The Lore Of The Drop Bears
In the Australian outback lies a town named after the Indigenous word for Koala, Nah Nah Goon (it is also the residents favourite beverage). Living on the outskirts of the town's main strip, these Aussie battlers numb their daily struggles with alcohol and pharmaceuticals. Their most recent struggle? A chlamydia epidemic sweeping through the community like wildfire.
Despite their alcoholism, drug habits and sexually transmitted infection epidemics, these bogan bears have developed a unique governance that allows each and every one of their worthless opinions to be heard. These degenerates - often reeking of Winnie Reds, burnt eucalyptus leaves and treated pine from the new estate - band together around a bonfire, the immense blaze surrounded by a ring of rancid curb side couches. Many of the bears will attend these events fresh from a few glass BBQs and voice their opinion while taking turns playing the Gatorade Saxophone.
There is, every now and then, a rare Drop Bear who aims higher than the branches they once called home. Among these shameless individuals you will meet the self-proclaimed community leader of Willows Caravan Park - Ernie. Many consider Ernie a raging success, and are even more impressed since they've never seen him sober. His hoarding has gotten out of control to the point his pregnant missus is always yelling at him to ‘clean up his shit’ and threatening to call the local council. Ernie has two best mates - Marty D Bear and Koala Kev - that always have his back even if it’s to help Ernie do BnE’s to steal (from the wealthier end of town) other koalas gum leaves in the dead of night.
- Marty D. Bear
Marty D. Bear had one of the most depressing stories which matched equally with his morbidly depressed soul. Lightning struck the scraggly gum-tree they called home, disintegrating it before their eyes. His mother had to abandon him in the boot of a discarded KE70 Corolla to save him from the vicious thunderstorm. Unfortunately Marty D. Bear's mother never returned and the image of her depositing him into that KE70 Corolla became his last memory of her, or any member of his family. Compelled to cherish the rusted out shitbox forever, Marty crafted axles out of logs and pushed it everywhere with him, often only a few meters a day, until one fateful day he found himself his own dystopia within Willows Caravan Park.
- Koala Kev
Koala Kev, the boisterous larrikin who loves metaphorically and literally shitting on his friends and fellow community members. A prankster, a troll and all-around terrible bear from the outside looking in. Kev’s perverted nature and over sex drive led him to have way too many kids for any single drop bear (and enough chlamydia to eradicate the entire species). One of the most unique bears, not for his personality but for the sheer fact he is the only ginger koala to have ever existed. Potentially a driving factor behind his mass reproduction.
Not Just Any Old Drop
Last weekend, there was a drop on Ethereum. A generative avatar art project, founded and executed by a small kabaal of Cryptowriter OG’s.
The drop sold out in 17 hours, and at the time of writing there has already been 186 ETH-worth of their NFTs traded on the secondary market. That’s more than $2M USD in primary sales and approaching $1M in secondary sales, in less than a week.
This isn’t a rags to riches story, but it is the story of a series of bold moves, artistic excellence and a case study in community building.
DropBears NFT is popping off, and it’s only just the beginning.
The Infamous: His Redness
Rhys Kent is just a regular guy from the eastern coast of New South Wales. A regular guy who was clued on to NFTs well before the rest of us.
I met him in the Cryptowriter Telegram channel way back in March of this year, and was initially bone-achingly jealous of both his dry Aussie wit, and the fact that he’d discovered Top Shot some 12 months earlier, and was boasting an impressive collection worth a stupid amount of money.
Kind hearted beneath a thin veneer of constant antagonism, Rhys showed me his true character early-on, helping me stumble through my own induction to NFTs, while never failing to lend me a hand with anything creative I was attempting in the digital realm.
It was quickly apparent to me that Rhys was the gold standard when it came to having his finger on the NFT pulse.
The Idiot Savant
Bulging Idiot was also a connection generated via the Cryptowriter universe. The third Behind The Pixel artist to be thrust under the spotlight by our talented art curator @NFTJoe, Bulging Idiot wasn’t like his predecessors, at all.
