Issue 28 🍵 On influence, attention, and NFTs

Some thoughts on influencers.

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

So over the week, we got to witness some NFT Twitter influencer drama.

For context, it was between Beaniemaxi and Pranksy. Beanie gained popularity in 2021, due to some large public purchases, especially on Punks, and strong opinions on projects. Pranksy, on the other hand, has been around since 2017 and is well known for flipping his way into his current riches.

The fight started with Beanie dissing Pranksy for his model of acquiring new NFT and then promoting them to sell for profit. Pranksy elaborated on his side of things, and things just got uglier from there.

So yes, a fight. But what I really want to do for today is to unpack that critique on Pranksy—that he just buys in and then sells on his followers for profit.

Because well, that does happen, regardless if it’s crypto or regular influencers. It happens with Beanie, Pranksy, Gary Vee, Kim Kardashian, or [insert your favorite influencer here]. They are all doing the same thing—making money off of your attention.

They’re called influencers, after all. Their job is literally about influencing you.

The only difference is that in Web2, your attention is monetized in the form of affiliate links and affiliate codes. That is far more inefficient and very easy to bypass, in contrast to Web3, where the influencers just sell the item directly to you, because they own the supply.

It’s social capital, literally.

And honestly, this dependency on influencers’ signals isn’t going to go away. At the current rate, there’s probably 50 new generative NFT projects every week (all with 10,000 supply, buy now!), and they’re rarely any different from each other.

So when these all exist on the same spectrum of cash-grabbiness, what do you do when you want to profit? It is a valid choice to go purchase the one that an influencer starts talking about, because there’s a large circle of people now aware of it. There is some logic that it may be better risk/reward than buying a project no one has heard of during its launch.

And if everyone does it, to a certain point, it becomes a self-fulfilling cycle. Ta-da!

Not to say that you shouldn’t listen to influencers—you could definitely make some profitable flips from playing along. But after seeing these people fight, it seems like a good week to remind ourselves that making things seem important is how these influencers make money.

And at the end of the day, there’s a lot of stuff out there in NFTs that are worth paying attention to, even if no one is talking about them yet! Some of the most rewarding moments from my personal NFT journey has been doing my own research and validating things before everyone else saw the potential.

So as we always say in the disclaimer of this newsletter: we buy what we like, and you should buy what you like. Hopefully, you have your own theses and reasons for why you’re buying things!

Other news

🌱 Art platform SuperRare announced the launch of their $RARE curation token*, alongside an upgrade to SuperRare 2.0. As a portion was allocated early believers of the platform, some artists got a few thousand dollars richer overnight. Very heartwarming to see.

🌱  Rarible has officially launched their own protocol. It’s open-source and governed by their token holders.

🌱  SuperRare updated their Collector Royalties’ eligibility program to encompass everyone. The first collector of any primary art purchase gets a 1% royalty, and any succeeding collectors get a smaller and smaller percent. And this now applies to every SuperRare token. Pretty cool.

🌱  CoinGecko has announced “GeckoCon - NFTs Gone Wild”, a virtual conference on all things NFTs! Confirmed speakers include people from Axie Infinity, Rarible, Decentraland, and more. The event is happening on November, but you can already buy tickets now, and at 80% off. Ticket prices will go up every week.

*Side-note: SuperRare is a curated artist platform, so this airdrop makes sense. It’s a bit guaranteed that the token is going to an individual because it is so curated. For something like Opensea, though, where it’s very easy to make multiple wallets and accounts—it’s hard to imagine doing something like this because it would be difficult to filter which people to reward.

**Side-side-note: it would be fascinating if the $RARE token-launch spurs people to go to SuperRare’s competitors in the hopes of an equivalent retroactive airdrop.

Reading list

  • Decrypt covered the fall of Fame Lady Squad. Masquerading as women to sell female-themed NFTs was . . . a choice.

Creative corner

Mari makes these beautifully intricate voxel environments. We’ll let her work speak for itself, because Jesus, the detail.

Find Mari on her website, and her NFTs at Foundation, MakersPlace, and SuperRare.

Try this: Aavegotchi Haunt 2

Aavegotchi is Tamagotchi meets a savings deposit. The characters are brought to life with an infusion of a DeFi crypto-savings deposit!

And if that doesn’t make sense, but sounds interesting, then pay attention to the game’s Haunt 2! This is an essentially an infusion of new playable characters, and it will be conducted through a bid-to-earn auction.

There’s a lot of mechanics to wrap your head around, though, so we’re sharing it now. The fun starts on August 26th @ 2:00pm UTC, and you can read more about the Haunt here.

*Disclaimer that we hold the GHST token, which you will need to participate in the game.

If you got any news or stuff to share, you can find us on Twitter.

🍵 See you again next Wednesday! - Elle and Gian