Larva Labs (LL) – the genius duo of Matt Hall and John Watkinson, creators of Cryptopunks and Autoglyphs – launched Meebitsi this past week and it was probably one of the most exciting launch events in recent memory, at least for yours truly. Better than I remember Chrismukkah being as a kid, in fact.
With no more than a 59-minute warning on their twitter page, in the span of 6 short hours, an entire week’s worth of excitement was captured as 9`000 publicly available 3D voxel characters were sold in a Dutch auction that only made it down from 2.50 ETH to 2.42 ETH before the well went dry. The remaining 11`000 of the 20`000 total were airdropped as “community grants” and made available as free claims by existing punk owners (10`000) and glyph owners (512) with the Meebit balance being held by the devs as remuneration for their artistic support to the NFT-Metaverse worlds.ii While I was grateful for the community grants, I couldn’t help but roll the dice on the public sale, so I grabbed maybe a half-dozen. Unfortunately, my luck with the RNGiii was basically poo. So off to the marketplace I went!
After a couple days in the trenches on OpenSea (OS), I made some great buys but also probably some pretty hair-brained decisions. In the heat of battle, with the Excitement-O-Meter cranked up to 11, it wasn’t hard to make mistakes, and no doubt that there will be many more lessons learned in the months and years ahead in this emerging market, but here are a few quick lessons learned that hopefully I’ll be able to apply in future drops, eg. LL4, etc.:
- HAVE SOME FUCKING PATIENCE!iv
- Larva Labsv is the canonical source for rarity, ie. number of traits. OS doesn’t count. Neither do third party “rarity calculators” mean shit. Haven’t you learned your lesson from Top Shot?
- Pay attention to the actual whales (Pranksy, etc). Watch what they’re bidding on and I dunno tail them?vi
- The initial hype will fade, providing deals! There are a few initial deals to be had from kiddies looking for a quick flip but more deals are available days and weeks to come as paper hands inevitably look to liquidate to go chase the next shiny thing.
- Trust your gut! Yes, you’ll make some terribly rash judgements now and again, but that same instinct has also brought you to the point were you can confidently ape in on a new project that popped out of nowhere on a random Monday morning in May, watch it burn to zero (which it hasn’t, and it won’t), and not be so worse for the wear. So hang tight and have fun!
- Reach out to sellers directly for better deals. Taking offers from anons on OS is much less appealing to sellers than taking offers from even a quasi-reputable (or at the very least readily verifiable) names. Don’t be shy!
All this being said, even my stupidvii Meebits buys will
surely probably appreciate in the next couple years (in ETH terms of course… because CADS) even accounting for the next crypto-winter, so cry me a fucking river seriously, but the fact remains that I could’ve executed better! There are absolutely 10x and possibly 100x opportunities to be had in this contest.
That being said, the cost of any mistakes I made in those frenzied first days of the Meebits market were also the price of an education, which should never be free, while they were also some of the most exciting, time-dilating days I’ve had in a long time. And that’s saying something! Because there have actually been a shit ton of incredibly fun days these last few months between Top Shot and Cryptopunks, let me tell you.
- Meebits was known by codename “LL3″ prior to launch. ↩
- Though ~22`000 ETH is also pretty good remuneration! And of course Matt & John still own a bunch of punks and glyphs so could presumably claim more than 488 Meebs, but how else to make the drop fair and at least somewhat accessible? I think LL struck the right balance while also providing a very exciting precedent for future projects with the “community grants” here. How better to encourage fandom and say thank you to your supportive patrons than with free swag? ↩
- LL does not, afaik, use TRNG. Maybe that was the problem! Although it seemed to work pretty fucking well for some eg. Han. But that’s the scam that is random for you. ↩
- Or don’t?? Who knows if/when another such drop will ever occur again. If not LL4, LL5, etc. I’m not sure what could possibly cause me to jump into the pool with both feet without checking to see how deep the water is. I believe that I was wise to pass over Topps MLB, Alien Worlds, Bored Yacht Ape Club, and Hashmasks to focus on the real blue chips in the space. YMMV, of course. ↩
- Or other artist’s website, should the day come when I’m adequately mature so as to branch out beyond the blue chip safety net of LL. ↩
- Fuck me if Pranksy didn’t buy a goddam gem of a Visitor this weekend: the Exploit Visitor aka Meebit #11647. I could easily see this particular green guy commanding a serious premium in the future. Narrative (ie. provenance*) is king! So what’s the narrative here? Basically that 0xNietzsche spread open the butt cheeks of the Larva Labs smart contract and fished out as-yet-unminted #11647. How? According to NateAlex, by running “the same on-chain calculation the meebits contract is running (randomIndex() ), and if it yields an ID that you like (set in the constructor or with addApproved), you proceed to call mintWithPunkOrGlyph” before passing the hot potato to an unwitting-but-also-astutely-indifferent-and-always-liquid Pranksy (a blow-by-blow account is on The Nifty. Then, a brief 6 hours later, someone (a very handsome someone if my intel is correct) liberated #16647 from ol’ Pranks by exploiting the NFT-OG’s entirely justified high-time-preference for money, and thereby in a sense creating a Double Exploit Visitor. We can still just call him the “Exploit Visitor” for simplicity’s sake, but there’s a very good chance this little green man goes down in LL history right alongside CryptoPunk 635 (Alien with bandana and regular shades), which is about to sell as a package with eight other markedly less notable punks at Christie’s May 11th, 2021 “21st Century Evening Sale” for probably 7-10k ETH?
*To quote the great Virgil Abloh: “Provenance Is Reality; Ownership Is Myth” ↩
- And who even knows, maybe my “stupid” buys will turn out to be brilliant! I’m not holding my breath, but there’s a non-zero chance at least. Goodness knows that DANNY was ridiculed for spending Alien money on his now-canonical 7-traiter punk. 85 ETH a year ago was a king’s ransom for a punk yet it’s probably worth 100x that today and almost definitely more than any of the 9 Aliens. ↩
- Speaking of “the rona,” I got my first dose of, to quote Tyler Cowen the “intellectual vaccine” this week:
Moderna — the very name suggests something new — is the intellectual vaccine. The company had no product or major revenue source until the vaccine itself, so it is harder to link Moderna to “Big Pharma,” which gives it a kind of anti-establishment vibe. Note also that the last three letters of Moderna are “rna,” referring to the mRNA technology that makes the vaccine work. It is the vaccine for people in the know.