Iconic Moments in NFT History with NFT Historian Trent and PaperclipDAO's DameSep 16, 2021
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HOST: Hey everybody. Welcome back to the Unstoppable Podcast. I'm your host, Diana Chen. And I'm here today with our guests Trent and Dame and today we are talking to you all about the very new PaperclipDAO with all these trades that are happening on Twitter as I'm sure all of you have seen. You’re probably wondering what is this all about. Like why is everyone talking about Paperclips? Why am I seeing paperclips everywhere? We’re going to break it all down for you. So welcome Trent and Dame. Thank you so much for joining me.
TRENT: Hey, good to be here.
DAME: Yeah, very excited.
HOST: Awesome. So before we dive into PaperclipDAO, I would love to have the listeners understand a little bit more about your backgrounds and some of the projects that you’re working on right now just so they know who they’re listening to. So Trent, do you want to kick us off and just give us a little background into how you got into crypto in the first place and then some of the things that you’re working on now?
TRENT: Yeah, absolutely. So I was an art history major in college so I’ve always -- and then did some advertising so I've always loved being at kind of the intersection of like the economic, transactional layer of society and the cultural layer of society and that intersection. It’s always been really fun to play in. I got into crypto very early 2019 just when Compound and DYDX were coming onto the scene.
My brother, Brock, who is a fantastic engineer, we started to build out some concepts around yield aggregation in those very early days. Kind of ended up moving to some more MME type strategies just doing weird, hacky stuff around liquidations, arbitrage, other random stuff like that.
In August of 2020 we got together with Will Price, Dan Elitzer and Clinton Bembry and did an algo-stable coin called Yam. It was quite the adventure. Kind of worked on that, building up the community, product, contributors, for about 6, 7 months before starting to scale back my time as I was searching for something new to do in the space, you know, potentially moving away from DeFi and NFTs, right, started this year just totally captured my attention and love, obviously with some of my background in art was attractive there.
And so I just went deep down the rabbit hole. Kind of in the spring of this year I was talking with two of my now cofounders, Maria Palis and Sam Spike, who are also deep in the art game and since this is a digital art game and we came up with this idea for JPG protocol which is on-chain and a T-curation protocol so really trying to foster more cultural infrastructure for the space with this permission-less protocol that allows curators to come on and create curated exhibitions of kind of any NFTs that they would like which you know as we’ll get into it.
PaperclipDAO, I think there’s some really interesting element of the cultural narratives that are associated with these various projects that have been around since the archeological 2017 days all the way up to kind of the proliferation we’re seeing now. And so I really think something like Paperclip that is helping to promote those stories in that kind of like more cultural context is something really important for the space.
HOST: 100%, yeah, I cannot wait to get your take on all of the trades and especially with your art history background, this is going to be -- this is going to be amazing.
And then, Dame, what about you? How did you get into crypto and then what has your journey been like so far?
DAME: Yeah. I’ve sort of been observing crypto for probably like 10 years now ever since Bitcoin came on the scene but never got involved in it, just watched the headlines and followed along with it. Never was something that I felt like I would ever get into 'cause it didn’t look like there were people like me in that space. And I was just like that’s not for me.
But I started diving more into it and doing a lot of research over the past 24 months and changed my mind about a lot of it once I saw the actual potential of what was going on here and sort of dove past all of the media headlines. I’ve been working in tech for 7 or 8 years now. And I sort of got, I don’t know, burnt out on the traditional tech world and just didn’t like the direction I was heading. And so this year when I had quit my traditional tech job and started decision what I wanted to do next and Web 3 just really excited me. And it felt like it was something I could be a part of and actually build a stronger future for the tech world. So that’s what got me into it. It was much more for the tech and the culture than the money. But the money is great, too, though [Laughing].
HOST: Yeah, for sure, for sure. Cool. So we actually have pretty similar backgrounds. We sort of got into this space within the last year or so but it sounds like you’ve been observing it from a distance a lot longer than I have. Cool.
So let’s go ahead and dive into PaperclipDAO. This is something that has been blowing up on Twitter. I don’t want to say the whole internet but at least Twitter --
DAME: Yeah, make it soon then.
HOST: Maybe soon. Maybe soon. And so this all started with, if you guys remember, this guy called Kyle McDonald back in 2005 or something or, yeah, 2005, wrote a blog post about this experiment he was doing where he started with a red paperclip and then he kept trading it for bigger and better things until he ultimately got a house. Basically for free from this red paperclip.
So Matt Stevenson who you all heard on the podcast in the past, he was on an episode 62. He had this brilliant idea of basically replicating that experiment in an on-chain way. And so Dame, do you want to give us a little bit more background on what PaperclipDAO is and what this whole experiment is about?
DAME: Yeah, totally. Well I mean it’s definitely very, very similar to the original experience -- experiment from back in 2005. Our goal is doing the same basic thing but with NFTs and probably trading up to something a lot higher than a house. The first round of our trades that we -- this thing was put together really quickly in some ways. Like I’ve only been involved in it about a week now but so much has happened within that short span of time. We did our first trade last night. And I'm pretty certain that the thing that we traded for probably, if not now or in the future, is probably going to be worth multiple houses. So we sort of already started with a house. But we’ve got a really big goal of the final NFT that we’re trying to eventually hit. And so we -- yeah, we’re starting our trades and we’re going to try to be doing a trade every few days and see how long it takes us to get to something really big.
TRENT: Well it was really funny seeing Matt’s tweet. It was like the joking 1 of 215 thread that was basically like if you extrapolate out to expected value of this thing, you can basically already trade it for the house right now. And you actually kind of saw that happen in the tweet replies submitting trades of very early people submitting like some random low value things and then like very quickly like more and more value started flowing into the comments. It was really hilarious to see.
DAME: Yeah. I think it’s really exciting, too, like people -- it seems like a lot of people in this space intuitively understood the significance of it. And we didn’t have to really over-explain it at all. When we tweeted it out we barely said anything and immediately people started just offering stuff up [Laughing].
