Meebits: A bit of me in the Metaverse

4th May 2021

Matt & John of Larva labs made history today, once again, with their ‘Crypto-punks’ follow-up project: Meebits.  Only a few hours ago, Opensea’s official Twitter account released the following statement: “Meebit #8598 has just sold for a casual 420 ETH (~$1.4m), making it the highest single item sale on the platform to date” – @opensea

 

 

But what is a Meebit and why are people paying so much for them?  According to Larvalabs’ official Meebits webpage: “The Meebits are 20,000 unique 3D voxel characters, created by a custom generative algorithm, then registered on the Ethereum blockchain.”  Are they the same as Cryptopunks?  Not exactly.  Apart from being 3D, generating twice as many of them, and several built-in features, the intention behind this collection is quite different.  To quote Larvalab’s official announcement blog post: “If the Cryptopunks are ideal 2D avatars for Discord, Twitter, and other social media, then we hope that the Meebits will be the 3D avatar for virtual worlds, games, and VR.”  This announcement sparked a lot of excitement from the VR/AR/XR communities that currently populate the existing metaverse options.  However, some practitioners are already pushing for even further interactivity. According to one of the cofounders of the Sandbox Game, one of the most popular metaverses:

“Meebits should be interoperable across all Metaverses. The era of the Avatar has just begun! Can’t wait to see them across @cryptovoxels @decentraland @SomniumSpace and of course @TheSandboxGame where you could equip and play with them!” – @borgetsebastien

However, this world is, quite incredibly, not too far off.  To once again, quote Larvalabs announcement blog post: “Owners of a Meebit are given access to an additional asset pack that includes the full 3D model.” Meebits can be animated or used “as your avatar in the metaverse.”  According to Matt and John of Larvalabs, they “are bullish about the metaverse future,” and “look forward to seeing how the Meebits are used in such environments.” However at the moment is seems as if the focus is similar to that of the Bored Ape Yacht Club team, integrating one’s NFTs into personal or public pieces of digital art.   All Meebit’s unlockable content includes T-pose OBJ files that can allegedly be “imported into any most standard 3D modelling and animation software.”  There have been some 3D artists who have spoken out about the file formats Larvalabs made available to its buyers.  To quote crypto-artist Angie Taylor:

“It’s a bit nuts that #meebits only supply OBJ – quite an outdated 3D format? They should have chosen to go with either GLB – the current standard for Web 3D, 3D NFTs & AR. Or, if they advertise the T-pose as a feature, surely they should use FBX which will include mocap data?” – @theAngieTaylor

Despite this and similar complaints, buyers don’t at all seem to be dissuaded.  With Meebits selling out all 9,000 public pieces in Larvalab’s initial stock on their first day.  This was, of course, apart from the reserve pieces they kept for all buyers of previous works. So if you’re reading this and you happen to own a Cryptopunk or a Glyph then we have good news for you directly from Larvalabs themselves: “We’re giving away free [Meebits] to all punk and glyph owners.”  One of these owners, and a staunch Larvalabs investor is crypto-artist @Hanrgb on Twitter who tweeted that he invested his “artwork revenue in CryptoPunks” 5-6 months ago.  And then “Yesterday sold 3 of them to invest in Meebits.” Ending his tweet by solidifying his stance that “Metaverse native projects are the future.”  When we chatted with Hanrgb briefly about the reason behind his purchases, he smoothly mentioned that: “Metaverse characters can reflect 65 different identities.”  Alluding to the fact that he bought 65 Meebites himself.

One still might ask what makes these rather simple generated renderings so popular? The primary aesthetic differentiating factor this time around for Larvalabs was the signature Meebit 3D voxel-style rendering technique.  Matt and John of Larvalabs are publicly big fans of “low-poly and voxel 3D graphics.”  which they also addressed in in their initial release statement:

“The style has been made popular in the last decade or so by games such as Minecraft and Roblox. We think that, just like 8-bit pixel art, the minimalism and accessibility of voxel art will prove timeless and endearing for generations to come.”

 

On top of all the aesthetic and integrated features, similar to the Cryptopunks, buying and trading Meebits can be done on “a custom marketplace that supports like-kind trading of up to 100 Meebits per transaction” along with all other standard transactions.  Once again, Larvalabs has levelled up their offerings in a number of ways, and we can’t wait to see what they have in store for us next! One thing is for sure, in a similar fashion to Cryptopunks, the real money will be made in the secondary market.  To quote crypto aficionado Piers Kicks, Meebits looks like it’s going to be “the most crowded NFT trade in months.”  Furthermore, according to his Twitter, “If all 9000 were to go at 2.5 ETH in the Dutch auction that’s $70M to @larvalabs…” This would make their sales on par with the likes of Beeple.

We’re sure that there will be many exciting developments regarding Meebits in the coming days and can’t wait to share them all as they progress!

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