Issue #34
Week 18 2021

LL3 – Meebits!

At long last, the highly anticipated 3rd Larva Lab’s NFT project launched this week.

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20,000 unique 3D characters from the guys who made CryptoPunks

It’s been just under four years since Larva Lab’s first NFT release, CryptoPunks. This now incredibly well known 8-bit character, blockchain based, collectibles prototype project has undeniably played a pivotal role in mainstreaming digital art owned on the blockchain. Completely revolutionizing the digital and traditional, tangible art worlds. It’s been just over two years since Larva Lab’s second NFT release, AutoGlyphs. The first ‘On-Chain’ generative art NFT which pushed the envelope of digital art potential on the Ethereum blockchain. Things sure have changed a lot in this time! Now, without any further ado, Meebits have arrived! LL’s 3rd NFT project is their first rendered in 3D, yet they still manage to pull off that familiar and charming Larva Labs style!

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There is some great variety found among multiple attributes. There 18,881 ‘Human’ Meebits

Even at first glance, I really think these are pretty great looking 3D character models. I especially like the wide variety of different styles, patterns, and colors used to diversify traits, even among similar specific attributes. It looks like these Meebits are primed for the Metaverse too! A handful of pretty nifty extras are available to the verified owner of each Meebit, including 3D model files and lossless images for each individual character. I’m already stunned by the many awesome videos of Discord community members playing with their Meebits in AR! This is going to be so much fun!!!

  • Each Meebit is a unique 3D voxel character, created by a custom generative algorithm, and registered on the Ethereum blockchain.
  • The Meebits NFT contract that governs ownership is a standard ERC-721 which works with any compatible service or exchange.
  • Also included in the contract is a custom no-fee marketplace that supports like-kind trading of up to 100 Meebits per transaction, along with all the standard buy, bid, and ask transactions.
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These special little guys are going to make incredibly fun and functional 2D, 3D, AR, VR, and traditional avatars!

  • Owners of a Meebit are given access to an additional asset pack that include the full 3D model. Use it to render and animate your Meebit, or use as your avatar in the metaverse.
  • All Meebit owners can access a T-pose VOX file that can be opened in MagickaVoxel and exported for most standard 3D modeling and animation software.
  • Also included in the assets pack are high resolution, lossless renders.

Larva Lab’s built in marketplace allowing native Meebit trading might not seem like a killer feature when first considered, but don’t underestimate the potential impact of this crucial addition! This particular capability is more than just another practical, forward-thinking, and deliberate addition made by the developers. It’s one which I suspect will result in unprecedented user engagement, thanks largely to the minimal friction Meebit community members will experience swapping for their most desired Meebits. At last, without the worry of having to trust a 3rd party to handle such NFT trades. The marketplace supports simple buy, bid and sell transactions, as well as more complex trades involving up to 50 Meebits on each side of the transaction. The capability to swap many for many, many for few, as well as the ability to deposit and add ETH to pose trades with as well, all from within the Larva Labs native Meebits marketplace is a most welcome new addition! Long-time community members will definitely be making extensive use of this feature.

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The 3D model view allows each Meebit to be viewed from every possible angle

Less than 6 hours after Meebits were announced, the 9,000 made available in the public minting completely sold out at 2.5 ETH each. This amounted to well over $70 Million worth of ETH at the time for the Larva Labs developers! Big congrats guys, you are clearly the best! Next, and just as exciting, the remaining 11,000 Meebits were reserved for CryptoPunk and AutoGlyph holders on a 1:1 basis! An absolutely incredible reward for the incredibly loyal Larva Labs community! Between the two mintings the distribution is looking pretty solid as well, with over 4,400 total Meebit holders.

There have already several big sales, especially among the rare Meebit types. ‘Visitors’ have been the rarest and most expensive to sell up to this point. Some ‘Skeletons’ and ‘Robots’ have done pretty well too. Early price action suggests the project has really hit the ground running! It’s not just the ultra high-end Meebits selling either.. Don’t wait too long to find the one you’ll be wanting...

