The NFT market witnessed massive growth within the last three years, attracting investment interest from various prominent persons. This remarkable growth is largely attributed to the different amazing projects within the space offering solutions to everyday challenges. Despite the multiple challenges faced by the NFT industry and by extension the crypto community in 2022, the NFT market still retained much of its value and currently stands at $3 billion today. In today’s edition of the Weekly Showcase, we shall look at five NFT projects doing amazing stuff in the Web3 space. Let’s dive right in!
Azuki is one of the most successful anime-themed NFT collections featuring over 10,000 avatars. Launched in February 2022 by Chiru Labs, Azuki recorded the fastest drops in NFT history, with over 8,700 avatars sold within three minutes for $30 million. As news of the NFT collection spread, Azuki subsequently recorded around $300 million in sales on NFT marketplaces. Sales were so good that at some point, the collection overshadowed the popular NFT collection Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC). One of the reasons for the apparent success of Azuki NFTs is its amazing aesthetics. It is the first NFT collection to tap into the huge community of anime enthusiasts. Azuki NFTs were also designed to represent the defiant culture of the skateboarding community. The grandeur nature of the project, including its use of merch exhibits and immersive 3D experience, contributed to making it an inspiration in the NFT space.
Holders of Azuki avatars belong to a community known as The Garden. This group of people has exclusive access to all Azuki live programs, streetwear collaborations and drops. Azuki avatars come in different styles, such as skateboarders and samurais. Holders can use their avatars as virtual identities in the metaverse. Azuki also gave holders a non-exclusive right to use their NFTs for commercial purposes; therefore, holders can place their Azuki on any item they wish to sell online. In November 2022, Azuki made history as the first blue-chip NFT collection to be featured on an F1 race car. The particular Azuki that rode alongside famous F1 riders Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen, was called Lei the Lightning Azuki. Azuki rolled out its second collection, the Azuki Beanz Collection in April and is currently working towards expanding into the metaverse.
CloneX is an NFT collection featuring 20,000 3D distinct avatars similar to the BAYC collection. The collection is the product of a partnership between popular Japanese artist Takashi Murakami and RTFKT. RTFKT generated headlines in the NFT community when it was purchased by Nike in December 2021, becoming the first major acquisition of a blue-chip NFT company by a popular household name. CloneX NFTs are built on the Ethereum blockchain and each avatar, called clones, is created with a specific objective. All CloneX NFTs are made up of eight DNA types, including humans (80%), robots (30%), angels (8.75%), demons (8.75%), reptiles (1.25%), undead (0.6%), Murakamis (0.5%) and aliens (0.15%). Each DNA type contains unique variants and attributes, for instance, Murakamis feature the fashion drip and character of co-founder Murakami. Therefore, unlike the rest of the collection, they cannot be employed for commercial purposes.
Holders of the NFTs can use them in video games, movies, social media, and in the metaverse. The collection has a feature, known as CloneX Space Pods, which is a virtual gallery where holders can customize, showcase, and upgrade their NFTs. Holders can also use the 3D vault to download 3D files of their clones. Users can also purchase real-world and virtual collectibles using CloneX NFTs. Presently, the company is developing its wearable marketplace, which will allow holders to customize their clones, obtain new drops and wearables, and trade them for other clones.
Nouns NFTs is a collection of generative NFTs minted daily on the Ethereum blockchain. It is a generative art because it is created by computer codes, through a combination of randomness and rules. The collection is an open-source project and the code used in creating them is also open-source. Therefore, any interested party can build on it. While NFTs are generally cryptographically distinct tokens used in representing a piece of art, Nouns NFTs are an excellent example of a Profile Picture (PFP) collection. PFT collections are NFTs that is used as the profile images of holders on social media platforms. What makes the project special is that unlike other NFT projects bearing links to avatars hosted on a decentralized web hosting service, Nouns are directly stored on Ethereum’s scarce block space. All Noun NFTs are algorithmically generated images, stored as 32-by-32-pixel photos on the Ethereum network. Noun avatars are based on persons, places and things (just like the definition of the term).
Furthermore, unlike other NFTs that have a definite supply, Nouns NFTs are generated once per day. Each NFT is sold the same day it was created and the proceeds are sent directly into the Nouns DAO treasury. The process is repeated automatically, forever. Nouns NFTs were featured during the 2022 Super Bowl commercial. It was also the first on-chain NFT to be used in an Indie movie, called Calladita. Movie characters wore pixelated goggles featuring Nouns NFTs and the NFTs were also showcased on-screen during the course of the movie. During the 134th edition of the annual Rose Parade in Pasadena, California, happening on 2nd January 2023, Nouns-theme characters and floats will be displayed.
Famously dubbed “the coolest cats on the blockchain”, Cool Cats is a collection of 9,999 randomly generated and hand-drawn NFTs. Each NFT features a set of distinct attributes, outfits, colors, and faces. The prime focus of the Cool Cat team is to develop a gamified universe known as Cooltopia. The cats are cartoon drawings of blue felines, executed using computerized marker pens and appearing remarkably cute. Some felines adorn dungarees, others wear candles as hats, while some feature two mouths. Compared to avatars from BAYC and CryptoPunks, Cool Cats are generally benign and easy on the eye. The rarity of a cat determines its value, expressed in points. Each cat is valued between 3 to 10 points, and the higher the points, the rarer or cooler the cat. Cats with lower scores are referred to as cool, while top-ranking cats are called exotic or wild.
Holders of Cool Cats have governance rights and can determine the future of the platform. You can decide what features can be added to the program, such as breeding and the Cool Cat application. Holders have exclusive access in the Discord community, and airdrops, and are given priority during minting.
During the course of the NFT animal-theme PFP bull run in 2021, one of the remarkable projects that shook up the NFT community was Pudgy Penguins. Pudgy Penguin is a collection of 8,888 unique and hand-drawn penguins on the Ethereum blockchain. Each Pudgy Penguin NFT is an ERC-721 token, the token standard for NFTs built on the Ethereum blockchain. The penguins reside in the icy section of Web3 and their aesthetics were built to spread a sense of community and cool vibes amongst members. The main aim of Pudgy Penguins is to serve as a platform for people facing challenges and ensure a sense of inclusivity, oneness, and art. The NFT community has its own terminologies, such as pengus for penguins, tufts refer to valuable and special penguins, and floors for less expensive penguins. All these add to the intrigue and sense of community shared by members of the platform.
The platform has a merch shop, where members of the community can purchase customized merchandise and prints. The Pudgy Penguin ecosystem also enjoys the membership of various celebrities, including Canadian rapper Tory Lanez and NBA star Steph Curry. Recently, the NFT collection eclipsed the BAYC and other blue-chip NFT projects to become the highest trading digital collection, at 1,200 ETH.
These NFT projects are undoubtedly much more than “artworks” and keep exploiting new avenues to provide value and utility to their holders and community. Which project do you consider the “coolest”? Let us know in the comment section!
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