Wassieverse: How a Meme Mobilized Crypto Twitter - 0xbags, Wassieverse, Ep. 198 - Transcripts

May 23, 2022

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Every crypto-native must have seen a small green creature appear on their Twitter timeline when others tag @Inversebrah on a Twitter thread.  A group of wassie-lovers banded together to bring the green creature to life via a 3D NFT project,...


Yeah, ladies and gentlemen gentlemen, welcome to the Block Crunch podcast. They go to podcast for investors and builders in crypto Before we get started with today's episode, I've got some great news for our listeners. For those of you looking for an extra edge in crypto. We created block crunch V. I. P. Just for you. Every week our team at block Crunch prepares an in depth research memo with a sector analysis project explanation, competitor breakdown and our own in house investment outlook for every project brought onto the show delivered straight to your inbox. We'll do the work. So you don't have to, we'll scour discord twitter forums and blocks and help you highlight potential catalysts and provide actionable insights for every project we interview. In addition, we also host exclusive AMs with myself to answer any of your questions and all of that is only available to block punch V. I.

P. Subscribers. But the good news is that it costs less than a coffee a week. So head on over to the block crunch dot com slash V. I. P. Or click the link in the show notes below to sign up. Hey everybody, welcome back to another episode of the Block crunch podcast. Now, first of all, thank you so much for the vervet response for our most recent episode on the collapse of luna ust. We had our highest first date downloads for any episodes ever. So it's very clear that that episode is very important to a lot of you guys out there and came at a very timely time. Um, so for this week, however, we're gonna have a slight change in tone and talk about something a little bit less intense and maybe a little bit more bizarre and strange.

Now if you've hung around crypto twitter for a while, you're probably aware of this little thing called a WASI for those of you who are not aware, it's basically a meme that's native to crypto twitter. It's a cartoon that's usually green of a half frog, half penguin creature. And it appears in a lot of memes and perhaps most famously it appears as the avatar of the twitter personality called inverse bra who has amassed over 180,000 followers in the past few years. And over the past few years, this meme within crypto twitter has also become quite popular because almost every single day you see people tagging inverse bra on anything on crypto twitter that is remotely interesting. And one of the more bizarre developments is that a law has started to form around this meme of unknown origin and people are creating stories and N. F. T. S and memes and projects around this one WASI creature. So some of the original purveyors of this meme have also banded together to create a new three D N. F T. That allows people to interact with their very own Ouaziz and this project is called was diverse. Now honestly this is one of the more bizarre things to happen in crypto and one of the more interesting projects that we've brought on the show lately.

But the idea of this organic d centrally created law with a social consensus around canniness city is too interesting to pass up. So we're gonna try to explore this in a way that is welcoming to people who are and might not be native to crypto twitter but a general audience as well. Now what's more as a treat to our V. I. P. Subscriber's WASI verse has also agreed to give away 300 free white lists to mint the WASI verse, N. F. T. To our followers. So make sure you're subscribed to our V. I. P.

Tier if you want that in the link below or check your inbox if you've already subscribed. So to talk more about what the verse internet memes and crypto twitter subculture. I have with me, one of the anonymous developers on one verse bags on the show. So bags. Welcome to block crunch.

Thanks a lot man, I appreciate it,

definitely. Now, before we dive into what the project is now, I think some listeners might be aware of this little crypto twitter meme called inverse bra or small thing. Um just before we dive into everything because it's so core to the project, what exactly is inverse bro, what is small thing?

Well, small thing in its own right is is a personality to behold. But a creature known as a one c uh something that that the 2000 and 18 bear market blessed us with, which which was pretty much the spirit of, of levity and humor when we needed it most. Um honestly it's, it's kind of kind of on par with with that fact that that we are stepping into the limelight at the time that we are because levity is what we all need, right?

Yeah, exactly. And for the people who may not be aware, if you have been, you know, hanging out on crypto twitter for a while, you probably see people tagging this handle called inverse bra under iconic tweet threats or interesting moments in twitter. And you know, inevitably every week you see someone asking why is everybody tagging inverse bra. So how did that whole habit about attacking this? This handle happen?

