We food coma’d on Thursday, leftover coma’d on Friday, blacked out to chants of ‘Fuck Ohio’ on Saturday, and rose again on Sunday. (If only to bring you all the useless news we so gleefully missed in the meantime.) Yes, the premier newsletter of e-girls, hustle bros, degens, and HORs is back to bring you everything important on the Internet.
Chad & El Prof
(Price changes reflect past 7 days as of 11.30.21 @ 4:20 PM EST.)
Tryptophan and online shopping deals drew the attention of retail investors and allowed whales to exit their positions among their crypto skeptic family members as dinner was commencing. But if you’re interested in the activity of a manatee:
- I allocated 20% of my holdings to Bitcoin and bought the dip.
- I sold at a relative top from 65% to 10% in Ethereum.
- I made a first time Solana purchase of 20% at the dip.
- I kept 15% of my liquid holdings in fiat like a goofy.
We hate DAOs so much, we made one.
Last week, shortly before ghosting y’all, I shared an article on the toxic social dynamics of the dystopian Silicon Valley cautionary tale that is post-lockdown Clubhouse. The invite-only broadcast app — with average daily users down 80% since February — peaked during the pandemic and launched a whole horde of ripoff products, including Spotify Greenroom, Discord Stages, and Twitter Spaces. It also got criticized as a top-down cargo cult providing platforms and clout to the wealthy.
Their initial user base was handpicked by VC firms and subsequent users were invited in as ego fodder with nothing to do but sit in silence and listen or preach to the diminishing returns of their own choir. Along with its $4 billion (over)valuation from round-leading investor a16z, the whole thing reads like a Brosnan-era Bond plot, a secret-lab-cooked social media trend with no functionality outside of giving pre-approved voices a megaphone. And even though, like most movie villains, Clubhouse failed, their competitors are now being used to broadcast white supremacy and cyber sex — an oligarchical hallmark if I’ve ever seen one.
I bring this up because these critiques mirror those levelled at NFT and DeFi DAOs. Many (myself included) have flagged ‘decentralized autonomous organizations’ as late stage capitalism repackaged with shiny new messaging and overpriced profile pictures. In theory, they mark the genesis of the open, transparent creator economy. In practice, they’re chat rooms where the rarest furry gif gets the biggest say, and/or insanely effective fundraising mechanisms for the already well-connected. Now, in Clubhouse, we’ve already seen one such fad fall to ruin. Will DAOs be next?
They say empires only last 250 years, which, in Internet time, is more like 250 days. But, seeing as we’re now balls deep into building our own, there’s no better time to shill a series ourselves.
In less than a month, we’re launching our own NFT collection, and DAO. SN0BS is a meta scene for creatives, culture HORs, and average people to share and monetize their own work. We’re heavily invested — financially, emotionally, spiritually — in making the least shitty NFT collection on the market. But the road to the Lazy Lions Discord is paved with good intentions, and we know it’s easier said than done.
So how do you build a community on the Internet without it turning into a crypto facist shit show? It’s not a rhetorical question. We want to know. Our working answer — and takeaway from the Walmart Greek tragedy that once was Clubhouse — is that users aren’t powerless peons like Silicon Valley would have us believe. We can spy doomsday plans from miles away, and we’re the ones who make or break them. That’s why we’re building our roadmap in conversation with the snobs we’re courting. Including you.
What’s not working about the creative economy? What would make a democratic, decentralized organization? What would get you to drop your graduation money on a meme we whipped up in MS Paint? This is not a joke. For the love of doge.
For brand HORs only.
I hope your Thanksgivings were filling, because today’s art collection is about as satisfying as a Happy Meal. Before you start defending the work that goes into adjusting the parameters to get better computer pictures, let me tell you more about today’s digitally generated algo-vomit, Bent, curated by an ‘artist’ named ippsketch.
The collection launched yesterday with a Dutch-style auction that saw 3 pieces go for 5eth each, in addition to the other 1000 that went for a floor of .2eth, netting a cool $4M on Day 1. Somewhere at the intersection of ‘iPhone background’ and ‘Hotel Art’, this collection holds little value outside of proving that dedicating 3-4 hours to learning an image generator can be very lucrative. But even that’s generous. More likely, the art itself had nothing to do with these sales. This collection is promoted by the wildly popular collective Art Blocks Curated, and nothing says ‘future of the art market’ like big name brands driving absurd sales of terrible work.
