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April 18, 2022
GM and Aloha Frens,
The Moon Birds launch has been a big subject in the NFT world. They raised $66 million in their sale and the floor price has made the people who were able to mint even wealthier than they already were. These were people who had to show they had at least $10k to lose and then won a raffle to get that chance. I’m not saying there weren’t some folks who struggled to raise the money and then took the gamble – and if there were – I salute them, but mostly these were rich people getting richer. I know I’m not supposed to be bothered by that or to admit that I’m bothered by that – but I am. It’s the same as the skewed statistics that show that start up founders from Stanford or who have Stanford connections are much more likely to be funded. And it’s the same people. The windows for those who aren’t already privileged to gain wealth are rapidly closing. The floor to enter the BAYC/MAYC ecosystem is now $83,000. Yes, there are 10,000 projects launching every day that might be the next BAYC – but let’s be honest here – they probably won’t be and if the odds look like they will be, they will either have a $10k entry point or a gas war that will make it impossible for anyone but the well funded to participate.
I’ve watched quite a few people rise from zero to astronomical wealth in this space and while that hasn’t been my experience, I’ve definitely benefitted greatly from being in it. The point of what I’m saying here is that windows that allowed people like us to prosper in this space are closing – or quite possibly – already closed. Will new fortunes be made in crypto and NFTs? Undoubtedly. Will they be made by new entrants? Quite possibly a lucky few will make it – but the vast majority of people coming into the space now will simply be creating more wealth for those who already have the keys to the kingdoms. Sorry to say that so bluntly – but there it is.
I’m not quite ready to wash my hands of this space or cash out completely – and as a result, it’s still quite possible that any gains I’ve made will completely evaporate – that’s the risk I’m running – and if they do, it’s also likely that I will still be left with a sizable tax bill in 2023 – which is double scary. Still, I’m still in love with certain aspects and projects in this space. I love One Day Bae, On Chain Monkeys, Pizza DAO, Page DAO, and Glitchy Bitches – these are projects that have a bigger purpose, a great meaning behind them. There are others – these are the projects that I got in the space for and stay in the space because of – and it’s probably why I haven’t made big bags of money- yet.
Still, it’s my hope that together we can all make it. It’s why I don’t charge for access to our Vagobond discord, it’s why I keep producing this briefing even though I don’t make money from it, and it’s why I keep publishing to the Vagobond.com site even though a sane person would have quit years ago. I really do think ‘we all deserve a lucky break’, WADALB doesn’t have the same ring to it as WAGMI though.
Buy or Read Today’s Briefing as an NFT: https://opensea.io/assets/matic/0x931204Fb8CEA7F7068995dcE924F0d76d571DF99/55
Literary NFT Beat
My app bio at http://greg.app.bio includes a blog of collectible NFT thoughts.
This week: “Pop!”
An NFT bubble has popped.
Not that the NFT ecosystem as a whole has popped, or will pop, or is even deflating. Bored Apes are trading at an all-time high after all, and the blockchain and decentralized files aren’t going anywhere. But multiple cultures have been built on that tech stack, some of which have been artificially inflated by speculation, and some of those will pop. For sure. It’s already started.
NFT art has the utility of being art. NFT books have the utility of being books. NFT collectibles have the utility of being collectibles. Any NFT can have the utility of an ongoing community, connection to a creator, and whatever else a smart contract can provide. But the market for NFTs linked to famous tweets? Little to no utility. And as of this week?
I guess NFT tweets are technically literary NFTs, being word-based and all, but it wasn’t ever the content that made Sina Estavi pay $2.9 million for this tweet at the height of last year’s NFT hype. This was a particularly historic tweet from a particularly noteworthy tweeter. The news-breaking sale initiated a new category within the larger NFT space. Or tried to.
Things have whatever value a seller and buyer can agree on. Last year, that was $2.9 million. This year, Mr. Estavi was reportedly looking for a high bid north of $50 million. What the market offered instead was $280. Subsequent media attention brought increased offers, but none approaching even 1% of what Mr. Estavi paid.