HOST: Yeah. It was for sure wild to watch 'cause everybody was posting their trades in the Twitter thread and so everybody could see it and follow along. And it was like there were so many moment that were just mind-blowing. Like holy crap, I can’t believe somebody bid on -- err -- or somebody traded this for the paperclip. And then like two hours later it would be like another like, oh my god, I can’t believe somebody offered this sort of a moment --
DAME: [Interposing] A fire collection [Laughing].
HOST: Yeah, okay, we’ll get into that. Quick question before we dive into all the different trades that we got is so how does this trading work on-chain, like on the backend?
DAME: Yeah, I mean so at a simple level it’s essentially all the members of the DAO were all on a multi-signature wallet so all of our individual wallets are tied to this multi-sig, and anytime we want to make a trade, the NFT that we currently hold is in this multi-signature wallet and when we want to initiate the trade, we usually talk amongst ourselves in the back channel before we initiate it but then as soon as, you know, initiate the trade at least five of the ten people -- five of the ten or four of the ten people have to confirm that they want to do the trade.
And then if there is enough consensus then it happens immediately. Like it just immediately within seconds swaps the two NFTs between the trader’s wallet and our wallet. And then it’s done. And you know there's -- I guess I mean forever there’s going to be a history of that on the chain.
HOST: Yeah. I have to say, and full disclosure, I am part of this DAO as well, but just bringing on some other members to chat about it. I have to say this is my first time using Gnosis and just figuring out how all of that worked and the process was like surprisingly intuitive. I thought I was going to have to do a lot of learning to make it work but you sort of just connect your wallet. You log in. It’s already there. I mean of course other members of the team got everything set up so there was work --
HOST: -- and --
TRENT: [Interposing] Bless Max
HOST: -- all I had to do… yeah. All I had to do was just connect my wallet and then choose my vote on what I wanted and then click submit and that was it. So it’s pretty straightforward --
DAME: [Interposing] Yeah, it was like on-chain voting, it was really cool.
TRENT: Yeah, yeah --
HOST: [Interposing] Yeah, super cool and a lot easier than driving to wherever that --
HOST: -- did any drive all across the US and Canada?
DAME: Yeah, something like that.
HOST: To make these trades? Yeah.
DAME: Well we also got to call out 0xmons and Sudoswap because I think --
DAME: [Interposing] Yes.
DAME: -- this is such a cool piece of tech that like also I know they’ve been doing some various trades. I think this is such an interesting use case for the Sudoswap tech. And I knew that there was something there but I hadn’t really quite figured how it was going to make sense as a technology that was going to be used in an interesting way.
TRENT: Yeah, it’s really cool that there’s so -- it’s cool that there’s so many like projects and protocols right now that -- or maybe aren’t even like being heavily used and they’re just waiting for the right project to come along to fully take advantage of how good they are.
HOST: Yeah, 100%.
TRENT: Yeah. And 0xmons is such a rogue genius in this NFT space. Man, he is just doing so much incredible, incredible work. So I'm pumped to see that this is happening on something he’s built.
TRENT: Yeah, he’s even gotten involved in the sense of like he’s helping sort of customize the UI a little bit to some of the needs that we have. So he’s very on-board with it as well.
HOST: Yeah. Yeah, it’s been awesome just seeing everybody step up and build really cool stuff and jump in and help wherever needed. I can’t believe how fast it moved, too. It was literally like -- it all happened over the course of 24 hours.
HOST: Like setting up all of this, like pushing it out on Twitter, getting all these trades in. Everything happened in like 24 hours and it was crazy to see.
HOST: All right, cool. So let’s go ahead and dive into the trades. I think -- why don’t we just go through chronologically in the order of how the trades were submitted to us.
HOST: And so the first trade was actually Maria Palis is here working with Trent. She submitted a trade before we had even announced what we were doing. I think she just like found the Twitter and was like, oh, there’s like a Sudoswap link for trades, let me go trade. With no idea of what she was going to get in return, how this was going to benefit her or anything. And so she submitted a trade for this Simulacra, am I saying that right?
TRENT: Yeah, Simulacra.
HOST: [Laughing]. Okay. So, okay, so what is that Trent? You seem to know what that is.
TRENT: Yeah, it’s actually a pretty cool project. It didn’t really take off in the way that I think it should have. I think it had a bonding curve towards well into the pushback on bonding curves and so I think that turned a lot of people off. But basically what the project does is like generatively combine various like canonical works of art into then one new work of art in a way that’s really quite fun and visually interesting. So I actually am a very big fan of the pieces that came out of that collection.
HOST: Yeah, I'm looking at it now. It looks super cool. And for those of you listening to the podcast, we will be showing the pieces of art on the video version. So if you go to YouTube and go to the video version, you'll actually get to see what we’re talking about.
Okay, cool. So that was Maria Palis. Very cool that she just went, you know had faith in the process [Laughing].
TRENT: We’re on it. We’re on it at JPG [Laughing].
DAME: Yes, faith and I feel like she knows when something is good-looking. She can sense it.
HOST: Yeah, yeah, for sure. So the second trade we got was from Adam Cochran and he offered his Cool Cat and initially he offered one Cool Cat. It was a Cool Cat with sunglasses, looks pretty cool. And then shortly after I see some more trades get sent in. He increased is trade to four Cool Cats. And so I think most people listening probably know what a Cool Cat is, that’s a newer project that’s really been blowing up recently.
But do either of you want to talk a little bit more about the project or maybe the -- if you know the back -- I actually don’t know the backstory of the project so if you know that and want to share it that would be great.
DAME: Yeah, do you know what it is Trent? I know the project but I’ve heard it has like quite a bit of a backstory. Like the guy who’s been working on it has been working on it for many years.
TRENT: I do not know that. I put that in the realm of like NFT projects that I just have a hard time getting into because they’re fully community based, right? It’s like it’s -- they’re social clubs, right? Which is really fascinating, especially when you look at the degree to which NFTs in general are putting culture and social connections on-chain. Something like Cool Cat is this decentralized social network that is linked to kind of anonymous identities.
