PROOF cancels NFT conference, Bitcoin meme creator cashes in $150K and more
‘Less interest than anticipated’ — PROOF cancels NFT event
Kevin Rose, the co-founder of the nonfungible token (NFT) collection Moonbirds, has confirmed that their flagship conference, “Proof of Conference,” scheduled for May, has been canceled, citing “less interest than anticipated.”
We made a tough decision today, I want to apologize to everyone that planned on making the trip out. Full ETH refunds have been processed, hotels are refundable, and contact us about flights. (details below) https://t.co/tV4ba85648
— KΞVIN R◎SE (,) (@kevinrose) February 20, 2023
The conference was first announced in early November. It was scheduled for May 11 to May 13 in Los Angeles.
However, Rose explained in a Feb. 20 letter to ticket holders that it wasn’t “the right time” for the conference:
“As you know, in the world of NFTs, timing is everything. And today, it’s time for us to recognize that right now isn’t the right time for the PROOF of Conference.”
Rose explained that he and his Proof team considered alternatives, such as opting for a smaller venue in Los Angeles, reducing the scope of the event and lowering ticket prices.
But ultimately, it was best to cancel the whole event, he said.
“After several weeks of sales data, speaking with potential sponsors, and talking to community members, it’s clear that there is considerably less interest than anticipated for an event like this right now.”
Rose confirmed that the company is processing Ether (ETH) refunds and that Proof has a claim page for people to submit non-refundable flight cancellations.
The event would feature Michael “Beeple” Winkelmann — the artist behind the famous NFT that sold for $69 million in March 2021 — Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian; Greg Solano and Wylie Aronow of Yuga Labs; and NFT entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk — among others.
The announcement comes despite the NFT market soaring in recent months, with January seeing an eight-month high in monthly NFT trading volumes above $1 billion.
Artist paid $150K for Bitcoin wizard meme on Ordinals
The emergence of NFT-like “Ordinals” on Bitcoin over the last month has brought a series of meme images to the network of late, including a famous Bitcoin wizard meme that first made rounds on the Bitcoin subreddit in 2013.
Thanks to Ordinals, the meme artist known as “Mavensbot” has just received 6 Bitcoin (BTC) — worth $150,000 at current prices for his iconic work.
This was made possible after blockchain research analyst Udi Wertheimer and meme-inspired Bitcoin community Taproot Wizard inscribed the wizard meme on Bitcoin to not only “celebrate the 10-year anniversary of his art” but reel in some cash for the creator of the meme, “Mavensbot,” according to Wertheimer:
Short story about how we got NFT mfers to support a historic bitcoin artist with $150,000 via lightning payments, and how bitcoin maxis HATE us for it.
(I know it’s a long tweet but it’s a good story)
Mavensbot (on top in the screenshot below) is the creator of the famous 2013… https://t.co/kPd9IlCaWs pic.twitter.com/wGTegIiDM4
— Udi Wertheimer ♂️ (@udiWertheimer) February 21, 2023
Within the first three hours alone, 6 BTC were sent from “NFT enjoyers” to Mavensbot via the Lightning Network.
“Watching this made me really happy. The NFT community that I admire, using the Bitcoin asset and Lightning Network that I believe in, to support an artist whose work means so much to me.”
“You love to see it,” he added.
Taproot Wizards is part of a movement that wants to “make Bitcoin magical again” with magic internet JPEGs inscribed forever on the Bitcoin blockchain.
However, Wertheimer highlighted that not everyone is on board with the whole Ordinals concept — particularly the “Bitcoin maximialists.”
But Wertheimer doubled down, demanding Bitcoin maximalists not to take everything seriously:
“It’s time to go back to the spirit of the 2013 Bitcoin wizard. Playfulness, experimentation, innovation. Not taking ourselves so god damn seriously all the time. HAVING FUN, for Satoshi’s sake. I truly believe that with ordinals we finally have a chance to do this.”
Australian cocktail bar launches NFT membership program
Australian cocktail and NFT connoisseurs have a new venue in Sydney to haunt — one that allows holders of its NFTs access to additional privileges at the bar.
The Sydney-based cocktail bar, Bar Lulu, launched on Feb. 21, along with an NFT members club bar named Cryptolulu.
Based in Sydney, patrons must buy the NFT member club bar on NFT marketplace OpenSea on the Ethereum network to access certain privileges.
There are three tokens that can be purchased — Jia Lulu, Joo Lulu and Ryuu Lulu.
Each NFT represents a different tier to their membership which will unlock unique and incremental rewards, priorities and benefits.
Tokenholders can attend various Web3 networking events and educational sessions and be granted access to exclusive private lounges and dinners, among other things.
Bar Lulu claims the NFT membership program to be an Australian first.
The bar added that the launch comes on the back of months of seeing how similar experimentations worked out overseas in the hospitality sector.
Former Amazon exec launches Yelp-like platform to review NFTs
A former Amazon and Starbucks executive, Ben Straley, has launched NFT startup, “Thred,” which aims to be the Yelp, Tripadvisor or Zillow of the NFT industry.
The NFT-focused startup launched Feb. 16 and will help users discover NFT collectibles and review them, according to a report from TechCrunch.
Straley’s move into the NFT space comes from 25 years in digital product and customer experience leadership roles.
Thred’s platform will combine automated machine learning and algorithms to rank NFTs on the Ethereum and Polygon networks.
It will help potential buyers better understand the collections’ significance and help distinguish which NFTs are legitimate.
Other Nifty News
One month into the “Ordinals” mania on Bitcoin, a protocol fork has made Ordinals possible on the Litecoin network. Australian software engineer Anthony Guerrera said it was “quite simple” and that he was motivated to make the fork due to a 22 Litecoin (LTC) bounty.
Real Vision co-founder and CEO Raoul Pal stated on Feb. 20 that NFTs will act similarly to high-end property in the traditional economy and potentially outperform ETH during bull markets.
The former JPMorgan executive explained that NFT collections, such as CryptoPunks and the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), had become status symbols, much like luxury cars and houses, and he expects that trend to continue.