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There are only 72 ‘Robot’ Meebits, 57 ‘Skeletons’, and 18 ‘Visitors’

Obviously the ‘Visitors’ are super rare, but I actually think the ‘Robots’ and ‘Skeletons’ look just as cool. I really can’t decide which I like best. Can’t wait to see these guys in motion!

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There are 256 ‘Elephant’ Meebits and 711 ‘Pigs’

There is still one more Meebit type, which is by far the rarest of all. More rare than any class of previous Larva Lab’s NFT. Especially considering this release is their largest supply to-date!

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Dissected! There are only 5 Meebits of this type, and 1 of them is still yet to be minted!

These are just so crazy and cool looking I can hardly stand it! Almost seems a shame there are so few...

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There have not been any ‘Dissected’ Meebit sales… Yet

With the Larva Labs team continually tweaking and updating the Meebits webpage as well as the community Discord, there is still plenty more to be excited about. Especially considering the CryptoPunk Christies auction is now less than two days away!


See you there gang!

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meebits-heist

Meebits Heist

You might have seen it on Twitter or you might have read the Cointelegraph article with the clickbait FUD title. Let’s see what actually happened here.

It all started with a tweet that got very little attention. That is now Deleted. It was by 0xNietzsche and it read something like:

"For the next hours I will be making 300k/hour"

The account only had a few hundred followers, so it didn’t get many eyes on it or was disregarded as standard twitter talk. Little did we know that he had actually written a contract that was exploiting the Meebits mint contract, to get it to mint desirable Token IDs.

The whole operation was possible because there was a leak of the Token IDs. This was picked up by a few users and shared around.

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Nietzsche then wrote a smart contract that would interact with the minting contract. He set up some desirable token IDs and started minting. When the token ID was recognized as a desirable ID he would then call to mint and transfer the NFT off the contract into his wallet. If the ID was undesirable then it would cancel and start again.
Here is a more technical explanation by NateAlexNFT

Nietzsche minted a Visitor Meebit which he listed for 200 ETH, which quickly sold to Pranksy.

There was a massive amount of Pranksy tags on Meebits text channel once the Visitor was made available for sale. He quickly bought and relisted it for sale again.

The LL teams took quick action and stopped the party before any significant damage could be done.

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After it all went down there was this post, referring to the deleted Tweets. I knew I should have screen grabbed that

Definitely one of the first, and so far Top Meebit moments (pixls.eth needs to start documenting these too. ;) There has been a lot of positive and negative feedback from the community regarding this story. We did our best to present the incident with neutrality and we invite you to take part in the conversation and tell us what you think about this incident.

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Meet our new mascot!

We are happy to introduce our brand new  Meebits inspired mascot you see depicted on this week's cover art.  We will soon need our community to help us find a fitting name for him!

By purchasing our mag this week you will gain access to .VOX files and other 3D formats so you can use him in Metaverse and animate him as you like.  How to animate Meebits Guide

Digital Zones of Immaterial Pictorial Sensibility

IKB Wrapper

The artwork is significant not only for being one of the earliest NFT artworks to be exhibited and minted in a legacy art gallery, but also for imagining, in 2017, the ways that non-fungible tokens could advance the conceptualist project of separating the commodity form of an artwork from the experienced form. Also, the ways the separation changes a collector's relationship to art.

The Digital Zones tell a story about how different concepts of ownership are fundamental to the experience of an artwork. The artwork--and the 33-page essay which accompanied it--speculated that if, at some point in the future, artworks were owned and transacted through immaterial blockchain tokens, that shift in the commodity form of the artwork could also precipitate a shift in the material (or immaterial form) of the artwork.

Whoa! There’s no way I can put it any better than he’s already done himself. Sounds like this guy totally nailed it to us! RedLionEye was lucky enough to speak directly with the Digital Zones project creator Mitchell Chan recently, and he gave a pretty solid interview too. Definitely worth taking the time to get your head around this content!

