No. 15 - Bluechip Projects and Best Sources on Web3
Pfps, Algorithmic art, and Web3 Twitter
Here’s my round-up of Web3 findings and insights for creators and artists.
As I dig deeper into Web3, the discussion will involve cryptocurrency and I want to make sure to include this disclaimer. I have no background or expertise in finances or economics. This newsletter explores these new technologies and their potential uses for artists and creators. This is not financial advice and is intended for informational purposes only.
It’s been almost a month since my last newsletter! I’m changing up the format of these pieces going forward. Instead of having a section of links and then a long-form essay, You’ll now receive 3 short sections of my observations and opinions on what I’m seeing.
I’m also experimenting with a different cadence between bi-weekly and monthly. That said, let’s get to it.
Pfps Have Become an Archetype in Web3
In the Web3 space, one of the most common types of projects you’ll find are these avatar projects widely referred to as Pfps (profile picture or proof for picture).
The original project that kicked off the whole movement is Cryptopunks by Larva Labs. The project allowed users to generate a unique pixelated character for free that was sent to them as an NFT. The collection of 10,000 characters was rapidly minted by enthusiasts and collectors. At the time of writing this, the floor price of a Cryptopunk is 62.69 ETH ($173,540.34 USD).
Since then, thousands upon thousands of pfp projects have and continue to hit the NFT space. Many scams, many thoughtless derivatives, and a few noteworthy projects. I don’t mean to be disparaging towards derivatives in general. All ideas come from somewhere and all movements grow out of emulation. However, most of these imitations are simply cash grabs.
Bored Ape Yacht Club falls in the category of a successful high-profile pfp that’s proving its place in the NFT world. It launched around the spring of 2021 that rivals the value of Cryptopunks. BAYC offered a brand license with the NFT ownership and since then owners have used the branding on things like locally brewed beers to T-shirts and hats. BAYC also launched with 10,000 avatars and now has a fleet of 10,000 evangelizing franchise owners. That’s the idea at least. The community is strong and I expect we’ll be seeing a lot of Bored Apes in the year ahead. Brands like Adidas have already jumped on board as well many celebrities like Steph Curry, Jimmy Fallon, Eminem, Gwyneth Paltrow amongst many others.
Most recently, I witnessed the launch of World of Women pfps. They were originally minting at 0.07 ETH (roughly $200) just a couple of weeks ago and last I saw, the floor price is sitting at 8.7 ETH ($24,100). Not a bad return for those early collectors.
A few other pfps worth digging into include: Nouns, Doodles, Cool Cats, and Azuki. Each of these projects offers something a little different. There are plenty more out there and I’ll continue writing about them.
Algorithmically Generated Artworks are a Perfectly Native Art Form in Web3
Another pattern of computer-generated NFTs I’ve found out there is artwork. One of the early projects in this category is the Chromie Squiggle created by Snowfro. These pieces were generated by a script and created directly onto the blockchain, unlike most projects where the file resides elsewhere either a traditional URL or on the IPFS.
The Chromie Squiggle is the genesis project for Artblocks which now has many different scripts to generate artwork directly onto the Ethereum blockchain.
Another notable series in this category is Fidenza by Tyler Hobbs. The Fidenza features these beautiful pieces of abstract art that are also algorithmically generated. When looking at the history, it’s not a huge surprise that this project has been as successful as it has. Tyler is an artist who’s been working with computer-generated art for years and long before the NFT craze. The Fidenza artwork is some of the most advanced computer-generated artwork at the time.
Of all the projects I’ve seen, these stand out the most. I’d love to hear of others that you would recommend checking out.
Twitter is Ground Zero Web3 Knowledge
The Web3 space is evolving fast. Really really fast. The best way to keep up with the rate of evolution is to stay plugged into the thought leaders and influencers of the space.
I’ve found Twitter to be the best source for learning about Web3 and meeting others in the space. This has only increased since Twitter launched Twitter Spaces. Now when people you follow participate in a Twitter Space, Twitter’s version of Clubhouse, you are notified and can join in on the conversation. Spaces allow for much more in-depth conversations than you can get through 280 character tweets.
Punk 6529 brings a great perspective and overview of what’s happening in Web3. His Twitter account is full of insightful threads and tweets on Web3.
Gmoney, Chris Dixon, and Naval are a few other accounts I recommend following. They are all investors. Chris Dixon works at the famed venture capitalist firm a16z and Naval is the founder of Angelist. Both are critical players in the tech investment space. That said, it’s worth following these people not only because they get early exposure to projects, but they are also brilliant minds.
I’ll admit, this list lacks diversity. I would love to hear of other thought leaders in the space if anyone has recommendations here.