I think it’s super, super fascinating. I have a hard time judging those type of projects because you have to go into the Discord and like hang out for a few hours to figure out is Cool Cats going to make it. It’s, yeah, it’s just -- you know it’s tough. It’s tough for me personally.
DAME: No, totally. I need to read more about it but I do remember hearing the -- like I was the same way as you, like I had that gut reaction of wondering is Cool Cats just like another profile picture project of the day or is it -- but it turns out the guy apparently he’s been developing this artwork for many, many years. And this is the actual fruition of the whole thing. So it’s pretty neat. I think there’s a variety of ranges of depth to these community profile picture projects. And some of them have a bit more weight to them than the other ones which is interesting.
TRENT: Very cool.
HOST: Yeah. I'm totally with you guys but it’s sort of like a -- it’s sort of like a gamble, right? You just have to think like -- I don’t know what really the thought process like my thought process is do I like how this looks. Is it a cute animal that I can get behind? If, yes, buy. If, no, skip. So it’s not a very scientific process at all.
But I think unlike you, Trent, because I don’t come from an art background, I don’t know how to judge actually valuable offers. So for me I'm almost more into the community and social club aspect of it than the art itself just because I don’t have the knowledge to be able to determine what’s good art and what’s not.
DAME: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I also just love that… I just love that communities are now forming around even art itself. Like even some of these things that are more artistic, I guess, like before all these things happened it was sometimes hard for an artist to create a community around their work. But now with all these tools and technologies that we have it’s, I don’t know, I love to see every individual artist now can make an actual club for their people which is -- I don’t know, I love that. It’s great.
HOST: Yeah. Dame, I was actually going to get your take on what you think about this whole social club movement 'cause you run community at Rainbow, right? So that’s like your -- that’s up your alley.
DAME: [Laughing]. Yeah, it’s -- I don’t know. I think it’s interesting because what I sort of see the direction, like the internet is moving in, is all of these small micro-communities with even some degree of their own economies that can sometimes interact with one another. And you can find the communities that you love and that are right for you without having to -- I think one of the things people hated about Facebook and these larger things is you were on there with all these other people and it was a very homogenous place that you couldn't really customize to your needs.
Whereas now, you know projects like Blitmap and JPG and now PaperclipDAO, you can form your very own niche community that has a core sense of values, you know, mission. And it can all be based around artwork, too. I'm -- you know Trent and I are both the Blitmap community and that’s very central and core to the community is the art. That’s what all brought us together. And now we’re friends through that and we’re continuing that project and building it out more. So as long as you can build on top of an artist’s work to make something even grander. So that’s really exciting to me.
HOST: Yeah, 100%. All right. So back to this Cool Cat. Back to Adam Cochran’s trade for his four Cool Cats. Okay. So he went from one Cool Cat to four Cool Cats. And then it didn’t end there. Because then he upped the ante again and he submitted a collection of 14 different NFT pieces. I don’t know that we need to go through all of this but do you want to -- I mean I’d love to hear your thoughts on just overall thoughts on how this -- what you’re thinking about this.
TRENT: It was very bad ass. I loved [Laughing]. It was -- and really, really well curated. And obviously that’s something very near and dear to my heart, this idea of curation and kind of adding additional context to these works. I just do think that Adam did such a lovely job. I mean obviously things like –
I mean I'll just do a very quick run-through of like Hash mass, like, yes, very much kicking off this bull market. He gets into something like the archeological finds, like Crypto Art Day, Moon Cats, which obviously had like the beautiful Moon Cat rescue initiative which -- I love these moments that Crypto Twitter enables of kind of global coordination. It’s so fascinating to watch when some meme happens like that. I mean obviously I’ve experienced it very firsthand with some of the YAM stuff. It was much more fun with the Moon Cat Rescue.
Yeah, I mean hitting up some of the innovation like the EulerBeats and even getting into the Unicorn token which predated -- talk about archeological predated like the ERC-20 standard. So I just think it was such a good kind of crash course in where this NFT industry has come from and various points along its history. Yeah, it was really like a well put together collection.
DAME: It was a phenomenal collection, too. It almost felt like too good to part with. [Laughing] In some ways it was kind of intimidating. I was like, wow, he has taken a lot of time and thought to curate this whole thing. You know I remember even -- you know even after we made the final trade and he shared how he was probably going to put it up for private auction and I was like that is a bolder move in that collection is going to sell out.
I think we need more of that kind of stuff in this space. We need more people to thoughtfully put together different pieces 'cause like people were -- people did that in the physical world, in the traditional art world at the time. But we just haven’t seen enough of that yet in the NFT space. Yeah, we’re definitely going to be -- I feel like along the trading route of PaperclipDAO.
I think we’re going to -- as the trades start escalating, I think we’re going to see more and more of that curatorial type offers 'cause people are going to need to think a lot more. I think Adam’s initial one was a great signal of this is the kind of offer that you’re going to have to be thinking about. You’re going to have to be thinking about it with depth if you want to continue to go higher and higher.
HOST: Yeah. And I think something else, too, that people are going to realize is that it’s not just about the monetary value of the NFT that you’re offering up. You know it’s not like, oh, trading -- if I trade up my fish pen for a barbecue grill I'm obviously getting ahead because a grill is worth a lot more than a pen sort of thing. There’s so many valuable NFTs in this world now that you do need to have that element of narrative and storytelling and curation and paperclippy-ness --
HOST: -- as they call it.
DAME: Yes. Yes.
HOST: To -- to make yourself stand out.
DAME: Yes, certainly. I mean I think that was the interesting difference between this project and the original project. The original one back in 2005 was very much based mostly on monetary value. And this one, ultimately we are going for some NFTs that have extremely high monetary value. But the route that we take to get there is going to be really nontraditional. For a variety of reasons.
One, so many of these NFTs, they have some implied value. There’s different levels of illiquidity that each one has. Many of the offers we received are probably way more valuable in some ways that the one we ended up actually going with. But to your point about narrative, we went through so many of the offers and narrowed it down to just a handful. And ultimately we chose the two finalists who were one NFT that really, really captured the history -- the history of NFTs and was a legacy project that is very, you know, very respected.
