👋🏽 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’ve got some big news!!
Yuga Labs’ newly annointed CEO Daniel Alegre is doing his first sit-down interview live with Carly at our Happy Hour Tour event in Austin, TX on April 28!!
OPJ NFT holders get first crack at tickets beginning Friday (4/14) at 12p EST at OPJtour.com and all Yuga asset holders can begin reserving seats on Monday (4/17).
Seats are limited and first come, first served. We can’t wait to see you there!!
💍 This is Why we Can’t Have Nice Things
Reddit’s first two digital avatar collections have been an objectively smashing success with a market cap of $75 MIL, secondary sales upwards of $14 MIL, and 11+ MIL avatars minted
So it’s no surprise that degens came out in droves to try their hand at flipping Reddit’s Gen 3 Future Realities this week, a widely hyped collection featuring 100 artists and a few familiar names like Nyan Cat, Tyler Foust, and Rojom
It was a wild ride. The site was instantly overwhelmed and while Reddit paused the mint to regroup, botters flexed hard on Twitter and early flippers made a nice chunk of change on secondaries
They reopened the mint, but FUD ran rampant on Reddit and tons of eager minters threw in the towel. The most hyped artists swiftly sold out, but there’s still plenty of supply left in a collection that was largely expected to mint out quickly
Muddying the waters even more, Reddit’s use of third-party payment providers combined with smart contracts that aren’t supply limited, resulted in some collections being oversold and a bunch of folks being charged for NFTs they never received
The whole thing really pissed off Reddit’s core group of users and tbh, that’s prob not what we want to see happening to a community that’s been thoughtfully (and successfully) onboarding more n00bs than any other brand out there
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❤️🔥 A Loyalty to Royalties
It’s no secret that the introduction of Blur farming all but killed royalty revenues for creators and project teams with older contracts
We’ve been tracking this saga for months: New marketplaces popping up on the regular, heavyweights Blur + OpenSea trading open jabs, and founders playing a stressful game of whack-a-mole to keep their royalties alive
Founders are starting to take the narrative back, with bold (and pricey) moves that put the ball back in their court:
Truth Labs this week became one of the first major teams to upgrade all the existing ERC-721 contracts in its ecosystem, including Goblintown, Illuminati, Grumpls, and The 187. On the heels of a bespoke marketplace launch, airdropping 22k+ new ETH NFTs won’t come cheap. But Co-Founder Alex Taub tells OPJ it’s a solid investment that not only helps w/royalty enforcement, but gives them more control and flexibility over future upgrades.
Truth drew inspiration from Creepz, which recently launched an exchange site allowing users to upgrade their Legacy NFTs for upgraded versions
The Plague also migrated its contract recently, with most users calling the process smooth and praising the team for innovating
Even the top dog, Yuga Labs, has made a contract upgrade in disguise, with the requirement to burn your Otherdeed if you want new land and a vessel
Holders haven’t bit so far; only 27% have elected to upgrade. But it’ll be interesting to see if Yuga pushes incentives to migrate since one thing is abundantly clear: Top royalty earners in today’s market are those able to enforce royalties via modernized contracts
🎡 Elsewhere in web3
NFT Now celebrated recipients of its annual NFT100 list of trailblazers and influentials with a snazzy gala in NY … and less than 24 hours later, media personality Nicole Behman was ‘redacted’ as an honoree “in light of recent events”
NFT Now played coy, but the events in question were prob Nicole shilling Blocky Doge NFTs then dumping 250 of them for a quick 20 ETH profit based on CT receipts and the blockchain itself
Not sure we ever thought we’d be saying this, but Pixelmon - the project that simultaneously gifted us with the world’s worst reveal and best project meme - is making a legitimate run at a comeback
They’ve got a new CEO, a stacked advisory board, and even topped the gaming charts recently (ahem, Otherside). They’re trending up and we aren’t the only ones noticing.
