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Are Our Bags Gonna Make It?!
Bull Market Vibes. Benz NFTs. And the Herd is Coming.
👋🏽 Hello everyone, gm gm, WELCOME BACK to another edition of the Overpriced JPEGs newsletter, where we’re catching you up on the world of web3, NFTs, and the metaverse.
Fun Fact: The OPJ team met IRL for the first time at our Happy Hour Tour stop in LA, where Carly, Kevin Rose + Frank DeGods captivated the crowd at the Bright Moments gallery. Seriously, if you haven’t already seen it, stop what you’re doing and check out their conversation now. We also headed to VeeCon where Carly took to the main stage with Snowfro and we LFG’d with Zeneca. Good times. 💜
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⚡️ Bull(ish) Vibes?
We may still be high on the fumes of VeeCon, but after months of down only, we can’t help but get a little giddy over any hint of excitement in this market
Daily volumes are up ever so slightly, and PFPs had a small rally this weekend, but the art market is where all the action was on the heels of Sotheby’s very successful ‘Grails’ auction for the first batch of seized 3AC assets
The auction netted $2.5M; with the high sale of a $1M Fidenza that went for 5x its presale estimate
Art NFT sales surged in the wake of the auction, partially on momentum, but also due to basic supply + demand: Lots of thin floors with eager buyers patiently waiting for collections to bottom out
There’s still a ton of gems left to be auctioned in the 3AC collection, so we’re not calling a reversal just yet … but hey, we’ll take these wins where we can
0n1Force is also forging a comeback, teasing a series of upcoming announcements beginning with a new creative director who previously worked on Overwatch, Valorant, and Batman; Price action is bullish on whatever news they have coming
We also can’t not mention Jack Butcher’s phenomenal week: Opepens are going wild, with 3 new ATH sales; he sold 3 Checks Elements for 50E in a Christies auction; and will be the featured Meme Card artist in tomorrow’s drop. Big respect, Jack.
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🐴 A Herd of Trojans
Reddit Avatars have long been the standard bearer as a Trojan Horse for NFTs (heck they even got Frank), but it seems reinforcements are finally here to help onboard the masses
Leading the pack are Pudgy Penguins. Luca and the team have gotten a lot of buzz for selling ½ $MIL worth of toys in their first two days on Amazon, but the story under the headlines is that each of those toys come with a frictionless, free soulbound NFT that the user doesn’t even realize is an NFT. Here’s how it works.
Move-to-Earn fave STEPN broke new ground as the first app to offer NFT trading on Apple. In-app buyers will need to fork over the notorious 30% Apple Tax, which won’t appeal to existing users … but odds are good that STEPN’s popularity will red pill at least a handful of fitness normies
Nike’s .SWOOSH public sale kicked off yesterday and in spite of some early hiccups, overall sentiment feels high
The Professional Bowlers Association is airdropping “digital awards” to 30k league bowlers in recognition of their bowling wizardry. Yeah, you read that right, Bowling NFTs. I think we’ll go ahead and end on that note.
🚘 Pulling Up in the Benz
Our readers know we’ve been keeping tabs on the luxury vehicle NFT space (including this deep dive on Lambo vs. Porsche), so our ears perked up when Mercedes Benz tweeted a link to a sub-account for Mercedes-Benz NXT
There’s a lot to unpack, but at first glance there’s already several things to like about the luxury automaker’s foray into the space:
The website is sleek, infusing web3 design elements while not being so overtly cryptic that normies can’t follow along
Not to fade other mainstream brands that contract external “web3 experts,” but Mercedes’ core team is featured on the home page and they have ENS domains, recognizable PFPs, and pretty freakin’ impressive art collections. It’s safe to say, at the very least, they’re not imposters.
Nothing feels forced. At the time of this writing, the Twitter account has 1,400 followers, and in a world of hype-driven momentum, we’re digging the slow, deliberate rollout.
