Issue #26
Week 10 2021

Beeple Effect III

beeple

Holy crap, Beeple’s “EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS” just sold for a little more than $69 million… nice.

WChristie’s, a major auction house, held an auction for one of Beeple’s “EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS.” The auction lasted for two weeks and was exciting the whole way.

The piece really started to gain traction in the final minutes as it jumped from $18 million to the final closing price of $69.3 million in the span of 18 minutes. I don’t think anybody could’ve thought this piece would have gone for this much. This again smashes the record for the most expensive NFT to be sold.

The piece is a collection of stitched pictures of all of his everyday’s from the past 13 years. This whole piece was a 13-year long process that seemed to payout for Beeple. This piece is now the third most expensive piece to be sold for a living artist.

beeple

Who fuck paid for this?

Considering the price it was bought for, we at the Gazette thought maybe Elon Musk had bought up the NFT. But it turned out to be even crazier; the buyer was Metakovan, the founder of Metapurse. He was the same person that bought up all of Beeple’s 2020 collection and tokenized it. This makes him one of two people that have 1 of 1s of Beeple’s artwork.

Sidenote: We want to gloat a bit by saying that back in Issue #25, we correctly guessed who was going to buy the NFT. 

metakovan-prediction

METAKOVAN EXPOSED?

According to an article by Amy Castor, Metakovan is Vignesh Sundaresan, a crypto entrepreneur who has had several crypto start-ups. Based on his Sundaresan in interviews and similar crypto backstory, Amy was able to figure out the mysterious buyer. It is pretty interesting that this guy made a whole new persona just to get into NFTs. 

Boomers are, of course, confused by this.

Unlike his 2020 drop, every major news outlet covered this one, and the boomers are not happy. I don’t get why they can never support an NFT artist and always have to say their work is worthless because they can just take a screenshot. I thought old people are supposed to be in love with art, considering that’s what they used to call TVs back in their day.

It doesn’t really matter what the old farts think, considering they have a limited time left in the economic ecosystem, but I think Matty puts it best about adopting NFTs. NFTs are the future, and they are here to stay. Now it’s a matter of whether you go along with it.

The NFT market has exploded in recent months. It feels like each week we cover the breaking of the highest NFT sale, but this $69 million mark seems like it's unlikely to break anytime soon. But then again that’s what we said about the previous records so only time will tell. 

Looking at data, the total crypto art volume has skyrocketed, more artists are coming into the space everyday and more people are buying. The most interesting part of the data is the secondary market, it has gone to the moon. The data only is only for Super Rare but this trend is still seen through all other NFT market places.

total-cryptoart
sr-primary-secondary

Primary volume in blue
Secondary volume in red

Beeple has constantly shown the world the possibilities of what can be done with NFTs. This sale, like all sales, is a big moment for the space as it brings new people in and more money into the realm. The only way is up for NFTs. But most importantly of all, it means we need another champagne video.

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alien-punk-sale

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Alien Punk Sale

Alien Punks. The Holy Grail of internet collectibles. There is always great excitement when an Alien Punk sale occurs, let alone 3 Alien Punk sales, and a $69M sale by Beeple. The biggest NFT week ever! It will be hard to top this one.

Around 2 weeks ago, some ‘’random’’ DMs from Sillytuna  appeared on my screen, asking questions about Alien Punks. After a small conversation, the answer to the question, ‘which is the most desirable Alien Punk?’, was ‘maybe the COVID Alien Punk.’ Then we moved on, discussed some crypto art and I didn’t make much of it.

…...A few days later...

Wednesday evening, there is some confidential information reaching the impenetrable Gazette editing newsroom. The news of course being that our very own beloved subscriber @sillytuna just purchased the COVID Alien Punk !!! As if this wasn’t exciting enough, he refused to consider mainstream press just to give us the exclusive! TRUE MVP!

2 hours later another bomb! Alien Punk sold for 4200 ETH! While we are still drunk from excitement and watch the floor being evaporated on LL discord…..Another Alien punk gets sold for another 4200ETH

But as promised let’s hear it from the man himself Sillytuna!

When did you decide you were going for an Alien Punk?
I worked on a drop for Nota Person and a buyer did a private purchase. I noticed the Alien among their NFTs. That was just over a week ago. A number of things came into place unexpectedly that allowed me to pull the trigger, including support from my family.