And then we also chose another one which was a project that’s really new and is still in development and growing and has been building a community around it and kind of represents the future of NFTs potentially because it’s using one of the most recent NFT standards.
So we had these two different past and future pieces that we were looking at as our final choice. And you know we ended up going with -- it was a very close vote. We voted as a DAO. And it was split down the middle for quite some time. And we went back and forth about it. Either one could have easily won. But maybe fate had it, we ended up choosing the future one, went with Parallel, and it will be interesting to see how that choice affects the subsequent choices.
HOST: Yeah, for sure. For sure.
TRENT: Yeah, it’s cool to see how you guys are thinking about that decision-making process. And before we move on from this sweet history from Adam, there’s also just this element to which like, again, I do think you guys are going to see more of this type of offer in the future but I think one of the really interesting things about it is that offer in its totality through the curation and context of its self-contained collection, I think ends up being worth more than like any of the individual pieces sold individually, right?
There is something about when you put certain objects next to each other, cultural objects next to each other, the connections that get formed between them, that added context really starts to elevate all of the pieces in that collection, right? Which is really the power that curation has as kind of really cultural force. So I’d love to see that kind of thing playing out. It’s obviously something JPG is trying to support in the future. So. Yeah, it’s super cool.
DAME: Yeah, it’s like the whole idea of gestalt theory of the sum is greater than the individual pieces which I take -- his collection showed that beautifully.
TRENT: Yeah, I mean we look at curation as a really second order creation in which, yeah, gestalt is the perfect word for it. The sum greater than the parts. So I just think that this was a really cool moment at which that really shone through for me. And which we hadn’t seen that much of in this space thus far. I think we’re going to see a lot more of it going forward so I'm pumped.
DAME: Yeah, I hope that the project continues to inspire people to think differently about their NFTs like 'cause when people -- like even some of the people that have offered up things to us, you can tell that they’re kind of torn about wanting to part with the thing. But they’re also like -- you can tell there’s a lot of hope and potential and what might come of it if they do trade. I don’t know. That dynamic is going to be -- it’s probably going to get harder and harder as we go along, especially as we make that choice.
TRENT: And the fact that you guys are thinking about it, so deeply from the cultural angle, right, it’s like I can’t just go and submit a paperclip trade that is my highest value NFT based on how the market is currently valuing it. Right?
This degree to which you guys have the ability to foreground the cultural nature of these objects as opposed to the financial asset nature of them, I think is really wonderful and something that we haven’t seen that much of yet. And it’s like the future that we must be going towards because they’re fundamentally cultural objects. Their financial value comes from their cultural value. If you only foreground the financial element you’re missing what is actually important about these things.
DAME: Yeah, no. It’s almost like a… you know I think a lot of that credit goes to Matt or like the people that he helped form around this project. It’s a very diverse group of people who have varying levels of years of experience in this field.
Diana and I, we’re kind of on the newer side. But we also have people like Matt Condon and all these other folks that have been there a long time. So that dynamic even plays out in our conversations of we have these different perspective and we’re weighing all these different things so it really nicely balances out and I feel like allows us to -- at least so far has allowed us to make some really levelheaded decisions.
HOST: Yeah, 100%. A lot of the stuff that you guys just touched upon is what drew me into this space and NFTs in particular in the first place is that it is so much more focused around culture than it is just pump and dump, you know, and finance and making a quick buck. None of that stuff ever appealed to me and I think that’s why it took me so long to get into crypto because for the longest time I was like crypto is just for finance bros and I don’t care. So. I have nothing to do with this.
But with NFTs, it’s like there is so much history and culture and narrative and storytelling around it. I think that’s something that anybody in the world can relate to and is super compelling, so yeah, I 100% just echo everything you guys said and totally agree with that.
But I want to move on 'cause there’s so much to get to --
HOST: -- I know we have so much to say about every single one. The next trade that was submitted was a hash of the PaperclipDAO, Uniswap V3 NFT. And so a hash is Proof of Beauty’s I think initial or second project. I think the initial one is called Genesis and the second one is called Hash, maybe, or Hash is -- I should know this. We had David Sun the founder of Proof of Beauty on the podcast --
TRENT: [Interposing] Oh, really?
HOST: -- before. Yeah. So if you want to know --
TRENT: [Interposing] That’s cool.
HOST: -- about the projects, go listen to Episode 32. But it’s a super cool project. It’s actually one of the first NFT projects I heard about when I first got into the space. Basically what they do is they take your transaction hash and they do like cool technical stuff with it and then it generates this like really beautiful piece of art. And so I minted a piece a while ago of my very first transaction with my MetaMask wallet.
And so I have an artistic depiction of that which I'm really proud of. But, yeah, I’d love to hear your thoughts -- oh, and so this was submitted and then very quickly thereafter another Proof of Beauty artwork was submitted and this was for BEEPLE’s first 5,000 days or first everyday mint on-chain. But, yeah, I’d love to get your takes on the project as a whole or these two trades specifically.
TRENT: I mean I think like… this idea of being able to own a moment and have it represented in some really interesting way is very fascinating. It kind of somewhat connects to some of the meme NFTs that we’ve seen whether it’s an overly attached girlfriend, kind of like all of these things, just this idea that you can start to own this very ephemeral thing whether it’s a moment in time or a piece of culture that’s connected to a certain feeling. And I think both really are about capturing this idea of like owning a certain feeling. I think that’s an incredible thing that you can only really get in like… this kind of NFT world, right? It’s quite -- quite fascinating.
DAME: Yeah, the other thing I love about Proof of Beauty in particular is like what Diana said about she mentioned her first transaction, those kind of moments are -- it’s like milestones and in like all throughout history like, you know, cultures had practices of setting up statues or objects of piles of rocks to mark a moment in their culture’s history. I love that NFTs now are kind of enabling us to do that on a digital scale now.
We, the internet, kind of has had some of that to some degree but I don’t feel like the internet has had it to what we have now. And I think it’s -- like I’ve minted NFTs myself that were not for sale, like they were purely me minting them because it was marking a moment in my history. And I'm going to keep doing that.
