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Art NFT

September 23rd’s NF3 Recap: TIMEPieces, Twitter News and the Heart Project

Today was a big day for the world of Web 3.0. We’ve still been in a bit of a bear market in the NFT community, but there were a few big moments in the past day or so that signal some immense growth to come. TIME Magazine launched their NFT collection today, which sold out almost instantaneously. Twitter also made some NFT-bullish announcements, so we’ll dive into that as well.

If you’re just tuning into NF3, check out our last edition.

This article does not constitute formal financial advice. Always do your own research before investing.

1. TIME Magazine’s NFT Collection Sells Out Instantaneously

TIME’s collection, which features the work of 40 artists, dropped today at noon ET and sold out seemingly immediately. At the time of writing, the mints are currently revealing, but the floor on OpenSea has already eclipsed 2.5 ETH—pretty good if you consider the .1 ETH mint price, even with the exorbitant gas fees that plagued minters.

The collection, which will hopefully be revealed some time tonight, features the work of legendary NFT photographer Justin Aversano, FVCKRENDER and more big names in the world of NFTs. We’ll be keeping our eyes on the resale market.

2. Twitter Announces NFT Authentication Service

There’s no exact timeline for the rollout yet, but today Twitter launched their tipping capability, which will allow iOS users to tip creators using Bitcoin. In addition to this massive innovation, they’ve announced their intent to allow users to verify their ownership over NFTs on the platform. This will certainly be beneficial for collectors wanting to verify their ownership on social media, but it’s especially helpful for validating ownership over the digital avatars folks use on their Twitter profiles, an incredibly pervasive trend in NFT communities.

As soon as this service launches, it will become much easier to determine who is using certain avatars for the vibes vs. who actually owns coveted digital avatars. Twitter and Jack Dorsey continue to embrace cryptocurrency and, specifically, the burgeoning world of NFTs and digital collectibles.

3. A Pre-Sale to Watch: The Heart Project

Shoutout 24kGoldn for throwing this one on our radar. Artwork is of course a big part of selecting cool projects, but these avatars also each have so much individual personality, part of which makes them so enticing. Rarity is often one of the biggest factors in identifying strong candidates from avatar projects, but there is also a growing commitment to picking avatars that you quite simply vibe with. And the vibes of the Heart project are off the charts.

The presale is live tonight at 6pm ET through Saturday, and the public sale goes live on Monday. Read more about the project and watch out for the mint on their website.

Other cool stuff:

The world of fashion NFTs is still pretty slept on IMO. Dissrup is a really cool platform launching fashion assets (and other pieces of 3D digital artwork), with the intent to be able to bring these wearables into other metaverses. Their inaugural drop with UV Zhu on the 13th, Acid Pool, was so sick—and sold out.

Read more about the platform here and check out their roster of artwork.

Boss Beauties is a project to watch. Their launch will take place on the 25th, and the artwork seems to take cues from (or potentially have some of the same artists?) World of Women, an immensely successful avatar project.

Keep your eyes on the project and tune into the many livestreams they’ve been doing this week leading up to the drop.

Categories
Art NFT

Understanding and Identifying Upcoming NFT Projects

Mainstream news outlets clamored to cover Christie’s online auction of Beeple’s “Everydays — The First 5000 Days,” which sold for 69 million dollars. While this event should be applauded for introducing NFTs to the general public, the massive news coverage included tons of misinformation — for instance, titles like “JEPG File Sells for $69 Million, as ‘NFT Mania’ Gathers Pace,” from the New York Times is misleading.

The NFT community understands the culture-changing capabilities behind this wave of technology. Chances are that if you are reading this article, you do too, so we’ve answered common questions that will help you start your journey as an early adopter:

What is an NFT?

NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are a one-of-a-kind digital asset that uses blockchain technology to facilitate ownership, buying, and selling. Some essential qualities that make them unique from other tokens or forms of digital art include:

Uniqueness: NFTs cannot be duplicated after their original minting. While derivative sets may pop up with modifications to an original digital asset, your NFT, say CryptoPunk #9, is the only one in existence.

Verifiable: Existing on a blockchain and using smart contracts, the transaction history and ownership of an on-chain NFT is visible, simple to locate, and allows for ownership to be traced back to the original owner. An NFT owner or creator can set a price and place their NFT for sale in a secondary market. 

Indivisibility: Your digital asset cannot be fractionalized; You own it in its entirety and cannot own 1/10 of a Bored Ape Yacht Club #9. This is an immutable quality and cannot be altered by the originator of the asset. 

The properties that make a digital asset an NFT can be assigned to tickets, art, domain names, music, trading cards, etc. — the possibilities are endless.

Why Would I Buy an NFT?

Digital tokens, cards, and coins have been around since the creation of blockchain technology that also included gaming and virtual world concepts. NFTs, as we know them now, first appeared in 2017 when Larva Labs dropped CryptoPunks. The 10,000 algorithmically generated pixelated PFPs were free to mint and currently have a floor of around 250K when this article was written. 

