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?

If you’re deep in cryptocurrency and DeFi, you’ve probably seen the news of the Uniswap NFT sale. Created by pplspleasr, it was a creative ad for the new version of a beloved decentralized exchange.

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:

Foundation, the marketplace, is notorious for their 15% marketplace fee. The fee on the final 310 ETH was 46.5 ETH (transaction link).

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.

Other news

💸 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

Reading list

It was so quiet on news, so we’ve just been reading.

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.

Find more of Alina’s work on Instagram, and you can find her Linktree here.

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.

  1. TryShowtime - example - very social media oriented. You can like and comment, as usual. For artists, it also has a specific segment tracking any minted NFTs

  2. Lazy - example - best perk is the display of social media links, so it looks a bit like Linktree. But right now it doesn’t seem like you can even write a bio, so it feels a bit missing?

Biased take: our favorite is Gallery (example). Showtime’s a little too close to Instagram, and more social media just sounds exhausting.

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!