Mass Adoption is a Meme; Can We Fix It?
Everything you need to know about my passion project - 'BAD* Environment Club'.
I’m taking a close friend out for his birthday. He wanted to go bar-hopping. *sigh*
I don’t drink, but I’m not gonna shut him down. It’s been months. I’m making up for lost time. So, we drift from bar to bar, like old times. He says I’m being a “buzzkill” for not drinking. Strange. I’m actually having a pretty good time.
But it’s the last bar we go to; I’ll never forget it.
The room is dim, and the waft of freshly burnt cigars and mahogany hit me like a semi-truck. It’s an upscale whiskey bar. In a past life, I liked whiskey. She never judged me. Maybe I’d come to places like these more often if things were different.
Before I know it, I’ve caught the eye of a well-dressed couple. Suit and tie. Black dress. Hopefully not swingers. Nope. They just want to talk. Small talk is always pretty harmless; until people ask what I do. That’s when it gets weird.
“I’m a content creator,” I say.
“Oh, what kind of content do you make?”
“It’s uh… finance and tech related.”
“Ah! I work in Tech, too. Oh, can I follow you? Do you have a Twitter?”
They probe and probe and then finally, I yield, like always.
I tell them what I do and I’m met with a slight eyebrow raise. A quick side-eye from his chick, which quickly dart back to her cigarette. Usually I get a: “Oh, wow. That’s cool. Do you know SBF?” comment. Not this time. But those are always fun.
This time, they don’t want to pretend. That’s good, cause I don’t like pretenders. I know most people don’t like crypto. I ask them what they think of it anyway.
My curiosity tends to gets the best of me sometimes, and these opportunities are rare moments suspended in time.
I listen. Not to respond… just listen.
“It’s bad for the environment and it doesn’t help anyone.”
“I tried it once and I lost all of my money.”
“Isn’t just a ponzi scheme, anyway?”
“It sure is, babe. Charles Ponzi.“ his partner echoes from behind her glass.
I listen to people like this whenever I can. Never have I demonized their thinking… In fact, I find it fascinating. And this fascination always leads me to the same question.
“If life is about people, and people don’t like crypto, then what and who are we building towards anyway?”
For the last year I’ve been creating something we call BAD* Environment Club. It is the first thing I think of when I wake up, and the last thing on my mind before bed.
In my usual fashion, the project wears a veil of mystique. Today I’m here to answer some questions, tell you more about it.
So, Without further ado.
Bad Environment Club (BEC) is a lot of things. But the best way I can describe it is a collective of creators and visionaries rejecting the current status quo. We don’t like normal, and aren’t afraid to break the “rules” through experimentation.
The point of these experiments is to change the way people view, use and talk about crypto (in and outside of Web3) - We strive for unpredictability, so these experiments usually hide in plain sight.
“WTF does that mean?”
Before I get into the how, let’s talk about why.
I’m doing this because as things stand, crypto has caused a lot of harm, has barely unlocked 1% of its consumer potential and is not being used to improve the day-to-day life of ordinary people.
I believe the above happened because Web3 exists within a tech bubble that is not only incredibly hard to find, but incredibly volatile and difficult to navigate, chasing those that somehow manage to find it, far away.
Crypto has a major communication issue. We’ve turned people on the outside (and inside) of our bubble, off. Crypto has rugged them countless times, and we, the community, are a tad insufferable when our bags are up or down.
I liked cryptocurrency more when it was the “anarchist” thing to do. Now it just feels like capitalism on steroids.
Our behavior and culture alienates people. So, even if we had the perfect words right now (which we don’t); they wouldn’t want to hear it.
Can We Fix This?
The simple answer is no.
As long as the bubble exists, it is impossible. That’s why we have to pop it.
Virgil Abloh used to talk about the concept of merging the worlds of the ‘tourists’ and ‘purists’ and forcing them to interact with each other through ‘Off-White’, his streetwear brand.
He adds onto this by talking about how musicians throughout history, utilized art such as music as metaphors, to open doors that expanded the minds of the masses.
This is pretty trippy to think about, especially when you realize, for example, that by blending genres (through music sampling), people that may not have liked Jazz, or Hip-Hop, or whatever genre it is… end up embracing the new idea they ignored or disliked because it is based within another idea they’re familiar with.
It’s kinda like inception. *(Timestamped below)*
Why am I talking about this?
Because at its core: this is what Bad Environment Club does - and it’s why we’ll be blending streetwear fashion with NFT tech.
Bad Environment Club isn’t an NFT.
Yes, our community is rooted within Web3. Yes, we are building our proof of concept in Web3. And yes, our streetwear merchandise will be infused with Web3 tech… but that is where it begins and ends.
Aside from everything you’ve read above, we will operate as a Web2/Web3 ‘hybrid’ streetwear-inspired business with actual revenue streams. This means:
We’ll use traditional Facebook and Instagram ads to target the streetwear demographic, familiarize them with our brand and boost conversions.
Our shop will offer fiat as a primary pay option; Phantom will be secondary.
Fiat integration for Web2 consumers was an up-hill battle, because few build for it. In the end, our devs found it was surprisingly easy to implement.
We’ll have pop-up-shops, events and everything in-between.
Our clothes will be sprinkled throughout popular brick and mortar streetwear stores and appear on influencers that have nothing to do with Web3.
But the real magic happens with the tech itself. As I said earlier, our products come infused with NFC chips. That means every product is verifiable on-chain.
But the important part is this verification takes less than 10 seconds.
Step 1. Tap the NFC chip with your phone.
Step 2. Click “Verify”
Step 3. Login w/ your gmail account (should already be saved on your phone).
You’re done. No wallet required.
The average attention span of a human being is 8.25 seconds - less than that of a goldfish. Speed is our priority, and thanks to Monstré, it’s entirely possible.
Our merchandise distributor, Ormuz, works alongside Monstré. We’re extremely blessed to be working with both of them, and the garments have not only been designed and paid for, they’ve been tested for quality and people IRL love it.
I think they like it because it doesn’t look like NFT merch. It looks like streetwear you would see on instagram. Ad conversion is essential for popping the bubble.
(Details: Hoodie:460g, Heavy T: 280g, Light T: 200g. All 100% cotton.)
I think the current consumer subscription model that exists in Web2 is stupid and broken. In Web3, you can own your subscription. That’s why we’re making Pills*.
Pills* have three tiers: Gold, Red & Blue.
Your Pill* will grant you early access and discounts to all of our products for a lifetime. These timing and amount depend on the tier of your Pill*. I’d like to mention that our products aren’t limited to just streetwear, so keep that in mind if you’re interested in the PFP art collection later on.
Read more about Pills* here.
Crypto has too much friction. Few are building to solve for this.
Friction is where and why we lose people. Trimming the fat is not enough - it must be completely eliminated.
By eliminating friction, tackling the multi-trillion dollar counterfeit industry and having everyday consumers familiarize themselves with the concept of ownership; we’re not just killing three birds with one stone… We’re reincarnating the concept of streetwear.
When people say “it’s not possible”, I look at Pudgy Penguins selling physical toys on Amazon and in physical stores like ‘Five Below’.
I look at the hundreds of thousands of users that played STEPN, many of whom were not even crypto native, and had no idea they were playing a game that revolved around it.
I look at Web3 like the new internet. They’ll write about these times in history books centuries from now. I want to play my role - and that involves breaking a lot of stuff.
So, I won’t play this one safe. Sorry.
I plan to write a few more articles on BAD*, so stay tuned and make sure to subscribe.
Thanks for reading. Talk soon. - Lite.
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