Tag: nfts

Exploring Optimism Layer 2 Rollup – Low Gas, Airdrop Farming unsuccessfully :(

Before Optimism announced the OP token, the blue birdie on the internet told me about the likelihood of an Optimism airdrop.

Apparently rumors were circulating during ETH Amsterdam, and airdrops are nothing new – if you’re in the right place at the right time, web3 users can cash in on airdrops.

For example, the LooksRare airdrop sent OpenSea users LOOKS token for free as long as they traded over 3 ETH in volume worth of NFTs.

And although the 3 ETH limit for the LOOKS airdrop was a bit much, I was feeling optimistic for the imminent Optimism airdrop.

How to Bridge to Optimism from Ethereum Mainnet

Once you’ve setup your own crypto wallet, sending funds over to Optimism is actually super easy, and will probably cost you less in transaction fees than you pay in fees on OpenSea when you purchase an NFT.

I think I payed between $12-20 in gas to bridge over, having recently done so Ethereum to Optimism on three separate occasions.

how to use the optimism bridge
Optimism Bridge user interface

One of the best parts about Optimism?

LOW GAS FEES.

While Ethereum Mainnet is like driving through traffic in the middle of a big city at rush hour – and overwhelmed with top-tier NFT projects sparking gas wars among hundreds of thousands of users – Optimism is your chill, quiet vacation getaway in the mountains.

In 2022, there are definitely fewer users in the Optimism ecosystem, but with the number of new entrants to web3 that could certainly change.

Optimism borrows all the good from Ethereum and makes it even better

Optimism is EVM-compatible, which means that the software was built on all of Ethereum’s same protocols

Because of this, transactions share security and decentralization features with Ethereum, while also using complicated new types of cryptography that enable the system to “scale”.

  • Scalability means that more people can use the blockchain network at the same time without gas going super high.

Even though Optimism transactions do use Ethereum, the system is more efficient with blockchain data, allowing many more people to do use the network at once.

With Ethereum as a foundation, Optimism allows users to benefit from the good of Ethereum while also enabling efficient scaling.

This helps users experience lower transactions fees.

OP token is a sure thing, but airdrops are not

With the Optimism announcement published a few days ago, I’m sad to say I’m zero for two on airdrops recently.

To be honest, the Optimism airdrop criteria was pretty difficult to meet.

The team was smart and they made it about more than just bridging a small amount of ETH over once and then getting a free airdrop in your wallet.

The criteria were pretty specific including using Optimism for the first time before June 2021, among other possible criteria.

That’s a long way of saying, the team was thoughtful in the approach.

They made it difficult for a mere degen to gain access to OP tokens this early, and rightly so.

Losing on airdrops, winning on Optimism NFTs

Having bridged over a small amount of ETH, I started to explore some of the different dapps that exist on the Optimism network.

The Optimism website has a section dedicated to different applications that are built on top of their network.

The “Ecosystem” includes a number of apps from Defi to Gaming, as well as NFTs.

Naturally, the first thing that stood out were the NFTs…. if the network is growing, why not try and get in on the ground floor?

optimism ecosystem - dapps, NFTs, optipunks
Optimism ecosystem. What would you try first?

Quixotic is the name of the website marketplace where you can buy and sell NFTs on the Optimism Network. Its the OpenSea equivalent, but on Optimism.

Quixotic proved to be surprisingly user friendly… I managed to buy into an NFT project before I actually realized that it was STILL MINTING!

Yep, the Optimistic Apes were barely halfway through the 2300 round of minting, when I turned up and minted 7 of them, plus that one from secondary.

This is Optimism – we’re not Bored Apes, we’re Optimistic Apes

Optimistic Ape collection on Quixotic by espresso

While OptiPunks are a literal 1-to-1 duplicate of all 10,000 CryptoPunks, the Optimistic Apes do a few things differently.

For one, they support Public Goods funding on the ecosystem, which means founders will be encouraged to build within the Optimism Network.

Featuring a collection size of only 2300, far fewer than the standard NFT project, the artwork of the Optimistic Apes also feels more grungy than the Bored Apes – lots of hoodies, hats, and cigars.

The art itself has a bit of a pencil-sketched cartoony look, however, the artist is for now unknown, according to a post from Chief Ape in the Optimistic Punks Discord chat.

Are Optimism NFTs unoriginal?

Even if the Optimistic Apes NFT project has taken steps to distinguish themselves, you have to wonder why the top two NFT projects on Optimism just so happen to be called OptiPunks and Optimistic Apes…

Are we copy-catting the two biggest blue-chip NFT projects on Ethereum?