You know, I think it's one of the more organic things that I've witnessed since since being in the space, which is like dates back to early 2017. Um again, just emerged from a necessity and at the end of the day, inverse bras function almost became like the crypto culture's ability or desire to curate our own news aggregate and we get to do that via via inverse bra. The funny thing is again, like inverse bras is it's probably just the more renowned WASI but represents Ouaziz as a whole um this little digital stress ball, a digital punching bag if you will one that you can love and hate at the same time when you're stressed when you're happy to provide you with humor and provide you with good news to um Sometimes a bit a bit more right curve than than many people expect I think too.

Yeah so I guess on that note what exactly is a was er you a onesie for instance

wow you know that's that's a question I don't think I've ever been asked. Um I my my twitter abby does have the crescent on it. Um And I suppose I suppose I am wow that's unfortunate existential crisis is happening on stream right now. You know what? It's a good thing, it's a good thing because because we have emerged from the shadows of of of the 2018 bear market into this mainstream. Um Within crypto twitter now at the intersections of N. F. T. Twitter and finding its own way into entertainment twitter if you will um as creatures that you just want to kind of associate with. Because while in verse Brown May may spearhead you know one with an active job not just at Mcdonald's but but is providing the curation of history. There's many many more the fire has certainly spread and people have embraced the culture.

Yeah and I guess just to contextualize all of this within was a verse. So basically in 2018 in the crypto barrel market someone created this meme kind of cartoon creature of a frog like thing with a crescent moon kind of symbol on the chest. And then it became known as WASI and it started kind of spreading as an icon of crypto twitter almost. And now you guys are building a project around this kind of subculture, there's this weird subculture and this icon that appeared in crypto twitter a few years after it has become a thing. So what was the inspiration behind this project? You know, how did you guys decide to start the project? And you know how many, I guess how many people are building this project?

Well until recently I didn't, I didn't realize that we had such a large team until starting to talk to people, but we have around 14 people working tirelessly building this project. And we've been in stealth for the last year just trying to do everything we can to pay attention to all the details and focus on the delivery rather than you know what, what could be achieved because at the end of the day, you know, we have to provide something of value and and with entertainment value. It's not, it's not in a monetary sense, it's it's enjoyment, it's pleasure. It's something that can be utilized for for all senses and sort of date to dial it back. My relationship with inverse brian with Wrangler which which kind of started this whole thing um was basically just ship posting his friends and going back and forth and Wrangler Designs these incredible three d. models and he started just curating three D. Models of glasses and and so I started meaning his three D. Models and we got back and forth back and forth and one thing led to another and the conversation started early last year that wait a second. People are really, really in love with Ouaziz. The culture is growing and expanding and people are are beginning to self identify as a WASI themselves. Um shouldn't we do something with this? Should we find a way to provide greater access to self identification as a WASI on the interwebs if you wish.

And so quickly the answer was yes. So so we set out and connected with the biggest chad's chatted and chatted, we could find pretty much tapped, our network found, found the people that were already really associated that were embedded within the culture and started talking and started building

and what exactly is the one versus this a metaverse project? Like you guys are building a digital virtual world where people can hang out in there WASI avatars or you know, is that is that a good way to understand what it is?

I think the best way to understand what it is is that what's the first will provide a range of interoperability between verses. Right? Um for instance, I don't know if you you're familiar with web averse but they're they're working on some really cool stuff that that many people are excited for especially us to um we have a friendly relationship with them that we're excited to explore and are very keen to make sure that Ouaziz from divers will have interoperability within web perverse. Um and and that's just a start there there's there's many other functions and many many other friends that were discussing these these aspects with because at the end of the day you know we will provide quite a bit um games, interoperability um functionality within the N. F. T. Itself that we think is pretty unique and we'll get into soon.

So are you guys focusing on kind of creating these N. F. T. S which are avatars you know in the style of Ouaziz for users uh and then is the idea to have these avatars be able to go to different metaphors projects and you know interact with the things there or you guys also building your own kind of virtual world as well where people can hang out and do things in

at the moment. We're not building our own virtual world at the moment. We we we are expanding the interoperability function um but you know I mean I guess it depends on how you look at meta verses because because at the end of the day you know isn't twitter its own metaverse, it's a place we all congregate and we'll discuss um and we all represent ourselves within imagery and text and opinion. So it's kind of the closest thing we have to a real metaverse already And if we expand on that one verse is gonna provide quite a bit of association with such such concepts like you know personal branding for instance actually let's just talk about the canvas. Um One of the things we wanted to be sure to do was, well why we built for a year quietly was not to just launch with a proof of concept and say hey you know everybody come along, we've got this great idea, help us build it. We figured a little homage to your friend there, let's do it in verse. Let's build first. Let's build as good as we can in a in a fashion that we would be happy to deliver and then start talking to people about the vision. So we did that and and and thus the three D. Models and the N. F. T.

