This Week on Crypto Twitter: Ozzy Goes NFT, Eminem Goes Ape, Todd Kramer Loses His Apes

this week on crypto twitter
Illustration by Mitchell Preffer for Decrypt

As the NFT profile pic trend continues, so too do the arguments over usage rights, permissions, and who gets to show off their cartoon ape or punk.

On Boxing Day, Jillian York, an author and director at digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation, noticed her portrait was being used in a new NFT collection called “Cipher Punks.”

The collection had intended to honor key players in the Cypherpunk movement, a broad term that references advocates of cryptography and other privacy-enhancing technologies (like blockchain). The term stems from an eponymous mailing list first launched in 1992. 

But some of the esteemed cypherpunks that were tokenized weren’t having any of it. Jillian York tweeted: “I don’t approve of this whatsoever and would like it removed.” 

Now we see what happens when creators purloin portraits of digital rights activists without asking them… In retrospect, the project, despite good intentions, was ill-advised. On December 28, it shut down and returned all the funds it raised.

In an apology posted to Medium the next day, the project wrote: “Unfortunately, many Cypher Punks were against this idea and didn’t want to participate in any way. We respect that. We really do. So we apologize to each and every Cypher Punk for not taking consent and creating your NFTs.”

Cipher Punks burned most of the offending NFTs, except the ones that had been sold. They have offered to buy back the sold NFTs and burn them, and if any remaining NFTs weren’t returned within 24 hours, they’d donate the remaining balance to Wikileaks. 

Oh, and York also absolutely hated the artwork

Meanwhile, Ozzy Osbourne announced his first NFT collection, called (what else?) “Cryptobatz.” The collection celebrates the fact that on January 20, it will be 40 years since the fateful moment when Ozzy first bit a bat’s head off during a concert in Des Moines, Iowa. 

The legendary English rock singer tweeted the news: “I’m launching a fucking NFT project. 9,666 unique bats designed by yours truly…” 

What’s different about Ozzy’s project is that each “Cryptobat” will give its purchaser the opportunity to “bite” and “mutate” another NFT in their wallet to create a whole new NFT. Currently, three projects so far have been named Cryptobat compatible: Bored Ape Yacht Club, SupDucks, and Cryptotoadz.

That sure beats a bat plush toy with a detachable head.

Stolen apes, celebrity apes

It was another rowdy week for Bored Ape Yacht Club.

On Thursday night, NFT collector Todd Kramer tweeted that a hacker had stolen 15 of his Bored Ape and Mutant Ape Yacht Club NFTs. The haul amounted to about $2.2 million worth of stolen crypto art, including $1.9 million in apes. Todd described it as “arguably the worst night of my life.”

In a now-deleted tweet, Kramer claimed someone stepped in and froze the stolen NFTs, prompting much speculation as too who helped and how. Several believe it was OpenSea – the market hosting the tokens – but there was no official confirmation from OpenSea. In any case, one Twitter user described the measure of freezing the NFTs as “pretty anti crypto” given blockchain’s ethos of decentralized ownership. 

Crypto Twitter also had a field day teasing Kramer’s misfortune. One of the many mocking replies to Kramer’s announcement of the theft said: “Wow, that’s so shitty, I’m really sorry dude. But please change your pfp since you no longer own it.” 

He has a point—especially with Twitter working on an NFT integration that would stop people from using certain NFTs as their profile picture unless they’ve verified it on blockchain.

While Kramer was lamenting his stolen Apes, Eminem bought an Ape and changed his profile picture to flaunt the new asset. 

Back on November 2, NFT collector @Gee_Gazza predicted this, tweeting “I still think @Eminem is destined to buy my @BoredApeYC one day.” 

Eminem may have ignited a celeb Ape streak: both Britney Spears and Dave Chappelle are rumored to have bought Apes over the weekend, but neither has confirmed it was really them. If either changes their official Twitter profile pic to the Ape, we can take that as confirmation… 

While the wider crypto market for fungible tokens slumped this past week, the excitement around non-fungibles was clear as day on Crypto Twitter.


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Vitalik Buterin Admits: I completely Missed NFTs Despite Predicting DeFi

The start of a new year provides an opportunity to reflect on the past and move forward with intention and purpose. And while other crypto personalities started 2022 with bullish predictions, Ethereum’s co-founder Vitalik Buterin chose to travel back in time, revisiting some of the things he predicted over the last ten years. He also shared what he learned and what he thinks about the subjects today.

As a programmer, writer, and an active member of the cryptocurrency space since its early years, Buterin has said, written and predicted a lot of things about the industry. Some he nailed, some he missed, and others very laughable. But for one thing, he doesn’t shy away from admitting when he’s wrong about his predictions.

