So the big news over the weekend was Cool Cats, an avatar project with fun cartoon cats that looks like this hitting a 10ETH floor.

Cool Cats NFT

For those new to NFTs, a 10ETH floor simply means nobody has their cats listed for sale for under 10ETH. If someone were to list a cat for say 5ETH, the floor would drop to 5ETH, but probably only for a split second because it would sell immediately and poof – back to 10ETH floor.

That being said, floors go up, and down. While everyone talks about how high the Bored Ape Yacht Club floor is right now at 38ETH, it was 60ETH not too long ago.

That being said, hitting 10ETH is a great accomplishment and Cool Cats around the world did something that probably doesn’t make any sense to outsiders – they chugged milk.

For those confused by this, it’s important to understand that Cool Cats has a cool mechanic being added to the project where owners will earn a token, called $MILK. Essentially, the cooler your cat is, the more $MILK you can get. It’s also pretty easy to quickly look at a cat and judge it’s cool-factor, since the background color is a core component, here’s the dets:

How cool is my Cool Cat

So, now that you know all of that, I just had to share some of these ridiculous videos of people chugging milk to celebrate the 10ETH floor, enjoy! Note – to view the videos click the pict.twitter.com links below πŸ₯›πŸ₯›πŸ₯›

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Wiping the slate clean

As I get closer and closer to moving my blog from WordPress to Ghost (need to catch up, read this) I’ve been thinking about some bigger changes that might come with it. One thought that is sticking in my mind is the idea of wiping the slate clean, by which I mean, starting fresh and saying goodbye to the last fifteen years of blog posts.

To answer your first question – yes, my blog would take a pretty meaningful traffic hit if I did this, but the more I think about it, the more I’m okay with that. And here’s why.

Posts that I wrote years ago still get pretty steady consistent traffic, but the world has moved on and some of those posts aren’t just irrelevant, they aren’t even close to being aligned with my current thinking. Also, my blog has been focused on domain name investing and in this next chapter, it won’t be since I really want to see this evolve into a true personal blog vs. a blog about a specific topic.

It’s not that I don’t still love domains and domain investing, domains have changed my life and continue to. But I just don’t think I want to write about domain names every day, or even every other day. I love writing about NFTs, enjoy writing about startups and some of the changing dynamics in the VC space. I’m interested in what’s happening with Ethereum Smart Contracts and Solidity development.

Of course, I thought – for those of you who have been with me on this journey for a decade or more, you deserve a seat at the table when it comes to a move like this. One thought I had is that I could move this blog to another domain and make it an archive as I release the new MorganLinton.com.

But I’m okay if my traffic goes down a lot and builds back up, I don’t write this blog for the traffic, I write it because I discovered I have a passion for writing and this blog has allowed me to scratch that itch. So I’d be curious to know what you think? Do you ever go back and read old articles of mine? Would you care if these went away? If there was an archive, would you want access to it?

I want to hear from you – comment and let your voice be heard!

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Flippa

Flippa, the go-to marketplace for buying and selling online businesses had some pretty good news to kick off this week as they announced an $11M funding round. I was actually drinking my morning coffee reading TechCrunch when I saw the article, and my first thought was – let me email Blake (the CEO) and see if I can get a little exclusive quote for an article.

Blake said yes so here’s a little something you can’t read anywhere else πŸ•Ί

blake-flippa

“We are on a mission. Flippa’s platform will soon have everything you need to buy or sell. We will power the exit. We will empower ownership. It’s the investment bank for the 99%. We’ll build on our intelligent valuations engine, continue to improve our matching algorithm but more than that, we will add an incredibly rich layer of insights, data verification and the end-to-end services making it the most comprehensive deal platform globally.”

Blake Hutchinson, CEO – Flippa

So now let’s talk more about Flippa and my two cents on what this funding means for their business. First, $11M is no small sum, there’s a lot a company can do with this, especially when it’s a business that has a completed and scaled product with product market fit.

When companies raise $10M they’re usually in one of two situations – building a product and trying to keep the wheels on while they do, or scaling a fully finished product, doubling down on something that’s working. IMO, Flippa is in the second camp which means the next 12-18 months should be pretty exciting for the company.

