[Thoughts #39] Creator Pressure, Crypto Regulation, WAGDIE
We are All Going to 💀💀💀
It’s gearing up to be another fascinating week in the world of Web3 and NFTs.
But before we get into current events, I want to call out the importance of kindness and tolerance in Web3 and beyond, especially to those building and creating. As a consumer, it’s easy to criticize, and react. On the other hand it takes serious effort to be creator, especially if it’s something new or from scratch.
As I have been writing for 2 months (my first post was exactly two months ago, wow!), I have gained much sympathy and empathy for creators. Whether it’s art, music, social media, or writing (yes, writers are creators and written content is art!), this is a labor of love.
Criticizing a company or entity is one thing. Complaining or joking about Spirit Airlines is different than complaining about an individual artist and their work. A company and its product(s) creates a buffer between the employees and the product. When it comes to individual creators, that buffer is greatly reduced or non-existent.
NFTs have created a new avenue for creators to get the recognition and financial means they deserve, but it has also exposed them to consumers that have strong financial incentives that disregard the creative process of NFTs.
I myself am trying to balance both sides, and believe it can be done with a tradeoff of not maximizing one’s financial gain. Maybe it’s the idealist in me, but I hope we’re able to have a healthy balance of financially “making it” together while supporting those that are building and creating in the space. 🤝
Today was a big day on the regulatory front for crypto. US Senators introduced a bi-partisan proposal dubbed the Responsible Financial Innovation Act. Some main pieces of the proposal:
Who will regulate Crypto? This has been a hot topic with many arguments being made around Crypto being a security (SEC) or a commodity (CFTC). The proposed bill is suggesting most crypto will be governed by the CFTC, with the possibility of a separate self-regulatory agency created pending more research.
Making purchases with Crypto: Purchases made with crypto that are <$200 will be tax-free. This helps to push crypto adoption further through commerce.
Stablecoins: Cryptocurrencies that are pegged to another asset or commodity would have stricter requirements around how they back assets and disclosure requirements.
Digital asset sales: There will be SEC disclosures required when companies raise funds through digital asset sales.
It’s important to note that this regulation has just been introduced, meaning there are several steps before it is voted on to become law. It will be lobbied from all angles by entities with deep pockets and will go through several revisions. The bill may also be broken up to increase the likelihood of passing.
I’m not a legal expert so if you want to learn more, check out the following resources that helped me understand what’s been proposed. This will evolve significantly over the coming months and years. 👀
💀 WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE 💀
For those that read yesterday’s posts on Derivatives and Metas, this image looks familiar.
But did you notice THIS?!
WAGDIE, otherwise known as We are All Going to Die, has now been handed the baton from Goblintown and is getting a lot of attention on NFT Twitter. Another sub-meta that I omitted from the above diagram is actually what I’m dubbing as “Performative NFTs”. Reason I omitted it is because there aren’t many performative NFT projects (yet?) as they require more efforts and creative execution.
Goblintown started this with its unique language, ridiculous but immersive Twitter Spaces, and magnetic aura of ‘what’s next?’ and WAGDIE is the next project that is showing some parallels, with twists of their own. The cheapest one of these pixelated medieval characters is ~$2500.
A language unique to the project (check out that fun font!), free mint, CC0, Twitter as the only official channel for comms, this is like Goblintown 2.0 right? Yes, but there’s…
Burning? Like Fahreinheit 451 with books? Basically, but fortunately we’re not destroying knowledge or anything. Just jpegs 😊
Wait…how do you burn something on the blockchain? Projects and users can send crypto assets to a burn address, with the primary purpose being reducing supply of a specific asset. You can send anything there, even actual crypto if you enjoy digitally burning money for the clout.
This is the address: 0x0000000000000000000000000000000000000000
So what does WAGDIE have to do with burning?
WAGDIE held a Twitter Spaces with over 1,500 concurrent listeners
The account encouraged holders to ‘sacrifice’ their WAGDIE by sending them to the burn address
21 holders heeded the call
As a result, the WAGDIE account purchased a Mutant Ape worth 21 ETH (~$37,000) and sent it to the burn address.
HOLY 💩. Talk about performance art. People are literally burning their NFTs for a project to see what happens. If this isn’t a top-tier example of a community rallying together, I don’t know what is.
So what happened next?
By the end of that Twitter Spaces, 96 WAGDIE were burnt and the royalty of the WAGDIE contract was reduced from 6.66% to 5.7%.
So if 96 burnt WAGDIE resulted in 0.96% reduction in the project royalty, burning 666 WAGDIE results in a 0% royalty? 🤔
On top of that, what about that Mutant Ape that was burned? No one owns it anymore but it lives on in a sense. Who now holds the rights to it?
TLDR: No one owns the burn address wallet, so no one owns the ape. It is now the People’s Ape and anyone can hypothetically and legally(?) use it. 🤯
As of this writing, 205 WAGDIE have been burnt, with a community built website tracking this.
Similar to Goblintown, this wave of projects are more for those that have a deeper understanding of Web3 and NFTs. It might be interesting, but IMO is objectively a turn-off for those new to the space. However, I’m excited by the creativity of these projects and what they’re doing, especially in a slower market.
Though I don’t have any WAGDIE, I’ll be following their developments closely like much of the broader NFT community.
“In the end, we are all going to die.” 💀
See you tomorrow, unless I get sent to a burn address. 🔥☠️