The Hashmasker's Dilemma by@whitechocolate

The Hashmasker's Dilemma

-The Manifesto proclaims that owners who participate by naming Hashmasks are founding creators -Multi-Nameooors are founding creators essential to complete the Hashmasks art -Formal strategies that reward community based behavior (naming) can help overcome the Hashmasker’s Dilemma
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White Chocolate

Burning $NCT to name Hashmasks at every opportunity

Welcome to modern game theory. You have a choice: act in your own best interest (cooperate with the cops) or the group’s best interest (remain silent). You decide to look out for numero uno and, BAM! Sentenced to 5 years instead of 365 days because everyone else decided to snitch too. That’s the “Prisoner’s Dilemma” and pretty much what’s happening to Hashmasks, minus the penal life. Why is that?


Roots and Graphs

The Hashmasks launched in January 2021 as a complete visual art and incomplete literary art project with the goal to merge the collector and collected. Its ERC-20 Name Change Token (NCT) innovated unique collector-creator ERC-721 name traits. A Hashmasks token canvas can be used to hold 1 unique name, up to 25 characters for 1,830 NCT + gas fees. Rename as much as you have 1,830 NCT + ETH for gas per name.

Hashmask began with 10 years of producing 10 NCT per day. On January 2031, all NCT production goes to 0, forever.

At the time of mint, it was been possible for the completed Hashmasks art to contain a maximum of up to 9,011,200 characters. At 1,800 characters per standard page that’s about the size of Wikipedia in 2009.

The Founders figured hype around the launch would be weak without a bonus to jumpstart naming so every minted ERC-721 token got an NCT bonus equal to one year’s worth, enough for 2 names. Or maybe it was so that the plebs wouldn’t have to watch whales farm NCT to create the best name traits first.

Note: there wasn’t going to be a bonus on any Hashmask tokens that didn’t mint out.

Hashmasks minted out, and the free brushes to write on a Hashmask canvas were a success. Naming mooned. Millions of NCT were burned per day. It looked like the 16,384-piece illustrated novel was going to be written as fast as NCT was produced. And then, something happened. Community members decided it wasn’t in their best interest to burn NCT to complete the art. Now, 2 names is a busy day for NCT.

Top: NCT sent to the burn address, Bottom: NCT price (naming goes up, NCT price goes up)

Top: NCT sent to the burn address, Bottom: NCT price (naming goes up, NCT price goes up)

No naming meant NCT hyper-inflation and hyper-inflation REKT the price of NCT. Look at NCT supply moon while NCT destroyed is flat. The on-chain analysis says project participation, aka NCT demand, is weak. Makes sense that the Hashmasks floor price gets punished. A Hashmask is the canvas that NCT gives access to.

NCT hyper inflation in action

NCT hyper inflation in action

The market prices floor Hashmasks in the range of 100-200K NCT. Typewriter factories lost value when people stopped using typewriters. Think of NCT as the typewriter. The ERC-721 visual art token is like a factory that produces NCT and can store NCT products, unique name traits.

NCT use, naming, is the on-chain metric the world uses to verify Hashmasks project participation. There’s no hiding what’s going on at the web3 typewriter factory.

Dear reader can decide whether:

  • (a) the ERC-20 wags the ERC-721’s tail or the other way around and
  • (b) will that change after January 2031, when NCT is no longer being minted?

Hashmasks floor priced in NCT using the Nifty Museum Hashmasks liquidity pool's MASK20 token as a proxy. NCT number go down, Hashmasks number go down.

Hashmasks floor priced in NCT using the Nifty Museum Hashmasks liquidity pool's MASK20 token as a proxy. NCT number go down, Hashmasks number go down.

“… participate in one of the largest collaborative NFT art projects in existence.”

Hashmaskers get great visual art and access to a canvas that turns ordinary owners into “founding creators.” What does it mean to be a founding creator and what makes a Hashmask token owner want to be one? We know what it takes to become one.

The time, ETH, and NCT opportunity costs haven’t completely stopped Hashmasks naming. Hashmaskers still roll out names to troll banks, capture a desirable 1/1 proper noun, build a unique naming evolution, brand or record historic events. Is that really enough to be considered founding creators?

Full stop, answer yes or no:

An owner who names a Hashmask is a founding creator because the Hashmasks merges the creator and the consumer of the art piece into one, as it says in the Manifesto.