Like I intend to like -- pretty much every major milestone in my life hopefully create something that will serve as a digital representation of that. And I also think it’s cool that how that can facilitate social interactions, too, like friends and family and relationships, you can start having things that will tie you together on-chain but also serve as ongoing reminders forever of what took place here.
TRENT: That’s beautiful. Yeah.
HOST: For sure, yeah. Now I want to go mint. Now I want to go mint my --
HOST: -- receiving my first clip token.
HOST: As a Proof of Beauty. I think that’s going to be my next Proof of Beauty.
DAME: [Laughing] I love it.
HOST: [Laughing]. All right. So the next one we got, we actually had several trades for Moon Cats and I know we already referenced it earlier. But Moon Cats, this was sort of an OG project I think. It’s been around for a while where you have all these cats that are trapped and you’ve got to go rescue them. Can you guys talk a little bit more about what this project was for people who are newer to this space and didn’t get the whole history of Moon Cats?
DAME: Yeah, totally. So, yeah, so the project was one of the earliest NFTs on Ethereum. It was back in 2017, right sort of like in between when Crypto Punks launched and when Crypto Kitties launched. It was on-chain artwork that was generated based off of on-chain data, all these different little pixilated cat images.
There was a website you could go to that had like this spinning moon and you could use your computer’s computing power to essentially generate -- I guess generate hashes or something to find a cat that was on this moon. And you could choose to rescue it. There were lots of them there. I think they were technically like billions of possible cats that could have been generated. But the project set out to only be able to rescue like 24,000 of them or something. It was back in 2017 when no one was -- or not as many people were into NFTs and so it didn’t ever go anywhere really.
I think maybe 3,000 cats got rescued of the 24,000. And then it kind of fell to sleep for several years until March of this year when somebody was digging up dirt -- not digging up dirt, but like digging up -- just digging up old projects that were in the space and someone came across Moon Cats and the website was broken but people figured out how to go on to Etherscan and find the contract.
So people, like within -- I think within two hours of it being resurfaced, all the rest of the cats got rescued. I rescued several of them myself when that happened. It was like my first big NFT moment. It was like rescuing those Moon Cats. And then from there a community came up around them.
The original developers came back and have started like rebooting, revamping the project and making it even better. And, yeah, so it was just like a cool piece of like -- I think people referred to it as like archeology -- like on-chain archeology or whatever at the time. And, yeah, it’s -- even since then more projects like that have been discovered. Almost, I feel like every month a new one kind of gets rediscovered. So it’s really fun.
TRENT: Yeah. Those moments in which like Twitter just unites around a single thing, so sick. You just like -- it’s always so fun to be online for some of those things. And, oh, when you miss being online for something like that and then you have to deal with it for like the next 48 hours, people talking about how much fun rescuing the Moon Cats was, I was there and I rescued probably like two dozen Moon Cats or something but I can imagine having missed that and being like [Laughing] what -- what is this?
So like you know that part of this culture is just like so, so hilarious and fun, you know? I think the whole archeological thing is really fascinating from the kind of cultural value perspective as we continue to go forward. And like as we know proliferate in the number of NFTs, right? Like so those random little projects, like there’s also like the Pet Rock project now that they’re selling it for over 100K on probably like 10 ETH of volume or something.
It’s quite silly. Like those projects are valuable, culturally valuable, like simply because of the time at which they were minted. Things being minted now, right, they're not going to have that in the same way. Maybe to some degree they’ll still get a little bit of that but like how do we think about how these things being minted now are going to maintain financial and cultural value in the long term I think is a really interesting, interesting question to kind of ponder and work around.
DAME: Yeah, I almost wonder if we’ll look back on this era, like 10 years from now, and we won’t -- maybe one of these profile picture like projects will stand out but I feel like people -- I bet someone will have 10 years from now we’ll have curations of all these different types of profile picture projects as like a fun like nostalgic look back at this era which in itself will be kind of like a cultural artifact of all these things together.
TRENT: And they’ll do it on JPG.
HOST: There you go. There you go. All right. So this next one, I'm going to need your help with. I'm not very familiar with this. This is -- we got a trade for a Folia’s Kudzu Virus which is an NFT project by Billy Rennekamp, it’s one of the NFT OGs. Are either of you familiar with this one and can talk about it?
TRENT: I'm a little bit. I mean like first off like everything Folia does is phenomenal. I think they are like one of the most innovative and fascinating organizations in the space. They just work with incredible artists who are pushing the bounds of aesthetics, smart contract functionality, like everything that they put out I think is just really, really fantastic.
And Folia, err, sorry, this Virus NFT is one of the really fun ones in which it never leaves your wallet. Like the NFT is nontransferable. But what it does instead if you want to send it to someone it replicates itself and so then you essentially infected another wallet. They can never get rid of that NFT. It lives there forever and can then go infect others which I think is hilarious. I mean beautiful concept. Yeah. I love this. This was a great, great submission.
DAME: Yeah, actually that particular project is one of the ones I kind of use when I'm onboarding new people. Like when I get my friends to download Rainbow or whatever, one of the first things I do is I'll send them that virus to infect their wallet [Laughing]. It’s so -- it just shows people like, I don’t know, an interesting side of this space and gets their curiosity peaked.
HOST: Yeah, it’s such a creative idea. I really like that. It’s so much fun. Now I'm kind of hoping that someone will infect me --
DAME: [Interposing] [Laughing]. You’ve got to drop your wallet for us. We’ll --
TRENT: [Interposing] Yeah.
DAME: -- infect it.
HOST: Amazing --
TRENT: [Interposing] Yeah, we can definitely infect you.
HOST: -- I will do that. Yes, yes, yes, infect me. Give me the virus.
HOST: All right. This next one that we have is -- so we’re going back to the OGs. We got a Non-Fungible Pepe, I think everybody listening knows about Pepe’s. Do I -- does anybody here know like the full history of Pepe’s Trek?
