of her iconic 2001 video piece “The Hero” which depicts Abramovic, dressed in black, astride a white horse, and with a large white flag in hand. Meanwhile, co-star of the original Top Gun and one-time Batman, Val Kilmer, is also launching an NFT collection on Tezos in collaboration with some of the chain’s most notable artists like goldcat.
Tezos has enjoyed growing interest from collectors and creators alike in recent months. In addition to being the cryptocurrency used by generative art platform fx(hash), platforms like Objkt and Teia encourage artists to experiment with 1/1 work or editioned series while enabling collectors to pick up pieces for a fraction of what they’d likely cost if they were minted on Ethereum.
Chevy is releasing an NFT that comes with a 1/1 car 💚
Automaker Chevrolet is auctioning an NFT next week on SuperRare that depicts a green Corvette Z06 in a cyberpunk-tinged cityscape. The artwork comes from Nick Sullo, better known by the moniker xsullo. But the winner of the auction will get more than a mere JPEG, they’ll get an actual Corvette Z06, too.
Chevrolet promises The “Minted Green” Corvette will be the only Z06 to come in its particular hue of vivid green, and that all proceeds from the auction will go to an education charity called DonorsChoose. Cynics might say Chevy is selling a car that comes with an NFT, but however you couch it, it’s just the latest vote of confidence in the space from a big-name corporation. It’s not the first such move, though. Lamborghini did something similar back in April. But who needs a Lambo when you can have a Slimer-colored Corvette instead, fren?
You’ve been served 📃
Law firm Holland & Knight delivered a restraining order via airdrop and in the form of an NFT. The order was sent to an anonymous defendant, accused of stealing nearly $8 million worth of cryptocurrencies from a fintech company called LCX.
While we’d be very surprised if the defendant complies, we’ve got to admit this is a great example to bring up when people ask about “the utility of NFTs.” Also, it makes us feel much better about the unwanted airdrops in our wallets we thought were bad.
Bag boosters 💰
The week that was (June 10 - 17, 2022) 🗓
Last week’s chart was dominated by the latest free-to-mint phenomenon, We’re All Going To Die (WAGTD). This week, while the markets may be anything but “normal” the charts look the most normal we’ve seen in ages. Aside from ShitBeast and Solana-based Primates, the top 10 is stacked with stalwarts. Well, stalwarts and goblins. But perhaps that is the new normal.
🧐 Well, when you put it like that… 🤔
Scammers gonna scam 🕵️
Noted, self-described, irrefutable, Netflix-erized, convicted, currently-doing-time scammer, Anna Delvey, has released a series of NFTs of her art called “Reinventing Anna” from behind bars. So far three NFTs exist, each priced at 0.08 ETH (~$90), and each promising “access” to the con artist.
We urge you not to buy them. But we also urge you to enjoy this snippet from the on-site FAQs:
NFT scams are EVERYWHERE these days. Stay weary on minting sites, Discord and Twitter of anyone asking you to send/receive/post information that might compromise your wallet.
We’re sure Delvey meant “wary” — as in, to be suspicious of — but she’s not wrong, this sort of thing makes us very “weary” — as in tired, oh so very tired.
Bill Gates will not be left holding your bags 🛍
Microsoft founder Bill Gates has pulled no punches this week when it comes to his views on NFTs. Speaking at a TechCrunch event, Gates said NFTS are “100 percent based on great fool theory.” That is, there’s money to be made, but only so long as there are more foolish people willing to buy NFTs than those who bought them previously.
He also took the chance to have a dig at Bored Ape Yacht Club, saying dismissively that, “obviously, expensive digital images of monkeys are going to improve the world immensely.” Gates says he has no crypto or NFT positions, so if anyone’s going to be left holding your bags we know for sure it won’t be him. Pity. He could certainly afford it.
To the moon 🌜
Pop superstar and NFT holder Madonna is going to perform at World of Women’s NFT.NYC party, NFT Evening reports.
This is by no means Madge’s first foray into NFTs, she’s previously collaborated with World of Women and Billboard on a collection, done another with Beeple and SuperRare, and bought a Bored Ape in March. Plus, her manager Guy Oseary began representing WoW back in January, so this is hardly a surprise.