At the time of his drop, he joined the main Cryptowriter chat. He offered his perspectives, and commentary on his pieces. He interacted with the community, and increasingly began to feel at home. And he stuck around.
Bulging Idiot is not what you would call a regular guy. In to skating, hip hop, dope shoes, and anything you can alter your mental state with, Bulging Idiot is the very definition of a young self-made artist whose biggest believer was always himself, until he met NFTJoe.
An intensely private individual, Bulging Idiot hails from an unknown location on the continental United States. We don’t know where exactly, or even his real name. What we do know however, is that his art is lit AF, and that the cat (or bear) is now well and truly out of the bag.
A True NFT OG
Nat (rhymes with cat) is a true NFT OG. And by that, I don’t mean he discovered NFTs in October last year, a few months before the rest of us. I mean he discovered them years ago.
After making a small fortune on the Garbage Pale Kids Season 1 series on the WAX blockchain, Nat crossed passions and went all in on NBA Top Shot, filling his bags again, and adding to his increasingly fine appreciation for the world of NFTs.
Then Nat moved onto Ethereum NFTs. Recognizing the tell-tale signs that were brewing just at the right time, and then going on to snag himself a big piece of the now famous Bored Ape Yacht Club project, he transcended to the NFT legend he has become.
Real life best mates with both Rhys and Smiffy, his Co-Founders, Nat is responsible for single handedly dragging our boys into the NFT space. Without Nat, Rhys’d still be playing Tetris on his Nokia 5110, while Smiffy would still be experimenting with Minecraft blocks in the spare room at his parents place.
The Sultry Sounds Of Stealth Smiff
Smiffy, oh Smiffy.
Another Cryptowriter OG, many of us know Smiffy as the master architect and builder of Cryptowriter’s Shift City, in the Genesis Uplift Metaverse.
An intensely skilled individual, Smiffy took a single image from a promotional Cryptowriter card, and built a full blown cityscape, replete with internal furnishings, secret areas and neon billboards, all in the most immaculate of detail.
Another child of New South Wales, Smiffy bought a swathe of technical knowledge, and a keen eye for detail to the DropBear NFT team.
The Cryptowriter Connection
This rendition of the genesis of the DropBears project would not be complete without mentioning the role Cryptowriter played in laying the foundation of Willows Caravan Park, and it’s mostly degenerate residents.
Soon after the NBA Top Shot boom, Rhys somehow found himself in the Cryptowriter Telegram channel. Upon joining, he quickly ascertained that our small project was unlike any other he’d come across.
With a focus on community building, a steady flow of free NFTs, and a host of intriguing concepts like Finney, CryptoFinney, Behind The Pixel, and all the rest, Rhys knew instinctively that he’d found a winner in Cryptowriter.
So while Rhys continued to do the rounds, exploring any and all of the popular NFT projects available, he remained steadfast in his commitment to checking-in and hanging out with Cryptowriter crew on a daily basis.
It wasn’t long before Smiffy and Nat had been introduced to the Cryptowriter family, with Smiffy in particular jumping in the deep end and combining his love of city building with his passion for online spaces and his newfound interest in CryptoFinney lore.
This confluence of events was fateful. It introduced Bulging Idiot to Rhys, Smitty and Nat. And all of them to the Cryptowriter community.
It was amid this backdrop that generative art on Ethereum started to take off.
Generative Art, On Ethereum
Generative art is all the rage these days, particularly when it comes to avatar and profile picture collections. But what is generative art?
Algorithmic in nature, generative in the context of this article means artworks that are generated using computing technology, typically by way of a customized algorithm that generates unique outputs.
In the case of DropBears NFT, and a host of other top selling projects currently exploding in value on Ethereum, an artist or the project managers upload a custom-tailored artistic algorithm into a smart contract. Then, when a collector calls the mint function of this smart contract, the underlying algorithm is pinged in a unique way, which leads to a unique artwork output in the form of an NFT.
Enter stage left, the DropBears.
