March 31st, 2022 | Natalia In The Land of NFTs,
My Personal Journey And What I Learned So Far.

Natalia In The Land of NFTs My Personal Journey Nonfungible Tokens

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To Invest Or Not To Invest?

The whole concept of non-fungible tokens (also known as, NFTs) is not new to me. I first learned about blockchains and crypto in January of 2017, and started investing back then. Unfortunately, I soon learned that my textbook knowledge means nothing in the real world, especially when combined with naivety. I actually described some of my experiences and related advice in the article entitled “Why You Should Never Buy Bitcoin” (clickbait title) Anyway, my money eventually evaporated. And, I forgot about crypto for a long time. Trauma, I guess but survive to thrive. 

Anyways, in the summer of 2021, I reflected on the fact that my trauma led me to tons of lost opportunities. In principle, I overslept the whole 2021 bull run—the one I had known that was coming! And I thought to myself: “If you hadn’t slept but rather, you would have invested in literally anything you believed to be a good project, you would have 5-10 times your money by now. But you didn’t have balls and you walked away instead. Not cool.” 

Even funnier—within that time, I was working on a new aptitude test, known today as the Ontology of Value Test. The point of the test was to help professionals better recognize how they naturally create value in the job market and to specify areas of improvement. After building the model and releasing a beta version of the test to the market, I took the test myself to figure out what it tells me about myself.

And, the test basically revealed that I was a type of natural Investor. Someone who sees into the future and makes good bets on projects and people. Despite all that had happened to me, I always had that feeling deep down. But now, I felt more confident than ever before. “Time to get back to the drawing board and start once again” — I thought to myself. And so I started looking around, trying to determine the most popular new trends in the crypto space at a time.

How I Initially Got Interested in the NFT Space.

It was the fall of 2021 — the time when the keywords such as “play to earn” and “metaverse” were at a peak of their popularity. However, I am not a type of gamer, and I couldn’t reliably assess the value of any of these projects. I would need to rely on the opinion of the influencers in that department and well, you know how this always ends. 

But that’s when non-fungible tokens (or, NFTs) came about. I was always interested in culture, sociology, and the slow, global trends happening in society. And, I feel relatively confident in chaotic environments. For my taste, this new NFT madness seemed perfect—a perfect blend of community, art, finance, and technology. Perfect chaos. 

I first learned about NFTs in December of 2017, when the Crypto Kitties came about and famously congested the Ethereum network right off the bat. I must admit that I ignored the topic back then. I guess I didn’t spot the potential, quite like the majority. But well, now that the field progressed and developed, I had all the reasons to take a closer look at it. 

The Beginnings of my NFT Journey.

The first and quite obvious question I asked myself was: “Why did this NFT thingie become such a worldwide phenomenon?” In the fall of 2021, CryptoPunks were still the top collection, floor-wise. Therefore, I started my field research by joining their Discord group. The pleasant surprise was that, despite the lavish prices of the punk tokens, the group itself was open to anyone. And so I joined their Discord server.

At first, I couldn’t be more excited to look around. Given how highly the whole NFT world was speaking of CryptoPunks as a community, I guess I expected noble conversations about new technologies, art, and the future of the world in general. And yet, what I found instead was a few channels mostly dedicated to… the current prices of CryptoPunks. As I soon learned, many of the punk holders were mostly interested in flipping punks along the way. So, they were involved in hectic discussions on the best price points and commenting on the recent transactions.

I was thinking to myself, “Is this all? I can’t believe this…” So, I joined other Discord servers from popular projects such as Bored Ape Yacht Club and the World of Women as well. The communities were calmer than I expected. I was a bit helpless and I couldn’t really make sense of the value of these projects. Moreover, I was getting lots of scammy private messages from bots inviting me to multiple Discord servers. And, every channel in every popular server looked the same to me. People were greeting each other, cordially announcing that they “love their fam,” and praising each other nonstop as if it was an Oscar ceremony (without punching each other tho). 

I felt like I was on another planet. Given how much hatred you typically encounter in presence of online anonymity, this was quite unexpected! In NFT groups, everyone loved everyone. Well, I was yet to realize why this is so.

Ruben The Construction Worker.

Around 20th November, I received a private message from a guy introducing himself as Ruben. He was a kind guy whose identity I don’t know to date. He seemed to be a nice, hard-working, and a bit aloof individual who knew surprisingly much about NFTs. He said that he actively joined NFT space just a few months before and that he was a “construction worker living in California.” I started asking him tons of questions and he was eager to teach me how the NFT space works from scratch.

He was also kind enough to offer me a free NFT that he had gotten from one of the project creators some time before so that I could learn how trading on Opensea works. The token was from the “Expandables” collection — and it was ugly like hell. I didn’t sell it though, mostly because of the old Polish custom of not disposing of gifts as a sign of respect to the gifter.

And, Ruben explained to me why people were so overwhelmingly positive in the NFT space. So, it was mostly because being active and positive in Discord groups results in invitations to whitelists, or allowlists. Those spots let you mint NFTs cheaper and before the official public mint will start. It is highly beneficial even if the price is the same as in the public mint — when the public mint starts, the users who are willing to pay the highest gas prices, will get the priority mint. This phenomenon is known as the “gas wars” and is especially pronounced when using the Ethereum blockchain. 

Given this information, grinding for whitelists seemed beneficial. Namely, it seemed to be the only relatively safe way of making money in the NFT space at that point (without being an insider in the industry, of course). The space was already overcrowded, new projects were coming out each and every day, and most of them were sinking in the long run. Buying in the secondary market was just too risky unless you really know what you are doing. (which usually requires insider information as well…)

So, I asked Ruben right in his avatar, (to read: “his face”) “What is the hottest NFT project right now? Something I need to get myself into?” He said: “Well, Hapebeast. But, they got 200,000 Discord members on board in a month, so getting a whitelist spot is almost impossible at this point.” I said, “Hold my beer!” 

And, I immediately joined the Hapebeast Discord group. 

The HapeBeast Grind.

When I joined on Saturday, 23rd November 2021, the group was indeed MASSIVE! They had 30-40 various channels dedicated to all possible subjects, from crypto trading and NFTs, through mental health, travel, pets, LGBTQ, and a long list of local communities in various languages. It was the first real Discord metropolis, as having so many thematic channels in an NFT server was a novelty at that point. 

