ApeCoin Corporate Cashout & Record-Breaking Buttons
The real winners in the ApeCoin drop, and the political button collecting frenzy
Cultured is a newsletter that gets readers up to speed on the most interesting things going on at the intersection of finance, art, collectibles, NFTs, and more. Cultured is produced by Otis, an alternative investment platform that was recently acquired by Public.com.
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🗞 STORIES OF THE DAY
ApeCoin, Bored Ape Yacht Club’s token, recently launched to much fanfare. Around 1 billion coins were given out to BAYC holders, but 140 million of those were given out to venture capital launch partners like a16z and Animoca Brands.
ApeCoins also give holders access to a DAO that makes major decisions about how to allocate funds from the sale. That means major venture capital firms now have significant shareholding power in a decentralized organization.
If a16z or Animoca decide to sell, they’ll make a significant profit, too. The token has already grown by around 66% since it launched, making the VCs’ collective stake worth around $2 billion. Oh, and that’s before a16z’s expected investment in the BAYC project.
Our Take: The ApeCoin project is starting to resemble a super-exclusive SPAC.
The exclusivity of the ApeCoin launch coupled with the significant influx of cash from VCs means that the ApeCoin project is starting to resemble a very limited attempt at going public — one that benefits a select few. Some critical voices believe this represents a worrying trend toward a more traditional corporate model, and away from the decentralized and democratic approach that makes NFTs stand apart.
One of the more niche areas to benefit from a surge in collector interest is the world of political buttons. These small objects were given out during campaigns and have become particularly beloved by memorabilia collectors.
Last week, a Cox/Roosevelt button sold for a record $185,850 at auction. Buttons from failed campaigns like Cox’s are the holy grails for button collectors and often command significant sums at auction.
When it comes to buttons, the rarest aren’t always the most valuable. It’s the story behind the election that matters more. The Cox/Roosevelt one isn’t particularly rare — but the failed election, coupled with a VP candidate who won later on, was dynamite.
Our Take: Buttons are an easy (and often affordable) way to get into political memorabilia.
Unlike other campaign items like ballots or posters, buttons are pretty hard to destroy. They’re also pretty small and therefore don’t cost that much to store. As a result, there are tons of old buttons out there and many of them sell for reasonable sums. For collectors, they’re an appealing way to remember a campaign that may or may not have succeeded and an exciting way of preserving American history.
✨ AROUND THE INTERNET
Drake dropped around $200K on a set of Panini NBA Flawless boxes in an attempt to find a rare Triple Logoman card.
The artist is present again, and this time it’s for Ukraine. Marina Abramović is revisiting her iconic performance to raise funds for the war effort.
Size didn’t matter much for the collector who bought a tiny piece of the cover of Action Comics #1 (the “No. 1” stamp) for $7,000 last week.
Tom Brady has a possible solution for the suddenly devalued retirement football purchased by a fan earlier this month. Hint: it involves a large Bitcoin donation.
The next collab from zerocool, Fanatics’s new trading card brand, has been announced. It’s a Nike x CLOT collectible card set.
Big news for bull collectors: a Grand Champion steer just sold for $1 million at auction, a record breaking amount. Yeehaw!