a blog about the NFT space
Welcome back to Space Talk! I’m back in grad school as of last week, so my content here might become a bit less frequent, but I’m naturally still paying attention to the space, and I’ll be keeping you updated as best I can.
As always, nothing in this post is financial advice.
WoW! Happy Six-Month Anniversary!
The biggest news for me personally was that I got a follow on Twitter from World of Women NFT this past week!! Anyone who reads this knows I’m a WoW superfan and supporter, so I was very, very honored by the follow!
Speaking of WoW, holders got the new January Artdrop last week, and those of us who were available went on the subsequent Twitter raid for an hour or two, which is one of my favorite things to do because I get to meet other members of the community, make new friends, see new WoW PFPs I haven’t seen before, and engage with some of the artists featured in the Art Drops. The raid was followed by a six-month anniversary Twitter Spaces with the artists who were featured for the recent Season 5 Art Drops. It was so cool to hear from the artists themselves, and of course, Yam & Raph. The artists for Season 5 are: Amber Vittoria, Beryl Belici, Camila Nogueira (personal fave!), Haruko Hayakawa, Ismail Zaidy, Laya Mathikshara, and Twinz Garden. I love being a part of the Wow Fam!
Some big news came out for Polygon on 1/17/21 with the EIP-1559 Upgrade. EIP stands for Ethereum Improvement Proposal which means a significant upgrade is being implemented on Ethereum. I’m specifically linking the article above about how that upgrade impacts the Polygon blockchain, because Polygon is an Ethereum Layer 2 blockchain. I’ve touched on this before, but if you think of Ethereum itself as Layer 1, then Layer 2 “solutions” as they call them, are additional blockchains that inherit aspects of Ethereum while functioning on their own as connected, but separate entities. I’m referencing Polygon because it’s one of the more widely used Layer 2 solutions by NFT projects looking to avoid gas fees and speed up transactions while retaining Ethereum’s security and other benefits. Check out the article for more details, which include a burnable $MATIC token.
NFT PFP news, Facebook, Instagram
It’s old news by now, and I haven’t participated myself, but Twitter introduced the ability to link your Twitter profile picture to your blockchain wallet address to verify your ownership of your NFT. I think it’s a cool feature, but it requires a $2.99 monthly subscription to Twitter Blue. My personal opinion (until I feel like paying for Twitter Blue, that is) is that it’s verifiable on the blockchain that I own the NFTs I do, and if anyone wants to know that, it’s publicly available info that I can show with my wallet address. I frankly thought it was a bit of a cash-grab by Twitter, and mostly just a way for them to onboard a bunch of people into Twitter Blue. We’ll see how it shakes out or matters over time.
Facebook and Instagram (who is owned by FB for anyone who doesn’t know) have announced plans to develop their own NFT marketplaces and tokens, naturally with the ability to link to your NFT as your profile picture on those platforms as well. While Meta would undoubtedly like to own the Metaverse of the future, I’m of the belief that there will be multiple, perhaps interoperable metaverses.
We started to see the crypto market dip about 10 days ago, and it’s developed into a full-on tanking, though we’ve seen a gradual rise again for the past week. At the time of this writing, Bitcoin sits at $37,877.87, after starting 2022 in the high 40s, and Ether sits at $2,599.29, after starting 2022 in the high 3s. Is it still a good time to buy? It sure looks like it! Ether is now back down to the same price I bought it at back in August, for reference.
Interestingly, the NFT market has been booming regardless of the crypto (and stock market) crash. And perhaps crash is too strong of a word, maybe it’s more of a balancing out, but my guess is we’ll see crypto rise again this year. But, NFTs remain strong, and that’s a good sign for now.
*The Federal Reserve finally revealed the whitepaper for its digital dollar.
*CCC announced this partnership.
*My personal prediction for 2022 is that we will see far greater adoption and NFT use-cases coming into play in the mainstream, and that many NFT projects will continue to see big gains.
*Snoop Dog is the best
World of Women is Where It's At!
WoW, WoW, WoW
This past week was historic in the World of Women NFT project and community. Remarkable things happen at such a rapid pace in the current NFT world that using the word historic can feel parabolic, but it’s not so in this case.
By the way, nothing in this post is financial advice.
