Issue 13 🍵 pleasing the ppl
The pplpleasr NFT, questions of universal value, and questions on the value of marketplaces.
Disclaimer: This newsletter is not financial advice. We buy what we like, and you should buy what you like.
But can you please Cup?
It was ultimately bought by a collective, pleasrDAO, for 310 ETH on Foundation. One of the most heart-warming things was that all proceeds will be donated to charities supporting Asians and minorities, in light of the increasing xenophobia in the US.
There were two things that were interesting to us.
The short one: it was fascinating how the sale was a non-event in NFT land. We personally got two separate Twitter accounts, so we saw how the DeFi one was talking about it all day, but it barely even appeared on NFT Twitter.
This was the best example of how NFT pricing is really just what someone is willing to pay for it.
There were two different audiences, and what was important to one was not as important to the other. Big NFT investors like Whale Shark didn’t even enter the bidding, so does that mean anything?
If general, you’re trying to invest in NFTs, how do you navigate and invest in such splintered markets? How do you find undeniable, universal value?
Hit us up if you got answers, because we don’t.
Now, the longer one:
So at current rates, that’s about $84,000 to Foundation for doing . . . what exactly?
We’ve been questioning the value of marketplaces for awhile now, especially since we don’t know how they deserve such high fees.
We’ve asked smaller artists, and they do see it as the cost of getting noticed. These platforms have the traffic, so paying the fee is better than not generating a sale.
And alright, sure, platforms like SuperRare also have the human cost of a team curating the platform.
But Foundation has always pushed the cost of curation onto its users. They started with invites, but now they’re moving to a weekly voting system. So, the users still do all the work, while Foundation keeps all the profit to themselves. Sure.
Let’s be real here: pplpleasr had her own audience. It didn’t matter if she minted it on Foundation, SuperRare, or Opensea—it would have fetched a high price regardless. She was the draw here, not Foundation, and 15% is a steep premium for basically providing the tech and a pretty website.
And we’re being really critical, because it also took us by surprise at how acceptable this is. This is crypto, where decentralization is the ethos. NFTs were supposed to be about permissionless, censorship-resistant creation.
Why is the NFT space so accepting of gate-keeping under the guise of curation? Is a 15% fee really worth the value that permissioned marketplaces provide?
And really, why are artists undervaluing the value they provide to these platforms? Wherever the artists go, the collectors will follow.
Can’t wait to see what happens when artists start realizing that they can hire devs to make custom websites for a fraction of $84,000.
💸 More fund-raises. The crypto art platform SuperRare raised $9M, but Dapper Labs, the folks behind the wildly successful NBA Top Shot, raised a whopping $305M. With Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant, and other famous backers, that’s just wiiiild. (Hoping this means we can all withdraw from Dapper soon)
Cool new find:
Pump My Gas - approximates the gas cost of minting and buying across the different NFT platforms
It was so quiet on news, so we’ve just been reading.
Cooper Turley broke down the value of curation in an increasingly saturated NFT market. This is basically everything we’ve been thinking about for a while now, and it’s great reading in conjunction with today’s topic.
From the New York Times: what do you really buy when you buy an NFT? It specifically looks at a $25,000 NFT from passion-economy thinker Li Jin. The writer even eye-rolls at the idea of the purchase as performance art or activism. It is ostentatious, and it’s nice to read someone rationally skeptical of all this.
Whale Shark, the millionaire NFT collector, shared his NFT playbook. Lots of good advice.
This is a great background on Coldie auctions, the auction style used by SuperRare and Foundation.
Beanie @beaniemaxiJust did another $300k+ deal for a single 1/1 with a private buyer. All based on trust. We don’t know each other’s names. Buyer sent funds first without even blinking. Still think we are really early here in the curated art game.
Creative corner: Alina Loseva
We love how Alina’s abstract graphic pieces are so distinct for their energetic vibe. Love the bold colors, and there’s always a sense of motion in her compositions.
The image below was her Twitter banner, and we immediately fell in love when we saw it.
Try this: display your NFTs on your social media
We’re at Issue 13, so hopefully you own an NFT you like by now.
And if you want to curate and display your collection, there a variety of options. Renowned collector illestrater is on all of them, so we’re using him for all the examples.
Gallery’s currently in alpha right now, but from chatting, they seem inclined to really just be for collectors. That’s exactly what we want, and we think the current design is a good reflection of that—Gallery just lets the art do all the talking.
A very biased take, but they’re all free to try!
🍵 See you again next Wednesday!