For Halloween, the metaverse went as reality. Degens hit the streets in Bored Ape hoodies and objectively bad sneakers for the biggest weekend crypto’s seen in years. New York threw a block (chain) party. Ethereum hit an all time high. An NFT collection got an honor reserved for rockstars. And while Zucc dubbed himself the once and future king of the metaverse from his ivory tower, everything important on the Internet was already happening outside.
Chad & El Prof
(Price changes reflect past 7 days as of 11.2.21 @ 4:20 PM EST.)
How do you do fellow kids?
The biggest week in NFT history (so, like, a year) kicked off on Monday with NFT.NYC, an annual crypto event held in Times Square. Contrary to the revolutionary discourse and delusions of grandeur endemic to the space, it looks to be a fairly conventional convention, all things considered. There are speakers, pop up shops, costumed lunatics, and all the trappings of a classic r/cringe-worthy Internet meetup. (Warning: link is aggressively NSFW.)
The program itself consists of seminars that sound like the 1-credit classes in the back of my undergrad course book. Transcendence in the Meta Verse. Our Nonfungible Future. 3D NFTs – Sculptures, Holograms & Toilets! If they came with the cost of tuition to a lecture hall near me, I’d absolutely green out in the back row of any/all of the above. But taking an out-of-pocket trip to the Big Apple just to socialize with tungsten touchers about a ‘10eth selfie‘? Hard pass.
However, NFT.NYC does serve as an early stage example of how the metaverse crosses over into the actual ‘verse. Who are these crypto degens aside from DeFi Twitter rants and overpriced profile pictures? Evidently, men in the 18-34 demo with objectively poor taste in footwear. Hypothesis proven. Thank God for science.
Jokes aside, it does provide some validity to the missions of these NFT projects. Bored Ape Yacht Club, for instance, is the poster boy/punching bag of overpriced PPC companies. Until this weekend, its current floor price of 34eth ($150k) bought you access to a Discord server, invaluable Twitter clout, and the right to digitally graffiti a virtual shitter. As of Sunday, you can add to that list a hoodie, a warehouse party, and cocktails on a literal yacht.
BAYC has had a hell of a week, also landing the once-legendary cover of the Rolling Stone magazine. The accompanying profile on the Bored Ape founders casts them as punk rock industry disruptors, the crypto equivalent of the Beastie Boys. Hyperbole has plagued the magazine for some time now, so to many, it looks as though Rolling Stone, like Steve Buscemi himself, cosplayed as the ‘fellow kids’ meme for Halloween. But it’s hard to deny the hype. In under a year, these guys have whipped up Supreme levels of devotion and an entire business model, which is being feverishly replicated. Like it or not, we’re only going to see more of this. Degens have already claimed the metaverse. Reality is next.
Karma is real.
One of the aforementioned feverish Bored Ape Yacht Club replicants, a hand-drawn (and painfully derivative) PPC collection of 10,000 great apes in Nazi helmets called Jungle Freaks, stepped into quicksand this weekend. As it turns out, the artist got famous making racist Hustler cartoons. This feels like one of those ‘could’ve seen that one coming’ moments, but regardless, here we are.
The cartoonist, George Trosley, issued a video apology, claiming the 50-year-old comics were intended to shine light on the racism of the 1970s. They sure do, albeit only as nauseating relics of the kind of blatant bigotry once deemed acceptable for publication, rather than any sort of functional satire. Maybe his intentions really were good, and only his execution was disturbing and racist. Then again. The collection is fucking called Jungle Freaks.
Doesn’t matter either way. The floor price dropped 80% since the news broke, and noted crypto enthusiast / former Frodo Elijah Wood offloaded his holdings and donated the proceeds to charity. It’s especially depressing to see this sort of prejudice in a space with such high diversity and potential for facilitating equality. But the overwhelming and immediate response is promising, at least.
Trosley still has his defenders, unfortunately, inevitably. It is, after all, the Internet. But in a high risk market where value stems almost entirely from reputation, there’s no small schadenfreude in watching someone’s deservedly get shot to shit.