Vitalik on Bitcoin Adoption and Regulation

Before launching Ethereum in 2015, Buterin was bullish on Bitcoin: he even wrote an article in July 2013 explaining the “internationality and censorship resistance” of Bitcoin and how the leading cryptocurrency can help protect the purchasing power and wealth of citizens in countries like Iran, Argentina, China, and Africa.

Vitalik Buterin

The Ethereum co-founder said in a Twitter thread that he visited Argentina last week and he noticed that crypto adoption was high but stablecoin adoption was higher as businesses use USDT for their operations.


Buterin then went on to reflect the negative impact of Bitcoin regulation he predicted about ten years ago. At the time, the programmer argued that “Bitcoin is resisting the government not by being clever about what ‘legal category’ it’s in, but rather by being technologically censorship-proof.”

Today, Buterin believes Bitcoin’s decentralization would allow it to survive in any super-hostile regulatory climate, but at a cost – “It could not thrive.”

“Successful censorship resistance strategy requires a combination of technological robustness and public legitimacy,” he wrote.

Wrong About Ethereum’s PoS and Shrading Timeline

The Ethereum co-founder recalled how he was briefly an apologist for PoW energy waste in 2012. However, he became excited when he learned about proof of stake as a promising alternative in 2013 and he fully bought the idea by 2014. Buterin tagged his transition as a  broader intellectual evolution.”

Buterin also highlighted his predictions about the timeline of Ethereum’s PoS and Sharding while admitting that they were wrong and laughable. He also noted that underestimating the complexity of software development was his core underlying mistake.

Next on Buterin’s list was his comments on the internet of money. He still maintains that “the internet of money should not cost more than 5 cents per transaction,” and that’s why Ethereum developers are working round the clock to improve the network’s scalability.

“Bitcoin Cash is a Failure”

Buterin also recalled an article where he defended altcoins in 2013 for three points – different chains optimize for different goals, costs of having many chains are low, and the need for an alternative in case the core development team is wrong.

But his views about some altcoins have changed drastically. For instance, Buterin said he was optimistic about Bitcoin Cash in 2017. However, the programmer sees BCH as a failure now because of the rebellious nature of its community.

Predicted DeFi, but Missed NFT

Citing Ethereum’s whitepaper, Vitalik Buterin noted that he predicted Decentralized Finance (DeFi) among other decentralized applications, but he completely missed NFTs.

Early Mistakes Corrected Quickly

Conclusively, Buterin admitted that his “thinking about politics and large-scale human organization was more naive then,” adding that he made a couple of early mistakes which he corrected quickly. The programmer also noted that he had “good instincts early on for avoiding the craziest parts of bitcoin maximalist thinking.”


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Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana, Terra, SHIB See Sluggish Start to New Year

This week in coins
This week in coins. Illustration by Mitchell Preffer for Decrypt.

Bitcoin has fallen more than 6% over the past seven days, and is down more than 1% in the first day and a half of 2022, according to CoinMarketCap. The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization is hovering around $47,000 at the time of writing.

But hey, at this time last year, Bitcoin was at $32,780. 

Bitcoin hit a festive high two days after Christmas, when it soared to its highest price in three weeks of $52,050. Ethereum experienced a similar trajectory, but failed to clear $4,120. In the days since then, BTC and ETH have both struggled, both down nearly 7% in seven days. 

But Ethereum is on the up and up in 2022, up 1.5% in the past 24 hours while BTC is down.

Fall of the Altcoins

The leading altcoins have also fallen hard over the past seven days: Solana (SOL) and Polygon (MATIC) are both down more than 10%, while Terra (LUNA) is down 9%. The two top meme coins, DOGE and SHIB, are down around 9 and 13%, respectively.

So what happened? Considering all of them experienced significant growth at the end of 2021, particularly Terra and Polygon in December, a price correction was due. 

Despite the pullback, there was positive news this week for a couple of the former high-fliers. Polygon developers quietly patched up the network after white hat-hackers noticed an exploit. The fix didn’t quite come in time: one hacker still made off with 800,000 MATIC tokens, or $2 million USD.

And on New Year’s Eve, Shiba Inu’s developers announced that they have created the first iteration of DoggyDAO, a decentralized autonomous organization that hands control of the network’s ShibaSwap DEX to community members through BONE governance tokens. 

Altogether it’s been a slow start to the year in terms of prices, but with growing institutional adoption of crypto across the board, we expect 2022 to be just as explosive as 2021. The question is whether it will be ETH’s year, or another doggy coin hype cycle, or more surging for Solana, Avalanche, and other smart contract blockchains, or something else entirely. Don’t listen to anyone who claims to know what will happen in crypto markets for sure.


