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Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin is a Web3 luminary, so word today of an NFT collection featuring his apparent stamp of approval has set Crypto Twitter ablaze—and led to surging sales of the NFTs to the tune of several million dollars' worth.
The NFT collection, which celebrates Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin’s contributions to a popular Web3 funding model, was created by Metalabel in collaboration with Web3 funding platform Gitcoin. The open edition mint launched on March 1, but NFT traders may have missed the memo before today when secondary sales suddenly ripped following the end of the initial sale period.
✨Quality Drop 01✨
— Metalabel (@metalabel_xyz) March 8, 2023
Each NFT in the collection—known in Metalabel parlance as a “record”—looks like an album cover and includes a digital version of the 2018 whitepaper “Liberal Radicalism: A Flexible Design for Philanthropic Matching Funds” signed by Buterin and his co-authors, economists Glen Weyl and Zoë Hitzig. It's the first "Quality Drop" project from Metalabel.
The NFT project commemorates the creation of the concept of quadratic funding, a model that seeks to maximize contributions to projects by providing matching funds to individual donations. The mathematical formula “prioritizes projects based on the number of people who contributed,” according to RadicalxChange, which Weyl founded to advance decentralization and plurality in governance and governments (Buterin is on the board).
In practice, that means that a few whales can’t determine how matching funds are delegated based on the size of their contribution—the breadth of support for particular projects is also a factor. Gitcoin, a platform that funds open-source Web3 tools and projects using quadratic funding, has awarded some $70 million across the Ethereum ecosystem to date.
Each NFT also comes with two essays about quadratic funding from Gitcoin co-founders Kevin Owocki and Scott Moore. The standard NFT was released last week in an open edition mint that concluded today, at a price of just 0.05 ETH ($78 today). Ultimately, 9,209 of the standard NFTs were minted.
Another 12 limited-edition "signature" editions of the NFT came with signed physical copies of the whitepaper and were sold via a Dutch auction format. Ultimately, Metalabel said that the overall drop raised over $781,000 for public goods projects. Funds from the drop and secondary royalties will be channeled back into Gitcoin’s matching pool and to the Plurality Institute, a research organization chaired by Weyl.
A Metalabel representative confirmed to Decrypt that Buterin "agreed to reissue the whitepaper he co-authored" for the NFT drop, and hand-signed the 12 physical copies of the whitepaper that accompany the signature editions.
Metalabel was established by Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler, Etsy founder Rob Kalin, and other Web2 pioneers as a way of helping creators monetize their work with Web3 technologies.
The project combines elements from DAOs and NFTs; “metalabels” are groups of people who release work together. It’s a new framework designed to allow artists to create and collaborate on a shared newsletter, music releases, or other work without starting a new company.
"We're blown away by the response to Quality Drop 01 and what it means for the future of creative collaboration," Strickler told Decrypt. "Helping to generate more than $700,000 in funding for public goods and a newfound appreciation for great creative work using the record format says this is an exciting new way for creators to release and fund their work."