The Role of NFTs: Community Building

Updated: Jun 28, 2021

An Interview with Featured Contributor, Joel Comm,

Co-host of The Bad Crypto Podcast

Joel and Travis’s Bad Crypto podcast community created a cryptocurrency called Badcoin which could be mined on the most inferior of computers and then disappeared down the NFT rabbit hole launching the first digital collectible trading cards based on blockchain heroes.

NFT, or non-fungible tokens, are unique digital assets which can be verified and tracked on the blockchain.

While NFTs are having their day in the sun, the evolution stretches back to CryptoKitties.

“We did a whole show on them and Travis even had some only he lost them of course. It’s abandoned somewhere on the Ethereum blockchain. But I’ve always collected cards – Star Wars, Baseball cards,comic cards – so the concept of owning a collectable on a blockchain in your wallet fascinates me. To be able to show, sell or buy collectables online is very exciting.”

The Bad Crypto boys came up with an idea for collectibles back in January of 2020. When attending The North

American Bitcoin Conference in Miami, they gave away commemorative NFTs to people who came to their stall.

Travis is a bit artsy and so he made an NFT on Ethereum which we gave away. Then we did the same with our shows. If we had someone really famous like Ron Paul we’d make an NFT for his show.People who listened to the show could get a proof of listenership and a limit- ed time to collect them.”

Initially, they only minted a few NFTs but over time the number grew to the hundreds. However, running them on Ethereum was clunky and slow. The idea then migrated to creating NFT collectibles on real Blockchain people and rather than giving them away, they could sell them, but this stalled for want of technology.

This line of thinking combined with the COVID lockdown made the cogs whirl a little faster. Then the green light happened with the Topps’ Garbage Pail Kids sale on the WAX platform.

Joel had been a collector of the physical cards back in the day and when he saw the interest and the fact that the GPK cards sold out in a day, he knew this was a winner.

“Immediately I went into full-on planning mode. WAX is super fast and there are no gas fees. WAX has also set up WAX Labs which funds projects. So we put together a proposal to create the blockchain heroes, parody heroes in an alternative universe, and long story short, WAX said yes.”

The Blockchain heroes are inspired by real people but have their own folklore. There are 50 in total and they are different kinds of heroes; some are defenders, some are champions.

“We’ve made different versions of each hero with different levels of rarity. When launched in August they were the first set of cards to sell in WAX, not filthy fiat. They were released in two waves. In the first 10 seconds of the sale we were told by WAX that we had sent 25 times more traffic on the WAX platform.
“And it took just under 20 minutes for everything to be sold.”

Part of the success of the sale has been the emphasis on community. In the months coming up to the sale, reveals and news of the different cards was leaked into the active telegram group. Partnerships were also made with giants such as Cointelegraph and CoinGecko with free cards provided based on these brands.

Joel is incredibly proud that within 25 days of the sale, some 79% of the packs had been opened. This has been down to good community engagement but also by the desire to find elusive rare cards hidden in the packs. One of the heroes is called Genesis and is inspired by Satoshi him/herself. And within this rare set is a Genesis Electric – and none of the other cards have this element.

Overall the primary sale raised $110,000 in WAX to- kens. Aside from trying to find the elusive Genesis Electric card, BCHeroes also contains what Joel calls ‘secret smoke’.

“We didn’t tell anyone about this – it was a surprise. For every hero in the set there is only one secret smokecard of the possible 50 altogether there is still 15 undetected so far.”

The secondary market is also very active. A by-product of the production of NFTs on the WAX platform is the random mint numbers. Prior to the launch of BCheroes, these unique numbers had not been considered important, however, in this community the lower the number minted the higher the value – which also drives more sales in the secondary market as the same cards can be ranked within sets.

Another kink developed by the Bad Crypto boys is the ability to burn cards or throw them into the Vortex. Collectors are encouraged to do this, which increases the rarity of remaining cards, while the burning collector is rewarded with unique NFTs. It’s a game the community can play.

“The dashboard offered by WAX is also super easy. We can see where the cards are, which packs have been opened and which cards have ended up in the Vortex.”
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