Nakamigos NFT: Rumours, Controversy & Everything You Need to Know
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Nakamigos NFT: Rumours, Controversy & Everything You Need to Know

April 22, 2023


The Nakamigos NFT project has taken the Web3 community by storm since its public mint on March 23. In just four days, it surpassed the lifetime trades of the renowned Bored Ape Yacht Club and achieved a trading volume of 7,562 ETH (approximately $13 million) on the secondary market.

The project's success can be attributed to the track record of its founder and the captivating speculation surrounding its origin and associations. In this article, we delve into the Nakamigos project, its creators, and the rumors linking it to a prominent figure in Web3.

What is the Nakamigos NFT Collection?

The Nakamigos NFT collection is a 20,000-piece PFP (Profile Picture) project developed by HiFo Labs, a relatively unknown company that claims to have been involved in NFT and digital projects for the past five years. The collection features 24x24 pixel characters reminiscent of the popular CryptoPunks style. The name "Nakamigos" is derived from Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous founder of Bitcoin, with "Nakamigos" representing the "friends of Nakamoto."

According to a blog post from the project, the artist behind Nakamigos is described as an "OG crypto artist" who may or may not choose to reveal their identity in the future. Speculation has arisen that the artist could be Sartoshi, the influential NFT influencer and crypto artist known for the popular mfers collection in 2021.

The Connection to Sartoshi and the Controversy

Before the creation of mfers, Sartoshi had garnered a significant following on Web3 Twitter, which contributed to the success of the project upon its launch in November 2021. However, in June 2022, Sartoshi shocked the community by leaving mfers and expressing his intention to transfer project leadership and funds to the community, aligning with the principles of decentralization in Web3.

Sartoshi's departure sparked controversy, with some labeling it as a rug-pull scam, while others viewed it as a response to community demands. To commemorate his exit, Sartoshi minted the "end of sartoshi - eos pass" collection, serving as a sentimental farewell to his community. Six months later, Sartoshi made a comeback, leaving many in Web3 curious about his future endeavors. In a tweet on February 16, Sartoshi announced Nakamigos as a 20,000-piece PFP project, offering eos pass holders an exclusive free mint one day before the public launch on March 23. However, Sartoshi's exact role in relation to the project remains officially unconfirmed.

Nakamigos' Origins and the Larva Labs Connection

Since the release of Nakamigos, rumors have circulated on Web3 Twitter suggesting a potential connection between HiFo Labs and Larva Labs, the original creators of CryptoPunks (which were later sold to Yuga Labs in 2022). Supporters of this theory point to aesthetic similarities between the collections and Nakamigos' licensing agreement, which closely resembles the agreement made by Yuga Labs following their acquisition of CryptoPunks from Larva Labs in early 2022. However, no evidence currently supports these claims.

Nevertheless, Nakamigos felt compelled to address these rumors, tweeting "Not Larva. Not Yuga. Nakamigos." on March 27 to dispel any association.

Commercial Rights for Nakamigos Holders

One notable aspect of the Nakamigos collection is that the team grants holders full commercial rights to their NFTs, enabling them to monetize their tokens as they desire. The licensing agreement permits holders to even trademark their NFTs, provided they are actively used in commerce rather than solely for speculative purposes. While not equivalent to a Creative Commons (CC0) license, this level of intellectual property usage permission holds considerable potential. Holders of esteemed NFTs like Bored Ape Yacht Club have successfully capitalized on their digital assets, establishing ventures ranging from restaurants to wine companies.

Where to Buy and Notable Sales

All 20,000 Nakamigos NFTs have been minted, with eos pass holders enjoying early access to the collection on March 22. The public mint commenced on March 23 through a Dutch auction, starting at 1 ETH and gradually reducing to 0.01 ETH. Interested buyers can find Nakamigos on the secondary market, with the collection's current floor price standing at 0.18 ETH. However, certain rare NFTs within the collection command significantly higher prices. For instance, Nakamigos #7762, featuring a character adorned with a hoodie and an orange helmet, recently sold for 1.690 ETH, while ghost Nakamigos #3648 fetched a substantial 16 ETH on March 28.

Nakamigos' Promotions and Honorary NFTs

In classic Web3 fashion, the Nakamigos team has employed promotional strategies, gifting 24 honorary Nakamigos NFTs to well-known figures and influencers within the NFT community. Recipients include Richard Chan of Manifold, Art Blocks CEO Erick Calderon, Seedphrase, and thought-leader Cozomo de' Medici, among others.

The Future of Nakamigos

The future of Nakamigos remains as enigmatic as HiFo Labs itself. With no presence on Discord or other social media platforms aside from their official Twitter handle, Nakamigos has communicated relatively little with its community, contributing to its esoteric nature. Nonetheless, for those seeking a visually appealing NFT from a collection aspiring to be a spiritual successor to CryptoPunks, Nakamigos presents an enticing opportunity.

The emphasis on commercialization rights for holders suggests the possibility of a larger, yet-to-be-revealed intellectual property strategy from HiFo Labs. In the past year, several Web3 projects have pursued monetization of their IP, achieving varying degrees of success. However, the realization of such potential depends on the Nakamigos community's willingness to embrace these opportunities, which may require HiFo Labs to foster greater trust among its holders. Stepping out of the shadows and enhancing communication is crucial for the company to achieve this objective.

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