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The Return of Underpriced JPEGs
Bitcoin Beseiged. Pumping Pudgies. And The Ultimate Meme Coin Playbook.
👋🏽 Hello everyone, gm gm, WELCOME BACK to another edition of the
Overpriced Underpriced JPEGs newsletter, where we’re catching you up on the world of web3, NFTs, and the metaverse.
A couple of quick things before we dive in:
📢 A handful of seats are still available for our May 16 Happy Hour event with Kevin Rose & Frank DeGods in LA! OPJ, PROOF, and DeGods ecosystem holders: Be like KRO and get your tickets now at OPJtour.com.
📢 Did you know (slash can you believe) that the total value of assets held by the Yuga community is >$4.5B 🤯? Their liquid ETH buying power alone is >$1.1B. Woof. Catch more interesting stats in yesterday’s data-packed episode w/OPJ partner Web3Sense.
📸 JPEGs for the Long Haul
What’s good JPEG collectors?! Another week, another Elon tweet pumping a random collection 70% with absolutely no rhyme or reason. Welcome to NFTs.
Yes, we know the market’s been getting hammered, with floor prices across the board decimated in the wake of meme coin mania. But before we get into that, let’s pivot to the handful of *feel good* stories about builders still building in the bear 👏🏽👏🏽
Pudgy Penguins raised a $9M seed round. In this market. Hell yeah. No surprise here, as the team’s been walking the talk since Luca Netz took over: Signing w/Hollywood agency WME, (possibly) collabing w/Amazon’s upcoming NFT marketplace; and getting insane engagement on its socials, with 3B+ views on GIFs; 500k followers + tens of millions of views on IG
The growth tracks with sales activity: Pudgies have been among the handful of PFPs that have actually seen prices rise this year
Boss Beauties x Barbie’s newest collab celebrates 250+ careers and we love this for mass adoption. Not only is Barbie the #1 fashion doll brand, but they’re minting on Flow, a blockchain explicitly aimed at onboarding newbies
Cryptoys scored a massive W in partnering with Disney + Lucas Film on limited edition Star Wars collectibles. The first set launches w/Luke, Leia, and Darth Vader on May 24 and we’re surely gonna be talking about this on an upcoming episode of Blockbuster
And lastly … Garga confirms ApeFest is on this year (but not in New York 👀)
If you’re new here, we welcome you to join 140,434 bright + avid readers by subscribing here:
🪦 Yes, Meme Coins are Still a Thing
Trust us, we’d rather be covering JPEGs here too. But as much as we (and ThreadGuy) are ready to declare it the end of the season, meme coin mania rages on …
Pack leaders PEPE and TURBO have stalled a bit, but the sheer number of shitcoins dropping daily have propped up the market, which saw $2.6 billion in trading volume last week
ETH gas prices have absolutely ballooned, killing whatever shred of momentum NFTs had left; Creators have resorted to lowering mint prices, extending claim windows, and delaying new drops to stay relevant
Some project teams are riding the trend: Azuki’s frog trait holders were treated to free PEPE claims, Truth Labs is giving 50% off mints for paying in PEPE, and OpenSea Pro now lets you buy NFTs with PEPE
We don’t expect volume to subside anytime soon, after a Twitter user leaked the playbook on ‘How to Make a Meme Coin in Under 30 Seconds” - a vid, which has since been bookmarked 17,000 times and accrued 3M views
In response, 0xQuit cooked up ‘MemeCoinFactory,’ allowing anyone to launch a token safely in under 15 seconds. It’s kinda the digital equivalent of passing out condoms since, well, they’re going to the boneyard anyway
And hey, if meme coins aren’t your thing but you wanna stay active in the bear, you can always try your hand as an SEC whistleblower. We hear it pays really well.
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🐂 Bitcoin’s Been Busy
Bitcoin maxis - who were up in arms when Casey Rodarmor launched the Ordinals protocol in January - have been whipped into a new frenzy over the novel BRC-20 token standard that enables the deployment of meme coins onto the chain
Created by pseudo-anonymous dev Domo as “an experiment” in March, BRC-20 has spread like wildfire with 11k+ new tokens created, which as of this writing, boasted a collective market cap of ~$600M
But is this net positive or bad news bears for Bitcoin? It’s nuanced.
