Issue #35
Week 19 2021

Who Let the Dogs Out?

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin broke the record for the largest single tx cash donation this week by donating $1 billion worth of Shiba Inu (SHIB) to Indiaโ€™s Covid Relief.

First of all, what is SHIB? Just another meme coin or much bigger.  

SHIB, in its simplest form, is a meme coin, but it strives to be much more than that. SHIB was created back in August 2020 with the goal of being a cryptocurrency project run 100% by its community. Since its creation, SHIB has been dubbed the "DOGE killer" because itโ€™s supposed to be more community-driven than DOGE coin.

SHIB first gained popularity back in late January when WARONRUGS audited the coin and gave them the all-clear. They said that Vitalik was sent 100% of the liquidity of the coin and 50% of the supply. When doing their audit, they did say, "To be perfectly clear, Vitalik can rug you. Will he do it? Certainly not. There's no incentive for him to tarnish his reputation for 200 ETH.

Since WARONRUGS' audit, SHIB has grown by more than 50000% at one time, reaching an all-time high of $0.00003791. This might not seem like much money, but people have billions of these coins, so it adds up real quick. 

For Vitalik to make the $1 billion donation, he drained all the liquidity from Uniswap and transferred trillions of SHIB to India Covid Relief. Critics are calling this move a rug, while supporters are enthralled by the generosity Vitalik showed.

India Covid Relief Fund was set up by Polygon's founder Sandeep Nailwal to help combat the second wave of COVID-19 the country is facing. After the donation was made to help ease the nerves of SHIB hodlers, Nailwal tweeted, "One thing we have learnt from Ethereum and Vitalik Buterin is importance of community. We will not do anything which hurts any community, especially the retail community involved with $SHIB. We will act responsibly! Plz, don't worry $SHIB holders". 

Many people have pointed out that Vitaliks donation might be a good move for the crypto community as a whole. They say it helps end the run of meme coins and centers the attention toward traditional projects like BTC and ETH. 

There have been many critics of this donation, one of the loudest is WARONRUGS, the account that first helped boost the coin. They call it the biggest rug of all time and point out that Vitalik was gifted the coins in the expectation that he wouldn't use them. They say all the people affected by this donation are the hodlers of SHIB, the ones that made the price skyrocket.

Since the donation, SHIB has fallen by about 50%, and the donation caused a panic in the market, shooting up gas prices. 

WARONRUGS created a new coin called Rug Ethereum (RETH) for the sole purpose of killing Ethereum. They said, "While miners keep on killing the network through gas fees, it's time to help them finish it as retaliation." The coin uses a tax method to borrow ETH on Venus and dump it for BNB. This shaping up to be an unknown war between WARONRUGS and Vitalik.

It goes without saying that the money donated was for a good cause, but there is the question of whether Vitalik should've used his own money to make this donation instead of using the SHIB he was gifted. So, was this a rug pull or a heroic act? Let us know on our Discord. 


Christies Punks

This was such a highly anticipated event for the entire Punk community, expectations couldnโ€™t have been much higher.

Perfect timing!

Several multi-million dollar individual Punk sales had already occurred on the LarvaLabs CryptoPunk contractโ€™s native trading platform before this Christies sale, leaving many highly optimistic for an absolutely astounding result. SaveArtSpace having their second city-wide public ad space art exhibition launching in New York city right on top of the auction really made a perfect compliment to this incredible event.

โ€œThe Christie's auction on May 11 marks an historic moment of pop culture significance. It also officially brings Punks into the mainstream. In celebration, we have brought the Punks from Miami to New York!โ€

You might have spotted one of the Punks being auctioned on display throughout the streets of NYC on billboards, bus stops and phone booths on the day of the Christies auction! The digital displays really do make the Punks look great too. One could only imagine how Christies would choose to showcase Punks, and just how much the bundle would sell for...

Excellent! A monumental achievement for Punks!


Just a week after launching their 3rd NFT project, Meebits, the Larva Labs developerโ€™s auctioned 9 CryptoPunks with Christies for $16.9 million. The second largest NFT auction of all time, trailing only Beepleโ€™s $69 million โ€˜Everydays: The First 5,000 Daysโ€™ Christies auction. Incredible! Though this all might sound pretty great, not everyone cared for how the Punk auction was handled.

Maybe expectations were a little too high, maybe they werenโ€™t.

Enthusiasts were quick to emphasize independence.

Larva Labs faithful are not messing around...