Actually, not much was known about the project at the time. It was known that the leader of the project Matt Sapiens, also known as, Digimental, had had his own little studio in London for many years. He had been allegedly working with Nike and many other top brands within that time. The only sneak peeks that we got were: a professional teaser promo video presenting the main concept behind the project, plus a few promising pics of 3D apes exhibited online in a small “Genesis Hape” collection. That was all. However, this was enough for the public—it made a huge impression, raised a lot of speculation, and heated the crowd to the limits. 

The admins of the project announced that there would be no public sales for the Hapebeast tokens and that the only way of getting in early was to get onto the whitelist, also known as a “Hapelist.” As there were only 8,192 tokens in total and some of them had already been distributed, they only had about 4,000 seats left. In the next few weeks, the server blew up even more and reached as many as active 500,000 members and about the same amount of blocked bots. The server was ultra-popular and considered to be the most prestigious and the most competitive in the field.

I quickly calculated that given about 4,000 seats on the Hapelist and circa 40 channels, becoming one of the top 100 contributors at any of the channels should secure me a spot. So, I decided to find one channel where I could naturally contribute value, stick to that channel and make sure that I become visible among other users. When I scrolled down the list, I got enlightened — the “career advice” channel was right there waiting for me! As a career advisor, I didn’t think twice. Think for yourself, I jumped straight there.

I also edited my server description so that my PhD title in Computational Neuroscience and my company website were clearly visible. I stayed fully doxxed so that people who checked out my Discord profile could also find me on LinkedIn and make a connection there. In that way, it was a win-win: I maximized my chances to get the spot on the Hapelist—and at the same time, I got to a crossroads where many people looking for career advice were passing by. And, I sold quite a few of my aptitude tests there, it’s a beautiful life!

I must admit that the first few weeks in the Hapebeast community were quite a blast. The community was vibrant, and I got into many interesting, deep conversations with quite accomplished people. Despite my original expectations, people in NFTs were not only teenage kids but also CEOs, VCs, entrepreneurs, and all kinds of highly educated, hard-working individuals. 

So, I definitely cannot say that it was lost time for me but I extended areas of improvement working on myself. However, it was a bit weird that, besides one AMA session with two of the moderators, Cristian and MikeyG, that I witnessed at the end of November, nothing else was scheduled. Whenever the mods were appearing on the server, they were greeted like gods. But, it was a rare occasion. Most of the time, we were there alone; half a million people trying to scoop four thousand seats.

And one day, on Thursday 9th December, I woke up and noticed that my name lit up in gold colour at the server. It was supposed to mean that I was hapelisted. A few days earlier, on a weekend trip to Stockholm, I had caught a cold and I had a fever at that point. So, I wasn’t sure if this was all for real or rather, I was just tripping.

I had been active on the server for about 2.5 weeks and I wrote a bit over 700 messages, which can sound like a lot — but believe me, there were lots of people who wrote 10x the amount I wrote, and eventually didn’t get in. So, getting in so early was quite an accomplishment. Perhaps, I had beginner’s luck with NFTs. Now I had some bankroll for the start guaranteed and I couldn’t lose money from NFT trading anymore.

But then, I got hooked. I thought to myself: “Hey, this wasn’t too difficult! They still have about 100 seats for OGs left, perhaps I can get that one too.” “OG” means “Original Gangsta.” It is one step higher in the community hierarchy than Hapelist and it gives more privileges. In this case, the OG seat guaranteed the right to mint not one but two Hape tokens! Of course, this would mean double income.

So, I stayed active in the group despite being hapelisted. And then, as the deadline for completing the mint list was approaching towards the end of the year, I witnessed a real frenzy happening around me. People started desperately producing all kinds of (often unnecessary and completely irrelevant) contributions only to stand out in the eyes of the mods. New websites were set up every single day. It was literally planet Hape. Hapeconnect, Hapemag, Hapeverse, Hapeplanet, Hapecalendar, HealthyHapes, Hapedigest… I even noticed a Hape guide for how to combat breast cancer. Oh My God!

Many of these sites and around-Hape activities were pretty useful to the community members, or neutral at least. However, some of them were also potentially dangerous. For instance, in the channel “mental health,” some homegrown “mental health experts” were giving advice to people who were considering suicide. You just can’t do that without proper training! What if someone really commits suicide as a result of your incompetent advice? I am sure that some of the people on the channel had no qualifications; they were just advised to stand out and get a spot. I think it’s just plain luck that this whole Planet Hape didn’t end up with a tragedy.

Furthermore, I wondered what would happen to all these sites after the mint. When everyone gets their tokens, they will move to the next project, right? There was no incentive to stay around—other than potential extra benefits like free tokens, recommendations, cash to earn, and such. After all, NFTs are a money game. That’s what they are. Pretty much no one collects NFT tokens for the sake of the art alone; millions of these homegrown “investors” want to cash out with a profit.

I have to confess that I also made some contributions to Planet Hape, for example, I wrote the whole article about Hapebeast which then landed in CryptoStars, a crypto-themed publication on Medium. I admit that I put everything I knew about the project into this article. The team was so secretive about it, that I literally knew nothing about the goals of the project, besides these few snippets of information that I put together for the article. 

Namely, it was supposed to be a fashion project where Hapes would be like 3D models modelling in the Metaverse on behalf of their holders. Well, given how hyped the project was, at the first glance, it seemed to make sense. If your brand gets to a few million followers among young people and is considered “cool,” it gives high marketing potential. I could imagine that this amount of following among the youngsters might prompt many small streetwear companies to invest in such a promotion. Well, at least that’s how it all seemed at first…

By the way, close to the mint, even more, frenzy was happening around me. The hype reached its apogee when a few people made themselves appropriate tattoos (!). Some of them ranted on Discord later on, as they didn’t get hapelisted despite their limitless dedication. And I wonder how they feel right now, given that Hapebeast officially changed its name to HAPE 🙂   

Hape hapebeast tattoo

Meanwhile In The Real World. (To Continue Reading About Hapebeast, Please Skip This Section)

The other day, I thought to myself: “What if one day, I decide to start my own NFT collection? For instance, with the intention to give away the tokens of appreciation to the participants of my workshops, or as a gateway to our internal Discord group?” To do this properly as a business, I would need to send my clients invoices whenever I sell my (electronic) products.

But, in current market conditions, it is impossible, tax-wise, to sell NFTs properly as a business. Within the European Union, VAT is managed via a unified system called a One-Stop-Shop and the VAT rate depends on the client’s location, not the business location. While selling via Opensea, I don’t even know where my clients are based — so, even calculating VAT becomes impossible.

