Web3 Galaxy Brain 🌌🧠

Web3 Galaxy Brain

Mint.fun with @worm_emoji and Adam Ludwin

26 July 2022


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Nicholas: Welcome to Web3 Galaxy Brain. My name is Nicholas, and each week I have a conversation with some of the brightest minds building Web3. On this episode, I'm joined by Luke, aka Worm Emoji, and Adam Ludwin, co-founders of Context. Our conversation focuses on Mint.fun, their NFT mint aggregator. Mint.fun is the best place to see what's minting right now. The site prominently features a list of the NFT collections that have been minted on the most in the last hour on Ethereum. The site generates mint buttons at every popular price point for all ERC-721 and 1155 collections that are not yet sold out. Luke, Adam, and I discuss their observations since creating the project, future product design ideas, and perspectives on the future of NFT primary sales. Jacob Franz from First Mate drops in to jam on NFT mint analytics. I was excited to host Luke and Adam, who are building some of the hottest social NFT experiments in the world right now. It's a privilege to be able to speak with builders about their current projects as they invent them. I hope you enjoy the show. Luke, Adam, welcome to the show.

Luke: Hey there. What's up?

Adam Ludwin: Hey. Thanks.

Nicholas: So I'm really excited to talk to you about Mint.fun and a little bit about Context, too, because I guess it came out of Context. So maybe to start off, what were you two doing before crypto at all? Let's just lay the groundwork. Were you working in web, too?

Adam Ludwin: Before crypto, that for me is 10 years ago now. Oh, shit. It's been a long time. The last thing I did before crypto was Web 2.0. Yes. Probably this was the 2012-ish era consumer internet. So most notably, I was investing in startups. And actually, one of those startups was a company called Vine, whose founder, Dom Hoffman, went on to be a really important Web 3.0 founder. And I mention it because that's also where Luke and I met, not at Vine, but at Dom's follow-up startup called Byte. And that was the last project that Luke and I worked on together. That's where we met before we both kind of jumped back into crypto to start Context.

Luke: Yeah. So that's what I was doing before. Crypto full-time was working in Web 2.0, social media, basically working on a... We didn't realize we were building a TikTok competitor at the time, but we were building a pretty significant... We were fighting against a pretty significant actor, TikTok. But yeah, it was a really fun thing to work on and got to meet Adam. So that was pretty great. That's cool.

Nicholas: Were you aware of Musical.ly at the time, I guess?

Luke: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I'd been following all of the apps, like the evolution of Musical.ly and TikTok. I was compelled to join Byte because I really believed in the founder. I still really believe in the founder. I'm really excited to see what Dom cooks up in Web 3.0. It was a really fun time and kind of a crazy experience, but I'm excited to chat more about crypto. But Web 2.0 definitely has a big part of the origin story, especially as I think I've always been interested in kind of helping creators and creative people do interesting stuff online. I had known about crypto and Ethereum for a few years, but I wasn't really interested in building in Ethereum or crypto until I saw NFTs and kind of the glut of cultural and creative significance coming out of Web 3.0. That's really what compelled me to make the leap. I knew Adam and he kind of pushed me and we ended up starting a company together. Now we're working on MintFun.

Nicholas: That's cool. Yeah, I remember we talked early on in your journey, I think maybe before you were full-time and me too before I was full-time, a year and a half, two years ago. I think we were talking about displaying NFTs and stuff like that, minting websites and things. It's cool to come full circle two years later. My joke about Dom and Vine is that Twitter killing Vine is the best thing Twitter ever did for NFTs. But yeah, it's interesting to see that people from Byte, I didn't realize you were working on Byte. That's cool. And so you fast forward, created Context recently, which is an awesome website for viewing what people are up to in the NFT space, following wallets and such. And then I guess, did MintFun grow out of that? or how did you get the idea for Mint.Fun?

Adam Ludwin: Yeah, it grew out of Context. We learned a lot building Context about why people actually follow wallets, why they follow projects and the killer kind of use case is they want to know what's relevant and what's relevant right now, what projects to jump into right now. And by and large, that means, you know, what new projects are minting now and which of their friends are jumping into those projects. So we, as a part of a hackathon that we did internally, we sort of extracted that idea and distilled it into its purest form, which really is Mint.Fun, which is simply a leaderboard of every project that's trending and that's minting right now on Ethereum and maybe one day on other chains as well. But if it's minting on Ethereum right now, if there are still items that are mintable right now, it will be aggregated and then it will be ranked. And then we will also overlay your friends on top of that ranking so that I can see, OK, Luke is jumping into this project, that project. Nicholas is jumping into this other project, Dom's jumping into this other project, or just launched this project. And then importantly, I don't have to then go try and figure out where to mint. And that was one of the things we were kind of like fundamentally trying to solve on context itself. And I'd love to let Luke speak more to how that kind of innovation happened. But just to wrap up the summary here, once we realized that we didn't have to link people out to projects, but we could actually let people mint from a single interface, that sort of closed the loop and made that distilled context experience really powerful. And so that's emerged out of a hackathon, but increasingly got enough traction that we've devoted a lot of resources to working on it.