The only one I don’t hate is Bent #500 (pictured above) — one of the 3 that went for 5eth. So either bidders have good taste, I have expensive taste, or I’m just as likely as the next guy to hop on the big old brand-whoring, Ponzi-scheming bandwagon.
Tis the season for giving.
Here’s the rest of the News 3.0 I missed this weekend:
- An obscure cryptocurrency, Omicron, capitalized on the coronavirus variant of the same name to rise 900% in value and crash back down in the same day. Want my legally-not-investment-advice? Next time news of a global tragedy breaks, see if there’s a meme coin with the same name and day trade the shit out of it.
- The only thing that lasts shorter and deflates faster than an NFT is a balloon, so thank God for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, bringing together the worst of both worlds. If you have $20+k to drop on digital stocking stuffers, bid now. The auction ends in five hours.
- And now I feel bad about giving shit to the latest titan of industrial revolution to cave to the trend, upon reading past the lede to discover that 100% of the aforementioned auction’s proceeds will go to Make-A-Wish. Macy’s is one of a few to see the charitable benefits of the blockchain.
A token for those who like to breathe.
If you treat this as financial or investment advice, you can take your lawsuit and go fuck yourself, because I’m but an earnest speculator. And now that my ass is covered, let me tell you why I converted most of my primary crypto holdings to Solana.
In short? I love oxygen. And Solana is basically the green blockchain. I think from a marketing perspective alone, it’s got a shot at becoming the star of this little Web 3.0 thing of ours. But there are a few more reasons on top of this that clinch it for me.
A blockchain’s most apt comparison in the real world is to big data cloud products without the big data or product, just the cloud. In the case of the BTC or ETH chain, it’s secured by a complex equation, so transacting with it requires massive amounts of computer power, with an environmental toll to match. Meanwhile, Solana, after only two years, has achieved the scale processing power of Google, so much so that a single transaction on the network requires the same energy as 2 Google searches.
Google Search is powered by Google Cloud, and their public costs are higher than their internal costs, so we’ve got a ways to go before the two are truly comparable. But while the energy consumption of BTC transactions continues to rise with the value of the coin / number of miners joining the network to secure it, and ETH remains bottlenecked by scaling issues that are creating prohibitively expensive transaction fees, Solana starts to look like the belle of this bear market cycle.
Now, obviously Bitcoin and Ethereum (the gold and silver of crypto, respectively) are still valued far higher than Solana, and considered by many to be safer bets. Bitcoin is largely being accepted in an institutional setting — U.S. mayors, international prime ministers, and OBJ alike have opted to accept their finances in BTC. Now, with the launch of the Bitcoin Lightning Network, they’ve created a Layer 2 to operate more like Ethereum, but in a way that doesn’t address the core energy consumption issue.
Ethereum, meanwhile, has been working on their scaling issues for years… and years. The ETH2 upgrade, rumored to reduce gas fees, was recently pushed back to 2023. Plus, Vitalek Buterin gives me Mark Zuckerberg vibes and I’m not here for it.
Enter Solana. Unlike BTC or ETH, there’s no strong mythology behind the token. The Solana Foundation continues blockchain’s tradition of incoherent Bond villain messaging, and the fact that only 39% of holdings belong to the community raises questions. The individuals or entities behind the other 61% of anonymous crypto wallets with stakes (belonging to to the team and investors) will have real sway in the monetary value of the token and whatever implications manifest from it.
However, Solana is also one of the fastest growing ecosystems on the blockchain: the price of SOL has increased by over 200% this year, from $1 to $260 at its peak this month. Plus, rather than securing itself via energy-costly safeguards, it’s repurposing the Torrent-style P2P file encryption that made the Pirate Bay a legend of our childhoods, and can now be entrusted to secure freedom and accountability for all without also burning down the forests and flooding the planet in the process.
Bitcoin’s the big name with the momentum right now and Ethereum’s the attractive dark horse in the public perception, but when I look to Solana, I see a competitive market advantage, great positioning, and a product-market fit. With timing being the last factor needed for disruption, I would argue that conditions couldn’t be better.
As a newly minted Solana-maxi, I want to thank @DanMulliganUSA and our sponsor Tidus Wallet for prompting me to get off my ass and check SOL out.