NFT.NYC, an annual crypto event held in Times Square, kicked off on Monday. Contrary to the revolutionary discourse and delusions of grandeur endemic to the space, it looks to be a fairly conventional convention, all things considered. There are speakers, pop up shops, costumed lunatics, and all the trappings of a classic r/cringe-worthy Internet meetup. (Warning: link is aggressively NSFW.)
The program itself consists of seminars that sound like the 1-credit classes in the back of my undergrad course book. Transcendence in the Meta Verse. Our Nonfungible Future. 3D NFTs – Sculptures, Holograms & Toilets! If they came with the cost of tuition to a lecture hall near me, I’d absolutely green out in the back row of any/all of the above. But taking an out-of-pocket trip to the Big Apple just to socialize with tungsten touchers about a ‘10eth selfie‘? Hard pass.
However, NFT.NYC does serve as an early stage example of how the metaverse crosses over into the actual ‘verse. Who are these crypto degens aside from DeFi Twitter rants and overpriced profile pictures? Evidently, men in the 18-34 demo with objectively poor taste in footwear. Hypothesis proven. Thank God for science.
Jokes aside, it does provide some validity to the missions of these NFT projects. Bored Ape Yacht Club, for instance, is the poster boy/punching bag of overpriced PPC companies. Until this weekend, its current floor price of 34eth ($150k) bought you access to a Discord server, invaluable Twitter clout, and the right to digitally graffiti a virtual shitter. As of Sunday, you can add to that list a hoodie, a warehouse party, and cocktails on a literal yacht.
BAYC has had a hell of a week, also landing the once-legendary cover of the Rolling Stone magazine. The accompanying profile on the Bored Ape founders casts them as punk rock industry disruptors, the crypto equivalent of the Beastie Boys. While hyperbole has plagued the magazine for some time now, it’s hard to deny the hype. In under a year, these guys have whipped up Supreme levels of devotion and an entire business model, which is being feverishly replicated. Like it or not, we’re only going to see more of this. Degens have already claimed the metaverse. Reality is next.