Benzinga Exclusive: Interview with a Sneaky Vampire Syndicate
Discussing staking, blood, and bats with the world’s most chilling NFT project.
Halloween is frightfully close at hand, and in a year already punctuated by masking, unmasking, and a sense of existential dread, it seems particularly appropriate to catch up with the most popular undead-related generative NFT project, Sneaky Vampire Syndicate (SVS), which officially launched less than a month ago on September 13, 2021.
Vampires are of course one of the most popular recurring characters (or monsters) in English literature, and since additions to the lore made in Brahm Stoker’s classic book “Dracula,” the creatures have gained a reputation for style. Perhaps an ideal basis for an NFT art and collectibles project -- a coalition of “8,888 Sneaky Vampires living their best life in the Syndicate.”
In a recent survey conducted by Yahoo Finance, 500 NFT analysts were asked to rate NFT projects by uniqueness, virality, media presence, possible increase in value, and execution and SVS ranked #5 out of 100 projects rated.
According to SVS, their current traded volume is 17,100 ETH (~$64,000,000) as of October 14, 2021, and there are 4,900 holders of the ghoulish revenants.
Blood, bats, and champagne...
SVS is intent on the continual expansion of its shadowy world. Every vampire needs a bat (the creatures of the night, what music they make) so they launched a line of Bat companion NFTs airdropped to SVS holders.
And of course, any Vampire ecosystem runs on BLOOD. So, SVS recently introduced a blood utility token. The team is clear that BLOOD is a utility token and not a financial instrument, but staking (pun intended?) is already available. Users can stake Vampires or bats to receive BLOOD tokens.
Balancing utility with earthly delights, the team recently announced on Twitter they have partnered with the vintners of Goût de Diamants, “the world’s most expensive champagne brand” which will be purchasable with BLOOD tokens. A taste of real-world utility for the new BLOOD tokens, and hopefully just the beginning of how BLOOD holders can expect to use the tokens.
NFT projects don’t have a rock-solid record of living up to future-tense promises, but the SVS team, true to form, remains thirsty for expansion as they are charming on presentation. Their roadmap, posted on Twitter on October 4, has an ambitious flight trajectory.
Interview with the Vampires
We spoke with Woof, Lead Dev and Founder for SVS. The answers provided in text are from Woof and the SVS team.
Woof, Lead Dev & Founder of Sneaky Vampire Syndicate
Why does the team choose to remain pseudo-anonymous? Who makes up the SVS team?
“We prefer to remain pseudo-anonymous within the Crypto Space... Our team comprises five members who have been friends and all within the Crypto space for several years, some as early as 2013. We approached our artist, Mig, before beginning the project knowing how talented he was and the expertise he could bring to the table. We knew with our management and development backgrounds paired with his artistic ability we would be able to bring SVS to light.
Anonymity is an extremely powerful tool if used appropriately in the circumstance. As with most things in crypto, space privacy is a well-respected trait, and we try to encompass all the work we do around this value as well. There is a power to staying as pseudo-anonymous as possible; we all have a "personality" online and are relatively well known in our own space.”
Aside from the obvious metric of sales, how do you define your success with SVS?
We believe this amount of volume within only a month of launching speaks for itself on how interested and driven the community is about SVS as a project. Our current holder percentage is 55% (8888 Vampires among 4900 Holders). This is also a great achievement which we have held since launch.
We believe our fair launch strategy, with no gas wars allowed for a level playing field and allowed us to get the vampires into the hands of the early supporters who wanted them, which is exactly as we desired.
What makes SVS successful? What do people relate to about the project?
“We believe the #1 aspect that makes SVS successful is the community drive. There are many projects where all investors are simply there as a way to add to their portfolio and ultimately profit. SVS is very different from this, the community is at the center of every single decision made. We believe the community relates and is able to see the passion the entire SVS team has for the project and can relate to the fact that everyone's number one priority is simply to elevate SVS as a project.”
How do you stay in regular communication with your audience?
