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Hashmasks

The Hashmasks is a Non-Fungible Token collection of 16,384 unique digital portraits, created by over 70 artists globally. The project launched on the  blockchain on January 27, 2021.


Overview

Each Hashmasks NFT comes with explicit and implicit rarities. Explicit rarity is the set of traits serving as general guidance to the public. This includes the character type, mask, skin tone, background, and more.
As for the implicit rarity, these are hidden traits of the artworks. For instance, 12.5% of all characters wear an animal mask and only 5.9% of them wear a pixel mask. Collectors may think that pixel masks are more exclusive. But in reality, there are only 13 Hashmasks (0.08%) wearing a unicorn mask. Thus, characters with unicorn masks are in fact, more unique than those wearing a pixel mask.

By holding Hashmask portraits, owners accrue NCT (Name Change Token), the native token of Hashmasks artwork. NCT can only be used to change the names of the portraits, and this name is stored and visible publicly on the Ethereum blockchain. Every name is distinct and can only be associated with one NFT.


NCTs Emission Rate

Each Hashmask will accrue about 3,660 NCTs annually. To alter the name of a hashmask, a user needs 1,830 NCTs. Each participant got an extra 1,830 NCTs during the initial distribution period (14 days). According to the team, the production of new NCTs will stop after ten years. NCTs can only be burned from that point on until all NCTs have been destroyed and the hashmask names can no longer be changed. Once the last NCT token is burnt, the art piece will be complete.

Creation

The Hashmasks anonymous creator began working on the launch of a project involving NFTs in the fall of 2019, without a clear idea of what it would become. Later, another anonymous creator joined, and the team decided on creating 16,384 pieces of art.

To build up the larger team that would help them create the collection, the two took to social media and tried getting the artwork done on Fiverr, where the artwork price starts as low as $5. But the results appeared to be poor and creators had to decline many artists to later found 70 people to work with. The two founders commissioned the artists to create specific parts of Hashmask collectibles like eye color, skin color, and the masks themselves. One of them told in their Decrypt interview:

“In the end when we collected all of those artists, my partner and I created the whole piece - the masterpiece - of which most were made using an algorithm, and about 20% were made by hand.”

Launch

Sales

The collection launched on January 27, 2021. One key element of the Hashmasks sale was a sliding scale of purchase prices. The earlier one bought them, the cheaper they were. They started as low as 0.1 ETH ($130 at the time) and rose up to 100 ETH ($130,000) at the time.

3,136 #Hashmasks sold after the first 6 hrs 41 min. 12 hours later, that number had risen to 4,000 pieces that had been sold. The first collectible called Hashmask 1, which was originally sold for 0.1 ETH on January 28, made a 100,000% profit, going for $130,000. Others were trading for around 0.9 ETH ($1,600 at the time). In total, the Hashmask collection generated over $16 million in sales.

Hidden Traits

On January 31, before the initial Hashmask sale was even over, Twitter user Jon McIntosh realized that some collectibles, especially those with numbers belonging to the Fibonacci sequence, all shared hidden Fibonacci symbols. He posted:

Found a pattern hidden within @TheHashmasks Hashmasks # 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610, 987, 1597, 2584, 4181, 6765, 10946 all contain fibonacci symbols, because they are all part of the fibonacci sequence.

MyCrypto CMO Jordan Spence also figured out that different collectibles could be pieced together like a puzzle.

Twitter user Tom Fields said he had gone through hundreds of Hashmasks, adjusting different properties to discover hidden content, and eventually found a dark figure on a yellow background, carrying Plato’s philosophical classic “Republic." Adjusting the levels in the image, Fields explored what appeared to be a QR code spread over the cover of the book. He then spent an hour running through multiple photo programs, until he was able to isolate the QR code and post the revised picture on his Twitter feed. Other Twitter users then realized it was a Rickroll, an Internet prank that directs users to the video of Rick Astley’s famous 1980s hit "Never Gonna Give You Up."

The Real and the Unreal

In February 2021, Twitter user Trentelme identified two collectibles named The Real and The Unreal, which are clones of one another. Hashmask 3350 and Hashmask 9934 both contain a small Sanskrit message running vertically on the left-hand side of the artwork. According to his tweet, he spent more than 20 hours looking through the collectibles.

MaskDAO

The Hashmasks launched with no roadmap, no team, no marketing, and no secondary sales fee. In support of further developing and building the community, the founders funded numerous initiatives via grants. One such initiative was the formation of MaskDAO which would provide a structure for the most active members of the Hashmasks community to build and elevate the project.

The first step toward making a community-led initiative a reality was instituting a 2.5% secondary sales charge where 100% of the revenue would go straight to the DAO. The DAO was formally financed on September 28th, 2021, when the first disbursement was received. A dedicated team was positioned to focus on growing the Hashmasks community.

The DAO immediately got to work on developing governance, a marketing strategy, and a budget. They launched The Mask Museum, curated and displayed The Hashmasks at the SCOPE Art Show in Miami during Art Basel week, and brought the community together with weekly Twitter Spaces and Town Halls.


Community Grants

In February 2022, MaskDAO announced that their proposal system would be replaced with a streamlined two-week Community Grants process. Grant proposals must be well thought-out and can only be submitted by verified Hashmasks owners. The person or team submitting a Community Grant needs to be prepared to answer questions and respond to comments in both voice and written format.

New Team

In March 2022, a one-off voting process to select the Hashmasks Team took place. The members of the new team have access to treasury funds and the 2.5% sales fee that funded MaskDAO. The sales fee are be used for Hashmasks Team salaries, operational costs, and community grants. The elected Hashmasks team runs day-to-day operations.

Word on the Street

In September 2022, the inaugural Mask Museum exhibition Hashmasks: Word on the Street opened in the virtual world. The Word on the Street Relic is a limited-edition collection of 1,024 NFTs designed by professional 3D artist Greg Gainor.

Notable Sales

In February 2021, Hashmask 9939 "Sex" which was originally minted for 0.5 ETH, sold on Opensea for 420 ETH (around $636,000 at the time of the sale).

The same user bought Hashmask 6718 "God of War" for 300 ETH (around $479,000 at the time of the sale).

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