  • Yes, - continue reading
  • No, Hashmasks is a rug and so is web3 - stop reading

Drinking a Bottle of the World’s Oldest Champagne, Tragedy of the Uncommons

Economics and game theory overlap with Tragedy of the Commons. Once upon a time there was a forest full of trees and nothing stopping the Commons from cutting down all the trees to build stuff. You guessed correct. The forest without logging limits was no more because individuals served their self-interests. Sad trombone, everyone ended up worse off long-term.

Resource + Demand + Low/no barriers to consumption = Resource used up, Everyone worse off

The Hashmasker’s Dilemma is a Tragedy of the Uncommons.

  • Theoretically Hashmasker’s must wait to accumulate enough NCT before it can be claimed and used to name (time barrier to consumption). In reality, there are LPs on Uniswap and Sushiswap (economic barrier).
  • Trees are renewable. They’ll grow back if you don’t cut them all down. NCT is finite. Less than 700 million will ever exist.
  • When a Common jacks a bunch of trees to build a house, the community gets hosed. When a Hashmask is named, the value of that burned NCT is redistributed to all the other NCT (scarcity) and ERC-721 token owners of a more complete artwork.

Every time a Hashmask is named, value is redistributed to all owners in the form of a more complete literary art project and increased naming scarcity (NCT number go up).


Here’s an IRL example. Divers pulled up 30 bottles of 18th Century champagne from the Baltic Sea in 2010 and promptly drank one. That was one less bottle of the world’s oldest champagne there would ever be. The remaining bottles all became more sought after and valuable.

Such a fine year 2021 was for Monnaie qui Change de Nom. Cheers UnCommons, to burning the world’s oldest on-chain naming utility token!! Now, how to get demand up?!

A Hashmasks Owner For Every Season

Flippers aside, Hashmask owners come in 4 flavors, sort of. Just like IRL life, we’re not all 1 or the other. My collection is a mix of 3 flavors, like Neapolitan/Harlequin.


Hang out in the Hashmasks Discord long enough and you are bound to see the most famous Virgin Maskooor of all, moonman66. To the best of my recollection, dear moonman was the first to champion the value of holding virgin Hashmasks.

Definitions vary. The most extreme, and least accepted, is that said Hashmask can’t have ever left the wallet it was minted from.

The general consensus seems to be that one day, unnamed tokens with all their NCT unclaimed will be a separate intra-Hashmasks thing.

Naming non-participant owners are the biggest blocker to completing the Hashmasks art. In full disclosure, there’s 1 virgin mask in my collection and not naming it for at least the next 8.5 years is part of my individual strategy. The reader is encouraged: DYOR, Do Your Own Research!

My guess is that after January 2031 some virgin masks will go up for sale. Virgin Maskooors are diamond hands playing a long game until at least 2031, when NCT is no longer minted. For the most part they’re not interested in selling soon. That’s my observation anyway and, we salute you!

moonman66, flexing no name + no NCT claim

moonman66, flexing no name + no NCT claim

Highlander fans head this way.

This is for the there can be only one clique. Maybe it’s naming to establish a brand. It could be that visual art commands a certain literary component. The Perfect Nameooor burns NCT to tailor-fit a name meant to last.


Look at the Hashmask, Iodine. Gas mask filters are color-coded to indicate what they protect against. Orange coded protective filters are for those times when you’re not trying to breath radioactive iodine, to include radioactive methyl iodine. Iodine gas is a purple color, just like the ERC-721’s background. Avoid the violet cloud. It’s as if our character is surrounded by radioactive iodine in the air and is wearing a gas mask to protect himself.

That perfect union of visual and literary art, it is a name trait match that arguably adds more value than any other name could. Iodine is the Hashmasks illustrated novel page 2,058 art complete✔. The market could devalue Iodine if the token was renamed to include another entry in the naming history, especially a name unrelated to the gas mask filter protection. Sought after harmonized visual and literary art gems like these leave 21 names on the table for other artists to pick up.

312/16,384 Hashmasks are red, orange, grey or blue pixel gasmasks. What do each of them protect against?

On-chain typos do happen. Here’s one and the Chad who made it the example to remember. Notice the extra n?

