Today’s most vibrant Web3 communities have been largely anchored around non-fungible tokens (NFTs) designed to serve as people’s online profile pictures. But Rug Radio intentionally waited to launch its own set.
Many of the most successful projects to date that utilize NFTs—unique blockchain tokens that signify ownership—have leveraged the PFP format to become recognizable icons of digital assets space, such as the Bored Ape Yacht Club, CryptoPunks, and Cool Cats.
These NFTs typically have a unique combination of randomly-generated attributes, whether that be a background, clothing, or accessories. But their underlying art style is what makes a project distinct, identifiable at a glance, and part of something bigger.
Rug Radio didn’t want its decentralized content platform to grow purely around its own brand, explained founder and co-CEO Farokh Sarmad on a recent episode of Decrypt’s gm podcast, but rather serve as a place for people with PFPs across collections to congregate.
“I didn't want people to change their PFPs for Rug Radio because Rug Radio is the house of everyone, whether you're an ape, a punk, [or] a cat,” said Farokh, referencing the aforementioned NFT projects. “I wasn't trying to divide people.”
The founder also noted that he didn’t want to release a line of PFPs without a plan in place for how they’d be incorporated into Rug Radio’s ecosystem, which sprang into motion when the platform was launched just over a year ago.
Rug Radio is launching its own set of PFPs tomorrow after numerous months of planning. Designed by NFT artist Corey Van Lew, the tokens—which Farokh described as a “fun project”—will help make fans of Rug Radio more visible.
“It’s giving our community a face,” said Farokh. “My main goal with this is just for the community to be happy [and] to have something to be proud of.”
As a result of Rug Radio’s inclusive attitude towards other NFT projects, the PFP project is titled “Faces of Web3.” The project was unveiled in early December at Art Basel, the international art fair.
The startup’s name is an homage to being “rug pulled,” a term coined in crypto for when projects go sideways with zero warning, often to the misfortune of those involved. And while it’s currently just a podcast platform where Farokh’s voice is the main draw, Rug Radio aspires to grow far beyond that.
Previously, Rug Radio launched a line of 20,000 Genesis NFTs, which yield RUG tokens to those that hold the images of the crypto-themed carpets. RUG tokens are the platform’s currency of exchange and are also rewarded to active listeners and viewers on Rug Radio’s platform.
The tokens will play a key role in Rug Radio’s upcoming mint, where owners of a Rug Radio Genesis NFT can mint one of the new PFPs as long as they also possess at least 690 RUG (about $0.06 per token as of writing), or own certain NFTs by Van Lew.
“We're not charging [people] for the PFP, they just have to have a certain amount of RUG tokens,” Farokh said, drawing a distinction between “Faces of Web3” and other PFP launches.
Farokh first contacted Van Lew about the project in August of last year, saying he was the only artist that Farokh wanted to work with. He also noted that Van Lew will “get his fair share” from the project for his work.
Your daily reminder that you will get the mint link directly from Farokh live during a Twitter space. So please be safe and DO NOT click links that pop up in your timeline, DMs, or mentions.
Again, you will hear his voice as he shares the mint link. This is the only mint link.
— Rug Radioᵍᵐ 🎙 (@RugRadio) February 4, 2023
A recent statement from Rug Radio’s Twitter account explained the mint’s link will be shared directly by Farokh in an upcoming Twitter space, warning about misrepresentations they could possibly see.
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