S were born along with canvas which will provide you a unique bit of malleability with the N. F. T. Um What I mean by that is is what happened call camp is an experience not a game because this is something you have to experience and you you take your N. F. T. Your WASI and you come to our site sign in and you plug into canvas and no longer you bound by the static imagery of a profile pic jpeg. But if you're feeling happy one day, cool make it smile. Well if you're feeling sad another day, make it frowned if you're feeling like ah you want to rip your hair out, put your flippers on your head. Make it look stressed. Make the eyes bulge a little bit, open the mouth, Slouch a bit and take the screenshot. Change your profile pic.

And people are gonna see that imagery of you come through rather than just a static simple image. Um And this is just like touching on the profile pic aspect of it. Um There's there's quite a bit of mobility and conversation that can be had within that. I mean we're already seeing that expansion within the team that within the canvas. Sweet as we continue to iterate test and refine it before before it comes and shift to the public. The team members are really really embracing the idea that it's a conversation that we can have that that can be had through imagery. So if I feel like giving you the finger because you're kissing me off, I'm putting my flipper up and sending that to you in the in the team chat because you know what, I'm just too stressed to deal with you right now and I'd rather just send you a WASI flipping you off.

Yeah I know that that and I think just for the benefit of the people who are just listening to this audio because they don't have the visual of what canvases. So canvas. My understanding is it's a three D. Program where you can put in your three D. Was the N. F. T. Um avatar and then you can just interact with it and pose it as you mentioned. And uh you know do you expect there to be other things that people will be able to do in the in this canvas that can interact with other N. F. T. S.

As well

canvases functionality is going to expand greatly. Um And yeah like you said it's hard to do a justice without the visual but at the end of the day it's it's an immersive environment that that we've designed to be really user friendly and and very easy to interact with because also like when you're talking about you know functionality it should be simple right? It should be approachable and not convoluted with too many tasks, dials or knobs. Um But from there it's gonna get really cool because all of our all of our three D. Models are are rigged for real world simulated physics. Um So it's pretty much a picture of me or you digitalize, turn around, you're there, your back is there, your heels are showing you turn back around your face, your belly whatever. So you can do that with your N. F. T. You can look at any angle, you can flip it upside down and see underneath its flippers underneath its its webbed feet or whatever. Um And within that will simply will will in a in a simple fashion be able to enact an animation engine. So I guess the best way I can describe it for those that are listening, picture yourself standing and and and reaching for the sky to catch something Now a freeze frame now picture yourself bending down to tie your shoe.

Now freeze frame in between those two motions is an action right? We simply have to connect it to our physics engine. So if you pose your WASI in the in the motions that I just described, standing up and reaching up and then bending down to tie his shoe, the physics engine will do the rest and animate the in between.

That's really interesting. So you're basically creating a way for people to not just you know interact and emote more with their N. F. T. Avatars. You're also creating a way for people to just easily you know animate them and you know basically have them come to life. Which I feel like it's a natural progression of where N. F. D. Avatars are going because if you look at things like board apes people can already transform them but it's still a pretty static image. But here it sounds like it's a fully kind of interact herbal through fully kind of customizable avatar. Um So I guess on that note, what is the endgame for what do you want?

Everybody on twitter to eventually have a kind of watch the N. F. T. Or you know what's the what's the goal there?

I mean ideally um we'd like everyone to enjoy was the N. F. T. If they can. Yeah our supply is 13,370 to start. Um It's hard to say that your family may may expand one day if you if you happen to hold one N. F. T. Who knows things could get really weird. Um But the goal is the goal is pretty pretty clear to us that we want to grow and expand it in a lot of different ways. We we've set the stage over the last year to execute in in a few different areas right? Like so you brought up board apes and I'm gonna use them as an example because they're so wildly successful.