First, WoW announced that they decided to give full IP (intellectual property) rights to their holders. That means there’s not only no limit to what you can use your WoW image for commercially, it means you’ll receive 100% of the potential financial benefit from said use. Want to incorporate your WoW(s) into your new custom clothing line? Go for it. Now, one could make the argument that this doesn’t make financial sense for WoW, but I suspect we’ll see it play out positively over the long run for them, in terms of exposure and good karma. I may never use my WoW outside of my profile picture, Twitter banner, or a brief appearance in a video, but having IP rights gifted fully to me gives me even more good will toward WoW than I already had. I think yet again they are setting a high mark for how a project can give to their community and foster positive ideas of what it means to be part of an NFT project as a holder.
Arguably, the biggest public news that dropped next was the fact that Wow signed with veteran manager Guy Oseary. “The signing will see WoW explore opportunities in film, television, music, gaming and consumer products, among other categories, as well as licensing pacts,” reports Variety. Oseary reps the Bored Ape Yacht Club, as well as Madonna, U2, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Big deal, anyone?
It was shortly after this news that we started to see the WoW floor finally make significant jumps. Floor simply refers to the price of the entry-point for buying an NFT on the secondary marketplace. As I mentioned last week, WoW hit a 4ETH floor before all this news, dipping back into the 3’s after sitting in the 2ETH range for many months. However, last week we saw an 8ETH floor that rose even higher at times. At the time of this writing, WoW is holding strong at a 7.85ETH floor on OpenSea. Farokh of Rug Radio even joined the project with quite an emotional tweet. It was sweet to see him and Yam tweeting back and forth about it.
Next, WoW officially landed in the cultural zeitgeist of America by getting a positive article in The Rolling Stone. We’re starting to hear more and more big names in the same sentence with World of Women!
My personal favorite moment with Wow from the past week was one of the Art Drops. WoW does monthly Art drops to holders that promote new crypto artists and sends free NFTs to holders based on attributes in their WoW. Even though I don’t own the right WoW to get airdropped this artist’s work, I was quite pleased to learn about Camila Nogueira. Camila is a Portuguese digital artist whose work is my favorite of all the WoW monthly Art Drops thus far. Check out Camila!
Those were the high points for me in World of Women land this past week, and I have to say it continues to be a joy and an inspiration to be in the #WowFam!
*@postVeronne hosted an NFT tax prep space on Thursday - if you did any buying, selling, or trading of NFTs in 2021, give it a listen, you will be glad you did. I think recorded spaces only stay up for 30 days.
*Best, most basic Book Games advice seems to be buy the floor and hodl
*Rug Radio officially launched - I’m not an owner, but it’s a well-respected project
*GaryVee brought AskGaryVee back with his trademark responses to people’s questions
*Get a Ledger if you don’t have one. Don’t lose your money and NFTs!
*A Duke professor issued NFTs to his students for completing his course
*Shaq says Gm as SHAQ.ETH!
*Not sure what he got, but Dez Bryant went shopping!
And we’re back! Wow, as usual, a week feels like a month in NFT land, so there’s a lot to cover, and a lot I’ve been paying attention to. Let’s get right to it! Before we do, I must remind you that nothing in this post is financial advice. Always do your own research!
Buy The Dip?/Vitalik
I’m not heavily invested in crypto as a whole right now, I primarily own Eth, which dipped in price big time this past week, along with Bitcoin and the overall market. I first bought Eth in August 2021 for the purpose of buying a World of Women NFT; Eth was well-under $3,000 USD when I first purchased it, rising to well-over $4,000 USD in recent months. Then, this past week, it dipped to just under $3,000, hitting the most noticeable lows since I’ve owned it. At the time of this writing, we’ve seen it begin to rise again, currently sitting at $3,228.83. So, is Eth still in a dip, and should you buy the dip? I’m no crypto market expert, nor do I have a crystal ball, but here are the facts: at the time of this writing, Eth is up 3.53% in the past 24 hours; Eth is down 14.69% in the past week, down 21.08% in the past month, while being up 229.47% in the past year. Take from that what you will and decide if it’s time for you to buy!
