Don’t check, verify. It’s one of the few resounding crypto-native statements that has stuck over the years. NFTs are like any other ‘corner’ of crypto; there are cycles, metas, and plenty of instances of false hope, unexpected successes, and everything in between. The latest paradigm-shift in NFTs has come courtesy of Jack Butcher, an exceptionally creative mind who has found self-driven success through Visualize Value and now through his latest NFT project, Checks.
Let’s dive into what Checks are all about, and how they’ve potentially changed the game for NFTs (well, at least for now).
Check, Then Verify
Nearly two years ago on sister network NewsBTC, we covered a humanitarian effort made by Butcher, which sought to raise funds to bring aid to displaced individuals in Afghanistan. At the time, we briefly spoke with Jack about his desire and motivation around the ‘Care Package’ project, which he said was inspired by “projects that are creating mini economies, play to earn (axie), commercial rights (bored apes) and generative art (art blocks),” adding that he “generally love(s) the permissionless nature of it all.”
Jack’s brand has grown immensely since we briefly chatted with him in August of 2021. He’s continued to grow his ‘Visualize Value’ brand, which mold the worlds of creativity, motivation, and inspiration through brief and simple digital output.
Now, he’s back for more with Checks, a flagship project for Butcher that has been making waves across the NFT community.
Ethereum-based NFTs, like Jack Butcher's 'Checks,' continue to headline the market. | Source: ETH-USD on TradingView.com
What It Is, And The Wave Of Derivatives
Checks indeed pay homage to the ‘check, not verify’ perspective that has long been rooted in crypto and internet culture. Citing Twitter’s shift to a ‘pay to verify’ approach, Checks intends to “capture a moment in time – the shifting context in which the process of verification takes place… the coveted checkmark that was previously a badge bestowed by institutions, is now a symbol that merely means the holder can afford it and is prepared to pay it. If no one is verified, everyone is verified. If no one is notable, everyone is notable.”
The project also seeks to challenge traditional perspectives around nascent NFT culture, serving as “an infinite canvas for expression that is designed to challenge the concept of ownership and authorship in the age of the internet.” Regardless of how this all makes you feel, it’s undoubtedly a fascinating journey for Butcher, who closes the project’s intro by saying “don’t trust – check.”
What has followed has been equally as fascinating. Derivatives by the dozens, if not hundreds, have come to the market at warp speed. The most notable derivative came from prominent NFT character Vincent Van Dough, who launched a pepe derivative open mint that generated roughly $1.6M in revenue in less than 48 hours (compared to Butcher’s $500K from the original Checks, according to NFTstatistics.eth math).
While many have driven Butcher’s project to spur a larger debate on the viability of open edition NFT projects, we can only assume it’s all part of Jack’s master plan. In the meantime, the project is the top trending NFT collection on OpenSea’s main page – long after initial launch. We’ll see how things ‘check’ out.