CryptoCitizens NFTs: A Worldwide IRL NFT Minting Experience
Last July, I heard that Bright Moments gallery — which was then in Venice, an eclectic neighborhood in Los Angeles — was hosting an in-person experience where you could mint an NFT. The NFTs were called CryptoVenetians, a collection of 1,000 generative art pieces which reflected the unique citizens of the neighborhood. They were also a part of Art Blocks, one of the most well-known and prestigious collections of NFT generative art.
Since I was curious – and only lived within a couple miles of the gallery – I decided to make an appointment to mint a CryptoVenetian for free. A few days after, I heard that all existing appointments were gone, and I had gotten mine just in time.
This was one of the first times where an NFT minting experience was in-person only, and the Bright Moments team definitely made it an experience. Since the CryptoVenetians mint, they have been hard at work expanding the collection of CryptoCitizens and their team ever since.
Now, Brint Moments are bringing CryptoCitizens to cities around the world, minting in sets of 1,000 citizens in each to create a complete collection of 10,000 CryptoCitizens.
1. CryptoVenetians and the Bright Moments DAO
When I minted my CryptoVenetian in August 2021, the Bright Moments DAO was still young. It started out as an NFT gallery, founded in early May 2021 by two entrepreneurs in the area for artists to showcase their NFTs on physical displays. It was founded with the idea to become a leaderless DAO.
Owners of the BRT governance token could vote on gallery matters, and galleries could expand across the world.
The Venice gallery held events for many NFT drops, including events for Bored Ape Yacht Club, Portals by Jeff Davis, Bauhaus x Coldie, and other well-known NFT artists. Former Disney CEO Bob Iger minted a CryptoVenetian as one of the first high-profile people to do so, and so did basketball player Paul Pierce, Genies CEO Akash Nigam, founder of NEFF Shaun Neff.
With an innovative idea behind them, the CryptoVenetians quickly became a social club in Los Angeles for NFT enthusiasts.
Minting my CryptoVenetian
When it was time for my CryptoVenetian minting appointment, I got in line and sat against the wall with others, with team members helping us make sure we had enough to cover gas fees in our MetaMask mobile wallets. We had to claim BRT tokens (remember these for later), which were exchanged for the CryptoVenetian mint.
Some people minting seemed very familiar with the MetaMask app, while others needed more guidance to complete their transaction. A Ring Pop was also given to appointment holders while we waited to mint our CryptoVenetians.
When it was my turn, I was taken to the back while the NFT was being minted. I only saw it on the TV when I ran out into the gallery, cheering with the others, celebrating my new NFT. Oh — and you got to pick the song you walked out to.
It was much different than posting your mint on Twitter and Discord and celebrating by yourself. It was one of the first few times I had even been around other people who knew what an NFT was.
Of course, that experience happened in more innocent times. Only three days after I minted mine, a Bright Moments insider allegedly used his BRT tokens to mint $4.3 million worth of CrypoVenetians (309 of them), which was the entire rest of the 1,000 supply.
Luckily, 240 of the stolen CryptoVenetians have since been returned (to be distributed in 2022 back to the community), but the IRL minting experience was taken away from many. Nevertheless, the resilience of the Bright Moments team became apparent as they overcame this major obstacle and moved forward in a major way.
2. CryptoNewYorkers and the NYC Gallery
The plan before the stolen CryptoVenetians was to expand the gallery and community to New York City, and so Bright Moments pushed ahead. The distribution of 1,000 CryptoNewYorker Golden Tokens allowed only those with the GTNY tokens to mint, preventing another issue using BRT tokens.
With the postmortem of the CryptoVenetian heist publicly available, Bright Moments was able to regain trust and confidence from their community members. The CryptoNewYorkers token launch was a massive success. In Fall 2021 the NYC gallery opened for IRL minting appointments. The community could even nominate people to get the chance to mint.
The NYC gallery also hosted tons of events in Fall 2021. In October, Ape Fest for the Bored Ape Yacht Club used the gallery to hand out its coveted wristbands for NFT NYC parties. In November, the gallery hosted an Art Blocks Playground collection, Reflections by Jeff Davis, which was only available by minting IRL at the gallery.
In December 2021, another major IRL minting experience happened at the NYC gallery: Incomplete Control by Tyler Hobbs. Tyler Hobbs is the artist for Fidenzas, one of the most popular Art Blocks collections. Incomplete Control is a collection of 100 works, only mintable in person at Bright Moments. Nearly half of the tickets were given out as a raffle to CryptoVenetian and CryptoNewYorker owners, and most of the other half were randomly given to Fidenza holders.
3. CryptoBerliners and CryptoCitizens
In November 2021, the Bright Moments DAO voted to change their governance mechanism from ERC-20 BRT tokens to ERC-721 tokens (or NFTs). Every CryptoCitizen (CryptoVenetians, CryptoNewYorkers, and future cities) would become equal members of the DAO.
The gallery model started in Venice would be replicated throughout the world to build a total collection of 10,000 CryptoCitizens.
It was voted that in each city, one third of the CryptoCitizen supply will be given away to the local community in that city, one third will be airdropped via raffle to existing CryptoCitizens, and the final third will be sold to fund the CryptoCitizens roadmap.
The owners of the 10 million original BRT tokens would then mint a new collection, CryptoGalactians, to represent their part in the DAO. This would become the only non-IRL minting experience for CryptoCitizens.
This news launched an exciting roadmap through Winter 2023, with IRL minting experiences all over the world. CryptoBerliners was announced in November as the fourth city, again with 1,000 available tokens to mint in person in April 2022. The fifth city is currently being voted on by the DAO, as with any other major decision that they make.
For those who are dedicated to minting in every single city (even those unannounced), 50 mint packs were recently sold via dutch auction, ranging from 20 to 8 Ethereum. These allow holders to unlock Founding Citizen Golden Tokens (FCGTs) to mint CryptoCitizens IRL in cities No. 5 through 10, and also get a CryptoGalactian mint.
Tl;dr CryptoCitizens and Bright Moments
There are many opportunities to get involved with CryptoCitizens and join the Bright Moments community dedicated to the IRL minting experiences. You can use MomentRanks to browse listings — current floor is 1.7 Ethereum for a CryptoVenetian or CryptoNewYorker — and find the Citizen that speaks the most to you.
Bright Moments has overcome a lot since their start in early 2021, and the future for the next 7 cities and beyond looks bright. The DAO used the power of community to overcome the issue of the missing CryptoVenetian assets, and propelled themselves into New York with the energy to bring even more IRL minting experiences to as many people as possible.
The best part? The IRL community lasts way beyond the IRL minting experience. In Venice and New York, gatherings happen almost weekly to bring NFT collectors of all backgrounds together.
To learn more about CryptoCitizens, the Bright Moments community dashboard has great data available, from community airdrop probability, to secondary sales, minting details and more.