Nicholas: I'm curious about this focus on motivation for minting. Definitely context to me felt very smart immediately because it really focused on letting, or my experience of it was, I can get alpha from this thing. It's really not, it's not Ether scan. I'm not following every transaction. It's obviously cooler than getting emails about transactions from random accounts. And especially for me, my experience around that was like following Dom's wallet and then through corruptions, just like Dom dropping tons of contracts for metadata corrupting, but they weren't relevant for minting. And then context emerged in my mind subsequent to that and seemed to really distill what it meant to follow wallets. So it's interesting that you move then even further into like, we're really going to focus on the mint piece for a mint.fund. I assume you're still building context. or how do you think about splitting attention between the two and this increased focus for a mint.fund?

Luke: I think right now we're still excited about context. You know, a lot of people who got a lot of great feedback and response in particular to the Discord bot in context, a lot of DAOs and Discord communities have used our Discord bot to kind of have a way of discussing what DAO members are doing or

Adam Ludwin: what's going

Luke: on or to follow wallets. I've seen quite a few different types of use cases for our Discord bot in particular. And I also know that, like, as Adam said, there's a kind of distilled context experience in mint.fund. And so I think we're just going to keep thinking about how we can make Web3 easier for people to use and accessible, whether that's through the context interface or the Discord bot or mint.fund. And our mission as a company, the way we feel like what we want to build hasn't changed so much. But if you kind of distill some of what we've been building around context in terms of following wallets and you build that into it, there's more of a distinct action to take, right? Minting and NFT. I think we're just going to try to focus on, you know, helping people take these distinct, interesting actions, whether that's on mint.fund, context or maybe a different experience. I think that's how we're thinking about it. But, you know, a lot of the technology and a lot of the stuff we've been building for the past year plus while working on this remains to be relevant. And we just want to keep helping people find cool stuff on chain, you know, without having to sort through a lot of technical things.

Nicholas: Yeah. So tell me about this idea of overlaying friends. You can connect your Twitter account to mint.fund, right?

Luke: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. The way that works right now is fairly simple. We might expand this over time, but the way it works right now is we just look at everyone you follow and if they have an ENS name anywhere in their bio, we'll show their activity at mint.fund. We're still kind of figuring out what the right product roadmap for mint.fund is in terms of like bringing in maybe profiles in the same way we have them on context. But you could imagine also maybe us having some of that wallet following functionality or integrating your context, you know, the people you might follow on sites like context into mint.fund. But we're also trying to make sure that mint.fund is pretty focused and is relevant to people before putting a lot of features into it. We have the beginnings of a social feature in mint.fund and we'll probably take that, you know, in a direction kind of in response to how people use it, what people ask to do on that fund.

Nicholas: Pulling back a little bit, you mentioned that like a lot of the same infrastructure that you built for context, I guess that's the indexing piece is relevant for mint.fund.

Luke: Yeah, exactly. We've been in the process of, you know, we spent most of this year actually like a member on the team wrote like a new indexing stack for us to use. And we use that in context, but it's what powers mint.fund directly. And so we actually want to also open source our indexer and let people build their own things with it. But yeah, exactly. Like a lot of our like, you know, NFT infrastructure and indexers, what directly powers mint.fund. And so it actually, once we had the idea to invest a bit more in mint.fund and make it make the site, it wasn't this huge lift on our back end actually to make the site happen, because we already had much of the data already.

Nicholas: Yeah. Tell me about the hackathon that generated mint.fund. What was the context of all that?

Adam Ludwin: We basically had an offsite for the team and we decided we had just shipped the kind of latest release of context. And we thought it'd be fun to hack on ideas that we had had that weren't like directly relevant to that release. And both Luke and our teammate Malone had sort of like different versions of an idea that related to being able to like mint from an interface other than a project's home page. And we first hacked that into a branch of context. And it was really crude. But like all good prototypes, even like the crudest, crudest version of mint.fund in a modal that was like hacked onto context immediately felt new and interesting and like actually a little scary. Like, how is this working? Like, how is my wallet interacting with this contract through this other interface? Like, how does this, you sort of have to remind yourself how the blockchain actually works and how contract and wallets actually interact. to recall like, oh, yeah, this does work.

Nicholas: So it works and it's safe.

