The final chapter commences! I would like to take a moment to thank everyone who has reached out about this series thus far. There has been a great response and I look forward to hearing people’s thoughts on this third installment. I’m also looking forward to sharing numerous other interviews with top collectors that I’ve lined up as it seems that this type of content is both appreciated and well-received- so thank you! And without further ado, if you haven’t read or watched part 1 and part 2 of this interview yet, please do so- and if you have, I’ll let you get to enjoying part three:
David: I would love to hear some of your thoughts about Bored Apes or some of these huge projects, like Punks, that most collectors have come to involve themselves in?
WhaleShark: I have several points. The first point is that I missed out on crypto punks. And I think crypto punks have a significant amount of historical value. Full disclosure, I don’t own a single crypto punk. That’s simply because I entered late into the space. So as an NFT collector, I do think that crypto punks have a historical value of being, honestly, the world’s first NFT, right? When NFTs weren’t NFTs, crypto punks were the NFTs. So I think there’s a certain amount of historic value there.
However, the issue from an economic standpoint that I see when I look at crypto punks… My team has done a little bit of a deep dive into the transaction history over a certain period of time. You just had five people trading those crypto punks at high values and driving the value up.
How do you have a project whereby you only have a small segment of the community that’s really driving that value.
So, you got high prices without any liquidity. Now, for me, I tend to worry when I see signs like that. When I’m looking at other generative products- and I’ll give you an example of why they don’t interest me at all whatsoever.
We can look at the last seven days, of all of the projects that have been launched. And when you look at something like Axie infinity you have over the last seven days, you had 75,000 buyers. When you look at NBA top shots, you have something like 37,000. When I look at Bored Ape Yacht Club, you only have 425, right? You’ve got 425 buyers and you only have 4,600 holders. Versus NBA top shots, which has 530,000. From an economic standpoint, when I’m looking at this, I get worried because you have all of these insanely high prices, but really no depth to the market. And what that indicates to me as an analyst is that there’s a lot of in-community trading, which is not bad, right? But that in-community trading is not necessarily going to expand and reach a mainstream.
When you have the rest of the population entering into NFTs- now could I be absolutely wrong, and five years down the road when NFTs are something that is absolutely predominant throughout society and people are clamouring for a Bored Ape- could be right.
But when I’m looking at the data right now, it just doesn’t make sense to me. So my last point would be Brendan Dawes. I mean, what I love about Brendan is that: he’s not just doing artwork with generative traits, right? What a lot of your listeners or audience might not know is that I’ve been in artificial intelligence probably for about five years now. Some of these generative art processes, they’re not even based on artificial intelligence. It’s just generative art. And you’re just piecing different traits together with very low effort.
Brendan actually takes real-life data, and then after that, runs through a variety of generative processes to be able to ensure that that data coincides, correlates, and becomes something visual that is very representative of that data. It’s a much more intensive process. It’s a much more custom process. And it’s something that takes a lot of effort as an artist to be able to do something like that. So I think you and I are jiving well on what truly is generative art, right? I don’t think piecing together different eyes and different noses, or different assets can be considered generative art.
David: You support a lot of these larger projects that have really strong use cases, such as top shot, such as gods Unchained, etc., that maybe some people in the niche NFT, or NFT maxi community, might discount because they’re companies and they’re projects. But at the same time, they’re the projects with probably the best and most legitimate use-cases. So I think it’s important that you’re supporting those and being an advocate for those. So with that in mind what has been your most successful investment monetarily and, separately or in tandem, do you have a favourite purchase that you’ve made thus far?
WhaleShark: So my most successful investment has been NBA top shots. Essentially what happened was I invested a total of $175,000. Back in, I want to say July or August of last year. The total value of that collection today can be anywhere between $30 million to $80 million, depending on the day.
Because the cards get traded at an immense amount of speed. That, from a monetary perspective, probably has been one of the largest gains. I do want to say that I’ve done very, very well from a crypto art perspective as well. Being able to identify very early creators who have gone on to sell hundreds of thousands of dollars and millions of dollars of art. I’ve been a very early collector of X copy, of Twisted Vacancy, of Pak. These artists, when you look at the sales that they have, I was very lucky to not only be able to collect them very early, but also to be able to build some astounding friendships, amazing friendships with them. But you know, purchasing from a monetary and financial perspective, supporting their early career, being able to purchase a lot of their pieces in the hundreds or the thousands of dollars, and being able to see them reap an immense amount of financial success today has been absolutely amazing.
