Nakamigos, a strange and pixelated NFT project, announced its next NFT initiative, CLOAKS, on September 13. CLOAKS is just another example of the unoriginal and derivative NFT projects that have become increasingly common in recent months. These projects are often hyped up and marketed aggressively, and the Web3 community often fails to ask tough questions about their innovative value.
Nakamigos was launched in March by HiFo Labs, a mysterious company that claims to have experience in the NFT and digital art space, but has no public track record. The Nakamigos collection features 24×24 pixel characters that are similar to CryptoPunks, and are marketed as the “friends of Satoshi Nakamoto.”
In just four days after launch, Nakamigos had surpassed BAYC in total number of trades, generating nearly $13 million in trading volume on the secondary market. This volume increased to around $39 million the following month.
People speculated about who was behind HiFo Labs, and some on Crypto Twitter suggested that HiFo was connected to Larva Labs, the company that created CryptoPunks, which was acquired by Yuga Labs in 2022. However, Nakamigos denied any connection to Larva or Yuga on Twitter.
CLOAKS NFT collection will have an early access mint for Nakamigos holders on September 21st from 12:00pm to 3:00pm ET on the Nakamigos website. The public mint will begin on September 21st at 4:00pm ET with a minting price of 0.05 ETH. The collection will feature 20,000 Nakamigos characters, including “human-like characters and wolves.”
There are three types of “human-like” characters – Warriors, Knights, and Archers, which all come with different rarity levels. There are also sub-human characters, including Sorceresses and Wizards. Each human-like character is also a member of one of seven clans – Water, Sky, Earth, Steel, Crystal, Fire, and Darkness. These “Main Characters” also have the ability to take on unique forms – Undead Reaper, Possessed, or Android (Good or Evil). Archers can appear in Wild form, while Wolves can appear as Grey Wolf, Forest Wolf, Mountain Wolf, or an Arctic Wolf. It also consists of six types of “non-human characters,” or “Rares” – Arctic Wolf, Komodo Dragon, Yin-Yang, Cheetah, Bat, and Black Panther.
Each of these NFTs is said to include worldwide gaming and commercial intellectual property (IP) privileges, a practice reminiscent of Yuga Labs’ approach with its collection of projects such as Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and CryptoPunks.
The initial announcement of ‘CLOAKS’ stated a minting price of 0.05 ETH for all participants. Following community criticism, the project subsequently revised it to allow Nakamigos holders to mint for free.
Nevertheless, even with this altered pricing approach, members of the community continue to voice doubts regarding the project’s overall worth and practicality. They contend that the introduction of another NFT collection will dilute the project’s supply, akin to the situation that occurred with Azuki and its recent collection, Elementals.
Some Nakamigos community members are comparing the project’s approach to DeGods Season III, which initially announced a “collection upgrade” but then changed its plans due to negative feedback. Some people believe that these changes are intentional, while others think they are just reactions and don’t have a clear strategy.
No matter how people feel about the recent changes, the Nakamigos community seems to agree that projects should focus on giving their existing holders more benefits instead of always launching new collections.
HiFo Labs owns all the intellectual property rights to the Nakamigos art, but the CLOAKS licensing agreement grants Nakamigos NFT holders a limited license to use it. This is not the same as a Creative Commons (CC0) license, but it still gives holders a competitive advantage. The license also includes “worldwide gaming rights,” which means that anyone can use Nakamigos-CLOAKS characters in their games, metaverses, or other similar projects.
All 20,000 Nakamigos NFTs were minted, but they are still available on the secondary market for a current floor price of 0.26 ETH (approximately $424 USD) as of this writing.
The Nakamigos team has given “honorary” Nakamigos NFTs to prominent figures in the NFT community, such as Art Blocks’ Erick Calderon (Snofro), Seedphrase, and Cozomo de’ Medici.
While it’s premature to draw any predetermined conclusions about the project’s enduring sustainability, it is reasonable to acknowledge the understandable doubt that arises within the NFT community when a new meme or derivative NFT initiative is launched.