DropBears In Particular
Over the last nine months or so of collecting NFTs, it’s become apparent at least to me, that the ‘set design’ of a project, or a specific drop, is perhaps its most important facet.
To demonstrate my point by way of a simple example, just look at Cryptopunks. It’s the scarcity of the assets, and the rarities associated with the various elements of the NFTs, that have helped build their allure, attract collectors, and add value to assets from that collection. I mean, the artist was no Bulging Idiot.
There are 10,000 Drop Bears, and 10,000 only. This is an important point immediately noted by every collector that has looked seriously at this project, or any like it. This limited supply guarantees scarcity, and gives investors and collectors alike confidence that they better grab one or more, before they are unavailable at affordable prices.
From there, our bohemian bears are constructed at random upon minting via the smart contract, with a total of nine dynamic components – eyes, glasses, fur, mouth/accessories, ears, shirts, hats/hair, the background, plus a random dynamic component ‘extra traits’ – the possibility of two bears looking alike is miniscule.
With each trait being generated randomly, you might wonder why their relative values are not equal. After all, isn’t each bear uniquely random?
The answer to this in no. As not all traits are created equally.
Without pouring over the fine detail, after all this is a monster article already, it’s easy to give you an idea of how this works:
Let’s say there are seven possible traits for ears, as there actually is in this case – ‘Gum Leaf’, ‘Diamond’, ‘Chain’, ‘Stretchers’, ‘Top Ear’, ‘Piercing’ and ‘No Trait’. The smart contract does not necessarily have to give each of these traits equal weighting, in terms of it being a likely outcome of the randomization process.
Therefore it follows that if you hit on a DropBear with Gum Leaf ears, of which there are only 50 out of 10,000, your DropBear becomes much rarer than one with ‘No Trait’ (this doesn’t mean that the DropBear has no ears, just that his ears don’t have any special traits), of which there are 7,000 out of the total 10,000 DropBears.
Multiply this affect over nine categories, and 10,000 unique pieces of art are generated, some with many traits, and some with virtually none. The laws of supply and demand then begin to operate, and bears with more and rarer traits quickly become more valued by the market.
Fussin’ On Our Furry Friends
Another important facet of the DropBears project are the team’s Australian origins, and the charitable giving that the project was designed to facilitate.
In recent days, I’m informed, the DropBear Team forwarded 10 ETH to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital – a significant donation that will support thousands of injured koala’s from rural New South Wales.
With the Australian Black Summer bushfires still fresh in our memories, this act of kindness and compassion cannot be overstated.
With more donations planned, things are looking up for Australia’s favorite fury marsupials.
We Got A Sheep Or Two, But Where’s The Kangaroo?
DropBears sold out. Now what?
History tells us that the launch of a generative art project is but one key milestone a team must hit for its work to become iconic. Selling out is great, but it doesn’t make your project legendary.
Luckily, the DropBears team are not NFT Noobs. They know how shit works, and their plans for our DropBears seem to be both numerous and deep.
With updateable backdrops/backgrounds announced this week, and a community competition where winning entries will be among the backgrounds available to DropBear holders, I can say with authority that we are literally at just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to our DropBears.
Wen Cryptowriter Collab?
And now, for all the other Cryptowriter OGs, the most important question of all – wen Cryptowriter x DropBears Collab?
The answer my friends is soon. Maybe, very soon. After all, we already know that CryptoFinney is well on his way to Ethereum.
While nothing can be revealed at this moment, the most important thing I can suggest you do is join the Cryptowriter Discord here, and keep your eyes peeled for an imminent update.
You might even want to leave a comment below, I heard a very strong rumor that they can be handsomely rewarded.
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Great story and so true that the Cryptowriter community is unlike any other in the NFT space. We’re all welcomed in, like family. This family vibe laid the the foundations of success for the the DropBears and now they’re part of the story too. Looking forward to seeing where the story takes us.
I told you I couldn't write this article half as well. This was your piece to write from the get go and you killed it.