At one point there seemed to be some confusion as to whether or not ETH would be accepted as part of the auction. There was also some uncertainty as to whether DAOs were allowed to participate in the auction at all thanks to KYC and regulatory hurdles. These could have been some of the largest potential bidders! Itโ€™s also been theorized that some of the expected interest in this auction could have been influenced by news of an upcoming Sothebys NFT auction โ€˜Natively Digitalโ€™, which also features an Alien CryptoPunk auction. With the prospect of another Alien going up for sale, and getting to further gauge market interest, it doesnโ€™t seem farfetched that interested parties might take a wait and see approach.  Shortly after the auction, once community โ€˜concernsโ€™ had been voiced, there actually was a very respectful exchange with understandings reached.

Cooler heads prevail. Onward and upward!

Perhaps thereโ€™s not so much to be upset about after all. The event was groundbreaking, regardless of the selling price. There is even another Christies CryptoPunk auction scheduled in the near future. One which features Straybits single attribute Ape Cowboy!

Canโ€™t wait to see what this guy goes for!

With one major Larva Labs NFT auction behind us and a couple more coming soon, there is still a whole lot to be excited about! The shift weโ€™ve seen over the past year in the NFT space has been more than stunning. Mainstream NFT adoption is past the point of needing any further validation, household names like Christies, Sothebys, and now Ebay have clarified NFTs for the masses.


ETH @ $4k

Itโ€™s not as though nobody could see this coming. In fact predictions of much more bullish price action to come are pretty easy to come by these days. Ethereum has blasted off! After running up in price basically non-stop for weeks on end, the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap recently peaked above $4,300 and approximately half a trillion in overall market capitalization, which is just a little less than half of the BTC market cap!


May 11th, 2021 ETH broke above $4,300 and half a trillion market cap

Ethereum just canโ€™t be denied! The price of ETH has risen so fast over the past few weeks that markets across the entire DAPP blockchain are experiencing a wild ride to say the least! Itโ€™s great seeing ETH have so much success, achieving greater adoption and usage by newcomers, but gas fees continue to present a bigger and bigger problem to all users as the price of ETH rises so dramatically.

Ethereum fans probably arenโ€™t the only ones to take note of recent activity...

The Ethereum ecosystem continues to gain new participants and investors at an unprecedented rate. Layer two scaling solutions have recently seen an uptick in activity, no doubt due to users eager to participate in their respective decentralized economy without incurring such steep fees every step of the way.

The Ethereum layer 2 networks like Polygon have recently surged with users eager to escape Ethereum mainnet gas fees. Much of the recent MATIC traffic is being generated by Quickswap activity. A MATIC network alternative to Uniswap found on Ethereumโ€™s layer 1.


Users should find their way around pretty quickly.

Solutions like this are poised to become much more important in the near future for frequent blockchain interaction. Without these layer 2 networks Ethereum fees could quickly amount to prohibitive expenses which even believers in the ecosystem might find intolerable. Of course eventually one might wonder, just how essential will layer 2 scaling solutions like Polygon be once Ethereum scales natively as a Proof Of Stake blockchain in ETH 2.0? Iโ€™m not suggesting there will be no use case, in fact there might still be much reason to be excited about many layer 2 networks and what they can offer.

Loopring is another L2 solution aimed at drastically reducing user gas fees by transacting on 2nd layer chain instead of directly on the Ethereum mainnet.

If the price of ETH continues to rise, which many believe it easily can and will, then just what will the near-term landscape look like for Ethereum participants? Will layer 2 solutions like Polygon and Loopring become all but required in order to effectively transact on the blockchain without quickly enduring unaffordable network fees. These fees are tough to absorb even before giving ETH serious consideration as a long term store of value asset with a deflationary supply.

EIP-1559 seems to have many thinking a bit longer term...

With exchange supply dwindling and EIP-1559 scheduled for integration, many might soon find the amount of ETH required for gas extremely difficult to accept. Itโ€™s one thing talking about Ethereum at $10,000 per ETH, but many are only just coming to realize just what interacting on the blockchain in its current state will entail. With a quick recent drop to beneath $3,500 at the time of completing this article, investors have a chance to reevaluate their ETH positions, and not just how sustainable they think activity on the network will be at current price levels, but how appealing and accessible it will be to newcomers to the decentralized internet of the future.


The Tor Project NFT Sale

The Tor project sold their first NFT piece, โ€œDreaming at Dusk,โ€ for 500 ETH on Foundation. The winners were PleasrDOA, marking their third major bid victory.