Adam Ludwin: It works and it's safe. And actually, we'll come to this later, hopefully. But it turns out it's like even safer to use an aggregator in many cases than it is to mint directly on a website because an aggregator has the benefit of a community watching these projects on the aggregator and then flagging if there are any issues. And then the aggregator can also, and not just us, I'm sure others will do this, but an aggregator can also run a series of checks that's consistent across every contract to tell you, for example, if something is verified in EtherScan or if it detects suspicious activity, we can run analyses on the images to tell you if they are likely to be infringing on IP. So anyway, it's probably safer in most cases. But yeah, so this prototype emerged out of the hackathon. It was very powerful. And we built like six or seven things that week. We also didn't commit to doing much after that week, but that prototype compelled us to spend another week on it. And I think from start to finish, Luke, remind me if I'm wrong, I think from start to finish, Mint.Fun took a week to build after the hackathon based on the past week of leverage.

Luke: We started it on like Friday of the hackathon week or something like that. So yeah, it was like a week start to finish, I want to say.

Nicholas: And that's mostly because you already had this great indexer that let you really quickly iterate on the front end.

Luke: Yeah. And actually, one of the other things in the hackathon is we made the decision to open source the indexer. So that was actually something that we kind of kicked off during that period as well. But yeah, exactly. Yeah, it was about a week start to finish, which was really fun to build quickly.

Nicholas: I talk to a lot of people who have all or are all building their own indexers. How do you feel about this? Several are going to open source them. I know there's like, I don't know, Zora, Rainbow, etc. come to mind. What do you think about it? Yeah. OK.

Luke: Yeah, I think it's great. I don't think there's a lot of good open source indexers. I don't really think of indexing as like the strategic thing that only we can do or something like that. Like far from it. I think that there should be an abundance of indexers in the same way that like, you know, there's not like one way to build a website or not one way to host a website or something like that. There's not one database in the world. I really think that there needs to be an abundance of indexers because, you know, it's Web3. It's positive some, the more people who build on it, the more people can do interesting and weird stuff and the better technology there is to do interesting things. That's that's clearly better for everyone, in my opinion. So I'm like super excited. And I just want to open source it because I want to like put another thing out there. But if there's better things than I imagine, like if there was a really great open source indexer, we probably would just start contributing to that publicly. I guess also the part of it, too. So we'll get ours out. But I'm also excited that other people are working on this, too.

Nicholas: Totally. Adam, you mentioned the sort of security of minting on the site. Definitely, it seems to me like minting on an aggregator like Mint.Fun is safer than minting on a random NFT project's website where God knows what they're spinning up as a transaction you're about to sign. But I guess it's interesting. There's additional safety on top of something even like EtherScan where or I think a lot of people have had the idea that like there's a mirror midway. It is pretty cool. But a lot of people have generally had this idea for like, oh, what if you could have like something like the EtherScan right tab, but a little bit nicer or specialized for a specific utility. But the Mint.Fun experience really, really strips it down and also like intelligently finds what the mint prices are. How many NFTs have to be minted at a given price before the website will show that button?

Luke: It's not a certain number of NFTs. I think we're actually looking for a certain number of people. I think that this is something we're going to keep iterating on. So I don't think it would be actually very helpful to tell people like a number because we're kind of working on iterating. the way we show like the mint options, including letting creators specify, you know, creator will at some point be able to come to our site and say, hey, this is the function to mint NFTs. And that way they wouldn't necessarily need NFTs minted other places. So the answer is just like right now we say, you know, just have a couple of people mint via EtherScan. It's kind of a crude solution because we built that quickly. But in the future, we hope to make it just even more straightforward. where if you have your new juice box project, the things you are minting on Friday, maybe it'll just work out of the box. or you could like if you're the owner of the contract, you could specify, hey, this is the right function to call. And we want to do more so it doesn't have to be NFTs necessarily minted. But that was just kind of the first iteration of how that works.

Adam Ludwin: Yeah. Mint.Fund does three things. Fundamentally, it aggregates all of the projects that are minting now and lets you mint them. It also aggregates all of the metadata for that project. If you go to Mint.Fund right now and you like click into a project or you click the Mint Now button, it expands a view that provides like all the relevant context around that project. So when did it deploy first? When was the first mint? Who created this contract? How many people have minted it? Which is a really important indicator to make sure something is not like spammy or getting botted. What are the project website links, you know, and so on and so on. So it sort of aggregates and puts all the information at your fingertips. And then, yeah, finally, it overlays like a series of safety checks so that you can kind of sort of like mint more safely and feel confident that you're not about to mint a project that either will attempt to like phish you or hack you somehow or that you're just going to mint a project that you'll be unhappy about. Like if it turns out the art was stolen or it turns out the team was doing something that was sort of like antithetical to the community. And we're not perfect because it's new. But if you use Mint.Fund every day, you'll notice projects that emerge and then quickly get flagged and get removed. And if you're monitoring a project for several minutes and it's like top ranked and a lot of people are minting it, especially for Mint.Fund, there's a good chance that it's actually safe to mint.