Um But as you said like the static image exists and they're just starting to integrate different different forms of functionality to kind of like take that you know droopy stone board ape and allow people's personality to be represented more. Um We we took heed of these things that we noticed very early on and and again here and here and came came the birth of canvas um and its functionality that will grow afterwards and we wanted to make sure that we weren't starting without without evolving first you know. Um And that's just one functionality and and part of that evolution also means capturing a lot of other people so we have games and we'll be launching a few games to start. Um At this is postman um We've got beta builds already of some really cool games, one of them being a bull riding game or or maybe you're not writing the book, maybe you are the bull. Um two different two different objectives though. Um if you've got something on your back, you tend to want it off of you, but if you're riding the bull you tend to want to stay on and the results might be different between between which, which side of that one you choose? Um

Yeah, and I can't wait to check out some of those games as well. And I think this also ties into a broader conversation about the cultural relevance of N. F. T. S. Right? Because you're starting to see while you're not starting to see, you've seen celebrities using N. F. T. S. As their avatar online now, you know, and a lot of people in crypto obviously have N. F.

T. S. As their avatar as a part of their identification. Um But I'm curious about, you know how the competition will work out, right? Do you foresee maybe people who have, say a zoo keys as the avatars now, are they gonna just stay loyal to a zoo keys? Or do you foresee, you know, one person's identity being reflected by multiple N. F. T. S. And maybe it could be one was the one Suzuki and they kind of cycle between them. Like how do you um I guess contextualize the significance of one N. F.

T. In a person's kind of online identity.

I guess it kind of depends on the individual's own mental illness. Right? How many different types of of imagery can you associate with yourself? Like me personally like I I've been I've been the bags avatar on twitter for for years and I have not changed it. I may be reiterated redesigned a little bit but but that's me that represents me and my my three D. WASI is is bags as well screaming dog type thing. Um So if I were to change that I think again personally I'd feel a little weird about it. Like I was changing a part of me and this is why we wanted to kind of give so much of a broad reach with diverse. Um Well at the same time understanding that people will do that jokes aside like I don't think it's mentally ill to want to do that. People will embrace it. We're just gonna offer a wide array of functionality to allow that that N. F.

T. That comes from Watson first to touch on all those points and all those reasons why people might switch from aboard eight to a pudgy pudgy penguin to do whatever you know. Um And I like take the tubing for instance of course we're going to enact that of course because one it's a relatively easy process for us at this point after so much building and where we are and the models that we are providing lend themselves well to that. So I'm very much looking forward to hopefully like the next time we talk I get to be in full la Z. Avatar.

Yeah, that would be pretty cool. Especially if you have like another style N. F. T. Where you know, you're an animated, was he speaking to me in real time? That'd be pretty cool to see.

Yeah that's within our blueprint and and very close within the scope of execution following the men.

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F. T. Launches, you know, they're really just minting a picture, putting it out there, asking people to give them, I don't know if you $100 to make the picture then that's pretty much it. But then one or two of these will suddenly have a massive culture that grows around them like board eight Suzuki seem to have their own kind of subcultures for you guys, it's a little bit different because you guys actually started with the culture already right? There are already a lot of people on crypto twitter who are aware of uh small ting WASI inverse bra these kind of meme terms and now you guys are basically just formalizing that into something more physical. So um you know when you guys were building last verse, how important was it to try to capture that cultural element and you know how do you guys go about doing that

wildly important? I mean I would say a huge amount of our core team conversations revolved around the culture and the community. I mean, because here's here's the thing like, like or maru as men, you know? Um and small thing started this as a community thing. Like it was just community. And and then it attracted people like you like rabbit, like me, like, like Wrangler and we bound together with this tight knit community of these digital punching bags and sometimes we kicked. Sometimes we hugged. Um, it all depends on the day. So, so the core nature and, and and the reason for it, you know, call it mass adoption, even though I don't think the mass adoption was this has occurred yet. Um, it's certainly happening.


derives itself from the community, derives itself from people being able to embrace this, this digital identity and this lore, because that's what it is, like, it's our own mythology, right?

Yeah. And I'm I'm so curious like, how I know you touched on this already, but like how did this law become a thing? Like obviously someone started this and then, you know, other people joined in. But um, you know, if you could help us understand how did this Lord become kind of inverse broad, this kind of famous meme in crypto that'd be that'd be awesome.

