Article written by: John "JAYEL" Lasak
This letter will be focused on pulling inspiration and knowledge from others. February is Black History Month, so I will be starting this letter with key accomplishments and moments from Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and legacy.
"All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
1929: King (Michael King, Jr.) is born in Atlanta
1944: Starts university at Morehouse College in Atlanta
1951: Learns Gandhi's philosophy of nonviolence and graduates valedictorian of Crozer Theological Seminary school
1953: Marries Coretta Scott in Boston
1955: Receives Ph.D. in theology from Boston University
1955: Leads the boycott against segregated city buses in Montgomery, Alabama
1959: Visits India to study Gandhi's techniques of nonviolent protest
1960: Moves back to Atlanta to co-pastor with father at Ebenezer Baptist Church
1963: Leads the historic March on Washington with 200,000 allies and gives "I Have a Dream" speech
1964: Wins Nobel Prize for Peace
1965: Leads the historic Selma March from Montgomery to Selma to register Black voters in Alabama
1968: King is assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee while supporting a strike by sanitation workers
Martin Luther King, Jr. was only 39 years old when his life came to an end. However, in those 39 years, he moved mountains and helped change humanity forever. He is such an inspiration for so many reasons; Accomplishing so much and affecting so many people in such a short time is what fascinates me most. He is proof that anything is possible while on Earth. If you believe in something, you must fight for it and convince others of what you know to be true and honest. Life is complicated, but it can be so much easier when you are true to your beliefs and values. King was true to himself and to humanity, which led him to be a pioneer of peaceful change.
🌈 How to know which NFT to buy
NFT Twitter has come to a general consensus. It has been building for awhile now, but everyone finally seems to be in agreement that the scams and money-grabs are getting out of hand in the NFT community. For new people coming into the space, how do you really understand what is legit and what is not? Well, it's difficult, and all of us are bound to get burned along the way--it's just part of the game.
However, there are some good pieces of advice to help avoid losing more money and pride than you need to. OhhShiny is a respected NFT investor who wrote up a Twitter thread with some wisdom. I will summarize his points below.
1. Every NFT project starts off virtually the same, with three core elements--and they do not include "product" or "business plan":
2. IP (Intellectual Property)
2. By leaving the two most valuable parts of a business out (the product and business plan), a founding team with a compelling idea (IP) is able to incentivize the community to be key members in developing and growing their project. This is as long as the community gets value in return. Make the customer your partner, build together and profit together.
3. The problem with this way of building is that it's very loose, fluid and susceptible to abuse. Bored Ape Yacht Club was built this way, but for every BAYC, there are 10,000 failures and scams, and each one looks the same on launch. If there is no legitimate product or business plan to guide an eager buyer, where does said-buyer begin?
4. Find projects that are working towards figuring out a business plan, have leadership who can scale, and possess the desire to create products. It's okay to start without key parts of a business, but it's not okay if the missing pieces are not the team and communities' top priority.
While this fast-paced NFT market can be a weird combination of exciting, volatile, confusing, and suspicious, there is a common ground to fall on: Leadership
Yes, buyers should be looking at NFT projects at a high-level (artwork, business ideas and community), but they should also be taking a good look at the leadership of the project. Who are the people in control of this thing? Are they anonymous? If they are anonymous, can I at least find other traces of their work and influence online by their pseudonym? If not, why?
We should be buying into projects like we buy into stocks. You probably would not buy the stock of a company if you did not believe in the leadership team (i.e. the CEO). So, why would you buy into a NFT project that you don't believe (or even know about) in the leadership team?
Remember this and don't forget it! DYOR (do your own research) and make sure to REALLY do it on the leadership team!
🚀 Mark Cuban's NFT project cancelled
The Instagram account, @NFT, was a Mark Cuban asset. It had 1.7 million followers up until February of 2022. On February 2nd, Space Cowboy proclaimed their wrongdoings in a Twitter thread. Since the writing of this thread, the news has gone relatively viral through the NFT community and ended up getting the account banned on Instagram.
So what happened? Space Cowboy's thread summarized below ⬇️
1. Over the past few weeks, many people reached out to SC (Space Cowboy for short) about random NFT projects they were finding from the @NFT Instagram account. These people were usually beginners in the NFT space and were welcomed into the Instagram account as a place to learn and benefit from.
2. The @NFT Instagram account monetizes on a daily basis by promoting very similar projects that practice scam tactics without disclosing that they are ads. All of the advertised projects are filled with fake followers and purchased interest from paid influencers. The @NFT and Mark Cuban team make a minimum of $100 thousand per campaign.
3. SC calculated the numbers of all the 36 promotions that @NFT ran.
25 (70%) of projects are below mint price
4 of projects are blatant rugs (take money and run)
0.16 ETH average and 0.06 ETH median floor price
With all of that being said, the account is still suspended on Instagram as of this writing.
🏨 $3.6 billion money laundering scheme uncovered; Biggest crypto news ever
I believe this news is bigger than the 2013 Silk Road and DPR arrest story. A couple were recently arrested in New York City for laundering about 3/4ths of the money stolen in the Bitfinex hack back in 2016.
The couple were supposedly laundering the cryptocurrency into gold and NFTs.
This is a big deal. It proves that the government is very capable of keeping up with what's going on in the crypto space. If the Silk Road ordeal needed reminding of, they still are on their A-game.
I recommend you read the Statement of Facts from the Complaint with Arrest Warrant here.
It should come out to be a really big case in the coming future. I just wanted to bring it up because it was really surprising to see as news today.
The original Twitter thread that broke the news to me today is seen and linked below ⬇️
⬇️ Best web3 news headlines now
The below links have the best headlines from the past week. SO much news released over the past few days. It was pretty overwhelming trying to keep up with it all, because I haven't digested so much in so little time in a long time. It's a reminder that this web3 space moves FAST. Unbelievably fast. Don't worry, I got you--just hang on 😉
In the next letter, I will probably share some perspective and detail on one or more of these below headlines. Check them out if you want a preview and some good reading ⬇️