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The goal is to find the fair market value for assets with a high friction for sales, and with large swings in available liquidity, but at the same time discourage anti-competitive practices that often come attached to such assets. Squatting, monopolization, cornering the market, and forming cartels are prevented by the snipe mechanism.
Robust royalties progressively being paid to the creator of the asset encourages good faith practices in development, as the profit is backloaded to the tail end of use of the project, rather than the shoveled into their truck at the beginning. This discourages flimflam practices of hype, delays, and low quality delivery.
Igor is a standard ERC721 NFT PFP with a twist; he can be sniped at any time by anyone if they trigger a function to pay the current owner fair value plus a market premium, or step.
Igor can be sold, transferred freely, or locked in contracts, but if someone wants to pay the current snipe price, then he will become theirs no matter what. Please be careful of what contracts you put Igor in, because they may not have accounted for this use case. No matter what an external contract says, Igor can be sniped if it is 'Sniping Season'.
There are 35 steps which range from from 0 to 34. Step 0 is the initial price of Ξ0.1. Once Igor sells for the first time, the snipe price moves to Step 1, which is Ξ0.15. Anyone wanting to own Igor can trigger the snipe function by paying this amount. Each time Igor sells the step to snipe increases.
The steps are Ξ0.1 (Step 0), Ξ0.15, Ξ0.21, Ξ0.28, Ξ0.36, Ξ0.45, Ξ0.55, Ξ0.66, Ξ0.78, Ξ1, Ξ1.5, Ξ2.2, Ξ3, Ξ4, Ξ6, Ξ8.5, Ξ12, Ξ17, Ξ25, Ξ35, Ξ47, Ξ60, Ξ75, Ξ92, Ξ110, Ξ130, Ξ160, Ξ200, Ξ250, Ξ310, Ξ380, Ξ460, Ξ550, Ξ650, Ξ760 (Step 34).
Sniping is not perpetual. If the current step is Step 20 or less, one can permanently remove the sniping functionality by paying a lump sum of Ξ141. After Step 20 is passed, then sniping is only unlocked by reaching the final level. Once Step 34 is reached, sniping is automatically disabled permanently. Igor reverts to being a stock ERC721 once sniping season is over.
Each time Igor is sniped, the creator of the contract (EtherCats) receives a share of the profits the person sniped receives. The rate is a fixed 1/4th of snipee profit no matter which step is active. For example, Igor is sniped on Step 2. The person sniping pays Ξ0.21 to the current owner, and their gross profit is Ξ0.06. The creator takes 1/4th of that as the royalty. The person sniped gets what they paid back, plus Ξ0.045 net profit.
There are no other royalties built in besides the sniping function. The bulk of royalties are backloaded. If Igor reaches mass appeal, then the creator stands to gain the most. This encourages the creator continue to service the project into the future even if snipes are slow at the start.
The goal is not to have an ever increasing price. It is to discourage squatting on something unused for long periods of time. Igor is in effect a leasehold with no fixed landlord when Sniping Season is open. The public essentially becomes the property manager of the asset, while the creator (in this case EtherCats), is the developer who was encouraged to sell under cost because of the reward of greater profit later with royalties.
Every 1209600 seconds (two weeks) a 0.1% tax must be paid to the original creator to extend the leasehold at the current level. If this tax to discourage dormancy is not paid, then anyone trigger a function to decrease the snipe step by one. This also resets the timer. If nobody snipes Igor, or no tax is paid (which would be now based on the lower step), then the function can be used again after another two weeks. This can continue all the way until Step 0 is reached again, or someone permanently owns Igor.
PFP Verification Standard
Igor is intended to be a much sought after PFP that the owner will want to proudly display. This project introduces the idea of a PFP Verification function in the contract to extend the ERC721 standard. This allows any site wishing to verify ownership of this NFT a way to retrieve both the address of the current owner and IPFS hash of the image simultaneously through one gasless call.
Any website with uploadable profile pictures may wish to restrict PFP NFTs from being displayed by people who do not own them. To do this, they would need to roll their own solution for restriction. One possible pattern would be to use the returned IPFS hash from the function to validate the original image, then calculate a fuzzy hash (because of potential cropping), and finally check for matches on upload. The server could listen for transfer events of the NFT, and disable it for the previously authorized profile if it is transferred.
While there is still nothing stopping someone from saving Igor for their own appreciation, society has shifted the concept of what forms an identity. It is already viewed as socially unacceptable by many to post PFPs one doesn't own as avatars on social media. This proposed standard just makes it easier for a PFP derived identity to be preserved on any site where impersonation can become a problem.
Every Ethereum address on the manifest in the first six months will receive a special edition Chainlink VRF generated EtherCats card game NFT commemorating Igor's Manifest on Polygon. There is no advantage to being first or last on the list. The NFTs will be distributed when appropriate (as determined by the EtherCats DAO).
The protectionist property markets of New York City, San Francisco, and London expose the problem in allowing certain types of speculation to corrupt ostensibly capitalist democratic governments. The homeless population in these places has exploded despite wealth accumulation increasing, and many people find it impossible to get on the property ladder from working class jobs. In many cases, landlords are highly incentivized to not rent available space if it means adjusting for market rates. This is often because of leveraged positions in their properties. If they lower rent, then the valuation of all of their assets can decrease below the minimum collateral requirements of their loan resulting in foreclosure. It is a game theory dilemma that cannot have middling outcomes, and this project seeks to explore a solution to that problem.
Igor's Manifest developed from furious early debates with Ethereum core members who wrestled with the implementation of Harberger taxes, and utility rent for the ENS and other resource sensitive problems in Ethereum. This project suggests that compassionate emotions, born out of strong altruistic beliefs, may have clouded the bigger economic picture in these discussions. Igor's Manifest does not claim they are wrong, rather it provides an opportunity to gather data for further discussion while exploring the limits of NFTs.
EtherCats was the first NFT project to deploy Chainlink VRF for minting dynamic NFTs. While this was successful, and showed how the future of collectible card games will look, the voracious appetite for PFP NFTs has opened up a new problems in the world very similar to the formerly mentioned real estate markets. The boom and bust cycles of the NFT world have occurred in very similar fashions, with predictable results. A few corner the market and exploit those coming late to the party. EtherCats has sought to stop the many forms of exploitative practices in the space, but it has become clear that decentralized oracles are not merely enough to make things better. New ways of thinking must be used to solved old problems reemerging on the bleeding edge of technology. This experiment seeks to do just that.
Igor is an unapologetically Russian cat. He is a grizzled veteran of the streets steeped in history. He remembers the collapse of the Soviet Union well. Igor is always working hard to hustle passing rubes out of some treats. He doesn’t smile because his dental health is poor thanks to years of ‘free’ socialized healthcare. This is the main reason Russians don’t smile.
The Pravda newspaper Igor is grifting on was published 12/12/1991, the birthday of the artist, Nadia Khuzina, just before the Soviet Union collapsed and all rubles were made worthless overnight. The top headline was "Shares of the All-Russian Exchange Bank Are a Guarantee of Your Success, A Symbol of Your Prosperity". Everything all seemed fine until it wasn't.
On 12/25/1991 Mikhail Gorbachev resigned, and the next day the USSR was dissolved. Khuzina was forced as young child to sell magazines on the street in the dead of that winter to afford food. Lack of proper nutrition plagued the dental health of many Russians from this era.