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, again, like we're dialing right into it. The community really curated the the mythology and wrote the law in the version of memes and the version of ship posts in conversations between groups publicly and privately and they got expanded upon. Um So I couldn't I couldn't give Recognition 2-1 author. Um without saying that the idea that Ouaziz tend to live two weeks um if not refrigerated, it's just an inherent thing that that you come to learn about Owasi, just like just like you come to learn like you know, um I don't know that dogs live maybe 20 years, right? It's just this thing you come to learn just through through natural exposure and it's a bizarre absolutely. Um but you better put the wasabi in the fridge because you don't want it to expire early. But you know what actually, if you're in a bad mood you might want it to expire early.

This is so interesting because I'm thinking back to one of the episodes we did back in 2018 actually with a project called Hilarious. And this is way before N. F. T. S. Was a thing before metaverse was the thing and their idea was they want to create a community curated mythology. They have they planted planted some seeds basically The Law was that you know, there's these planets are at war, there's these ai and then the community was supposed to take that and turn it into you know digital art or maybe music or short videos or movies or total story and that was for many projects really. the dream um where you can have this organic story, take a life on its own um and all this time, you know, a lot of energy projects in this cycle have been talking about that as well, right? Projects like loot they they're trying to get other people to build on the primitive um and create games using these seats that they've planted without building the games themselves. And you know, all this time, people have been looking for maybe some type of organic narrative that took off and you know, this has been right under our noses this whole time, like uh you know, what was the verses, like one of the stories that has been core to crypto twitter for this for this whole time. So, I think this is like super, super interesting and I guess another interesting project that we came across that might be similar, I don't know if you agree or not is called tubby Cat as well, which seems to be another one of those memes on crypto twitter and someone turned this into an NLP project. Is there some similarities between, you know what tubby Cat guys are doing and what you guys are working on?

Yeah, I would, I would certainly agree, you know, tubby cats emerged um really organically and and and expanded quickly to um so it's certainly on par with that same type of community driven vibe that, that the community embraces it and starts to tell its own story, um almost without provocation, right? And they've done great work and they've got great art and and they're they're making some cool stuff currently that I'm really excited for two. Um so I think it's a good, a good analogy, because at the end of the day, like, you know, these these effortless law writers, which is the community are the ones that kind of have the most impact. Um like, I don't even know, here's a good example at one point, Ouaziz had a net worth of two sets, right? And this is how I remember it, and it wasn't until recently where I was talking to small thing and going back and forth, and I was like, yeah, yeah, you got to thats network, right? No, no, no, no, no, no three now. So somehow or another, Right? And then I started looking for the references and the references are there somehow or another, the community gave them a raise. Yeah,

this is this is such a strange phenomenon, like, people just suddenly bought into this lore, um and started just making stuff up and then there's social consensus around what things are made of our can into the lore. Um is one of the strangest things in crypto, twitter, you know, whenever I try to explain inverse broader people outside of crypto, I struggle to him, I hope this episode is doing that justice. Um but it is one of the stranger things that emerge from crypto and you know I guess you know turning the focus a little bit to yourself as well, you know what what about this project specifically appeal to U like what why uh as a developer, you know there are a lot of things you could be building, you know what what drew you to to was adverse

um you know this one was easy, the entertainment value. Um I'm at heart, I'm a ship poster, right?


my my twitter account and my my small following for whatever it's worth has only grown because I use that as a as a mental outlet to just purge cynicism and sarcasm and and it's it's so it's therapeutic for me, I love it, like it really is like like if I'm if I'm having a bad day trading like I'm really aggressive with ship posting, so this was like a natural kind of gravitation towards Ouaziz to me because it's it is the most potent ship posting mechanism that we have and it's starting to transcend what what I mean by that is like like I said it started as a core group, it expanded to crypto, twitter is now bleeding into N. F. T. Twitter to the point where I don't think there's gonna be lines Either way and I have a 21 month little girl who whenever I met the computer working walks by and says quasi quasi right? So I also have a three year old little girl who wants to wear a onesie hoodie all day long, that's it,

that's amazing. And it's interesting because is not the only project I'm aware of that, that's building around this this um this internet lore because loomed dart and other kind of crypto twitter celebrity I think with 277,000 followers has a project called by Ouaziz as well. Is that are you guys involved with that or how is that related?