I asked about this around “my” Discord groups and absolutely nobody knew this! Many people were running their own collections, and nobody gave a damn about taxes. They were selling millions of dollars worth of JPEGs and GIFs and never bothered that it might be taxable income. I thought to myself: why is there no payment gateway for NFT project developers that might allow them to fill in proper billing information by the client—as during any other proper online purchase?

So, I thought to myself: OK, perhaps I might make a business proposal out of this. One of the fast-growing startup accelerators based in Amsterdam was just running a recruitment round for the next batch of their “startup school” program. (which was not an investment in itself, but rather, a ten-week business development school with a possibility to get funded at the end of the process) I applied, and I passed the introductory interview with flying colors.

Unfortunately, in the second round of the interview, I bumped into a recruiter who had apparently made some NFT investments by himself, and who viewed my proposal as a danger to his own money. He made me a speech about “the new way of doing finance” and “privacy.” Apparently, to him, not paying any income tax is totally fine, for as long as you first create a new currency to collect the payment. Talking to him was like talking to a wall. Of course, I wasn’t picked for the program. Well, think for yourself, maybe that’s better!

The Hapebeast Mint Is Approaching.

And then, the new year of 2022 has started. Even though the Hapebeast mint got delayed from the originally planned December till 19th January, (allegedly, Matt Sypien’s birthday) the Hapebeast community was getting extremely excited about the incoming big day.

And, the fact that the project was delayed made people grind even harder and feel even more emotional about the community. It is hard to imagine for someone from the outside, but people in the Hapebeast Discord really felt like a family at that point. I even organized my 36th Birthday party in Metaverse on 14th January (to be more precise, at spatial.io) and invited my Hapebest frens to join me. Not colleagues, not family, not friends. My Hapebeast frens. Of course, it only feels stupid in retrospect.

However, the closer and closer to the mint, the weirder and weirder my feelings about this whole project were getting. I was a newbie to the whole NFT space, and yet, I had lots of justified doubts and my suspicions were growing.

First of all, as I am professionally occupied with looking for the source of value in people and projects, and so I asked myself: where is the value in Hapebeast coming from? There is no roadmap. And, the team seems to be proud of it, quite as if no gameplay was an asset. They publicly declare to “take it slow,” but what does that mean? Yes, we receive a lot of value from staying in the group BUT we get this value from other server members who talk to us, support us, and share their experiences—not from the team itself. The team is nowhere to be found.

Who The Hell Is Hapebeast?

And who the hell was the team? The head mods, Cristian and Mojito, were a good-looking guy and a good-looking lady who is an Instagram model in daily life, not an NFT expert. None of them was doxxed. Moreover, I watched the interview with Mikey G at Cade Bergman’s YouTube channel and I was shocked to learn how Mikey was recruited for the project.

Apparently, he had no clue—he had joined the NFT space just a few weeks before joining Hapebeast, and within that short period of time, got involved in quite a few scammy projects before he was given a chance to mod at Hape. Oh wait, was he “given a chance”? Or perhaps, some smart, anonymous group of scammers behind the project deliberately picked beginners to become mods to make sure that no one really knows what is happening around here?

Next, many of the people in Discord who were the most positive about the project were anonymous whales with shady businesses. I talked to one of them for some time. He couldn’t praise Hapebeast enough, and he even spent his own money to put a Hapebeast banner on Times Square in New York for two days. (which is not all that costly as it turns out—with the right contacts, you can have it for $10,000)

The more I was talking to the guy, the more I was feeling that he has no moral spine and that he could sell you on to anything. Not mentioning that there is no way to verify if he is the person he claims to be, namely some millionaire guy living a lavish lifestyle in Dubai. A beautiful life. How did a millionaire with so many businesses find time to spend 10 hours a day on this server for 2-3 months? Was he there for real, or perhaps, his persona was completely fake? Perhaps, it was just paid propaganda, nothing more.

The Doubts Potentiate As The Mint Is Coming Up.

Moreover, the sneak peeks of Hapebeast artworks that were getting, were becoming more and more questionable. The early speak peaks were done with taste and could be seen as high-quality art (as long as you are a fan of ape art, of course). However, the closer to the mint, the more awkward and ugly the designs were gradually becoming. I felt like someone was literally testing us and trying to gradually shift our sensitivity so that we become more and more receptive to shit. The new sneak peeks were all remakes of the same simple 3D ape face template. (and stylized awfully) This is what hundreds of Fiverr freelancers could do in much better quality for 10 bucks per piece.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing from the people around me! All these well-educated, smart, successful people were praising the designs like they were the Emperor’s New Clothes. I was asking myself: Do I have a weird taste? Am I the only one who finds this whole thing just plain ugly? No one could convince me that green beard, prison tattoos, pimp-looking mustache, or pink eye color were looking good on these apes! I thought to myself: perhaps a bunch of scammers is sitting there behind the scenes right now, and laughing hard at us: “Just look at these fools! They got hyped so much that they would buy just anything from us right now!”

Two days before the mint, Hapebeast organized “Hape of the Nation,” a pompously named conference on Twitter Spaces. Of course, I was curious to hear more about the project! To hear anything at all. Well, all of us were dead curious. But the Hape team said nothing in particular. They were mumbling without any plan. They revealed primarily that the Hape holders could mint the future collections without the necessity to grind for a whitelist.

I was like: “Wow! We will have the right to buy more! What a perk” They also told us that we would be able to mint a “community badge” for free, and that badge would allow us to walk into Hape events in the future. For me, it sounded more like an attention token that makes people remember about the project and check it out on a regular basis. Like a free advertisement tool, nothing else.

NFT Hapebeast designs

I also felt that Twitter Spaces were not the best choice as means of communication, as they don’t allow for showing presenters’ faces. You know, you are more trustful towards people whose faces and hands you see. For instance, people often display a guilty smile while lying, which is known as duping delight. If you see someone’s face and no signs of duper’s delight, you naturally gain more faith in what they say.

Here, they gave us no chance to see the presenters. For worse, Digimental’s accent sounded Italian to me, despite Matt Sapiens was supposed to be Polish. I am Polish myself, and I hear a clear difference between Polish and Italian accents. No chance that the speaker was born and raised in Poland! I could bet a lot on that.