Actor and artist Jim Carrey has released his first NFT and bought his first one, too.
OpenSea has made the transition to the open-source Sea Port protocol which promises lower gas and listing fees and far more granular control for NFT buyers and sellers alike.
Children’s entertainment network Nickolodeon plans to launch an NFT collection later this (northern hemisphere) summer.
American tennis star Coco Gauff has launched a selection of NFTs with her animated likeness on Autograph.
Colorado’s governor, Jared Polis, is using NFTs for fundraising.
Cool Cats has partnered with The Sandbox to release NFT avatars that can be used in the latter’s metaverse.
RTFKT, the metaverse studio Nike acquired, is working with a brand called Byredo to create a web3-themed perfume range.
🪡 Thread of the week 🧵
Bedtime reading 📚
Meanwhile, Twitter co-founder and twice CEO Jack Dorsey thinks that web3 has already failed in its mission to decentralize the internet and that the solution might lie in what he’s calling web5 (never mind web4). You can read all about Dorsey’s argument, and plans, over here.
Finally, Web3 Data Degens has an awesome piece titled “How To Learn Crypto As A New Language” on Mirror that offers a compelling way to think about cryptocurrencies and adjacent technologies like NFTs.
Goats only 🐐
Whether you’re too young to remember Madonna in her heyday, or old enough to have seen your parents clutch their pearls upon a first listen to “Like a Virgin,” 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 consider the state of the bear market, discuss the implications of the Goblintown founders self-doxxing, and offered some tips on how to survive the current market downturn. 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 $16,000.
Dancing in the streets
We’ve partnered with the one and only Decentralized Dance Party (DDP) to bring you a combination street party and AR scavenger hunt during NFT.NYC. On Wednesday, June 22, we’ll literally be dancing in the streets of Midtown Manhattan, starting at Bryant Park at 4pm. But while we’re at it, we’ll also be looking out for gigantic, AR letters in the sky, thanks to the team at Spheroid Universe.
Using the free-to-download MetaLetters app, you’ll be able to view gigantic 3D letters that spell out Metaversal. Collect them all and you’ll be in line for some special prizes. The DDP is open to anyone, but if you are attending we’d love it if you’d RSVP here.
Flippin’ burgers with frens 🍔
If you’re going to be at NFT.NYC you’re going to get hungry. And as even goblins know, there’s nothing quite like a burger for filling a gaping maw. So look out for the lil Mench food truck from Menches Brothers, who didn’t just perfect the burger, they invented it way back in 1885.
The truck will be in Midtown on Wednesday, and the aforementioned Decentralized Dance Party will be going right past it. So you could join the DDP and get a delicious snack (oh, and, you know, the chance to mint a lil Mench NFT later this year… no big deal).
Money <> mouth 💸
Based in France, ciphrd is a coder and artist who created the Tezos-based generative art platform fx(hash) late last year as a side project. It swiftly became so popular (and demanding) that he quit his day job and made fx(hash) his full-time focus, and it continues to push boundaries and inspire newcomers to generative art while providing an alternative to Art Blocks and other ETH-based platforms.
Anyone can create projects on fx(hash) and curation comes from the community, rather than from ciphrd or other gatekeepers. If you’d like to learn more about ciphrd, his work — or about fx(hash) — we recommend listening to the enthralling interview with him on the fx(hash)-focused podcast Waiting To Be Signed over here.
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. But this week, we want to highlight the following vacancy:
📐 Graphic designer ✐
We believe in creating an open, inclusive metaverse that empowers creatives and represents diverse points of view. We help existing IP holders and the creators of brand new ones to bring their projects to life. We’re always curious, and always creator-first. We’re looking for a graphic designer to help us create projects for clients, produce promotional materials for projects and events, generate visually arresting content for social media, and own Metaversal’s visual identity.
If you think you’d be a good fit, please apply by sending a cover letter, resumé, and samples of your work to email@example.com. If you know someone who might be a good fit, please share this newsletter with them.
Until next time, see you in the Metaverse.