The mainstream adoption of NFTs is inevitable, believes the co-founder of the Gutter Labs, who goes by the name Gutter Dan.
The year is 2050. Humans are an interplanetary species and have all but abandoned the post-apocalyptic shatters of society on Earth. Cats have taken over. One crime-ridden, nondescript inner city is inhabited by a group of cats collectively known as the Gutter Cats.
That is the story of the Gutter Cat Gang - an NFT (non-fungible token) collection that serves as a web3 social club at the intersection of art, tech, media, music, sports, streetwear, and culture.
The collection started with 3,000 Gutter Cat NFTs, later supplemented by Gutter Dogs, Gutter Rats, and Gutter Pigeons (3,000 NFTs minted of each species). Each NFT in itself is a work of art, and presents different characters with a very distinct appearance.
Owning any of these 12,000 NFTs opens doors to the exclusive Gutter Cat Gang community with in-real-life (IRL) events and the metaverse (the Gutter City) that it is building on the Sandbox. Sandbox is a virtual metaverse world that launched its Alpha version in November.
Gutter Rats, Pigeons, and Dogs represent the Gang’s base level membership; Gutter Cats represent the Gang’s premier level membership, and each Gutter NFT unlocks varying and unique levels of community-led access and perks. GCG already has over $111 million in secondary market sales (25,362 ETH). The highest Gutter Cat Gang sale was for over $200k. The lowest entry point for the Gutter Cats currently is at $18,000.
Now, why would you pay $18,000 for a digital picture of a cat, even if it's an extraordinary one? I virtually sat down with Dan to make sense of the rapidly growing NFT world and take a peek into the Gutter City metaverse.
NFTs opened a lot of new opportunities. Visual artists, musicians have minted their own NFTs to earn money and support themselves. Looking at the Gutter Cat Gang, it seems that it was built to also facilitate a community. Was it built with that in mind?
Absolutely. When we first started it, the whole premise of the 12,000 units was absolutely to involve a community. What drew us to NFTs was the strong community. We always had that in mind, so that was absolutely part of the plan.
We had a couple of IRL events. We had a huge get together in Las Vegas - the Guttercon, the three-day event. We had an event in New York, and the Miami Art Week. It has to become real at some point. And the metaverse is going to be huge.
Is this community limited to the number of NFTs that you've dropped?
If you want to be a part of the gang, you need to own the NFT. There are 12,000 NFTs. You can own multiple. Our IRL events, when we host meetups and stuff, some of them are open to the public, but most of them require a Gutter Cat Gang NFT, one of the 12,000. It varies from event, but we give utility and benefits to the people who do own them.
When building these NFTs, were you hoping that eventually the price would rise? They are made by artists so they are valuable.
For sure, the art tied to the token is very important. That is identity and why people buy it. That's just a small part of the criteria when people shop for these NFTs. They also look into the utility, which means, what do I get when I buy these NFTs? As adoption continues to spread and more people get involved, it will continue to increase because the awareness and the demand increase. I think it is just a matter of time. Once people get involved and learn and jump into the rabbit hole of NFTs, it makes sense to them because it is very sound and reasonable and a great invention. As that happens, I certainly expect the price to rise. When we started, we sold these for about 200-250 dollars, and now the cheapest cat is $18,000. It's pretty wild. It's going to be interesting to see where we are a year from now. It looks very exciting.
What kind of experience does owning a certain NFT open for me?
It varies from community to community. I just had a conversation with a friend. He's new to NFTs. I said, do your homework, jump in, and really understand, and know what to look for. Is the art cool, is the community cool? I guess that is something that I vibe with. I like the people here, and I like the common theme and who's involved. Also, the utility. What is their offer? What am I going to get by having this token? This part is the part that is missed by most of the public. They don't really understand why they should spend all this money on this token. It doesn't make sense to them, and it's only a picture to them. Owning the token gives you a lot of access to different things. For example, we've already talked about IRL events. Moving to an even more exciting [experience], in my opinion, is the metaverse. You see this digital world being created by multiple huge companies, and it's pretty tough for people to understand. It took me a while to understand when I first got to it. It's just crazy.
But when you own an NFT, you own a part of the internet for the first time. That's really what the NFTs are all about. We are entering a new era on the internet, where you will be able to own a part of the internet. That's what the web3 movement is. We are building extensive communities inside the metaverse — the Gutter Cat Gang in particular. We are way ahead of most projects in building out the Sandbox and House of Kibaa, leading the space race to the metaverse. You saw Facebook changed their name to Meta, and they are going all in.
In the next five years, I'd say, the top NFT projects will be the most exclusive clubs in the world. Like top country clubs. But why would I join that and pay hundreds of thousands of dollars a year when I can barely make it.
The NFT community is different because you have so many different benefits. Not just physically having to be there. When you are a part of the Gutter Cat Gang, there will be IRL meetups worldwide, and there will be metaverse and plenty of events in there, and opportunities for everyone to make money in the metaverse. We are big on streetwear and merch collabs and constantly airdropping art to our members. What you can get from NFTs is endless. It really depends on the project. Every project puts a roadmap, and they tell you what they will give you and what they are going to deliver on. It's important that you look at that roadmap and see what they delivered on it.
It seems that in the metaverse, the Gutter City that you are building, there are going to be plenty of business opportunities, not only a place to socialize and play games.
It's limitless. It's as far as the imagination can go. Anyway, there are just things that you can do in the metaverse that you can't do in physical reality. There are all kinds of creative ideas that Sandbox and House of Kibaa and all these guys are putting together. The ideas they have are just insane. There are going to be so many different things.
It's going to be things like gambling, where you can go and bet on whatever it might be. You will be able to play a game and gamble there. It's going to be pretty wild. Not only the metaverse but gaming as we know it will shift completely. The gaming industry is investing heavily in the metaverse and web3 is because soon, you are not going to play something if you are not going to own the character. It just doesn't make sense.
Days of the old internet, web1, web2, are way behind us. Web3.0 will emerge at the forefront. Once the public understands it and gets past 'I'm not paying money for a little picture' and what the NFT movement is all about, mass adoption is absolutely inevitable.
With the metaverse, can you say what the end product is going to be? Or is your Gutter City going to evolve because the community is going to get involved and will define what the city is going to be?
We've already built it out. Our story is the Gutter Cat Gang - the year is 2050. Humans left Earth. Cats have taken over, running in this nondescript city as an autonomous zone. It looks New Yorky but fence-surrounded. The city is run by a group of cats, collectively known as the Gutter Cat Gang. It's a story that we also strategically did because we wanted to get into comics and animated series. We created that story. The art team and I got together, and we made the entire world, painted a bunch of pictures, and then Sandbox took those pictures and created the metaverse Gutter City. It's already created, but regarding what happens in there, the community is definitely going to have a say. They will be able to vote on what we want to do. It'll be exciting.
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