I also noticed some suspicious scam activity on Discord. One of the Hape mods, introducing himself as “Heal | Hape,” told us that Paris Hilton, known as a dedicated NFT fan, has just bought 4 Hapes. However, the purchase was made by the Moonpay Vault and Paris didn’t make any public statements about this purchase. So, there was no evidence whatsoever that Paris was the one behind the transaction. But people in Discord didn’t care about facts anymore. They got even more excited. I couldn’t believe all that was happening around me…

NFT Hapebeast scam

For worse, the HapeBeast team posted the news showing photos of trucks displaying the Hapebeast promo movie and moving around Times Square. I was thinking to myself: “Do they really need to spend their money this way? This looks extremely scammy to me. That’s literally the Shibebeast level of promotion.”

I Keep On Doubting. 

Around the time of the mint, my doubts didn’t go away. I actually checked Matt Sypien’s LinkedIn profile, as it was his only way of doxxing himself. It turned out that his homepage, “www.thesype.com” is completely empty, and the website of his alleged studio, “Digi-mental.com,” is empty too. For more, the Wayback Machine showed me that both these websites were also empty in the past. Digi’s Instagram account was also relatively empty, showing mostly the Hapebeast artwork, plus a few pieces of previous work that couldn’t be verified. He had some profiles on Behance, but Behance profiles are self-managed and not reviewed. So, no chance to verify that information either. 

I came to the conclusion that Digi wasn’t doxxed in fact—he only pretended to be so. Moreover, he had the audacity to not care about that at all. I connected with him on LinkedIn and told him that his links were not working. He answered that this didn’t matter to him. And, he didn’t edit his profile. 

It was all looking really bad to me from this point on.

The whole team was not doxxed in fact. For worse, all the YouTubers and other influencers who were speaking in superlatives about the Hapebeast team had heard about their credentials from someone else. I didn’t find anybody who had worked on a reputable project with any of the Hapebeast team members before. Literally, everyone who talked about the team’s credentials just had heard the story from another influencer.

I also noticed that in January 2022, around the time of the mint, some more tokens were added to the Genesis collection and handed out to the Hapebeast mods. I thought to myself: “Shouldn’t Digi be occupied with the main collection right now, instead of creating new tokens for his friends?”

The Genius Hapebeast Tokenomics.

This is when I started thinking about the whole tokenomics behind Hapebeast. And the more I was thinking about it, the more of a headache I was getting. 

So, this is how it works.

First, you create a small collection consisting of a few items (for example, 30) and you call it the “Genesis” collection. Then, you give most of (or all!) these tokens away to friends or keep them, so that you have a huge impact on the floor price of the collection. 

Next, you open a Discord server, invite the first 500 people (many of whom happen to be NFT YouTubers such as NFT Nate, and who will be too busy anyway to track what is happening in the group) to become the OGs and create incentives to be active in the group so that the crowd gets on board and does your job. For instance, you promise mint spots to active users so that people come and do the job of running the community for you.

At the same time, you give the owners of the Genesis collection items the right to mint the tokens from the incoming collection without a grind. If there are 30 items in the Genesis collection and half a million people in the Discord grinding for spots, what will happen to the price of the Genesis collection items? Of course, it will blow up (in the case of Hapebeast, the floor of the Genesis collection got to 80 ETH at some point!). A beautiful life!

Then, you encourage the previously invited YouTubers to produce prediction videos for their channels, predicting the prices for the future collection based on the price of the Genesis collection, (for example, as 25% or 50% of the Genesis floor price) so that they heat the crowd’s imagination even more. 

Meanwhile, since you sold a few Genesis tokens to some real, unsuspecting buyers at astronomical prices, you have a bankroll to pay Fiverr freelancers to produce 8,000 or 10,000 ugly tokens for the incoming collection.

And that’s exactly how Hapebeast, a project without any roadmap or noticeable team behind, was pumped—up to the point when half a million people were grinding in the Discord like animals.

I also reflected on Hape as a brand and as a business in general. At some point, it became obvious to me that, despite the original premise, they had no business case here. The reputable fashion houses and big sportswear/streetwear brands like Gucci or Nike stepped into Metaverse on their own and didn’t need anyone to handle their brand in 3D anymore. 

Furthermore, right from the beginning, Hape was a so-called derivative project, meaning that it was based on the previously successful concept. The suggestion from the team behind Hape was that the project had the ambition to become “the next BAYC” — but there was no news about any potential collaboration. Hapebeast literally had nothing to do with BAYC except for influencing the crowd’s expectations by making them hope that they will be equally successful as the “next-gen collection.” That was all. 

Besides, the derivative projects usually pump the brand of the original project, not their own brand — as happened for example with Azuki and the World of Women. They both inspired dozens of copycat projects, but these copycats didn’t get even nearly as famous and popular as their predecessors.

And, isn’t this whole secrecy around the project a bit like the Theranos strategy? If you have nothing, keep it secret for as long as you can, hoping for a miracle to happen?

Lastly, I thought about the bare name “Hapebeast.” Doesn’t that mean “A monster created by hype?” Which is exactly what it is? I was asking myself: Who knows, perhaps we all participate in yet another Derren Brown’s social experiment that aims to demonstrate how you can fool and brainwash the crowd in 2022? 

For worse, the logo of Hape looked exactly like the Fyre festival logo to me. It couldn’t be barely an accident, I thought to myself: “Someone behind the scenes must deliberately make fun of us…” 

NFT Hapebeast logo

To be honest, even the marketing strategy was pretty much the same. What created the whole hype for the FYRE Festival was the viral promo video — and it was exactly the same with Hapebeast.

The Hape Reveal Is Coming.

We had over two weeks time between the mint and the reveal, and the reveal was additionally postponed by a few days. The community was still excited and active in Discord, although the Hape-universe, including dozens of websites, suddenly stopped any developments once people got their hands on the tokens. Yet still, the morale was high and we were hopeful that the project would turn out to be a worldwide success.

Around the time of the reveal, I noticed that some of the most dedicated Hape mods, such as Kuromi, erased the Hape brand from their Twitter profiles and changed their avatars to other popular projects such as Azuki. It was yet another red flag.

Me and Hapebeast Fight Club

To be honest, even the marketing strategy was pretty much the same. What created the whole hype for the FYRE Festival was the viral promo video—and it was exactly the same with Hapebeast.

The Hape Reveal Is Coming.

