The Butcher Effect - MVHQ

The Butcher Effect

Causes, Symptoms and Prognosis

Mar 29, 2023
The Butcher Effect

If you aren’t following Jack Butcher, there’s a mighty high likelihood you’re inadvertently fading the latest arbiter of NFT floor prices. Sounding familiar? Yes, 2023 seems to have acquired its very own Banks/Gary Vee! Yes, one whose tweeting fingers are imbued with the very essence of hype and the rare ability to enact speculative wet dreams, thus far demonstrating a proclivity for destining collections to the moon with the simple reverberations of a rattling keyboard… or more accurately, seven characters on Twitter. One whose NFT ecosystem comprising multiple projects has featured consistently in the top volume rankings practically all month, with quite the advertising resume to boot. In short, it’s probably in your best interest as a trader to follow this guy on Twitter. (Just enable notifications with caution, or use Tweet Deck, as the dude likes to retweet – you’ve been warned.)


Now that that’s out of the way, the kettle’s hot and tea is waiting to be poured. Let’s dive into who exactly Jack is, why he suddenly wields such relevance in our space, and whether his projects are fud resistant or merely fad consistent. Shall we?


Jack has a background in graphics design and advertising, having worked with various high-end companies (Mercedes-Benz, American Express, Tiffany & Co) and is now running his own firm Visualize Value. His focus on personal productisation seems apt, given his reputation now precedes him in most NFT circles with an abundance of articles and comprehensive narrative surrounding him (what’s one more, right) - but why?


Butcher is a darling of the recent “open edition” meta, having minted over 16,000 Checks in January for $8 each, a not-so-subtle allusion to the novel commercialisation of Twitter verification by some anon called Elon, which now sit at a FP of over 2 ETH. The collection’s timing is synonymous with Elon’s attempt to challenge a model of “lords and peasants” top-down verification on the platform in favour of a bottom-up (paid) network effect, a sentiment echoed by its burn mechanics whereby users “combine” two original 80-check editions to obtain one 40-check edition. This can be repeated incrementally to obtain editions of 20, 10, 5, 4 and finally 1 check, a maximum 250 of which can ultimately exist. Combining 64 single-check editions results in one of three elusively holy grail-esque “black check” pieces. How far will individual traders go in this process? Will DAOs coalesce in pursuit of the coveted black check? Will the movement simply lose steam as hYpE moves on, given the NFT community has the attention span of a chronically ADHD hamster that has hitherto been fed twice its weight in Red Bull and cocaine thrice daily in lieu of a balanced diet?  Essentially, Jack has provided the basis of a project and community, the future of which is now to be decided by holders – a rather clever demonstration of decentralised network effects.


Jack is also the guy behind Opepen Edition, a collection you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone not fomo'ing into (or lamenting over) during the past two weeks, with over 15k ETH in 7-day volume. Somewhat of a sleeper hit, the cause of such fervour was a mere seven characters, “openPFP?” with which Butcher tickled our collective collectors’ senses and Marty McFly'd us back to the OG PFP meta. Commentary currently consists of a maelstrom of rumours regarding the artist(s) to be involved, whether provenance will affect metadata and the mathematics of burn mechanisms (which are certain to feature, given the collection’s size). Whatever materialises, I’d suggest stocking up on at least a handful of these, given the ongoing mystery surrounding the project, Jack’s connectedness and magical Twitterfingers, as well as his proven adeptness at constructing an ecosystem with value (NFA and whatnot). Whether that value is merely contingent on publicity, however, is yet to be seen.


Undoubtedly, Jack has injected engaging mechanics and sufficient fanfare into his projects, but are they complicit in a cash-grabbing meta, underscored yet again, by gimmicks? Let’s be honest, there’s nothing novel about utilising burn mechanics nor a regression to PFPs, yet Butcher basks in hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of profit and further dissemination of his burgeoning brand, VV. Particularly in the case of Opepen, which was admittedly created “on a whim,” seemingly has no roadmap and appears to be latching onto Twitter-induced hype in what might be the most exciting display of NFT improvisation since Pak in a long time, are we simply witnessing another passerby influencer who’s aware of their own dastardly pumponomics? Whilst the concept behind Checks is fascinating, is it merely an attempt to hoard secondary volume with an opportunistically timed movement that is ultimately dependent, once more, on the money one spends?


On the other hand, am I typically (biasedly?) sceptical of anyone who influences pumps on Twitter? Yes. Does Jack create brilliant, minimalist-yet-informative graphics? Yup. Is he transparent about his lack of roadmaps and explicit about the meandering nature of the “process” being central to his art? Yeah. Has he actually delivered compelling project mechanics? Yessir. Am I personally intrigued by the social commentary surrounding how we ascribe value to online verification, and how the symbolism present through the burning of checks relates to our understanding of abundance and exclusivity on this topic? Affirmative. Is my verdict that I find him interesting and utterly capable of contributing more than just passing fads to the space, and is therefore an increasingly cheerful investment prospect? At risk of sounding like a crazed fan (I’ll have you know I decided against composing a sonnet in place of this paragraph): most probably. My latest schtick is positive actors in the space rather than cash-clutching clout revellers, if you hadn’t heard, and all things considered, I prefer the Butcher effect to many of its predecessors. Prognosis: optimistic. Time will tell.


With that, I’ll leave you VV’s page. If you’re a sucker for quotation goldmines like yours truly, thank me later.


In the meantime, if you own any Butcherverse items, just take care to not miss any Tweets and ensure that you frequently “check metadata” lol.