Frequently Asked Questions about Curio Cards
Curio Cards debuted on May 9, 2017. For context, that’s six weeks before CryptoPunks and a year and a half before Uniswap. The first week saw the release of three cards (Apples, Nuts, Berries) by the artist Phneep. The next three cards followed every week (with the exception of Cards 10, 20, and 30 that were released on their own when their week came around).
Curio Cards is the first example of the current most popular category of NFT, digital artwork. It was published on the Ethereum network as a set of unique and rare digital collectibles. The few examples of NFTs that pre-date Curio Cards are either not digital artwork (Etheria, as digital land), or on a different network (RarePepe on Counterparty).
Curio Cards artwork contains examples of storytelling (Cards 1–10, 21–23), social commentary and parody (Cards 11–16), charitable fundraising (Cards 14–16), the first dogs on Ethereum (Cards 17–19), Patreon-style membership (Card 20), pfp avatars (Cards 21–23), physical art turned into digital art (Cards 24–29), hand-drawn patterns (Cards 24–26), collectively created generative artwork (Cards 27–29), and animated gif NFTs (Cards 23 and 30).
Curio Cards is an artist-first project, conceived to support artists, and demonstrate and promote digital art as a medium. One hundred percent of the sales of the original Cards went to the artist (or the charity of their choice), and one hundred percent of the ongoing creator royalty goes to the artists. Released before NFTs were popular, Curio Cards' mission was to educate people on crypto and support digital artwork.
Curio Cards is the first NFT project to use IPFS, a distributed hosting protocol, to secure the artwork. All of the metadata is immutable, and not dependent on any single node. Owning a Curio Card is a irrevocable and distributed ownership of a digital print.
The price ranged from $0.50 to $1 per Card.
Curio Cards behave like digital prints, with the 'cards' concept used to explain their collectible nature. They work like baseball or Pokémon cards.
Curio Cards was created with two main goals: to promote digital art, and to promote digital artists. Both goals meant getting the artwork into as many hands as possible, something that prints do better than single-piece sales.
Each Card represents a whole series of that Card, a print run of multiple copies. Each of the 1-30 Card series is unique, with different artwork and supply, and each individual Card in the series is a non-divisible rare collectible. Since Curio Cards are always mint condition and share a common series (their Card number), each print can share the same market and trade under the same price, optimizing market liquidity and price discovery.
The amount of each Card's print run supply varied from week to week.
For cards 1–10, the supply was decided by the collectors. A large number of Cards were made available, but all the unsold Cards were destroyed at the end of each week.
For cards 11–30, the supply was decided by the artist being featured. This amount changed from week to week as artists learned from observing the effect supply had on previous artist releases.
The supply can never be increased beyond the number of Cards created in 2017.
The only way to get a Card now is to trade on a secondary market like OpenSea, where collectors buy and sell existing cards. All of the Card vending machines from 2017 are sold out, where one hundred percent of the sales revenue went to the original artists. The community voted for a 1% royalty fee on all OpenSea trades to be equally allocated to the artists. No OpenSea cut is taken by the team or community. Curio Cards has always been about supporting artists and promoting digital artwork as a medium.
Wrapping is only relevant if you bought Cards from the original 2017 vending machines, which are now sold out.
Curio Cards pre-date modern NFT standards and are unique in how they were created. While Curio Cards acted as inspiration for later standards (referenced in EIP-721 and EIP-1155), they are not compatible with those later standards. To resolve this, a contract called a wrapper was created by members of the original team and the cardholder community.
Wrapping takes a Card and "wraps it" inside a modern NFT token (specifically an ERC-1155 token). Imagine putting an old baseball or Pokémon card into a protective sleeve to allow easy trading; this is what wrapping does.
Modern platforms like OpenSea need the Cards to be in these new sleeves to allow trading. It is a compatibility tool, with nothing about the Card you own changed. You can unwrap a Card at any time, so there is no difference in value between a wrapped or unwrapped Card. And, unlike physical paper cards, Curio Cards are always mint condition.
Cards purchased through OpenSea will already be wrapped, so you don't need to do anything. Collectors tend to leave their Cards wrapped. Check out the Wrapping page for more info if you're curious or have an old vending machine-purchased Card.
Lack of testing frameworks and low gas costs made "testing on mainnet" common practice at the time of the project's development. When Cards 17, 18, and 19 were deployed and tested, an issue with the vending machines was found that made Cards 18 and 19 unpurchaseable. The issue was fixed, all of the week's contracts were redeployed, and Cards 17–19 were officially released.
However, the first 17 Card still worked. Its vending machine wasn't affected and still allowed purchasing. At the time, it wasn't listed for purchase, and was simply forgotten about; a leftover artifact of a standard test deployment.
Fast forward to March 2021: A wave of new NFT interest spurred NFT archeologists into exploring the Ethereum blockchain for lost treasure. During their search, they found an unknown, unlisted Curio Cards vending machine, full of a different 2017 Card 17 series. The community now calls this card "17b" or the "misprint card."
While it wasn't an "official" card, 17b is still a real and perfectly functional Card, created entirely in 2017, with a treasured history and a strong following. People consider 17b a necessary part of any full-set holders collection.
Since it was relatively unknown at the time, Card 17b was not included in the official wrapper and is not available on the verified OpenSea collection. As an immutable smart contract, 17b can't be added to the official wrapper retroactively. Unofficial third party wrappers exist for trading 17b. But, since these are unverified collections, make sure to check with the
#market-discussionchannel on Discord for which are safe to use.
The artists retain licensing rights to their work that you will need to consider, with each artist potentially having a different policy regarding selling derivatives of their work.
To join the Curio Club, verify you're a cardholder or have at least 1 NFTx Curio Token (each token is backed by one floor-priced Curio Card). To verify this, type
#bot-commandsDiscord channel and verify with Collab Land. You can now see the