pengus are back (and there's nothing you can do about it)
Apologies for the late newsletter this week…I’ve had trouble typing.
No, it wasn’t writer’s block. I physically had trouble typing. I developed some kind of rash (we think psoriatic arthritis) that has left my fingers and hands stiff with pain, in addition to looking rashy.
Thank god that in the NFT space, you don’t have to actually see anyone IRL, because this stuff looks nasty. It’s very strange and I haven’t been able to pinpoint exactly why it’s happening or what’s causing it.
My guess? I’m stressed and my body is punishing me for pushing too hard with the newsletter, my role with Everyday Aliens, and checking floor prices constantly (did I mention I also have a full-time job and a 6-month old baby?)
I remind everyone reading this right now to take a deep breath and check in with yourself real quick. How are you feeling? Is your jaw clenched? Relax that baby.
If you’re feeling stressed and scattered like me, know you’re not alone either. And I would recommend taking a step back for a bit. Maybe try a Twitter cleanse or a nice walk around the neighborhood. Because if you don’t you might end up like me with some weird skin condition (NMA, not medical advice).
New is always better.
At least that is, if you’re in the NFT world.
The shiny new objects compel us. They make us want to get into gas wars for Gary Vee NFTs. They force us to participate in ridiculous ‘white list grinding’. They contribute to our FOMO that has us waking up in the morning, looking at our wallets, and saying ‘what was I thinking last night?’.
It’s human nature.
But as the NFT world becomes crowded with new projects, our eyes are drifting from a lot of the older projects. The proverbial “OGs” get a lot of attention still, but old projects have been sent to nursing homes (aka the hidden tab of your OpenSea account). Contrary to the belief of NFT Twitter though, these NFTs may not always be from “dead projects”.
I don’t like to shine a light on specific communities as I fear it will come off as a shill, so I’m letting you know now that I own 2 CryptoDads.
But I was catching up with them recently and I was shocked at the number of cool things they were doing that I had no knowledge of.
Innovation (it seems) doesn’t need to come from new projects. It could be lying where you least expect it (again, in your hidden folder on OpenSea)…
First, I bring you…CryptoDads Launchpad.
It’s an app on their website that has been built to provide holders with the ever-elusive “utility”.
Instead of issuing a “token” that complicates your NFT’s legal status and taxes for the year, the app provides each CryptoDad holder with “mower keys” (2 per Dad per day, with a bonus for owning multiple dads) to spend in the Launchpad. What do mower keys get you in that Launchpad story? Well, nothing really. Currently, the only way to use them is to “buy” yourself a whitelist spot for an upcoming project.
But I think it’s a novel idea as it (slightly) subverts the whitelist grinding that has made NFTs such a pain lately. With CryptoDads, if you really want early access to a project, you will just have to pay for it with your fake mower currency. But in order to do that, you will have had to be part of their community for a long time.
You see? It rewards their community and there’s even a little game theory here. Are you going to save your mower keys? Or wait until something better comes along on the Launchpad? (Projects whitelisting costs vary as do the number of allowed spots so you have to be quick with it).
Also, who is not to say that their mower keys won’t at one point also be redeemable for merch or something like that? It opens up a fun new world…and it’s from a project many don’t remember for anything other than the gas wars they caused in September.
To add to this, the CryptoDads team is also making a racing game (based on the lawnmower idea) and has secured land in NFT Worlds (a popular metaverse). In fact, they’re building there already and will be airdropping their $WRLD (currently at $0.17) to CryptoDads holders. Not bad for a project people stopped caring about, huh?
It was eye-opening for me to catch up with an old project like this and see everything that was still being done. I recommend going into that Discord you haven’t visited in a while and doing the same.
Ownership changes can be scary. Why CryptoDads has really fallen off is really because of their leadership. It was announced last week that one of their co-founders would be leaving the team effective immediately.
The team seems to be in good hands still. Those more committed to the project and most of the core team will be staying onboard (in similar positions) and just taking more responsibility…but you can’t help but feel nervous for the future of the project.
This weekend, Pudgy Penguins was bought this week for 750 ETH (yes, the whole project) by Luca Netz.
It marks the first major NFT acquisition in the space and was huge news. Luca inherits a project that had massive popularity amongst normies and huge sales numbers to show for it but was ultimately failed by a corrupt team.
The project was rudderless since January after a vote removed that corrupt, original team, but with new ownership in place now, the project has pumped…once again returning the Pengus to their glory days (god, when I type this out it sounds so stupid).
It’s not the first time a project has been transferred over to new owners. We’ve notably had Untamed Elephants, Fame Lady Squad, and others pull this off with middling results.
The short history shows us that NFT acquisitions and management changes are not great for its holders. When moves like this are being done, it’s risky and often acquired by teams who see more value in the potential ETH than in the community itself. Oftentimes, this means the holders become line items and the community can suffer (and die) because of it.
The new team can also try to clean up the toxicity, but the damage is usually already done. The optics can be too much to overcome, especially when new, nonproblematic projects pop up on OpenSea every day and the NFT community at large can shift their ETH into something else.
Long story short? It’s hard to lift a project back to the heights once it falters.
All of that to say I respect the Pudgy Penguins community and its ability to thrive despite the chaos around them. Whatever you think of them, they have always had a target on their backs and it hasn’t always been easy for them. Their resiliency might make Pudgy Penguins the first successful acquisition story to date. But until I see it sustained, I’m not holding out any hope for the project’s future.
(Though I cannot fade how much normies love these damn Pengus)
Should I do more of these profiles of old projects? I would love to hear back from everyone and see if I did come off as a big shiller or not.
Speaking of older projects and new ownership, what are some other projects that could be acquired in a fashion to Pudgy Penguins? My bet is on 0n1. Remember them? The anime style is very popular right now, and from my understanding, the community is the only ones keeping 0n1 alive after the original ownership team ditched them. Who is to say that VC won’t swoop in after seeing the success of Azuki?
If you could please share this newsletter with a friend that would be great. Even better if it’s a Pudgy Penguin owner, so they can all attack me on Twitter. My subscriber numbers could use some controversy right about now.