Funds in the sun.


September 28, 2021

In case you missed our intro email, Culture HOR is a biweekly peak into the future. We’re your one stop shop for the latest on the blockchain, making the technology of tomorrow accessible for you today.

To celebrate our launch, we’re giving away a $250 Visa gift card to the Higher Order Reader with the most referrals at the end of the month. Which is, yes, in two days.

You can find our referral program and your unique link at the end of this email. Feel free to read and click through the rest on your way. (Our egos could use the boost.) And get the link out to every tech bro, edge lord, and crypto degen you know — anyone who needs everything important on the Internet, in one email, twice a week.

Chad & El Prof

Funds in the sun.

Image: CityCoins

You might have realized we have a thing for Miami. Something about manicured palm trees and gaudy neon lights and blacking out to a double mojito on a sunny shore just screams late stage capitalism’s in its death throes and it’s a beautiful thing. Well, the crypto bros over at CityCoins must agree, because MiamiCoin is now alive and well and living on South Beach.

CityCoins is a crypto developer with plans to launch a series of tokens linked to U.S. cities in order to generate interest (and capital) for infrastructure. When a city’s coin is mined, 70% of the value is deposited in the miner’s wallet, while 30% goes in a crypto wallet earmarked for the city’s municipal projects.

Only Miami’s coin is currently live (with San Francisco’s supposedly coming soon) so why is this news? Well, aside from the crypto community’s inexplicable fascination with the Magic City, over $5m has already been raised. Not only that, but the local government has already approved accepting the funds. The powers that be cosigning their looming irrelevancy is a rare sight, but we sure love to see it.

Of course, it’s America we’re talking about, so this decision comes with caveats. The city will only accept the funds as USD, not STX (Stacks, the cryptocurrency currently backing the tokens) because, as we’ve recently seen, they’ll treat the blockchain with more caution than the literal plague. And they will not officially endorse the coin or allocate the funds immediately. God forbid a government behaved efficiently.

But Miami’s mayor Francis Suarez is bullish on the coin, alleging it will ‘revolutionize the way governments are funded in the future,’ and we’ve got to agree. After all, we’re HORs for interesting use cases on the blockchain. Which, if you’ll recall, is all Bitcoin was back in 2016.

If anything can keep Miami above water in the coming apocalypse, why not this?

Drawing circles.

Image: Judson Collier / OpenSea

Today that happens to be Tiny Planetz by Judson Collier, which has pulled down a total of 5eth in the last 24 hours, lining Collier’s pockets with a cool $15k in USD.

If you watched my latest episode of On OpenSeas, you know I find it refreshing to review a collection with a real artist (not an algorithm) behind it. But, while I didn’t light Judson up live on air this morning, I did mention that the artwork lacks depth and I prefer his Instagram to his NFT collection. Very 2015 of me, I know.

Tiny Planetz is ‘a methodical practice of different mediums and styles, all revolving around an identical circular form’ because calling it what it is — ‘a bunch of colorful circles’ — doesn’t exactly scream High Art. Instead, this project screams Basic Bitch, as it requires only a surface level of thought to execute or interpret. I believe that art should challenge the viewer to explore behind the description for their own meaning in the piece, and I am at my end trying to find something more to say about this work. These circles do little to ignite any passion in me and feel like a cold cash grab.

If this is just that, I applaud it for being so blatant about it. Collier’s a strong designer and can clearly do better, but I think it’s brilliant to drive up the worth of his portfolio by establishing a baseline value with this collection. There are worse NFT projects out there, from less qualified artists, to HODL (hold on for dear life, you noobs); buy.

Grimes broke up with her boyfriend.

Image: Gilbert Carrasquillo / GC Images

Last week on Main Street fall fell. Governments sanctioned and banned fake money. (Again.) Music went public. Our policing overhaul went to shit. Our border policy caused thousands of migrants’ misery and an old white guy to quit. African children are still starving to death. There are now more dealers than dentistsGrimes broke up with her boyfriend. There’s more women in government in Iceland and one less now in Germany. Earth keeps spinning and breathing and beating beneath our feet.

They just don’t miss.

Image: Twitter

My toxic, symbiotic relationship with Twitter goes back to 2007, when I first set up a profile, or at least to 2013, when I blacked out and erased my account, along with the contents of my stomach. But I’m still down bad, and like any good good, I can’t quit. I’m biased toward any moves the company makes, and this one is no different.

This week, Twitter announced a newer feature to their newest feature, the Tip Jar, enabling creators to solicit Bitcoin from their supporters and, far more importantly, authenticate their NFTs, so your digital recreation of a holofoil Charizard can get a little blue checkmark next to it now. Talk about innovation.

In the years since I unceremoniously offed my original account, I’ve curated an epic feed for myself of early stage entrepreneurs, clout lords, and non-partisan political correspondents, and I’ve made more connections on Twitter than on LinkedIn or Facebook combined. So I’m thrilled by the prospect of using crypto tools to cut out the middleman in various payment processing schemes. Deciding to go full TikTok to help creators on their platform build sustainable monetization models around their content is a great ploy to bring better creators and new users to the platform.

What I don’t understand is how the company intends to make money on features like this. They aren’t taking a percentage of the transaction fee, an accomplishment in and of itself for a profit-driven company. I can only hope Jack has larger plans for integrating the company with a decentralized social network. But might just be me.

Hear it before it’s cool.

Image: 99 Neighbors

I’m a HOR for having heard of [insert any piece of pop culture here] first — gonna go out on a limb and say you hipster snobs also are. And since our newsletter is all about the future, here are four recent projects that could only exist in this day and age, and couldn’t exist at all without the Internet. You heard it first here.

>1m streams: Wherever You’re Going I Hope It’s Great by 99 Neighbors

Never expected to hear an artist I first read about in Vermont Hip Hop (an oxymoron if there ever was one) on a playlist from a friend across the country, but here we are. Turns out my hometown heroes have gone mainstream — at least as mainstream as eclectic, jazz-tinged experimental rap can get — while still sounding straight out of an open mic at slam poetry night in a basement bar filled with Bernie Bros.

As an experiment, it falls a little short of something you’ve never heard before. But as catchy, diverse genre-fusion Internet music goes, I’ve rarely heard better.

>100k streams: ‘the lovely one’ by pluko

Less of a DJ and more of a hyper pop trap star, Pluko’s mission of “building up a picture of how the body feels” is never more realized than on this absolute banger of a Nintendo background track. From scraping windshield wipers to radio chatter to what sounds like a stomach gurgling, there’s so much to hear here, like everywhere.

>1000 streams: JAMAIS VU by GARÇON

In the spirit of Endless, here are seven songs in one seamless track, the sonic approximation of a fever dream you haven’t realized you’re having yet. The melodies creep and evolve like incremental app updates but before you realize it the paradigm has shifted and you’re in another song. In other words, GARÇON makes Music 3.0.

>100 streams: Dick Broƨ by Dick Bros

No one could describe this project in a paragraph, and with under a dozen listens on most songs, few can even try. But if you can stomach a coordinated assault on your eardrums and the bowels of the human experience set to mumble trap, a narrative emerges — a tone poem about identityexistence, and an incel falling in love with the Internetsex, and God (sometimes all at the same time).

It is a near impossible listen and a note perfect time capsule. If nothing else, the song title ‘Elite White Libtard / Global Homo Patriot’ proves it.

Big whoops.

Image: @spencernoon

Someone paid $23m for a $100k Ethereum transaction. That’s it. That’s the joke. It’s funny because it happened.


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