We had over two weeks time between the mint and the reveal, and the reveal was additionally postponed by a few days. The community was still excited and active in Discord, although the Hape-universe, including dozens of websites, suddenly stopped any developments once people got their hands on the tokens. Yet still, the morale was high and we were hopeful that the project would turn out to be a worldwide success.

Around the time of the reveal, I noticed that some of the most dedicated Hape mods, such as Kuromi, erased the Hape brand from their Twitter profiles and changed their avatars to other popular projects such as Azuki. It was yet another red flag. 

What The Hell Have We Bought?

And then, the reveal has finally come. Actually, I was in Poland at the time. Hence, I had the opportunity to watch the reveal together with my parents. They couldn’t understand why I was excited to see a token of an ugly ape. Today, I also wonder why. Anyways, I was there observing the reveal and I got a Hape that was about the average in terms of rarity, and fortunately quite above average in terms of looks. 

In general, the collection looked rather disgusting to me though. The colours were motley and many Hapes looked rather repulsive. Of course, there were quite a few rare ones that looked just great—but it was perhaps the top 100 tokens, no more than that. I felt that people in Discord were pushing themselves to like their own Hapes. Most of them declared that they enjoyed what they got, and many of them presented their Hapes in their Twitter avatars. But I felt they didn’t like their tokens in fact. They had to survive to thrive!

No wonder the floor started dropping very soon. At the time of the reveal, the floor was still wiggling around 7-8 ETH, but within the next 24 hours, it dropped to 4 ETH — and didn’t recover since. I regretted that I didn’t listen to my own intuition as I sold my Hape at 60% of the price I could get out of it if only I had trusted my intuition more. But on the other hand, I am glad that I went through the whole cycle: grinding in the Discord server, the ecstasy of getting whitelisted, then the mint, the anticipation, and the disappointment in the end.

The Hape Project Is Falling Apart.

After selling my Hape, I wasn’t tracking the project all that closely anymore. I guess I had some sort of trauma after realizing what kind of jungle I stepped into. I still made 25x on my investment, so I probably shouldn’t whine about this whole story too much. And yet, after you spend so much time with one group of people, you become emotional about the project whether you want it or not. It’s a beautiful life.

This is the social confirmation phenomenon: if you work for free (and other people around you do the same) you are more bound to your work and you try to actively find purpose in it.

One thing I noticed though, was that Hapebeast was renamed into “Hape” in the meantime — under the excuse that “it is better for branding.” And, the main collection was renamed as “HAPE Prime.” 

I personally don’t think this decision has anything to do with branding. Most probably, the team was sued for infringing the IP of Hypebeast or some other brand. This is the only possible explanation for why the page www.hapebeast.com is now empty, instead of just linking to the new page. I also noticed that they stopped using any references to BAYC in the main collection. (as they had previously used the BAYC logo on the sneak-peeks of some of the Hapes) They were probably sued by the BAYC team as well, as “BAYC” is a registered trademark.

Other Rugs That I Witnessed. 

Unfortunately, Hape was not the only bad project that I witnessed. I also had other negative experiences. For example, I was whitelisted for some projects, such as Alpha Kongs or Shibabeast which deliberately overbooked their whitelists to make sure that they would sell out on the minting day.

Alpha Kongs actually threw me out from the OG group for “fudding,” just because I asked too many questions about their minting strategy. And Shibabeast turned out to be an utter rug not worth minting at all (and fortunately, I didn’t touch it.) 

For worse, I also participated in the biggest rug among all known as www.hapebeast.com. They organized a Dutch auction where they were selling out their tokens, starting at a whopping 3 ETH price point. I wouldn’t normally take part in it, but I was feeling vulnerable and dizzy after selling Hape too late, plus, a friend of mine urged me to invest in it. And, I thoughtlessly did. Right after the auction, Pixelmon’s Discord server started malfunctioning, and the crowd panicked thinking that it was a massive rug. The price started falling towards zero, and I sold at a 1 ETH loss, just because I didn’t feel like I should expose myself to any more stress. I just want to survive.

Overall, in the scope of a few weeks, I witnessed quite a number of rugs. From the outside, it might seem obvious which projects are rugs and which are good not, but it was not all that obvious to me when I was spending time in the groups. It is always easy to say in hindsight.

On Soft Rugs.

In this place, I would like to touch on the subject of soft rugs. This phenomenon was actually perfectly explained on the YT channel “Giancarlo Buys Tokens” (highly recommended to watch!)

The gist of a soft rug is building a project without any intention to make it work. Basically, since in the NFT space you don’t need to reveal your identity or deliver a viable roadmap to get the investment from retail investors, (as being “cool” is good enough) you can engineer the project to become a rug fight-off the bat. 

And no one will be able to prove bad intentions to you, as you can always say that the planned partnerships didn’t work out and that the project was overly ambitious, that’s why it didn’t work out. No one will be there to look into your books and judge whether you spent your money properly. It is highly unlikely that you will face any legal consequences for your deeds.

And actually, the longer you pretend to be doing something under the hood, the better for you. Opensea offers the creators attractive cuts from reselling their artwork on the secondary market (and similarly, on other platforms as well). They charge 2.5% from every sale for themselves, and they typically give the authors a share of 2.5-7.5%. As a result, many creators gain much more income from the secondary market than from the primary market—and the longer the project officially runs, the better for them. 

In summary, soft rugs are both safe and profitable for the creators—incentivized in the NFT space and hard to detect to the bare eye. Of course, there are 10% or more genuine creators in the space—but how do you know how to tell the difference? 

And, even people who got rugged many times before, are not immune to scams. Even to a person like me, who had been rugged many times in the past, it still took three months to realize that I was partaking in an elaborate scam called Hape.

And Then, The Landscape In the NFT Space Has Changed.

It soon became obvious to me that the landscape of projects in the NFT space morphs faster than I could follow. 

In November of 2021, it was still possible to join good NFT groups on Discord, get invited to the mint lists, and safely make 10-50 times after the mint. But now, in February 2022, just three months later, it was no longer the case. There were too many new groups and way too many new people. 

Hundreds of thousands of professionals from developing countries like the Philippines, Pakistan, or Bangladesh, were grinding in these groups full time, either on their own behalf or as employees of someone else. How could a person working full time on her company compete with full-time 20-year old grinders who could spare 12 hours and write a few hundred messages every single day? It just became impossible to get whitelist spots fairly.