If this tweet can’t hold its value, can any NFT tweet be expected to hold up? What lessons should we take, and what implication does this have for literary NFTs? Let me know what you think.
Listings are not an endorsement of books or services.
New in the “bubbling up” category is BookVolt, yet another early entrant into the NFT publishing space. BookVolt promises authors 85% of initial sales and “up to 20%” of secondary royalties, which seems low compared to what others are promising. Their current roadmap is for a Spring 2022 launch of an app that will work on mobile, desktop, and Kindle readers; a Summer 2022 launch of an NFT marketplace, and an Autumn 2022 launch of a BookVolts token.
A snapshot this past Sunday will determine positions on BookCoin’s MetaLibrary token whitelist. The token will allow early access on future project mints and possibly, for authors, access to the minter itself. A total of 777 MetaLibrary cards will be available at a mint cost of .15 ETH.
Creatokia reported this week that its platform had won an Innovation Award to be awarded at the Frankfurt Book Fair.
Readl has launched a crowdfunding program by which investors can earn a share of future royalties in the universe of a promising fictional universe. The pilot project is the feminist cyberpunk world of The Womanoid Diaries by Ava Lock.https://marketplace.readl.co/universe/the-womanoid-diaries
To celebrate 100 members in the Cryptoversal Facebook group, members are putting together a “100 Words” NFT collection
Because the space is developing so fast, Cryptoversal is dividing the year into two-month hexiles instead of the customary three-month quarters. And because this project is all about story, they’re creating Hexile Mascots to serve as a cast of characters with a new mascot introduced every two months.
At the start of the Cryptoversal Facebook group in Hex-1 (Jan/Feb 2022), the first Hexile Mascot, Moonshot, would pop up to ask questions and spur conversations.
Cryptoversal retired Moonshot at the end of February. He will only ever appear on two books in PageDAO’s Readme Collection and on five Author Passes in the Cryptoversal Lifetime Pass Collection. His image will always be the rarest and earliest of the Hexile Mascots, which seems fitting enough.
Lucky has been the Hexile Mascot for Hex-2 (Mar/Apr of 2022). Her two-month reign has seen the start of the NFT Bookstore, the growth of our online community, the launch of our first pre-order tokens, and more. Lucky’s image appears on the first five Poet Passes and she is the namesake of Lucky’s Literary Collectibles, the debut NFT Bookstore collection that houses pre-order tokens for classic works and member books. She’s also rare, early, and rough, but still a huge leap forward from her predecessor.
We’ll retire Lucky when Hex-2 ends on April 30th. Her pre-order token collection will close at that time, and ongoing projects will be handed over to the next Hexile Mascot in line.
Lit NFT Organizations:
So many formats, so many blockchains, so many promising experiments…
BooksGoSocial (Website) – Publisher of centralized NFT books on the Wax blockchain with downloadable content stored in ZIP files on DropBox.
Jenkins the Valet (Website | Twitter | Discord) – Multimedia studio creating content, including literary NFTs, from licensed characters from the BAYC and MAYC collections and from an upcoming collection of original PFPs.
KOTA (Website | Twitter | Discord) – Literary NFT minter, marketplace, and mobile app planned to deploy on a blockchain being developed through the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure project of the EU’s European Blockchain Partnership.
Token Literary (Discord) – Focused on helping creators with marketing, logistics, and tokenomics.
WIP Publishing (Website) – The publishing arm of PageDAO.
Literary NFT Podcasts and Discussions:
Soltype Podcast (Soltype: Youtube) – Hosted by Paco Puylaert, Juan Pablo Briceno, and Donald Frederick of Soltype.
Literary NFT Format Guide:
Animated: The cover or content of the NFT includes animated elements.
Audiobook: The NFT includes voice narration.
Centralized: Content stored and accessed from a hard drive, cloud server, or other single-point system.
Decentralized: Content stored and accessed from a network of hundreds or thousands of nodes, designed as a more durable, secure, and tamper-proof system.
ERC-20: A digital token representing an asset that is fungible, or identical to others of its kind, and which may be used to purchase or unlock content, establish governance rights in an organization, or qualify recipients of airdropped content. ERC-20 tokens that operate as the native currency of a blockchain can also be called coins.