At the end of the day I think (as do many VCs) that the success of a company has more to do with the people running the company than anything else, and well – Flippa has some absolute all stars at the helm.

If you don’t know much about the people behind Flippa, let me take a minute to share a bit more. The co-founders of Flippa, Mark Harbottle and Matt Mickiewicz founded 99Designs, which sold to VistaPrint after raising over $45M from investors like Accel (early Facebook investor) and is now preparing for an IPO. Blake Hutchinson, the CEO was head of Strategic Partnerships for accounting powerhouse Xero before he took on the role of GM & CRO for Luxury Escapes, which became the fastest growing company in Australia while he was there.

With a seasoned team and a fresh $11M capital now ready to deploy, I think we’re all going to be hearing about Flippa lot more. I really like how Blake describes the company:

He considers Flippa to be β€œthe investment bank for the 99%,” of small businesses, providing an end-to end platform that includes a proprietary valuation product for businesses β€” processing over 4,000 valuations each month β€” and a matching algorithm to connect with qualified buyers.

Business owners can sell their companies directly through the platform and have the option to bring in a business broker or advisor. The company also offers due diligence and acquisition financing from Thrasio-owned Yardline Capital and a new service called Flippa Legal.

β€œOur strategy is verification at the source, i.e. data,” Hutchison said. β€œUsers can currently connect to Stripe, QuickBooks Online, WooCommerce, Google Analytics and Admob for apps, which means they can expose their online business performance with one-click, and buyers can seamlessly assess financial and operational performance.”

(Source – TechCrunch)

Congrats to the whole Flippa team, this is a big week and I know the best is yet to come! πŸŽ‰

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NamesCon Online

Well it’s that time of year – it’s time domain investors from around the world get together (online) and talk about stuff that most people who know us are pretty bored of hearing us talk about πŸ˜‚ While I do really miss the in-person events, I’m incredibly thankful for all the hard work that the team at NamesCon has put in to bring us a truly exceptional online event.

When the pandemic started, so did the online conferences, and I’ve been to so many now that I’ve learned it’s a bit of a binary thing, people can either pull it off or they can’t. At the end of the day, like so many things in life, it really comes down to preparation and teamwork and if you’ve ever seen the NamesCon team in action you know they’ve nailed both.

I’m really excited for NamesCon to kick off tomorrow and while I can’t bring you all the live action through my normal, shaky poorly shot iPhone videos (sorry everyone πŸ™‹β€β™‚οΈ) I can share some things I think should be on your radar.

So let’s dive in.

  1. There’s a Handshake stage this year – NamesCon is divided into three different stages this year and I thought it was pretty cool to see one of those stages dedicated to Handshake. From a Handshake 101 session to a deeper dive into the numbers, if you’re looking to learn more about where domains and defi intersect, there’s a whole stage for it this year.
  2. The auctions – there are not one, not two, but three domain auctions this year. The Rapidfire domain auction starts tomorrow and is focused on low and no-reserve domain names. The famous Right of the Dot domain auction with the one and only Monte Cahn kicks off on day two. And of course, with a Handshake stage there has to also be a Handshake auction right? You can learn about all three auctions here.
  3. So much content – this year NamesCon has really outdone themselves with more content than I think I’ve ever seen at a domain conference. From a deep dive into sales numbers with domain investors Mark Levine and Logan Flatt, to Domainers and Daily fantasy sports with Andrew Miller and Roman Edmond – there really is something for everyone this year.

If you want to catch me and see what I look like when I’m long overdue for a haircut, you have two options πŸ•Ί Tomorrow I’ll be on a panel chatting about .IO domain names at 10:30am tomorrow and on Friday morning at 8:30 I’ll be sitting by the fire talking about ape JPEGs 🦍

Thanks to the amazing team at NamesCon for working so hard to put this event together for all of us. Here we go! πŸš€

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Panic Selling Bitcoin

When I first started investing in Bitcoin and Ethereum the general thinking was (or at least my general thinking) that crypto would do better when the stock market tanked. The idea here is a simple one, if people see stocks as risky, they’ll want to move money out of the market and crypto is one place they’ll put it.

