Cover photo

We are art dealers now, baby!

Why we own Mochimon NFTs

You buy NFTs because you crave digital status.

We buy IRL art because we support artists.

We are not the same.

That was my mental model until I dived into the Mochiverse in December.

Today, my baby and I own a decent collection of Mochimons by known Pudgy Penguins artist Antoine Mingo, and this is one of my favs as cherry blossom is around the corner:

Will the bracelet have some utility in the upcoming Tamamochi game???

Before I share my first exhilarating NFT minting experience, let's go back to the beginning...

I got the art bug when I was 17. I lived just under an hour away from Düsseldorf in Germany, which had been a significant hotbed of contemporary art and peaked when Joseph Beuys died in 1986; he radically re-defined what art is (living with a Coyote in a NYC Gallery for a week for example). I started to collect editions from his disciples, which I could afford from the money I earned at the car wash on weekends; blue collar work for high-brow art work.

The only Beuys in my collection, not worth much actually

Art collector - yes. Art investor - no.

Collecting contemporary art gave me a sense of purpose, personal growth, creative expression and connection like nothing before in my life as a pupil preparing for A-Levels. There I was, still a minor, cash in my pockets, drinking champagne on gallery openings rubbing shoulders with local celebrities and millionaires. I was a bit the talk of town for a while and I would lie if I said that this didn't stroke my ego.

I quickly realised that I am not that interested in all the glitz and hype and I preferred to visit artists in their studios building deep relationships musing about art, life, sex and the universe. I knew deep inside that my buys were not strategic but entirely based on what I wanted to live with in my four walls. I could be a millionaire today, but in the end I didn't have the discipline to save enough for a signed Warhhol print etc. I failed the marshmallow test in this regard.

At some point I stopped collecting art altogether and replaced that need for visual expression and beauty with my own digital photography.

My first NFT

I didn't jump into the NFT mania in 2021 mainly because of Paris Hilton. I am grateful for her explaining the tech and culture to me in the layman terms. At the same time, I saw no utility beyond expensive jpegs in the last bull run apart from status: not my cuppa tea really...

Last year, I discovered Rumble Kong League (thanks Early Podcast!) and bought an NFT for my son who plays basketball and lives and breathes its culture - but not yet web3...so me thinking ahead when someone will eventually pique his interest (won't listen to Bitcoin Boomer Papa): you need to own a Kong (or Rookie) to play the game. Bingo! I believe this type of NFT utility will be highly sought after provided the game is great in the first place: play-and-earn, not play-to-earn. 10K Kongs on-chain (Avalanche) - 100 Million basketball players IRL. You do the maths...

The game is in beta as of Feb 2024

Mochimons by Mingo

I wrote about investing into $MOCHI in my first on-chain post here. Immersing myself into the community on TG I soon got this alpha: Antoine Mingo, the artist behind the now famous Pudgy Penguine NFT collection would be the creative director of 3333 Mochimons.

I did some initial research and instantly knew this would be big - and a good thing: the pudgies showed at Art Basel Miami which is pretty much as big and glitzy it gets in the world of art fairs. At the same time Mingo didn't profit too much form the multi-million upside the PPs made their founder and then later on buyer. Naka promises to share the profits more equitably this time round.

Don't trust, verify: I reached out to Mingo to check that it will be really him, and if he will indeed get royalties in perpetuity. From the response I got I can assume that this will be the case, and this is the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible. Ideally I'd love to see this 'deal' on-chain at some point: put it in a smart contract and throw away the keys! Generational wealth for Mingo's descendants if there will be any...NFT collections like Mochimons can disrupt the (often extractive) art world for good!

My first live mint experience

In one word: roller-coaster!

My adrenaline levels were constantly rising in the weeks prior to the mint. The Penguins had a floor price of around 20 ETH in January 2024 - and a solid bag of Mochimons could mean life-changing money. I lost money in my first cycle, and this was my chance to make our family finances whole.

About a week before the minting event I decided to go all in. I set-up wallets for all my family members. You had to hold 10M $MOCHI (checked in a live snapshot) to mint one NFT with a max per wallet of 5. I knew that the collection would sell out in anything between 1-5 minutes...

“The secret to doing good research is always to be a little underemployed. You waste years by not being able to waste hours.” Amos Tversky 

It actually took two evenings to get the job done because the team postponed the mint as something on their end was not ready on Monday. Can you imagine the adrenaline for 24 hours? So Tuesday it was, and luckily, I had a work gig canceled that week, which was a bummer in terms of lost income, but ultimately the universe wanted me to have that extra space. I felt the pain for peeps in Asia who couldn't stay awake for another night or who had child care duties that night. You know who you are.

Nakamochi has nerves of steel

Tuesday 9pm UTC: the mint didn't start on time and those 20 odd minutes listening to the team on live audio in TG was both nerve wrecking and inspiring: they kept so cool and calm whilst fixing the problem before our ears listening - plus some folks loosing their minds in the TG channel: this was building in the open on another level!

We constantly refreshed all browser windows and were able to mint even 10 seconds before they confirmed the mint was finally live. The result: we got amount we had geared up for. The collection was sold out in under three minutes. My heart racing, the only sentence I said with a chuffed face: baby, we are art dealers now!

HODLing and playing until legging out

Devising the optimal legging-out strategy probably requires - in addition to macro and crypto cycle signals - deep understanding of both the art and the NFT markets. I can draw on my experience in the former, and will study the latter to combine time-in-the-market AND time-the-market.

Speaking of game...one of the deciding factors to go big on Mochimons is their potential utility in the upcoming Tamamochi game: native on Telegram plus a desktop version afaik. Bullish af!

Now add that the Mochiverse is #builtonbase and that Farcaster is blowing up thanks to #frames, I can see a flywheel of of value creation soon setting in motion. We are not in a rush to sell and ATM we are already sitting on a 30x. I bought a big diamond paperweight in orange that sits on my desk under my Mac, in case my impatient-by-nature degen-self wants to turn me into paper-hands. Ask me at the end of 2025 or so...

current PFP of @antaur - the edginess just "feels right" for now

The reason why I never bought a Warhol back then was because his Pop Art was too low-brow for me. Too much glitz, like his spiritual-mentee Paris Hilton decades later. Luckily, I instantly liked the look and feel of Mochimons because it reminds me of my stint in Japan with its manga comic culture. And with this NFT collection, I am more art dealer than art collector - and that's ok.

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