ERC-721: A digital token representing an asset that is non-fungible, or unique, describing a digital file or physical object to which it is linked. ERC-721 tokens are one type of NFT.
ERC-1155: A digital token representing an asset that may be either fungible or non-fungible describing a digital file or physical object to which it is linked. ERC-1155 tokens are considered NFTs even in fungible implementations.
Gated Reader: The NFT can be read by the holder through a token-gated website or marketplace feature.
Generative: The title, content, and/or design of the work includes randomly generated traits within a collection of unique works.
Integrated Reader: The NFT can be openly read in the marketplace.
Interactive: The user’s actions or choices affect the reading experience.
Print on Demand: Holders can have a physical copy shipped to their address.
Text-on-Image: A poem or book excerpt presented in a visual format, often with a complementary background.
Unlockable Content: Holders unlock textual content in the metadata of the NFT.
Unlockable Downloadable: Holders unlock an access code, discount code, or instructions for accessing content from a centralized source.
Tim Boucher, NFT Books: Publishing & Promotion Guide (Lost Books: OpenSea) – Unlockable downloadable NFT book on the Polygon blockchain, providing guidance to authors on using blockchain technology to produce and promote their works.
Gary K. Michelson, et al., Copyright Basics (PageDAO: OpenSea) – NFT textbook chapter with integrated reader on Polygon blockchain.
Neil Strauss, Survive All Apocalypses (LIT DAO: OpenSea) – NFT survival guide in integrated reader on Ethereum blockchain, notable for assigning copyright interests to a randomly selected holder.
1455 Gutenberg Bible (PageDAO/OpenSea) – NFT scripture with integrated reader on Polygon blockchain.
1611 KJV Book of Genesis (PageDAO/OpenSea) – NFT scripture with integrated reader on Polygon blockchain.
Vagobond, Holy Bjble–AB Edition (PageDAO/OpenSea) – NFT scripture with integrated reader on Polygon blockchain.
NFT Poetry Books:
Indefatigable, Peace of Mind (PageDAO/OpenSea) – NFT spoken poetry collection with integrated reader on Polygon blockchain.
wordstobecrossroad, puff (Soltype) – Genesis NFT poetry collection with integrated reader on Solana blockchain.
Dazerine, T. Dylan Daniel, SpartTwain, White Chocolate, The Mask of Ganymede (PageDao/NFT Book Bazaar) – NFT book and audiobook in gated reader with print-on-demand feature on Ethereum blockchain.
Brian Toups, Drifter (OpenSea) – NFT book in integrated reader on Ethereum blockchain.
Literary NFT Collections:
Greg R. Fishbone, “Mad Messages” Collection (OpenSea) – Unlockable content NFT book chapters of Galaxy Games series book The Mad Messenger on Polygon blockchain.
Saami Heyes, “Night Creatures” Collection (Objkt) – Text-on-image NFT poetry on Tezos blockchain.
Saami Heyes, “Saami’s Journal” Collection (Foundation) – Text-on-image NFT poetry on Ethereum blockchain.
Mark Manson, “The Subtle Art…” Collection (BookCoin | OpenSea) – Text-on-image NFT tokenization of NYT bestseller The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck on Ethereum blockchain.
OddWritings, “Oddness 2022” Collection (OpenSea) – Text-on-image NFT poetry on Polygon blockchain.
OddWritings, “EmergentPoems” Collection (OpenSea) – Text-on-image NFT poetry on Ethereum blockchain.
Enzo Chul Ortega, “Tales from the Blockchain” Collection (OpenSea) – Unlockable content NFT short stories on Polygon blockchain.
Various, “Barewords” Collection (Barewords/OpenSea) – Text-on-image NFT poetry on Polygon blockchain.
Various, “Genesis” Collection (WIP Publishing/OpenSea) – NFT books in an integrated reader on Ethereum blockchain.
Various, “Genesis v2” Collection (WIP Publishing/OpenSea) – NFT books in an integrated reader on Polygon blockchain.