Rewind the clock to pre-crypto days and it wasn’t uncommon to see gold go up when the stock market went down. Here’s a bit more on this from Zacks:

Individually, gold prices and stock prices move inversely. This means when stocks are lower, gold prices are higher. Because of this relationship, investors often consider gold a suitable hedge against a weak performance in the stock market. When stocks fall, investors usually choose to invest in gold, which causes gold prices to rise.Β 

(Source – Zacks)

The thinking above may have been true years ago…but the world changed, crypto is here and well, gold isn’t exactly something people are jumping to put their money into.

Over the last few years, more and more people have been turning to crypto, Bitcoin being the primary focus, when the stock market is down and they want to move their money into another asset class. And there have been many times where this has worked out…but today, it didn’t.

The price of bitcoin dropped sharply Monday as investors began shedding risk amid a global equity markets decline.

Many people have argued thatΒ bitcoinΒ is most useful as a safe-haven asset, but that narrative could be changing as people realize its price often goes down with broader declines in risk assets. Bitcoin’s rally this year has coincided with the risk-on rally and, much like stocks, the cryptocurrency is prone to sharp declines in September.

(Source – CNBC)

Ouch 😣 So what happened?

First I’ll start by saying, I don’t have a background in finance and I’m probably not someone you should be getting financial advice from or even listening to my ideas or theories. So if you’re looking for intelligent banter by a crypto or finance guru – you’re in the wrong place.

That being said, this is a personal blog by me, Morgan πŸ™‹β€β™‚οΈ so I’ll share my two cents on what happened today and why it’s actually good for crypto investors, like me.

Let’s hop in our time machine and go back to 2016 back when I started investing in Bitcoin myself. Back then, everyone I told about crypto looked at my like they do when I tell them I’m buying JPEGs of apes for over $100,000, by which I mean – they thought I had lost my mind.

Fast forward to today and traditional stock market investors are attending webinars held by companies like Fidelity that are teaching them about Bitcoin and Ethereum. What this means is – regular investors are now into crypto, and well, regular investors aren’t used to investing in risky things…so when the financial markets get a little crazy, people who aren’t risk takers, but are invested in risky assets, sell them.

While many of us who have been in crypto for years have a HODL mentality, most people don’t know what the heck HODL means. Personally, I don’t plan on selling crypto this year, next year, or in ten years. I have no real plan to sell crypto, and most crypto investors I know feel the same way. We’ve all known crypto is risky since the day we invested, and we’re in it for the long haul.

Now that normal investors, people who are used to things that are a lot less risky than crypto are investing in crypto, they’re going to be impacting the crypto market more and more. And IMO, that’s okay πŸ‘ In fact, I think it’s an opportunity to buy assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum at a discount.

That being said, I think that as Bitcoin and Ethereum see broader acceptance from traditional investors, it will only follow the market more closely and today was a good sign of what’s to come.

Disclaimer: The above references an opinion and is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.

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Ethereum

With the NFT world booming I’m finding more and more people are becoming interested in diving deeper into smart contracts, both to understand existing ones and potentially take a stab at writing their own. The reality is, you don’t need a CS degree or a strong background in software development to write smart contracts, anyone reading this now can do it.

That being said, if you haven’t coded before, there will be a lot of new concepts to understand so it might take a bit longer. If you have coded before in a language like C, C++, Java, Python, etc. you’ll find a lot of what you know carries over, to a point, and then you will also encounter some new concepts.

Since I’ve had more than a handful of people reach out to me interested in an article about smart contracts, I thought I’d whip one up, but it’s Friday night and I’m getting ready for dinner so I’m going to keep this short as sweet.

The first thing to know is that if you’re going to be reading or writing Ethereum Smart Contracts, you’re going to want to learn Solidity, a programming language influenced by Python, C++, and Javascript. I won’t go into more detail on Solidity in this article but if you want to learn more – here’s the place to go.

Okay, so let’s say you want to just jump in and learn how to write your first smart contract now, like right now. Watch this You Tube video, follow along, and twenty minutes later you’ll have written and deployed a smart contract.

Of course there are lots of other videos on You Tube like the one above, I’d just recommend starting with something short like this so you can get your hands dirty and actually write a contract vs. watching hours of video learning a million different things.

Once you’ve written a simple smart contract like the one detailed in the video above, then you’re probably going to want to go deeper because, well, this is pretty darn interesting stuff, especially when applied to NFTs. So the next place to check out is Ethereum.org’s How to Write and Deploy an NFT tutorial.

