Open as an unlocked safe.


October 12, 2021

After the dark turn our crypto experience took last week, we’re back in clear water, feeling the wind in our sails, keeping it light and breezy. Got to live in the moment — after all, you never know when the rug will be pulled on the open seas. Get it? No? Then keep reading for all the drawbacks (and alternatives) to OpenSea, an unofficial guide to riding the Bitcoin boom, a shallow dive into TikTok gaslighting, and the most biting reviews of cartoon hedgehog JPEGs and AI generate music you’ll ever read. So like, basically, everything important on the Internet, in one email.

Chad & El Prof

Open as an unlocked safe.

Image: OpenSea

Last week, we discussed the divide between Web 2.0 and 3.0 in terms of user friendliness and security. OpenSea, like any good bastard child of capitalism, is a triumph in the former. Its art-by-way-of-eCommerce interface is familiar and comforting for those who find Etsy too basic and Artsy too bougie, and its the go-to choice for established and emerging artists, off traffic and name recognition alone.

But is it the best? The biggest talking point around OpenSea is its lazy minting system — unlike other platforms, gas fees on OpenSea are paid by the buyer, not you. If you don’t self identify as Crypto Native or have a picture of a bodily-fluid-gargling lion on your Twitter profile, this probably seems like a no-brainer — use the platform where you don’t have to pay $100+ just to make a damn listing.

However, the tradeoffs for this convenience raise the same privacy and security concerns as the big data businesses Web 3.0 claims to make obsolete. OpenSea is hosted not on IPFS (InterPlanetary File System, a decentralized blockchain protocol) but on a centralized server, and their smart contract is not made public. Add in the increased likelihood of data loss and rugpull economics, and OpenSea has more in common with Web 2.0 gatekeepers than the disruptive technology it cosplays as.

That’s not to say it isn’t worth experimenting with a few free listings if you’re new to the NFT scene. But it’s definitely worth knowing the full picture — especially when there are some excellent alternatives out there.

  • Rarible is another large marketplace favored by serious artists and collectors alike, secured on IPFS, with all the features — editions, unlockable content, custom contracts — you’d expect from an NFT platform. (Gas fees included.)

  • HEN (hic et nun) — the Yeezy of NFTs — is a slick platform perfect for artists with smaller budgets, as it is backed by Tezos, cheaper than Ethereum in value and gas fees.

  • Foundation and KnownOrigin are IPFS-backed, community-curated options — they allow for collaboration on a single NFT, but you need invites from existing contributors to join.

  • Async is more of an interactive art project in itself than a platform, pushing the boundaries of what it means to create an NFT. Any Master listed on here also comes with Layers — components able to be purchased and edited by multiple owners. In essence, it’s the blockchain equivalent of a bar bathroom wall.

  • Mirror is another platform on the experimental side — a blogging platform in the vein of Medium and Substack, but each post is written permanently into Arweave (an alt IPFS) with the option to sell additional editions as NFTs.

Having just reviewed 5 platforms we like for the SEO boost, it’s worth getting to the lede — there are always options, including the many, many more detailed here. Like eBay, Amazon, or the little piggy markets before them, OpenSea is best considered a relic from the era of middlemen; a marketplace to hawk your wares, not create them.

Just another hedgehog to cancel.

Image: Fluffy Hedgehogs / OpenSea

It’s Hot Col Tuesday and, as per usual, nothing but shameless cash grabs to shit on. Today we’ve got the PFP craze of the hour, Fluffy Hedgehogs. In my experience, there’s very little fluffy about a computer screen, but still — these digital puffballs brought in a total of 9eth in the last 24 hours (~$31k).

One question only. Have these guys even ever seen a hedgehog? Seems like false advertising to me, but I guess Fluffy Hedgehogs sounds better than Fluffy Lobsters. Call me old fashioned — I prefer Sonic. Even the CGI monstrosity Twitter cancel culture collectively bullied out of existence would do, compared to these beta hogs.

Their roadmap reads like a narrative written in hindsight — a lot of ‘details will follow later’ — and a percentage of the sales of these Hamtaro derivatives are supposedly being donated to a super suss ‘hedgehog rescue’ foundation in the Netherlands, which would scream rugpull, except for the project’s decision to keep the collection to 250 editions. This increases their liquidity among people who want to support the hedgehogs, of which there are 250 out of the billions living on Earth, presumably.