The views and opinions expressed by the author are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice.


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Dogecoin Competitor Shiba Inu (SHIB) To Launch New Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO)

Popular meme crypto project Shiba Inu (SHIB) is set to launch its very own decentralized autonomous organization (DAO).

In a new blog post, Shiba Inu developers say they are going to release DOGGY DAO, SHIB’s new governance protocol, in two separate phases.

The first phase, which is set to launch in the coming days, will include provisions for users to decide which crypto projects and trading pairs will be included on ShibaSwap, SHIB’s decentralized exchange (DEX).

“DAO 1 is focused on providing immediate power to the community in order to decide which crypto projects and pairs on the ShibaSwap WOOF Pools will be and how the BONE rewards (allocation points) are to be distributed amongst them.”

BONE is the governance token of the ShibaSwap protocol. Its staked version, tBONE, will be used to vote within DOGGY DAO.

“In order to cast a vote to list projects, users must stake their BONE (to get tBONE), also distributing their amount of choice to weigh-in and provide to that very pair. The more they weigh in, the more votes a project achieves, the more added pairing (AP) it will have.

What happens next? On the following Monday, after launch, APs and pairs will be determined depending on the results of the voting process…

The executed pairs will be showcased for a period of 14 days, and their APs will remain there until the next voting occurs and finishes. The week, before the expiry date, voting will begin once again. A batch of new pairs or rewards will be decided and selected by the community.”

The second phase of the DAO will implement a system that allows users to send generic proposals to be considered.

Shiba Inu is exchanging hands at $0.000034 at time of writing, a 13% decrease from its seven-day peak of $0.000039

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Unlocking utility is key for fashion brands launching NFTs in 2022

Nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, have become one of the most discussed markets in the crypto space this year. A recent report from Cointelegraph Research found that NFT sales are aiming for a $17.7 billion record by the end of 2021. 

This may very well be the case, as a number of mainstream brands have begun launching NFTs. According to recent research from Bain & Company and the online luxury fashion platform Farfetch, digital interactions with consumers are becoming increasingly important for brands. The report specifically states that “digital interaction with peers is on the rise when choosing to purchase a product.” As such, nonfungible tokens tied directly to brands and their consumers are now more important than ever before.

Understanding what utility means for fashion NFTs

While it’s notable that mainstream labels like Adidas, Dolce & Gabbana and others have already released NFTs, the utility behind nonfungible tokens is proving to be the real key to a fashion brand’s success. Karinna Grant, co-chief executive officer of The Dematerialised, a digital fashion marketplace, told Cointelegraph that utilities are what give nonfungible tokens purpose and value:

“Just as in real-life, where a physical card can scan you access into a club, a utility can be anything from using the NFT as a membership pass to the ability to wear an asset in a game, or incorporating a sustainability or social responsibility benefit for purchasers of the NFT.”

Grant noted that The Dematerialised has experimented with multiple forms of utility with each of the fashion NFT drips the platform has launched. She explained that previous releases have included utilities like wearing or playing with a 3D asset in augmented reality, or unlocking access to brand communities. “With Rebecca Minkoff’s sold-out NFT collection in September, the highest tier of NFTs unlocked VIP access to brand experiences for a year.” She added: “Karl Lagerfeld’s “x Endless” collection provided an opportunity for owners of Karl collectibles, an IRL and URL ticket to a brand event in Paris in 2022, which will feature another launch where only Karl holders will be invited to take part.”

It’s become clear that fashion NFTs must offer some type of consumer engagement, allowing brands to interact with individuals in both the physical and the digital worlds. Avery Akkineni, president of VaynerNFT — an NFT consultancy agency — told Cointelegraph that while the utility of some NFTs can simply be for the sake of art, brands launching NFTs require deeper functionality built upon an existing community.

For example, Akkineni shared that VaynerNFT recently helped the global fashion house, Coach, launch its first NFT collection, which featured eight Coach Holiday animals from the brands’ Snow City digital game. Akkineni added that the NFT launch was also in celebration of Coach’s 80th birthday, which resulted in the creation of 80 unique digital art pieces featuring the eight Coach holiday animals.

“Bella the Penguin” from the Coach NFT collection. Source: VaynerNFT

Akkineni explained that each digital Coach NFT also grants the right for the initial holders to receive one complimentary made-to-order physical rogue bag in 2022. “Something that Coach wanted to do was to explore this new world of NFTs, but wanted to in a way that wouldn’t commercialize their IP or ask consumers to pay for anything,” she said. To efficiently engage with the Coach community, Akkineni mentioned that the Coach NFTs were given away for free during Dec. 17–24 this year:

“The Coach NFTs were claimable on the Polygon blockchain. Coach made sure not to commercialize too early and to learn about the space to gauge demand to see if their audience was interested in NFTs.”

