Every NFT Project is a Race Between Culture and Price

Polkachu Intern | 2022-10-18

Every NFT project is a race between culture and price. To be blue-chip, a NFT projects needs to get culture before it prices out cultural makers.

All NFT projects can be categorized into a 2x2 table of price vs culture:

Low Price, Low Culture: Those are grift projects that do "like, retweet, tag 3 friends and join our discord" gimmicks and buy Twitter ads before the mint days. They are mostly derivatives of 10K animal-head PFPs. They are NGMI.

High Price, Low Culture: They are meme coins with a JPEG. They often try to borrow culture from existing cultural establishments (celebrities like Jimmy Fallen or Paris Hilton) to justify its high price. God forbid, this lowly intern believes that BAYC is in this category, as it has nothing culturally interesting except maybe for "Jenkins The Valet". They are boomer's NFTs. The high price is ideal for flexing, but repels the new generation of cultural makers.

Low Price, High Culture: This is where the new blue-chip NFT projects are made. Since culture is difficult to create out of the thin air, these NFTs initially get grass-root adoption from a cultural "elite" already rising under the radar. This cultural "elite" is culturally rich but financially poor at the time of the initial alliance. Early CryptoPunks surely belonged to this category, as it attracted early crypto believers with a deep libertarian culture. Currently, BadKids NFT is following a similar path to be adopted by a loosely affiliated group of Cosmos builders with a strong builder culture.

High Price, High Culture: This is the end state of blue-chip NFTs. Congratulations, you have made it. The price is high and the early adopters are all rich. Now I have bad news for you. As Eugene Wei elegantly points out in Status as a Service, we are all status-seeking monkeys looking for the most efficient path to maximizing social capital. High-price blue-chip NFTs cannot possibly be the most efficient path forever to attract the new cultural makers. The projects do not fail, but will become culturally irrelevant over time.

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