Issue 14 🍵 Crediting consenting creators

True ownership with NFTs, news on Pak's drop, and more.

Disclaimer: This newsletter is not financial advice. We do own a Pak. We buy what we like, and you should buy what you like.

Some memes sold as NFTs over the weekend, which was very nostalgic. This pic alone was our childhood.

But today’s issue was more inspired by model Allison Harvard, who minted her Creepy Chan pics:

This really struck a chord with us. After the Twitter account for the Axie Infinity game got suspended (#FreeAxieInfinity), we’ve been asking ourselves: what do we really own on these social media platforms? Especially when Twitter can just take it all away?

And as much as we want to say that we own our content, we think Allison’s sentiments illustrates how we also lose power by sharing on the Internet.

Once it’s on the Internet, who knows what people will do with it? Sometimes it’s harmless, sometimes it’s not.

And sometimes, it can also just be business. Take the Addison Rae Tonight Show issue. As Buzzfeed’s coverage pointed out, there are people who intentionally create choreography for virality, but they’re not the ones getting invited to TV shows. They’re not the ones making millions off of the TikTok phenomenon.

No credit, no money.

So really, social media is a twisted cycle. You have to gain enough followers to validate your content, but at the same time, the larger your audience, the more control you lose over how your creation is used. All while hoping that the tech gods never revoke your accounts.

So it’s refreshing how the power dynamic is inverted with NFTs—so much of the control is in the hands of the creator.

Allison got to symbolically take ownership of her images. She got to control her relationship with it. No matter how it changes hands, she will forever be credited as the creator of her NFTs.

And it all lives on an uncensorable, permissionless blockchain.

Underneath all the NFT hype, it’s really understated how quietly revolutionary it is to truly own something on the Internet

A lil’ hiatus

TL;DR: Cup’s going to take a break for 2 weeks. We want to do a review + write a longform piece on crypto and commerce.

The longer story. First of all, NFTs are experiencing a bit of a slump. A market correction, if you will.

But we’ve personally been feeling NFT fatigue much earlier than now. It has been tiring to filter out the pixel projects or yet another CryptoPunk derivative to find the interesting stuff.

And of course, this is an unfortunate consequence of how it’s easy to make a basic bonding curve NFT to cash in on the hype. But point is, it’s basic. If you want a signal for the state of things, look no further than how Nifty’s secondary market is doing so poorly.

At this point, we think the market has been burned, but not too burned to discourage building. We feel that people are going back to the drawing board to figure out better value propositions.

So yeah, now feels like a good time to hit pause ourselves and devote attention to articulating our thesis on crypto, NFTs, and commerce. (Here’s the draft that’s going nowhere)

It’s also a good time to review what we’re doing at Cup, so we want your feedback. Is there anything we can improve? Have we made sense?

Twitter and email replies both work, so please say hi.

Other news

🧊 Some details of Murat Pak’s Sotheby’s drop is finally here! It would be hosted on Nifty, from April 12-14. More details to be announced, but the existing mechanics already look pretty interesting. Pak has always done a great job of using the NFT medium as the message, so really looking forward to this one.

📣 Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures is holding a Shark Tank, but for NFTs. Pitch your idea to a panel that includes Mark Cuban, Snoop Dogg, MetaKovan, Whale Shark, and more. Really don’t know how to feel about this one, so just gonna leave this as is.

Fun find: this cheeky Twitter bot calculating how much Beeple’s cut of the $69M would be worth if he didn’t sell his ETH.

Reading list

  • Loved this piece about splits, from Jon-Kyle, a designer at Mirror. The idea of splitting economic rewards to credit the creative content you’re building off of is so perfect to juxtapose against today’s topic.

  • This entire Twitter thread on Larva Labs filing a CryptoPunks trademark is really good. Owning an NFT doesn’t equate to owning the copyright, so there was a lot of debate over this decision. Highly recommend reading the replies and the embedded tweets.

Creative corner: Nathan Head

We know nothing about photography, so it’s hard for us to evaluate photos. Like, how do we tell all these works apart?

But Nathan has such a unique take on his editing process, it’s impossible to miss his work. His pastel, summer colors transform everyday scenery into something out of a fairytale.

His style + these cathedrals? Pure magic, ahhh.

You can view more of Nathan’s work on Instagram, and his NFTs on Foundation and Rarible.

Try this: look at some data

Nonfungible.com recently updated their site to show more data, and that got us thinking: we’ve never really given you our fave data sources.

So, with the market taking a little breather, maybe it might be a good time to poke around some data.

Art: CryptoArtPulse, Crypto Art, Nifty Secondary

General NFTs: CryptoSlam!, Nonfungible.com,

Portfolios/address-snooping: NFTBank

🍵 See you again in 2 weeks, post-hiatus. We’ll still be on Twitter if you need something.