The Nakamigos NFT project has taken the Web3 community by storm with its unexpected success. The collection’s public mint on March 23 took only four days to surpass NFT giant Bored Ape Yacht Club in lifetime trades. This accomplishment is unexpected given the market’s current state.
The Nakamigos project, created by HiFo Labs, is a 20K PFP project consisting of 24×24 pixel characters in a style reminiscent of CryptoPunks. The collection’s name derives from the pseudonymous founder of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, with Nakamigos meaning “friends of Nakamoto.” The project’s success is attributed to the proven track record of its founder and the intriguing project’s origin and associations.
Sartoshis role in Nakamigos
One of the reasons for the collection’s success is the involvement of Sartoshi, an OG crypto artist and NFT influencer behind 2021’s popular mfers collection. Sartoshi’s departure from mfers in June 2022 was controversial, with many labeling it as a rug-pull scam. However, he returned to the NFT scene in February 2023 to announce the Nakamigos project, which he had helped to create. While there is no official clarification about his exact role in the project, some speculate that Sartoshi is the anonymous artist behind Nakamigos.
Another rumor surrounding the Nakamigos project is that it is connected to Larva Labs, the company initially behind CryptoPunks. The collections’ aesthetic similarities and the fact that Nakamigos’ licensing agreement is modeled after Yuga Labs’ agreement for the CryptoPunks IP acquisition has led to speculation about a potential connection. However, there is currently no evidence to support this claim.
One notable aspect of the Nakamigos project is that the team grants holders commercial rights to their NFTs, allowing them to monetize them as they see fit. While this kind of IP usage permission is not quite a Creative Commons (CC0) license, it is still powerful and has enabled holders of blue-chip NFTs like Bored Ape Yacht Club to capitalize on their digital tokens in significant ways.
All 20,000 Nakamigos NFTs have been minted out, but interested buyers can find them on the secondary market, with the collection’s floor currently sitting at 0.32 ETH or $560.56. The Nakamigos team has gifted 24 honorary Nakamigos NFTs to well-known figures including farokh and zeneca as well as other influencers in the NFT community, further promoting the project.
Despite the project’s success, HiFo Labs remains an esoteric company, with no Discord and no other social media channel other than its official Twitter handle. The team’s emphasis on commercialization rights for holders is an interesting aspect of the project that could indicate a larger, yet-to-be-revealed IP play from HiFo Labs. However, the company needs to foster greater trust among its holder base to incentivize them to take advantage of those capabilities.
Overall, the Nakamigos project is worth keeping an eye on as it aims to be a kind of spiritual successor to CryptoPunks. However, it remains to be seen how the project will evolve and whether it can maintain its success in the highly competitive NFT market.