Luke: Yeah. Another thing that's actually interesting, too, with like the flags and things like that is one thing that we've seen before on Mint.Fund is we'll have an NFT project on the homepage and people are minting it and they're minting it on Mint.Fund. But one of the scams that might happen is there's no problem minting on Mint.Fund because the thing that we're doing is having you just mint an NFT directly in the contract. But the actual NFT site may be a phishing site that requests permission to move your tokens or something like that. Right. And so we take those down as soon as we see them, of course. Like we don't want people to mint things that might lead people to get scammed. Of course, that's like something that we definitely don't want on our homepage. But it kind of speaks to how minting on Mint.Fund is a bit safer than going to a random website because there's actually no way like a random NFT contract can, via the way we have it set up on Mint.Fund, can request access to move another token, another unrelated token. So that's one of the strongest safety things we have is because there's a lot of random phishing sites out there that might, again, like you said earlier, ask you to sign who knows what when you click mint. But because how we've set this up is we actually look to see, you know, is this minting an NFT? And there's not really a way that the contract could ask to move another unrelated token. And so unfortunately, there are these phishing sites out there. And if we find out about them, we take them down immediately. But it's kind of interesting how that works and how it works out that it's safer to mint on an aggregator.

Nicholas: Right. So basically, Mint.Fund will never pass any data to a transaction to a mint function. So there's no opportunity for there to be any kind of any and it'll never ask you to sign anything that can be used to. that can be later passed on chain by somebody else in order to grant an approval to move your apes or whatever it might be. So it's pretty safe. It's pretty safe in that respect. I guess the main vector then is, yeah, if the website it's like getting airdropped, whatever, rainbowcoins.xyz. And it turns out that rainbowcoins.xyz is the site that's trying to phish you. How do you find the project links? Are you doing that in an automated way?

Luke: Yeah. So we currently are aggregating like things, signals that we find on like, like we look at like, for example, like sites like OpenSea and links from that. But we're actually working on, again, maybe having ways for creators to specify links to their own projects. Because, again, it would be cool if creators could come in and tell us what the right mint function is. So I think we'll probably move to getting that from the community. But right now we're just looking to see if they've put metadata on sites like Twitter or OpenSea and going off of that. It also seems like a part of it. Yeah. It also seems to be a part of NFT meta. I saw this first time with a non-spam project with like Goblin Town to like actually make the name of your project a URL. That's also one way that we see it.

Nicholas: Right. Interesting. Okay. So we've talked about all this kind of dry stuff, but like I haven't spent a lot of time minting the projects. I mean, to me, the most surprising leap in Mint.Fun is to go from just the free mints, like almost an automated front end for the next loot, to actually, no, we're going to index paid mint tiers as well. And the only requirement is that you'd be able to mint without having, you know, that anybody, that it'd be an external function that doesn't have a mint pass requirement, at least at one tier. What are the cool projects you've interacted with? Are you like constantly minting on the site? I know I have some friends who are like always looking at this site and always minting. So yeah, tell me a little bit about the culture you've experienced.

Adam Ludwin: So unfortunately, Luke ran a query yesterday and showed me that I've spent nine eth minting on Mint.Fun in the last month, which is a real problem. This is a problem I have with any project I'm involved in. I just like, I'm like a superpower user. Like I get really excited about using it all the time. So I'm probably the number one spray and pray. I don't know what the rhyme is. We need to come up with a rhyme that's like a spray and pray rhyme for like mint and something that rhymes with mint. But that's me and that's kind of sad. But people are, we're not going to give the number publicly because, you know, it'll be more exciting to tell people one day in a proper announcement. But people are spending a ton of money already on Mint.Fun.

Nicholas: I saw in your FAQ, 5X. people who are minting on Mint.Fun are minting 5X as much as people who are not. Yes.

Adam Ludwin: Yes, that's right. People mint five times more on Mint.Fun than the average wallet. So a typical user is minting 5X more. And like to your question, like people are not just doing the free mints. People are doing paid mints, right? They trust the interface. They trust an aggregator to actually do paid mints. And then you also just touched on something which is mint passes or I think you're sort of referencing like an allow list. And that will also become part of how aggregators work. Those will eventually work on Mint.Fun, they'll work on other aggregators. So I think, yeah, like I don't think we're going to be in this world too much longer of fragmentation of the primary market in the same way that, you know, the secondary market is already fairly well aggregated. And there's, you know, a series of, you know, there's a few key places you can go in markets, you can go to trade. I think the same will be true for the primary market and that that will be inclusive of paid mints as well.

Nicholas: That's cool. So like we can get a little preview of the future here. So connect your wallet, connect your Twitter. You're starting to see the trending list also with like little icons representing the PFPs of your Twitter friends who have minted on a certain collection. Then maybe you've got extra mint buttons that are highlighted if you are on the allow list or do have the requisite mint pass. You can sort of start to just be minting on Mint.Fun or equivalent.

