Web3 Watch: CryptoPunked

Plus, the doge passes away and fantasy.top trading slows

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A CryptoPunks-inspired digital avatar collection created by New York-based painter Nina Chanel Abney went on display in recent days. The blue chip NFT collection touted its use of 3D to “reimagine the viewing experience for Abney’s art through the Punk lens.”

When videos of the collection caused a stir online, Greg Solano, CEO of CryptoPunks intellectual property owner Yuga Labs, backtracked on the broader “Punk in Residence” initiative that made the Abney-CryptoPunks collaboration happen. 

“Yuga will no longer touch punks,” Solano vowed on X, formerly Twitter.

Yuga’s attempt to use the CryptoPunks intellectual property outside of its PFP collection comports with the Pudgy Penguins-popularized playbook of expanding NFTs beyond the initial avatars. If NFTs can prove ownership over intellectual property, the thinking goes: Why not expand the use of that intellectual property to things like gaming and plushy collectibles?

Read more: Pudgy Penguins waddle their way into 2,000 Walmart locations

Yuga Labs is running a version of this strategy elsewhere with the Otherside metaverse game it’s building. 

Read more: Web3 Watch: Yuga Labs demos ‘Otherside’ metaverse, users left with mixed feelings

But for CryptoPunks, the most sought-after NFT collection by floor price, releasing the wonky three-dimensional figures proved a bridge too far. Some decried the collection as “woke.”

Perhaps punk holders don’t see much need to augment the collection’s popularity, as the collection’s heralded status still seems intact seven years after launching. 

Two so-called alien punks sold for over $16 million in March, the second- and third-largest sales in dollar terms in the collection’s history. 

Read more: Web3 Watch: Someone bought a CryptoPunk for $16M, again

Abney expressed dismay over some of the criticism of her collection.

“I am utterly disgusted with some of the racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic comments the controversy around this project has unearthed. [What’s] really at the underbelly of this space?” Abney wrote on X. 

Abney’s exhibition containing the CryptoPunks collection will be up in Kinderhook, NY until Oct. 5.

The Dogecoin doge crosses the rainbow bridge

Kabosu, the Shiba Inu whose likeness inspired Dogecoin, died Friday morning, the dog’s owner said on Instagram. 

“Kabosu crossed the rainbow bridge,” the owner wrote. “She went very peacefully without suffering, as if falling asleep while feeling the warmth of my hands petting her.”

A 2010 photo of Kabosu with a surprised-seeming expression would soon become the “doge” meme that led to the Dogecoin cryptocurrency’s launch in 2013. 

Since then, Dogecoin has become one of crypto’s paradigmatic memecoins and the ninth-largest crypto by market capitalization, per CoinGecko. Newer memecoins like Shiba Inu and BONK based themselves on the same dog breed in a likely hat tip to the original picture of Kabosu. 

One interesting stat:

  • NFT trading volume for the Blast-based social card game fantasy.top declined 56% this week but still saw the second-most volume among NFT collections, per CryptoSlam.

Also of note:

  • A Blockworks Research thread outlined the state of Web3 gaming.
  • The Polymarket prediction market for the ether ETF whipsawed in the days leading up to its approval.
  • The creator of a Pump.fun memecoin was hospitalized after burning himself on livestream to promote his token, Decrypt reported.

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