Profile pictures are not what they use to be, and they're about to change a whole lot more.
When social media first emerged, profile pictures were the visual equivalent to a “Hello, my name is ____” tag. They were bland, generic, and looking back, hugely embarrassing. It’s a safe guess that your first digital profile pics would make you cringe to the core of your soul if posted now.
Times have changed since those early days of awkward selfies, and with the rise of Crypto, PFP NFTs — otherwise known as profile pictures — are evolving to be something with a much deeper significance.
The Rise of NFT PFPs
An NFT PFP may seem like nothing more than a JPEG standing in as an online avatar. To others, the right PFP is like having a digital badge of honor; they are signs of being part of an exclusive club where only select members have access.
It’s why even some of the most famous people in the world are testing the NFT waters. Instead of dropping millions of dollars on physical art, they proudly display a dapper Ape from the Bored Ape Yacht Club or a chain-wearing CrytpoPunks as their new Twitter avatar.
The #BAYC swamp lounge
The entrance of celebrities into the NFT PFP market only stirs the Metaverse frenzy even more.
We’ve spoken before about the history of NFTs and their creators, but it’s helpful to know the famous names who have bought into the NFT PFP craze.
Steph Curry joined the BAYC
The greatest shooter basketball has ever seen has 15.6 million followers on Twitter. If you go to his account, you’ll see a blue ape rocking a black suit and tie, with golden glowing eyes that are half shut.
This well-dressed primate is one of 10,000 unique collectibles from the Bored Ape Yacht Club, and at the time of purchase, this particular bored-looking Ape cost roughly $180,000 or 55 ETH.
With an eye-popping price tag and now a new celebrity owner, the buzz of an already trending collection went to new levels.
JAY-Z and CryptoPunks
CryptoPunks are the first NFT PFPs to have appeared on the scene, and they also showed the world just how high the value of popular NFT PFPs could go.
Around April, the East Coast rapper joined in on the CyrptoPunk fray by dishing out 55 ETH for his rare pixelated character. It wasn’t until June 25th that Jay-Z made CyrptoPunk #6095 his Twitter PFP, which showed the world that Crypto and NFTs were still worthy of celebrity ownership.
While Hova is reportedly dipping his toes into the selling side of NFTs, this CryptoPunk remains his property and still sitting comfortably as his Twitter avatar. Until he decides to change it, collectors and enthusiasts will continue to see the value in the collection.
Jimmy Fallon needs help naming his Ape
The late-night TV host wants his near 52 million Twitter followers to know that he’s part of a small society of valuable NFT owners. That’s why he turned to his audience for help naming his cream-colored sailor Ape with stylish heart glasses.
It shouldn’t come as any surprise that this Bored Ape fetched a hefty price tag. But for celebrities and those are buying the hype around BAYC, this large chunk of Ethereum that Jimmy Fallon dropped is well worth it.
His PFP shows that he is one of only 10,000 and a distinct part of an elite minority. Plus, his opting into this group increases the status of other like-minded Ape owners.
Reese Witherspoon joins World of Women
SOMETIMES, the NFT world feels like a digital fraternity house with statistics heavily skewing towards men. Reese Witherspoon is here to change that, and she’s making it known with her own bold PFP NFT.
Reese recently tweeted, “I’m committed to supporting creators who have pioneered the NFT space, and encouraging more women to be a part of the conversation.”
Reese provides her followers with insightful articles, inside scoops on cool drops, and other info that shows she’s not just about having the latest PFP, but also a real believer in the potential of the Metaverse.
Beep boop! Thalia enters the Robotoverse
Thalia's very first NFT from the collection Robotos.
The queen of Latin pop is officially a Roboto! The Mexican singer took to Twitter to announce her proud ownership of an algorithmically generated droid character.
While her Roboto is her first step into NFTs, the warm welcome she received to the robotoverse has her planning the next addition to her wallet. Whether it's a Robopet or a PFP from a different collection, Thalia made it clear to her 18 million followers that she's a believer in NFTs.
Not just celebrities
Celebrities and their massive number of followers on social media bring awareness to NFT PFPs. Still, it’s short-sided to think that famous people are the only reason for their surge in popularity. There’s a connected network of artists, investors, collectors, flippers, and developers who are making PFPs insanely valuable digital assets.
Plus, while it can seem like celebrities are simply snatching up another luxury with an expensive PFP, crypto enthusiasts and early adopters of NFT PFPs show off more of a Metaverse savviness. In other words, they are amongst the elites because of their faith in the potential of NFTs.
Of course, those with the knowledge of what’s hot in the NFT world tend to gather their sizable legion of dedicated followers. Like any influencer, their coolness makes their NFTs unique, making others want to be a part of the trend, which ends up adding more value to these digital collectibles.
If you're looking for a niche NFT podcast, @VickijEth has you covered. Vicki Host of Every Monday is Mutant Monday where she interviews different members of the Bored Ape Yacht Club or the Mutant Ape Yacht Club to learn about their journey into the NFT space.
Even for non-ape members, this podcast gives a fun perspective on NFTs and what it's like to be an owner of a highly coveted digital asset.But it's not all things Ape with Vicki; she's also the Flower Girls team, and is vocal about promoting women in NFT.
“The Metaverse can only be achieved bottom-up. It will take my vision and your vision and his vision and her vision and the vision of our children a decade from now. It will never be owned, it will never be a single person’s vision, it will never be complete.”
If there was ever a user who embodies the potential of PFPs, the community around them, and the future of NFTs, it’s OhhShiny. He describes himself as a “community capitalist,” and his tweets depict a person who has unwavering faith in the Metaverse and its future.
To put it in other words, OhhShiny is a PFP evangelist who preaches the power of friendship in the future digital world. His laser beam shooting Doodle that sits atop his Twitter page is the perfect token to represent the bright and valuable future of PFPs and NFTs as a whole.
What’s in store for PFPs
Many believe the NFT market is a bubble and that there will be an inevitable pop that will essentially erase most of the value of PFPs. When and if the market for NFTs does burst is anyone’s guess, but until then, certain PFPs will remain modern luxuries and keys to exclusive communities.