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MetaVault: Jan 12th Town Hall Recap
Ape Coins, Founder's DAO, PVDAO, VC Funding, & Sidekicks
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.
Before I jump into the recap, huge shoutout to BCheque for not only live tweeting the Town Hall, but somehow subtitling topics, highlighting who asked questions, and catching all of the PV team’s responses in a 20+ tweet mega thread. 🤯. You’re a legend, my friend. When I started these recaps there was no way for someone who missed the Town Hall to catch-up. Now we’ve got live Twitter threads from the community and PV’s high-level recap posted to their Discord. Love it.
GFunk: It's going to be sort of a gamified drop where based on your participation in the relevant communities, you'll have a greater likelihood of getting the chance to win one of those. And furthermore, because it's a limited supply item — only 6000 across the eight Elite Apes — we wanted everyone in the community that participates to walk away with something cool. And that was the creation of this Ape entry coin, which we'll be revealing here on Twitter shortly after Spaces.
Coin allocations go like this (and check the punkscomic.com website for the full FAQ):
3 Ape Coins:
PV Genesis Set (PUNKS Comic #1, PV Founder’s DAO token, Mint Pass #1, and a MetaHero)
MetaHero Planet Set (all 10 planets)
PUNKS Comic #1 Special Edition
2 Ape Coins:
PV Founder’s DAO token
1 Ape Coin:
PUNKS Comic #1
Mint Pass #1
Any MetaHero planet
Any MetaHero generative character
Mutant Bored Ape
This isn’t a points system that adds up. There are three tiers with the max allocation being 3 Ape Coins per wallet. The snapshot was already taken, so there’s no gaming the system and moving assets around to maximize your claim.
The claim for the Ape Coin on punkscomic.com is live and you have until January 31st to claim your lot. I’m lucky enough to have a PV Genesis Set and jumped over to the site, clicked claim, and paid all of $51 in gas for three coins. Very straightforward process — gotta give shine to the PV Dev team for their execution. Just checked OpenSea to look at the market for the coins: as of this writing they’re going for about .18 ETH. This is another example of PV rewarding collectors. I did nothing but hold awesome NFTs and was essentially “airdropped” $1,800 of cool PV stuff!
We know PV is always looking for ways to limit the gas wars. Here they’ve taken a rolling approach to the mint based on a raffle:
GFunk: People will claim the entry coin over the next several weeks. And then we're expecting to launch the actual sale of the covers, probably the very first few days of February, giving people time to claim giving people time to trade…
We'll be randomizing all of the holders based on token and then hour by hour will make 1000 of those token holders eligible to mint. So it'll be sort of an all day process allowing for the fairest distribution and trying to prevent a gas war. And it'll be first come first served: if you have a specific Elite Ape cover that you want to mint, but it is gone, you'll go to your next favorite. There are 750 of each of the eight covers. And so you'll be able to track that all as it happens live.
If you mint, you burn that coin. So it's a deflationary supply, and then you pay (.1 ETH) to mint the cover. These coins will have future utility attached to them with some things we're working on with the Elite Apes moving forward.
Here’s Tropo jumping in with thoughts as an Elite Ape on this killer mechanic:
We wanted something that gave people a shot to mint the Elite Ape covers, because they're so limited. It's like, you don't want gas wars. I mean, it's exciting, but it's gonna cost people money. And this is a means to help mitigate that while also giving something interesting, a collectible, a cool NFT and it does have some future utility — TBA…
What's also interesting with this is the coins and the covers gives Apes a way to interact/reward the community. We could leverage this for future totally outside of Pixel Vault.
Virtunaut: We just finalized a deck that outlines how we're going to approach the visual style. We want a style that's going to be definitively MetaHeroes. We put a lot of time into thinking about the underlying nature of the universe and the narrative and the origin of powers, and how those will inform and tie into the art style. And so now we have a pretty compelling deck about that. We're going to be engaging a concept design studio, probably at the end of this week or early next week, to kick things off, and they're going to start pre-vis, which is the first part of pre-production for the game. And they're going to be helping visualize the environments that you guys are going to be playing in, how the MetaHero NFTs translate in-game with the game style. And helping also solidify what that style is so that we can use it with future 3D artists and textures and modelers that that will come onto the team.
Great question from Bobby that tied Arr00 joining the PV Team to focus on the technical side of the DAO implementation with Jacob Wittman joining to ensure the legal side was straight. GFunk confirmed that when Arr00 joins, all of the governance is in place and it’s now just a matter of building it out technically.
Here’s more from GFunk on what he sees as the role of the Founder’s DAO:
I look at the Founder’s DAO as sort of another arm of the company, right? You're our most loyal supporters, and you have lots of great ideas. And so opening up the forum for as many decisions as we possibly can, taking into account your feedback, making sure we're taking this business and all of the IP that we're developing in the direction that you want to see it move, and then certainly you'll have a lot of power over governance of the assets that are held within the Treasury. So yeah, I mean really the DAO is whatever you all collectively want it to be.