I must confess that I actually even tried hiring a grinder. I found a young woman from Pakistan, who was very eager to do the job for me. But at that point, it was already almost impossible to get a whitelist spot in a “fair” way. She was working to the point of exhaustion and without success.

Well, that’s not without a reason. At that point, most Discord group admins started massively giving away whitelist spots for money sent under the table. There was even informal pricing floating around Discord — most big projects were “selling” for 0.5-1.0 ETH per whitelist spot.

But even whitelist spots no longer guaranteed success. Most new people in the NFT space were flippers, not collectors. They wanted to buy lower and quickly sell higher—that was the only reason to buy a whitelist spot. Therefore, the projects were getting dumped soon after release—as soon as the grinders decided to take profits from the mint. As a result, many projects were tanking right away; no one wanted to buy the tokens on the secondary market anymore as it was too risky right now. 

Plasma Bears NFT Story

On The Value Of the “Vintage” or “Historical” Collections.

And that’s how I found a trace of Neon District. I found out that there is a whole space of “old” NFT projects released before the pandemic that was not noticed by the crowd just yet. There is even the “NFT Archeologist” Discord server and a popular Twitter account by Adam McBride fully dedicated to historical NFTs. This whole niche is completely overlooked by the mainstream NFT audiences so far.

But I was thinking to myself: “What will happen in the future?” When more and more people join the NFT space, they bring in more and more cash. Once they are all tired from chasing after another space ape kitty super cyberpunk, they will think about how to locate their earnings. And what is safer than the project that was pioneering in some discipline and will never get erased from the “NFT history books”? All these old projects might come to the spotlight in a few years as the next Crypto Punks—as the only thing you cannot compete with its tradition. 

Besides, every new project that tries to be the newest coolest thing, tapping into Metaverse, Play 2 Earn, staking, Metaverse fashion, and hundreds of other more or less hypothetical utilities, will always need to compete with all the projects that come after them and try to be even cooler. And at the same time, all these new projects will bring new cash to the field — and that cash will pump the old, “vintage” projects that will always stay the first, iconic ones—even if they have no utilities at all. In that sense, old projects have no competition. 

Also, historically, in times of war, art projects usually perform better than the stock exchange. So, overall, investment in old-school NFT projects is not the worst idea. There are still dozens of meaningful, historical NFT projects not noticed by the masses out there. So, there is lot of opportunity in this space. It’s a beautiful life!

Discovery #2: NFT Communities Don’t Even Speak To Each Other—For Example, Barely Anyone In The ETH NFT Community Knows About Counterparty NFTs.

I also noticed one more opportunity. Namely, my unexpected realization was that Bitcoin and Ethereum communities didn’t really communicate with each other. Ethereum projects are mainstream right now, and the top Ethereum-based collections like BAYC or WoW are present or even worshipped in pop culture. 

And yet, no one in the Ethereum community or in mainstream media has ever heard of the Rare Pepes, the most iconic NFT project created in the Bitcoin community. Nakamoto cards, one of the flagship releases of Rare Pepes, reach floor prices comparable with BAYC — and yet, no one has ever heard about them! And if you ask 10 random people in the Ethereum-based Discord NFT servers what Counterparty is, perhaps one of them would know. At best. 

Counterparty NFTs are less handy to track and trade than the Ethereum/Solana NFTs, as there is no centralized marketplace to trade them such as Opensea. However, this also opens opportunities; they are too inconvenient for the mainstream, hence, there are still many good deals floating around.

In conclusion, Bitcoin-based NFTs are nowhere near as well-known and popular as Ethereum-based NFTs right now. This is a window of opportunity, as many creators drop their tokens on Counterparty for free — it is enough to follow them on Twitter to know when the next drop will happen. I got a number of tokens from one of the top Bitcoin/Counterparty educators and creators, Vlad Costea, this way. You never know what these tokens will be worth in the future — after all, in 2017 CryptoPunks were airdropped as well! 

Discovery #3: Talent Always Wins In the Long Run.

In the business world, we experience a general trend of shifting towards personal branding. Companies push their CEOs forward and put them on the billboards, and prompt them to start their own YouTube or TikTok channels and talk to the clients directly. People don’t want to buy from faceless companies anymore — they want to buy from people. 

I have a feeling that exactly the same will happen with NFTs. People are tired of faceless teams introducing themselves by their Discord nicknames. Especially now when the space is literally full of scams, people will lean towards investing in NFTs coming from fully doxxed teams, or even better — from fully doxxed leaders and influencers, whose faces are well known to the public, and who can sign under their projects with both hands. 

I would say even more. Today, buyers want to see both the face and the name of the creator and buy from someone relatable — from their idol of sorts. And not necessarily from a celeb, but from a self-made person. So, spotting some new talents in the space — those who have something to say, and a clear vision for their own brand — and investing in these fresh, promising individuals will probably pay off really well in the long run.

It is kind of a funny blindspot — people listen to these young influencers and buy into the NFT projects recommended by them, but they don’t get the idea to buy FROM the influencers themselves.

I always wondered what would happen if we had a chance to invest in people directly. Not in their businesses, but in tokenized versions of THEM. Well, now we sort of have a chance. If someone releases a personal, limited collection, buying from this collection is like buying a piece of someone’s talent — directly. For example, I spotted Cade Bergman’s channel and his brand “Joyage Kingdom” relatively early.

The first thing that brought my attention, was the fact that he had the courage to tattoo his brand’s name on his fingers — just to give himself no other choice but to succeed. I thought to myself: “This guy is either completely mad, or he is the smartest guy in the room.” If everyone had that high level of motivation in their professional lives, it would put me out of business… But I started watching closely from that point on.

It soon became obvious to me that Cade wasn’t mad at all. He took his brand very seriously. The content quality was very high, his production quality stood out, and his small NFT collection was also unique. It embraced all that you could call “an impersonation of freedom.” In my eyes, it clearly had a future.

And I have to admit that I first put on the badass mode. My first thought was: “OK, let’s see if the brand is in the trademark registry.” “Joyage” was not registered or even under consideration. I smiled to myself thinking that registering it and then asking 100 ETH for the trademark transfer would make perfect sense, given that someone already tattooed the brand name on their body.

But then, it came to my mind: “Oh, stop this. In times of crazy inflation, what is a better way of allocating money than investing in talent itself?” In the end, I chose good karma, and I invested in one item from the Joyage collection. And I am happy about that — this whole project will go places, with 100% certainty.