In the “NFT Summer” of 2021, there has been an explosion of PFP (profile picture) NFT sets. Starting off as simple images, many evolved into projects that build community, airdrop incentives, offer staking, IP ownership, metaverse meetups, and allow owners to directly participate with the company leadership. The popular projects are developing ‘real world’ tie-ins and a strong sense of community. Well-known “blue chip” projects like Bored Ape Yacht Club has had in-person gatherings, while VeeFriends holders have access to VeeCon, a four-day conference held in Minnesota next year. 

Whether you are looking to invest in the early stages of a new brand, support an artist, or day flip, everyone has their own motivation for getting in the NFT game.

How Do I Research NFTs?

Marketplace data showed sales of NFTs surged into the billions this summer with the number of projects dropping daily skyrocketing. An intuitive question emerges— how do I decipher between projects with legs and potential rug pulls? 

The Dev Team

First and foremost, you are investing in the team behind the project. Art is subjective, what is visually appealing to one person can be a hard pass to the next person. However, the people behind the project have a history of industry wins or losses— or they may be anonymous (which should be a red flag). Inexperience doesn’t mean the project can’t be a potential blue-chip, but more risk can be involved. Jump on their social media, discord, and website to learn more about the capabilities of the people behind the project.

Intellectual Property: Stoner Cats and DeadHeads

Do you actually have any ownership over the intellectual property (IP) of your NFT? In terms of IP, let’s compare two projects that have produced an animated series around their project— DeadHeads and Stoner Cats

Stoner Cats — an adult animated series with some big-name celebrities behind it, dropped their NFTs with buyers having no IP rights. 

Checking out the DeadHeads website statement on their IP plans:

“When you own a DeadHead, you own the NFT and the intellectual property of the underlying art itself. You own a character in the multi-media universe, with commercial and non-commercial rights.”

This may or may not be of importance to their communities, but it is worth being aware of as a consumer and community member.

Roadmaps and Utility

What are you actually purchasing when you buy an NFT? It could solely be the face value — the art. However, the concept of utility is essential to consider when researching NFTs. 

Wicked Craniums is a strong example of creators striving to develop utility around their NFTs. In addition to airdrops and collaborations, this project is the first to provide staking opportunities to their community. Users can stake a Wicked Cranium and a Wicked Stallion to receive additional NFTs, comparable to the concept of a dividend.  Staking wasn’t included in their original roadmap and suggests a dedicated and capable team.

The world of NFTs is new and quickly evolving. After you have your questions answered, actually going through the motions — converting your fiat to crypto, setting up a wallet like MetaMask, and connecting to a secondary market to purchase your first NFT, provides the best learning experience.

Categories
Art NFT

Paradiso Gardens and Yung Jake Launch NFT to Support Last Prisoner Project

Creating NFTs intended to generate money for charity is an increasingly larger trend in the world of Web3.0. One such example of this growing phenomenon is the nug NFT created by Yung Jake in collaboration with Paradiso Gardens. The token will be auctioned off tomorrow morning at 11am PT, with proceeds going to Last Prisoner Project, a coalition of cannabis industry leaders, executives and artists dedicated to bringing restorative justice to the cannabis industry.

Yung Jake’s signature emoji art style has become a mainstay of internet hip hop culture, not to mention his numerous other physical works that utilize scrap metal and other found items incorporated throughout. He teamed up with woman-owned cannabis Paradiso Gardens to launch a collaborative NFT intended to raise money for Last Prisoner Project, using an emoji image of a nug that the artist had done back in 2017.

The auction coincides with the Hall of Flowers cannabis convention, happening this week in Santa Rosa, CA. The auction will be hosted on the platform Foundation, and begins tomorrow morning at 11am PT, running for 24 hours before it ends Thursday afternoon.

The founder and CEO of Paradiso Gardens, Christina DiPaci, shared some info about the development of the brand: “Working in the cannabis industry for more than a decade, we were so fortunate to be able to transition to the regulated market, giving us the ability to work without fear of legal prosecution.”

She shared more about the genesis of the project, specifically, saying: “Our friend Yung Jake painted us this weed nug out of emojis a few years ago when we were just getting our brand started. We strongly believe no one should be incarcerated for cannabis crimes, so we are psyched to be able to turn this into an NFT to help raise money and shine a light on the work Last Prisoner Project is doing.”

By combining an already recognizable aesthetic (Jake’s iconic emoji imagery) with the mission of Paradiso Gardens and Last Prisoner Project, all three contributors involved have done a stellar job of creating an NFT auction that will both raise money and awareness for the community. Artwork aside, I’m personally excited for the growth of Last Prisoner Project and the continued success of Paradiso Gardens, both of which are doing great work to create a more equitable world of legalized cannabis.

Categories
Art NFT

Getting Early Access to Upcoming NFT Projects and Avoiding Gas Wars

If you have spent any time in the NFT community on Twitter and Discord or have friends who are buying NFTs, you may have heard of the dreaded ‘gas war’. Due to the thousands of transactions that happen during the release of some of the high-volume NFT projects that are released daily, gas wars happen because of congestion on the Ethereum Network.

What is ‘gas’?