⬇️ The network is at peak congestion, at one point suffering ~500k backlog in unconfirmed Txs, forcing Binance to pause withdrawals of BTC twice in 24 hours then subsequently increasing fees after resuming withdrawals
⬇️ Block demand triggered massive fee spikes, jumping to $31 this week, up from $1.20 the week prior
⬆️ On the flipside, speculation = user expansion = increased miner fees. Over the weekend, Bitcoin Tx fees exceeded the block rewards for miners for the first time ever, enhancing overall security of the chain
Love it or not, Bitcoin ordinals aren’t going anywhere, at least for now. Binance is selling them on their marketplace. Devs are using ‘em to test their skills. And the biggest Bitcoin evangelist of them all, Michael Saylor, is calling it both “a bullish scenario” and just another catalyst on Bitcoin’s eternal skyward ascent 🌝
Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, Deloitte, and other financial heavyweights are participating in The Canton Network, a privacy-focused interoperable blockchain network targeting institutional clients
Stripe is rolling out its hosted Fiat-to-Crypto onramp that allows customers of web3 companies a user-friendly way to purchase crypto on the spot for online transactions
VP Kamala Harris stresses ‘ethical AI development’ in White House mtg w/tech CEOs
DOJ is investigating Binance for possibly allowing Russian users to get around US banking sanctions
🌐 web3 + NFTs
VeeFriends Vending machines will be filled with 1-inch rubber collectibles with various rarities; applications are open for interested business owners
Cool Cats introduces Kritten, a new character that’ll play a big role in upcoming journeys
PROOF of Community is a community-driven effort to hold a smaller scale event in LA during the original conference dates
Gabe Leydon introduced ERC721-C, a Creator Token Contract that lets projects and artists have more control over royalty enforcement on-chain
Nifty’s (home to Game of Thrones + Matrix collections) is phasing out its website and will migrate all assets from Palm to Polygon
London newspaper & artist team up to offer free mints for King Charles’ coronation
📈 Brands + Biz
Employees of Bayer Pharmaceuticals - yup, the Asprin company - are handing out “You Met Me” POAPs to folks they meet; even the CEO is getting in on the fun
Hong Kong-based newspaper spinoff Artifact Labs finds success selling NFTs; raises $3.5M round w/Animoca to build a “marketplace for museums and cultural institutions”
Alibaba Cloud + Avalanche collab on Cloudverse, a launchpad for businesses to build unique metaverse environments
Seed Club opens apps for 3-month The Consumer Crypto Accelerator; projects will receive up to $200k, resources, advisors
🤖 AI + Metaverse
The inaugural Olympic Esports Week is taking place in Singapore on June 24, with 10 competitive events, including Fortnite, Gran Turismo, and Just Dance.
Meta introduces ImageBind AI, a new open-source multi-sensory model that doesn’t just do text-to-image or voice-to-video, but combines six types of data: text, audio, visual, thermal, depth, and movement
At its I/O event this week, Google stakes its claim for AI, implementing it into pretty much all of its apps and user-facing products
New York State Bar Association holds metaverse symposium for attorneys to study the intersection of blockchain + law
The Sandbox + Affyn are teaming up to create unique, community-centric interoperable metaverse experiences for users
IBM’s making good on its promise to replace 7,800 jobs with AI; introduces WatsonX, an enterprise-level AI and data platform aimed at helping businesses with AI models
Wendy’s employees may be out of work soon too; they’re testing Fresh AI, a drive thru solution that can chat with customers, take orders, and answer FAQ
This AI song about $PEPE ft. Not Drake and Not Kanye is actually not terrible, but NGL, album covers like this are where I think lawyers ears start to really perk up
Carly sits down with DJ-turned-degen Seedphrase for his hot takes on historical collections, buying in the bear, and NFT fundamentals. He also goes incredibly deep on the economics of Wolf Game and why he’s so bullish. Check it out below.
On this Weekly Recap, Carly and Gavin dive into Blur’s new lending product, Blend, and its potential impacts on the market. And $TURBO creator Rhett Mankind shares his ascent from struggling NFT artist to popular AI meme coin dev sensation. Check it out 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 🤙🏾