The Tor Project is a non-profit founded in 2006 by computer scientists Roger Dingledine, Nick Mathewson, and five others to help access websites with โ€œ.onionโ€ domains, or commonly known as the dark web. Their mission is โ€œTo advance human rights and freedoms by creating and deploying free and open source anonymity and privacy technologies, supporting their unrestricted availability and use, and furthering their scientific and popular understanding.โ€


The piece was a collaboration between the TOR Project and ixshells to mark the 15th anniversary of Tor onion services. The NFT was a generative art piece based on Torโ€™s first .onion site, duskgytldkxiuqc6.onion.  The NFT also transfers the private key of the site to PleasrDOA.

Some of the proceeds will go towards Torโ€™s network security and help support grassroots work in privacy training.

This purchase is right up the alley of PleasrDOAโ€™s past NFT bids. They are a group of NFT collectors that came to be when they purchased the pplpleasrโ€™s collab piece with Uniswap โ€œx*y=k.โ€ They are also the purchasers of Snowdenโ€™s โ€œStay Freeโ€ NFT, where they bought it for 2,224 ETH. PleasrDOA seems to strive to collect NFT pieces that are meant to benefit the ideology of the internet.

Something interesting to note is the artist ixshells has now become the highest-selling woman in NFTs. We at the gazette want to congratulate her on this momentous achievement. 


Shameless Shilling


Hey everyone! This is Arihz, the creator of Pulsquares and Framergence. I'm an anonymous computer scientist from Brazil, a long-time lover of fractals, programming languages, and complex systems. I also led product and design teams in several tech companies.

I'm fascinated by generative art, where art is presented to us by an algorithm rather than created directly by us. This idea always intrigued me. Then, when I first knew about NFTs I was excited to imagine the boundaries of art that could be broken. I believe that, for the first time, we can make connections and mechanisms that expand the art experience to a whole new level, like integrations and composability between different art pieces, traits management and dynamics, supply management, and community incentives. From these ideas, Framergence was born. And now, Pulsquares.

Pulsquares is an experimental generative math art NFT project. It aims to explore some boundaries of NFTs mechanisms through empirical practice. It's deflationary, free, and incorporates two main novel mechanisms: burn-to-compose and the gallery system.


One of the problems of collectibles and digital art sets is when the value perceived doesn't match the piece rarity. A specific piece may be meaningful and valuable to you, but its market value usually just follows another curve, defined by the rarity system created by the artist. It's frustrating.

Pulsquares does have a rarity system by design, but there are additional experimental mechanisms for the owner to also play a role in the rarity of his/her specific piece.

A Pulsquares art pierce can be upgraded. It will gain a unique trait (called Constellation) that no Pulsquares are granted by default. However, this will have a cost, and the cost is the burn of another piece. It's called burn-to-compose.


The Pulsquares experience will go beyond the pieces itself. It has a Gallery system. This Gallery will start with no pieces, and any owner can then lend their pieces to the Gallery. In return, after around every 4 months in the Gallery, the pieces will win a Constellation upgrade. This mechanism incentivizes that the pieces are locked to be presented, not to be sold. And when presented they win rarity and value.

Pulsequares is live, and the final public mint will be available in the next few days. 

More info on the website

and on our beautiful discord server:

Stay tuned!


Artist profiles:

Gossip Goblin

Zack London, aka Gossip Goblin, is a writer, illustrator, and sculptor specializing in the oft-overlooked realm of Goblin art and lore.

Through the lens of goblins, Zack combines a mix of physical and digital media to explore the natural history of our own world, spanning from Earthโ€™s primordial, dinosaur-infested origins, through our not-so-far-future as virtual brains in vats, to the sobering end of the universe as we know it. In these speculative works, there is but one certainty: while eons pass by, the profundity and banality of existence will always intermingle to comic effect.

Zack recently founded The Benevolent Goblin Friendship Society, a collection of meticulously handmade, digitalized, discombobulated and reconfigured claymation NFTs. Constructed from hundreds of handmade clay parts, Goblins are a whimsical hybrid of analog claymation and digitally composited wizardry. He hopes this project will inspire more traditional artists to apply their niche crafts to the NFT space and help to expand the visual repertoire of this nascent โ€œartโ€ community. He also hopes heโ€™ll be able to sell all his goblins too, of course - a manโ€™s gotta eat after all.