Various, “Limited First NFT Ebook Edition” Collection (Winehouse Publishing: OpenSea) – nearly 100 public domain classics presented as unlockable content links to decentralized ePub files in NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. Each book has its own ISBN.
Various, “Readme” Collection (PageDAO/OpenSea) – NFT books in integrated reader on Polygon blockchain.
Literary NFTs (Anticipated):
Neil Struass, Jenkins the Valet (Jenkins the Valet) –Holders may choose to burn or stake the book for rewards. Anticipated April-ish.
Literary NFT Collections (Anticipated):
Bailey Bridgewater, Various Titles (Annie’s Bookshop) – 1,984 unique generative titles of animated MP4 books in the Crime genre. Currently pre-sale.
Mary Esther Farnstrom, Various Titles (Annie’s Bookshop) – 1,984 unique generative titles of animated MP4 books in the Horror genre. Currently pre-sale.
Patrick Garrett, Various Titles (Annie’s Bookshop) – 1,984 unique generative titles of animated MP4 books in the Post-Apocalyptic genre. Currently pre-sale.
Alicia Suastika, Various Titles (Annie’s Bookshop) – 1,984 unique generative titles of animated MP4 books in the Romance genre. Currently pre-sale.
Alan Watts, The Wisdom of Insecurity and There Is Never Anything But the Present (BookCoin) – Anticipated Q1 2022.
Shawn Whitney, Various Titles (Annie’s Bookshop) – 1,984 unique generative titles of animated MP4 books in the Sci-Fi genre. Currently in a pre-sale phase.
Lit NFT Projects in Hibernation:
Organizations with no apparent activity in over six months.
Publica (Website | Twitter | Facebook) – Early pioneer in blockchain publishing, issuing ERC-20 tokens on a proprietary exchange to unlock content in a proprietary wallet.
Winehouse Publishing (Website | Twitter | Facebook) – Sweden-based traditional-crypto hybrid multilingual publisher of public domain classics on the Ethereum blockchain. Each book has its own ISBN. The collection represents a great investment in work, but no sales or new listings since June 2021.
Organizations with potential to enter the space.
Vagobond’s Recent NFT Acquisitions
I’m not minting anything these days unless it’s either free and gasless or an essential part of a collection I already hold. I feel like pfps and generative 10k collections have come as far as they can and now it’s the established winners in this space that will give us something new. Possibly like what BAYC is doing with $APE or BYO is doing with their universe. I don’t know – but I’m watching for it and looking for opportunities to either take profits or increase my stake in projects that I think might bring about the next wave of innovation. At this point, it’s safe to assume that every new project is either a rug or a future failure. There are just too many unknowns and too many scams. Blue chip projects and solid teams are the safest bet – but even something like BAYC has an uncertain future in a space that has only developed over the past year.
- Rare Pizza #1323 https://opensea.io/assets/0xe6616436ff001fe827e37c7fad100f531d0935f0/1323
- VeeFriends2 #38938 https://opensea.io/assets/0x9378368ba6b85c1fba5b131b530f5f5bedf21a18/38938
Both of these were minted last week and ran into delays getting delivered. The Pizza was free because I’d bought a Rare Pizza Box. The VF2 was from an allowlist because I bought 12 copies of Gary Vee’s book and then won a raffle to be allowed to mint at a price of about .35 ETH which, when I write it out clearly shows who wins from this. I’ve opted not to flip the VF2 which has gotten as high as 1.8 ETH and as low as .7ETH because it is my $1000 entry into Gary Vee’s ecosystem – which has, so far, rewarded holders pretty well.
News & Alpha
* ALPHA * – The Vagobond Discord is one of the best free alpha servers around. You might see it in this briefing, but you’ll definitely see it in the Alpha channel of our discord first.