My hypothesis is what I tweeted earlier - these are avatars first and foremost. They're about identity and identity is about social value and social value, in our world, has monetary and utility value. That punks are simple, so you can use anywhere but esp on phones/social media, and on an open network, so not just controlled by sony etc, and limited, like bitcoin -> $$$

That aside, there is the usual stuff around first NFTs ofc

How did it play out?
Honestly, it genuinely played out as it appeared. I put a deal together -very- quickly as I wanted it done before Beeple finished. Agreed a price, spent the night thinking about it - especially with the anti-NFT shit kicking off, then that probably tipped me into buying it because fuck those guys

Sat around for the evening eating pizza waiting to see if it all came together, which fortunately it did.

Why the hesitation?
I felt I was paying quite a premium so I had to be really sure I was prepared to take the risk. However, my business head saw it as asset diversification and once you see it like that you realise that holding different cryptocurrencies is little different. That plus Punks aren't going away, they're only going to get more useful


How did you guys reach a deal?
At first we were miles away on price so I needed to sleep on it.

Then we found something which could start a discussion, and then we have a long call to arrive at a final deal

I opted to do this OTC for my own reasons, but the seller did do checks on the funding source before anyone starts talking about money laundering. I've been in the crypto space since 2012 and was in the ethereum crowd sale so I'm very much OG.

As for the price, that will remain private. The follow-up sale did derisk my purchase, however.

And I'm sorry that I can't disclose but not even the gazette get that.

Why is the price a secret?
I felt it very difficult to determine market price and wanted to keep all options open for after the purchase. I'm not saying it'll be secret forever and I will disclose it was under 4200 ether. It was not cheap though, to say the least.

Do you think the move of your Alien spearheaded the 2 subsequent buys?
Both took me by surprise but I think it probably did push others over the edge. The Beeple auction likely precipitated all 3 sales. I felt I had to get mine done the day before that finished but I expected that to hit $20m not $60m+. The very top end NFTs are going to be a hot prospect now, one which will make them pull significantly away from every other NFT.

As for the other sales

Well you broke that to me

sillytuna

Is the covid Alien the best Alien?
Undoubtedly for 2021. It's special because it fits into a world where some are treating mask wearers as aliens.

What are you planning to do with the Alien?
Shall I offer it to Justin Sun for $69m?

Game NFTs struggled for a long time because they rely on utility. Axie are managing to make that work so far, but even the top Axies are limited by the game itself. They'll always retain some value, but it's a limiting factor while a game establishes itself, as I discovered with Baus. A successful game will still have super valuable NFTs because of earning potential though. So I'm bullish on Axie if the game continues to grow.

Punk NFTs don't have that risk.

Fixed supply, old school, increasing utility both socially and as an asset class, first major NFTs - of their type certainly.

Put it this way.

The 9 Aliens could become the top 9 avatars in the world. A status symbol like a Ferrari 250.

How many billionaires with kids are there? Not all of them will want a Punk but I'm willing to bet more than 9 will.

An exclusive club of 9 people which is also globally shareable.

That's what I realised. Whilst it'll be more complicated than that, it's also a super simple concept and simple things tend to win(edited).

The reliance is on retaining/increasing social value as that will lead to utility.

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Massive Ecological Concerns vs. Passive Non-Fungible Returns

The crypto bull market is in full swing with BTC and ETH both at all time highs. The NFT space is bringing outright groundbreaking capabilities to countless individual creatives.

Not to mention the yet to be realized application potential now being recognized which couldn’t previously have been imagined. Now the carbon footprint of Ethereum is being shoved back into the spotlight once more. This time the NFT space in particular appears to be drawing inordinate negative focus. Could all the negative perspectives being embraced be due to anything other than the potential environmental impact of non-fungible tokenization?

Artists who have chosen to embrace NFTs in order to participate and succeed creatively as well as financially where they previously might not have been able to are often just as intent on creating positive impact, meaningful progress, and much needed change. Unfortunately, many legitimate grounds for welcoming the NFT revolution are currently taking a back seat to mostly flawed logic.

Of course some insiders have seen this coming for a while.

Probably not a bad idea to hear what a few other long time insiders are thinking…

Why does this NFT scapegoating logic fail?

𝚂𝚌𝚘𝚝𝚝 𝙻Ξ𝚠𝚒𝚜: Digital artists have created content for their employers because that was a good way to earn a living. It has always been hard to make a living selling your own digital art. Big industries like TV, movies, video games built business models which depended on high quality talent needing to work for them. If those artists can make a good living focusing on creating their own art, they might quit their day job. And that is bound to make some people angry.

J1mmy: I’ve been fighting this since the day I saw it. I used to be a miner and my costs were fixed monthly, more or less. Miners run at full speed all the time. Doesn’t matter if blocks are empty or full miners actually use and pay for the electricity used to run the network, and they profit from it. They are fully responsible here. Not people making efficient use of the network, like nftland.