Given that the OptiPunks leverage exactly the same characters as CryptoPunks, but with a fading red background, it sure feels like some sort of precedent has been set.

Still, they sell!

quixotic demand for NFTs - statistics of April 29 2022

Demand for NFTs on Quixotic has skyrocketed over the last few days.

Given the large flood of users moving over to Optimism and bridging funds, no doubt the Quixotic website has been getting a lot of hits.

Yet the Quixotic server has stayed up and running smoothly.

No surprise that the top NFT projects on Optimism are enjoying the buzz as well.

When will the hype arrive to Optimism?

All this talk of missed airdrops and under-hyped NFTs makes you wonder…

Is Optimism simply lacking hype, or is it just that the hype hasn’t arrived yet?

The small amount of hype getting started makes you wonder if its temporary or slowly growing.

Is Optimism just cheap, layer 2 rip-off copy of Ethereum, or simply a sweet, slower paced, lower fee pet turtle?

OptiTurtle?

In web3, the key is to get in early

Getting involved a growing ecosystem early is the one of the best ways to have a big impact.

  • 2012 it was Bitcoin
  • 2017 it was Ethereum
  • 2021 it was Bored Ape Yacht Club

In 2022 could it be…. Optimism?

We are in the Blockchain Era for Layer 2 Rollups

In crypto and web3, trying and using stuff is the best way to gain experience and learn.

My goal this year is to explore the layer 2 ecosystem, find the best dapps, and increase my chances of finding a silver spoon carrying a golden goose egg.

This blog as well as Twitter will be a a place for sharing thoughts and learnings about web3, layer 2 rollups, and the broad crypto ecosystem.

Reach out – DM’s open!

5 NFT Projects Worth Holding Long-Term

One of the hottest trending topics on the internet over the last few months has been NFTs.

not investment / not financial advice. do ur own research.

NFTs are digital collectibles that usually give the owner some sort of exclusive access – whether to artwork, discord groups, or even in-person events. Anyone can create and launch an NFT, in the same way that anyone can start a business and sell a product or service, but with NFTs, the underlying value of the asset is based on rarity, utility, and social hype. Those who want to be a part of a niche community are able to prove their ownership by having the NFT.

While any industry experiencing exponential growth will attract questionable (i.e. scam) projects, those of us who are long-term bullish on NFTs and crypto focus on the fundamentals and maintain ownership in NFT projects with competent teams and strong communities.

But market optimism may fade in the future; as the hype-cycle predicts, the peaking highs are often followed by steep cliffs.

My involvement with NFTs over the last few months has been complicated. I’ve been largely focused on my day job and, when the waves are good, sneaking out to surf while trying not to forget about my responsibilities. Investing has always been a long-term play and something I don’t feel the need to make changes to very often. Besides, everyone in the Ethereum community is patiently waiting for the Merge.

My NFT Plays:

As always, NONE of this is advice, guidance, or suggestions. Please don’t take anything here as investment advice and always do your own research.

The seven NFTs cost me $5,766.92 – and, according to estimates based on floor price, I’ve lost about $505.98 on paper when you include transaction fees.

Despite losing money in some areas, the projects below are the ones I’ve chosen to hold for the long term. Whether that means during a bear market or bull, I believe in these projects for the reasons I’ll share below.

That being said, its time to shill some NFTs:

1. Surf Punks NFT

After hearing about an NFT that gives holders access to surf sessions at wave pools around the world, I was interested. Seeing Koa Smith post something about it on Instagram as well as involvement from YouTubers like Nathan Florence made me realize there was a significant amount of hype behind the project.

Given that this would be my first NFT and mint was happening the following day, figuring out how to move funds to Metamask was a challenge of its own.

My initiation to the NFT game became hard-won when the exchange wouldn’t let me move funds. Familiarizing myself with the intricacies of web3 wallets via trial and error, I finally secured the 0.15 ETH for mint plus extra for transactions fees.

After minting surf punk 246 for 0.15 eth pre-reveal, I later purchased my second Surf Punk, number 273, for 0.69 ETH. The advantage of owning two Surf Punks is that you can bring a friend to events.

Months later and @TheSurfPunks community has been growing at a pace that feels organic. I’ve met and surfed with other holders in Hawaii, hosted Twitter spaces and spoken with the founder Andre, and the Surf Punks treasury has reserved the entire Waco, Texas wave pool for a private holder-only event in March.

surf punks nft

2. Ranchy Rednecks

Twitter Spaces definitely become a source of edu-tainment about NFTs for hundreds of people every day including myself. One evening in December, during the Late Night Degens Twitter space, 3LAU, Steve Aoki, and like 500 other people helped 13 year old Nick sell out his NFT project in 2 hours.

