NFT Roundup #12: Beauty pageants, non-profits, greater fools. Lots of hype in the NFT market.
Buy the rumor, sell the news
This is a curated newsletter, covering news stories about NFTs. The NFT market is moving rapidly, and this is an attempt to provide some means of keeping up with its developments. Your curator is Dave Friedman.
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In this issue, I focused on some of stranger and more improbable news stories about NFTs. As innovative and interesting as the NFT market is, there are a lot of charlatans selling NFTs of dubious and fleeting value. Read on for some examples.
RedFOX Labs, prolific Southeast Asian venture builder, has joined forces with Miss Universe Philippines (PH) in making history as the world's first beauty pageant to drop a non-fungible token (NFT) collection.
The Miss Universe PH NFT collection was released on September 24 and made available for purchase using the RFOX token via MetaMask or Uniswap.
NFTs are digital assets that can represent a wide variety of real-world concepts such as ownership over one-of-a-kind art, videos, in-game items, and other collectibles.
By partnering with Miss Universe Philippines, RedFOX Labs has made it possible for fans to own unique digital collectibles of their favorite candidates in the form of NFT cards, which showcase the top 30 beauties in their glory.
A truism about easy money is that a lot of harebrained schemes make it to market. While I don’t know anything about the beauty pageant business in the Philippines, I have to wonder whether this is another harebrained scheme meant to separate fools from their money.
There are a couple of different ways to read this news item: there is mimetic desire (I want to affiliate myself with beautiful women by buying NFTs representing their participation in a beauty pageant); there is cynicism (Here’s an opportunity for a pageant organizer to extract money from fans); there is optimism (This is a fun and innovative way to engage an audience and to develop a closer relationship with them.)
TIME Magazine was the latest traditional media publication to dig in deeper with NFTs this week with their newest NFT project, ‘TIMEPiece.’ The project received substantial scrutiny, as just under 5K NFTs came and went within sixty seconds, leaving many in the broader NFT community believing that bots were at play.
Bitcoinist doesn’t provide much information in their newsletter about what exactly Time’s scheme is here. Time’s own press release provides a bit more info: “TIME is to auction three first-ever NFTs (non-fungible tokens) inspired by one of TIME’s most iconic covers and including an original cover created especially for the auction.”
This sounds like a cash grab, more than anything, for a declining publication.
A post-script: the NFT sale did not go as planned. Here is a tweet thread about it:
Chloe Clem did not intend to be an Internet sensation. She didn’t know her facial expression would resonate with fans for years to come. And she certainly didn’t know it would make her family more than $74,000.
It started when Katie Clem decided to record a video telling her daughters the family wasn’t driving to school that day — they were headed to Disneyland instead. In the clip, which has been viewed more than 20 million times in the eight years since it was posted, Lily Clem breaks down in tears of excitement and disbelief. Her little sister Chloe, who was 2 at the time, does not seem to share her enthusiasm.
The look Chloe gives the camera made Internet-users around the world say “same.”
It’s an expression that is disapproving, sassy and a bit concerned. Overall unimpressed. A still of her side-eyed glance became a quintessential reaction meme. There’s a Wikipedia entry for Side Eyeing Chloe. You can buy shirts and stickers featuring her likeness.
Eight years later, a non-fungible token (NFT) of the meme was sold Friday to 3F Music, a music production company based in Dubai, for 25 Ether — the cryptocurrency of the Ethereum network — which was worth more than $74,000 around the time of the sale.
Quite a few people whose faces have been co-opted for various memes have tried to profit off their infamy by creating an NFT of the image and selling that NFT to collectors. As with many NFTs, I am unclear why people will pay to collect an NFT linked to an image that has been adapted millions of times for meme creation.
This week, StreetCode Academy, an East Palo Alto-based nonprofit that provides free tech education to the community regardless of age, launched the world's first known pNFT series.
P is for philanthropy. StreetCode has been named 2021 California Nonprofit of the Year in State Senator Josh Becker's district for its work this past year ensuring students in the East Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Redwood City communities had access to laptops for remote learning.
Philanthropy is a worthy goal, and I can see a lot of innovative funding mechanisms baked into NFTs. The question here, I think, is whether a non-profit jumping on the NFTs bandwagon is a reliable source of funding. Non-profits obviously have to scrounge for funds, and any revenue stream is a good revenue stream, but if I were managing a non-profit, I’d be focused on reliable revenue streams. To the extent that a given NFT sale raises funds for the non-profit, is that process scalable and repeatable?
I’d love to see a good discussion about NFT dynamics and how NFTs can be structured to benefit non-profits. There is probably an interesting model to be explored here, but simply throwing an NFT against the proverbial wall to see whether it sticks strikes me as inefficient.
New PancakeSwap coin: EverGrow Coin ends its pre-sale within 7 minutes, reaches $1.5m marketcap in just 2 hours
One of the most innovative tokens in the industry, EverGrowCoin, broke all records in its presale held on Pinksale. The presale reached its hardcap within just 7 minutes of its launch, which is incredible. The presale reached its Hardcap of 450 BnB, and the presale was closed within a few minutes. Numerous investors have shown their massive support to the project by purchasing a significant amount of tokens.
The presale began with a total token count of 350,000,000,000,100 EGC, valued at 777,777,777,778 EGC per BnB, totalling 450 BnB. It was accessible to allowlist members only, with a minimum purchase amount of 0.2 BNB and a maximum purchase amount of 10 BNB.
I’ve included this press release in today’s roundup because it is incoherent and breathless. And incoherent and breathless press releases are an indicator of a frothy market in which people are cynically selling garbage to greater fools. This kind of thing is not a good look for the nascent NFT industry.