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Flipped NFTs refers to an NFT movement based on mirroring or flipping recognizable crypto art imagery like CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club in order to resell them. The first flipped NFT collection was founded in June 2021, seeing a notable spike in late 2021 among controversy on Twitter.
The first flipped NFT project launched on June 14th, 2021 (called CyrptoPhunks), based on the preexisting CryptoPunks collection. The collection consists of CryptoPunk imagery but flipped so that the "punks" are facing left. The creators of the collection originally tried to mint their NFTs on OpenSea, but according to a statement released by them, their collection was banned from all major NFT platforms, resulting in them moving their CryptoPhunks to their own website called Not Larva Labs in reference to Larva Labs, creators of the original CryptoPunks.
Additionally, the CryptoPhunks creators minted a "Letter to Larva Labs" on the platform Foundation
(shown below). Within the statement, they outlined how the collection actually aimed to cement the strength of blockchain technology in regards to authenticity. They argued that their bootleg collection only solidified the CryptoPunks legacy instead of hindering it and that their criticism and censorship of it was unwarranted because of this. They also uploaded the letter to their website.
Another flipped NFT collection was launched in late December 2021, called PHAYC in reference to the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) collection. The creators of the project launched a page on Rarible, as well as a Twitter account in December 2021. The collection sold its highest-selling NFT on December 29th, 2021, for roughly $14,900.
Reactions to the PHAYC NFTs following their launch in December 2021 were both negative and positive across platforms like Twitter. For instance, Twitter user kerneltrader posted a tweet (shown below, left) on December 29th, reiterating the hatred centered on the BAYC community, citing that sentiment as the project's success. Twitter user end0xiii also posted a PHAYC-related tweet on December 29th, showing off that they'd purchased the PHAYC version of their BAYC because "i see both sides like Chanel." Their tweet (shown below, right) received 374 likes in one day.
Other users started posting memes about PHAYCs on Twitter, like lmfaoscav, who referred to the "A Toofpick Changes Everythang" meme as "all you need to know about BAYC vs PHAYC." The tweet (shown below) gained 432 likes on one day, as well as being retweeted by the official PHAYC Twitter account.
Twitter discourse between BAYC buyers and PHAYC buyers continued to ramp up going into the rest of December 2021. Users from the PHYAC side started to troll BAYC Twitter users in subsequent threads. One example was reposted by Twitter user cryptoskullx on December 29th (shown below). The screenshot shows users arguing over whose "ape" is fake and whose is not based on which side it's facing.
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