🕋 #05 - Wave a stick, hit a project - $3.5b in NFT Sales Volume in the last week

The Digital Elephant in the Room

If this is your first edition of the Non Fungible Times newsletter, welcome! We aim to be the most comprehensive news source for all things NFTs - from new projects to industry drama, to business opportunities in this growing space.

This week’s newsletter includes:

  • 🙍 Punks Hit Half a Million, China Enters the Picture

  • 🖼️ Fidenzas, Ringers, and Squiggles (oh my)

  • 🧪 Gary Vee and Beanie the CryptoPunk Both Build Innovative Projects

🙍 Punks Hit Half a Million, China Enters the Picture

The biggest CryptoPunks news this week was that Visa bought a Punk. They did this move in conjunction with releasing an official statement about how they plan to support NFTs moving forward. Some influencers on Crypto Twitter have been skeptical, saying that Visa is just spending .00001% of their daily budget on a empty gesture. But as a huge payment processing company, this does seem like a pretty bold move.

Oh sorry did we say that that was the biggest CryptoPunks news this week? What about the Zombie Punk $5.3m sale on August 24th? It has officially joined the list for top 5 most valuable Punks.

China is also entering the NFT game now, with Chinese Wechat groups moving in on the Lindy Eth flex of owning a punk. But they’re also making their presence felt in other ways, like the Ready Player Cat NFT project. There was a project that hit OpenSea recently where owning a cat NFT would give you membership to a play to earn guild in China called the Mao Dao. However, the hype around this quickly died out, showing that China isn’t quite ready to enter the NFT space with both feet yet.

🖼️ Art Blocks Factory, Curated, and Playground Take Over

In the NFT world, generative art is about as blue chip as it comes. The reasoning is simple - in the crypto world completely decentralized contracts are highly valued. That’s why a project like Nouns DAO has gotten so much traction - because it’s completely automated, even the most “human” part, the creativity involved in creating a different piece every day. So art created by a program is extremely in theme with decentralized concepts, and especially generative art that’s then stored on chain (not subject to companies going down or not paying their bills).

In the 7 days, Art Blocks have made a huge impact on the NFT market, with over $200m in sales volume in the Art Blocks Curated project alone. Art Blocks is a platform that was started by Erick Calderon, artist/entrepreneur that specializes in curating and helping to release generative art from up and coming artists.

There have already been over 37 projects on the Curated side, where Art Blocks screens projects using a put together curation board. And then there’s the Playground and Factory side which release different styles of Art Blocks projects.

The projects have been received very differently by the community, with abstract pieces of art from the Curated side making the most impact.

Three projects from Art Blocks have really made headlines so far:

  • Chromie Squiggles were a project created by the founder of ArtBlocks, Erick also known on Twitter as Snowfro. They were used as a personal signature and have gained a lot of traction due to the overall impact and influence of Art Blocks as a brand.

Large sales in the space have been moving more towards artistic pieces.

🧪 Gary Vee and Beanie the CryptoPunk Both Build Innovative Projects

A lot of people doubted Gary Vee when he first released Veefriends, but the project has since gone on to have a huge community of over 100,000 people in their discord alone. The prices on the even most basic ones have also crossed into the $30,000 range and have become highly desired.

With his most recent NFT, he announced a very innovative marketing twist on how you would qualify for it. You had to buy at least 12 copies of his new book Twelve and a Half. Even with that many books the price would come out to $300 or so, which is a lot for most people, but in the current NFT market is .09 Eth and considered pretty standard. Gary is basically able to ensure that his book hits a lot of Amazon’s best selling charts even before it’s out, by capitalizing on the success of the Veefriends project, and his pivot of his personal brand to be strongly involved in the NFT community.

Another project that’s been innovating lately is the Punks Comics project, led by and advised by some very influential members in the NFT community.

The project made waves with many influential CryptoPunk owners voluntarily contributing their Punks to be locked into a vault. The project aims to build around the lore of the CryptoPunks with their first comic titled Hunt for the Lost Robbies following Beanie the hero as he explores the dangerous art world. The characters from the comic will all be brought alive, and each have their own planets.

The Punks Comic project is the flagship product of a new media company called Pixel Vault Media and they have many big plans especially with Marvel artist Chris Wahl on the team.

The mechanics of the project were complex, initially starting out with the Punks Comics that owners could choose to either burn or stake for a share in the Punks Vault. If they chose to burn the comic, they would receive a special DAO token that gave them access to an exclusive Founder’s club DAO that would also receive 25% of the Vault’s value. They can also stake it for 2 years to receive $PUNKs tokens once the vault has been fractionalized.

Participants in the project also were able to receive Mint Passes, which gave them exclusive access to mint a character from the universe later on. These Metaverse Heroes help to build out the IP even further, and will each have their own story. Later on, there’s hints that a video game will be present, and these characters will have additional features in that game.

Of course it’s still very early but the company has already delivered on a lot of its promises, with airdrops and strong artistic creations. As the NFT landscape continues to shift, they have a good chance of becoming the Marvel of NFTs, especially with artwork like this.

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Note: this issue was pushed back by a day due to a lot of exciting developments happening on Friday, that we wanted to squeeze in. Otherwise, we’ll continue to go out on Fridays.