I'm an avid collector of Damien Hirst's Currency project, which I fondly refer to as "the Dots". The Dots, along with Ron English's Light Cult Crypto Club project are my two favorites.
Both communities are tightly bound with members who're passionate, heavily invested emotionally and financially. I have digital and irl friends that I love in both. Because of this I think of both as my peeps, in a tribe.
When the Real Vision Collective (RVC) announced that the Currency project was a "partner" it generated some dust up in the HENI Discord, which I'm an OG and Helpful Member.
Dots asked questions ranging from whether or not RVC had permission to use the Currency brand, to concerns of phishing or a scam. The Discord moderators were silent, which is highly unusual. Usually HENI's moderators answer questions quickly. Security related questions are usually answered on the spot or within a few minutes. 6 or 7 hours of radio silence went by, then the moderators posted this: "They checked and we did not object".
As of right now, "They checked and we did not object" is HENI's only official announcement of this partnership.
As part of my commitment to the Dots I listened to today's RVC Spaces replay.
Here are my unvarnished (shoutout to Dots antiques!) thoughts. I'm happy to correct any factual errors RVC sends me. RVC is free to post whatever comments they have here.
36 minutes in. The Currency shoutouts are great. But so far all I hear is pay-to-play. Meaning, join a club to get information ostensibly not available elsewhere? A centralized source? But the information is available elsewhere, that's the point of crypto. And of course centralization is counter to crypto. I haven't heard a burning problem being solved.
51 minutes in. He talks about season 2 in the collective. And he said "the collective won't have access to certain information". So I guess they'd either they'd have to spend more to get more access (Scientology?), or they'd just never have it?
1st hour. The elevator pitch of this thing is charging people to teach them about NFTs and Web3. But that same information he wants to charge for is freely available in countless Discords, on NFT Twitter, and popular websites such as Decrypt, The Defiant, Cointelegraph, or Ledger.
1 hour to 1:14.
He's promoting investment advice and access to financial information. This is a big no-no and goes against seminal investment books such as The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham or Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits by Phillip Fisher.
On one hand Raoul says "DYOR". But on the other he says pay to join his network. Which one is it?
1:16. "product offering...SEC" is mentioned by someone asking a question.
1:17 Raoul says "we don't know the legalities". Raoul comes off as ready, fire, aim. Huge red flags for me.
Particle Collection is a cautionary tale here. They figured out that they can't offer fractional art in the US because they'd have to be a registered security.
Raoul says "What Real Vision is is a network. A network of tools, a network of information".
1:33. Raoul says "We want to build an expert network. We think we got so many experts in so many fields, and you can hear them on this call already. That why the hell would we not allow people to tokenize their time within the (his) network?"
The RVC NFT is a ticket into the "network". This isn't just centralization, it's token gated centralization. The antithesis of what Satoshi wrote about in The Bitcoin White Paper.
I haven't heard anything close to what I'd call expert information so far.
1:35. Raoul says that NFTs are coming in music, indicating why wouldn't the music industry be onboard? He uses Rihanna as an example. But he offers no quotes from anyone in the music industry. He mentions he used to collect "colored vinyl" and that the art on album jackets would be collectible. This certainly isn't new information or anything worth paying for.
But he's got it wrong. What he's talking about are NFC - near field communications. Read about NFC here:
I follow the music industry. I buy vinyl. No one notable I know of in the music business has said anything positive or anything at all about NFTs. All I've heard was from two Tower Records executives. They told me that their view of NFTs is negative and that they're waiting for "everyone else to get bloody before we do anything".
1:39. A question comes up about what the RVC NFT gets them, what access. Raoul says "you all get the same basic underlying utility listed on the website". Note the word "basic". Then Raoul goes on to say, "We're going to do some special stuff for people who really collect this stuff". So what that means to me is, the NFT only gets you basic access. Want more? You gotta pay. Sorry man, this is what Scientology does.
1:42. Raoul is impressed with Damien Hirst. He says that "he (Hirst) created 10k pictures, all unique. Then created 10k NFTs". Hirst created 10k physical artworks then photographed them as NFTs.
He then talks about the burning. He says they (NFTs and physicals) trade "at roughly the same price". This isn't true. His conclusion that the burn ended up to be about 50/50, which is true, is that "this has proven that digital and physical are the same thing". Based on the members of the Dots Discord I can attest that digital and physical are not the same thing.
Raoul seems to have only a basic-at-best understanding of his "partners".
1:44. Raoul makes pronouncements about the music and real estate industries. He indicates that NFTs are a cure for what ails them, that their lawyers are blocking progress but offers no references to backup his words. Lawyers are there to protect buyers of real estate and the interests of musicians. To suggest otherwise is a disservice to his listeners.
RVC is promoting a partnership with both HENI and Hirst. But so far, the only official announcement from HENI is "They checked and we did not object". Doesn't sound like much of a partnership to me.
My take is that Raoul wants to onboard a bunch of new people into NFTs by charging them for what they could easily get for free elsewhere or on the aforementioned websites. The "network" he wants to build goes against decentralization and Satoshi's vision. His take on what's happening in NFTs seems to be no deeper than what's on NFT Twitter. For those that do buy this NFT they should be prepared to pay more if they want "better" information.
Personally, I wouldn't touch this project with a ten foot pole.
tty next time,