Article written by: John "JAYEL"
I bought into a new NFT project this week. It's funny, you can go from being so focused on research and due diligence for a project, like I did with the Nas royalties on Royal, but then turn around a few days later and buy on impulse, random timing, and pure vibe.
In traditional investing, most people would consider this to be a bit reckless, but with NFTs, that's just how it is sometimes--if not most of the time. For better or worse, that is just a large part of the mechanics of this NFT frenzy. The internet moves so fast and sometimes there is just a good moment to catch a vibe and get lucky with. At the same time, in many instances, those "vibe moments" don't work out 😊 I'm happy to be the one to inform you or remind you of that fact. Anyway, I'll talk more about the project I jumped into later in the letter.
As I write this, the Dallas Cowboys are losing 17-23 to the San Francisco 49ers with 4:30 left in the fourth quarter. I am a Cowboys fan. Things are not well. I'll let you know how things are at the end of the letter when the game is over.
P.S. There's 2:50 left in the fourth now and Cowboys are getting the football back with a chance to win it--LETS GO!!!!
💽 DELAYED! Nas streaming royalty NFT launch
If you read last week's letter, you are familiar with the NFT release happening with Nas' royalties. If you don't know what this is about, you can read about it here.
As you can imagine, the hype of this project really gained a lot of traction over the past few weeks. And, as with most hyped up NFT projects, there were a TON of problems at time of release. The first NFT (Ultra Black) was supposed to go live for minting at 1 PM EST on January 13th. Around 12:30 PM EST, the website started to crash and the Discord was exploding with spam and chaos about the problems that were starting to show.
This is a common trait in about 90% of hyped-up projects. They get so much attention and volume, that the website simply cannot handle the traffic. Even for the most experienced engineers, tens of thousands of website visitors out of nowhere at the same time is hard to manage. That's not even including the malicious DDoS attacks that seem to be sent towards these projects at every mint, too. It is an incredible challenge for these technologists to handle. Many people don't realize how much effort goes into making these launches work, and everyone is really learning along the way. Unfortunately, many people in the NFT community are the cream of the crop when it comes to needing instant gratification and having zero patience or empathy for the work others put into something.
With all of that being said, I still don't think I am buying into this project; I am very excited to watch the launch and see what happens, though! What about you? You have some extra time to decide for yourself 😀
🏎 Professional gamer turns professional racer
F1 racing is the most premier car racing circuit in the world. The most professional and diligent teams, brands and racers perform in this elite competition. For the first time in the history of the sport and its video game companion, a gamer will be getting a call to race in a real car, for a real team, in the real F2 racing circuit (F1's second-tier circuit).
Cem Bolukbasi is a young 23 year old from Turkey and has been a veteran in the F1 Esports Series, as well as a number of other racing esports. He will be joining the Charouz Racing System team in F2 this season.
A lot of the headlines for this story have been coveting Cem as a legendary esports performer, who was so good that he got a chance to race a real car. While that story does have a nice sound to it--especially for the esport maximalists, it's not entirely true.
Cem has spent his entire life racing, starting with motocross at the age of five. In 2017, when he was around 18 years old, he started his professional gaming career with the legendary french organization, G2 Esports. In two seasons of the F1 Esports Series with G2, he won one race out of seven and finished in 5th and 12th place over two seasons.
The first real chance that Cem got to take his virtual talents into reality were in 2019 when he was offered a seat to drive for the Borusan team in the GT4 European Series. He competed in this circuit for two seasons and in his second, he won three races and finished 2nd overall.
In July of 2021, Cem joined the 2021 Euroformula Open Championship with Van Amersfoort Racing and won the opening race. It was this race that made him the first esports driver to win a race within the formula series.
While Cem was indeed a professional gamer in the F1 Esports Series, he hasn't been a part of the competition for over two years. He has been given his chances in lower-tier racing circuits and proved his ability again and again, finally earning his opportunity to the F2 circuit. He's actually performed better in the real racing circuits compared to his esport ones.
Another note that makes this story so big, especially for Turkey, is that Cem is the first Turkish racer to compete in the Formula series since 2007. This story reminds us that you need to work hard at any opportunity you are given, and continue to search for the next best chance that will help you get to where you want to go. Each time you get the opportunity, you must continue to perform to the best of your ability. That is exactly what Cem has done and it is paying off for him. I hope we can see him in F1 soon!
💃🏽 Bought into Encryptas by CypherCHK
This NFT purchase is my most recent and first of 2022! I'm happy that it is a project supporting women in technology and empowering females to get more involved in web3 and the emerging technology surrounding it. In my opinion, the most exciting and opportunistic thing about web3 is the creativity and imagination that it enables; Women need to be a part of a moment with so much ability to create new and from scratch.
I discovered this project from a mutual Twitter follower last week. While there is so much spam and repetition on NFT Twitter timelines, sometimes there are gems like this, which make it worth while to follow and sift through.
The Encryptas art really stood out to me, and the vision for it is to not give shape to a woman's body and face. I had been hearing a lot about these women-led projects and the notoriety they had been receiving, like the World of Women project (at an 8 ETH floor as of this writing). I immediately took to my TikTok (if you wanna follow 😉 😉) to make a post talking about the project and my interest in it. The next day, I saw that Gary Vaynerchuk had announced his support for the project and that's when the floodgates opened. Two hours after the announcement I bought my first two pieces; One for me and one for my fiancé.
