Issue 15 🍵 Ashes, ashes, we all fall down

State of the markets, an NFT goes to Hollywood, and more.

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

Cup’s back! And no, the thesis didn’t get written.

But we did have a good rest, and part of that time was spent just checking the markets and forming some judgments.

Saying that NFT projects experienced a lot of inflow would be an understatement. The start of the year was a boom of money and attention for NFTs, and there were a lot of opportunists ready to cash in.

The success of CryptoPunks launched a slew of profitable derivative projects, and the Hashmasks generated inspired everyone to copy its pricing tier (price goes up as more people buy).

Oh, and there was some art theft too.

So we’ve been generally wary of buying anything from people who just joined this space this year—how do we know they’re going to stay long term? Will they just leave when the money slows down?

Because really, the flow of money has slowed down at this point. Projects aren’t selling out, less and less open editions are being minted on Nifty Gateway.

And to be brutal—not all projects are supposed to make it in NFTs. It was never as simple as just showing up and getting cash, and it’s only going to get harder. How will a simple drop fare against the likes of Pak, who infuses his drops with so much theory?

Just look at his reveal of $ASH, a speculative currency for future Pak art drops gained only through burning NFTs—underneath the $17M sales figure is an artist who knows how to work with his medium.

So really, we welcome this “slump” (comparative to the peak hype in February). May it filter out the ones who were only in it for a quick buck. We can’t wait to see what builders and projects emerge from the ashes of this period.

Other news

🎥 Aku is going to Hollywood! The black astronaut character from Micah Johnson, the baseball player turned artist, has been optioned for film and TV. Really gonna be interesting if there’ll be any relationship with the existing Aku NFTs and this movie.

🕵️ There was some furor over a duplicate EVERYDAY’S minted from Beeple’s wallet. But turns out it was a pretty elaborate fake. Found it interesting how so much of our idea of “provenance” is merely based on centralized UIs of marketplaces like Rarible and Opensea.

💸 PleasrDAO bought a NFT for $5.4M. The NFT was created by famous whistleblower Edward Snowden, and the proceeds will be donated to the charity Freedom of the Press Foundation. (An aside: wouldn’t stablecoins be better for charity purposes? The Foundation is gonna have to sell that ETH, right?)

Reading list

  • So, this one’s from a very anti-NFT perspective. But it does have some interesting data on the median NFT price during one week in March, and the numbers don’t look good. Not everyone is supposed to make it in crypto art land.

  • Really enjoyed this exploration the intersection of NFTs and royalties by The Fashion Law. Loved it for its exploration of Nike’s CryptoKicks:

    [T]he CryptoKick tokens allows for the “breeding of a digital shoe with another digital shoe to create ‘shoe offspring,’” and depending on Nike’s specific manufacturability rules, that offspring may to be “custom made as a new, tangible pair of shoes.” 

  • Reuters wrote this dive into Sandbox and other virtual land plots.

Creative corner: Untitledarmy

“Untitled Army are the broken pieces of the artist and director Lucas Camargo,” but honestly, the pieces usually have glimpses of love too.

I mean, sure, the Brazilian’s 3D creatures are best identified by their distrustful, squinting eyes. But at the end of the day, there’s just something about the rendering that’s a little hopeful and positive.

Bonus: it’s really cool to see how each piece start out in pencil!

Find UntitledArmy on Instagram and SuperRare.

Try this: Axie Infinity

This is probably the most speculative thing we’ve ever mentioned, but Axie Infinity seems to be hinting that their sidechain, Ronin, would be live soon.

The very simply explanation is that hopefully, the game will not be constrained by expensive transaction fees anymore.

So if you have an Axie inventory, keep your eyes peeled for that news. If you don’t, maybe now’s not a bad time to learn more about the beloved blockchain game.

🍵 See you again next Wednesday!