On August 11 2020, well-known artist and Axie Infinity community member @cloudwhiteNFT launched a creative campaign around a very unique little creature: Axie #2646. Its NFT was fractionalized into fungible $COKE shards through NIFTEX, and the entire NFT community was invited to create artworks and memes around it in return for $COKE. The results were mindblowing!
NFTX: Welcome cloudwhite - who and what is Axie #2646?
CW: Axie #2646 was gifted to me by the Axie Infinity Growth Lead, Jihoz, in 2018. The all white aesthetic fit my name, cloudwhite. I ultimately named the Axie “Cocaine Cowboy” for the same reason, along with the shocked expression on its face. I went on to use the Axie as a mascot of sorts in my early streams on Youtube.
NFTX: It is indeed quite the looker. Why did you fractionalize it?
CW: The ability to obtain fractional shares of NFTs was something I was waiting a long time for, for what might seem to be the obvious reasons. I am no crypto whale. In fact, I didn’t start buying crypto until late 2017 when I joined the CryptoKitties community. High-end NFTs were simply out of my reach, financially speaking, but shards would give a chance to own such valued pieces.
When NIFTEX launched we saw a number of high valued NFT assets being sharded. As always, the Axie Infinity community rallied, and we saw shards of various high-end Axies sell out in seconds. There were huge variations in value taking place. For example, $ALMX peaked at over $100,000, more than 7x the initial offering price. I studied the market for a few days and tried to analyze what I found. Why was this happening? Was it speculation based on the NFT, rarity, utility, or the aesthetic? Was it just a good old fashion pump and dump? What creates value? Can value be created? These questions sparked the idea for $COKE.
NFTX: How did those questions tap into your creative background?
CW: As an artist, most of my work centers around experimentation. A large portion of my studies in college focused on surrealism, where the work surrenders itself to the process rather than deliberate execution. Coming from this school of thought, experimentation is constant. I thought, as a community, how can we generate or add value to a NFT, outside of the traditional constructs used to assign value, such as rarity and utility? By the community using “Cocaine Cowboy” in their artwork and memes the asset itself grows in social value, and, hypothetically, financial value. $COKE is essentially an elaborate marketing exercise.
I would be remiss if I failed to mention why I chose to use “Cocaine Cowboy” specifically for this experiment. I could have picked any NFT. First, it is my opinion that Axie Infinity has the best community in the NFT space. I have been with the community since early 2018, and enthusiasm for the project has only continued to grow. In addition, the majority of enthusiasm for NFTs on the NIFTEX platform was shown toward Axie. I could’ve picked an Axie with a higher traditional market value, but I wanted something that would be considered average to see if value could be generated within the experiment. Finally, and most importantly, I needed the asset to have a defining presence. The ticker $COKE, and “Cocaine Cowboy”, seemed provocative enough to stand out. I think the marketing video we put together truly brought the concept to life.
NFTX: What are your thoughts on the controversy of what COKE references?
CW: The idea of highlighting a drug may seem off-color or in poor taste to some, but at the end of the day I think it was a perfect analogy for how players feel about their Axie. It also pushed the boundaries of NFT owner’s rights. Do I truly own the asset? Based on decentralized philosophy, can I do whatever I want with it? I am personally not a user, but I believe it is generally known how addictive the substance is. Those involved in NFT communities understand the passions most involved hold. We are addicted to our assets, positions in community, and the promise of what tomorrow holds for these technologies. The same chemical reactions that are triggered by moving up in rank, making a sale, or winning a battle, are the same parts of the brain triggered by addictive substances. Of all the submissions, “Dude, where’s my $COKE?!,” by Moxarra, seems to highlight this struggle best.
NFTX: Was this a first of its kind experiment? How do you think a concept like this could evolve in the future?
CW: To my understanding, this was the first experiment of its kind. What’s interesting is the concept of $COKE is only as successful as the community makes it. If no one would’ve participated the Axie would most likely have dropped in value. At the same time, if a really famous artist had participated, the value could’ve skyrocketed. If the ideology behind $COKE were to be executed on a larger platform than my Twitter account it has the potential to create something really special.
NFTX: How many artworks were submitted? What's your favorite work?
CW: In total, there were 20+ “Cocaine Cowboy” works submitted by the initial deadline, and more works continue to be created. I think the most impressive work created was “Coke on Blue,” by nuu. It accentuates the references inherent to $COKE. It also makes Axie Infinity sexy as a brand. It’s currently the wallpaper on my phone. That being said, the piece that means the most to me is “$COKE,” by @audsiephil. We have rarely worked together on creative projects, and it was a lot of fun creating with her.
NFTX: What was the most unexpected result of your experiment?
CW: An unforeseen reaction to the experiment seems to be that those who participated and earned $COKE are emotionally attached to their shards. As the value of $COKE rises we see everyone holding their position, which is really encouraging. We’ve started with a base of owners that seem to be in for the long haul, which means the asset should see it’s value steadily increasing over time. $COKE has peaked on the exchange as high as +313.67% thus far, which highlights the success of the experiment, and what will be my first and only minted $COKE work, “$COKE up 313.67%,” by cloudwhite.
NFTX: Are there future plans for $COKE?
CW: As an artist I’ve moved onto the next idea, but the general success of $COKE encourages me to revisit the work in the not-too-distant future.
NFTX: Thanks for the insight cloudwhite! $COKE trades on the NIFTEX exchange so pick up a piece if you're interested, or help provide liquidity if you already have tokens and earn 0.3% on each $COKE trade! Also, get in touch with us on twitter or discord if you're interested in NFT fractions and want to pioneer new applications! The future... is fractional 🧩🔥