Tschuuuly: ETH network takes their share in energy consumption, but NFTs are just a part of the cake. Go complain about defi, not the cool stuff and the artists. NFTs are coming, get used to it! They solve the problem of digital ownership. Now have fun seeing the possibilities evolve!

Raster Eyes: Do people consider how much energy other forms of entertainment use? How much energy does the world watching TV shows and movies and playing video games use? Also, ethereum functions as a whole economic machine with banking, lending, borrowing, investing, etc... How much energy does the whole world's banking and financial systems use? All the lights and computers that are left on in the (probably) hundreds of thousands of financial offices around the world. Nobody is criticizing any of these activities and institutions for their energy use. What we need to do is find clean energy solutions, because as we progress in our technologies we will inevitably use more electricity, regardless.

Pranked: They’re obviously not doing their research and due diligence before such attacks.'

It seems more than likely that NFT trailblazers and early investors will stay in place on the Ethereum blockchain while improvements continue to be made, such as Optimistic Rollups. An upgrade most specifically intended to help alleviate ETH gas fee’s for users. However, improved gas fee's are just a stepping stone on the path to ETH 2.0 - a fully Proof of Stake consensus Ethereum intended to put an end to energy intensive mining of the blockchain. Many critics have likely neglected to emphasize much about these upcoming upgrades. They’ve also not had much nice to say about the incredible community of brilliant, hard-working, and like-minded participants who have been instrumental in pioneering the NFT space we all now share in.


Is anyone actually considering pulling the plug on NFT first movers and welcoming detractors?


See you all next week.


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Pixel Art Fever Over Here!

There is so much going on at once it’s hard to research one new NFT project before another launches and sells out!

Things are still accelerating. User count continues to grow. So do the number of new (and old!) projects having their moment in the spotlight. Many of these new NFTs come in the form of Pixel Art. A trend obviously forming as a result of CryptoPunk’s massive success. There is some clever art here, so we thought we’d share a bit of what we’ve seen a lot of this past week. It’s actually a pretty fun mix of Pixel Art projects, including gorillas, cats, superheros, presidents, even aliens!

CyberKong-01
MoonCat-01
HeroPunk-01
PresidentPunk-01
ETHTerrestrial-01

It’s tough for me to be sure which of these came onto the Larva Labs Discord scene first. I’ve seen it raining cats, Aliens landing, Gorillas uprising. Seriously, like half of the regulars in Punk Discord chat suddenly have CyberKongz for avatars! It’s been good times, so let’s see what some of these fun projects are about.

About-CyberKongz

Yes, a few of them DO look familiar... They also make me smile a little bit :)

CyberKongz-01

Some pretty serious looking price action too, especially for such a new project!

This next one is actually a reboot and revival of a much older project. By wrapping these ‘Moon Cats’, this once mostly dormant fork of CryptoPunks can now be traded on NFT marketplaces.

About-MoonCats

Not so cheap to rescue a moon cat anymore! Floor price has now reached 1 ETH! It is a much more ‘mature’ project, stemming from all the way back in 2017.

MoonCats-01

Now that they are out of the bag there’s no telling where these cats are headed. Typically cats have a great sense of direction though, they know how to find their way home. Otherwise...

That’s not the only #MoonCat giveaway either!

Good stuff. How about something for the people who have already honed their digital cat collections.

HeroPunks-01

I must be getting old...

I don’t know who half of these heroes / villains are! Guess it’s time to catch up on Marvel movies. But before I do, how about a quick history lesson.

About-PresidentPunks

Lets see how many of these guys I know…

PresidentPunks-01

OK I am getting old. I know this whole crew, but not the comic heroes!

Anyways. 2,095 billionaires in the world. 46 PresidentPunks. You do the math.

About-ETHTerrestrials

Alien pixel art! I’ve heard such things can quickly wind up being worth a fortune…

ETHTerrestrials-01

I actually might grab one of these ETHTerrestrials.

You know, just in case :)

Breaking:

The Pranksy Million Dollar Punk Draw has been successfully concluded!

This was a great event Pranked. Big thanks to you and the whole team for all of your extra hard work. We really enjoyed the live stream!

A funny story developed in the last two spins of the wheel. It all came down to our very first RedLionEye Gazette Subscription holder, C.Pyrc, and RedLionEye himself! Further, there was a clear winner left to be had... A great 3D Glasses Punk was hanging in the balance!

Big Congrats C.Pyrc!

That’s from RLE himself. If it had to go to someone else, he’s glad it went to our #1 fan :)

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REDLIONEYE

Tips for Artists

2021

This is one of those preachy articles that i will for sure cringe when reading it in the future.