Red: Hello Mitchell. Thanks for spending some time with us today. Please tell us a little bit about your project. How and when did it begin?

Mitch: This is an art project I deployed in August 2017, a pre ERC721 non-fungible token, called ‘Digital Zones of Immaterial Pictorial Sensibility’, that has recently been picked up by some of the legacy art media as an example of what, conceptually, an NFT is all about. It got some shine in the recent Artforum, and was written up quite extensively in Art In America.

The Economist just ran a story which doesn't mention it, sadly, but is quite literally the exact story I was telling in 2017 with this artwork and the essays I produced around it.

Red: You weren’t given credit in this article focussed largely on your project?

Mitch: You know... I don't know if they stole the article... I really believe that this idea in the artwork (which I should explain in a moment) was one of those ideas that was out there if you're a person who's interested in art history and crypto... I just sort of got to it first.

More egregious is that the NYT also told this story and referred to a quite lousy knock-off NFT.

But anyway... here's the story.

I've been a professional artist since 2006, doing a lot of work with code and technology. In 2017, I discovered crypto as I was looking for a new digital art material. I was looking at Ethereum, and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out: "what does this mean? And if we were ever to make and sell art on blockchain -- an immaterial record where you can only hold trust and nothing else -- what would that art be?" So I look to art history for precedents. Is there any analogous idea in the past 100 years of art?

And boom! I find one. The perfect example. Which I think (and now the Economist, Artforum, and others also think) is, in spirit, the first and most perfect example of a non-fungible token as artwork.

In 1958, a very very famous artist named Yves Klein sold "invisible" artworks.

To just call them "invisible" artworks is doing it a disservice, though. This guy had spent his entire career working with the colour blue. To the point where he worked with a chemist, developed a process for making an incredibly intense ultramarine blue paint, and patented it. It's still called "International Klein Blue."

Anyway, these invisible artworks are said to contain "the sensibility of the colour blue, and you can buy them... for pure gold.

People buy them for pure gold.

Red: WTF

Mitch: I know this sounds scammy!

Red: And they analogue?

Mitch: Yeah. Analogue empty space!

Red: So u just buy a title?

Mitch: EXACTLY! In exchange, you get a receipt with the ID of the edition number. 

Literally... a non-fungible token.

Red: Yes

Mitch: So this is like the immaterial metadata and the NFT-as-receipt. The NFT is the document of ownership, and it's the only thing you really have. The "idea" of the artwork is free to float around.

Red: Was this art your inspiration or since ERC-721 didn’t exist then was the perfect application an empty space?

Mitch: It was absolutely my inspiration! Yeah, since ERC-721 didn't exist back then... it's worth mentioning I had never once heard the term "non-fungible token"... and I wasn't even necessarily trying to make one.

Red: Oh I see

Mitch: I was just trying to take the exact terms and conditions of Klein's sale and translate it into solidity. So I started with an ERC20 template, but then realized that I'd have to keep records of every single token, and thus they would have unique properties and represent unique "ideas" of artworks which were all empty spaces, sure, but all unique empty spaces!

Red: So you created these empty spaces

Mitch: Yeah, but they had to be non-fungible for a few reasons:

Red: Can you tell us a bit about how the tokenomics work?

Mitch: 1) Klein sold his Zones on a bonding curve. (super ahead of his time, amirite?). So I had to sell mine on a bonding curve. That meant keeping records of each one individually.

2) Secondly, Klein had another step to his sale, and it involved burning the token. Klein said there was a difference between legally owning something, and spiritually owning it. If you wanted this "sensibility" of the artwork to become a part of you, to really on a profound level own it, you had to meet him at the River Seine and burn the token. At the same time, he threw half the gold he received into the river.

Red: Wow

Mitch: So my contract had to do the same thing. Hence, keeping track of each token with a unique tokenID (in my case, labelled "edition") to keep track of which ones have been burned, and how much gold I'd have to throw to an irretrievable address to correspond to the original sale price.

Hence... it ended up being a non-fungible token! Hahaha!