Adam Ludwin: Yep. I won't scoop us too much and I'll let Luke speak to this if he wants to more. But I'll just say you asked me, like, what do we see people minting? And maybe like a version of that question that might be more interesting for people that to hear an answer to is like, are any of these projects performing well? Because I think in a way it's a free mints kind of like a lottery ticket for the price of gas, you know, whatever the price of gas is that day. So you pay a few dollars and you know, you might end up with something that's worth something. So like two days ago, I'm just looking at the projects that I've minted on Mint.Fun. Two days ago I minted something called an Ether Jump Plot because I thought it was cute. And I paid 0.05 ETH and I have an offer right now for half an ETH. So that was from this morning. So that's like, you know, a 10x in that project. And I minted a few of those. I think that's sort of the nature of what's fun about. the economic side of Mint.Fun is like, if you know, again, I'm the exception because I just mint everything because I'm crazy. But there, you know, if you have good taste and you just, you're willing to kind of like spread a few ETH around, there is a reasonable chance that one of these projects will do well, will perform well. And we're going to do a better job of also notifying you and helping you see which of the things you've minted are now performing well and that you might want to trade. But yeah, there are definitely projects that in the last month have been minted on Mint.Fun that have generated a lot of returns for our users.

Luke: The things that I've really enjoyed seeing on Mint.Fun are there's been a few open additions that I've had like a ton of fun, you know, collecting and seeing other people collect. I think about a week ago, Noah Kalina of the Chickens Project did the egg open edition where he, from the Chickens Project, just like sold an edition of these eggs. I saw that one, yeah. I think the mint price was like 0.01 and I think they have a floor of 0.04, which like, I'm not saying this is like this huge economic thing, but I just thought that that was a really fun mint. I also thought that I've enjoyed seeing like the Zora, both the state of mind NFT and the, they did like a hackathon NFT and I just enjoyed a number of the open additions. So I kind of just meant anything that seems like a fun open edition to sort of collect and be a part of that moment. And anything that seems like a kind of a just honestly just a nice aesthetically looking project.

Nicholas: That's cool. I'm curious, are these open additions that you're minting mostly time limited open additions?

Luke: Yeah, yeah. I think that's generally how it works. And that's actually another thing that we'd love to start showing on the site is time limited open additions.

Nicholas: Yeah, I love this mechanism. It's like, especially if you do a low mint price or even free, it's like it has a lot of the fun elements of a Po app. But then I mean, really, it is a lot like a Po app because you have sort of who's there at the time and present and willing to mint, but there's no limit on how much they can mint. It's I think it's an interesting mechanism. It's actually very cool talking about this and the cultural changes around or the NFT minting scene around Mint.Fun because it feels like it's sort of bringing the kind of vitality of like what I'm calling like the cheap NFT meta. But it's like, you know, it's a little less serious. The prices are low enough. And yeah, you can just mint something if it looks cool. What other cool projects I'm looking like here? I see number two right now on the page is Il Pensiero by Rosalia Linari. And the minimum mint price for that is 0.2 ETH. So it's actually like not so cheap. There's 248 wallets that have minted it already. I'm curious, like, number one, what are other cool projects that you've seen that you just love? And number two, have you seen people changing their behavior because they're aware of aggregators like MintFun?

Adam Ludwin: One of the things that I've found, like just very interesting watching MintFun. The first thing is like the first week we built it back in the hackathon, the most surprising thing to me was just how many projects there are on any given day. You know, even having worked on Contacts and spent a lot of time like building NFT things, I did not realize just how many projects until we had this sort of like aggregated view with this leaderboard. So there are a ton of projects. The other thing that surprised me is how many of these projects are like riffs on one another and essentially how like meme culture is now merging with NFT culture. And it's so easy to launch a collection. It's basically as easy as, you know, it's a little bit more difficult and costly, but it's sort of like approximating the difficulty of like just, you know, taking a meme you like and putting your spin on it and seeing where it goes. And so like last week we saw the Saudis. Did you see that project? Where it's just, right. So you had these kind of like pixel, crypto punk style characters that look like Saudis and it was kind of like a surprise hit. And then what do you see from there? Of course, a ton of like a ton of other projects that follow suit. And so it's sort of like every nationality and every spin and take on the Saudis you see in the aggregator. So it's you sort of have this like fun way of. I'm not going to go so far as to call that like, you know, high culture or anything, but Internet culture, meme culture is a really important part of, you know, what's happening in society right now. And increasingly this is coming up, bottoms up through NFT projects or it's something that happens and then people make an NFT project about it. So a lot of those will just be like, yeah, just funny blips along the way. But just like with memes themselves, some of them will become really, really important, relevant and valuable.

