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MetaVault 2021 Wrap-up!
Take it to the community to look back on 2021 and ahead to 2022
This is MetaVault, a weekly newsletter that makes sense of the Pixel Vault universe: PUNKS Comic, MetaHero, United Planets, $PUNKS, $POW, and lots of DAOs.
What a wild ride 2021 has been. Let's be honest, most of us had no clue what an NFT was on January 1st. And yet here we are, experts on smart contracts, generative art aesthetics, game theory dynamics, and etherscan sleuthing.
Pixel Vault jumped (get it! ha) from an idea to a multi-million dollar IP, media, art, and Web3 company with industry-leading partnerships in less than nine months. Whether you minted on May 10th or just joined 10 days ago, PV is still at the beginning of their journey.
I asked some frens from PV Twitter and the Founder’s DAO Discord channel to look back at 2021 and project forward into 2022. The community came through with some phenomenal answers. Much love to the those who participated during the holidays: Juicy Jama, Abraham, KP, misterpacky, Ctrl, 0xBEW, cheadleheat, manija, Brad Barrett, Ned Ryerson, FilmBook, Shakey, MickyD, and Khateva. Let’s try to make this a yearly exercise!
Before we jump into the Q&A, do you want to answer too?! Hit the button below!
Shouldn’t be a surprise as I asked mostly OGs to respond, but no one selected anything from the end of the year releases?! I don’t think that speaks to the quality or the enthusiasm for the later releases, more likely we’re all thankful for getting into the project in the genesis days.
Game theory is central to the Pixel Vault story. Love the mix of answers here. Lots of hard decisions in 2021. I still get DM’d from community members asking what I think about holding a genesis set vs. minting/staking another MetaHero.
World of Women! I’m not a holdr, but have admired that project’s consistency from afar. That would be a killer collab! And yes, I threw in Teez! to show love to my PVFD frens. Can we start the year with a Teez floor sweep, please!?
Pretty overwhelming response here. I was delighted to see “Art” (a shitty description by me, tbh) as the number 2 response. It might be fun if the $PUNKS treasury became one of the largest holders of XCOPY or Autoglyphs.
Most of these answers came in before the Town Hall on December 30th where GFunk talked about the possible monthly releases of Origin Stories in partnership with the Coinbase NFT platform. I think the community assumed quarterly PUNKS Comics and a scattershot of Origin Stories. I’m pulling for the Over here!
Pretty bullish. I selected $1.00 (which would equate to a $200M valuation for the coin) thinking that the underlying assets (16 Punks + $PUNKS2 assets) would increase in value, but not super moon. It’ll be fun to look back at this at the end of next year.
Now, over to the MetaHero Universe. This was my favorite question. I selected a handful of killer traits, but there are dozens to choose from — Odious and Chris Wahl did amazing design work. Not surprised that The Nudes and Frosted Hood came in first. And I love that Ctrl wrote in Mohawk!
Pretty strong consensus here. Abraham went big and wrote in 100! Can you imagine?! If the highest level Sidekick required 100 MP#2, there’d only be a few of them… and shouldn’t they be hand-drawn by Chris Wahl?! Maybe they would have an MAYC M3 Serum vibe.
Pretty even across the board. We’re in the early days of on-chain P2E. This list may look ancient by the end of next year. Lots of innovation coming to this space.
I think a lot of us think the P2E space will be huge in 2022. But it’s hard to evaluate $POW against the big players like Axie Infinity (~$5.6B market cap) without a thriving gameplay experience. Gamified staking will be interesting and is likely to drive up the value. But how much?! Looks like this roundtable is thinking in the $0.50 to $1.00 range.
GFunk and The Virtunaut have said over and over that the MetaHero Universe will need to expand to accommodate all future gamers. About 10k MetaHeroes, then another 50k SideKicks. What’s next? Maybe robots or androids?
The scale was 1 = Very Underwhelming and 5 = Completely Exceeded Expectations. It’s safe to assume a 3 = Met Expectations. So from that perspective, this partnership was a huge win. I’ve written about how well the collab was executed, so it was an easy 5 for me!
What are you looking forward to from the adidas x BAYC x GMoney x PUNKS Comic partnership?
As an open response, the answers could’ve gone in a lot of different directions. But there was lots of similarity. Frens definitely want to rock the gear. They’re interested in exclusive access, gamification/utility, and future expansion. I think cheadleheat captures the group’s sentiments best:
The merch is a given, I can't wait to see how that turns out, but I'm curious to see where adidas want to head next. For example, are they going to find a way into the MetaHero Universe? Can they do that in an authentic way, so it doesn't just feel like branding where it doesn't belong? Is Issue 3 (or beyond) the place to experiment with that, or is it through another NFT drop? I just want all parties to shine a light on each other and bring the masses in. That will take a long time I'm sure, but I am impressed how well the market has taken to 30k tokens hitting the marketplace. That bodes well for future expansion as the usual complaint is 'they are sucking liquidity out of the market!'. Not so if adidas onboards new wallets.
Which company or brand would you love to see Pixel Vault collaborate with next?
This was another open response and the answers didn’t disappoint. Some of the heavy hitters appear: Netflix, Epic Games, Apple, Warner Brothers, DC, Marvel. Then some left field answers that are really rather brilliant: the NBA (0xBEW), NVIDIA (Juicy Jama), Lego (Ned), Jenkins the Valet (misterpacky), NASA / SpaceX / Tesla (cheadleheat), and Art Blocks (manija). And Abraham came in swinging for ReidarDao! ha. Shoot your shots, Abraham!