Fashion NFTs must also function in the Metaverse

The fact that brands must now interact with consumers both virtually and in real-life has also added an extra layer of technical utility to NFTs. As Bain & Company’s latest luxury goods report states, “new keywords and phrases — such as metaverse, personalization at scale, and tech stack — will come to the fore as the industry grows and evolves.”

As such, some companies have started to explore NFTs in the Metaverse. For example, Pet Krewe — a pet apparel e-commerce company — recently opened a digital commercial space in the Metaverse community known as “ShibaVerse.” Allison Albert, founder and chief executive officer of Pet Krewe, told Cointelegraph that the company is promoting its brand by featuring its NFT pet clothing in a Metaverse containing balloon dogs called “Shibaloons.”

Source: Pet Krewe

According to Albert, Pet Krewe’s NFTs will be worn as unique designs that fit the Shibaloons. While Albert pointed out that these costumes can be held and swapped out on different Shibaloon dogs within ShibaVerse, Pet Krewe is using this digital commercial space as another form of brand engagement or marketing. “We can connect with dog-loving customers in a dog-centric Metaverse. This is reaching our customer base in an entirely different marketing element.”

The 18-year-old fashion label Mishka has also entered the NFT space with its famous eyeball logo. The collection of 6,696 NFTs is known as “The Keep Watch Crew,” or “KWC” for short. Greg Mishka, founder of Mishka NFT and the Keep Watch Crew, told Cointelegraph that Keep Watch is the most iconic and well-known branding element of Mishka, for both fans and the streetwear and fashion community.

Andy Milonakis KWC NFT. Source: Mishka

Given the label’s strong user base, Mishka explained that the KWC NFTs are the next chapter for the brand. “The KWC is your ticket into what we like to call the MISHKAVERSE. Immediate utilities include lifetime discounts and exclusive merchandise,” he explained. Mishka added that the label is working on integrating Web3 elements to their website. “This would allow for consumers to verify the NFTs they own in order to access exclusive pages and drops via the website.”

Should fashion NFTs still be tied to physical items?

While the utility of fashion NFTs extends beyond simply offering digital items connected to physical goods, some in the industry believe that this is still one of the most important functions. For instance, Grant noted that connecting physical items to digital NFTs is a critical part of the adoption process for nonfungible tokens of all categories. She elaborated:

“We have a very interesting split perspective with our current community, with half asking for more physicals and half asking more digital-only. However, when we survey outside of our current community the figure is much higher. This makes sense as first-time or new NFT owners tend to still hold more traditional beliefs that physical products are more “valuable” than digital ones.”

Echoing Grant, Mishka commented that it’s important to have physical items that can be claimed or achieved by acquiring something in the Metaverse since most consumers still live in the “real world.”

This is why it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a mainstream fashion label like Coach gifted NFT holders with physical made-to-order rogue bags. Interestingly enough though, Akkineni mentioned that sometimes NFT holders don’t redeem their physical items, which has proven to be the case for other drops associated with consumer-facing brands. “VaynerNFT did a collaboration called “Anwar Carrots x Veefriends,” which was a collection sold at Nordstrom and made available to all “Self-Aware Hare” NFT holders. It was only after some reminders that the holders did claim the physical items,” she commented.

Fashion NFTs will be a trend

The rise of NFTs in 2021 has demonstrated growth moving forward for major brands. While companies like Nike have already taken steps to enter the Metaverse, more labels will follow suit. This has become the case as the world moves toward digital business models, which have also been promoted by the rise of COVID-19. For instance, Albert explained that Pet Krewe is still unsure of how COVID-19 is going to play out in 2022, noting that current supply chains are still being disrupted:

“We need to hedge our bets on alternative revenue streams. Entering into a metaverse that aligns with our own company values means that we can add additional revenue streams through art NFTs and digital wearables.”

Grant further remarked that The Dematerialised is excited for “behavior-changing launches,” which include using NFTs to disrupt physical production methods. However, it’s important to point out that brands will face challenges along the way.

According to Grant, fashion labels will encounter three main obstacles, with the first being a shift in thinking when it comes to the value of Web3 and digital ownership. Secondly, Grant explained that understanding the purpose and narrative of an NFT launch is important: “We support launches that are part of long term strategic commitments to Web3, not a marketing gimmick to briefly drive revenue.”

Finally, Grant pointed out that it will be challenging for major brands to ensure a 3D asset design pipeline in house. Yet Grant remains optimistic that these challenges will be resolved: “Mainstream adoption will come as more major fashion brands, influencers and creators get involved.”