Nicholas: I think it's awesome because I've been waiting for meme culture to like. for a long time, NFTs weren't funny. They were like very self-serious or like really off the deep end. I mean, I love like say trash art, etc. But it's like it's funny, but it's sort of like a very inside joke, not really in connection with what I consider like traditional Internet meme culture. And it's been obvious like, oh, come on. Or even the way that like CT, DeFi personalities will post so many memes on their Twitters, but are have at least for the longest time and still mostly to this day, don't understand NFT culture. So it's cool to see NFT culture like endemically creating its own jokes and riffing like I'm sure there's Saudi goblins at this point, etc. Like that seems to me even more promising than, I don't know, people like hitting the streets and trying to convince TikTok people to start doing, you know, NFTs or their TikToks or whatever. It's much cooler that it come natively from the NFT trading culture itself rather than when I talk to people outside the culture, there's a lot of like, oh, it's so market-like, etc. Like these kind of dumb criticisms of people who've never really experienced it. So it's cool that things like Mint.fun even make it easier to, and context to, make it easier to just like see and probably like foster even more of that cultural exchange. You mentioned that it's super easy to like spin up a collection. Do you detect what like tooling people are using to spin up these collections? Is there like a, what's the toolkit most people are using to drop these collections?

Luke: Yeah, that's actually funny. I think that was the question we were bouncing around internally just a couple days ago. I haven't noticed a huge dominant toolkit, but I think there's probably more analysis that we've yet to do. So some of this is sort of preliminary results or preliminary research, but I think we've seen a small number of like, well, those open editions I was talking about, those were all driven from the Zora creator tools, which are pretty awesome. And I think Zora is really investing in making those really great. To a lesser extent, I've seen like Manifold as like a platform, but it really does seem like a lot of people are actually deploying these contracts, like, you know, by using things like the Azuki 721A base or the Soulmate base. But there's not like, we're not seeing like a really consistent set of like, you know, platform that these are coming out of. It really seems like people are doing like kind of one-off things, but I think there's actually probably more analysis to do here. I mean, it would be interesting if we had like some sort of metric of figuring out how similar the code is from one contract to the next. And maybe if that's like, maybe that could even help us find like fraud or something like that as well. I think there's still preliminary, but I think that some of the creator tools like Zora are really, really dominant, which is really cool for like the use case of, say, an open edition. But the longer tail seems to be a lot more fragmented than that.

Nicholas: Yeah, it's super interesting. I know that West Coast NFT, which Richard is associated with, I can't ever remember the name, but I know they have like an NFT, like a generative NFT tool that's somewhat popular. But at least it's not in the conversation that I'm a part of. And it doesn't seem to be surfaced on Twitter very much. Like, what are the tools that most of these people are using? But yeah, definitely 721A, you see a lot in these contracts. I wonder if we will reach a point where there's even more sort of established tooling that people are using, because it seems like what makes most of these collections exciting is the art more than what the contract is doing. The contracts are pretty basic.

Luke: Yeah, exactly. And it actually is interesting that, you know, even just making 3,000 or 10,000 unique images is, you know, it's kind of a slog. I was looking into this recently and it's like, the best thing I could find is, you know, Illustrator and Photoshop to combine layers together. You can use other tools like ImageMagick that are a little bit more power user, but just to get stuff looking good and within an existing creative workflow. I'm curious to see if tools like Emerge to actually help make more generative art, not just PFP projects or 10,000 static images. I'm actually thinking like, you know, we have like, you know, tools like Dolly and things like that. And, you know, more interactive formats for NFTs like OpenGL and things like that. I'm curious if a stronger set of creative tools emerged to do more immersive NFT experiences. That would just, I think that would be a really cool evolution to watch in this space.

Nicholas: I'll do a little plug for my friend Tank Bottoms, who has developed some tooling like that and is currently working on making it easier to use. So if anyone's looking for tools like that, hit up Tank Bottoms on Twitter. I'm curious, we talked about this 5X number and the sort of ROI, the surprising ROI sometimes of some of these cheap NFT mints. I'm curious if there's any other stats or observations you've made by just look, digging into the data as you have so far.

Luke: Yeah. So the 5X number, to put that into context, we tried to see like people who've used our products, MintFun, and looked at like kind of the people who, you know, the larger set of addresses that don't. And when you looked at the median number of mints, it was something like 5X higher. In terms of other numbers, I think I would honestly love to turn this to as a question to the community. We have a trove of data about NFT mints since we're tracking every single NFT mint. And what we would love to do is figure out what stats would be most helpful for both like collectors and creators to see on projects. So one of the things we're working on right now that I can share is we're working on like an NFT leaderboard of like kind of like the top mints today. And one of the stats that we're coming up with for that leaderboard is sort of like a how hot or desirable the mint was based on like a couple of things like, you know, how many transactions there were in like what period of time. And we're going to show that stat because it's not like a stat. that's like easily interpretable as a number. We're going to show that stat probably is like, you know, like a number of like flame emojis or like a progress bar, more of like a visual indicator than a number. But anyhow, like so one of the stats we're working on is, you know, how hot a mint is. And I think that would be a really cool thing to see to kind of compare projects to relatively. I'd be kind of curious if there's even people in this room that have ideas of stats they'd like to see about projects that you can't currently get easily with the tooling that exists, because that's actually how we're thinking about a lot of this as well.