Gas, often measured in ‘Gwei’ (an extremely small unit of measurement for Ethereum. One Gwei = 0.000000001ETH), is the cost necessary to perform a transaction on the Ethereum network. The cost of gas per transaction is determined by the supply and demand of the network’s miners. The more transactions seeking to be fulfilled, the higher the cost of the transaction. Priority is given to those who pay higher gas fees, which is what creates the ‘gas war’.

So what is a gas war?

Minting (which is the term used for creating a new NFT) an NFT collection or drop often happens with large amounts of transactions being entered at the same time. Since a lot of these drops have a limited supply ranging from 1000-10000 items, there are a limited number of transactions that can get approved on the network. Collectors who are competing for a popular NFT drop by a famous artist or brand will pay large amounts to prioritize their transactions. A gas war occurs when these competitors repeatedly pay higher and higher sums in order to have a successful transaction. This results in newer NFT collectors—who do not have the principal capital to pay for large gas transactions—getting excluded from the NFT collection, and often results in the loss of valuable community members.

Presales and Whitelists

As a result of gas wars inevitably taking a toll on NFT communities who commit their time to spreading the word and hyping the project, but end up losing out because of costly transaction fees, creators are coming up with new ways to allow everyone to get a fair opportunity at minting their collections.

Mint Passes

Usually available during a few days or weeks, mint passes guarantee the collector the ability to redeem an NFT during the official drop without having to worry about gas wars. Collectors can leisurely buy mint passes as they become available ahead of the NFT drop. These mint passes are usually redeemed through the process of ‘burning’ or transferring an NFT to a specific wallet address. Some creators will take a snapshot (a record of all the holders of a certain NFT) and use that to then airdrop the collection to holders instead of going through the usual minting process.

Presales

Presales are often rewarded to early supporters or community members by opening up the minting process early to a select portion of the community (usually done through a whitelist). By breaking up the minting process into smaller categories, there is less congestion of the Ethereum Network during the minting process, which mitigates high gas prices. 

Raffles

Raffles and giveaways are done by the creators of collections in order to incentivize community members to stay active and diligent for project announcements. Raffles are a way to randomly reward community members with access to redeeming and receiving an NFT, which enables the collector to bypass the stress of securing a spot during the minting process. 

Whitelists

Whitelists are a list of names and wallet addresses collected that allow certain community members to be guaranteed a spot for minting a new NFT collection. There are a variety of ways creators develop whitelists, including community involvement and the early support of other NFT projects made by the creator. Whitelists are a way to guarantee that every person on the list will be able to mint the determined amount of NFTs during the release of a collection.

Secondary Marketplace

What happens if you miss the presale deadline or don’t make it onto the whitelist? Instead of forcing your way through the minting process and paying ridiculous fees to mint an NFT collection, a lot of the time creators will not reveal it right away. This reveal sometimes takes up to 24 hours or several days. This allows collectors who missed the presale to still buy into a collection on the secondary market. The most common secondary marketplace for collections is OpenSea. Often times, there will be a premium on the original mint price of the NFT, but the secondary marketplace still leaves an opportunity for collectors to invest in a creator’s project.

Categories
Art NFT

September 21st’s NF3 Recap: BAYC, Soldiers of the MetaVerse and OnChain Monkeys

Do you remember? It’s the 21st night in September, and that means it’s time for another recap of what’s going on in the world of NFTs. The Christie’s auction is still underway and sentiment in the Web3.0 community seems to be looking up, so we want to highlight a couple of smaller projects in the space right now. On chain projects are an increasingly popular trend, so we’ll examine an on chain project, talk about BAYC’s roadmap and examine an extremely aesthetically-pleasing project minting tomorrow.

The writer of this article owns tokens from some of the projects mentioned. This article does not constitute formal financial advice. Always do your own research before investing.

1. BAYC 2.0 Roadmap

Part of what has made Bored Ape Yacht Club so popular (and profitable) is the team’s commitment to building upon the IP on a consistent basis. The launch of Mutant Ape Yacht Club and their scavenger hunt are just a couple of examples of supplemental aspects to the project launched well after the OG mint.

Yuga Labs released a beautifully-sketched out roadmap (a breath of fresh air from traditional text-heavy roadmaps) today, which chronicles the brand’s plans—albeit broadly—through the year 2035. The first annual ape fest is on the horizon.

2. A Mint to Watch: Soldiers of the Metaverse

We usually wait for a project to drop before we’d include it in NF3, but the immense attention to detail in the artwork from the forthcoming Soldiers of the Metaverse was enough to nab it a spot on this list. While the mint is still over 24 hours away, the project already boasts over 14k followers on Twitter and almost 9k on Discord.

I personally got excited about this project due to its artwork, which looks like it could be pulled straight from a big budget MCU movie. I was also drawn to this moment from their site: “Unlike other projects that promise the world on day 1, Soldiers Of The Metaverse knows most innovation in this space has yet to come.” Really fleshed out roadmaps are enticing, but I found this transparency extremely refreshing. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have solid plans. Read more here.

