Jack Butcher and his team at Vizualize Value were the catalysts for a new NFT meta with their “Checks VV” non-fungible token project, with their unmistakable colorful checkmarks now taking over NFT Twitter.
During the 24-hour open mint period on January 3rd, 16,027 “Checks VV Open Edition NFTs” were minted for the price of $8 each — not coincidentally the same price Twitter charges for its controversial verification checkmark.
The “simplistic” art of the NFTs features 80 checkmarks of varying colors that closely resemble Twitter’s verification logo. In the past month, the collection has exploded in popularity, and spawned a slew of derivative projects in the wake of its success.
With a current floor price on OpenSea of over 2.6 ETH (roughly $4,200), and a total trading volume around 12,300 ETH (over $2 million) at the time of writing, Checks NFT look like they’re just getting started.
Who is Jack Butcher?
Jack Butcher worked for ten years as a creative director in Fortune 100 advertising, including for some of the biggest brands in the world, like Amazon and Ferrari. He currently heads Visualize Value, the consulting agency he founded which is behind the “Checks VV” project. In 2021, he sold several NFTs, including an NFT called “NFTs explained” for 74 ETH.
What’s the idea behind the Checks Open-Edition NFTs?
When Elon Musk purchased Twitter in October 2022, one of the first changes he made was allowing blue verification checkmarks to be bought by any user willing to pay eight dollars a month. In the past, these checkmarks had to be applied for and approved by Twitter. As evidence of an account that had been verified by the original system, this message appeared:
This account is a legacy verified account. It may or may not be notable.
Playing on the ambiguity of this statement and the ruckus it caused online, Butcher released the Checks VV Edition NFTs with the tagline: “This artwork may or may not be notable.”
Butcher explained how he wanted to play with the idea of paying eight dollars to “buy status and notability,” and show how Web3 provides the “infrastructure to assign from the bottom up.”
Shortly after the project’s highly successful mint, Butcher announced a sophisticated burning dynamic to the NFT collection, which over time will decrease their number and force holders to make important decisions centered around ownership, rarity, and value.
How does the burning mechanism work?
Drawing inspiration from contemporary artist’s Damien Hirst’s “The Currency” NFT project, which gave holders a year to decide if they wanted to burn their NFT and receive physical artwork or keep the digital asset and let the physical artwork be destroyed, Butcher and his team are rolling out an ambitious burning mechanism. It is based on the semi-perfect number 80.
Here’s how it will work: NFT holders can choose to burn two 80-check pieces to create an NFT with 40 checks, two 40s to create a 20-check NFT, and so on. It could ultimately result in a single colored checkmark NFT, and only 250 one-check NFTs can ever exist.
But it goes beyond that. If a single holder manages to acquire 64 single colored-check NFTs, they can burn them to produce a single black check artwork. Only three black checkmark artworks are possible.
There are rumors that decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) are already being formed to develop strategies and resources to acquire the coveted black checkmark. And since holders can stop burning NFTs at any time, the black checkmark NFTs are not inevitable.
According to Butcher, the burn dynamics will create new, original on-chain work and reward collectors. Every interaction will also either maintain or reduce the total supply of NFTs.
Derivative Projects Abound
One of the most interesting about Checks is the number of derivate open-edition NFT project’s its inspired. Dozens, if not hundreds, of similar projects are taking over Web3. There are too many to list, and few other NFT projects have ever cast such a wide net of inspiration on the Web3 community.
Derivative open-edition collections have been launched by Beeple, Lana Denina, Vinnie Hager, Young & Sick, Seedphrase, and countless others. One of the most successful came from NFT collector and influencer VincentVanDough, who’s “Pepe Checks” minted for $6.90 per NFT, and sold 237,869 editions for around $1,640,00.
Butcher and his team are embracing the derivative projects, and have created another project called Humanity Check, where NFTs can be minted to directly support victims of the earthquake in Syria and Turkey.
Final Thoughts on Checks NFTs & the New Craze
What began as a thought-provoking experiment about social status online and the nature of NFTs has quickly become one of the most successful and culturally significant NFT projects we’ve ever seen.
Currently, the burn mechanism for Checks NFTs has yet to go live, so we’ll have to be patient to see how the collection unfolds once that happens. But that’s part of the excitement. At Rarity Sniper, we’re curious to see what happens next with Checks and other open-edition NFT projects, and how it could shape the present, and future, of the NFT space.