Another Day, Another NFT, but This One Might Be In It For the Long Haul

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Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have exploded this year. Although they’ve been around since 2014, NFTs are gaining notoriety now. The ecosystem has witnessed hype from the burning of the Banksy painting and Beeple’s ‘Everydays: The first 5000 days’ art pocketing $69 million in the now-famous Christie’s auction.

All of this has further cemented NFTs as a relevant sector in the blockchain universe. Some of the first NFTs ever made were a series of PFPs or profile pics used as avatars for social media accounts. While a collectible has no intrinsic value from a financial perspective, it may have some intrinsic value given the buyer’s personal feeling about the item, the art, and the use cases built around the project. The same way many people felt about trading cards years ago growing up, collecting NFTs can be said as something of a hybrid of investing in stocks and fine art -

There is a lot of nostalgia in PFP based NFTs, which compares to the art markets.

#Why the High Demand for PFP NFTs and My Love for “Drop Bears”:

For any NFT project to be successful, it’s important how they establish a compelling brand story or how they distinguish the subject of their NFT. This could be the first-ever 8-bit NFT art or a nostalgic aesthetic style cartoon.

A particular subject attracts an owner base because they associate a personality with that character that reminds them of themselves or how they want to be. For me, the popular urban legend of the drop bear taps me into the “Drop Bears” NFT project. Owning “Drop Bears” makes me feel like I’m part of the popular urban legend folklore.

The drop bear is in contemporary Australian folklore featuring a predatory, carnivorous version of the koala. While koalas are typically docile herbivores, drop bears are described as unusually large and vicious marsupials that inhabit treetops and attack unsuspecting people that walk beneath them by dropping onto their heads from above.

Image credit: ‘DropBearWoky’ — Drop Bears community member.

Growing up, a sit-down feast with family during thanksgiving used to be my favorite childhood time, especially the part where elders shared urban legends. Sharing them provides a source of entertainment and an important form of social engagement.

The retelling of urban legends over time ensures that they become part of public records and are well known. Common examples include “Bloody Mary” — a woman who will show her face in the mirror if you call on her. Hookman and the Drop Bear are other well-known legends.

The creators of the “Drop Bears” project are inspired by this popular folklore legend and immortalized them in the blockchain forever. Similar to trading cards, how they derive value based on subject popularity and scarcity, the collection has 10,000 algorithmically generated portraits of drop bears (koalas) using smart contracts with ultra-rare types — Durry Crown and Topaz fur types popping up a handful of times.

Currently, Drop Bears NFTs are owned by more than 3,600 users (or wallets), a well-respected stat that indicates popularity and demand for the art. Along with intellectual property rights for the images, owning Drop Bears would give holders a mint-free pass to future NFT drops from the project.

Additionally, it gives owners access to exclusive membership perks like the PFP photo booth that allows owners to change their background to custom artist-created variants and more importantly, join the vibrant fun-loving — supportive community of drop bears.

Me being a person that cares about culture, values, and history, owning “Drop Bears” makes me feel like I’m part of this popular urban legend folklore. Now with my Twitter PFP as a “Drop Bear”, I hope to keep the legend alive and share the folklore within my friend circles. Soon after my first tweet about the project, I was welcomed by the “Drop Bear” community sporting Koalas with glasses or shooting laser beams from their nips. This group of Koalas PFP lovers are chatting, following, and supportive of each other.

Nowadays many collectors evaluate the NFT community by count but they forget one important aspect — Are they engaged?. My growth on the Twitter following is a testimonial to this vibrant fun community of Drop Bears. As one of the community members ‘DropBearWoky’ puts it — “Bogan family is too strong. Amazing community. Amazing family”.

Duck race gamification — unique concept to keeping the community active in discord

The community is also very active in discord. Thanks to the project’s clever and fun “Duck Race” gamification wherein each day up to 100 participants online rush to enter the race (activated randomly) and win Drop Bears or ETH.

Another day, another NFT project, but with the strong connection to the subject, art, and community behind “Drop Bears”, it might be in for the long haul.

Note, the founding team lives in areas heavily impacted by the Australian 2019 black summer bushfires that devastated wildlife habitats, especially well-established trees for Koalas. Drop Bears have established connections with Port Macquarie Koala Hospital and the project is actively seeking other sanctuaries and foundations aiding Koalas. To date, the team has already donated $50K to Koala wildlife sanctuaries and will continue donating from secondary sales (currently $20k AUD) to other koala sanctuaries around Australia.

Collectors often look to NFT gurus on Twitter for investment advice because these people are expected to predict projects that will do well on the market. The NFT guru and Twitter influencer BoredChairman said:

“DropBears NFT is a project I have happily bought into knowing that a percentage of funds raised goes towards saving the Koala. The art is fun, the team and community is great. Join in the revolutionary daily races on discord”.
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Another Day, Another NFT, but This One Might Be In It For the Long Haul was originally published in Coinmonks on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.