DeGods Dust it Off
Base for the Masses. Sproto Gremlins. And the Problem with Hype.
👋🏽 Hello everyone, gm gm, WELCOME BACK to another edition of the Overpriced JPEGs newsletter, where we’re catching you up on web3, NFTs, and the greater world of emerging tech.
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🧟♂️ DeGods Got a Downgrade
Last week we left you with a teaser of what Frank and the team had in store for their highly hyped Season 3 launch, including the y00ts migration from Polygon to Ethereum and the ability to upgrade DeGods art for 333 $DUST
Over the weekend the team pivoted to ‘downgraded’ art & introduced Points Parlor, a stake-to-earn rewards program with a slew of prizes ranging from $DUST to Apple products to a Tesla. Kraken leads a list of notable prize sponsors in a new partnership model we haven’t yet seen from PFP projects
Interestingly, DeGods are in a legal grey zone here, and people are rightfully wondering if this framework checks all the boxes for an illegal lottery: ✅ prize, ✅ chance, ✅ consideration
Community response to the updates was lukewarm and Frank hit the Spaces circuit hard to mitigate damages, but the market did what the market does. Both y00ts and DeGods crashed hard in the aftermath (with the latter plummeting below 4E) following a series of events:
Loan activity on DeGods jumped as a hedge against further losses
It’s a lot to unpack but the biggest takeaway is: Teams need to under promise + over deliver. Nothing announced was objectively bad. It was just unabashedly overhyped, which Frank himself admitted as much. And while hype works in a bull, it’s simply impossible to sustain in a bear.
Here at OPJ, we’re sympathetic to the builders out there, and there’s no doubting Frank is a high-integrity builder. We’re looking forward to seeing him do what he does best - dusting this off and going back to the drawing board.
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🌝 Base Goes Big
Do you remember the first time you played around on an L2? I do. It cost me $100+ and 8+ hours to bridge .02 ETH, not including the time spent researching how to do it in the first place. Well, Coinbase launched the public mainnet for its long-awaited Ethereum L2, Base, and wow … the experience was night and day
And it’s not just me. Proof of Base’s frictionless UX and ease of use is evidenced by the chain’s impressive stats since launch:
$180M Bridged; 10.6M Total Txs; 1.6M Total Active Users; and a steadily growing user base:
Base is boldly aiming to bring the next billion users onchain, and as Carly points out, they’ve got a couple specific value props that make them uniquely suited to succeed, one of which is Culture.
To get a sense of what that means, you need look no further than Onchain Summer, Base’s month-long celebration of onchain art, gaming, and community. Nearly every aspect of Onchain Summer is a nod to the Culture:
Affordably priced art from high-profile artists like DeeKayMotion sits alongside classic degen derivatives like ‘Pepe Masterpiece Rolex Edition’
Collabs and partnerships with dozens of web2 + web3 brands including second chances for some like Coca-Cola and Pixelmon, who botched their initial launches but want to right the ship
Sharing the spotlight with countless other builders and teams, including Manifold, OpenSea, Zora, and even other L2s like Optimism. The integration of startup mint.fun directly onto the Base home page is a particularly nice touch.
With this ‘Rising Tide Lifts All Boats’ approach, Coinbase is not only making the Ethereum ecosystem more accessible to the mainstream, but they’re accelerating the overall growth of the crypto industry for everyone involved
For a more in-depth look at what Base is building, be sure to check out Carly’s interview with creator Jesse Pollak:
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📈 Trending This Week
WAGMI United (whose impressive team of investors and supporters included Adidas, GaryVee, and GMoney) parted ways with a mod, which kicked off rampant speculation that the team was rugging
Friend Tech - an invite-only mobile dApp on Base that lets you buy and sell shares of your “friends” on a bonding curve - is one of crypto’s hottest trends this week. We can think of a million other ways to spend your hard-earned ETH, but if you're gonna play, know that red flags have been raised related to data privacy
Speaking of data breaches … ZachXBT uncovered an issue in Yuga’s Made by Apes API that exposed applicants’ sensitive information, including emails, legal names, and felony records. Yuga issued an acknowledgement, but didn’t actually apologize for what is a pretty egregious oversight in a world where anonymity reigns supreme
Deadfellaz founder Betty is feeling rejuvenated and ready to begin the next era for the Fellaz. She’ll teased a series of announcements and refreshers over the next few months to engage new and existing holders
Zynga is launching ZW3, a studio focused on web3 game development. The first game dropping is called Sugartown, and if it’s even half as addictive as Zynga hits Words With Friends or Farmville, we’re all doomed.
