Dangers of dARTs

Dangers of dARTs

Couldn’t have said it better myself, but I’ll try anyway.

Derivative art (dART) is not only a dubious way of trying to recreate a moon landing, but it’s also a breeding ground for deceptive practices. Projects that we bought into as little as three months ago are lost in an OpenSea of ape saturation, struggling to stay afloat as they get choked out by floating piles of hot, stinky dART garbage. If we are to continue to sail, we’re going to need to toss the weight, and that job falls on all of us.

What is dART? dART is at its best an homage to an original project in a way that both invokes novelty and nostalgia. Sometimes it’s a part of the original project itself. Most of the time, it’s not. At its worst, dART is a shameless way for internet swindlers to steal emulate the original art of a megaproject in order to mooch off the success. dART is disguised as original art, but it’s anything but. It’s a copycat, a fake, a forgery, an imposter. Don’t read what I’m not writing. dART can be good art. It can be beautifully crafted and well-designed. It can also be neither of those things, but it still looks cool in your wallet, so what the hell. That’s fine. Just know what it is. There hasn’t been a piece of dART that has come anywhere close to the original project’s success. I’m not naming names because this is across the board. Even the most famous dART of them all, Mutant Ape Yacht Club, pales in comparison to its predecessor. Bored Ape Yacht Club has a current floor of 93ETH, whereas Mutant Ape Yacht Club has a paltry 19.6ETH floor. Not saying that MAYC isn’t freaking awesome! I’m just saying that those who buy a MAYC thinking that it’s a BAYC are probably not going to be satisfied with the final result. And these are blue chips we’re talking about. Most of us waddle in mud comparatively.

Which brings us back to the dirty reality; our newly minted Toilet Punk might not pay off our house. The problem with dART isn’t MAYC. The problem with dART is all the projects out there with more hype men than hours committed. There are many reasons why someone buys a piece of art. Sadly, the number one reason in the NFT community is to moon. This leads to false prophets claiming bogus assertions about financial freedom from holding a super rare Poople Doodle. If you buy an NFT because you like the art, you bought it for all the right reasons. If it makes you money or provides other special perks, all the better. Buying an NFT because someone you don’t know in a Discord server, one you joined 20 minutes ago, granted you a whitelist spot, an OG role, and told you this project is the next…anything, is someone who’s trying to get you to pay for their lifestyle. Don’t feel guilty if you’ve fallen victim to this. You haven’t read this article up until now. If you fall victim from here on out, by all means, feel guilty.

Here’s where the FUD alarms go off. I brought up MAYC earlier because, A, I respect the hell out of them; B, they’re dART from the original art project; and C, they’re tough enough to handle a little criticism without crumbling at the seams. Not all projects fit those criteria, so I’m not going to mention any by name, but do your own due diligence. In fact, tattoo that on the inside of your eyelids because all of this is highly speculative (more on that later). Here is a list of rules you should follow:

  1. People respect you when you say, “do your own due diligence,” and “Not financial advice.” They don’t respect you when you point out low floors, a dwindling Discord community, and recent sales data. Not sure why this is, but it is. Be careful what you say. Truth means nothing. Faith means everything. Blasphemy will get you nowhere.
  2. The ride up to a mint is an exhilarative experience for many. If you’re not intoxicated by the idea of minting a super rare then you don’t have a soul. Scammers pray on these feelings. Beware of this. Understand that the majority of a project’s energy is going to be around the mint. After that, there are a lot of factors that decide floor price, and community energy will only take a project so far. It’s easy to mint, it’s harder to moon. If you’re in it for the art, you’ve already won.
  3. We’re all strangers. Most of us are anon, which makes us super, duper strangers. Be careful who’s advice you trust, including mine. This is an incredibly new, constantly evolving space. There is no such thing as an NFT expert.

These rules apply to any project, but when it comes to dART, they’re as good as the word of Nakamoto. It takes very little energy to copy a masterpiece’s essence. Even less to convince someone of its beauty. The NFT world is full of salesman looking for a buyer, and if it says BAYC on the bag, the bag’s going to get sold. If the bag looks kind of like a BAYC, it’s probably still going to get sold. Just ask any Gucci salesman. There are a lot of salesmen on discord servers trying to get you to mint a Guccci bag, telling you that extra ‘c’ means it’s going to be more money. Don’t listen. 

How many apes are there? It’s somewhat of an existential question because the number changes every day. Despite what you may have assumed from reading this article, I am not an expert on monkeys, but based on my wild hyperbolic assertion, there might be more NFT apes than actual apes in the world. As dumb as that all sounded, there’s actually a chance that it is, or will be soon, true. Full disclosure, I own a dART ape, and I love the little guy! And that’s okay. No one’s spreading FUD here. There are dART projects out there that are dope with super low floors and great communities. There are also a lot of dART projects with frenzied hype men that target newcomers with bogus claims of minting the miracle ape, and that their ape project is better than that other ape project. These scam artists hurt all of us. We live in a very speculative premetaverse. Floors can rise and sink very quickly. Good projects can sell out the mint and then disappear for no fault other than bad luck (and a saturated pool). Anyone who is guaranteeing success is a dirty rotten stinking liar. Be careful calling them out on it, though. That’s spreading FUD.

By the nature of the beast, there is no DAO police (which is a good thing). No one’s going to stop the next dART project from dARTing all over the place. Whenever there is a success there will always be a leech ready to mooch. It’s on us as consumers, as collectors, as enthusiasts, and critiques to decide what we put in our wallets and what we don’t. Remember, I own several dART NFTs. A couple were purchased because I was new to the game and believing false prophets that I would be rich. Another was gifted, and it’s one of my favorites. Thankfully for me, I’m a fan of all the art, and they will always stay delisted in my heart!

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