Celebrity brings high performance PR juice under a simple name. And no name carries more cultural weight for young people than justin bieber.
NFTs provide value through their branding, community, culture, artistic expression and – depending on who you talk to, most importantly – their technology. So when fans noticed that Justin Bieber had attached himself to an NFT project, a collection of cartoon bears, his value skyrocketed.
We already live in the metaverse. Screen time is the default. All J. Bieber had to do to signal his investment was change his “profile picture” — his public face in 2022 — to an inBetweener bear.
“If one hundred percent of Justin’s audience started trading NFTs, that would multiply the number of people in the world by 200 times. I think that’s the opportunity we have in hand,” said Ogden, co. -founder of inBetweeners: the team behind the bears.
Ogden (whose real name is Reid Moncada) dropped out of college to build a laundry rig. The pandemic has struck. The public audio chatroom Clubhouse rose alongside Twitter as a hotbed of radicalization for crypto tech evangelists, and Ogden started listening. There were dozens of stories of people becoming millionaires after quitting NFTs and other Web3 projects.
He’s seen single tweets turned into NFTs sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. One of Ogden’s friends started the largest NFT project on Solana, a blockchain competitor to Ethereum and Blockchain. “I made X hundred my investment in them,” Ogden said.
No one can go there alone. From a friend of a friend, Ogden met Berks. Berks started in the cryptocurrency space in 2013, but is an acknowledged latecomer to NFTs. He said it took time for their value to match his sensibilities. Web3 confusion is a widely felt sentiment, even among the land barons of the landscape.
Berks and Ogden started dreaming. The gold rush was on and the proverbial California was non-fungible tokens.
If the internet changes infrastructure as we think it will over the next 20 years, Berks asserted, we can own part of the new world.
Ogden and Berks are pseudonyms, work nicknames, secret identities.
“We remained anonymous at the time so as not to alert current investors and stakeholders in our other company to what we were working on, while elevating Gianpiero’s face for the project,” they said.
Luck and circumstance are difficult to discern. And another friend appeared. From a colleague’s acquaintance at an industry conference, Ogden’s name found its way into Gianpiero’s ear and Gianpiero’s landed in Ogden’s open hands.
Her clothing brand Drew House has more than 1.6 million followers on Instagram. Gianpiero is a pop artist with ties to Justin Bieber, Dolce and Gabbana, and many other cultural quilting hotspots.
Gianpiero told Ogden that he wanted to launch a collection of entities, meaning he wanted to sell a collection of NFTs, each with their own character design and personality. They are sort of mascots – intellectual property with a face up for a public offering, of course. Bored Apes, the blue chip of the top notch NFT projects, is a collection of entities.
Luck or unexpected circumstances have struck again and again, as they often do – ironically and inevitably. Bieber called Gianpiero, out of the blue as his friends often do, to say he was interested in the NFT game. Gianpiero clearly said, “How convenient. I have just what it takes.
Ogden was supposed to fly home to Los Angeles at the time, but once he got the news that Justin B. wanted, he skipped his flight, maxed out his credit card, flew to Italy and dumped everything into its digital wallet to launch the first contract and mint, expensive start-up costs for NFT initiatives. He expected to be in Italy for a week for the drop. It has tripled. He worked Christmas and his birthday.
“There were a million reasons why it shouldn’t have worked. We went from zero to 5,000 people in our Discord in the first three days. Then we had all that hype and anticipation ready for our launch,” Ogden said.
Building pressure is a marketer’s dream and a risk manager’s nightmare. With nowhere to go, that pressure constantly risked putting Ogden, Berks and Gianpiero in the face.
The initial strike was delayed. Justin’s announcement that he is involved has been delayed. And one command in a sloppy line of code cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“You live and you learn,” Ogden said.
“So the code was my mistake,” Berks said. “I had a ‘false’ where a ‘real’ should have been. The contract has already been deployed on the Ethereum network, which essentially wouldn’t allow us to reveal people’s bears. Everyone was stuck with the unrevealed preset image. We had to dump their NFTs at the time, and it was $300,000 out of our pockets. We have never hesitated to spend this money. They had joined us with full confidence, after all.
Much of their community began to call their project a “carpet”. In a space as anarchic as the early days of the crypto industry, the “rug” is often pulled away from potential investors – leaving people who generally consider themselves savvy capitalists with a sore back and angry fingers hungry for more. a vent on Twitter.
The other side of the community coin is soft. There are many bears inBetweener tattooed on the thighs, forearms and sometimes the buttocks. A bear is on a billboard in Milan. inBetweeners invited bear holders to a Coachella after-party with enough Kendall Jenner tequila to tranquilize a grizzly bear. Bieber, Jenner, Billie Ellish, Travis Scott and Jaden Smith were present. According to the price of Ethereum, inBetweeners bears have so far seen a trading volume between $20 million and $35 million. Dolce and Gabbana and the inBetweeners kicked off a collaboration with a party at Tao Uptown in New York in late June. Trey Songz performed. It’s a bear market.