Also, if you have it in you, and are interested in educating yourself about Ethereum, I’ve recently found Lex Fridman’s interviews with Vitalik Buterin, the co-creator of Ethereum, to be very valuable in understanding the Ethereum blockchain, Eth, and related topics. It’s certainly not entry-level material, but if you’ve started dabbling in NFTs or crypto and want to hear from one of the revolutionary players in the space, I’d recommend starting with the first interview from March 2020, then watching the interview from this past June, which discusses Ethereum 2.0. Vitalik sounds a bit like someone who has the robot filter over their voice, and if news broke that he is indeed a cyborg sent from the future to help build Web 3.0, let’s just say that might not feel like a stretch.
If you’re really curious and seasoned, you can read this tweet from Vitalik in which he gives his opinion about the nature of how blockchains will best co-exist in the future.
Before I get into the fun stuff surrounding project updates, I think it’s important to touch on the topic of scams. It’s an ironic subject in terms of mainstream adoption, because many people cite NFTs as a whole as being a “scam” of some sort, money-laundering schemes, or ponzi schemes; there are many misinformed critiques. Nevertheless, acceptance is rising with bigger brands like Adidas and Nike getting into the space, as well as the never-ending appearance of NFTs in people’s news feeds. There are many amazing projects, and then again, there are the people and projects out there who just want to take your money and run, and not all of the critiques are off-base.
The fact is, you should always Do Your Own Research. In my case, my initial “research” was two years of following GaryVee on social media simply as a fan of his entrepreneurial and motivational content, long before NFTs were known by anyone other than a small handful of developers. I knew it was worth listening to his suggestions about NFTs when he started promoting them last year, because I trust him and his brand. That’s proven to be a good decision. Now, DYOR tends to refer to more micro-scale research in hours, not years, on specific projects that you might be interested in, but the point remains the same: learn who to trust and support with your crypto funds, and even then, remember this is a volatile space that changes constantly and quickly.
Before moving on, I have to mention the fact that we saw people getting scammed over and over in Discord this past week. For anyone who doesn’t know, Discord is a chat server that started in the gaming world. It’s still used by the gaming community, but it’s also used by NFT projects to grow communities around their projects. Discord scams often happen in the form of malicious links being sent to users in their DMs. It’s not that hard to imitate a real NFT project and send someone a message telling them they’ve won something, and just to click a link to receive it. Legitimate projects won’t DM you in this way; as a matter of fact, the conventional wisdom across the space is increasingly not to respond to DMs in Discord, or to turn DMs off altogether. You can always turn them back on temporarily if you need to solve a captcha puzzle to enter a server or something like that. Before I turned mine off, I got DMs from scammers every day. In my opinion, it’s just like the real world, certain people will try to take advantage of you; you have to educate yourself on the technology to keep yourself and your funds safe.
Ok, on to the fun stuff!
Shot2TheMoon NFT Podcast, Space Pass NFT
I want to give a shout-out to Sean and Von, and the rest of the team at Shot2TheMoon NFT Podcast, along with their S2TM Space Pass NFT. If you’re looking for approachable conversations about NFTs that at the same time dig deep enough to provide a ton of value, then S2TM is your podcast.
While starting solely as a podcast, S2TM launched their Space Pass NFT a few months back as well, offering potential to follow along on a journey and story chock-full of perks for Space Pass holders. I bought one, and it’s been fun to follow along so far. S2TM has been unique in their utility for holders; not only have they done a lot of giveaways (I won $100 just for answering a question on Twitter) on Twitter and in Discord, they provide a particularly unique form of utility in the form of networking and exposure in the NFT space. These guys get some of the biggest names in NFTs on their podcast and in the Space Pass holder Discord channel for interviews. The Discord interviews are opened up at the end to the listeners, so if you’re interested in engaging, asking your own questions, and getting your name out there while hearing from some NFT experts, you have regular opportunities as a Space Pass holder. That’s nothing to sneeze at!
All of that said, S2TM announced on Friday that they are bringing some exciting updates to the project. To be honest, I missed the first part of the talk, but here’s what I gathered: there is a new burn option with either the S2TM poster NFTs that have been airdropped to Space Pass holders, new ones that are coming, or maybe both. Burning (deleting) that NFT will give you some perks that may or may not be related to “choosing your own adventure” in the story (as it is a story of space travel to different planets). I might be combining a couple things there, so don’t quote me. The writer’s room is going to be opening up again to the community to help continue writing the story, and there is some very dope looking new artwork on the way for Space Pass holders! I’m not sure if it’s a mint or an airdrop, but either way, I’m excited to see this project and story continue to develop.