I loved hearing Jacob’s take on empowering the PVFD to start their own councils:
I encourage the community to stand up their own little councils. And we've heard from groups of keen members in the past and you know, that's the idea behind Web3, right? There doesn't need to be one official channel and voice and please do reach out to us with with your ideas.
Now, the next topic has gotten a ton of buzz over the last week with whispers about a large VC funding round nearing conclusion that will possibly value PV over the $1B mark. The first question and answer was on staking the PVFD token:
GFunk: That is a stretch goal. For now, the Founder’s DAO was acting as that arm off of the Pixel Vault entity, as it were. But the idea is, over time, we'll continue to decentralize decision making. And you know, when a PVDAO token should arise, that would be when the Founder’s DAO token would stake, right.
We have a lot here happening in the next two weeks or so. But you know, in the interim PV Founder’s DAO tokens could be stakeable for a variety of things.
When asked by Ned, a big collector in the PV and broader NFT community, why PV was open to taking VC money when they’re financially successful now and likely don’t need the money to fund their roadmap. Here’s GFunk’s killer answer, only slightly edited to ensure the community gets to hear from the man himself:
Generally speaking, Ned is absolutely right, we do not need the money. However. speed to market is incredibly important. And so large cash infusions are powerful in getting to market quicker, right? We have a pretty sizable runway before I think incumbent media companies start entering the space. I also believe we have an advantage over most other NFT projects in the space. I think all of you can probably think off the top of your head, the groups of creators that are doing unique things, and pushing the ball forward. And it's not that large of a group, right. So we want we really want to make sure that we take advantage of our early mover status, right?
We have very, very grand plans that span quite a few different media verticals. We're doing things in sports, we're doing things in gaming, animated series, feature film, and then of course, our core Web3 business. So scaling all of those aspects of the business simultaneously not only requires infusions of capital, but requires the top minds in the world working together. And the networking that comes with a raise from the right partners is honestly priceless. We are not looking for empty checks. In fact, it's it's very much the opposite of that. Groups that we have been talking to or people that have been passionate about this project since day one, and no different than the people that we've hired to be on our team internally. That's the same process we've taken with any investors that we've spoken to. Are we like minded? Are you passionate about what we're building? And is your vision for where this goes the same as ours? And so having access to extremely deep talent pools, having access to all of the the major producers, across a variety of fields, you know, the top gaming studios, the top feature film studios, etc. Having access to all these people is incredibly valuable, and we're going to scale much more quickly with the right partners than we would without.
So yes, could we do this completely on our own without raising capital? We could, but it would be slower. And really it has nothing to do with the money, it has to do with aligning ourselves with like minded people with proven track records and operators themselves, right? People that know how to build businesses and people that want to take an active role in in making this the best company and the best, truly native Web3 entertainment experience it can be. And so that has been the focus in all of these conversations, finding the right partners, the right strategic people to help us build because, frankly, the money is not of concern.
We would definitely be retaining an overwhelming majority of control in the business. And I think a lot of the more negative raises that you've seen, have essentially put the VCs at a more advantageous position than both the team and the community. Anyone that comes in and participates with our business is going to be hand-in-hand with with our own employees, and the founders, and that focus will always be on the community. So we're not giving any sort of advantages to VCs, anybody that comes in and decides to build this business with us, is just becoming an owner, you know, like myself and the other employees at Pixel Vault, all of us being owners of this business. So no advantages and focusing on having like-minded people that are really looking to build a true Web3 business.
Ned also asked a question based on my last newsletter where I presented some alpha dropped by VGF in the Core Discord Party: “The mechanics for Mint Pass #2 seem to be individual rolls that result in a unique Sidekick every time…when I use my next MP#2 I get a whole new Sidekick, not an “enhanced” version of my current Sidekick.” Here’s GFunk:
So not locking ourselves into a final mechanic, but yes, that is the general idea. We want to give people the ability to really get a [Sidekick] that they vibe with. So in the minting process, rather than having people mint five at a time or 20 at a time to get the top tier sidekick straight, you have to go through this process of viewing and rejecting each subsequent Sidekick. Ultimately, what we hope is that this will result in a good distribution across the different tiers. And everyone is going to end up with a sidekick whether it be Tier One or Tier Five, that they really love. So each time you reroll, you're burning that Sidekick plus however many mint passes it requires to get to the next level, to unveil your next tier up Sidekick. But nothing is 100% locked in.
The Virtunaut added:
And I'm making sure to include a little deviousness to make the pressure harder so that it's a harder decision. When you have to burn and level up to create a Tier Two, I'm trying to make that decision as hard as possible.
And Sidekicks can be staked without owning a MetaHero?
