The mystery is part of the magic: the journey to the birth of Hashmasks


After initial success, the two founders of Hashmasks intend to hand over the project to the community.

Original Title: “The Story Behind Hashmasks: The Road to the Birth of the Best Art on Ethereum
Written by: Scott Chipolina
Translation: Moni

On January 27, 2021, an Ethereum community member with the ID name “Cryptopathic” sent a message about an art auction to his friend, a well-known big V in the crypto industry, “Crypto Cobain”. This work is actually a series , The name is Hashmasks, which contains thousands of native digital artworks.

The mystery is part of the magic: the journey to the birth of Hashmasks, a new star in the art of encryption

“Cryptopathic” feels that perhaps Hashmasks may become the next wave of craze. He explained:

“I am very interested and very excited about this topic. I think Hashmasks has at least one feature: fun! It can even be compared to Cryptopunks.”

Planet Monarch o-daily Note: Cryptopunks is an early form of NFT. Its biggest feature is to draw a large number of small pixelated facial images. Now these works are sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The mystery is part of the magic: the journey to the birth of Hashmasks, a new star in the art of encryptionHashmasks Artwork

Crypto Cobain received the private message sent by “Cryptopathic”, and then shrugged. Hashmasks looked good. $100,000 is not a big sum for Crypto Cobain. With the recommendation of friends, he quickly invested his money in it. , And then an additional $100,000 was added. But just after the $200,000 was spent, Crypto Cobain felt a little impulsive… and wrote on Twitter:

“Why should I spend $100,000 on Hashmasks!”

However, in less than a week, Crypto Cobain’s impulse paid off. Thousands of buyers poured in and snapped up 16,384 works of art, with a total price of more than 16 million US dollars. In addition to the value of Hashmasks itself, the corresponding NCT token price has also risen. The value of the $200,000 Hashmasks initially invested by Crypto Cobain soared to $426,000, which meant that his investment increased by 113% in just five days.

Many people think that Hashmasks art trading is an “emergency event”, just like the tidal version instantly hit the Ethereum community, but this is not the case. Hashmasks actually took a long time to deploy the industry, and finally it will be established in 2021. Enviable development momentum.

The birth of Hashmasks

A Hashmask creator-because he wanted to remain anonymous, we will call him David for the time being-as early as the fall of 2019, he started preparing to launch an NFT project, but frankly, no one knew at the time that the project would eventually What it became.

If we go back to 2019, there is no doubt that Hashmasks is just a vague and distant goal. In fact, when David first teamed up with another anonymous partner (let’s call it John) to initiate an NFT for the first time, they didn’t seem to have many other options.

The mystery is part of the magic: the journey to the birth of Hashmasks, a new star in the art of encryptionHashmasks Artwork

However, the initial cooperation between David and John did not go well. On the one hand, David stubbornly hopes to launch a large number of Hashmasks because he wants to share his works as much as possible with the target market; on the other hand, John believes that a “certain number” of Hashmasks needs to be selected to make it more rare and valuable. Will be higher-in the end, John won the “battle”, two visionary artists decided to create 16,384 works of art, and called them “Hashmasks”.

As a digital art collection, this is the first time in NFT history: Hashmasks allows each collection to be named by the buyer, which means that the value of each collection will be determined by the art creator and the consumer. .

The mystery is part of the magic: the journey to the birth of Hashmasks, a new star in the art of encryptionA series of attribute characteristics involved in Hashmasks

Each individual Hashmasks collection presents a “humanoid figure” figure, but compared to ordinary people, these characters are more aliens-they have different skin and eye colors, so they look very weird , But it is precisely because of this weirdness that it is fascinating.

In addition to the unique features visible to the naked eye, each Hashmask possesses rarity through its own name, and the name of the work is selected by consumers rather than artists-this is why NCT ​​(namely: Name Changing Token, Name Changing) Token), in fact, every Hashmask artwork has its own NCT token, allowing you to choose a name, which is a key part of David and John’s plan.

But to build such a huge project, they also need a group of diligent artists.