Red: How about the minting process? Can you explain that a little? 

Mitch: So how the minting works…

The contract releases tokens in "series." The first series, released from the contract on August 30 2017, consisted of 31 tokens at 0.1eth each.

The next 7 series all contain 10 tokens, and double in price each series.

So maximum supply is 101.

Series 7 will cost 12.8eth according to the bonding curve. I can only release a new series once the previous series sold out.

When you mint, you get whichever is the next edition number (tokenID)

So the first series of 31 tokens... basically just sat there! LOL! Finally, a couple very very smart collectors found it, and the 31st token sold in... I think February. But I didn't want to release the next series just yet... I waited and made a wrapper (which is kind of an artwork unto itself, and which I'm very proud of) and waited for an auspicious date.

Red: What series are we on now?

Mitch: Series[4] now. (and the series are zero-indexed, so this is actually the 5th of 8 series) Anyways... I waited and waited... and I deployed the second-ever series exactly 1337 days after the first one was deployed.

Red: So u need to manually release each series?

Mitch: Yup.

Red: How many series will exist?

Mitch: 8 total. All series combined equal 101 tokens.

Red: How many minted so far?

Mitch: Series 0 had 31 tokens and cost 0.1eth

All other series have 10 tokens each

Series 0 tokens cost 0.1Ξ

Series 1 tokens cost 0.2Ξ

Series 2 tokens cost 0.4Ξ

Series 3 tokens cost 0.8Ξ

Series 4 tokens cost 1.6Ξ

Series 5 tokens cost 3.2Ξ

Series 6 tokens cost 6.4Ξ

Series 7 tokens cost 12.8Ξ

So far... I think we're at 67 or 68

Digital-Zone-OS-01

My wrapper artwork is putting forward this idea that: "Yes critics, we know that the NFT is just a receipt. But a lot of incredible conceptual art of the 20th century art was also about receipts." But for that stance to have legitimacy, I also had to create something that was functionally a very good receipt. Good bookkeeping, expanded metadata fields, etcetera.

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And if you unwrap, the IKB token returns to your original wallet, obvs. And then if you wrap again, you'll still get the same corresponding wrapper tokenID. Like punks, I presume.

I'm honestly really really proud of it. I was proud of it 4 years ago and I can't even explain how delighted I am that now other people are discovering this project and connecting to it!

Lots of information and links to essays about the piece can be found at https://chan.gallery/.

Red: Really great stuff Mitchell! Thanks again for taking the time to share this with us all. Keep up the amazing work, I know I’ll be keeping a close eye on your upcoming series releases!

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Uniswap V3 is Here

The wait is finally over! After Uniswap's announcement about a month ago, Uniswap v3 launched on May 5th, 2021. With the launch came some excitement for the future of the decentralized exchanges (DEXs) and automated market makers (AMMs). But, the biggest complaints from projects built on the Ethereum blockchain are still the gas fees.

Let’s do a quick run-through of what new features are in Uni v3.

Uniswap v3 introduces:

  • Concentrated liquidity, giving individual LPs granular control over what price ranges their capital is allocated to. Individual positions are aggregated together into a single pool, forming one combined curve for users to trade against
  • Multiple fee tiers, allowing LPs to be appropriately compensated for taking on varying degrees of risk

These features make Uniswap v3 the most flexible and efficient AMM ever designed:

  • LPs can provide liquidity with up to 4000x capital efficiency relative to Uniswap v2, earning higher returns on their capital
  • Capital efficiency paves the way for low-slippage trade execution that can surpass both centralized exchanges and stablecoin-focused AMMs
  • LPs can significantly increase their exposure to preferred assets and reduce their downside risk
  • LPs can sell one asset for another by adding liquidity to a price range entirely above or below the mar

One of the most interesting new features is that now, an NFT will represent each liquidity position. Each NFT will be a uniquely generated art with the properties of the position, and there’s a chance of getting RarE SpArKleS...sounds exciting. 