Hashmasks token #2751

Hashmasks token #2751

Your name. Two weeks pass of thinking that bit of artistry was quite clever. The name pops in the Discord, “Unnamed.” That’s when it hits, you made an on-chain typo. Top it off with the fact that this Chad named a Hashmask token that had never had the NCT claimed. This is Unnamed Hashmask with all its NCT is blockchain performance art. The Virgin Maskooor abides. Let’s revisit in January 2031.

Thanks for the [Un]naming idea. Hashmasks Token #2319

Thanks for the [Un]naming idea. Hashmasks Token #2319

Meet the Perfect Nameooor’s opposite. The Renameooor knows that low-effort naming can hurt a token’s marketability. Dope names that really fit the mask or evoke feelings through an event or persona can get more attention. Renameoor is the owner-artist operating your local Hashmasks literary art repair shop, pulling Masks from LPs and the floor. They go up for sale with a literary skills tax and charge for boring out the articulators.



A Renameooor could also be playing the market for well-named masks. Recently there was a fox mask taken out of the NFTX LP and renamed. Slapping the new name, “Foxy,” made the token more desirable.

This section had several Hashmasks that have been renamed. The purchase and renaming of this Hashy is featured because it so clearly marks an event and public figure. It’s a best piece to pivot from to the final kind of Hashmasker.

All the toppings. The Renameooor could end up using a lot of names for events in Stephen Curry’s career and becoming a Multi-Nameooor. The Multi-Nameooor fan becomes a literary creator pouring time, attention, ETH and NCT into creating an on-chain testament. Someone might even use more than the 22 names per Hashmask... ok, it hasn’t happened yet.

It could happen. It needs to. Considering how many names the Virgin Maskoors, Perfect Nameooors and Renameooors are going to burn NCT for names, it’s Multi-Nameooors who can change the game.


The longest multi-naming we’ve seen is Away By the Sea. It was a first. It enhanced the Hashmasks project with a piece of a public domain poem. It hasn’t been repeated and it’s also only 7 names long. That’s less than 1/3 the 22 names worth of NCT that Hashmasks get. See what kind of picture this is painting? Even if every Hashmask used 7 names the literary art would remain underwhelmingly incomplete.


It would be great to name a Hashmask more than 22 times. There’s just hasn’t been a rational reason to become a multi-nameooor on that level yet. Forget about triple-digit naming.

It’s Multi-Nameooors who name more than 22 times can really change the game!!

Would-be Hashmasks creatives need more motivation to redistribute ETH and NCT value to other players. Creator-founders who contributed 1 name’s worth and creator founders who contribute 183K NCT and 1 ETH in value added to the Hashmasks project get treated the same as owners who do not participate in naming. Dear Creator*-Founders, thanks for spending your supplies + time to name, and paying a secondary sales fee.* Ouch.

The current rules of the game leave 1 rational choice for would be multi-nameooors: someone else can name like that.

Breaking Out of the Hashmasker’s Dilemma

This would not be the first time big brains have come together to help individuals reprioritize the common good over their own short-term self-interest. Look at the rules of the game. This isn’t a one and done deal. To name or not to name, that is the question that gets asked repeatedly. The Hashy name-game, like IRL economic and societal interactions, is a game of multiple iterations.

  • Factor 1: players create incentives that build up over time, i.e. renaming poorly named Hashmasks and trying to flip them for profit. What do individuals do over time?
  • Factor 2: institutional rewards that give individuals a reason to distribute value back to the community; more naming = more rewards. Think back to the founders giving 2 free names at mint. What institutional rewards could sweeten the deal for founding creators??
  • Factor 3: Economic natural selection combines the first two. The institutional rewards for naming can motivate groups to identify and rename Hashmasks or give feedback on multi-naming ideas to maximize the group’s institutional rewards. What naming subcommunities could form around institutional rewards?


  1. The Manifesto proclaims that owners who participate by naming Hashmasks are founding creators
  2. Multi-Nameooors are founding creators essential to complete the art
  3. Formal strategies that reward community-based behavior (naming) can help overcome the Hashmasker’s Dilemma

Community Member Old, Member New: Thoughts From 2/2

Two Hashmasks community members shared some thoughts on naming. Our OG 1/2 used all 25 characters to name “Lucy,” LucyInTheSkyWithDiamonds. Her name aside, Lucy is the 3rd rarest Hashmasks canvas after the 2 transparent skins. In the realm of Perfect Names she is the queen of queens with all her jewels.

