April 9, 2022 - 7 min read
This article breaks down the upcoming Conflicted Garys NFT project that is launching on April 21st and aims to put a spotlight on regulatory awareness with a hint of memeability and outsized utility value to its community.
Sponsored by the Conflicted Garys team.
With so many new NFT projects launching, founder research is a critical part of finding good projects that stand out from the crowd. So many people talk about betting on artists and operators, but few have the resources and time to go deep into the team to make sure they are the real deal.
Part of my mission is to do this work for you, and this article is no different.
I had the chance to spend an hour (on video) with Rob and Tina, the founders of the Conflicted Garys NFT project.
Rob has been in business for two decades from starting a car wash to owning a restaurant and Tina, a 2020 college grad, has been deep in the NFT space for the past 18 months.
The pair broke down their upcoming project that combines a hint of meme-ability, education about the larger regulatory landscape of NFTs, mobilization of a community, and utility provisions through, analytics tools, services, and more.
Quick Links and Dates:
April 19th, 2022 — pre-sale
April 21st — public mint (.085 ETH)
“We want to put a spotlight on Gary and anti-crypto-bullying. We want to form a movement, not just a brand.” — Tina, co-founder of Conflicted Garys
There’s hype, buzz, fun, and excitement around the space.
However, infrastructure and legalities are playing catch-up.
At the helm of where NFTs could go from a regulatory perspective is Gary Gensler, who is currently serving as the chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Rob and Tina have followed Gary since his days at MIT teaching about blockchain technology, digital currency, etc.
So why is he so important now?
He has oversight over the regulation of cryptocurrency.
I’ve written before that the biggest mistake people make when buying NFTs is that they think they purchased a share in a company. The problem is that any project founder promising monetary value from their efforts on a project brings an NFT into potential securities regulations, which aren’t yet well-defined and could spell trouble down the road.
Because NFT regulations aren’t well-defined, it may hold back the potential of what projects could become.
Despite teaching about the blockchain, Gensler says crypto is “the wild west” (and yes, in some ways it is) but seems to be ready to regulate.
Why should you care?
If you like crypto, NFTs, and the communities, regulation could directly impact you.
Conflicted Garys is derived from Gary teaching and supporting blockchain technology, to changing his tune now that he is in his current position. He’s . . . conflicted.
It’s a relevant cultural reference at a potentially historic era of defining and regulating the web3 space we’ve all come to know and enjoy.
“The purpose of this project is to start the movement — we have so much stuff in the works that we are not banking on this as our only income.” — Rob, Founder, Conflicted Garys
Cultural relevance and meme-ability are always factors to consider in an NFT project and I think as more information comes out about regulation, Gary Gensler will be put in the spotlight.
The art is 3D rendered and Rob, who is also the founder of TonicLabs.io has done work with Warner Brothers, CW, Dancing With the Stars, and other motion picture companies.
“We’re designers and developers by nature.” — Rob, Conflicted Garys
Rob originally started a car wash right out of high school, eventually, he studied architecture and design, and apart from being a founder of TonicLabs.io he owns a restaurant that was refit in 2018 to feature as much art as they could squeeze into the interior.
Tina has been deeply involved in NFTs as a collector and said that she and the team “are fortunate to be here and do our best.”
Both are managing about 40 employees across their businesses and have deep, practical operational experience.
They’re genuine, passionate, and expressed that they’re in this project for the long term. They already have a successful business venture and want to do this NFT project the right way.
“Regardless of what happens, we’re going to keep going.” — Rob, Conflicted Garys.
The art features Gary Gensler in a cheeky way, with a bag over his head, which will be removed during the art reveal. (Holders will have the option to download their Gary with the paper bag over his head, though!)
The art was originally done in 2D, but the team wanted to render them in 3D to bring a really polished product to market.
“In addition to the art and solid mission, the project itself offers significant utilities — well-thought-out, two phases for staking, enabling users to purchase merch and services — redeeming tokens for services. It’s for our ecosystem.” — Rob, Conflicted Garys
The project aims to bring a community together who is passionate about putting a spotlight on education about the regulatory space and help galvanize the community, but it’s also bringing utility as well.
Other robust analytics solutions, like Nansen.ai, cost up to $9,000 every quarter.
Decrypt.ai aims to be as robust and Conflicted Gary's holders who stake their NFTs for a certain period would be able to access this tool in perpetuity.
The founders will also set aside 128 ETH to invest in blue-chip NFTs using their in-house analytics tool that will be fractionalized across the community.
The plan is to add more services and products available via payment in Conflicted Gary’s tokens (unused tokens will be burned, making it deflationary) with the ultimate goal of bringing as much value to holders as possible. The name of the token they're using for the Conflicted Garys ecosystem is called the MSEC Token.
There are also early plans to provide regulatory news and resources to inform the community about what’s happening in the space. It’s something we aren’t paying attention to yet, but that will change especially if it goes in a direction the NFT community isn’t happy with.
The project is a blend of culturally relevant meme-ability, utility in products and services from a legitimate company, tokenomics that incentivize holding the project, and galvanizing and informing a community of what’s happening in the space from a legal perspective.
I enjoyed getting to know Rob and Tina and had to admit that even I didn’t know Gary Gensler.
That’s a name I’m going to keep more tabs on to make sure I understand what’s happening in the space from a regulatory perspective.
Rob and Tina also expressed to me that their team is flexible, open to feedback, and comprises devs, graphic artists, painters, contemporary artists, and more.
As I always mention, this is not financial advice. Do your own research before buying any NFT project, but my hope is that this deep dive provides you the research of talking to a founder of a project via written content.
Founders with experience are important.
Founders who have a reputation and are willing to go on camera and talk about a project are important.
Founders who have ways to bring different levels of value to a community are important.
The sense I got from both Rob and Tina is that they can do all of these things and what stood out to me the most was their personal connection to what this project stands for: a voice for the NFT community at regulations are shaped to guide us into the future.
They have a personal stake in this project and what it means for the future of this new space.
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