The infamous zookeeper and Netflix star Joe Exotic has launched a series of NFTs for auction and his own crypto TKING, but is it worth bothering?
Joe Exotic, the Oklahoma zookeeper who gained international recognition through his Netflix hit show 'Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness', recently revealed his collection of NFT collectibles and his own cryptocurrency, the Tiger King Coin.
The big cat enthusiast says to have been interested in blockchain technology for a while now, stating “I’ve definitely got laser eyes. Crypto is the future.” Meanwhile, many investors are getting headaches from yet another meme currency. While Dogecoin might have made its improbable ascension to the big crypto league, trend tokens like that are thought to die the same way memes become obsolete after being overused. So, are the tiger tokens any different?
Joe Exotic NFT collectibles - what's on offer?
The NFT collectables include a series of animated trading cards, unique artworks and 3D models of recognizable items of the show, as well as audio recordings the tiger tamer recorded from prison. Correct, from prison. Joe Exotic is currently serving a sentence of 22 years for violating federal wildlife laws and two failed murder-for-hire plots targeting his show antagonist, Carole Baskin from the big cat rescue organization.
In fact, the NFT collection was created by fans to fund the legal team for a new trail, same goes for the Tiger King Coin, which was launched on May 18 as a deflationary currency. Catering to the real-life drama, it was also launched in competition to Carole Baskin’s CAT Coin, created to fund big cat rescue. Baskin’s is so far set a higher value, perhaps because she is not a convicted felon.
Now, the potential to make headlines is high, but what about the potential to make money? Let’s focus on the NFT collectables first, which are available on Mintable. They were created in collaboration with MORE and can be divided into two types. The unique items, and the limited editions. For example, 99 pixel art images of Joe Exotic with his arm around porn star Rachel Starr’s body in a bikini currently are for sale with each one costing $22.80. Audio messages form prison each go for nine bucks.
In contrast, a 3D model of Rachel Starr’s bikini, which is auctioned together with the original swimsuit featured on the show, currently stands at $4,380.56. What is interesting about the unique NFTs, is that their value is driven up by the sellers adding the non-digital objects to the deal as well. The Tiger King’s revolver is sold as limited edition for only $19.42, while also being available in combination with the original, defunctionalized weapon for nearly $52,000.
This already indicates rather low interest in the digital items, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. In order to evaluate the long-term value of an NFT, Dapper Labs developed an easy equation.
Value of an NFT = Liquidity Premium + Utility + Future Value + Ownership History
These interlinked factors, can each create value on their own, making it unnecessary or any single factor to be optimal. Naturally, the stronger the combination, the better.
First of all, the liquidity. NFTs that remain idle with a single owner run the risk of depreciating. Liquidity can be increased by using popular blockchains and abstaining from intermediaries. Tiger King NFTs use the Ethereum blockchain, first plus point, and rely on Mintable, which is not necessarily too crucial. However, liquidity is also linked to the next factor.
The NFTs are worthless when regarding utility. Utility is an aspect many NFTs are currently battling with, since an environment for use cases is still under development among the few early adopters. For example, certain NFTs can be used within an application, like a weapon or character model in a computer game, increasing utility. Functionality across applications increases the value a lot, but is rare at this stage so far.
Trading in 3D models at high prices for video games, many of which are popular among esports, has been vibrant for a while now, and imagining the integration of NFTs within this market might be big, also driving liquidity. One may imagine a player purchasing Joe Exotic’s Smith and Wesson model and using it for Counterstrike: Global Offensive tournaments. To put it simply, not happening. The utility of any item of the rack values at zero, with collectable cards and pixel art being the same hard drive filler as the pistol or porn star bikini. Possibly a reason for the very low price tags on any offer, except for the real life items.
This again reduces the future value, which is driven by scarcity in supply and speculation. Not only is it uninteresting for most buyers to purchase unusable polygons, but even more if there are nearly a hundred of them floating around. Despite the polarizing nature of the show, nearly a hundred items are just not scarce enough. Scarcity is a driving factor of higher valuation, so naturally the interest in one of the 3D models of the pistol stays low, while the one of a kind Smith and Wesson used by the celebrity is soaring in five digit prices, despite not being usable as a weapon anymore.
But what about ownership history? Well, depends which owner personality is more prominent. The convicted unstable felon who mistreated his animals and almost killed another human being for criticizing him? Or the renegade tiger loving brave gun slinger who kept true to what he loves no matter what people think about him?
What is known, well known people sell NFTs rather well. Artists of all genres have made millions by auctioning NFTs, with their fanbase indicating their net worth. Internet virality however, does not necessarily equal fame longevity. “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness” was viewed 64 million times within the first month, right at the beginning of the pandemic, which was highly beneficial for streaming services entertaining the quarantined populace. A scripted tv-show surrounded the zoo-keeper feud was announced since then, still it is questionable whether a large audience will be inspired to trade his blockchain products, as the hype fades away.
Ultimately, all in mind. investors should probably not ride the tiger in this case. Sorry, Joe.
But what about the Tiger King Coin? While the same valuation criteria do apply to the crypto, it might be a bit more interesting. The business model also wishes to capitalize on meme stardom, but in a more incentivizing way. Of the trillion tokens forged, inmate Joe Exotic is holding an undisclosed amount, while traders on the outside world are doing the magic. Each and every transaction has a burn rate of 2%, making the coin deflationary by nature. The longer it is around, the more the value will grow, almost guaranteed. If an investor is morally d’accord with funding the trial for an unreflective criminal, it might be a profitable venture.
TKC currently stands at a price of $0.000032, having quadrupled the value in one and a half months. Additionally, the competition against Carole Baskin’s CAT Token adds an interesting aspect of interactivity. Possibly, fans of the show will choose their sides in the feud by buying their favourite’s tokens. The CAT Coin now stands at $0.1067, after a quadruple depreciation following the launch of TKC.
Whoever likes this type of madness, may happily join the fight. Whoever likes serious long-term investments, should rather check out the latest Block Magazine.
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