How many Hashmasks did you name and/or what percentage of your collection is named?

Roughly 60 percent name… bought a few names ones… I thought the names would be assets. I sold one or two masked but changed the name before I did…

Why do you think naming has fallen off so much?

I think naming hasn’t been something that was used in other projects. The community decided for the current moment it didn’t have the value I first thought it would have. Initially, I was naming my hashmasks after the symbols or secrets on that mask. I can only remember the clowns and banks where names became a thing. Going forward I still believe it will hold value if hashmasks take off again

What did you do with the extra NCT, if there was any?

I don’t do anything with NCT. I just keep it. But for the moment, I am not really expecting much from it.

What could be done to get folks to name more?

Super tricky to get folks to name. I think there has to be an incentive. And I don’t mean only monetary… I mean incentivized as it represents a movement or being part of a community… look at the clown/bank movement... Focus should be on how does it add value to the community and why would community members want to have names

Big warm welcome for 2/2, new to the community, the community member who created the first named sets! These thoughts from @smperlow go into the feels that created the named set of lions.


Where did you get the idea to create the first batch of named sets?

… my first Hashmask that I later named Visionary Lion, struck me as the picture of a young, entrepreneurial, forward-thinking man, empowered by the quiet around him… and my second lion—Stifled Lion—screamed at me of noise, and even oppression. How could that Lion accomplish anything? I positioned him next to Visionary Lion and thought the contrast between them told a story that would resonate in today’s world that can be so full of noise. The next day I noticed Harmonious Lion, which seemed to me a different path one could take—a full path, but full of a positive relationship with one’s surroundings, not an adversarial one…

What could be done to get folks to name more?

I wonder if more multi-Hashmask works would lead to more naming. With more than one Hashmask, the story being told is probably more complex. Naming Hashmasks—whether displaying the names on the art or not—could help creators tell those more complex stories.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about naming, NCT, Hashmasks etc?

I’m so excited to be a Hashmask owner. Wise @punk6529 has mentioned the value of buying NFTs that are “art that you like.” To me, Hashmasks are that, and more. They’re art that sparks my imagination, art that I love and will proudly display in my home, and art that I can build and be creative with. In ever turbulent crypto markets, those are exactly the kind of NFTs I want to own.

Start a Convo on Twitter (@WhiteChocoHashy, @TheHashmasks) or in Discord (

  • [ ]wtf did the founders give free 2 names at mint?
  • [ ]what reward would get more artists to use a Hashmasks canvas?
  • [ ]were references to leaves, roots, and graphs foreboding wordplay about the IRL champagne example?
  • [ ]who setup the 1st NCT liquidity pool?
  • [ ]wen naming moon?
  • [ ]how much total value will names add to the complete art 20%, 30%, 40%+?

This commentary and analysis is offered by a Hashmasks Team member for educational and entertainment value. It does not contain nor is it a substitute for financial advice, competent or otherwise, and cannot be reasonably relied upon to make financial decisions.

Nothing should be construed as a forward looking statement concerning the Hashmasks NFT project nor as an official Hashmasks NFT project communication.

Sources (in no particular order except the Manifesto)

What the Hashmasks completed art would look like if every name had 25 characters (25x22x16,3684=9,011,200)/1800[number of characters on a standard page]

What the Hashmasks completed art would look like if every name had 25 characters (25x22x16,3684=9,011,200)/1800[number of characters on a standard page]

  • Hashmasks remove this separating line between the artist and the consumer and merges both into the art piece itself
  • Unlike traditional art, the baton of responsibility is handed over to you, who gets the right and privilege to add his or her unique touch to this everchanging canvas.
  • handing over the power over the rarest of all traits to the consumer: the name
  • The final outcome of the art piece - engraved permanently in the history of art on the Ethereum blockchain - in many decades is only bound by the creativity of the creating community.
  • Truly an art piece for the people, by the people.

An NFT to solve the issues of transparency in the ownership and transfer of digital artwork and the NCT that derives it value from allowing users to participate in the digital art.

react to story with heart
react to story with light
react to story with boat
react to story with money
. . . comments & more!