A Dive Into NFTs At long last I’ve taken a proper dive into NFTs*, after only having skimmed through OpenSea and some GAN tools (“shit, I wish I could do this too”) some months ago. Talk of hype, bubbles, and [crypto]economics aside, I’ve been having a lot of fun looking at what’s out there. Don’t well understand it all relative to trading, were someone looking to trade & flip instead of hold…which I might be…I might be that someone. *Edit: I’ve had the draft of this post open for days now. I have now been down an NFT rabbit hole for four days. I have witnessed many an astounding thing. I am a changed man. I am changing my legal name to alex.eth. I’ve found myself in heat, lusting for art, beads of sweat perched on my scrunched, focused brow. Shopping For NFTs With limited capital (read: I have no money) it seems that NFTs with low price floors, reasonable liquidity (so you can make the flip/in case you want to ditch), and a recognizable trend/trending artist are the best bet if you’re trying to live the flip life. It’s a little more complicated, though. Identifying price floors and liquidity takes seconds or minutes, but the real work comes with scouring discord, telegram, twitter, twitter spaces, podcasts – ideally across multiple screens – until you’ve maybe found some actionable intelligence and finally let your delirious, malnourished, dehydrated, zombie self go to bed. A similar glued-to-screens approach has worked for me before, sort of, circa 2017, the year of the Alts, albeit it while trading relative peanuts. Rarity plays a role in desirability of collections. As does community, the developers, implications of holding a given token (revenue share? influence over the project? etc.), perception around the project, etc., etc. Edit: since this post has been open in a tab for some days: stalking the transactions and offerings of whales across marketplaces gives lends more resolution, too…I think? Maybe? Who You Know, What You Like I think that like many things in life, it comes down to who you know. The further I go into the jungle of NFTs, the more I see the web of relationships/friendships across twitter and discord. In my opinion, the community around NFTs is arguably the best part. I mean, world-changing technologies aside. If you’re getting into NFTs, then there’s a solid argument to be made for simply buying what you like; perhaps get some peripheral feel for where attention and ETH are flowing, but ultimately bank on your own taste, and let the chips fall as they may. Aesthetic sensibility/taste is not necessarily a bad guide when it comes to what you should do, assuming you’re not spending money you can’t stand to lose. The earnestness with which some people are collecting NFTs is really charming, much like the way in which people engage with each other in the NFT community at large. I’ve seen many NFTs myself that, were I to buy them and were the world of NFTs to go to shit, I wouldn’t much mind. Case in point, some seriously lovely art is out there, like this painting by Yongoh_kim: This painting was originally posted for 0.08 ETH, purchased, and then reposted for sale @ 30 ETH, or about $117,900 at the time of this writing. Big Money The money that is being spent on some NFTs is in any case astounding. Keep an eye out and you’ll see this in real time. Look on OpenSea – arguably the most poplar marketplace for NFTs – and you’ll see price floors (i.e. the lowest price that can be found among NFTs for sale in a given collection) that intimidate/excite/shock. At the time of this writing, the floor of the Bored Ape Yacht Club is 40 ETH / $156,869.20 Gaming & The Metaverse Glanced at some NFT-enabled games at various stages of progress, including Neon District, Mars4, Axie Infinity, Cryptovoxels, and Zed Run Apparently people are making real, life changing money in Axie Infinity. I have to look more into it. Where blockchain makes sense for games, and when a company might want to implement blockchain, or even cross-game assets is another conversation, but an interesting one. The idea of people owning land within the “Metaverse” and earning income from renting it – especially when this generation isn’t exactly set up well to own property physical property – is one that’s also interesting. Zed Run is a full blown horse-racing game, and if you manage to raise, breed, or buy a horse (which don’t look unlike something Swarovski would design, angular and faceted like diamonds) that has good odds of winning, you essentially end up farming Ethereum by winning races. I’m not sure what the limitations of this are relative to the economics programmed into the game, i.e. to what extent someone can dominate, but you can definitely make some serious money if you put in the time and work. Tweets I’ve made involving NFTs, for perspective and posterity. Things To Learn & Do With Crypto Learn more about crypto, period. I know next to nothing, and it’s all progressing so, so quickly. I’ve had Andreas Antonopoulous’s books, unopened, for years. Eek. Learn more about trading in general. At some point I have to throw away my fear of looking like the crazy dude who rambles to friends about penny stocks circa 1980 who doesn’t know he’s getting spanked by mob manipulations, admit to myself that trying to understand markets and the behavior therein is genuinely fun to me, and legitimize my interest. Side note on market behavior: I’m wildly interested in agent-based modeling as it pertains to markets, and economics in general. Learn to create NFTs, which is to say, probably, learn to code. You can mint NFTs on platforms like OpenSea with mere clicks, but I want to go deeper. The brilliance of blockchain is what features you can program into what you create. Learn about DeFi, and yield farming. I’m not even going to attempt a summary of these things right now. More on this once I learn. Generative Music Came across these synth poems by DeafBeef, which are short, generative pieces stored on chain. Upon being minted, a random hash value determines tempo, timbre, pitch, and time signature. A visualization is added to match. People are already displaying their NFTs in galleries. I really enjoy “walking” through them. Here’s another example. A Resource, A Marketplace A great podcast I’ve come across is Modern Finance. It’s hosted by Kevin Rose who, as I’ve been following him thus far, has a slightly different angle on the NFT space, e.g. posting pieces that are sold on the somewhat cryptic hicetnunc.xyz, which uses Tezos as its medium of exchange, while other people are fixated on marketplaces like OpenSea.