The team behind SOTM told us: “The Metaverse is too special to have the same set of action heroes and characters as the old world. This is the perfect time in history to build a new set of iconic characters for what is to come next. We look forward to battling the legends of old with our heroes of new.”

And the artist behind the project, Carlos Dattoli, also gave us some insight into his process/involvement with the project:

“I was thrilled to be invited to join the team, because this collection is the first one of its kind, and the idea behind it has endless possibilities to grow. I focused on developing the characters with an eye for the future, as there’s never been this style work in generative design. I have no doubt this is the ultimate eye catcher for anyone interested in the Metaverse world!”

The mint will be live here, tomorrow at 8pm ET.

3. OnChain Monkeys (And OnChain Projects Generally)

On chain projects are becoming an increasingly hyped trend in NFTs. Whereas previous projects (or “off chain” collections) don’t actually store the token’s metadata on chain (it’s instead potentially stored through IPFS or another avenue), “on chain” projects’ metadata is stored on the Ethereum blockchain, making them theoretically permanent. Dotdotdots, for example, are stored on chain.

Numerous other projects have cropped up in the past few weeks boasting “on chain” or “permanent” storage, one of them being OCM. I was permanently drawn to OCM because of the fact that the whole collection was minted in a single transaction.

Here’s an interview that the chairman of Nfinita, Bill Tai, and CEO, Danny Yang, recently did with Coindesk. Nfinita is the org behind OCM, with the mission to “make giving more sustainable and scalable through NFTs, and to enable any NFT to be charitable.” You can also read about OCM’s development here.

Of course DYOR, but on chain collections will certainly continue to be a big trend in NFTs, as people love to confirm that the data surrounding their tokens is as permanent as possible.

Other cool stuff:

This early Bitcoin fork was rediscovered recently and snow_nft did a good job explaining it in his lengthy thread:

Art Blocks Squiggles, one of the most iconic collections under the Art Blocks umbrella, had an insane sale today.

There has been a lot of talk about some air drop scams taking place on OpenSea. There’s definitely a lot to be cautious about, but also some misinofrmation floating around. This is a helpful thread:

Stay safe out there folks. Hope to see you back again soon.

Categories
Art NFT

Christie’s Noah Davis Talks NFT Auctions and the Blurring of Art Worlds

This past March, Christie’s auction house set a world record sale for an NFT with a price tag of $69,346.250. It was the first auction of an NFT at Christie’s, and it goes without saying that it was a smashing success. 

The sale created a lot of buzz and put a spotlight on NFTs. It was validation that digital art could be bought and sold at high valuations from respected auction houses that deal with high-end clientele. 

With the success of its first NFT sale, Christie’s decided to auction more tokens in May. This time, they went with CryptoPunks, a project that was released in 2017. 9 assets from the project were sold as a bundle and hit a price of $17 million, providing even more validation for the NFT space. 

As we enter the fall, Christie’s has selected a few other promising NFT projects to be included in two separate auctions: Bored Ape Yacht Club, The Meebits, Curio Cards, Art Blocks Curated and more CryptoPunks. It’s exciting to see the continued interest and commitment of Christie’s to sell even more NFT projects. 

I had the chance to catch up with Noah Davis, who leads up NFTs for Christie’s Auction House; this article details our conversation, including how Christie’s got into NFTs in the first place, how he selects projects for the auction and what he makes of the impact on the NFT space with the upcoming auctions.

How Christie’s Auction House Got into Selling NFTs

“The idea of selling an NFT is not crazy. We sell dinosaur bones.”

 — Noah Davis, Christie’s Auction House

Noah has been at Christie’s for 6–7 years and explained that he was in the “right place and right time” to become the lead on Christie’s NFT sales. He runs online sales for the auction house, so selling digital art seemed to be the perfect fit. 

The historic first NFT sale in March was set in motion back in January because, as Noah explained, Christie’s “had done a lot of new things for the first time; we really experimented and were willing to take risks.”

The global pandemic had ushered in a mindset that would create the perfect storm to lay the groundwork for entry into NFT sales. He and co-worker Meghan Doyle didn’t meet resistance from executives regarding the idea, as there was excitement to try out something new.

It wasn’t just Noah who was in the right place and right time, it was also the NFT market that was in the right place and right time. In the Spring of 2020, our world changed overnight, and digital interactions ramped up as we tried to address a pandemic that required social distancing and shutting down much of our everyday activities. By early January of 2021, the news started to break that a vaccine was on the way, and the light at the end of the tunnel was shining brighter. It was perfect timing for Christie’s to introduce a paradigm-shifting art as the world started to emerge from the pandemic.

The Process for Selecting and Curating NFT Sales at Christie’s:

Noah described his day-to-day to me, and it felt like a scene straight out of a movie: 

  • Morning calls with folks in Hong Kong 
  • Lunch with experienced art curator Kenny Schachter
  • Spending time on NFT Twitter and in NFT Discord Groups 
  • Talking with “whales” (a term used to describe people with a lot of ETH who are ready to spend it) 
  • Making connections with people in the space on and off-line to build relationships
  • Taking an evening call with executives in Japan

Noah is in the center of all the action and spends time with communities in these projects, active buyers familiar with NFTs and potential buyers who are still learning about the new space. 

