The next blessing of The Worm is coming, with a commemorative token raining down on the first Ethereans lucky enough to have been visited by the digital invertebrate.
The Worm is a singular NFT and experiment giving and sharing digital art around the world, while also creating a collective narrative. The blessed token has visited 446 Ethereum wallets so far, sitting in its latest one now for almost two days. After 1,000 people have held the Worm, early acolytes will receive a new blessing: a special NFT limited to that early group
The Church of the Worm was launched by Ambition.wtf, a small NFT company that describes itself as a group of technomancers. The group previously released a procedurally generated cube series called Hexis, the CryptoPunks derivative CryptoJunks, and The Worm.
The Worm is the non-fungible token equivalent of Bitcoin’s Lightning Torch, where Bitcoin fans passed along and added to a cache of satoshis (the smallest unit of Bitcoin) to prove the robustness of Bitcoin’s lightning network.
Both social games were all about passing around a thing that has value from one person to another and trusting that no one would steal it. The Worm takes advantage of smart contract technology, and leaves a very clear trail of non-tradeable NFTs behind as it goes. Like Jay Pegs Auto Mart.
The Church of the Worm showsf how NFT technology has been a way to use intellectual property and create a subculture across the internet, one that has the potential to take on a life of its own.
“Everyone has been very excited about sharing it with other people,” Megan McNames, the creative director at Ambition for The Church of The Worm, told The Defiant.
It was colder than anyone expected it to be as The Defiant met Ambition members while they displayed their giant stuffed Worm totem out on the Naked Cowboy’s favored stomping grounds. They were dressed in the green and black cloaks of the Church of the Worm, welcoming new acolytes to get their photo taken with their human-sized representation of the true annelid.
The Worm totem and the costumes were attention-getting enough that as soon as we finished talking folks started asking to take photos with The Worm and its handlers.
The Worm was hatched in late July. There is nothing stopping users from selling The Worm on OpenSea or Rarible once they have it, and there’s nothing making them send it on to someone else.
So far, The Worm community has been content just to give it to others. They hold it for a while, get their NFT, mint their spot in the chain of custody and let The Worm wriggle along. Sometimes The Worm moves swiftly from one wallet to another and sometimes it sits in place for days. It’s up to the latest recipient.
The Worm’s Travels
“It’s so exclusive because there’s only one of them,” Green said. The more The Worm travels, the more its legend grows and so, too, does the incentive to keep it or try selling it.
The community has resisted paying for The Worm so far, instead preferring to reward others for contributing to Worm fandom in some way. One way Worm hopefuls help to insure getting to hold it one day is by forming teams. If a team member gets the worm, they all agree to pass it around to everyone on the team first before letting it leave the group. This is as close as anyone has come to attempting to exert some control over the process.
McNames said she is hoping that this is an experiment that lasts forever and that she’s still checking The Worm’s travels when she’s 90.
The Worm’s short life has not been without drama. After hitting its 272nd wallet, The Worm got transferred to a scam wallet and it got stuck there.
Ambition had a way to change out the art on the NFT. McNames said that Green codes under the motto: “If you can’t make it perfect make it upgradeable.” So they decided to challenge the community. Because at that point, 272 people had held the Worm before it got stuck, they asked for the same number of people to mint a candle NFT and show they wanted the worm to be saved. The community quickly galvanized, and 2,112 candles were minted before the candle-minting contract closed.
So The Worm was resurrected on a new smart contract that had a mechanic (called “yoink”) to save it if it got stuck again.
Ambition hopes to make the blessing for the first thousand acolytes by the end of the year. This won’t be their first. The first 100 got a similar gift (a special NFT by artist Bryan Brinkman), but Ambition hopes there are many more wallets for The Worm to travel through and more blessings — if it is The Worm’s will.