As I alluded to in the introduction of this letter, sometimes things just click. I bought in at this project's current ATH (all time highs), but I am confident it still has legs. When I purchased my two NFTs, the floor was at about .185 ETH and as of this writing, the floor is at .11 ETH. However, the project has hundreds of more owners and the artist has thousands of more followers on Twitter since my purchase.
CypherCHK is donating proceeds from this project to two amazing female charities, the Malala Fund and Code to Inspire. The Malala Fund invests internationally where local education is lacking for girls, advocates and holds leaders accountable, and amplifies girls' voices where they are soft. Code to Inspire leads the first coding school for women in Afghanistan. The charity component to this project was clearly another huge reason for my excitement. The NFT community needs more charitable and wholesome projects like Encryptas and less money-hungry and baseless ones.
What do you think about the Encryptas? Do you think this is a good way for women to get into NFTs, web3, and the emerging technology that's eating headlines right now? Would you buy into something like this?
🐆 Puma looking for NFT partner
Following the cue from Adidas and Nike, Puma are finally trying to stake their claim in the metaverse. The athletic company posted a LinkedIn job last week, looking for a leader in the space to take charge of their initiatives.
Other sources online state that Puma is looking to work with existing agencies and brands from the metaverse to craft their brand image in this new digital age. So, it seems like they will be going the same route that Adidas did, in partnering with some big-name brands (CryptoPunks, BAYC and GMoney) and not following the path Nike did, in directly acquiring a metaverse company (RTFKT).
For Puma, they are definitely behind the 8ball here and trailing Adidas and Nike. While they may only be a month or two behind in announcements and hype of the other two major brands, two months in metaverse time is like a full year.
On the flipside, if Puma is just getting involved in this pivotal moment in technology, that means you can get started now too! It's not too late, you're right on time. Let's get going!
💰 Mayweather and Kardashian in crypto lawsuit
For those of you who hate scams and people taking advantage of others, I have some great news for you! Floyd Mayweather, Kim Kardashian and Paul Pierce are now being sued for an alleged pump and dump crypto scheme.
The claim is that these celebrities, and more, promoted the EthereumMax coin until it rose to incredible heights and then all sold once it reached a critical mass, leaving all new buyers with extraordinary losses.
I won't spend too much time writing in detail about this, but if you want to learn more, you can check out an article here.
Lawsuits like this will hopefully lead to more regulation and progress in our community. Predatory market manipulation like this is what gives crypto and NFTs a bad reputation and stifles its progress in society. The one good thing about blockchain, is that everything is decentralized and traceable 😊 I'm sure someone will be going down for this, even if it's not the celebrities themselves; Someone is holding the bag.
💼 Fendi steps into the metaverse
Where are my high fashion peeps at? Fendi is entering the metaverse! I love this move. The fashion brand has partnered with Ledger, the hardware wallet for cryptocurrency. Ledger grants crypto holders an extra layer of security for their precious digital assets.
When performing transactions on the blockchain, you are enabling your wallet's private key. These private keys are held online by exchanges like Coinbase and digital wallets like MetaMask. They ensure you that they are keeping your private keys safe, and that you should write it down or keep it stored in some other physical state for your security.
While these crypto powerhouses claim to have your private key secured, you really can't trust anything online with your complete safety--hacks happen all the time and I'm sure we haven't seen the worst of it yet with crypto. Ledger helps this situation by storing a separate private key for your wallet(s) in an offline and physical state. Whenever you want to perform a transaction with your wallet, you will need to refer to your physical private key on the ledger; This helps prevent hackers from cleaning wallets out by hacking the private key online. You can learn more about the ledger technology here.
As I said in the beginning of this topic, I love the move by Fendi. They have created a miniature case for people to hold their Ledger devices in. A lot of people in the web3 community have shared their distaste for the product, claiming that it makes you too much of a target to be robbed. Isn't that every single high-end fashion piece? Obviously, the claim goes deeper than that because it is crypto-specific, but I don't think too many thieves will even know what this is, let alone even see that it is a tiny Fendi item that is the size of an AirPods case.
For people who are crypto-rich, this is an amazing product. If you work in the web3 and crypto space, this is an amazing product. Imagine pulling this thing out in the conference room to test a new feature on your web3 app with the team or investors? Instant flex and credibility that you are indeed, about this life.
High-end fashion entering the crypto space is a good thing, not a bad thing. I don't know why so many internet people are against anything and everything that happens to our space from outsiders. The more people and brands that get involved in crypto and web3, the better. If we are to grow, it is inevitable. Get over it and get with it--this train isn't stopping for anyone, it's only letting people on board.
This week I share with you another electronic music talent from Brazil, KVSH. Unlike Vintage Culture, KVSH mixes some pop and other genres into his mainly house set.
This is a two hour set, but the YouTube link I shared starts in the middle of it. The beginning half of it was a little slow for me, but it really picks up with good tempo and vibes in the second half 😊
🤠 Down go the Dallas Cowboys
Well, it's Sunday night, almost midnight, and the Cowboys are out of the playoffs after losing 23-17. We had a chance to win it at the end but, yeah, that's the Cowboys for you. It really sucks because this really looked like the season we were going to make things happen. I'm not sure what the future holds for this team but it is going to be hard to recreate an opportunity and roster as good as this season's was. Also, I lost a bet to a friend of mine, so I need to make a "video"... If you have TikTok, feel free to give me a follow at @johncit0, it will be there and on my personal instagram sometime this week 😬
To close this letter out, I have a question for you:
Are you buying crypto at its current levels now? Yes or no? I'm curious!