In general, I believe that you always win in the end by investing in real people not “projects,” “tokens,” “roadmaps,” or even “utilities.” In the NFT space, the same as in the whole blockchain industry, there are no coordinates and there is no guidebook for how to become successful. The best you can do is to cherry-pick individuals with potential and drive. 

And what can be a better choice than someone who deliberately cut down his options to just one? And who has what everyone else wants – youth, freedom, and determination?

And now, coming back to what happened next in my own NFT journey…

I Also Discovered That I Am Actually An Idiot.

When I initially got interested in the Plasma Bears, I also joined the dedicated channel on the Neon District Discord server. One of the moderators in this channel was also one of the artists who had been designing Plasma Bears in the past, known as Cybourgeoisie. He was mentioning that he was working on a new project called CyberBrokers. I looked at the website, and I thought to myself, “Cyberbrokers? What is this? Something like an online casino?” And, I passed on it.

Literally a month later, in early March, CyberBrokers debuted in the market. And, for a week, it was the best-selling collection in the world, reaching the floor of over 5 ETH at some point. I thought to myself, “That’s how good you are at spotting talents Nat The Career Advisor, congrats! It’s a beautiful life!” Sometimes, it is hard to notice someone’s genius when you talk to them directly, and when they talk to you like equals.

As Crazy As It Gets.

At some point, I also started to get paranoid thinking that perhaps this guy I talked to for all this time, Ruben, was Vitalik Buterin himself in fact. Firstly, “Ruben” is an anagram of the word “Buterin.” 

Secondly, when I asked him his age in November 2021, he said “27” which was exactly Vitalik’s age. And when I asked again in February 2022, he said “28” which was exactly Vitalik’s age at that point as according to Wikipedia, Vitalik turned 28 in January. Thirdly, which construction worker would be glued to his computer or phone all the time? I thought that construction workers used to work outdoors.

Plus, the token that he gave me initially, he had gotten for free. He claimed that it was because he happened to know the team. But was that really the case? Who gets tokens for free in the bull run? Only whales do.

Next, the guy knew A LOT about the Ethereum blockchain. He could read Ethereum contracts from NFT projects in detail. He was introducing himself as a “construction worker living in California.” I was thinking to myself, “Seriously? Constructing what? Perhaps building blockchains?” He also recommended I get into Plasma Bears which contain a piece specially made for Vitalik and donated to him — a special bear named “For Vitalik With Love.” So, Vitalik himself is a Plasma Bear holder.

Plus, he used to say that he had been tracking the NFT space for years, but undervalued it before he eventually got into it in the summer of 2021 — just as Vitalik reportedly did say to the press as well. 

Lastly, he once told me that he can give 1 ETH to me so that I have something to trade with. While Vitalik is known for underscoring that he never gives away ETH. So, I felt maybe it was a way to self-joke around in a really weird way. 

The more and more I was talking to the guy, the more eerie feeling I was getting. I was like, “Oh My God! I was not even polite to this guy.” In the end, I said that in case he was Vitalik himself, he needs to know that he is not responsible for Putin’s deeds and that there is no reason to be ashamed of being Russian. What else could I say 🙂

Well, he claims that he is not Vitalik but he still categorically refuses to reveal his identity or show his face. I talk to the guy almost every day and I still have no idea who the creep is.

My General Conclusions: Who Are the NFTs For And Is It Worth It?

So, what can I say after a few months of Odyssey through the NFT space? Well, it is a Wild Wild West — it’s like crypto in general, just on steroids. If you don’t have a tough stomach and the stamina to learn at the speed of light, don’t even start here. It’s a jungle and signs of life cheat. 

One might be asking the question: why does a person with a PhD in neuroscience spend her evenings trying to maximize the number of cute digital plush bears with no apparent utility? Good question! 

Well, I personally treat NFT space as a playground to emulate the whole economy and the job market. It is a game where I can test how well I can understand society and how well I can self-navigate forward. I try to focus on spotting my own strengths and the sources of value in the field. For example, I am much better at engaging in interesting conversations and spotting talented people than in the process of trading of NFTs, as I simply miss the patience and ape into projects way too much. Since I know my weaknesses, I tend to look for people to invest in rather than looking at the charts and the project roadmaps. 

Anyways, I listed some general conclusions after four months of spending evenings on my little hobby below. 

1. Babel Tower.

In NFTs, there is literally no barrier to entry. While you need some technical aptitude to build a new blockchain or new feature for a new crypto token, you need no skill to build a new NFT. It is a matter of using openly available software to mix designs. 

The idea is that you take a character with a few features, such as the type of hat, the type of facial expression, the type of T-shirt, and the type of background. (4 features in this case.) You make, say, 10 variants of each feature with different frequencies. for example, a yellow T-shirt only happens in 1% of all cases while a red T-shirt appears in 20% of all characters.

Then, since 10 to the power of 4 equals 10,000, mixing these graphics gives you 10,000 unique combinations. And since variants have varying frequencies, some of the outcome pieces are rarer and thus more desired than others. Such mixing software can be found in open source, for instance, in the HashLips libraries on GitHub. This means that anyone with basic programming skills can create a new NFT collection all by themselves. 

Uploading new collections onto Opensea is also cheaper than ever before. You can basically upload the whole 10,000-piece collection in ETH with the use of a single lazy mint — which costs the same as a single ETH transaction. 

Furthermore, you can hire the whole army of Fiverr freelancers to do everything around the project, from setting up a “professional NFT Discord server” and the Twitter account, through a campaign on social media, to community management. You really don’t need to do anything around your own project! Just invest a little and watch. Live a beautiful life!

No wonder dozens of new collections come out every single day!

These low barriers to entry also imply that there are lots and lots of random people in the space. Therefore, I cannot stress this enough: you need to stick to trusted people only. Better to find a few good friends who wish you well and are willing to share than listen to influencers (even if they are anonymous creeps!) than join paid alpha groups. I know plenty of people who paid 2+ ETH for access to the exclusive groups, only to lose even more money after following the cocky and entitled group leaders and their random advice. 

And it always works the same in these alpha groups: you are under pressure to keep on winning, or otherwise you are a loser — that’s why the group members share wins not losses, and it creates a false picture that everyone but you keeps on winning. So, people around you are really the key.