What did PV nail in 2021?
Game theory, community building, the collecting experience (MickyD), attaching real world value to NFTs (Brad Barrett). As manija said, “Establishing themselves as the biggest builders and long term thinkers in the space.” But let’s go back to cheadleheat to summarize all of the goodness from PV in 2021:
The team. They are crushing it on all fronts, from the insane artwork by Chris Wahl and Odious, to the business and development team creating gamifcation around every decision point in the PV ecosystem, to the community management led by the tireless Potamus. GFunk has put S-tier talent in key positions across the business and it shows in the quality of their execution. Take MetaHero minting for example. To combine all of those traits flawlessly, creating unique identies on chain, with clean artwork that just works in any combination? That's a serious achievement. I know Beanie waxed lyrical about this at the time which created some pushback from the wider NFT community, but he was absolutely right about this one. It was a level of technical proficiency that few projects operated at in 2021, and I think this will be acknowledged in the fullness of time, as more and more low-effort projects rug, or fail to execute.
What do you want them to improve in 2022?
The answers to this question vary broadly. Whether it’s DAO exclusive experiences (MickyD), onboarding normies (Shakey), forecasting demand for drops (Ned), or meeting deadlines (manija, 0xBEW, Abraham), I love that the community shows passion and wants to see Pixel Vault succeed.
A lot of people hit on communications and marketing. Maybe it’s a podcast (cheadleheat). Maybe it’s more content on the website (Ctrl). Maybe it’s just more detail and with greater speed (Khateva). We know PV is focused on this, but the community wants more.
Some other great answers:
Brad Barrett: The value of the planets have not been explained properly to 99% of people in the NFT ecosystem and I would guess 80%+ of PV holders can't explain them either. I understand there are limitations with what PV is allowed to represent these as so they don't run afoul of the SEC, but either way, a better explanation up to the maximum amount their lawyers will allow should be readily available to all. This is the easiest way to onboard new people to PV.
KP: I’d like them to provide clarity around each assets functionality (ie. MetaHero/Sidekicks in game use or PVFD value). It’s hard to track for new [collectors] and I’ve gotten a lot of my information and learned via DMs to community members I respect. The community also provides tons of value, I’m just not sure all new members will feel as comfortable reaching out and asking questions.
misterpacky: Marketing/comms as well as integration with the PVFD group. I believe the PVFD includes some of Pixel Vault's most trusted supporters and top fan club. Pixel Vault should empower the PVFD (with the setup of a true DAO, $pv staking, etc.) to enable the ~2,600 holders to organically market Pixel Vault and all of their efforts even outside of the Metahero Universe.
FilmBook: I would like to understand the growth of the IP a bit more and if there will be a focus in 2022. Grow MetaHero? Grow Punks? Grow Origin Stories? All 3? Which is the first IP we will see on a lunchbox?
What are you most excited about in 2022?
Excitement is overflowing. A lot of the answers include “Everything!” Many are excited about PUNKS Comic #3, tokenomics, MetaHero development (MH, SideKicks, Planets), DAO participation, the game studio and media partnerships. I like 0xBEW’s take on P2E gaming via gamified staking:
I am really excited to see how staking pays out, especially for $POW. I expect P2E/gamefi to be the meme of 2022. With a game release being extremely unlikely in 2022 I am curious to see how $POW does or doesn't tap into what I expect to be a big thread throughout the year.
Then there’s the formation of PVDAO and the possibility for VC investment. While these two aren’t necessarily linked, the community is watching this evolve. Here are some other answers in full:
FilmBook: Rumors of VC investment and subsequent valuation, next "surprise and delight" moves from PV, and the next major onboarding/community building release.
Juicy Jama: Sidekicks, some kind of gamification, lobby or any utility to use MetaHeroes and Sidekicks
Brad Barrett: PV itself becoming a DAO. This is incredibly exciting and it's amazing that Gfunk & co. are potentially going to allow existing holders to become part owners of PVDAO. Also very interested to see what value the "full planet set" will have in the future. Could see those holders getting something special in the game itself, which would be facinating. Excited to see more game theory and more decisions.
cheadleheat: The development of the MetaHero Universe. As 2021 wraps up there are so many questions that I think will be answered next year, such as: - What will happen to MetaHero identity demand when $POW starts trading? - What does the short-term gamification of $POW actually look like? Are we getting a blockchain P2E game ahead of the 'big' game? - Who will be the AAA game partner? - What will the planetary DAOs 'do' next year? Will we start making decisions that shape game development? - How do Sidekicks fit into all of this? - Will we get clearer game development timeframes e.g. in-game footage from Mercury? - wen MH comic? And is Beanie still creating token staking incentives for his 1,000 MetaHeroes based around that comic launch?
To close it out, I was curious to see if people were interested in meetups next year. The answer looks to be Yes! I know MamaDukes from the PV Team tweeted about this earlier in the year. I think it’s highly likely we’ll get at least one opportunity to hang with our PV community frens IRL in 2022.
Thanks again to everyone who participated! This community is amazing. And thanks to all the readers out there. This newsletter started on a random Sunday night, not knowing where it would lead. 24 hours later, after retweets from Beanie and the official Pixel Vault channels, a lot of you arrived on my doorstep. Not sure yet where 2022 will take me, but you can look forward to more coverage from the world’s “premier publication of all things Pixel Vault”! ha. gm. LFG. WAGMI.
Some Disclaimers: None of this is financial advice. DYOR. And yes, I’m obviously a PV collector and long-term hodlr. Not a whale by any measure (maybe a squid?).