“We spend the majority of our time speaking to our community on Discord. All the founders tune in and participate in the chat daily. Something we’ve really put a lot of focus on since before we launched was a weekly AMA session! We dedicate about 75 minutes a week to a Discord AMA with our community where we interact with them and answer anything they have to ask us. It is a great time and something both the community and us truly enjoy!”
How do you incentivize users? Tell us about BLOOD tokens.
“As for “farming” in the traditional DeFi sense, we do not incentivize this at all through our tokenization. OpenSea's terms of service have made things very clear on how staking/tokenizing can breach their ToS through the assets having financial incentivization, thus forming a security, which will get collections banned from OpenSea.
The approach we are taking is simple, we will be launching the $BLOOD token. The $BLOOD token will be the utility token for the SVS universe. All partnerships, collaborations, and other things that we bring to SVS will be via the $BLOOD token, giving as much utility to SVS holders as possible. A game is also being developed right now which only SVS holders can access, with the community being able to make suggestions to any changes or additions they’d like along the way.”
What's the vision? When is the SVS universe complete?
“As far as we see it, the SVS universe is never complete. Our aim from the beginning has been to redefine the “profile picture project” into being something with so much more use, utility, and real-world value. We have so much planned that we haven’t announced yet to continue to build the SVS community and brand for years to come.”
How do you pivot on such a huge success? Do you have your next project in mind?
“Our goal and ambition were to simply build something that the community could enjoy and bond around. We are eternally grateful for all the success we have had since our launch with SVS and have no intentions to do a new project. The only major thing that’s up next for us to work on would be Gen 2. Female Vampires are coming soon.”
What are you adding to the art/collectibles NFT space?
“We are constantly adding as much real-world utility as possible to the NFT space. We understand that at its core an NFT is a digital asset that could be a collectible, art piece (digital art), etc. Our aim from the beginning was to bridge the gap between the “Real World” and the NFT space. We have been working tirelessly on this and with our recent partnership additions such as releasing our own exclusive SVS champagne, we are happy to say we are taking strides in the right direction.”
What makes a truly great NFT project?
“A great team, great art, and great vision behind them. A team’s ability to execute is also incredibly important and should not be underestimated. Crypto and the NFT space is truly an amazing place to be, and it is overwhelming, to say the least, to see the amount of exciting talent that we have today.”
When your project has this much hype, how do you deal with it? How do you keep it going and do you prepare for it to not last forever?
“The hype and support we received from the get-go was truly something else. It is extremely humbling to see and be on the receiving end of the kind of support that we got. The only way to deal with it is to work on our execution and work tirelessly to deliver what we can for the community. Of course, we are prepared for it to “not last forever”, but that doesn’t change anything between us as a team. With or without hype, we are working endlessly and want to achieve our goals for the community, as well as ourselves.”
Where is the NFT art/collectibles boom going? Is everyone accepting digital ownership more deeply or is this a bubble in time?
“The NFT ‘boom’ is going nowhere. In the age of digitalization, we believe it really is the future that people expressing themselves on their online presence is here to stay. Over the past 3 months alone, the NFT and digital ownership acceptance have increased greatly, with many new faces coming on board who didn’t even know what an NFT was before Q3 2021. We believe this is an exciting process and something that is here to stay, with even higher adoption rates long-term.”
The idea of working tirelessly and endlessly seems on-brand for a syndicate of vampires. SVS has ambitions to match its success, and just a month after launch is busy offering new ways for fans and buyers to interact with the SVS universe and find real utility for BLOOD Tokens.
SVS has soared through the challenges of a new NFT project gracefully like a dark wing silhouetted against a full blood moon. However, one test almost no NFT project has gone through is the test of time. If the SVS team continues to innovate and expand its project while interacting with its fans (one of the keys of success to any project), the vampires are likely to have a sunny future.
See also: Benzinga's NFT Realease Calendar
Cover image modified from image by superemelka from Pixabay
Sneaky Vampire Syndicate images provided by SVS
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