A new NFT project that auctions off one digital asset per day made four sales in its debut.
The total spent? 764.75 ETH, worth around $2M in Friday trading.
The NFTs are called Nouns and their inventor, who goes by 4156 after the numbered CryptoPunk he owns, started the project wondering what the next iteration of Punks would be.
The concept is simple: One Noun auction a day, forever. In a way the project mimics blockchains themselves — Nouns are added to the supply at a steady pace just like blocks.
The Nouns use five traits to add character to the NFTs and distinguish them from others. One might have a bomb as a head, or a microwave, or some other weird object. Unlike many NFT projects, which have rare character traits, all the ones for Nouns are equally likely to be generated.
The Nouns DAO, governed by each NFT owner, pockets the ETH spent on the platform. One noun means one vote. But there’s more to it than just ownership.
“A whole bunch of different economic games end up being played within Nouns,” 4156 told The Defiant. “Nouns use time as one of the scarce attributes. Maybe Nouns one to ten are like the aliens of CryptoPunks, we’ll see.”
Like any fledgling asset class, Noun buyers have to decide when is the right time to play. There will only ever be nine, single digit Nouns issued in the project’s first nine days. Being early symbolizes being a true fan, or an OG, as they say.
If the first nine Nouns end up like alien CryptoPunks, their owners will be sitting pretty — the most recent alien sold for $12.67M in March.
So far, people appear to think buying early Nouns is very worth it — Noun #1 went for 613.37 ETH, worth $1.98M at the time of writing, while subsequent Nouns have all gone for under 100 ETH.
But there’s also a good reason to buy late — a Noun gives its owner a vote in the Nouns DAO and its treasury. So buyers may be more interested in obtaining membership in a hot DAO than owning a particular Noun.
“What is it that all the Nouns can do together that you can’t do individually?” 4156 asked.
Of course, there’s an aesthetic aspect too. Noun #5, up for bidding at the time of writing, has a chainsaw for a head. “I’m probably going to sit 5 out, will try again for 6,” purplehat.eth said on the project’s Discord. “Chainsaw is spooky.”
Nouns store their image data differently that most NFT projects whose metadata and media live on centralized servers, Nouns live on the Ethereum blockchain. So people can recreate Nouns even if their creators, called Nounders, disappear.
“We wanted Nouns to be as decentralized as possible,” said 9999, a Nounder who goes by their CryptoPunks’ edition number. “We built a custom compression algorithm into a smart contract and use it to store all the Noun parts there.”
Founders have their perks: The project’s ten Nounders will receive every tenth Noun for the first five years of the project. The Noun will be sent to their multisig wallet to be vested.
Governance is currently in a soft-launch phase. “Nounders have given themselves a special veto vote to ensure that no malicious proposals can be passed while the Noun supply is low,” states the project’s website.
NFT heads looking for their next purchase may be taking a long look at Nouns. With the first four all going for over 36 ETH and over, aspiring owners may need to band together to win an auction.
In fact, a DAO, called SharkDAO, appears to have formed specifically to buy Nouns. While it struck out on its first one, SharkDAO did regroup buy Noun #2 for 69.69 ETH.