Recruit an army of NFT artists

David and John began to frequent social media looking for talented emerging crypto artists. They also found that many low-priced artworks can be found through Fiverr. Many artworks on the platform cost as low as $5, but the problem is that cheap is not good.

David reluctantly said:

“We have to weed out many artists because the quality of their works is really poor and cannot pass quality control.”

David and John did not simply pursue quantity. They also have high expectations for the quality of their works. For a long time, they have been trying to solve the problem of “quality and quantity”. For now, even if the two recruited an army of 70 digital artists, their work is far from over.

The mystery is part of the magic: the journey to the birth of Hashmasks, a new star in the art of encryptionAnother set of Hashmasks series of artworks

For the two founders, David and John, they did not allow commissioned artists to create all Hashmask collections, but instead allowed those commissioned artists to focus on creating specific parts of Hashmasks, which gave each Hashmask its unique rarity. For example, eye color, skin tone, and mask. Then, they will put these different pieces of work together like a jigsaw puzzle.

David explained:

“Finally, when we collect all the works created by these artists, my partner and I will build the entire work-to complete the final masterpiece, most of which are made using algorithms, about 20% are made by hand. We are like Artist’s artist.”

Soon, the first Hashmask work was completed and ready to go on sale-January 28, 2021, Hashmasks series works were launched on the Internet “low-key”. David stated:

“Hashmasks will continue to grow, and we are very confident about this. My partner and I have a clear target audience, and we are also the ones who make products for the products. It is very clear.”

Doubts before the auction

In a blink of an eye, Hashmasks ushered in the most important day, and the collection of collections is ready for auction!

According to the design of David and John, a key element of selling Hashmasks is to set a floating purchase price, that is: the earlier the customer buys, the cheaper the price, and the first selling price they set is even as low as 0.1 ETH (the price at the time was only 130 USD), but then it rose all the way to 100 ETH (the price was about 130,000 USD at the time). The reason for designing this pricing strategy is mainly to attract more people to buy Hashmasks.

The mystery is part of the magic: the journey to the birth of Hashmasks, a new star in the art of encryptionHashmasks pricing model based on floating ratio

But the question is, will anyone accept this pricing model? When the Hashsmasks team released the listing auction schedule, only a few people liked their tweets. One Twitter user even asked suspiciously:

“What if there are still Hashmasks for sale after 14 days?”

But the reality is completely beyond most people’s expectations.

Hashmasks are robbed

When the public auction started, those who doubted Hashmasks were “faced” because it took more than 6 hours to sell more than 3,000 rare and unique digital art works of Hashmasks. The Hashmasks Twitter administrator even tweeted “Helplessly” wrote on the above:

“I need to rest.”

3,136# Hashmasks were sold in the first 6 hours and 41 minutes.

I need to rest. Maybe I will leave this group for a while. I mean they will continue to work according to their wishes.

-Hashmasks (@TheHashmasks) January 28, 2021

Twelve hours later, the number of Hashmasks sold rose to 4,000. New buyers worked hard to conceive a unique name for their “Mask”. There was a lot of joy on social media. The voices that were pessimistic about Hashmasks have completely disappeared.

The rapid growth of Hashmasks surprised the two creators, even David himself admitted:

“We didn’t expect Hashmasks to grow so fast.”

By January 30, 2021, the return on the Hashmasks art collection has soared very high.

The first collection called Hashmask 1-originally sold for 0.1 ETH on January 28 (the transaction price of other Hashmasks works is 0.9 ETH, or about $1,600)-has received up to 100,000% Profit margin, the price has reached 130,000 US dollars that day.

The mystery is part of the magic: the journey to the birth of Hashmasks, a new star in the art of encryptionA set of Hashmasks series sold on OpenSea

Phil Jacobson, vice president of product and operations for creative marketing platform Hashtag Paid, was fascinated by the amazing momentum created by the Hashmasks series. He said:

“Once Hashmasks are sold out on Monday, February 1, my Twitter will be occupied by Hashmasks, because people will share what they get and exchange with each other, trying to figure out which Hashmasks are rare and which Hashmasks are not. , Or something else.”

Buyers like Hashmasks very much, and some even describe their participation in Hashmasks purchase as “the coolest thing they did in the cryptocurrency field that week.”

