April Fools' is one of the toughest days for casual crypto observers because, to many, the industry is already beyond parody. Crypto made a coin based off of a dog a multi-billion-dollar asset—then repeated the trick. There's a lady that sells fart jars as NFTs for $200 a pop. A child actor from "The Mighty Ducks" helped create not one, but two of the top-50 crypto assets.
Take this year's crop of April Fools' jokes.
Bankless HQ, a DAO and crypto media project, announced that the Philadelphia 76ers and Flyers would be playing in the Bankless Center. April Fools! But also not entirely implausible. If you had declared two years ago that the Lakers would spend the next two decades in Crypto.com Arena and the Heat would be plying their trade on the FTX Arena hardwood, people would have thought you were pulling their ACL.
And it's not like decentralized finance—the blockchain-based apps that allow individuals to maintain custody of their assets as they lend, borrow, and swap directly with others—is necessarily that far behind. Just take a look at DAOs that have raised tens of millions to try to buy historical documents, artwork, and even sports teams.
Or how about SLEPN—the "sleep-to-earn" game which sounds ludicrous until you take into consideration just about every other thing about Web3? The lifestyle app uses "NFT pillows," and a good night's sleep allows users to mint better pillows. Laugh now, but this prank comes right after STEPN—a move-to-earn app—quadrupled its market capitalization within a week. While SLEPN is worth $0—until someone goes out and actually creates it, of course—STEPN is worth nearly $1.8 billion. No joke.
Let's move to Exhibit C, Terra's proposed acquisition of competing algorithmic stablecoin MakerDAO, put forth by Delphi Digital general counsel Gabe Shapiro. Aside from Shapiro's cheeky reference to each DAI being worth half of a Terra due to a "USDC centralization discount," protocol mergers aren't entirely new. Layer-2 solutions Keep and NuCypher combined to create KEANU—and that wasn't a prank.
Other gags explicitly played off of recent news. Solana NFT marketplace Magic Eden took time to rib Ethereum NFT marketplace OpenSea, which confirmed this week that it would begin supporting Solana NFTs by calling the plan "the best kept secret in Web3"—even though it had already been leaked. Magic Eden tweeted a screenshot showing Ethereum NFTs on its platform along with the caption: "The better kept secret in Web3."
Finally, we head to Blockchain.com, which claimed today it would be creating a 10-story-tall monument to the Bitcoin white paper for its Miami office. "The site itself will be designed to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of anticipated visitors making their pilgrimage to stand in the monument’s presence," the exchange and wallet provider posted.
Obviously, this is an April Fools' Day joke. But also, you know they would get visitors. Anthony Pompliano would probably podcast from there.
Of course, some of the best April Fools' jokes work because they have an element of truth to them. But when it comes to crypto, remember: Don't trust, verify. Especially on April 1.
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