The previous tips for artists was early on and many things have changed since then. Recent boom in popularity of NFTs has brought so many artists into the sphere it’s really hard for them to navigate these murky waters, hoping that these tips can function as a basic compass for them.

As cryptoart is global the artists attracted to it are from all parts of the world, a very interesting dynamic. Different social structures, standard of life, currency value, political systems etc etc

It is ideal and it creates success stories, more often than not,  when the artist uses these dynamics to their favor.

For an artist it's easy to develop a survivor bias within this space, we only focus on high value sales and crypto artists making tons of ETH on their pieces. This in turn, makes one price their works at ranges which is detrimental to their own sales. When you are a new artist without an already developed social following pricing your artwork too high can be an immediate turn off for collectors. Start with nominal pricing and let early collectors benefit from their bet on you as your social following and thereafter prices increase. Play the market, don't let the market play you!

More art does not mean more sales, art as much as you can, but be selective in your mints. Let the market demand-dictate how many you mint not how much art you churn. Take your time and release with prudence. The NFT space is here to stay, don't rush and let patience be your virtue.

It is easy and understandable for an artist to come across the medium of cryptoart and have an immediate opportunistic approach towards it. By no means this is  a shot at artists, but that seems to be the main initial approach(and quite understandably so tbf, magic internet monies for jpg or gif). In the process some fall in love with it and understand it better, some keep doing what they are doing.

So when artists first come in contact with cryptoart the advice is to treat it like you would with any other new artform. Got to take time to study some fundamentals and understand basic concepts. Once the basics are learned then can move onto more complex stuff, but once the foundations are solid then there is no more this feeling of confusion, instead there is a certain confidence in actions that draw their power from the strong knowledge and future goals.

Take time to understand Ethereum. Your art is not simply the image that a token points to, it's much more. In order to fully realise your artistic potential in this space it is paramount to understand the medium you're using. If you are an artist that is technically inclined and understands code , learn. If you combine code and art you become an unstoppable force. If you are not then understand conceptually about the token standards and how you can make your NFT robust. Every step forward is a giant leap for your clout. USE IT!

There is an extreme plethora in the type of artists. As we are transitioning (slowly) to a task based economy from a job based economy, where each person is their own brand and big brands are DAOs, we come across highly skilled artists who have been corporate all their life and have no body of work to show for their personal art. Or another type are artists that have been creating art all their life but non digital.

The approach to cryptoart must be methodical and try to learn and relearn maybe some ideas and previous knowledge.

That being said, the importance of concepts and narratives in art is paramount. This is such a complex and deep topic that a separate in depth article about it is coming. A good way to start understanding concepts in art is of course looking at the extreme application of concept in arts, the ‘’ Conceptual Art’’ genre. By looking at some great conceptual art pieces an artist's mind can begin fine tuning towards understanding concepts deeper and deeper, even in their own work, and can lead to better concepts as long as it is being actively trained upon. The concept in your art can be from a collection, up to the whole identity of who you are and what your art represents. Then we have the narrative part, which if mastered and done elegantly leads to the most extreme results.

Art is very similar to sports, in a sense that hard work always pays off, and also hard work beats talent 100% of the time. The artist of today has to train like an athlete and perform well on matchdays (drops), applying these schedules and routines on your craft can boost the results significantly. So it is a competitive sport, it just depends on what level of competition you are comfortable with.

Consistency is also an important element that shouldn't be overlooked. But that is easily understandable why and how it affects everything. An inconsistent artist will be twice as hard to establish themselves just by that flaw in their game.

Marketing and promotional efforts must have an elegance and present value, try to avoid giving out your art for free, or soliciting people on DMs to buy it, it has the opposite result. Instead try to use everything in your disposal that mentioned above, so when the potential buyer spends 5s to look at your stuff, they are drawn into and this way you are capturing attention the right way.

On the art platform subject, choose the platforms that serve your concept and narrative. So it all comes back to fundamentals, as mentioned above the choices are easier the more developed your art idea is. If all platforms are suitable, use them all. It is all about the artist's benefit and what they can make from it. Art platform do not necessarily add value to your art or deserve any loyalty, they have their business model which is working well for them.

So to summarize my chaotic thoughts as i am drinking my coffee and writing this article:

-> Education and Solid Fundamentals
-> Concept and Narrative
-> Strong Tokenomics
-> Marketing and Price Tactics
-> Use Everything to Your Benefit
-> Enjoy the Fucking Ride

Artists same as all of us are on a constant journey to find ourselves.

But first and foremost: IKIGAI!!! Bitches!

ikigai
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