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One of the biggest complaints about the Uni v3 is the lack of a solid solution for high gas fees. Although Uniswap did say there will be a launch on L2 Optimism to reduce gas fees slightly, this solution does not satisfy the critics of Uni v3. The biggest limitation with any project on the Ethereum blockchain is the high gas fees, which will likely stay this way until ETH 2.0.

Uni v3 has come out with a hot start. According to Uniswap’s founder, Hayden Adams, v3 has seen more volume than the first month of v2. He also noted in his tweet that v3 was a lot more efficient. On its first day, v3 saw 150 million in volume and $300 million in TVL for a 50% efficiency ratio. In v2’s first day, it saw $1.1 billion in volume and $8.1 billion in TVL for a 13% efficiency ratio.

While v3 was a significant step for liquidity providers by allowing more customization to the liquidity providers, it did not add much for the traders. Right now there are low to no liquidity pools for a lot of coins. Until these fill up we will see most traders stay on v2.

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Rari capital exploit

On Saturday, May 8th, 2020, Rari Capital, a yield aggregator, was a victim of a $10 million exploit. The hacker was able to get into Rari Capital ETH Pool and drain 2600 ETH.

The hacker was able to use an “evil contract” exploit to gain access to the funds. This is where the attacker creates a hostile contract and tricks the protocol into believing it belongs there, giving them access to protocol funds. Rari Capital listed out how the hacker was able to do this.

The attacker repeatedly executed the following steps inside of `ibETH.work`:

1. Flashloan ETH from dYdX.

2. Deposit that ETH into the Rari Capital Ethereum Pool.

3. Manipulate the value of `ibETH.totalETH()` by pushing it artificially high.

4. Withdraw more ETH from the Rari Capital Ethereum Pool than the attacker deposited because the Rari Capital Ethereum Pool’s balances are artificially inflated (because `ibETH.totalETH()` is artificially inflated).

5. At the end of `ibETH.work`, the value of `ibETH.totalETH()` returns to its true value, leading the Rari Capital Ethereum Pool’s balances to values lower than they were before the attack as a result of the attacker withdrawing more than they deposited while their balance was artificially inflated.

Also, Twitter user Igor Igamberdiev pointed out that the same address was responsible for the value exploit. This hacker man was able to deploy the first cross-chain exploit successfully. The hacker’s wallet currently holds 4,005 ETH from both exploits. Click the thread below to see an in-depth account of how this was pulled off. 

The hackerman did consider sending a message but canceled the transaction before it went through. In the message, the hacker wrote “rari=rekt” and “alpha=ok # saved rari 6m.” It is presumed the hacker was saying Alpha Finance Lab prevented $6 million more from being drained.

There has been some backlash towards the Rari Capital team. Specifically, how young the team working on the project is; one of the developers is said to be 15 years old. There’s also backlash that the protocol was audited for security flaws, but this situation still occurred.

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Shameless Shilling

sudoswap

Hey everyone, I’m Owen, the dev behind sudoswap. I’ve previously helped out at NFTX, and I spend my day-to-day working on the 0xmons project. In the NFT community, I’ve seen a lot of demand for a secure way to swap NFTs, and none of the large marketplaces like OpenSea support this feature. 

sudoswap tries to fill this need—it’s designed as a trustless way for two parties to swap assets, rather than focusing on deep liquidity pools or large order books. You can create a swap for any combination of ERC-20, ERC-721, and ERC-1155 tokens, so all your favorite tokens and NFTs are supported right out of the box.

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After picking what you have and what you want for the swap, sudoswap generates a link that you can share with your trade partner. Your trade partner can then see the details of the swap and accept the swap. The assets never leave your wallet until your partner accepts the swap, making for a gas-optimized swapping experience.

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sudoswap is live today! It’s completely free to use—there are no swap fees of any kind, and the 0x protocol contracts it uses for swapping have been audited. However, it’s still in alpha, so there might be some front-end errors (feel free to report those here on GitHub). 

For future sudoswap updates, you can follow me on Twitter at @0xmons.

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