Even though NFTs appear to be perplexing, the majority of successful collections follow a logical pattern. CryptoPunks is a six-figure investment for the crypto-rich since it is the first-ever NFT collection. They spend even more on Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs since the brand has grown to the point that Adidas and the Rolling Stones have collaborated with it. Even if you consider yourself open-minded when it comes to NFTs, embracing “mfers” may be difficult.
mfers is a collection of around 10,000 NFTs, similar to the popular collections described above (10,020 to be precise). Each piece in the collection features a stick figure wearing headphones and typing on a keyboard that is out of view. Since its introduction on Nov. 30, NFT traders have purchased and traded over $90 million in mfers, more than most Hollywood films make in box office receipts.
The cheapest mfer advertised on NFT marketplace OpenSea is 2.69 ether if you want to get your hands on one. That’s a few hundred dollars short of $10,000.
Even when you consider that most NFT traders have crypto-rich backgrounds — losing 3 ether on a hilarious JPG is simpler if you acquired ether for $40 instead of $4,000 — mfers’ performance is exceptional. Every day, dozens more NFT initiatives are started. Many are frauds, while others are money grabs, and the ones that try to be real usually fail fast. Only a small percentage of people reach the heights that mfers has in the last four months. On OpenSea’s all-time volume chart, it is rated 44.
And it’s ridiculous. Mfers is everything that people despise about NFTs: basic art sold at exorbitant rates. But, like many other crypto success stories, it’s a little more nuanced.
A dispute over intellectual property is behind mfers’ meme art, which is amusing. It’s one of just a few “CC0” NFT collections, meaning it’s free to use. The picture does not belong to the designer, and anybody can use the mfer trademark for whatever they like. The concept is that if the mfer brand expands, even if no one owns the rights to it, mfer owners will profit. In essence, it’s an experiment to explore if brand development can be totally crowdsourced.
The collection was made by a well-known Twitter user who goes by the handle Sartoshi, which is a combination of the words “art” and “Bitcoin” by inventor Satoshi Nakamoto. It was inspired by the “are ya winning son?” meme, which centered on a father walking in on his kid playing a VR hentai porn game, according to Know Your Meme. In the same manner, like the meme, Sartoshi sketched a stick figure slouched on a computer chair, a cigarette dangling from its lips as he taps away on a keyboard. He used it as his Twitter profile photo before it became an NFT collection, and he currently has over 160,000 followers.
Sartoshi informed me over Twitter DMs, “I do some painting and real art myself, and the intention was never to build a Mona Lisa here.” He requested anonymity, as did most others in the Web3 scene. “The aim was to create a nice sketchy NFT that people could relate to… and to release the copyright over the art to see what the cosmos will do with it.”
From the start, the collection was saturated with online meme culture. The public auction commenced at 4:20 p.m. on Nov. 30 at a price of 0.069 ether ($230) per mfer. Because of Sartoshi’s cult following, all 10,000 tickets were promptly sold out.
mfers, as is customary in the NFT industry, enjoyed a day or two in the spotlight before fading away as the spotlight moved on to the next attention-getting endeavor. Sales had slowed by the end of December, and the floor price (the lowest price someone has put on the marketplace) had dropped to 0.05 ether, much below the public selling price. In January, Mfers began to improve and then burst in February. Buyers raced in as momentum began to develop — NFT collections are mostly sold on the basis of buzz, thus momentum is especially potent — driving the floor price as high as 6 ether ($18,000). Mfers, like any collections, have unique characteristics that make some more uncommon than others: On this uncommon mfer, one trader spent 80 ether, totaling $270,000.
Since then, the floor price has stabilized at 2.5 and 3 ether. That doesn’t make mfers a “blue chip” NFT, which refers to a small number of collections that can maintain a floor price of over 10 ether, but it does put them ahead of 99 percent of collections.
Mfers, according to Sartoshi, was able to distinguish out by avoiding the fanfare that usually surrounds NFT debuts. No one could claim that stick-figure drawings were groundbreaking, as many NFT artists enthusiastically tout their collection’s work to be.
