The term “degen”, short for degenerate, typically has a negative connotation, but in the crypto community, it’s a term that is celebrated. As cryptocurrencies and NFTs become more mainstream, early adopters take pride in their convictions despite years of criticism.
All of that is starting to change now, as Bitcoin and Ethereum recently hit all-time highs and celebrities like Jimmy Fallon are actively researching and buying NFTs.
Over the past 9 months, the NFT market has matured significantly. Sales volume on Opensea has dropped and it appears buyers are starting to become more thoughtful in their evaluation of NFT projects before they ape-in.
Despite NFTs getting more expensive (which poses more risk to new entrants), the market is still relatively small with a lot of room to grow.
For example, in the last 30 days, there were ~227,000 active users on Opensea. To put this in perspective, Coinbase announced a forthcoming NFT trading platform and amassed 1 million waitlist sign-ups in just 24 hours.
Given the impending expansion of NFT buyers and sellers, I chatted with soccer influencer Daniel Got Hits about his experience in the market and how to educate yourself to navigate the rapidly growing world of NFTs.
Please remember, this is not financial advice. It’s important to do your own research and never spend money you cannot afford to lose.
Discovering NFTs after Sustaining a Knee Injury
Stay open-minded even if it goes against your own investment ; it’s not good to be stubborn.
Daniel Got Hits is a soccer influencer by day with 356,000 followers on Instagram, but when a knee injury in the spring sidelined him for 4–5 months, it was his perfect opportunity to dive deep into NFTs.
His interest in crypto started a few years earlier, driven by the idea of an economy that reduced friction for transactions and had a global reach. Daniel has family all over the world, so the idea of cryptocurrencies resonated with him.
He caught wind of CryptoPunks by LarvaLabs in 2020, but by then they were out of his reach. It wasn’t until May of 2021 that he minted his first NFT, a Meebit, which was created and released by LarvaLabs.
Because he was so new to NFTs, Daniel had to go on Twitter to figure out how to view the Meebit he had minted, which is how he discovered Opensea. The same day of the mint, someone sold a rare Meebit for a few hundred thousand dollars and it clicked for Daniel that there could be life-changing opportunities in the NFT market.
He knew those types of gains in a short period of time wouldn’t last long as the market would become more saturated, so he committed to diving deeper.
He bought and sold a few NFTs and eventually stumbled across Bored Ape Yacht Club, which now has a floor (minimum) price of about $200,000.
After purchasing 3 Bored Apes, he sold 2 of them and used the profits to buy Curio Cards, the first NFT art project on Ethereum.
After doing well with Curio Cards, he wanted to learn about other historical NFT projects that were released before CryptoPunks. He started receiving message after message encouraging him to look into RarePepes, an NFT project released on Counterparty in 2016, which sat on top of Bitcoin.
He ignored the project first, but so many people reached out that he couldn’t ignore it any longer and went deep on RarePepe research. The key lesson from his experience is that he didn’t blindly buy into the project — he spent many hours learning, jumped into the Discord group to interact with the community, and got educated before buying assets from the project.
Daniel Got Tips — For Navigating a Maturing NFT Market
Don’t trust me, anyone, celebrities, and even people that have given good advice before. Do a lot of research, and believe in yourself. Your own thoughts are valid
Bored Ape Yacht Club now has a floor price of roughly $200,000, but back in April, you could mint 1 for .08 ETH ($200 at the time). Many quality NFTs could be purchased for under $1,000 in the Spring and Summer, until the market exploded.
New projects launch every day, and it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. Developing conviction takes time, and Daniel reminded me that he will sometimes spend 10–12 hours per day on Twitter, Opensea, and in Discord groups learning and watching for trends.
He credited his early gains to “sheer luck and timing” but said that the market is much more challenging now. People might think that there’s easy and quick money to be made, but don’t fully comprehend how many hours are behind the success of those making the right moves.
His specific recommendation to NFT newcomers, or those who want to up their game, is to find Twitter users with Punk avatars, Bored Ape avatars, .ETH Twitter names, and read. As you come across things you don’t understand, utilize the Twitter search bar to find your answers.
Twitter search bar is underrated.
Daniel has over 22,000 Twitter followers and has a knack for posting interesting content about NFTs, but has emphasized that he wants people to think for themselves.
A lot of influencers on Twitter remain anonymous, but he’s chosen to identify himself publicly and it motivates him to maintain his reputation while creating content to help people learn more about various NFT projects and offer his takes.
NFTs and decentralized finance have inspired people to learn fundamental market behaviors like no other time in history. Daniel commented that many likely “wouldn’t learn it if there were numbers on a chart” but the art makes it fun.
This means that there are a lot of intelligent and informed people on the internet sharing thoughts and opinions, but listening to your inner voice and trusting your gut after spending significant time researching is still a better move.
How Daniel Plans to Further Integrate NFT Culture in His Daily Life
There are people quitting their day jobs to go full-time into NFTs, and many more are thinking through how to integrate the new phenomenon into their everyday lives outside of just buying and selling.
I grew up listening to hip hop, and hip hop was about being ahead of the curve, being first to the newest thing that’s popping. I like having my finger on the pulse and staying up to date on what’s cutting edge.
Daniel happens to be in a very interesting position — he’s a successful soccer influencer and creates engaging content that has built an audience. His goal is to mix soccer and NFTs to make lifestyle content. He said it would be fun to get a 3D render of his Bored Ape and include the Ape in his soccer content. When he does this, the growing Bored Ape Yacht Club brand will lend itself to Daniel’s personal brand.
The majority of current NFT activity is research, making connections and friends, learning the technology, buying, and selling, but we are beginning to enter a new phase.
As NFTs trend toward mainstream exposure, it’s likely that we will see them show up more in our daily lives and careers. The potential for creativity is an open canvas — many people now own assets that are part of a larger community and brand.
Like many others, Daniel wants to integrate his prized NFT assets into part of his identity. Just looking at the roster of celebrities who own a Bored Ape, there’s a lot of social proof for non-celebrity owners who can proudly display their assets as a Twitter profile picture (pfp).
But Twitter PFPs are just the beginning.
Timbaland is using a group of Bored Apes to form a group that will perform and produce music. And it won’t just be celebrities that capitalize on the Bored Ape (or other NFTs) brands, others can use the assets they own as they please.
For someone like Daniel, incorporating an NFT that’s part of a project owned by Jimmy Fallon, Post Malone, Steph Curry, and others into his own content will likely help him grow his audience and could lead to bigger opportunities in the future.