This means that there are a lot of people who come to him in hopes that assets from their NFT project can be sold at Christie’s. 

Ultimately, he is responsible for sifting through the many requests of NFT projects in order to make sure only the best of the best bubble up and are approved for an auction. It’s no small responsibility either, as he said that it would be “irresponsible to throw up art without a track record. That’s not the role Christie’s plays in the ecosystem.” 

So how does he select and curate the projects to be featured in a Christie’s auction? 

“The most important thing is the community. If there’s a Discord that’s engaged, plugged in, and present. That’s the most compelling thing that you can possibly have going for you.”

 — Noah Davis, Christie’s Auction House

What I found unique about Noah is that he is in the Discord groups of various projects and interacts with members. He gets a feel for the community, the history of the project and makes sure there is an established price point before moving forward. 

He is dedicated to his craft and has done a great job of being a bridge between the “old world” and “new world” of art sales. While many in the NFT community worry about what may happen as renowned auction houses get more involved to sell NFT art, Noah has proven that he inherently understands the spirit of this paradigm shift: community. 

Noah Davis, Christie’s Auction House

My goal is to showcase the cream of the crop, the top of the top NFTs. Curio Cards was a no-brainer, CryptoPunks was a no-brainer. They’re obvious choices.

Community is a term that is sometimes oversold, but not in the way Noah uses it to identify projects. It’s common to see new NFT projects market their follower count and Discord members, but it’s another thing to observe a strong base of community members for months at a time who are consistently passionate about their project.

Curio Cards, for example, has a rich history in the NFT space as the first-ever digital art sold on Ethereum. It was rediscovered in March of this year and the community has steadily grown and stayed active during that time period. It’s clear that many members are involved in it in the long run. 

There are also experienced NFT collectors in the Curio Cards Discord group who spend time educating others on the significance of the project and what it means for the modern NFT environment. This is similar to other projects that have been selected to go up for auction on September 17th and October 1st.

Upcoming NFT Auctions and Their Impact on the NFT Evolution

Both Noah and I agreed that no one has a crystal ball and it’s too bold to make any predictions about the NFT space with any degree of certainty. Both of us, as well as many others, are optimistic about the future, but it’s always important to be patient and never spend money you can’t afford to lose. 

With that said, Noah has found himself in a position where he has the chance to make a lasting impact on the NFT community: 

“My main goal beyond getting great results is to induct people into crypto. I want people to be so enthralled by this. I want them to take the same leap I did. I bought my first Ethereum in April. This has been the most amazing transition of my life and I do see a lot of promise and utopia in decentralization and blockchain.” 

For many of us, NFTs have been life-changing and it’s not just about the money. It truly is about the community — the friends, the innovation, the creativity. The spirit of the blockchain is decentralization and the enablement of people to come together and build great things. 

Noah summed this up perfectly when he explained that it’s no longer “If you build it, they will come.” It’s now “If you invite them, they will build it.” 

Despite the headlines and eye-popping sales numbers, there were still just 412,388 active buyers on the top 4 Ethereum marketplaces from August 1st  – August 30th. 

This is just a fraction of the population many think NFTs will reach, and Noah explained that the old guard of the art world is starting to catch onto the phenomenon. The record Beeple NFT sale “blew their minds” and many are now in the role of an “invested skeptic”: 

“I am seeing now, certain art collecting dynasties getting involved in NFTs and hiring people to help them with their endeavors. We’re on the verge of a new wave of investment .” 

These upcoming auctions will introduce people to new “cream of the crop” projects and likely will provide more validation for the invested skeptics. Many of them still can’t get over the intangibility of the assets, but some are starting to recognize that it’s a strength in the fact that it removes some of the things that make contemporary art “cumbersome”. 

Noah referenced that it’s tough to drop everything and go on a vacation when you have a $100 million painting sitting in your home. 

At this point in the evolution of NFTs, people are watching. They’re learning. They’re cautiously optimistic. Noah and the team at Christie’s are bridging the gap and keeping the communities of people who have built up the space top of mind while doing so. 

How Will The Auctions Work?

The October 1st Christie’s Auction in New York City will be another step forward in the evolution of their NFT sales. 

Lots A and Z (the first sale and the final sale) of that auction will be Curio Cards and Art Blocks. It’s significant that NFT projects will book-end the auctions and is a statement about the belief in how well they will perform. 

Bidding for these lots will also be conducted in Ethereum for the first time ever. 

The auction will be done live, with an auctioneer. People will be able to view it online, bid on the phone, bid online, and (hopefully) bid in person. 

Perhaps the most exciting feature of this auction is that it will be done in 1 day, whereas other auctions have taken weeks; the energy and intensity will be condensed into a smaller time frame. 

It will be fun to watch what happens on both September 17th and October 1st as well as after the auctions. Some new projects will get much broader exposure and there will be more opportunity for the continued validation of NFTs as a viable high-end collector’s item.