World of Women
World of Women!! My OG favorite project. Developments this past week included partnering with Ethereal Collective, an NFT project aimed at bridging the physical and digital worlds. If you’re a real WoW fan, you know creating a connection between these worlds has been part of their mission from the beginning. WoW’s part in EC will include having their artwork displayed at EC exhibitions all over the world. Minting EC’s NFT gives you the potential as an artist to have your work displayed at their exhibitions, gives you free access to these events whether you have work as an artist in them or not, and access to other rewards and giveaways. So, go see WoWs IRL in London, LA, Dubai, NYC or Amsterdam!
The other big news is the rising floor and increasing traction around the project. I saw so many people on Twitter in the past month tweeting about WoW being one of the most underrated projects that is on the cusp of an inevitable floor rise, and we’re finally starting to see it. Last Wed. we noticed the floor rising to the upper 2s, and then Thibault Launay swept the floor on Saturday. Sunday the floor peaked at 4 ETH around noon! At the time of this writing, the floor has dipped back to 3.69, but all of this is a very positive sign. This has felt like a long-time coming, and coincides with Shonda Rhimes joining the WoW community on Friday, Eva Longoria joining yesterday, as well as Napheesa Collier! Look out world, here comes World of Women!
Welp, we finally saw the launch of VeeFriends Book Games yesterday evening, and what a night it was. I myself purchased 8 book tokens back in August as a part of GaryVee’s Twelve and a Half book release, and I have to say it was well, well worth my while to do so.
First things first, if you’re interested in purchasing book tokens on the secondary market and playing, all the steps to do so are well-documented here. It’ll include familiarizing yourself with Immutable X, and Token Trove, which I mentioned in greater detail in my previous post.
If you want, you can flip book tokens for profit in the short-term, or you can hold on to them for their other perks, which are major (arguably much more so than the quick flip): each book token gives a twelve and a half day advantage to minting VeeFriends Series 2 later this spring, is burnable for other assets on the Book Games Exchange, and will be burnable for access to the 15 new VeeFriends characters being released as a part of Series 2. These are remarkable perks, in addition to whatever else Gary wants to add in value as time goes by, having stated that “Book Games are played forever.” I’m stoked to see how things develop in both the short and long term, and I’m very excited to officially be in the VeeFriends family as a token holder.
*Decentraland announced they are adding royalties to a greater extent for NFT creators.
*Nas is going to sell streaming rights as NFTs.
*I didn’t have time to research it before this post, but keep your eyes on the new Looks Rare Marketplace and their $Looks token - could be big.
*Serena Williams says GM, with what appears to be a Cryptopunk as her pfp.
*The other day I looked down at my WIGWAM socks and thought they said WAGMI in what felt like a Matrix-esque moment of the physical and the digital becoming one. I’m going to pretend it was real.
Okay that’s everything this week, see you next time, and…
DAOs, Layer 2, Staking, more
Well, a year has come and gone with remarkable development in the NFT space, yet time moves so quickly in NFTs that New Year's Eve/Day feels like a month ago. The coming year looks to be no different from the one we just finished in terms of innovation and discovery, so let’s talk for a moment about what’s happened in the past week. By the way, nothing in this post is financial advice.
The rise of the mighty DAO. I’m not talking about an eastern religion here, I’m talking about decentralized autonomous organizations. It’s certainly not a new concept in the NFT world, but it is gaining more adoption, and probably still sounds like a foreign language to most outside NFTs and crypto. The concept is simple enough in theory; it’s sort of like a collective. Being a member of a decentralized autonomous organization gives you a voice, with the ability to vote on community initiatives and proposals. Certain projects, like World of Women, are revealing a DAO as part of an update or addition to their current project. Others have sprung up around various communities, projects, or tokens, like the $SOS token.