The projects are good friends. Um and luke has done a great job. He went to market was like 78 months ago with my Ouaziz and has held a lot of momentum since then and we're just, you know, a three d evolution of things. Um but yeah, there's there's been many, I mean pixel Ouaziz actually was, I think the first was the N F. T. Um then there was wacky Ouaziz, which I love, personally, I think waki WASI should get quite a bit more shine because one I love translator and to the art is really fun and playful but the point is is like much like marvel um there's all these different versus Spiderman entered the into the spider verse is all these different iterations of Ouaziz and it's bound by no one's creativity really just an interpretation of the lord that we all are coming to know and learn and and watch the community curate. So so it's really cool as a platform.

Yeah and actually that that's gonna be my next question is how do you guys think about cannibalization? Like which one's which interpretation of the Wannsee Avatar is the Canon one, given that there's already three and as the lower growth and the cultural growth, I'm sure there will be more projects that are trying to do what you guys are doing for this specific law as well. How do you guys differentiate over time? Like what is the relationship between different WASI based projects?

Um in our opinion, friends and and and equally related? I don't think there's one that can be held against the other measured against the other. Um I should say because as I just stated there there are different interpretations of the same law and people are always going to have a different point of view when they look at something and the way that's expressed, I think it's necessary because what I would like to see, you know, for bags for myself is the enjoyment that I found over the years through this ridiculous genre that this cool culture that has emerged from, from um bizarrely from, from, from decentralized finance we've gotten was right, you know, maybe this is the mass adoption, nobody expected, but I would love to see it just continue to grow and reiterate by, by different methods and different people because it just expands upon something that I find enjoyable um that the team I can speak for, that I work with find enjoyable. I mean you don't get 14 people to commit endless time and effort full time unpaid for a year and to build something like this if they're not holding in love with it and our team calls are ridiculous yet effectively productive.

Yeah, no, it's interesting because if you think about obviously in the context of Ozzy's it sounds a little bizarre, Sounds strange, but if you think about the rest of crypto, that's really how a lot of things got built right in the beginning, a lot of people were just drawn to this almost like libertarian meme around Bitcoin as a way to to escape financial pressure or whatever. And, you know, people just congregated around this meme and trying to build this whole infrastructure and we defy people also congregated around this meme of like financial freedom and borderless finance and started building these things. And I guess in this case people are congregating around a meme that happens to have more entertainment value than, you know, finance. And so it is the same story again and again in crypto, which is this story of like organic growth and decentralized development, which we're super excited about. Um that was a mouthful and I know we're coming up on time as well, but we're really interested to see kind of what's next for verso backs, What are some things that are happening on the road map for you guys, that's just around the corner.

Well, I should, I should say this much our starting point is next, I'd like to make that like unbelievably clear, Like we view this as our starting point regardless of how much effort has been put into the past and to get here, and that's what we're super excited for. Um so, so as we come, some come up and approached the starting point um with the mint with launching canvas, we're super excited to then get into the gaming aspect and and our, our blueprint for that matter, which you can see on twitter and is also in our discord, pretty much goes canvas into the mini games, into the tube and then later on, you know, we already have augmented reality, builds two that are in beta and we're going to continue to expand on that and as I said, you know, making a bit of animation um community, if you will, there's, there's something that we talked about, one of the team calls a couple of weeks ago was Why would you want to have 1000 mods for an item when you can have 10,000 people building mods right, that's part of what canvas is going to offer this curated library from the community of different poses, different expressions, whatever that can be linked to different watches and therefore, you know, absorbed by other, Ouaziz, so as you play with things and as you express yourself through your WASI, I too can watch you and then express myself in the same way if you make a cool dance clothes and I want to dance too.

Yeah, most definitely. I can't wait to see that happen I think especially in a brutal bear market, like this one, there definitely needs to be a bit of levity inside crypto, so can't wait for the mint. And uh as for our V. I. P. Subscribers, check your inboxes will send details for the white list to you guys and thank you so much for taking the time. This has been really, really fun.

Thanks for having me. I really appreciate it.