Aloha, it's Taylor! I'm the CEO of Hedgehog, the crypto robo-adviser that makes it easy to keep your portfolio diversified while managing it all in one place.
Hedgehog product design is inspired by modern portfolio theory, the investment philosophy behind finance game-changers like the index fund. Ideally, crypto unites the best of today's innovations with the best of yesterday's hard-won wisdom. At Hedgehog, that overlap is where we focus.
Working on my pitch 💪 Sounds pretty good, right?
Reminder: There's a giveaway question at the end of every newsletter. Last week I asked, "Are you Team Sperm Whale, Team Giant Squid, or Team Lawyer?" (Sounds random out of context… you had to be there.) Best answer: "I think you have to go with the most terrifying monster out there, so I'm definitely Team Lawyer." Watch out, they could be lurking anywhere!
Pay to Play
The company that created Final Fantasy is getting ready to launch a blockchain game called Symbiogenesis:
The game, built on Ethereum Layer 2 Polygon, will be a "digital collectable art experience," according to a company release, with an evolving storyline set on a mysterious floating continent. Holding or trading digital collectables will be key to advancing in the game.
It will also offer players multiple endings, but only three players will get to play the final "World Mission."
Interesting approach. Is it just me or does this game sound like it'll be quite expensive to play? Will there be bidding wars to experience the full World Mission? Or is that a turn-off…
Players truly owning their in-game assets is a very cool concept, but it's harder to get enthusiastic about games relying ever more heavily on microtransactions and loot boxes as core mechanics.
Aside from that, I continue to be impressed with Polygon's business development chops. I've lost track of all the established brands that have partnered with Polygon.
Tldr: Only three players get to play the final mission? Is this the Wu-Tang album of blockchain games?
Once Upon a Time in Shaolin
Okay, so remember how "pharma bro" Martin Shkreli was the guy who ended up buying that ultra-exclusive Wu-Tang Clan album for $2 million? I wondered what ended up happening to the album after that, and Wikipedia informed me:
In March 2018, following Shkreli's conviction for securities fraud, a federal court seized assets belonging to him, including Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. In July 2021, the US Department of Justice sold it to non-fungible token collectors PleasrDAO for $4 million to cover Shkreli's debts; PleasrDAO said they hoped to make it more widely accessible.
You truly cannot make this up. As far as I can tell, PleasrDAO hasn't done anything else with the album yet. Perhaps because, per Wikipedia, "A legal agreement with the purchaser stipulated that the album cannot be commercially exploited until 2103, although it can be played at listening parties."
Tldr: Wu-Tang ain't nothin' to DAO with.
Even in this bear market, NFTs still appeal to the legacy art world:
Cozomo de' Medici, a pseudonymous NFT collector and longtime supporter of on-chain art, has donated 22 prominent artworks to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).
The works were created by 13 international artists between 2017 and 2022, and the donation marks the first time that a distinguished museum has accepted an endowment of digital art from a private collector, according to de' Medici.
de' Medici hopes their donation will raise awareness of digital art, as the collection will now be displayed alongside works by legendary artists like Rembrandt, Picasso and Monet.
The bequest includes CryptoPunk #3831 from Larva Labs, Woman n°001 by Yam Karkai and Ringers #962 from Dmitri Cherniak, and spans all the major genres, including generative art, 1/1, book, video, AI, 3D, sculpture and photography.
Apparently the gift is worth millions. In an interview with ARTnews, de' Medici commented on the crypto culture around NFTs:
"The term NFT has a stigma attached to it so we've stepped away from it," de' Medici said. "The digital art world is splitting into two categories, I call it the great divide. And the great divide separates the first category, PFP [profile picture] NFTs, and the mania of speculation that [is associated with PFP NFTs], from the second category, which is digital fine art like what we've seen from the generative art projects."
It's a bit suspect for de' Medici to pooh-pooh speculation and hype. That's the secret sauce — LACMA wouldn't be interested in this donation if it consisted of random pixel art and digital design, no matter how visually impressive, instead of pieces from well-known and valuable collections like CryptoPunks and World of Women (both of which are PFP projects, I might add).
de' Medici tweeted, "My hope is that this donation helps forever cement the on-chain art movement in the canon of art history." Similar motivations to the sellers of the "digital Mona Lisa" CryptoPunk.
Tldr: High-profile art and eye-popping sums go together like pineapple and pizza.
Question of the week: If you could prevent the entire world from hearing a single album, and keep it all to yourself, what would it be?
Respond to this email with your answer for the chance to choose three of these scrumptious prizes:
- insulated stainless steel water bottle with Hedgehog logo
- official Hedgehog team baseball cap
- snazzy Hedgehog socks
- cozy Hedgehog hoodie
- comfy Hedgehog baseball tee
Personally, I'd take the bullet and prevent Nickleback's original album from ever seeing the light of day. It's either that or my third cousin's mixtape, but according to Eminem, he wasn't going to sell two copies of that even if he pressed a double album.
Wondering if anyone else looked at that photograph that Nickleback kept singing about,