Nicholas: Yeah, great question. Anyone who has a question or response to that, please feel free to request. I'll bring you up. The chess dev was pulling some very interesting stats about the NFT market overall. I think one that comes to mind for me, that's most interesting, we've sort of alluded to a little bit, but it is like, what's the trajectory for, let's say, offers on OpenSea on some of these collections? How quickly are they burning out? And is there anything that we can find about the mint pattern that can be correlated with their subsequent value to the market? Because it did seem for a while like these collections that were doing like the Meccaverse style hype strategy pre-release were crumbling almost as soon as the art was revealed. It seems like we're in a different era of the market now with the cheap NFT meta. So I wonder if there's other dynamics also going on.

Adam Ludwin: Yeah, there's a sort of like buy the rumor, sell the news quality to NFT pre-mint hype. And I think like that cycle of super hyped projects and a ton of enthusiasm for the mint and then kind of a flop has burned out a lot of people and rightly so. And I think we're in a much healthier phase of the market, which is, yeah, these projects are really inexpensive to jump into. And whether they kind of perform economically, not that that's the only thing that matters, but to the extent that people care about that, whether they perform in the secondary market and go on to kind of like be very valuable collector items has to be earned now. It's not just enough to say we have these people involved and these artists and like this like first ever blah, blah, blah. It is much more like meme culture where you have this like Darwinian competitive ecosystem. Anything that could be created gets created and then it filters up in a sort of authentic way because people want to share and spread it and it's great. And so that's sort of the phase we're in. And that means that fewer things will become. There's only so many there's only so many slots for a big hit, but there will be fewer hits proportionally. But at the same time, there are more mints than have ever happened. So there was a statistic we pulled from our indexer and we published on our Twitter account on July 14th. that is just a monthly chart. How many mints per month on Ethereum over the last year? And if you look at that chart, it looks nothing like every other chart over the last year on Ethereum. When you look at like price charts or other charts that you can clearly see sort of a bear market and a slowing down. If you look at the mints per month on Ethereum over the last year, it's just up and to the right. It's very pronounced and it's sort of reflects turning point kind of going back to November 2021, which is actually a low moment for mints, despite it being a high moment for price. And you could imagine sort of gas related. But nonetheless, we have like more things being created than ever before. A sort of like more authentic like earning of value versus just like a hype driven, short term type of value. And so I think it's a healthier and more exciting kind of like phase of the market cycle to be in than where we were six months ago.

Nicholas: That's awesome. I'd love to see you publish some of those stats if you ever formalize them, because the data is out there, but the analysis is minimal. Yeah.

Adam Ludwin: If you just go to like, just go to our Mint.Fun Twitter and just like it's just at Mint dot fun and just scroll down to July 14th and our tweet there. And you'll see it's like a purple bar chart specifically. You know, like as Luke mentioned before, we can pull all sorts of interesting things. So if people are if people want to see more data around minting and maybe we should put up a chart, Luke, like we should have like a charts page on Mint.Fun as well. But we can definitely share more numbers.

Nicholas: I would definitely check that out if there's something like, oh, fun stats for the week or something. I think it could be a good way to draw some people into the site.

Adam Ludwin: I'm actually reminded like trend wise and what you just said made me think about this Adam. It's like one of the first things that crossed my mind when I saw Mint.Fun was like, oh, sure. There's like some some of these mints I guess you can find by sort of attempting a back run and see if you can do it. And the ones that don't are like from a presale or like an airdrop to previous keynotes, like a derivative project or whatever it might be. And I'd be very curious like how that trends ecosystem wide over time. A big question that has been on my mind while I've been building in the space is like how much does some of these projects sort of like expand out their lore, you know, as like a first party thing versus, you know, like to what degree basically does more people using NFTs mean many more different projects versus like consolidation or existing projects growing much bigger? And so like the relationship sort of logically between different NFTs and whether some one is a derivative of another or something like that is super interesting to me. Some of that obviously you can't purely capture just by looking at, you know, anybody can airdrop to anybody that they want. But above a certain critical mass, I feel like you can start to infer some type of audience overlap or relationship there. It would be really cool to like, yeah, see even a new project. And then if we could somehow show beneath that project, the projects that influenced it or were linked to it somehow. Yeah, that would be super neat.