Manifold released a new Burn Redeem mechanism allowing creators to burn other projects’ NFTs and Gremplin rose to the challenge, offering ‘An Eye for a Fry’ OE that could only be minted by burning - what else - a Nakamigo
Pixel Vault’s GFunk then threw out the gauntlet asking if any collections wanted to go H2H with PV in a Gremplin-inspired burn battle; It’s all in good fun, but it’s hard to see this trend growing legs without a path to profitability
Elon is up to his usual antics and in case you’ve had more important things to do than track the Chief
TwitTit, we got you:
Substack launched its Twitter-esque competitor, Notes, and Elon is not having it
Mint those legacy blue checkmarks, because they’ll be gone come 4/20
DeFi protocol SushiSwap suffered a contract bug exploit, resulting in $3+ million in losses. Roughly 2,200 addys were susceptible, while the community called on SushiSwap to tighten up its security
Someone discovered a Bitcoin whitepaper hidden on all newer Apple computers, fueling speculation that Steve Jobs is Satoshi Nakamoto … a question Redditors have been pondering for nearly a decade
If you paid taxes on your crypto tx’s this year, you’re about the only one; studies show less than 1% of crypto investors paid taxes in 2022 globally
Despite having an ongoing TV presence, Shaq has dodged process servers for more than 5 months related to his alleged role in endorsing FTX; Fed up plaintiffs’ lawyers are now seeking to serve the former NBA Hall of Famer via social media
Japan’s ruling party published a white paper aimed at boosting the crypto industry in alignment w/the Prime Minister’s strategy of promoting technology, called “Cool Japan”
🌐 web3 + NFTs
HUG closed a $5 mil round of seed funding with plans to expand its creator and community platform into a robust ‘social marketplace’
Azuki creator Chiru Labs announces high profile collab with global creative IP studio IPX during NFT NYC
Tally Labs dropped a status update for Writers’ Room + Azurbala and introduced Avenue, a community engagement + rewards platform
Knights of Degen released an updated product roadmap, The Purple Paper, kicked off staking, and released its origin story across 4 chapters w/partner artists
Magic Eden debuted its Bitcoin Launchpad, an easy-to-use platform for creators to launch Ordinal collections
The Fast and the Furious creator is working on a script + production for Feature.io’s ‘Lollipop,’ an interactive media experience built in Unreal Engine on Polygon
Azuki’s throwing a Vegas rager with bunnies and all
Christie’s on-chain auction house, Christie’s 3.0, is worth a look if you haven’t checked it out lately; they’re currently auctioning Portrait of Aleister, a beautiful piece by Devon DeJardin, and Lucréce’s Madonna of the Garden
📈 Brands + Biz
Ralph Lauren dives head first into web3, with an IRL Poolsuite collab celebrating the launch of a one-of-a-kind RL store in Miami that accepts crypto payments for goods
As the # of in-person theaters increases, Variety says chains are primed for a web3 reboot
Longtime chewing gum company Wrigley files a trademark for what else - Juicyverse
Steve Aoki and 3LAU update us on their ‘audiovisual IRL meets metaverse supergroup’ PUNX
Nike’s .SWOOSH Our Force 1 Collection comes with an airdrop and features two boxes: AF1s inspired by 1982 - 2006 and AF1s inspired by 2007 into the future
🤖 AI + Metaverse
Insta-famous photog @averyseasonart admits the stunning portraits he claimed to have shot on a DSLR are actually ‘AI-generated, human-finished’ pieces
All-In’s Chamath Palihapitiya analogizes AI to other novel drugs and air travel to encourage government oversight
AI Now issued a comprehensive report offering a roadmap for policy makers in regulating AI
Joe Rogan interviews ChatGPT creator Sam Altman in this AI-generated podcast
David Horvath is a master at character brand-building. He says brands engaging in obvious marketing are losing out on the opportunity to grow with intention. He also shares invaluable advice for building lifestyle brands, the pros and cons of working with an agency, and why Asia has the edge in growing traction for character IP.
Carly and Gavin are talking all things influencers, debating Doodles’ professionalism, and chiming in on the hottest anon project we all know and love, The Migos. Plus OpenSea CEO Devin Finzer drops by with the latest on OpenSea Pro. Catch up here.
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Good read! Talking about mistakes and wallets, my last Substack covers how to keep NFTs in your wallet safe