- One Day Bae – my favorite NFT project of all time is building a p2e game and like everything ODB had done – it is different than anything else out there. I’m considering going deep in this ecosystem – and the bonus of that is that it’s not an expensive ecosystem to go deep in. Take a few minutes and read this Medium post from them: https://medium.com/@onedaybae/one-day-bae-project-time-to-get-to-know-each-other-21382b2aaf32
- I’m going to continue publishing this briefing as an NFT through ReadMe books. This is highly experimental and I will only be creating 3 copies of each unless they begin to sell out on a regular basis. Here are the first of them: https://opensea.io/assets/matic/0x931204fb8cea7f7068995dce924f0d76d571df99/53
- Beanstalk Hacker Steals $76 million in Flashloan Exploit
- Kevin Rose’s Moon Birds Project Brings in $66 million on Minting Out
- In case you missed it – DJ Kupo’s Crypto Roundup of last weeks top Blockchain news
- VeeFriends2 was paused and delayed over the weekend – supposed to launch again today.
- Tom Bileyu’s Impact Theory is doing a generative avatar project Kyzen
- **Serious Alpha** I’m going to be tokenizing and distributing my startup corporation to holders of Bald Jesus and Vagobond NFTs. Iwahai, Inc. is a Delaware C Corporation and the owner of VoiceMarkr which can be found in the the Apple and Android app stores. VoiceMarkr is a voice centered social media and communications platform which will be owned and developed further by the community – so if you want to be a part of it – you should join the Vagobond Discord ASAP.
- Where My Vanagon Goes – A Hawaii Based NFT with IRL Utility
The First NFT/Metaverse Religion- Bald Jesusism
Ramadan continues and I have to admit, I haven’t been fasting the whole time. A combination of travel, illness, and life events have impeded my willingness to fast – so I may be to blame for no free money drops so far in April. The Full Moon Holiday took place on April 16th and our Christian Frens had Easter yesterday! Now, don’t get confused between Bald Jesus and the Christian Jesus – not the same dude but just like we love the Ramadan fast in BJism, we also love the idea of renewal, rebirth, and saving the entire world. The Bald Jesus Drinking Club continues to mint – so make sure you grab one.
The holidays of Bald Jesusism are meant to be fun and healthy for you and your fam. Enjoy them!
https://www.baldjesusdrinkingclub.com – Minting Now!- for Bald Jesus Drinking Club
.04 ETH limited to 777 total
Holy Bjble – AB version – Readable on OS! Only .001 ETH on Polygon so no gas
Bald Jesus is Your Bro! Don’t Be a Dick
I periodically move all of this to the NFT 101 page on Vagobond.com https://vagobond.com/nft-101/
Watchlist for upcoming projects:
Yuga Labs BAYC Land drop
10KTF $NTD drop & BYO $TRYP drop
Gutter Juice ‘Clone’ reveals
Art Heads – I won a free mint of this project, so I’m watching for the mint.
Evmos Punks – The failure of the Evmos Chain the first go around is not promising – but since they learn as they go – this is still a great project to be watching for iteration and innovation.
Great Projects I’m Not In or Following:
aka projects I missed and am salty about. There are too many – see the whole list at:
Missed in April: Moon Birds, Murakami Flowers, Seeds, whatever – there’s a part of me that is really like ‘Fuck all this, I hope it all crashes” but of course, there are many frens involved in different projects, so I don’t want to see that happen.
Tokens & Staking
These are the tokens and crypto/defi projects that NFTs have led me to. Bizarre when you think about it. See the full list at here
These are projects that I wanted to believe in that simply seem like they are dead. I bought into many of these instead of the winning projects above. Take that as a warning. I sincerely hope that they resurrect – but when I put them here, it means that I’ve stopped believing and looking. I hope to someday have a section at the top called ‘Resurrections’ for when projects in the Graveyard manage to rise up again. As time goes on, I have no doubt this will be the biggest section of this newsletter and I will let it keep growing so that those who care to look can understand that the majority of projects fail and investors lose money. Pick wisely, my friends, and good luck!
Newly Buried: These aren’t dead projects but projects I’ve lost hope in exiting profitably. I’m not selling any of these but am tired of watching them fail to deliver. I hope they all resurrect and prove me wrong.
See the huge full list at https://vagobond.com/nft-101/nft-project-graveyard/
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