Luke: And I also feel like this information is information that often gets lost to history in a way, right? Like let's say you just find out about NFT projects, you know, maybe it minted out even a week or two ago and you're excited about it. If you go to a site like OpenSea or something like that, you won't necessarily know, oh, actually, you know, like this was offered first to like, you know, people who own blip maps or some other NFT. And that was how they seeded the community. Because if you think about NFTs as entry points to community, it actually seems to be relevant information, what communities, like the origin story of that. So I actually really like this idea of maybe showing derivative projects as like, you know, this started out with like this was a looted derivative or, you know, these communities first got into this project. I really like that. Train of thought, and there's probably some automated ways. you could just do this analysis by looking at holders. I mean, if the mint function checks to see if you own a certain NFT as much of the loot derivatives actually did, you could actually get that from contract traces maybe. Or, you know, there's even other ways you could get it just by, you know, looking at maybe how they collected their allow list or something like that. So that's really interesting.

Adam Ludwin: Yeah. I suppose seeing like some functions that are on the way that it lives in my mind, I guess it's like some functions that are on back runnable or something like that. And then I guess I don't know how you would trace down the exact thing. The other thing that actually stood out to me, like I think mint. Not fun is super sweet. The other thing that stood out to me, like for sort of the first time when I looked at it was just like the degree to which lots of projects still try and style themselves like existing big projects. And it's something I've never totally understood. why. like, yes, there's so much visual similar styling that I imagine is a bit harder. Visual similarity is maybe not super easy, but like there's something funky going on there that I am super personally curious about. Have you ever seen the website Same.Energy?

Nicholas: No, I haven't.

Adam Ludwin: I'm checking. So Same.Energy is super cool. It's built by someone that we know in the like AI community. And I share it as a proof of concept. to answer your question of like the technical capability. It exists like we have the technology as in like humans. We have the technology to, for example, be able to open up an NFT project and click a button that says like show me projects with the same energy. Show me projects that kind of look the same.

Luke: And I

Adam Ludwin: think as we all would expect, if we did have that, if we put that button on Mint.Fun, you would very quickly be able to see like how many projects are derivatives of Bored Apes, how many projects are derivatives of CryptoPunks, of Moonbirds, of Goblins and so on. And I think that is there's definitely like an IP kind of either in some cases, theft, and other places just like cringy kind of like copy thing going on. But I think it's like more fundamental to just meme culture. Right. It's just how things happen on the Internet and in the world. And it's part of what makes Internet cycle time so fast and exciting is as soon as something means something to people, like every iteration and branch of it just happens. And most of those mutations are not compelling and just kind of like wither. And that's fine. But some of them turn into something really cool. And you get not only like a single meme, but a whole meme plex around an idea that people are excited about. And of course, the more CryptoPunks derivatives there are that are on their own right relevant to people, the more valuable CryptoPunks becomes because it just reinforces that kind of root project and idea that means something to people. So I think this is like more by and large, not something to like wring our hands about, but to actually like celebrate as kind of just like a fun dynamic that people build on the work of others. Again, with the kind of like disclaimer that sometimes that goes too far. There's just like literal theft of IP. So we want to protect against that. But yeah, I think there's just like a fun dynamic that happens.

Nicholas: It would be cool. Like, for instance, I clicked on this same dot energy site on a Doraemon drawn in the snow on the ground, a photo and clicking on that link to like a bunch of other sort of characters made out of snow or drawn in the snow, etc. It would be interesting to see something like that where, oh, I like this collection. I click on that and now I have all the visually similar collections ranked by popularity and with some kind of visualization of like the minting cohort similarity across them. So I can say like, oh, I like this collection, but actually it was the derivative of some other collection that's more popular and still minting or what the ROI has been on that collection could be interesting. Luke, can you show for a second your screenshots website? And I want to know if anybody has forked it yet, because I kind of want to.

Luke: I've been keeping a blog for the past two years of just like interesting screenshots that I've like made, produced at Luke. Cat, that's the URL. And I thought it'd be fun to as a side project to turn that into a series of NFTs. And so all of the screenshots on Luke. Cat are for sale on mint. Luke. Cat. And it was kind of fun working out a way for them to be lazy minted. So, you know, they get minted by whoever wants to claim it for whatever price. I decided to sell them at that day. I've changed the price a few times. And yeah, it's been kind of a fun project. We have a really funny discord for it where everyone changes their picture to like the text that's in the screenshot and or their picture to the screenshot and their display name to the text that's in the screenshot. So it's really confusing. I don't really know who anyone is. It's great. But yeah, that's that's my like, you know, fun little. I want to make a fun NFT project. So, yeah, mint. Luke. Cat. That's my side thing.

Nicholas: Definitely go check it out. It's it is very cool. I love screenshots. I feel like screenshots are just photos from our digital lives and should totally be part of our main camera roll, etc. And I really like this site and just what you're experimenting with. So super cool. OK, I know you guys have to run. So thank you so much for coming through and talking about mint. Fun. I definitely want to have you on again in a few months because I feel like the Meta is moving so quickly and you guys are really plugged in. So it's it's wonderful to hear from you.

Luke: Thank you, Nicholas. It was a great time coming on here. And you're a great host.

Nicholas: And this is really fun. Thank you. Thanks.

Adam Ludwin: Thank you.

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