Buy Now, and You’ll Pay Later
Over-Leveraged Degens. Meme Coin Mania. And an NFT Conviction.
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👋🏽 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.
Before we get going, we want to remind you that tickets are now available for the next stop on our OPJ Happy Hour Tour!
Carly’s sitting down with PROOF’s Kevin Rose and Frank from DeGods + y00ts in LA on Tuesday, May 16!!
Seats are limited and first come, first served. We can’t wait to see you there!!
🌪 Blur Gets Blended Reviews
Blur stirred the pot this week with Blend, its new Peer-to-Peer lending protocol, and people reacting to the news largely fell into one of two camps: Those who had flashbacks to 2008 and those convinced they’re becoming overnight millionaires
‘Blend’ introduces two new loan products: Perpetual Lending, which lets the owner borrow equity against an NFT, and Buy Now, Pay Later, an option to buy an NFT with a small down payment similar to a home mortgage
We couldn’t possibly squeeze all the fine print into this post [we recommend subscribing to OPJ Pro to read yesterday’s Blend deep dive for that 😉] but the biggest takeaways are:
Blur’s introducing novel mechanics that give lenders deep incentives to offer crazy good loan terms to borrowers by rewarding them with $BLUR
BNPL is giving traders exposure to higher-priced collections they otherwise couldn’t afford … but at the alarmingly high daily interest rate of .15%
All lending is handled on-chain and in-platform for a seamless, friction-free experience. It’s never been easier to gamble on jpegs with money you don’t own.
It’s too early to gauge the broader impact on the market, but data suggests there’s no shortage of folks ready to FAFO:
As of this writing, more than 1,200 loans have been accepted and 14k ETH loaned. Machi Big Brother, who *shockingly* came out of early retirement, is currently the top active lender with more than 46 loans.
People dove head first into BNPL: This trader picked up a Milady for 0 down and flipped it four minutes later for .13E profit, while Lucky Trader’s Tyler exercised a little more patience, flipping this Azuki overnight for 1E profit after putting just 2.2E down
The uncertainty here is almost as high as the risk, so be smart. We expect to see a lot of price volatility in both directions. And because we can’t imagine how anything could possibly go wrong when degens start over-leveraging on highly speculative assets in the middle of the worst NFT market ever, we want to do the responsible thing and leave you with this cautionary tale and these words of wisdom:
“There are old traders … there are bold traders, but there are no old, bold traders.”
Today's OPJ Newsletter is brought to you by our OPJ gin partner, Liquid Collections.
We're excited to share their innovative approach to Web3 within the spirits and wine industry, featuring their latest masterpiece: Drops of Punk.
Liquid Collections has carefully sourced a superb single cask of 15-year-old Highland single malt scotch (aged in an ex-bourbon cask and enhanced in a 2nd fill Oloroso sherry cask for added complexity) exclusively for CryptoPunk holders. Each NFT entitles the owner to six distinctive bottles, showcasing your CryptoPunk integrated into the bottle design.
Discover the fusion of collectible luxury and ultra-premium scotch in this exclusive whisky NFT for CryptoPunk holders!
🎟 From Paper to Pixels
Blockchain ticketing has come a long way since the first NFT plane ticket was sold for $1M a year ago. Major web3 events, from VeeCon to (what would have been) PROOF of Conference are selling tickets as NFTs, while tokenproof has become the gold standard for gated, proof-of-asset verification for event entry
Fans of OPJ know we’re big on this trend and recently had Avenged Sevenfold frontman M. Shadows back on the pod to talk about the band’s semi-controversial decision to token-gate early access tickets via a partnership with Ticketmaster
This week, Sports Illustrated turned heads with its new NFT ticketing platform, Box Office, which was built on Polygon in collaboration with ConsenSys.
In contrast to Ticketmaster’s token-gated approach, which first requires an NFT to enable the purchase of traditional paper or digital tix, Sports Illustrated is pushing actual NFT tickets that live on the blockchain and can be updated with all sorts of metadata to unlock fan engagement opportunities from collectibles to exclusive events
And they’re not just talking about concerts and big sporting events; SI wants event organizers of all sizes - from soccer moms to church groups - to get on board. Think less Ticketmaster, more Eventbrite.
“We’re trying to create the first mass-market adoption of NFT ticketing so that everyone from a 15-year-old to a 90-year-old can buy their first NFT ticket without having to go through a crypto tutorial on blockchain, or have to get a wallet and understand any aspects of it.” - SI Tickets CEO David Lane
We’re excited to see the rapid growth of NFT and token-gated ticketing from the niche, novelty phase into mainstream adoption led by bands like A7X and companies like Sports Illustrated. At this rate, gma & gpa will be swiping their NFT Movie Pass on date night in no time.
☘️ Meme Coin Mania + An NFT Conviction
File this in the entirely predictable news category, but we’ve got our first trending AI-generated memecoin, TurboToad, and believe it or not, it’s actually a refreshing twist on the meme coin meta with an impressive $45M market cap to boot.
