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The story of the first-ever CryptoPunk rapper — Crypto Visionaries, with Spottie Wifi (Part 1/3)

Spottie Wifi presents himself as the only CryptoPunk rapper alive. That isn’t a surprise, as he keeps complete anonymity by showing himself as a talking CryptoPunk head. Spottie Wifi brings the worlds of music and cryptocurrency together and aims to revolutionize the way artists interact with their public. This is his story.

Remember that you can watch the full interview on YouTube.

Who is Spottie Wifi?

Spottie got into cryptocurrency in late 2017, which was a special time for those who were there by that time. It was the first significant bull market, where Bitcoin reached its then all-time high of $19,500. Of course, if you lived that, you may also remember the subsequent crash to $7,000 two months later.

“I remember being at my parents’ house for the holidays. The crypto market was going insane. It was like a blow-off top. I’m watching CNN with my parents, and they’re talking about Bitcoin and crypto,” recalled Spottie.

But things quickly went downhill.

Bitcoin’s bull run at the end of 2017 and the following crash a few months later (Source: Coin Metrics).

Spottie was inexperienced, with no prior exposure to markets nor financial background. He even describes himself back then as part of the “dumb money” that rushed in at the end of that bull market.

“I put in way more than I was prepared to lose. A lot of best practices that I would preach now, I did not understand at that time,” he remembered.

Despite the crash, Spottie didn’t give up. He was convinced that “crypto is the way, crypto is the future.” He did his homework and started educating himself on the matter. “I just kept studying, researching, listening to YouTube channels. In the shower, on the train, on the way to work, at work,” he explained, recalling how convinced he was. “I did not sell. I held through, and I kept buying more when I could. It hurt my stomach a lot of the time, but I just believed in it.”

Talk about diamond hands.

Fast forward a couple of years to January 2021. Spottie discovered NBA Top Shot — an NFT platform that allows you to buy and own iconic NBA plays and moments. “That was my gateway to the NFT world.” Then in February, a friend of his introduced him to CryptoPunks.

“If I really believe in this technology, then why wouldn’t I want to have some exposure in the blue-chip or the rookie card of NFTs? That’s when I bought CryptoPunk 5528,” said Spottie.

Now, he bears his 5528 as his very own face with pride.

Bridging crypto and music

They say the best journeys are those that aren’t planned, that happen spontaneously. That is the case of the birth of Spottie Wifi. “When I bought my CryptoPunk, I had no idea I was going to begin this musical project, that I was going to become Spottie Wifi. I was really just looking for value,” he said.

Spottie’s first album cover, featuring his #5528.

He just dove into the NFT marketplace, found the rarest one he could afford — the spots in his punk’s face are on only 124 out of 10,000 — , and bought it.

As he got involved in the CryptoPunk community, he started noticing a trend.

“I saw people like GMoney, Beanie, Artchick, who are creating very authoritative and credible personas anonymously behind their CryptoPunk.”

Then, the idea struck him. He would do the same, but not just being himself as an investor behind the punk mask, but by stepping into a whole new character of his own creation. As someone who had been a full-time musician, he immediately took the chance to innovate.

“This could be my cheat code, my way to kick the door and do it in a different way,” he remembers thinking.

At some point, the name Spottie Wifi popped into his head. He then showed everything to his producer — the picture of the CryptoPunk, the name, and the idea of the persona behind it — and “it just instantly clicked.” His producer believed in the concept, and the rest is history.

The CryptoPunk collection, by LarvaLabs (LarvaLabs, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons).

Taking care of the community

Integrating blockchain and NFTs into music sounds like an exciting idea on paper, but what are the actual differences between that and the traditional way?

To Spottie, it’s all about community. But there are both benefits and responsibilities to it.

“Spottie — the persona — has a reputation, and I have to take that responsibility seriously. Now that I have NFTs out there and I have collectors, I have to be careful about not putting my personal impulses out there to their detriment,” explained the musician. “I don’t just represent Spottie anymore. I represent all the spotties, all the token holders,” he added.

On the other hand, linking NFTs and crypto to his musical career has its perks too.

“Part of the beauty of NFTs is that I can be on Discord, and I can see exactly who has supported me with their wallet. I can hear their feedback and say, ‘You know what? That’s somebody I’m going to listen to because they really believe and they see something in me.’”

Indeed, that is only possible through blockchain technology, and Spottie Wifi is making good use of it and making sure his most loyal supporters are heard.

This is the first of a three part story with Spottie Wifi. To read the other parts, visit the links below.

Part 2/3: Cryptocurrency and NFTs; the future of music?

Part 3/3: NFTs are helping build the new creator economy

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