“The art in most NFT collections is fairly simple,” Sartoshi explained, “yet all these people spend money on them and all of a sudden they’re falling over at their computer shouting, ‘omg the art is great.” “A lot of stuff is just cereal box characters,” I used to joke.
The ridiculousness of it all, like dogecoin, was a significant draw, spreading across NFT circles like a good meme on Twitter. However, the collection’s popularity may also be attributed to its attitude to intellectual property — an insane phrase to write. It’s remarkable since Sartoshi made mfers a public domain collection. Some designers, such as CryptoPunks’ Larva Labs, reserve 100% of the collection’s intellectual property. Others, such as the Yuga Labs of the Bored Ape Yacht Club, provide privileges solely to owners, and even then only to the exact NFT they possess. (Yuga Labs purchased CryptoPunks from Larva Labs last month and said that CryptoPunks owners will have the same copyrights as Bored Ape Yacht Club owners.) Another argument in favor of CC0 collections like mfers, which cannot be acquired in the same way, is that one firm might buy the IP for another NFT collection.)
PULL UP MFERS!! 😃😃 pic.twitter.com/xTcLpwBlRV— danielgothits.eth (@danielgothits) March 30, 2022
“You extend it to the NFT instead of simply the rails that the NFTs operate on being decentralized,” argues Giancarlo Chuax, a former stock analyst who now runs a YouTube channel discussing NFTs. “Compare it to a Bored Ape Yacht Club, where the brand is controlled by a centralized person.” That isn’t the case with CC0 [public domain] projects. Anyone may take the brand in whatever direction they desire, which some belief is more representative of what the internet is all about.”
It’s a concept that mfers have adhered to in a sector where people care deeply about decentralization — even if they concede, as a few said at a Twitter Spaces I was asked to join, that it may end in chaotic disaster.
⚡️ ⚡️ ⚡️SOUND ON ⚡️ ⚡️ ⚡️— mfers studios (@MfersStudios) March 24, 2022
Did you #mfers say you wanted an mfer #mfersmovie?
Like, RT and follow @MfersStudios
for updates because its coming! @RichardChiu @animatedmfers @Sartoodles @MasterChanX @sartoshi_nft @mfermedia @prettycoolmfer (cameo) pic.twitter.com/z5ocEEKkK9
Sartoshi has adopted a hands-off attitude to the community, praising it from afar rather than actively participating, much less leading it. Holders of mfers have been hard at work building the brand, frequently employing their 9-to-5 talents. A number of people have created and produced products. MasterChanX, one of the community moderators, operates MferRadio, an internet radio station that presents a Shark Tank-style show evaluating ideas for mfers derivative collections like 3D Mfers, among other programs. Richard Chiu, one of the holders, has worked in Hollywood as an actor and producer and is now working on a film. Someone even paid for the mfers in Times Square out of their own cash.
“When you have endless creation going on, the statistical probabilities [of success] are better,” one holder told me.
As silly as mfers appears, Chaux believes that collections like it might have a huge impact on how people think about intellectual property. “The thought of something rising up spontaneously from the ground up without the typical motivation of holding the copyright to that images [would be] fairly revolutionary,” Chaux says. “Some fascinating instances have done well, such as Cryptoadz, Nouns, and mfers, although they’re all very new.” This experiment has only been running for a few months.”
Although Sartoshi believes that the combination of NFT technology with public domain IP might be strong, he does not believe that this is the primary appeal of mfers.
3/ And the museum minted a bunch of humans during the mint pic.twitter.com/OmdKkeK5qS— 6529 (@punk6529) March 6, 2022
“What is the benefit?” You may construct whatever you want with them. But, at the same time, I’d like to know, “What good is a Mickey Mantle rookie card?” He was referring to a $5.2 million baseball card that just sold.
“Answer: They’re fucking delicious,” says the narrator. Mfers are also very fucking good, in my opinion.”