Categories
Art NFT

September 17th’s NF3 Recap: Christie’s No Time Like Present, The Worm and More

As we begin to emerge from the recent bear market, a few key events in the last few days have sparked big movement in the world of NFTs. The Christie’s auction, entitled No Time Like Present, began last night and features works from three NFT projects: CryptoPunks, Meebits and Bored Ape Yacht Club—among other pieces of contemporary art and fashion. There have been a couple big floor battles between rivaling projects this week as well, another strong signal that we’re emerging from the hibernation of last week’s bear market.

If you’re just tuning in, this is NF3, ONE37pm’s NFT recap that explores the latest and greatest moves in the world of non-fungible tokens. Welcome.

1. Christie’s No Time Like Present is Underway

Christie’s long-awaited No Time Like Present auction finally began yesterday, capturing the attention of NFT aficionados and the art old guard alike. The collection includes NFTs from Larva Labs’ two projects, Meebits and CryptoPunks, in addition to a couple of entries from Yuga Labs’ BAYC.

NFTs aside, the lot also includes a couple of Rolex watches and other iconic pieces blurring the world of fashion and art. In celebration of the auction, tons of NFT enthusiasts either suited up IRL or let their digital avatars don a two-piece.

This response to the auction has been really wonderful, encapsulating the NFT community’s ethos: WGMI. A rising tide lifts all boats, so even those involved in projects other than those included in the Christie’s auction are showing their support by getting dressed up.

I saw avatars from smaller NFT projects in Discords far and wide manipulated to reflect the momentous occasion. It might not seem like much, but this community-response demonstrates the malleability of people’s digital avatars. I even saw developers of certain projects formally issuing suited up versions of their collections.

The auction will be live for 10 days, you can browse the whole lot here.

2. The Worm has Breached

I’m going to leave the technical explanation of what happened to the folks behind the project itself, but the Worm finally escaped its NFT. If you haven’t been following the saga, “The Worm is an NFT on a mission to visit every wallet on the Ethereum blockchain. It recently got stuck in a scammer’s wallet for 30 days.” Today, after 30 long days of imprisonment, the Worm disappeared out of its NFT.

Since the Worm got stuck, the developers have been working hard to transport the on chain artwork of the worm out of the wallet it has been stuck in. Today, the developers successfully breached the worm from the wallet; they will be resurrecting the Worm so it can continue its journey on September 20th.

Read more here.

3. The CryptoPunks / CyberKongz Battle Wages On

Throughout the week, both projects have seen immense growth in their floor prices, with genesis CyberKongz reaching a landmark 100 ETH floor yesterday. This isn’t a specific piece of news, per se, but demonstrates that the market seems to be returning to a state of normalcy, with majorly-hyped projects exploding.

Any time a project approaches CryptoPunks, it’s good news overall for the market, demonstrating that a moon might be possible for any collection.

Other cool stuff:

The Art Blocks curated project we discussed in an NF3 earlier this week, entitled Fragments of an Infinite Field, has eclipsed 20 ETH on OpenSea. Truly insane.

They haven’t confirmed anything yet, but the folks over at the Hundreds (the streetwear brand behind the Adam Bomb Squad) released another Medium article on Wednesday that suggested that the metadata reveal will be sooner than we think. Again, nothing is confirmed, but with overall sentiment up in the NFT community, this might just be the weekend we finally get that coveted metadata.

Here’s to having a big weekend. See you on the other side.

Categories
Art NFT

Meet PixelCons, a Minimalist NFT Pixel Art Project Dating Back to 2018

When it comes to Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), whether you’re a complete beginner or an expert NFT archaeologist in the making, there are enough new projects being created, dropped, dug up, and/or hyped on the daily to satisfy, well, just about everybody’s tastes.

As someone who’s still busy trying to learn everything about this incredible new space himself, I find the historical element of a lot of these pre-2021 projects particularly fascinating. In many ways, these individuals were pioneers of the early NFT space, testing the capabilities of minting art on the blockchain.

If you’re a fan like I am of collecting NFT projects that come with a little historical significance, I’d like to help introduce you to one today. I present to you a little (as in 8×8 pixel tiny!) project that began back in 2018 called PixelCons. Here’s the official bio from OpenSea:

“PixelCons are collectible NFTs featuring minimalist pixel art. 8×8 and only 16 colors, each PixelCon is unique and all its data fits in the size of a hash. This open platform was started in 2018 to allow any artist to easily make digital collectibles within a shared ecosystem.”

The rest of what follows comes by way of an email exchange with the original PixelCons creator, whose wish was to remain anonymous for this story.  

Who are you?

I am the lead developer of everything PixelCons. Others were consulted about the project in terms of the code and technicalities. I run the Twitter account, maintain the website, and have access to the admin keys of the contract, which can only set the URI endpoint for metadata (currently pixelcons.io) and owns the first 84 PixelCons.

How did the idea for PixelCons first come about?

Some of my colleagues and I found out about Ethereum during the bull market at the end of 2017. That led me down a huge rabbit hole of reading everything I could about Ethereum and adjacent crypto technologies, but I always came back to Ethereum. However, enthusiasm seemed to plummet in 2018 as the bear market came crashing down on everyone. It was during this low that I had a drive to try and add to the community to show off the vision I saw, but the market didn’t seem to get.