How to write and deploy an NFT

If you find yourself at the end of this and you’re loving it and want to really geek out, I’d end with this awesome article by woof, the lead dev over at Sneaky Vampire Syndicate. Woof wrote what I think is easily one of the best, most detailed articles about some of the things he’s done to mitigate gas wars, bots, and network congestion for Ethereum NFT projects.

Mitigating gas wars, bots, NFT

Okay, dinner time. If you liked this article and want more like it just lmk and I’m happy to keep em coming. Happy Friday and have a great weekend πŸ™Œ

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Domain Auction

It’s that time again, and while we won’t be able to sit next to each other, paddles in hand, bidding on domain names, we can sit in a comfy chair at home and bid away. With NamesCon Online kicking off next week Right of the Dot has some exciting things planned for what is very likely going to be the biggest domain auction of 2021.

As usual, thousands of domains were submitted and the team over at ROTD has combed through and curated an awesome list of domains, the first batch which is now ready for pre-bidding πŸš€

Here’s the skinny on the event which will be bringing that live auction magic direct to your home:

right-of-the-dot

Broadcasting live from a professional video streaming production studio in South Florida, RightOfTheDot will be conducting a 100% LIVE and simulcasted domain auction with World Champion Auctioneer Wayne Wheat and RightOfTheDot President, Monte Cahn. 75-100 names will be selected for the live auction at the end of the pre-bidding period. The Live stream will be carried on the NamesCon website at https://namescon.online and the RightOfTheDot YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/c/RightOfTheDot.

To participate, bidders must first register at https://rotd.hibid.com. To place bids over $2,000, bidders must be verified so it’s important not to wait until the last minute to register. Registration with NamesCon Online is not required but is strongly encouraged.


The live auction will take place on Thursday, September 23, 2021, starting at 3:00 PM EDT on the RightOfTheDot auction website https://rotd.hibid.com.

RightOfTheDot will also conduct an online extended auction starting on September 24th with additional premium domains along with those that did not meet reserves in the live auction. This will be a timed auction without an auctioneer. The first lots in the extended auction will begin closing on Thursday, October 7, 2021, at 1:30 PM EDT.

RightOfTheDot will be launching a new premium digital asset auction platform and also be holding its first premium NFT auction in the coming months, so stay tuned for more exciting news to come!

(Source – Right of the Dot)

There are some absolutely stellar domains in the auction this year and you can jump in and take a look at this link πŸ‘‰ rotd.hibid.com. Here’s a handful that caught my eye. (and if you click on any of the links below you can put in your pre-bid):

And the list goes on.

One of the things I’m the most excited about is seeing Wayne in action again. If you’ve ever been to an auction run by Wayne then you probably know it’s a blast. On that note, if you’ve read all the way to this point I have a little surprise for you, here’s a video I took at the last live auction NamesCon had in January of 2020. Enjoy, and get ready for more of this magic next week πŸ™Œ

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Moving from WordPress to Ghost, Update #2

I promised to keep everyone in the loop as I make the move from WordPress to Ghost, so it’s time for another update. If you missed the backstory here, make sure to read this post to get caught up.

Right now I’m on step one and a half of the process, and I’ve hit a snag. Since I imagine other people moving from WordPress to Ghost could run into the same issue, I’ll share the snag I’ve hit.

The first step in the process is to use the Export to Ghost plugin to, well, like the name says, export everything to Ghost. The plugin config screen looks like this:

Export to Ghost Plugin

What’s supposed to happen is you just click that bright blue button that says “Download Ghost File” and it works. But when I click the button I get this…

Wordpress to Ghost Error

So, I emailed Dan who told me that I should probably just ping my hosting provider to see if they can help maybe give a bit more bandwidth. Then, things got super ultra busy for me and I did nothing…but tonight I’ve decided I’m going to do some research and see if I can figure out how to get past this step.

I notice at the bottom of the screen there’s a Ghost Migrator 1.0.3 – Diagnostics section. I see both a memory limit and max execution time there so I’m guessing there’s some config where I can update that. Before I reach out for more help, I want to get my hands a bit dirty and see if I can crack the case myself.