TRENT: All I know is that like math theory created the meme and then it got coopted in insane ways for a long, long time. And you know still to this day you see it all around -- anonymous message boards you see it all around. You know? Crypto Twitter.
Andrew Kang is my favorite rare Pepe of like the little monster boy, Pepe with the crazy hair and the monster energy that really kind of epitomized DeFi Summer for a lot of us. But yeah, then I think a lot of the guys from like Barnyard and got a bunch of artists together. Tyler Ward and friends to do this non-fungible, Non-fungible Pepes kind of like right at the kind of inflection point of when the PFP profile projects were really kicking off earlier this spring.
HOST: Yeah, for sure. And that was one of our finalists that we were debating about making the trade with. And the Pepe was sort of like the NFT that represented the past and then we had another, the parallel universe was like the one that represented the future. And so Pepe was definitely up there. I mean Pepes are -- what’s the floor for Pepes now, I don’t even know. It’s got to be like…
TRENT: It’s pretty high.
HOST: It’s pretty high. Yeah.
HOST: You need some money to --
DAME: [Interposing] It’s definitely one of the more valuable ones we got.
HOST: Yeah, yeah, 100%. All right, cool. This next project, I just want to be conscious of time, this is the Title open edition by Puck who is an NFT artists that is -- I think he’s anonymous, right? We don’t know who he is --
DAME: [Interposing] I think that’s -- yeah.
TRENT: I don’t know him --
HOST: [Interposing] I don’t either. Maybe he’s Satoshi. Who knows?
HOST: Trent, do you know anything about like the history of this work, yeah?
TRENT: Oh, yeah. This is like -- this was the piece that convinced me that NFTs were going to be super, super sick. I think it -- you know coming from an art historical background like I had been looking for things more on the conceptual level. And the Title drop is essentially this series of NFTs that all point to a single IPFS image.
So everyone is owning the exact same thing. Puck did the drop with multiple price points, limited edition, open edition, like gifting, just made the artwork really the kind of auction drop. Very -- sorry, conceptual in terms of everyone owning the same thing. The price is really kind of part of the work, very similar to like Yves Klein’s Epoch Blue in the ’60s. And so, yeah. I mean really a fantastic, conceptual, conceptual piece here.
DAME: That’s cool. I didn’t know that about it. I caught only the tailwind of it when I first started getting into this space and I missed that. Wow, that’s cool.
HOST: Yeah, I didn’t know anything about it either.
TRENT: Yeah, everybody owns the exact same thing.
DAME: [Laughing] That is so interesting.
TRENT: And that’s so -- yeah, it was the first time I’ve been like, oh, there’s some conceptual -- some really cool conceptual stuff going on here. I wonder what else we can do and like, you know again, things like Folia are really pushing that. Yeah. It’s fun.
HOST: Super cool. Super cool. This next project I am -- I have been following since it came out. This is Ethereum Film. And I think this one is really cool because what the team did basically was they designed an NFT, sold the NFT in order to fund production of this Ethereum Film. And this is the Ethereum Film Infinite Garden Bloom NFT, designed by Pplpleasr. Anything more you can tell us Trent or Dame?
DAME: Yeah, yeah, I think that was -- it’s -- yeah, the first like real film to document Ethereum. I think it’s beautiful that they decided to crowdfund it from the community so that everyone could actually be involved with it on numerous levels. And a lot of the NFTs they sold from it, you know would give people credit, you know executive producer credit, producer credits, on the film.
And it’s really cool that like Pplpleasr was the artist for it, too, because she’s just like the most well-known artist in this space pretty much. And the clout that she carries is huge. And yeah, so like that piece when, you know, when it was offered up for trade that’s one of those that -- it has some -- it has weight to it because of the first Ethereum Film that’s going to be made but also Pplpleasr. So like that was a -- those were some strong cases for it as well.
HOST: Yeah, 100%. And, yeah, I mean I love that one. That was one of my top votes for sure when we were getting to the end of it. Super, super cool. The next one we have is Astrocryptids. This is a project where there is this little Astrocryptid that transmits beams of code. Can you guys tell us a little bit more? This, and this, we got seven trades, err, we got trades for seven different Astrocryptids. And there’s also one in our wallet. Where did that come from? Does anybody know?
DAME: [Laughing]. Yeah, I can speak to that. Yeah, that, Astro Cryptids is like -- it’s a relatively newer project from I think March of this year by a younger university student I feel like. I believe I'm correct on that. But she created this project that has like a tracery bot that helps generate the art but it also has a Twitter bot that is sending out these star codes on like a daily basis and those star codes paired with the tracery bot and then her actual guiding hand create tons of these Astrocryptids.
And it’s a relatively new project that is still taking off right now. But I got in really early on it 'cause like the art really captivated me. The story that she started building around it. And I’ve kind of taken it upon myself to create my own sort of stories around it, too. Like I’ve sort of formulated this concept that Astro Cryptids bring good luck to the wallets that they are in and they sort of help protect it.
And so when Matt had me join, yeah, he knew this about me and the project and so he asked me to send one to the DAO wallet to act as like the guardian of the wallet. So that was a fun like little just playful thing that we did to kick off the project.
TRENT: That’s so fun. I’ve seen this pop up once or twice but I haven’t actually investigated. I'm very intrigued. And I love this little lore of like it’s your little wallet -- it’s your little wallet sprite protector. I'm like, oh, I want a little wallet good luck charm. I'm going to come get one. So sick. Yeah. I love that. Great idea.
HOST: Way to go Dame. Do you know where the Astrocryptid in our wallet came from?
DAME: Yeah, I sent it. It was one of mine, yeah --
HOST: [Interposing] Oh, that was one of --
DAME: -- yeah, it was one of the ones I had -- I had rescued, I forget, a couple of months ago. And, yeah.
HOST: Got to get a protector of the wallet.
HOST: Okay, guys, so this next one we have is an Art Blocks and this is a project that has just been blowing up recently. I still have not been able to get one which I need a fix --
DAME: [Interposing] I don’t have one [Laughing].