Advancements, Carbon Neutral NFTs
Projects are continuing to outsource to Layer 2 Ethereum, finding scaling solutions that eschew Proof of Work gas fees. This requires new and different marketplaces outside of OpenSea, such as Token Trove, a currently niche, card game and collectible NFT marketplace on Immutable X, a Layer 2 of the Ethereum blockchain. VeeFriends Book Games, anyone? Trading on these Layer 2s is a win-win, and this is something worth knowing for those raising environmental concern over blockchain and NFTs. All NFTs traded on Immutable X are carbon-neutral! This is related to the fact that there are no gas fees on Immutable X. Gas fees are the transaction fees paid to miners, the term given to the process of computers solving incredibly complex math problems to verify blockchain transactions. This process is very energy-intensive, and very not-carbon neutral, one of the motivations prompting the adoption of emerging Layer 2 solutions. These solutions have many benefits, one being that they inherit many of the positive characteristics of Ethereum without having to use so much energy to process transactions.
Smol Brains, More Layer 2, Staking
Continuing this trend of Layer 2s and alternative marketplaces, I first heard of Smol Brains (pronounced like Small Brains) last week in a Spaces chat on Twitter. The project was also retweeted and mentioned many times by GaryVee. One thing I admire about Gary is his tireless pursuit of giving people the opportunity to learn, if they’re willing to follow through on their end with the curiosity and optimism to educate themselves. He’s certainly doing that again with Smol Brains by tweeting about them and telling everyone to read up on them in order to learn about new developments. Smol Brains is a project based on a Layer 2 called Arbitum. Treasure Marketplace, which accepts and uses the $Magic token, is where you can find Smol Brains.
I don’t have experience with staking cryptocurrency, but my best understanding of the idea is that you can take your tokens, or a certain amount of them, out of the market for sale and stake them on the blockchain to aid in the process of verifying transactions. If you do this with Bitcoin, for example, your reward for doing so is gaining more Bitcoin; it creates passive income amongst other things. You can read through the Smol Brains Medium article above, but the project allows you to stake your NFTs to acquire points and resources which all help grow the project and it’s value in theory. The requirements for this are quite different than, say, staking Bitcoin or Eth, which require owning far higher amounts of those cryptocurrencies before being able to stake. With Smol Brains, and other projects using staking, you simply need to own one of their NFTs to stake it - typically a far less expensive prospect.
I mention staking here not because it’s a new idea in NFTs (and certainly not in crypto), but because it seems to be increasingly popular and it looks like we’re going to see more of it. It’s benefits are working their way into NFT projects, particularly as they expand into new Layers and marketplaces. My own Crypto Canna Club has a staking feature looming on the horizon, something they’ve teased since the beginning. In the context of that project, you can stake your NFT in a “greenhouse” to passively earn income. I’ve been hodling my NFToker since I bought him, with no current plans to sell, so I’ll be very interested to see how the staking process works within that project whenever it rolls out.
There are too many to name, but one that stands out is the FlyFish Club, the first NFT restaurant. GaryVee is a team member, it’s based in New York City, and the NFT will serve as access to the restaurant and it’s various experiences. Look to this as an example of the expansion of the real-world use-cases for NFTs. An initial round of NFTs have already been minted, but the public sale is Jan. 7 via their new website which will be released Jan. 5. Word isn’t out yet about the upcoming sale price, and it isn’t likely to be cheap, but the flipside is that projects that GaryVee is involved in tend to do well, and this is a first considering it’s a restaurant. One wonders if these passes will become quite valuable.
Recur Pass status
The Recur Pass is a project I bought into about three weeks ago. 64,000 passes were minted on 12/14/21, with promises of early beta access to major IP projects entering the NFT world, including projects using IP from film and television, cartoons, and sports teams. This includes major universities across the country in terms of sports teams, and legendary IP such as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. At the time of this writing, the floor for Recur Passes has more than doubled since the mint, and in recent days we’ve even seen it nearly triple. Passes are available on Recur’s marketplace at the link above, with many developments in the works in terms of the aforementioned beta access as well as ability to resell the passes on secondary markets like OpenSea.
*Two of the projects I own made this top-six NFTs of 2021 list by Boardroom.tv. Shoutout World of Women and Crypto Cannabis Club!
*Snoop Dog tweeted Gm (Snoop recently started repping Bored Ape Yacht Club)
*I’ve been running around Decentraland in my CCC hoodie, mostly mining meteors to accumulate enough materials to mint a wearable NFT
*VeeFriends Book Games drops anytime between now and 1/10!
Ok, thanks for reading, I’ll see you next time here in Space Talk.
Martin Rees. I joined the NFT space on August 1, 2021 and haven't looked back. Here is where I write about it.