HENI doing Hirst dirty. Sachs to the moon.

6313 Front - Make peace with your enemies Damien Hirst smolThe laughs, oh, the laughs.

Despite being massively oversubscribed, like 4-1, and despite now re-selling for 4-8x 10-12xi their original mint price, London-based gallery HENI has done legendary YBA artist Damien Hirst and his adoring collectors diiiiiiirty. How? By trying to be “clean” and “green” of course. Who could’ve predicted!

HENI’s pitch to Hirst must’ve sounded too good to pass up: an opportunity to seize upon the sizzling NFT Summer while morally one-upping the clearly barbaric digital asset collector community. The plan? Mint 10`000 of Hirst’s famous spot paintings on the “Palm” blockchain, an evidently underdeveloped sidechain of Ethereum, under the banner “The Currencyii and attempt to keep buyers as sandboxed as possible on HENI’s own rinky-dink marketplaceiii instead of the behemoth schelling point for all new NFT projects, OpenSea, all while claiming that their approach is “99% more energy efficient than proof of work systems such as Ethereum or Bitcoin”iv and neatly eliding the fact that maybe all that energy in proper cryptocurrencies was being put to good use – y’know, for things like security and stability – and then making their pièce de résistance the fact that collectors using Metamask + hardware wallets would be completely fucking fisted because “Ledger and Trezor have a 32 bit limit on chain IDs. [Palm] chain ID requires 64 bits”v and so no soup for them for weeks or months. Hurr much?

Compare and contrast, if you will, this well-meaning dumpster fire with another legendary trad-market artist – Tom Sachs – and his nearly simultaneous first foray into NFTs. The Tom Sachs Rocket Factory project has progressed muuuuuuch better to-date because he 1. didn’t produce as many pieces (3k vs. the punk-aping 10k); 2. priced components more reasonably (0.15 ETH [~$400] vs. Hirst’s $2k), leaving collectors to capture more upside;vi 3. minted everything on Ethereum proper; 4. had his own marketplace but correctly relied more heavily on OpenSea, 5. had brilliant and fast-acting deflationary mechanics at play; and 6. left collectors less than two weeks between initial launch and rocket assembly, keeping the momentum up to match the pace of this crazy space.vii The result? Floor rocket components are trading for 20-750x(!) mint price while providing a more engaging collector experience.

Both projects will be incredibly successful by the standards of most art investments, even most tech investments, but by the meteoric standards of this magical NFT space, the crown goes to Sachs, with Hirst playing court jester. But maybe that was the joke all along?

Tom Sachs Rocket Factory Perfect Rocket

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  1. I shit thee not, as I drafted this article on Friday night, ready for my usual 4am CT Sunday publishing schedule, and in anticipation of a busy Saturday filled with weddings and family time, the floor on The Currency fucking doubled from 3.5 ETH to 7 ETH (~$10k to ~$20k). Go figure. This market jump hardly nullifies my critique of HENI but it does take some of the wind out of its sails, I must admit.
  2. Archived.
  3. Though there are great arbitrage opportunities between HENI and OpenSea! I’m talking 10%+ there for the taking.
  4. As if Ethereum’s forthcoming migration to Proof-of-Stake wasn’t enough to assuage liberal guilt while secretly playing inter-generational NIMBYism.
  5. The full message from the top:

    Hardware Wallet update from Palm’s Discord

    If you’ve been affected by hardware wallet compatibility, please reach out to a moderator. We are doing our best to keep track of all affected users.

    In the last week, ConsenSys, Palm NFT Studio, HENI and others have worked hard to understand the Hardware Wallet issue and work towards a resolution.

    The core of the issue is that Ledger and Trezor have a 32 bit limit on chain IDs. Our chain ID requires 64 bits.

    We are working with both teams to implement a fix for this. We don’t have a timeline on this yet but will report as soon as we do.

    We have also contracted a hardware security firm to help with development, validation, and testing.

    Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to resolve this issue!

  6. Hirst priced his NFTs in straight-up dollars and charged a rather hefty $2k for the privilege of minting. As Beanie observes, this is not (typically) the way:

    The NFT creator alpha playbook is quite simple. Price low. Community in money day 1. Rich community is happy community. Continually add value for early supporters. This is what builds a vibrant community that will drive your marketing engine. Cash in on secondary sales royalties.

    Of course, Hirst’s starpower can and will overcome even this. But he’s basically the exception that proves the rule. Art Blocks Curated drops are another exception, as demonstrated by their recent shift towards the Dutch Auction format with a starting price of 2-3 ETH. And I guess Arihz’s Avid Lines project sold out at 2 ETH in three minutes flat, but it built on the back of Framergence and Pulsquares, as Larva Labs built on the back of the practically free Punks and Glyphs so that they could make a (wholly justified) killing with Meebits. So there are definitely a few exceptions but not so many.

  7. Hirst won’t burn his physicals for 365 FUCKING DAYS!!!11 after the initial minting. That’s like eleventy million fucking years in this goddam space. Talk about tone deaf. Hearing aids busted or what?

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