I also made some missteps with investing in good-looking projects that looked interesting from the sidelines, only to realize that the best predictor of success was actually looking into the Opensea accounts of the previous buyers in the collection. If most buyers held lots of good projects, they represented “smart money.” And, that was a very good sign. If they mostly held scammy tokens in their wallets, it was a bad idea to make a purchase even if the collection looked like the best art in the world.

2. An Overcrowded, Unpredictable Bubble.

How to predict the success of a collection? To a large extent, it is unpredictable — even though it might seem so from a side. 

Azuki (released in mid-January 2022) is a good example here. The Discord server of Azuki was “only” populated by 40,000 people at the time of the launch — little numbers compared to 200,000 — 500,000 in other, competitive servers around the same time. 

There were many other collections starring Asian-styled art at a similar time, yet none of them received as much acknowledgement as Azuki. Now it seems like an “obvious winner.” But I was there, I witnessed the mint, and I could buy at the launch. I even spent some time in their Discord group, and it still didn’t look any special to me! 

So, back then, it wasn’t obvious at all! It seems to me that around January-February 2022, a lot of Asian people got into NFT space at the same time, and this new crowd somehow decided that THIS project is more valuable than another 50 similar Asian-themed projects. And, the price suddenly skyrocketed. It is crowd behaviour more than anything.  

And whatever you invest in, you always feel right. It is a cognitive error. For instance, if you think of a project and step away from investing, and then the project takes off and becomes successful, you react like: “Oh, I almost invested in this one. I was so right!” But on the other hand, if you hesitate whether to invest and decide to do so and then lose, you are like “I was right about this project, I just invested one week too late.” You always feel smarter than you are. So, it is extremely easy to become a gambler.

Also, NFT projects are in a clear bubble right now. One day, the music will stop playing and 98% of all the projects will be washed out of the market. Actually, in presence of Decentralized Autonomous Organisations (or, DAOs) for NFT investors, the big projects will gradually get bigger, and the small projects will get smaller. 

Most investors will prefer to create a portfolio of small tokenized pieces of NFTs from big, reputable collections like BAYC, Cryptopunks, the World of Women, or Azuki, rather than buy the whole tokens from the small and risky collections whose market value might go sideways. I wouldn’t be so surprised if we witnessed a flood of NFT investment funds coming to the market very soon. Actually, there are some funds operating in Metaverse already.

3. Addictive Like Hell.

Let’s put it straight: buying NFTs IS gambling. Namely, it initiates the dopamine loop in your brain, the same loop as cocaine, smartphone notifications, or playing blackjack in a casino. And, the casino always wins. Every time you trade, the platform and the NFT creators will get paid (usually, between 5-10% of the whole price of the token), while for you, it is a game with a negative expected value.

NFTs are especially addictive and dangerous to young people. In the Hapebeast Discord group, I met plenty of teenagers who considered “trading NFTs” a viable career path. I was deeply concerned about this, as they no longer considered studying. NFTs were the way they envisaged their future lives, and they couldn’t understand that the whole field might evaporate within five years. Not cool, simple life hack.

Well, maybe I am too harsh here. NFTs can be addictive, but don’t have to be. It works the same as with tattoos — some people make one tattoo, only to change their mind and remove it a few years later. While others start putting more and more tattoos on their bodies like maniacs. It always goes one way or the other; almost no one stays with one tattoo for a lifetime. Same with NFTs; you will either catch the bug and start collecting like a machine, or you will say “No, thank you” and stay away. 

4. Lots of Scam.

In NFTs, you will get scammed even if you don’t ask for trouble. I recently realized that next to the openly visible section where I keep my few tokens, my Opensea account also has a “hidden” section where I have about 30 tokens that I never bought or asked for. This is all scam that someone dropped onto my account. Even touching such scammy thingies is dangerous — it can result in losing everything from your account if one of them turns out to be a Trojan horse with a malicious contract.

And seriously, if you consider buying valuable NFTs, you should also learn how to use cold wallets such as Ledger Nano X, and store your possessions in there. You risk too much by keeping your assets at a Metamask account pegged to your Opensea account. 

5. NFTs Are Only Meant for Those Who Learn Extremely Fast and Have Lots of Time.

NFT space is exhausting, as the landscape of projects changes literally from month to month. This is not a viable, sustainable side hobby to have. I was curious about it, also because I try to understand society as such, but I felt tired after just a few weeks. In the long run, NFTs will suck your life energy — unless you have some specific type of personality (I guess, the Gary Vee type) that happens to well resonate with them.

6. It Is Not About Your Education Level Or About Your Overall Intelligence.

In this world, you need to be cold, and rational, and manage your emotions. The factors for success are not your IQ or your background and achievements in real life. Just as in Fight Club, a construction worker can beat the hell out of a CEO. A 14-year-old kid can outsmart a 30-year-old. You get the idea.

7. Think Different.

“If you want to achieve better results than most, you need to think differently.”

To get really solid results, you need to look in the direction where no one else looks. And usually, the best business is in selling the shovels, not in searching for gold. I personally invested in a few NFT-themed domains with a “.io” extension and put them on sale. You certainly can hit a jackpot with those.

And of course, I bought Fiverr shares.

My finding is also that spending hours and hours with your thoughts in the NFT world every day doesn’t give the best results. It is better to absorb less information but stay away from Discord and digest this information for longer. And investing time in thinking about the best investment strategy instead of spending this time on grinding always pays off 10x (if not better).

Where I Am Now.

Well, to me, NFT space was always meant to be just a playground to test my sanity. After I cashed out from Hape, I diversified my strategy, I made certain bets, and I will be patiently observing from the sidelines whether my guesses were correct. 

In daily life, I have a well-defined mission that doesn’t have much to do with NFTs though. I have a company that is like an infant and needs my full attention. I would like to buy a huge cottage house in the future and open my own career center there one day. If my NFT investments will help in achieving this goal — great. If not, at least I will learn a lot about people and get some adrenaline out of it. In either case, it is going to be exciting times. 

You can download the full text of this article in a PDF from THIS LINK. Distributing this material is allowed, and even encouraged 🙂

Please cite as:

Bielczyk, N. (2022, March 31st). Natalia In The Land of NFTs. My Personal Journey And What I Learned So Far. Retrieved from: https://nataliabielczyk.com/natalia-in-the-land-of-nfts-my-personal-journey/

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If you would like to read more about careers (for PhDs and other white-collar professionals) and effective strategies to self-navigate in the job market, please also take a look at the blog of my company, Ontology of Value where I write posts dedicated to these topics.

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