Their first set of collections feel like the right blend of legacy values with a commitment to the ethos of web3, featuring renowned generative artists and the company’s design heritage, with IRL activations for an elite group of Mercedes Benz’ top customers.
They’ve also set up a framework for managing expectations, clearly defining their 3 different areas of focus so buyers know the role their digital assets play in the ecosystem: Core collections, Satellite projects, and Peripheral projects.
The gravy on top? They locked down mercedesbenznxt.eth
A joint request for an extension related to document disclosures raises speculation that a settlement is looming in the Ripple / SEC lawsuit
Bitcoin payments firm Strike is launching its app in 65+ countries with a 3 BIL addressable TAM
Nearly $6M in crypto and NFTs have been phished by Inferno Drainer scam
Coinbase filed a 23-page reply in its lawsuit with the SEC; says the agency is talking out of both sides of its mouth
After several attempts at dodging process servers, Shaq was finally served notice (ironically, at the previously named FTX arena) while broadcasting the Heats / Celtics game
No, MetaMask is not collecting taxes or withholding personal income taxes on behalf of the govt
🌐 web3 + NFTs
Deadfellaz can now bring their PFPs to life via ‘Streamingfellaz’ during virtual calls, live streams, and recorded videos using advanced motion tracking and emotion recognition technology (Doodles also teased some AR features)
Art Blocks, in collaboration w/Venture Punk, is launching the generative art platform ‘Prohibition Art’ on Arbitrum
Blur adds its first lower-priced collections to Blend, Kanpai Pandas and Redacted Remilio Babies; also adds Pudgies this week
Animoca Brands launches the Mocaverse Web3 Membership Program using CyberConnect’s decentralized social network
Ripcache has an innovative new drop where the only way to access the digital piece is to scratch away a portion of the physical art to reveal the private key
Zagabond announced a new site to help Azuki sub-communities find one another
Superchief Gallery is gearing up to launch a new NFT marketplace on Avalanche
An $APE accelerator / launchpad is in the works to help IP holders with partnerships, funding, and network effects
📈 Brands + Biz
Leaked slides reveal what Instagram’s rumored Twitter competitor might look like
Rarible’s Former Head of Partnership 0xEvgniy is Adidas’ new Global Head of web3 Strategy & Planning
The 61-piece Burnt Toast x Red Bull Doodle Art collection goes live on Nifty Gateway on Thursday, May 26
Ledger delays its Recovery service after days of community voicing its concerns and gripes; will release the open source code before launching the Recovery update
🤖 AI + Metaverse
Forgotten Runes opens public beta on The Loracle, a Chat Bot trained to be a librarian, creative companion, and expert on The Runiverse
Microsoft’s Bing search engine will now be a part of OpenAI’s ChatGPT
This AI robot has just been deployed as a roving security guard at some manufacturing sites
Adobe levels up its AI offerings with Generative Fill, a new ‘superpower’ that lets you summon new objects and augment layers in Photoshop
Solana’s using AI to let users interact w/the chain directly from a ChatGPT plugin
Finance YouTuber Meet Kevin deep faked Ryan Reynolds promoting Tesla cars and Ryan’s marketing agency Maximum Effort responded with their own deep fake of Elon promoting Aviation Gin
Jon Rogers is back for another episode of Blockbuster, where we’re exploring the intersection of Hollywood and the world of web3. In the second episode of a multi-part series, Jon explains the potential benefits of blockchain tech in the production pipeline. He also drops the alpha on Lollipop, the next-gen experience that he’s been working on with the creator of The Fast and the Furious.
The market is hanging on by a thread and Carly and Gavin are helping to hold it together with another jam-packed weekly recap. They’ve got takes on Captainz’ slow and steady ascent, the $7M $PSYOP raise, and the new Twitter CEO. Plus, Ledger CXO Ian Rogers responds to the backlash around its latest product launch. Catch it all here.
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