Brainstorming concepts, the biggest thing that kept standing out to me was how successful CryptoKitties was. I never saw the appeal of the cats, but I did recognize the power in digital ownership and the fun in collecting things. I had done some previous work with pixel art so I started thinking about how pixel art could be placed on Ethereum without being too data-heavy. I then started to think about what would be possible if all I had was a single “word” in the Ethereum Virtual Machine (256 bits – 32 bytes) to work with. 

This was an intriguing concept as 32 bytes was the size of a hash that most art NFTs use instead of storing the entire data. This means it would take up the same small size as other NFTs but have the data fully on-chain.

This led to the 8×8 grid with 16 colors. I Googled around and found the pico8 community who was doing just that.

How were the first PixelCons created?

I was blown away by one particular artist (who wishes to remain anonymous) and it made me hugely confident in how extraordinary PixelCons could be. Talking it over with some colleagues, we also came up with the importance of grouping PixelCons together as it added to the collectability as well as making them more recognizable when they were in groups of a particular theme (e.g., the Ninja Turtles set). 

It’s amazing what can be done with such harsh restrictions. Some things look like just a bunch of pixels and then it clicks and you see that it’s one of your favorite pop culture characters and your brain can never unsee it!

Development for the smart contract and website began around July of that year and was mostly finished by October 2018. It was at this time when we started reaching out to artists who might want to participate in the genesis launch of the project. We were able to get a hold of three different artists who were interested. 

One of the artists was commissioned to create the first 84 PixelCons which are prominently featured on the website and currently used for promotional purposes. At genesis, there were 325 PixelCons minted by us devs and the three artists with an additional 326 minted based on works found on Twitter from artists we couldn’t get ahold of to prevent malicious users from trying to take credit for work that wasn’t theirs. 

What was the response back then?

PixelCons never really took off as we had hoped, but we never lost admiration for the project and continued to maintain it with small updates to the website. 

We were originally going to have our own marketplace but quickly after launch decided that utilizing OpenSea was a much better alternative. A few dozen PixelCons were minted but nothing big. There were little-to-no sales on OpenSea except for some simple test listings and purchases. One of my colleagues created an LED display to show off PixelCons pulled directly from Ethereum through WiFi, which got a little attention but nothing big. 

The next year (2020) was even quieter with no major updates to the website but we made sure to keep it alive. Very few new PixelCons were minted that year as DeFi was taking up most of the crypto headlines.

Explain the renewed interest & attention in 2021.

My focus was brought back to the project in March of this year when NFTs started to become a more household name. There was a quick, small release made that addressed a few bugs and I started trying to contact all the old artists to see if they still had their keys. 

After a few scares that they were lost for good, all three artists were able to recover their keys but were turned off from listing on OpenSea due to the gas fees. With not a lot selling and too much noise to try and get the word out on our vintage PixelCons, not a lot of activity took place. 

However, I started to brainstorm how to breathe new life into the project with a possible version 2.0 to run on a rollup to alleviate high gas fees. A lot of work was done on this but it has now been shelved because one of our artists managed to drum up attention for his awesome works and raised the floor price to a point where gas fees weren’t a concern. 

Now all three artists are listing some of their genesis PixelCons for sale and there’s a big push to start growing our community.

What does the future look like for PixelCons?

We hope to continue growing the community and get the word out through all the noise of “low-effort” projects. 

These artists have done amazing work and were doing it back in 2018 before it was cool.

It’s really exciting that all artists managed to keep their keys and these fantastic pieces of art can be shared and the artists rewarded. We also hope that artists continue to mint new PixelCons. One of the artists has already minted 100 new PixelCons of really cool and recognizable characters (they really blow me away). 

There will most likely be a version 1.5 of sorts released in the next few months which takes a lot of the improvements from the shelved version 2 and brings them to the current version. The website should look better and be more reliable, with better presentation and the creation of collections. Us developers are also thinking of doing some sort of airdrop or giveaway to help build the community soon.

For more on PixelCons, drop by the project’s website and follow them on Twitter.

Categories
Art NFT

September 14th’s NF3 Recap: VeeFriends, Dapper Labs/Google and BAYC

We usually spread these NF3 stories out a bit, but today was a big day. There was a big announcement in the world of VeeFriends, a huge update from the folks over at Dapper Labs and even some movement from the Bored Ape Yacht Club gang. This and more, today in NF3.

This article does not constitute formal financial advice. Always do your own research before investing.

1. VeeFriends is Heading to Christie’s

We knew about Curio Cards. We knew about Art Blocks. And now, VeeFriends is the latest NFT project getting the auction treatment from Christie’s. GaryVee will be consigning 5 of the original hand drawn designs for VeeFriends as part of the legendary auction house’s upcoming Post-War to Present show on October 1st. As opposed to some of the other NFT projects that have made appearances at auction houses, this will actually be a collection of the paper drawings that comprise the basis of the VeeFriends NFT collection, authenticated by PSA.