IDK about you, but a storyline involving a large corporation brainwashing animals to become its employees alongside the NFT market’s worst traders sounds entirely on brand for the team that brought us Goblintown. The only thing that would be more fitting is if all the influencers were auto-rejected and minters got a discount for paying in PEPE. Oh, wait …
Former OpenSea employee Nate Chastain was convicted yesterday on charges of wire fraud and money laundering for insider trading, a case that’ll have big implications on an industry that’s gone largely unregulated, yet heavily enforced.
Chastain was accused of front-running NFT collections before featuring them on OpenSea’s front page - which ain’t cool - but it’s crazy to think he’s staring down the barrel of a forty year prison sentence for pocketing the ETH equivalent of 2 floor Mutants while known pump and dumpers are openly making millions off the backs of everyday degens. Make it make sense.
PayPal is enabling crypto transfers for its 60M customers on Venmo, which processed $245B in fiat tx’s last year; and MoonPay’s new app lets users manage multiple crypto wallets w/hundreds of cryptocurrencies
A new lawsuit alleges Coinbase collected, stored, and disseminated private customer biometric data
Mastercard teams up with Aptos Labs, Ava Labs, Polygon, and Solana Foundation on Crypto Credential, a set of standards aimed at building rust with consumers and blockchain users
Phantom released multi-chain wallet support for Ethereum, Polygon, and Solana
CZ addresses whether Binance is considering listing $PEPE
NFT trading volume on Ethereum slows as activity on Polygon, Cardano, and Solana ramps up
Man who stole 712 Bitcoin from his convicted brother’s wallet that was seized by law enforcement is sentenced to 4 years in prison
Balaji settled his $1 million BTC bet - giving $500k to poverty charity, $500k to BTC devs, and $500k to James Medlock, the guy he made the bet with
🌐 web3 + NFTs
Sotheby’s Metaverse is a new an on-chain secondary NFT marketplace offering specially curated NFTs with rotating monthly artists; launch artists include Tyler Hobbs, Claire Silver, XCOPY and others
Steve Aoki and 3LAU release “Concentrate,” the first single as Punx Duo, a collab project inspired by CryptoPunks
CoinMarketCap is launching Shark Tank-esque reality show ‘Killer Whales,’ where aspiring NFT founders pitch their ideas to a panel of web3 ‘experts’
Subscribers who shared his newsletter early on can register for Giancarlo’s upcoming Mint or Skip pass
Chimpers launched its third Adventure with guest artwork from OSF
KillaBears team aped into PEPE with 100 ETH using mint proceeds from KillaCubs
Zora introduces Text NFTs to display, read, and collect articles onchain
📈 Brands + Biz
Mythical Games’ ‘NFL Rivals’ is an officially licensed NFL and NFL Players Association game that combines web2 + web3 gaming nad doesn’t mention NFTs
Michelin - that’s right, the tire company - is launching an NFT collection featuring the iconic Michelin Man; lottery for holders include Michelin food and Grand Prix experiences
LA’s Angel City FC and Crypto.com team up on “We Are L.A.” NFT collection; holder perks include on-field experiences, autographed jerseys, and merch
The Vatican Library is digitizing and archiving its extensive collection of nearly 2 million cultural assets using blockchain tech and NFTs
Google Cloud to be a strategic cloud provider for Polygon protocols
EA co-founder Jeff Burton joins web3 gaming guild P2Earn as Chairman of the Board
🤖 AI + Metaverse
IBM pauses hires, plans to replace ~8000 jobs with AI, including back-office functions like HR; says 30% of non-customer facing roles could be replaced by AI in 5 years
‘Godfather of AI’ who worked on the tech for half a century quits his job at Google so he can freely share his concerns of serious world harm
Eleven Labs introduces new text-to-speech using AI in 8 different languages, a huge boon for creators, game devs, and publishers looking to repurpose their content
On its latest earnings call, Amazon CEO teases plans to create ‘the world’s best personal assistant’ by using AI to supercharge Alexa
Music artists may have an uphill legal battle when going after AI-generated songs and their creators
Samsung bans employees from using ChatGPT after concerns of feeding the chatbot sensitive company info
OPJ regular and Hollywood veteran Jon Rogers is back with the first in a series of episodes exploring how blockchain will affect the media and entertainment value chain across Development, Production, and Distribution. Jon says Hollywood execs and studios should turn their sights to NFTs as a terrific tool for finding and building the next great IP. You don’t wanna miss this one 👇🏾
Carly, Zeneca, and Gavin are back for another wild weekly recap. Lawsuits are a dime a dozen in web3 and they’ve got takes on all the big ones: Coinbase v. SEC, Yuga v. Ryder Ripps, and the Hermés precedent. They’re also talking about the the battle for web3 shoe supremacy and whether a MetaMask token will save all our bags. Catch it all here!
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Got something to share with our readers? Leave a comment below or connect with me @hawaiianft (Sparkitysparkz) on Twitter or @jacy (Sparkz) on Bluesky 🤙🏾