NFTs Go Mainstream
The Narratives Coming Out of NFT NYC (and beyond)
👋 Welcome to the 23rd issue of The Syllabus from Invisible College — a weekly newsletter that helps you navigate the fast-moving world of web3. To get this newsletter delivered to your inbox, subscribe here:
Before we begin, a disclaimer — nothing in this piece should be construed as financial advice. With that, let’s dive in.
We’ve got a packed event calendar over the next two weeks. Here’s what’s coming up:
NFTuesday (Tues. 6/28 @ 3 pm PT)*
Building No-Code Tools for Web3 (Wed. 6/29 @ 12 pm PT)
How Crypto Venture Capital Works (Thurs. 6/30 @ 12 pm PT)*
Town Hall (Fri. 7/1 @ 9 am PT)*
Building Token-Based Communities (Wed. 7/6 @ 12 pm PT)*
Building a Web3 Wine Club (Thurs. 7/7 @ 3 pm PT)*
* To access these events, you’ll need to hold at least one Decentralien NFT.
Now onto this week’s post…
The NFT NYC conference was last week. I wasn’t able to go and instead spent my week in quarantine at my house since my stepdaughter tested positive for COVID. Fun times, I know. But lots of my friends and Invisible College faculty member Rockwell were there. Actually, they were in New York City but not necessarily at the official NFT NYC events.
There were about 1,500 speakers slated for the event. Yes, 1,500. Yet I didn’t hear much about any of them.
Networking or Partying?
Conferences are typically less about learning from speakers and more about networking. And parties, of course, which is really another form of networking.
There were parties exclusive to NFT holders, such as Apefest for Bored Ape holders, Proof of Moonbirds for Moonbirds holders, Enter the Alley for Azuki holders, and more. But lots of parties were thrown by smaller projects and web3 companies too.
One friend of mine attended an event with a giant dance floor where precisely no one was dancing. Instead, people were doing this:
Going into the conference, people were curious what the attendance would look like considering how tough the market is right now. For those who are building in the space, it would’ve been easier for them to skip it altogether and keep their heads down in their laptops. In a way, it’s become less cool to say you work in web3 lately. I’ve noticed that I’m less likely to mention it to someone outside the industry since it’ll invariably bring up the question about plummeting prices.
Packy McCormick wrote about that feeling in his Web3 Use Cases post last week:
“If you felt smart a couple of months ago, you feel less smart now. If you were proud to tell people about what you’re building a couple of months ago, you’re less proud now.”
The good news is that the bear market has started to weed out those who were purely in it for the money. Those who are left can instantly find a common bond. Events like NFT NYC are great for harnessing that camaraderie.
NFT brands are going mainstream
Or at least they’re trying to.
The NFT space is still quite small—and has been down like everything else in crypto of late. Yet the larger NFT brands are making moves.
BAYC tapped Snoop and Eminem to perform live and premier the video for their new song featuring ape characters at Apefest.
Tame Impala headlined the Proof of Moonbirds event while David Blaine performed magic in the crowd. Blaine also showed up to a smaller, more private event for Moonbirds holders with the wizard hat trait.
Doodles did an Apple Keynote-style presentation where they announced that they raised money from Alexis Ohanian and his VC firm SevenSevenSix and named Pharrell as their Chief Branding Officer.
It’s clear these brands are trying to tap into a broader audience than just owners of their 10K NFT collections. It remains to be seen how big of an impact they can make beyond web3-native consumers and if other NFT projects can ascend to similar heights.
Money is still flowing
There was plenty going on in the NFT space outside of NFT NYC, as well.
Uniswap acquired NFT marketplace aggregator Genie. It’s not Uniswap’s first foray into NFTs, but it’s certainly their boldest. Their plan includes integrating NFTs into the Uniswap web app so you can buy and sell NFTs across all major marketplaces in one place.
Magic Eden raised a $130M Series B round co-led by Electric Capital and Greylock Partners. This cements their unicorn status, bringing their valuation up to $1.6B. It sounds like a lot. Well, it is a lot. But considering they’re sitting at a solid #2 to OpenSea who last raised money at a valuation of $13.3B, there’s plenty of room for growth.
The free mint trend continued. We saw more than I could possibly keep up with. A few of the more notable were:
Gossamer, a collection from Bron Studios (they’ve produced recent films such as House of Gucci, Pieces of a Woman, and Joker). They’re incorporating artwork, storytelling, and riddles on Twitter to create an interesting mystique around the project. It briefly hit a floor price as high as 0.675 ETH, but has since settled around 0.4.
It’s Nothing, a mysterious collection that encouraged owners to send their NFTs to a burn address in return for something undetermined as of yet. Its floor price nearly hit 0.15 ETH at one point before dropping down to 0.032 today.
Moonrunners, a collection of pixel dogs that appears to have combined aspects from Moonbirds and Chain Runners. The NFTs are rumored to change with each lunar cycle. Many top NFT collectors jumped in and drove the floor price up over 0.8 ETH at one point. It has since leveled out a bit at 0.5.
Overall, it’s a bullish sign to see that there’s still lots of interest in web3 and NFTs and people dedicated to building in the space, despite market conditions.
Other Recommended Reads
Web3 Use Cases: The Future
Part II of Packy McCormick’s series where he dives into why he’s excited about the future of web3
Time to be Boring: How Crypto Goes 100x From Here
Blake West makes the case for building “boring” financial products to scale up DeFi growth in an op-ed for The Defiant
The possibility of a prolonged downturn
Chris Dixon writes a Twitter thread with some historical perspective and how that could inform what happens during this bear market
Invisible College, is a school that helps people learn to build and invest in web3. To access our courses, events, and learning community, you’ll need to hold at least one Decentralien. You can get yours on Magic Eden.