Curio Cards is the first NFT art project on Ethereum; Art Blocks was the first major generative art platform in the game. VeeFriends demonstrated the community-building capabilities of NFT tech. Now all three will appear in the same historic auction.

2. Google and Dapper Labs Team Up

Dapper Labs is most widely-known as the developer behind one of the first mainstream NFT projects in the game, NBA Top Shot. Today, the brand and Google announced a partnership intended to scale the development of Web 3 products and services on the Flow blockchain, the protocol used by Dapper Labs.

This is a huge step for Flow and Dapper Labs, but also signals the continued momentum of the blockchain’s integration into the mainstream tech space. While firm details surrounding the partnership are still sparse, a partnership of this scale will put more eyes on the NFT space, and thus get more investors of all levels involved.

3. The Bored Ape Yacht Club Scavenger Hunt Game

Part of what has set the BAYC apart from other avatar projects is the team’s ability to continuously build on their IP, creating more and more creative ways to get their collectors involved. The latest such example is their announcement of a scavenger hunt that includes a video game, intended only for BAYC holders.

Back when numerous NFT projects began, “utility” and other supplemental components were always promised. We’re now in the period of a lot of projects’ roadmaps when we’re starting to see these aspects really come to fruition. BAYC is not just a club of collectors; it’s a community around an all-encompassing IP. Hopefully we get more info about the game and the scavenger hunt soon, but keep your eyes peeled in the Discord.

Other cool stuff:

The Worm finally seems to be approaching a major milestone: the Breach.

If you’re just learning about it, the Worm NFT is a first of its kind NFT that uses a ‘share to mint’ function. This means you can only get the Worm NFT if someone shares it with you. Created by Ambition.wtf, The Worm leaves behind a numbered hologram of itself each time it is shared from one holder to another.

A few weeks ago, The Worm got sent to the wrong wallet address and ended up getting stuck. In three days time, the team hopes to breach the wallet in order to break The Worm free. Friday can’t come fast enough.

Categories
Art NFT

September 13th’s NF3 Recap: MoonCats, Cool Cats and More Art Blocks

It’s no secret that we’re in a bit of a bear market in the world of NFTs right now, but that doesn’t mean that the gears aren’t still turning. Despite relatively lower market volume compared to preceding weeks, this week has still seen major drops, announcements and consistent traffic from some of the largest communities in the space. Without further ado, let’s explore three big moments in NFTs; welcome back to NF3.

This article does not constitute formal financial advice. Always do your own research before investing.

1. Mooncats Are Headed to Sotheby’s

In the latest piece of news sending an OG NFT project to a major auction house, the Mooncats, which date all the way back to 2017, are headed to Sotheby’s. Both Curio Cards and Art Blocks will be making appearances at Christie’s auction on October 1st, and now Mooncats are joining the roster of NFTs making the jump to the traditional art world with a major auction house.

There is no exact date yet, but the news certainly impacted the floor for the project on OpenSea. Mooncats are unique compared to some other older projects (like CryptoPunks or Curio Cards) because they’ve conducted some new releases (or “rescues”) in recent years, but the OG cats from the 2017 rescue are approaching a floor of 5 ETH. At the time of writing, the overall floor is at 1.37 ETH. Mooncats confirmed fans of the brand.

2. Cool Cats Are Planning… Something?

The Cool Cats are up to something. This post from September 3rd seemed to be hinting at the next phase for the project, and the last few days have seen some pretty massive traffic for the collection overall.

I mean, take a look at those numbers. There’s also some sort of war going on between Milk Jugs and Milk Bags in the Discord. If you’re really tapped into the Cool Cats Discord, can you explain to us what is going on? All we know for sure is that Cool Cats is having a moment and its highest-ever traffic on OpenSea. We only have cryptic info about the next phase for now, but this is certainly a project to watch as more announcements unfold.

3. Today’s Curated Art Blocks Drop from Monica Rizzolli

I know we talk about Art Blocks a lot, but they continue to curate some of the most visually interesting collections in the game, bringing in numerous groundbreaking artists on a weekly basis. We want to highlight their latest drop simply because of how breathtaking it is. The work from Monica Rizzolli is, quite simply, gorgeous.

Read the conversation that the Art Blocks team did with Rizzolli ahead of the drop, as it’s an amazing read for NFT collectors and art fans alike. From an aesthetic perspective, this is personally one of my favorite NFT projects I’ve seen to date. At the time of writing, the floor for Fragments of an Infinite Field has already eclipsed 7.5ETH—with good reason.

Other cool stuff to check out:

One CryptoPunk in particular had an insane week, so much so that it led DCL Blogger to conduct a bit of a deep dive into its history and the greater NFT landscape generally.

After a couple flips, CryptoPunk 8857 sold for a whopping 2,000 ETH this past Saturday. Of course, as is the case when any NFT sells for this sort of headline-grabbing figure, it led to a lot of questions from the community. You can browse the full transaction history here.


Following the sale, DCL Blogger, a leading voice in the NFT landscape, provided a lot of information about the NFT market in general, answering many of the first questions collectors get from outsiders. It’s a great read:

This has been another edition of NF3. As always, we’ll be back soon. WGMI.