HOST: -- but -- yeah [Laughing]. But, yeah, tell us a little bit more. I mean this is like sort of a -- it’s a project that’s sort of similar to Proof of Beauty in a way, right? And so if I'm not mistaken, there’s --
DAME: [Interposing] Trent, do you know much about it? I actually don’t.
TRENT: This particular Rinascita, I do not know much about. Art Blocks in general is obviously known for their generative artworks with -- yeah, in some ways similar to Proof of Beauty in that they’re generated works. The seed function is not necessarily this like transaction hash. I think it’s -- I don’t know exactly like what the specific seed is. But in general they’re all kind of like fully re-creatable on-chains, the code is stored there so if you input the same seed again then you'll be able to reproduce the project or the piece and have, yeah, honestly been going, going nuts.
There’s also been some really great articles on Art Blocks recently in terms of -- I'm trying to remember. One is like stories of a generative art addict which was a really great kind of like personal account. There was another that was kind of about long form generative arts and you can maybe like include those somewhere in like notes or something because they’re great reads and I love to see people starting to kind of write more content thinking hard about these types of pieces. So, yeah.
HOST: Very cool. Thanks Trent. The next trade that came through -- this is one of my favorites. And I think everybody on the team really liked this one. Jonathan Mann who on Twitter is called A Song a Day, he writes a new song every day. He wrote us a Paperclip song all about the history of the paperclip.
And you guys just have to go and listen to this when you have a chance. He posted it on his Twitter so you can just go there and look for it. This -- I mean I was just blown away. Like I'm blown away by people who can do stuff like this, you know? Like just crank out a song in less than 24 hours and make it sound good and make it entertaining at the same time. And he had to have done some research -- like a lot of research on this song because he gave the full history of the paperclip which I don’t think anyone just knows the history of the paperclip off the top of their head.
DAME: No, I remember -- I think it was at one point the day before like within the 24-hour window that we had for submissions, he tweeted at our account and said something like how long do I have 'cause he literally would do like within that 24-hour window wrote and created that song and recorded it.
And he’s a legend. I think -- you know I think when you think about like -- I forget like BEEPLE’s work of how many thousands of days of him making a piece a day. Like I have no doubt that Jonathan’s work of making -- I think he’s up to like 3,000 sung songs now. It’s like 3,000 days. I can’t imagine doing anything for that long. So I don’t know. Huge respect to him. And I don’t know. I was blown away by that.
HOST: Yeah, other than like brushing my teeth I don’t think I’ve done anything --
HOST: -- for 3,000 days in a row.
DAME: I can’t even do that for --
TRENT: [Interposing] Yeah, I literally don’t know if I can even say that. [Laughing].
HOST: It’s [Laughing].
TRENT: I'm sure we missed a day in there --
HOST: [Interposing] Fair, fair, I probably missed a few days in there, too --
DAME: [Interposing] I need a proof of participation for bushing my teeth.
TRENT: Yeah [Laughing].
HOST: Get a tooth brushing co-op.
DAME: Oh, my god.
HOST: Oh, very cool. So, yeah, that was one of my favorites. The next one, we got this symmetrical clover. And I know that this clover was like an OG project so anybody who was in the NFT space from the beginning you probably know what this is. For everybody else you probably have never heard of it. And I don’t know that any of us really knows the project that well. But does anybody, Trent or Dame, want to give a stab at it?
DAME: It was cool though. I went to the website and it does look really interesting. I’ve been -- I want to -- now that I’ve discovered it through this project, I am definitely going to investigate it 'cause I have a taste for like the older kind of things. So definitely worth linking to though in the description of it.
HOST: Yeah, 100%. So all I know is there were only 55 of these ever. And it’s symmetrical in both diagonals. X and Y axis. Yeah. That’s all I got.
TRENT: Yeah. I think it’s going to be interesting if you start to get a lot more historical pieces submitted here. Like particularly in that like 2018 to 2019 timeframe because the 2017s get a bunch of attention. Everyone’s kind of familiar with a lot of the 2021, 2020 type stuff. But like that in between time period seems like it’s like really underappreciated, underrepresented. And I bet some things start to surface.
DAME: Even on the Moon Cats project, like most of the cats were rescued in either 2017 or 2021. And there were only -- I think it was like 2 cats rescued in 2019 which makes those 2 cats like the rarest of the entire project just because they were the only ones rescued that year. I don’t know. I love little things like that.
HOST: Yeah. Interesting facts. I didn’t even know that. The next trade that came through was a Pudgy Penguin and then -- which I love. That is my profile pic. They’re so cute. And now there’s so many versions of them. There’s the party penguin. There’s the fast food penguin.
DAME: I think all of my Twitter DMs right now are just people with penguins so I have a hard time -- I have a hard time remembering who’s who [Laughing].
HOST: You’ve got to remember me by my outfit.
DAME: I love it.
HOST: So we’ve got a Pudgy Penguin. We got a Meebit, we got a Bored Ape. Let’s just breeze through those since we’ve already talked about these NFT avatar PFP projects.
The next one that came though was -- this is actually really interesting. So this trade include all three NFT standards: an ERC-20, an ERC-721, and an ERC-1155. And the ERC-20 was a 0xmons, the ERC-71 was an Art Blocks, and the ERC-1155 was a Parallel. Do you -- are you familiar -- well we’ve already talked about Art Blocks. And then Parallel. So I guess we should talk about that. So either Dame or Trent? Do you know the history behind it or give us a little bit more information about the project.
DAME: Yeah. I don’t know the full history of it but I do know that it’s -- some of the people working -- it’s basically a Sci-Fi digital card game that uses NFTs. Every card is an NFT. And it’s being developed right now with the Beta launching next year and so a lot of these initial card drops they’re doing help fund the game and get people -- like to start building the community now.
I know some of the people that are on the team have worked at major card game studios like Brian --, Magic: the Gathering, stuff like that I believe. So they have lots of years of industry experience and now they’re making like -- I feel like there’s some projects that have attempted to do it in the past but this feels like the first like really legit card game that is going to occur on the block chain and really have widespread adoption.