Blue chip and large cap PFPs are floundering, while Milady, Redacted Remilio, and Sproto Gremlins are all trending up. Sproto is running particular hard and the team is even considering throwing a Basel event. Yes, you read that right.
PayPal enables Cryptocurrencies Hub as a place for select users to hold and interact with digital assets in their accounts
Six securities law scholars filed an Amicus Brief tracing the history of the meaning of an investment contract in support of Coinbase in its ongoing SEC legal battle
MetaMask is now offering 1-click crypto buys using Apple Pay in a partnership with fintech firm Banxa
Someone burned $8M+ worth of crypo and NFTs for no apparent reason
Shiba Inu holders were disappointed after developer Shytoshi Kusami’s virtual AI speech at a Toronto blockchain conference, where he was expected (but failed to) announce the go-live date for the new Shibarium Blockchain
Morocco formally submitted its request for BRICS membership, which has a strong focus on promoting local currencies within the block
Coinbase was approved to offer futures contracts in BTC and ETH to eligible US customers
🌐 web3 + NFTs
Jack Butcher had a roller coaster of a week: The contract for Infinity Checks had a bug and someone drained all the funds; Jack was revealed as one of PROOF’s Grails S4 artists; and Opepengs sales kicked off at a lofty 4.7 and 5 ETH
Zeneca previewed PFPs for his Zen Academy community; reveals intentions behind the launch
SnowFro and Jordan Lyall are collabing on an ‘inclusive edition’ gen art project on Prohibition Art; each Heart+Craft comes with instructions for the owner to 3D print the art
CoinDesk is laying off of its editorial staff as parent company DCG sets the path to close a deal on selling the company
Machi Big Brother withdraws his defamation suit against ZachXBT; says Zach’s been of ‘great service’ to the crypto community
PROOF’s Grails 4 included artwork from Roope Rainisto, Diewiththemostlikes, BASIIC, and Jack Butcher
Suspicions have resurfaced that KRO himself is actually BASIIC and he didn’t exactly say no 🥸
Sam Spratt’s ‘Monument Game’ kicked off and all the instructions and timelines were in cryptic code, which TylerD handily decoded so we don’t have to
A Kid Called Beast co-founder Krad “got hacked,” solicited donations, then subsequently went MIA from the project with a hard pivot into AI
📈 Brands + Biz
Live Nation partners with Gala Music to experiment with pairing music discovery + fan influence + artist empowerment
NFL Rivals announced The Kickoff program launching on August 24 in anticipation of the NFL regular season start
Musician Grimes says she’s made more money on NFTs than in her musical career; thinks NFTs are a great way to compensate digital artists
Ducati dropped 20k free NFTs on XRP Ledger to folks who registered in advance and gave early roles to the first 5k in discord, teasing more to come
McDonalds Singapore is dropping free Polygon Grimace NFTs in their mobile app
FC Barcelona scored a $120M Euro investment into its web3 arm, Barça Vision
Adidas and BAPE are partnering on an exclusive set of 100 pairs of OG Triple-Whites
🤖 AI + Metaverse
People are getting RFIDs implanted under their skin, touting ‘going clubbing and not bringing a bag’ as a benefit, alongside the argument that ‘you can’t have your hand pickpocketed … at least not without a machete’ChatGPT’s revenues can’t keep pace with mounting expenses and rumors are swirling the company could go bankrupt as early as next year
Amazon is adding an AI-generated reviews feature that gives customers a high-level glance at product features and customer sentiment
Aptos Labs teams up with Microsoft to deploy new services that combine AI and blockchain tech
Large movers in the supply chain space, including Maersk, Siemens, and Unilever, are using generative AI to source supplies, manage contracts, and steer clear of doing biz with companies tied to environmental and human rights abuses
Former SEC Attorney Karen Ubell is back on the pod. She joins Carly to break down some issues arising out of the Ripple ruling, including the Howey Test as it relates to digital assets, and whether tokens themselves can serve as investment contracts. She also gives thoughts on Laura Shin’s interview with controversial Prometheum founder Aaron Kaplan.
Carly and Gavin are catching you up in this week’s recap with takes on PayPal’s stable coin launch, Pixel Vault’s acquisition of Wolf Game, and an early look at DeGods Season III news. Later in the show, Carly’s joined by Mitchell F. Chan, an OG crypto artist launching an introspective project fusing data, gaming, and NFTs. Catch up here!
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