The Future of Art: Hashmasks NFT Collection
In a world where cryptocurrency is becoming increasingly popular, Non-fungible tokens caught the eye of many investors. As opposed to the fungible bitcoins, each NFT is a unique art piece that adds scarcity and value to an investor’s wallet (Kucher, 2021). These tokens are assumed to have a wide variety of applications that have yet to be discovered. Some popular NFT’s include the Doge meme, cryptopunk, and crypto kitties. All of these tokens are usually animated and pixelated images circulated on the web.
Hashmasks is a digital art collection of 16,384 distinctive NFT’s started by two anonymous founders from the Suum Cuique Labs in Switzerland and minted on the Ethereum blockchain (“Hashmasks”). Unlike other collections on the web, Hashmasks provides people with beautiful individualized virtual art collectibles and allows them to participate in the naming of these tokens. Because Hashmaks gives owners the opportunity to participate in the naming, they are able to contribute to the rarity of the artwork (“Hashmasks”).
The two anonymous creators originally settled on the number of 16,384 NFT’s to allow for many owners while also maintaining rarity of the piece (Chipolina, 2021). They utilized social media to recruit about 70 digital artists. Instead of creating each individual NFT, the artists designed specific portions of the Hashmasks like the eyes, skin, and masks. One of the founders said that “In the end when we collected all of those artists, my partner and I created the whole piece—the masterpiece—of which most were made using an algorithm, and about 20% were made by hand” (Chipolina, 2021). Each Hashmask has a varying combination of these different attributes which makes some rarer and more desired than others.
The Hashmask collection launched on January 28, 2021 and took the market like a storm. The first 2,999 Hashmasks were offered at a price of 0.1 ETH (about $130) and the last 3 hashmask collectibles were offered at a price of 100 ETH (approximately $130,000) (Chipolina, 2021). When a consumer purchases a hashmask, they will not know which art piece they received until 14 days after its acquisition (“Hashmasks”). The order number and rarity of the Hashmasks will be determined by an algorithm and consumers will be limited to 20 Hashmasks per deal (“Hashmasks”).
The Hashmask website reminds consumers that they “are not simply buying a piece of art. [They] are part of the art piece” (“Hashmasks”). Every day, an NFT collects 10 Name Change Tokens (NCT’s) and once they have 1830 tokens (this will take about ½ year of possession of the NFT), they are able to change the name of their unique token. Every single name must be unique for each token; however, once a token changes names, its old name is up for grabs on the blockchain (“We’re All Hashmasks: How NFT Art Will Redefine the Web”). On January 26, 2031 (10 years after the release of the collection), NCT’s will no longer be given out each day and only the existing tokens will be allowed to circulate. Once these Name Change Tokens are all used to change the names of the NFT’s, the “art piece is considered complete” (“Hashmasks”).
Rarity in Hashmasks is determined both explicitly and implicitly. Explicit rarity is determined by the creators; the traits that are shown less commonly in the NFT’s are going to be rarer. An example of a rare trait in Hashmasks is transparent skin (only 2 Hashmasks have this trait) (Jurgeleviciene, 2021). Implicit rarity is added elements to the NFT that distinguish them from others. Investors around the world are trying to discover new rare elements on social media platforms that will increase the price of the token. Moreover, NCT’s also increase implicit rarity because the ability for consumers to change the name of their token adds to its individuality.
On the day of the Hashmasks launch, 3,000 art pieces sold in just 6 hours (Chipolina, 2021). By January 30, people were purchasing and selling Hashmasks for 100,000% revenue (Chipolina, 2021). Those Hashmasks that were originally purchased for 0.1 ETH would be sold for 100 ETH. Once the collection was alive for a mere 4 days, it was already with $9 million in profit and by February 1st, Hashmasks was deemed the top NFT on the Ethereum network. The most expensive Hashmask ever was sold for $650,000 and purchased by a twitter user named DANNY. He told sources that this specific NFT appealed to him due to its mysteriousness and uniqueness (Kucher, 2021). Overall, the entire Hashmask collection achieved $16 million in gross sales by the end of these 14 days.
Users have taken it upon themselves to determine the traits and their rarity via social media platforms like twitter and reddit. They have created this spreadsheet that lists of all of the Hashmasks ranked by their traits and their rarity (S, John, 2021). People also use these spaces to describe their pieces, trade, and negotiate. In addition, Hashmask enthusiasts on these social platforms are making it their duty to track down the mysteries lying in these pieces of art. For example, Jon McIntosh posted on twitter that all collectibles that are a part of the Fibonacci sequence all exhibit the fibonacci symbols in their NFT design. (Chipolina, 2021).
Additionally, Twitter user Trentelme was the one that discovered that two Hashmasks are identical in nature in design– “The Real” and “The Unreal” that both have a sanskrit message written in the background (Chipolina, 2021).
In the future, Hashmaks will continue to shape the NFT community and for the upcoming years. In addition to social media communication, Hashmask users have created engagement through a discord in which they continue to share “DIY Hashie Memes” and more (“We’re All Hashmasks: How NFT Art Will Redefine the Web”). Hashmasks has proven to be one of the most successful NFT’s on the Ethereum blockchain due to its element of mystery, its ability to engage with owners, and its high value (Jurgeleviciene, 2021). This NFT collection has already had such a drastic impact on the cryptocommunity and only the surface has been scratched.
Chipolina, Scott. “The Story behind Hashmasks: Ethereum’s Greatest Art Sale.” Decrypt. Decrypt, February 18, 2021. https://decrypt.co/58109/the-story-behind-hashmasks-ethereums-greatest-art-sale.
“Hashmasks.” Suum Cuique Labs. Accessed November 20, 2021. https://www.thehashmasks.com/.
Jurgeleviciene, Modesta. “How to Value Hashmasks Nfts.” DappRadar Blog RSS, February 19, 2021. https://dappradar.com/blog/how-to-value-hashmasks-nfts#:~:text=of%20which%20there%20are%2010,for%20grey%20and%20light%20skins.
Kucher, Daniel. “What’s This Hashmasks Frenzy? Here Are the Details.” Somag News, February 4, 2021. https://www.somagnews.com/whats-this-hashmasks-frenzy-here-are-the-details/.
S, John “Hold, Flip, or Fold: Hashmasks – NFT Culture: NFT & Crypto Artists Curating Ideas.” NFT Culture, February 6, 2021. https://www.nftculture.com/nft-art/hold-flip-or-fold-hashmasks/.
“The Mystery Is Part of the Magic: The Journey to the Birth of Hashmasks.” Blockcast.cc- News on Blockchain, DLT, Cryptocurrency. February 26, 2021. https://blockcast.cc/news/the-mystery-is-part-of-the-magic-the-journey-to-the-birth-of-hashmasks/.