GFunk: We're still working through that for this sort of secondary staking pool, this gamified staking pool that’s expected to be released at the conclusion of pool one. The idea is that they do have some standalone use, but that having more pieces of the ecosystem could result in boosters, etc. Nothing is finalized there. But we would like the Sidekicks to have some standalone use, though less so than the MetaHero generative identities.
How about Core Sidekicks?
GFunk: Currently, the plan is not to have core sidekicks. We're doing this in a different way. I think everyone will be really excited by the mechanics we have for minting. But the idea is not to have further cores as it pertains to the sidekicks. There may be a few additional characters created over time, but not during the sidekick creation process.
PV is expecting about 60,000 MP#2 at initial claim. But the aggressive mechanics of minting and leveling up Sidekicks could result in significantly lower numbers. When asked by Ned how many he thought there’d be, GFunk said he had no idea but went with a guess of 13,000.
Now as far as leveling up, Abraham, in my 2021 Wrap-up post, thought it should take 100 MP#2 to get the top tier Sidekick. I thought he was trolling at first, but he definitely wasn’t. It would be aspirational and deflationary. Lots of benefits. Around the same time, the BAYC M3 Serum craziness was going on and it highlighted the value of 1/1 hand-drawn characters. So I suggested in the Town Hall that maybe it’d require 50 or 100 MP#2 to hit the top tier, but you’d get a 1/1 hand-drawn Sidekick made by Chris Wahl, Odious, and The Virtunaut. Here’s GFunk:
So we definitely do have our own plans for like that, that top exclusive tier. Not going to tease anything about it. But there there will be sort of like a very exclusive tier up top. And it may or may not incorporate mint passes.
Rarity for Sidekicks is interesting with the leveling up mechanic. Here’s GFunk’s take on whether certain traits on a Tier One might actually be more rare than on a Tier Two or Three:
That is possible. Yeah. The rarities will be entirely determined by the community in that regard, which we like, right? We want people ending up with NFTs that they vibe with. And at some point, the rarity mechanics will provide that that other push pull mechanism, right? If people are realizing that Tier Fours are the ones that aren't getting love, right, people are jumping from Three to Five, maybe there's added incentive for certain collectors to to keep their Tier Fours. And so I think that's what makes Pixel Vault most fun is that most of what we try and do is allow the community to shape the rarities rather than informing them ourselves.
Genesis / Planet Set Value
I’ve personally gotten a lot questions from PV community frens asking about possible future utility for sets. My first response is always tied back to PVDAO and the possibility to be rewarded there. But GFunk has said it over and over again: he sees sets as the pinnacle of collecting. I fully believe he’ll continue to drive value to those who hold sets. Even as I saw $POW rolling in for my staked MetaHero, I didn’t budge in my conviction that a shot at a core and keeping my set intact were the priority. Now, when all the cores are distributed, will my conviction falter? Uh, not sure. But I’d like to think that in 2035, I’ll be sitting on an unopened MP#1 and kids in the neighbor will walk past my door and say: the crazy old man who lives there, the one who yells “WAGMI!” at passing cars, I heard he has an unopened MP#1…
Here’s GFunk’s response this week:
The idea for sets is that it's a like a long-term commitment to overall collecting across the ecosystem. As you can see, for these Elite Ape coins, sets both got the maximum allocation of three. So the plan is to continue to reward set holders in ways similar to that. But a lot of I think what people are holding the sets for are some of these stretch goals. And you know, we can't really rush ourselves to where we plan to be. There's a lot to tackle here in the interim. So understand, if you're holding the set that the idea is to reward those holders get in sort of like a premium tier, but not committing to any sort of specific use case for the sets today.
The PV Team Continues to Grow. Arrahatteck will focus on project management, Arr00 will lead the technical side of the DAO implementation, and economist will bring an expert voice to the Communications team. Impressive hires! And great to see that PV is bringing in people from the community.
PVFD + Cool Cats Pets. 200 whitelist spots for the Founder’s DAO. More info in Discord.
Planet Giveaways. The next batch of planet giveaways opens tomorrow, Jan 13th! Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn will be given away in droves. That’s nearly 29k planets hitting wallets with this giveaway alone.
Moon DAO = Founder’s DAO. When asked about future utility and importance of the Moon DAO, GFunk’s answer hit home: “the idea of the moon is that it's the Pixel Vault Founder’s DAO of the MetaHero Universe. So you can safely assume that the use case for that DAO token will be similar to the way we envision PVFD being used throughout the broader ecosystem.”
Deflationary Mint Pass #2. PV is expecting about 60,000 MP#2 at initial claim. But the aggressive mechanics of minting and leveling up Sidekicks could result in significantly lower numbers. When asked by Ned how many he thought there’d be, GFunk said he had no idea but went with a guess of 13,000.
Comic #1 Physical Claim. From GFunk: “I would expect to be launching here in the next couple of weeks. But I can't really commit to a specific timeframe for that because I know we wanted to make sure that everyone's getting sort of absolutely pristine comics.”
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?).