So that’s kind of -- that kind of like I guess encapsulates it in a nutshell. But apparently the cards use the new ERC-1155 NFT standard. So that sad that we were offered sort of gave like a nice sort of snapshot of the history of the NFTs in this small, tiny little collection. And we almost -- we did consider accepting that offer just because of how simple and beautiful it was. So yeah.
TRENT: Yeah. And again like from a tech perspective, just like… very cool thing, 0xmons, like well done to build this technology. I think it’s so fun. And then, yeah, with Parallel. I mean Palmer who submitted the big Parallel has been trying to Parallel pale the community for like months now. So it’s cool. He’s done a phenomenal, phenomenal job. And it’s just is really interesting how some of this NFT stuff is basically fundraising and building community in order to kind of collaboratively create a thing. I think that’s really an interesting -- interesting potential of the NFT space.
DAME: I also love the Parallel one in particular because in terms of the future of NFTs, I do think that a lot of mainstream adoption is probably going to come in the form of games and things like that. So I feel like a card game has the potential of bringing in a lot of people that have never used NFTs before so like it will be interesting to see what impact that has.
HOST: 100%. I also just like seeing NFTs, use cases that go beyond just collecting art, right? So even with the profile pics, I'm a big fan of those because it gives you this like extra element of identity. Like now I identify as a penguin. Right? And instead of like --
DAME: [Interposing] Yeah, it’s like changing clothes online. It’s like --
HOST: [Interposing] Yeah.
DAME: -- you got these outfits, I love that.
HOST: It’s digital fashion. It’s --
DAME: [Interposing] Yeah.
HOST: -- identity. It’s all of these different things other than just collecting art which is like -- I was never into collectables in the traditional world and so it was a little hard for me to wrap my mind around these digital collectables. But once you add in the element of identity, of community --
DAME: [Interposing] Yes.
HOST: -- of all these social components then I was like, yes, I can really get behind this --
DAME: [Interposing] Cool, yes.
HOST: -- and then now it’s like using NFTs in gaming and you know doing different things with NFTs. I really like seeing all of that. And then -- so I guess we should talk about the Parallel piece that actually won. This was one of the Earthen pieces, one of five, that was given out to some of the original supporters of Parallel. And this is the one that Palmer offered up. And this is really cool because I haven’t -- I never heard about Parallel before we got this trade in and then I started investigating it and I was like this is super cool. But, yeah, anything else to add about the Earthen one that we ended up selecting?
DAME: Yeah, I think it’s just, you know, it was one of the original cards that they ever made. It was like a -- it was the basic concept art, like early concept art for the game. So you know it already has like a pretty strong value right now amongst the community.
And it will be really interesting to see if the game really takes off and goes someplace. I'm sure that -- you know just like Magic the Gathering, how those early, early cards are now selling for so much money, I fully expect that if the game actually gets its roots and takes off, that card will probably be worth a lot of money one day.
HOST: Yeah, 100%. And then I realize I skipped one. This was a trade that we got. It was -- we were given a choice actually between either a rare 1 of 27 Xcopy piece from an obscure NFT project from back on 2018 or a 0xmons named Masna and their unique sound. Do you? Do you… ? I don’t either. Trent, do you know anything?
TRENT: Yeah, well I mean obviously Xcopy is like one of the OGs. And I think probably like probably a particular favorite of the OGS. I mean like the frenetic style is just so kind of emblematic of this space. And the really -- they’re really powerful, beautiful pieces. So I'm a huge, huge Xcopy fan.
And then 0xmons also, again, rogue genius. He’s doing just the coolest stuff in this space. Building protocols, doing drops. He collaborated with us on our gift shop with JPG which was the Salt collection that was this piece that, you know, the title and the image rotate through each NFT on a daily basis.
So like if you own one of the NFTs, you really own the entire collection depending on the day. So I think it’s just so innovative. And this was his really kind of first big NFT project. The GAN monsters in which he did this… GAN, Generated, something, Neural Network, whatever, you hear a lot about it. And he actually allowed for it to be put on-chain so it’s like it’s combining this GAN artwork that people love with some on-chain elements to it using GPT-3 to create backstories and names for all of the creations. So I think it’s -- and I think it was actually the first one to do anything GANN related on-chain. So really like sweet, sweet collection.
HOST: That’s awesome. I didn’t know any of that. Maybe we should have done more research, Dame, before --
DAME: [Interposing] [Laughing] Right, I love it --
HOST: -- but we can learn for Round Two.
DAME: -- there’s just so much depth to this stuff. Like you can keep going down and down and down and discover something new constantly. It’s so fun.
HOST: 100%, 100%. Well thank you so much for going through all of these with me. I learned so many new things from this conversation --
TRENT: [Interposing] Right.
HOST: -- thanks Trent, the art historian here --
DAME: [Interposing] Yes.
HOST: -- the NFT historian. Awesome. Awesome. Any final thoughts from either of you about just like this project or the space as a whole? I mean anything you want to share.
TRENT: I mean I loved the -- I loved the concept. I find it so interesting. I think I wouldn’t be surprised if we more of this type of thing. It’s a really interesting model of the collector DAO that we haven't seen before. Like this idea that you don’t have to like put a bunch of money into it to get this.
You can kind of, you know, just start to trade, to build the community and the treasure. I think it’s a very cool, innovative -- innovative model and I'm curious to see kind of where it goes in the long term. So hats off to you guys for doing that. Definitely appreciate you having me on and getting to jam on all these fun submissions. I'm very excited to see how the project progresses.
DAME: Yeah. Likewise. I'm glad to be here and talk with you all about it. I think even trading is kind of a form of curation 'cause at the end of all this, like to Trent’s project JPG, like at this end of this work we’re going to kind of have a curation, like all the tokens that we traded will be kind of like a collection spread amongst all the people that participated.
HOST: Yeah, for sure. All right. Well thank you both so much for joining me. I know this was like a last-minute get-together so I really appreciate you making the time. And thank you everybody for tuning in. Hope you learned a lot about NFTs and heard about some new NFT projects to go check out and go down the rabbit hole on. And we will be back again soon with another episode of the Unstoppable Podcast.