And to your point in terms of large companies, you want a project that has longevity. You want a project that has a strong team. You want projects that are managed professionally, and at the same time, you really want to have projects that have a long runway and a lot of money in the bank so that you don’t need to worry that six months or 12 months down the road, that team is going to go bankrupt, disband, and all of the assets that you bought are now no longer useful.
Now, when I look at the space itself, you’ve got quite a few of those companies, which are amazing. You’ve got Immutable with Gods Unchained, and Axies Infinity is very well-funded and it’s doing extremely well, DCL, Sandbox, even Crypto Voxels to a certain extent, again, they have a strong revenue model and are able to do those sorts of things.
So, I think those are the reasons why I tend to sway towards larger projects. And NBA Top Shot, you’re talking about Dapper Labs, which is now valued in the billions of dollars. Dapper Labs isn’t going anywhere. And then, that gives me peace of mind and allows me to sleep at night because I know that that team is well-funded, well managed, and well-structured out.
To your question that you asked just now in terms of my favourite piece that I’ve acquired. I love every single thing that enters the vault. Probably my favourite that I purchased… And this is interesting because I actually purchased it in the summer of last year, but only received it about three weeks to a month ago. Was the Sistine chapel NFT done by Pascal Boyart or P-Boy. And Pascal Boyart is really one of the very first street artists who entered into the crypto space. And he’s very famous for doing these murals, and adapting traditional art pieces onto street murals, and actually having a QR code where people can donate Bitcoin to his wallet for his art.
He transformed a previous metal foundry, I believe. And he hired a complete media team to look at the process, the videotaping, everything, and he did a crypto adaptation of the Sistine chapel. I was more than happy to support that work. I think upfront one year ago, in today’s value in terms of Eth one year ago I provided about, I think $60,000 to $70,000, for it to be created.
And I can’t be happier for P-Boy.
David: How has clubhouse played a role within your rise in the NFT space? And have you discovered any artists there?
WhaleShark: I love Clubhouse. I have not spent a lot of time on it recently, but I can tell you that in February, March, and April, I was on there, at least two to three hours every single day. Sometimes I would be on there 10 hours a day. It really became a central hub for being able to communicate about NFTs, learn about NFTs, and share knowledge on NFTs. Now I know that recently the hype on clubhouse has recently dipped a bit, I always log on every single day to check out what’s the situation, what are the discussions on NFTs going on? And I really can’t wait to see that start to grow again. Now I meet a lot of friends on clubhouse, I used to hold AMAs and sessions whereby I got to know every single artist on there. And it was amazing to see the number of artists entering this space.
I would say the one artist I identified through clubhouse and got to speaking with… I really do appreciate his work, is Ali Sabet. I know that there was a little bit of controversy regarding the supply side of his artwork. But it’s something that I just really, really enjoyed. And it doesn’t affect me because again, I’m collecting out of the love and I’m not collecting predominantly for financial value. And I may be looking at pieces and saying, “Hey, do I want to look at this every single day? Do I want to hang it above my fireplace? Do I want to hang it in my corridors?”
And I really loved Ali Sabet’s work. Sabet has probably been one of the major purchases that I made. At that point in time, I think I probably purchased about 20 to 30 eth of his pieces. I still admire them and love them today. So I think clubhouse is a wonderful conduit to be able to funnel that knowledge and introductions. I honestly can’t wait until it starts to rise again, and those conversations start to happen to get that.
David: Last question, if you could have one superpower, what would it be?
WhaleShark: Surprisingly, I think about this quite a bit. So I think from the very fact that you can see that I like to remain anonymous, I enjoy being a wallflower and, you know, despite many people thinking I’m an extrovert, I’m actually, when you actually look at the Briggs Meyer test, as my rubric says, I’m actually an extreme introvert. So I think invisibility has always been at the extreme top of that list.
Despite the number of interviews that I do and, and stuff like that, um, I actually do very much enjoy, you know, doing my own thing and being discreet. So invisibility, definitely on the top of that list, the other thing that I would really love to do is teleportation. The ability to be at one place at one time, and then be across the world at another. I think teleportation could be a lot of fun. So I think those are my two favourites.
We want to thank Whale Shark for taking the time to do this interview, and hope you enjoyed! This is the first of many collector chats that Cash will do and we look forward to the next one!
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