Now, the total sales of Hashmask series products have exceeded 16 million U.S. dollars. But then, the crypto community began to discover that these artworks have hidden huge surprises!

The devil is in the details

Many Hashmask collections may be assembled through algorithms, but this does not mean that its creator did not put his own “seal” on the artwork (carrying some of his own private goods). In some clearly visible places inside Hashmasks works, there are actually many messages that are hidden, waiting to be discovered by people.

The first person to discover hidden messages about Hashmasks came from Twitter.

On January 31, 2021, when the Hashmask transaction was not completely over, Twitter user Jon McIntosh realized that some collectibles (collections whose numbers belong to the Fibonacci sequence) had hidden Fibonacci symbols, all of which were hidden in Inside the eyes of the characters in the works.

The mystery is part of the magic: the journey to the birth of Hashmasks, a new star in the art of encryption

At the same time, Jordan Spence, the chief marketing officer of MyCrypto, also discovered that different collections can be pieced together like puzzles.

Twitter user Tom Fields said that he traversed Hashmasks hundreds of times, and also adjusted different attributes to discover hidden content, and finally unearthed Plato’s philosophy classic “The Utopia” on a yellow background. (Republic).

After adjusting the color scale in the image, Tom Fields dug up books that looked like QR Codes, which were scattered on the cover of the book. Then, he spent an hour running multiple photo programs until he could isolate the QR Code, and finally he posted the modified picture to Twitter.

A large number of encrypted community users gathered on Tom Fields’ Twitter and told him that the QR Code was actually a carefully crafted “Rickroll”-an Internet prank that would lead unsuspecting users to Rick In the famous single video created by Rick Astley in the 1980s. So, what is the name of Tom Fields’ Hashmasks? The answer is: “Never Gonna Give You Up” (Never Gonna Give You Up).

Reality and illusion

According to Twitter user Trentelme, not all Hashmasks are unique.

In fact, users of the crypto community on Twitter have already begun to come into contact with the “invisible hand” behind the Hashmask collection. According to Twitter user Cap_Plantain, he discovered the biggest secret inside Hashmask in just five minutes-by using shorthand technology (the practice of finding hidden messages in images), Cap_Plantain discovered that Hashmasks images can actually be completely changed.

Cap_Plantain found that there are additional metadata in images with different features. In many Hashmasks works, the artist himself uses Adobe Photoshop to add rare features.

Twitter user Trentelme spent 15 hours continuously researching the entire Hashmask portfolio.

“By the third or fourth hour, my eyes have been trained, and some of the smallest anomalies can also be detected by me-I found many of these things, I believe the community still doesn’t know.”

The mystery is part of the magic: the journey to the birth of Hashmasks, a new star in the art of encryptionSome Hashmasks art works with hidden messages

Trentelme identified two collections-called “The Real” and “The Unreal”-Hashmask 3350 and Hashmask 9934. Both works contain a small Sanskrit message, which is hidden in The left side of the work extends vertically.

Trentelme believes that David and John tried to use this as an accident. He wrote on Twitter:

“When I told them, they were really surprised.”

But Trentelme is still happy to experience The Real Hashmask first hand, adding:

“I am not particularly lucky to have it. It is not because of a lottery or a large investment, but pure obsession.”

Others may also stumble upon the hidden messages in the work, but no one seems to be able to compare with Trentelme because he spends a lot of time searching.

What’s next for Hashmasks?

Now, Hashmasks have all been sold, but their previous commitments are expected to start to affect the NFT industry in the next few weeks and months.

On the one hand, Hashmasks has established a secondary market for cryptocurrency collectibles. So far, the market sales have reached 16 million U.S. dollars, and the price of a single Hashmasks artwork is basically between 1,700 and 17,000 U.S. dollars.

But as far as the two co-founders of Hashmasks, David and John are concerned, their work has been completed. Innovation has begun to move forward, just like your inventor Satoshi Nakamoto, the two founders of Hashmasks do not want their identities to be exposed, and do not plan to participate in it anymore.

David finally said:

“We will no longer interfere with Hashmasks, just like mysteries are always part of the magic.”

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