If anyone has run into this and wants to give me a hint, feel free to share, otherwise, expect to hear how this was solved in my next update. One step closer to Ghost, moving slowly, but I’ll get there!

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Sneaky Vampire Syndicate

What happens when you combine an all-star dev team with an artist from Bored Ape Yacht club and a cool concept like Vampires? Well, you end up with what I think it’s more than safe to say has been one of the most-anticipated NFT drop to-date.

Over the course of the last week Sneaky Vampire Syndicate has seen their Discord grow from a few thousand users to over 30,000 and with the launch one day away one question has been on everyone’s mind – how will anyone who isn’t an NFT whale going to be able to mint a vampire?

Until today the most common answer I heard was, “well if you spend $10,000 in gas you might get one,” and that honestly might have been a low-end estimate give how much excitement there is for this project. One of the things that has really impressed me about Sneaky Vampires over the last week is their interest in doing everything they can to even the playing field and make this minting as fair as possible.

Two days ago I wrote an article about the slick anti-both technology that Sneaky Vampires is deploying and while this will likely do an awesome job of thwarting those pesky bots, it doesn’t solve the gas problem. Well today, the conversation about gas reached a fever pitch as the SVS Discord was buzzing with questions about how anyone without a boatload of ETH would have a chance to actually mint.

Then, everything changed with this announcement from SVS’s lead developer woof:

Sneaky Vampire Minting Process

A friend of mine (Andrew) sent me a text with this announcement in it and I was so excited to see it. The reality is, this is such a cool project but it would only end up going to whales if a new mechanism for minting wasn’t implemented. I was surprised how quickly the team was able to react but it’s clear they saw what was happening and wanted to even the playing field.

I thought SVS might have been the first to deploy this technique but learned this afternoon that Parallels did something similar – so while they’re not the first, they’re definitely early in deploying a more egalitarian minting process.

For those who want to do a deeper dive to understand exactly what they need to do tomorrow, just read this:

Sneaky Vampire Syndicate New Minting Process

Thanks to woof, topkek and the whole SVS team – I imagine this is a pretty big change to make less than 24-hours before minting! That being said, it’s clear that SVS is doing everything they can to make this a smooth, bot free minting that’s open to everyone and I think that’s going to do amazing things for the community.

Sneaky Vampire Syndicate Countdown

So get your ETH ready, tomorrow is going to be one exciting day! πŸ§›β€β™‚οΈπŸ§›β€β™‚οΈπŸ§›β€β™‚οΈ

Disclaimer: The above references an opinion and is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.

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BAYC Discord

As more and more of my friends are getting interested in NFTs I’m finding that I’ve become a sounding board as many of them try to navigate the space. I’m also starting to spot some common confusion that people have, which is totally understandable since the NFT world does work quite a bit differently from most other things.

While I probably have a blog post or two in me to cover all the confusing things that throw people for a loop when they’re trying to dive into NFTs, there’s one topic that I thought deserved to be covered first and in its own post because it’s just so important.

As you can probably guess from the title, what I’m going to talk about is Discord.

Most of us are wired to look at websites when we want to get information about something. The reality is, this works for most things, if you’re researching a company, finding out information about a conference, etc. usually a website is where you go for all the details.

In the NFT world, this isn’t the case. Instead, NFT Projects share the most detailed up-to-date information in Discord in a channel called #announcements. The handy thing to know is that all NFT projects have this channel and the best ones update it constantly, sometimes two or three times a day.

Here’s an example of the #announcements channel from Bored Ape Yacht Club:

BAYC Announcements Channel

What I think you’ll find pretty quickly is that Discord is actually a lot better than a website, it’s quick and easy for the people running the project to update, and easy for you, as an NFT investor/collector to quickly check on your computer, phone, or tablet. If you go to the website for a project, you’ll end up missing a lot of the action, it’s all on Discord, and the good stuff is in the #announcements channel.

Last but not least, there is no cost to join a Discord for a given project and there’s no special process to apply. Simply go to the project’s website or Twitter account and you’ll find a link to their Discord, click that and poof – you’re in. If you want to get started with one of the most active Discord’s out there, I’d recommend joining the Bored Ape Yacht Club Discord and taking a look around, you can hop on instantly here –> https://www.discord.gg/bayc

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