But come on, eggheads. You’ve proven you can move MS Paint JPEGs. (Even if Graphic Design Is Your Passion™.) Now swallow your pride and hand off the web design to me.

Famous rich guy is not rich, still famous.

Image: Forbes

Last week on Main Street a guy who got famous for being rich is still famous, no longer rich. An illegal law made abortions illegal. Terrorists got back to being assholesToxic cesspools got hacked. We got another life saving vaccine for Eric Clapton to bitch about. We gave out prizes for sciencepeace, and writingIndigenous women are still going missing. TikTok needs to unlearn the term gaslighting. Real life’s a better James Bond movie than the new James Bond movie7800% more white Vans buyers jacked my style.

Bitcoin is booming.

From the jump let me say that this is not financial advice. I will not be held liable for you choosing to take my rants as financial advice. But I can lick my thumb in the wind as well as the next guy, especially when it comes to the state of Web 3.0.

Like you, I source 95% of my so-called knowledge from an unholy combination of Twitter, Reddit, Wikipedia, Google, and whatever other content I happen to doom scroll ass backwards into. Today, I’m citing a random YouTube video called ‘How Ethereum Can Hit $40k per coin’ — clickbait content for code monkeys, sure, but nevertheless a worthwhile and well-researched discussion on what’s likely to be a volatile few weeks, maybe months, in the crypto markets.

The general sentiment is that, based on where we’re at in the Bitcoin halving cycle —trading volume relative to price for the last time Bitcoin was valued this high — and the s-shaped nature of Bitcoin — and the larger shitcoin markets’ — price movement and stability, we are heading towards a Bitcoin peak worth $200-400k by year’s end.

Framed against Ethereum — which conservative estimates put at $10k, but moonshots put at $40k within that same time period, if Ethereum market capitalization flips Bitcoin in terms of rate of growth, as it has been on the verge of doing for a while now — it’s safe to say crypto is now booming, until it’s not.

As the laws of physics once said, what goes up must come down. The 6 & 18 month price point outlook is around $26-42k for Bitcoin and $1.8-3.2k for Ethereum. Before those wild high valuations, we are likely to see stable prices.

The future of music is… not music.

Image: Audioglyphs / OpenSea

Having recently discovered Have One On Me, I’ve been understandably slacking on the search for new gems — it’d be like salivating over a lab grown diamond when you’re sitting on an uncut black opal. Which is a truly apt simile for Audioglyphs.

These ‘randomly generated, infinite audio’ NFTs are a series of bleeping blorps set to a slightly less epilepsy-friendly version of the iTunes visualizer. They are marketed as ‘a glimpse into a future of music where instead of buying the rights to listen to music, listeners can truly own a unique version’ — which would be great and all if this were music, but it’s got all the sonic intrigue of a fucking submarine radar, so, nah, hard pass.

About 3eth ($10k) of these were moved in the last day alone. I’d say I’m disappointed but really I just see the potential. If you’re one of the artists I reviewed in a past column, spending months curating the sounds of the future just to get 20 Soundcloud streams, consider pulling a deep cut out the vault, slapping a gif over it, and minting an NFT. Your only competition currently is Travis Bott — minus the style.

Streaming too deep.

Image: @tooturntony / TikTok

This week I found a video from @tooturntony on TikTok that at least 3.2M souls have wasted their precious time on Earth storing into their short term memory. But reading too deep into mind-numbingly short and dumb videos is all the rage amongst the kids these days, so let’s play like Tony’s dad and see if we can hang.

We see Tony, looking none too turnt, out for an afternoon bar crawl with his pops. Note the five-inch-inseam shorts and the cowboy hat with the giant cross — not sure what sort of personality disorder they symbolize, but clearly not one of the good ones. Dad’s then seen tossed in the back seat of Mom’s car, clinging to the last straws of an alcohol tolerance from his own fraternity days, and, from the looks of the shit stains on his shirt, I’m guessing some of this morning’s protein shake.

As the wealth inequality gap continues to widen, gross displays of excess — like day drinking at a pizza, ribs, salad, and sandwich joint contradictorily called Carry Out — reflect the vanity and emptiness accompanying traditional success in this country.

I can’t be mad at Too Turnt’ony or his dad for their questionable choice in father-son bonding activities, but I can be sad at what this cultural norm says about the state of the United ones. (And at that cowboy hat. I can definitely be mad at that.)


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