Off with their heads

el Prof

February 3, 2022

Fair warning: everything important on the Internet today is either scary, silly, or very much NSFW.

Chad & El Prof


$36,776.14 | -1.61%

$2,630.56 | -2.56%

$1.05 | +0.70%

$100.07 | -3.00%

$0.1369 | -1.88%

$0.00002049 | -1.67%

$3.87 | +3.11%

(Price changes reflect past 24 hours as of 2.3.22 @ 4:20 PM EST.)

  • The markets might be bear, but the banks are still bullish — Morgan StanleyFidelityCredit Suisse, et al are hiring high level crypto analysts, while Charles Schwab, BlackRock, and BNY Mellon are actively pursuing crypto ETFs.
  • TL;DR: Blockchain’s not going anywhere… but your net worth still might be. 

Off with their heads

Image: Nate Geier

As a headless brand with a grander mission to power the creator economy and empower individuals to own their personal data, we are enthusiastic about opportunities to speak with teams and individuals across the globe working in web3 to bring these dreams to reality.

Last Tuesday, I had the privilege of hopping on a Zoom call with Regina, who is in charge of community management and development over at Minbase. (An intro that wouldn’t have been possible without our own fervent fan base, so, s/o Daria!) 

Mintbase is a powerhouse of a platform allowing creators to build their own web3 storefront, mint and sell on their own custom smart contract, and even embed NFTs within WordPress and Shopify sites. Given our well-documented gripes with current NFT platform offerings, a creator-first option is a breath of fresh air, and Mintbase works to put the creator before even itself. Using the NEAR protocol, Mintbase is creating a headless architecture to maximize self-custody and composability — meaning users’ NFTs and webstores would outlast even Mintbase itself, should, God forbid, their business go the Diem way

NEAR is a competing protocol to Ethereum and Bitcoin, and, like our personal go-to, Solana, addresses some of the shortcomings of the layer-1 solutions that failed to account for the need to scale transaction processing across the network. One of the pioneers of the sharding strategy — decentralizing data sets to handle higher traffic and store more data — NEAR is a venture-backed, centralized, private platform, backed by massive amounts of VC. It’s operating in borderline stealth mode still, taking time to get the infrastructure right before bringing the network public.

Those last two sentences probably just ruptured some neckbeard degen’s hernia. But as a bit of a web2/web3 fence-sitter myself, it is one of the more rational approaches to developing a blockchain I’ve encountered. It is incredibly difficult to upgrade a blockchain protocol once it’s live, due to its decentralized nature and the permanency of a publicly distributed and managed network. You’d pretty much have to either get everyone onboard for the upgrade (most of us have trouble getting everyone onboard for a dinner party) or just fork the network (abandoning the hipsters who’ll inevitably stick with the original way of operating).

It’s not easy to build a strong company without using your technology moat as a walled garden. Luckily, sleepy hollows are haunted by headless horsemen. I have a feeling Mintbase might be just the decentralized brand we need to give the Ichabod Cranes (read: mediocre web2 maxi white men) a run for their money. And/or lives.

Me @ each new use case, Ponzi, rugpull:

Image: Tenor

Yada yada-ing incoming: 

  • You can now use Solana Pay — our favorite chain’s new merchant payment feature — at a whopping total of three online marketplaces. And given their new fee market to stabilize their ongoing network and transaction issues, it looks like Solana’s CEO is taking more than just styling tips from Steve Jobs.
  • Coachella, meanwhile, is taking their lead from fellow problematic fav Willy Wonka. Starting tomorrow, they are auctioning off 10 ‘golden ticket’ NFTs, providing holders with lifetime access to the festival, among other things. Aggressive gatekeeping and implicit endorsement of Oompa Loompa slavery? Feels on brand
  • Hackers hit Wormhole — a digital asset bridge between Ethereum and Solana — for a hot $320m by tricking the platform’s smart contract into minting tokens without confirming funds. Somewhere, someone’s Netflix heist movie pitch just got a lot more interesting. 
  • Justin Bieber blew 500eth on a Bored Ape in a plain black t shirt. The least surprising news I’ve ever reported, really.
  • On Monday, the Arcade platform launched, allowing hodlers to borrow against their NFTs. Took me back to the night a mere year ago, when I was nodding off on El Prof’s couch while he explained how incredibly expensive JPGs were an excellent investment vehicle for small businesses and I thought, ‘this mofo the type to blow a bag on Beanie Babies’. That hypnogogic hallucination aged well.


Image: @eroticadezires

Considering we call ourselves Culture H0R, we hope none of you were under the illusion our brand is SFW. If so, we’re shattering it, right here, right now, by highlighting the art collection of the (in)appropriately named @eroticadezires, another web2 artist with the chops to make it big in web3, should they choose to.

NSFW art is steadily carving its own niche in web3. There’s ample poor taste, of course, but also no shortage of lucrative use cases for adult performers to monetize their skillset in a relatively safe and secure way. Then again, there’s also revenge porn being minted as NFTs and conflicting reports as to the inevitable prevalence of darker things. So, like, human sexuality is messy, even/especially behind anonymity. But, also, sex will forever sell. 

Which is why I’m so bullish on this totally fungible collection making the push to SolSea. Not only does it toe the line of tasteful and provocative as well as these things can — it’s also pretty funny. And, with its psychedelic-tattoo-art-meets-memeified-cartoon aesthetic, @eroticadezires might as well be AI-optimized to appeal to degenerate basement trolls’ ‘sensibilities.’ 

I preach three things: transparency, accountability, and free market capitalism. I can’t say sex acts on personified Death (link obviously NSFW) appeal to me personally, but sexuality is fluid. As long as there’s communication, consent, and money exchanging hands, who am I to kink shame?


More Favorites

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

You Are OUR Heart & SOL

Heart&SOL is a daily newsletter at the intersection of AI, cryptography, and online culture.

Be first to the future.