The excitement that everyone had during that Twitter space was too much to not want to be part of it. So I decided to get in at mint price. Unlike my Surf Punks mint, I elected to mint two of these from the beginning.

I believe that purchasing two or three of an NFT in which you have conviction is a better move than buying just one because if it pops, you’re going to want to sell one to take profits and still be a part of the community. Owning more than one allows you to do that.

ranchy rednecks nft

3. Ethereum Name Service (ENS) Names

After I learned that the .eth extensions would serve as your web3 username and wallet address, I immediately needed one.

As someone who builds websites and is a proponent of owning your own domain name / internet identity, the vision of ENS really makes sense, similar to the .com top level domain names of the traditional internet.

I purchased two ENS:

  • Epigenome.eth – after doing cancer research in college and majoring in chem, I believe in epigenetics as one of the key industries to help cure diseases and even extend human life one day.
  • LNR.eth – means love n respect; 3-letter ENS names are quite rare. With only 17,576 combinations, there’s a good chance that the 3-letter ENS names become more valuable as more people are onboarded to web3.

The way it works is that users pay to register and extend registration of the ENS name. Prices are currently set at $5/year for names 5 characters or longer, $160/year for names 4 characters in length, and $640/year for names 3 characters in length.

I do believe that ENS names will become much more valuable as web3 gains traction and becomes more ubiquitous – like many areas of web3, we’re still so early.

Additionally, ENS Domains were launched April 2017 – before Curio Cards and even CryptoPunks. Historical NFTs – that is, those first few NFT projects between 2015 and 2019 – are more valuable to some people because they were first and are thus are more original, more authentic, and more rare.

ENS is undoubtedly an OG NFT and depending which one you own, may become super valuable some day.

The floor price of various ENS names on OpenSea is around 0.006 eth as of 3/13/22, with sales in the last day of as much as 1 ETH.

Purposefully under-estimating the floor price as 0 in my Spending History Table at the bottom provides a realistic viewpoint and helps ensure I don’t over-inflate my own expectations of the portfolio.

4. Kooks NFT (number 69)

This NFT is unique in that it was a whitelist gift, and there was no cost or transaction fees associated with acquiring it. Additionally, it is the only NFT on the Polygon Network that I own

@KooksNft is a smaller project right now, but I was able to meet the founder during a Twitter Spaces event that I hosted and he growth of the NFT space means Kooks could serve a valuable position as helping educate people on surf etiquette and respecting the ocean.

5. Full Send Metacard

The Nelk Boys prank videos have been going viral across social media for years. Kyle’s candidness and ability to go off-script is a skill that few creators have.

Boasting 7.27M subscribers on YouTube, watching the Nelk Boys brand grow, improve the quality of the content, form partnerships with the UFC, and finally launch an NFT has been truly incredible. After bringing UFC owner Dana White onto the podcast, Dana is now a Metacard holder which is honestly so sick.

I’ve been following these guys on Instagram and YouTube but once I heard about their NFT launching, I knew that I had to jump on board.

Since I was not on the white list, my initial plan was to purchase one on secondary between the time of whitelist and the time of public sale.

I needed to think strategically.

With over 200,000 Discord members, the project was bound to sell out immediately and so the chances were almost zero that I would be able to get a Metacard during public sale.

During the Metacard minting event, with so much hype and website traffic, OpenSea CRASHED which made it impossible to purchase on secondary there.

At this point, the only way to get a Metacard was to venture into the web3 alternative exchanges – basically the real wild wild west of the internet, where you really have to watch out to protect yourself from getting scammed or having your assets stolen.

The risk of doing this is that you could easily end up buying a fraudulent NFT if you don’t verify that the smart contract and addresses are legit. After digging into Etherscan block explorers, downloading CSV files, and matching addresses, I made sure that I wasn’t about to pay for something fake.

I found a legit Metacard on secondary BEFORE the public sale started and successfully paid for and transferred it to my wallet.

With Full Send gyms on the horizon and new hilarious videos dropping every week, I couldn’t be more stoked for the future of Metacard community.

If you haven’t seen @KyleForgeard and the Nelk Boys’ YouTube videos, look them up immediately. Pranks and comedy is valuable for everyone, because we all need to laugh.

I’m still diamond-handing all of these to the moon.

Did I spend too much money on NFTs, or is this simply a healthy diversification of funds into a risky yet potentially exponential asset class?

You can analyze my spending history table below for yourself.

I’d also be curious to hear how you think NFTs will play a role in peoples’ lives over the next 3-5 years. Share a comment at the bottom and let me know what you thought.

Spending History Table (via estimates)