Exclusive: How CryptoUndeads Aims to Bridge the Solana and Ethereum Divide

BY Michael Tommasiello

January 12, 2024

As Ethereum and Solana adherents fight one another about their favorite chain and the value of each, one NFT project is trying to play the role of peacemaker. Enter the CryptoUndeads.

If you spend any time on crypto Twitter (now known as X), you’ve likely seen their enigmatic brand. Beyond the visual elements of their animated keys and glowing eyes, CryptoUndeads has become a highly-anticipated project launch and a prominent part of the cultural conversation while the Solana ecosystem has been surging.  By tapping 90 collections across both Ethereum and Solana for their allowlist, CryptoUndeads aims to bridge the gap and, in their own words, “bring NFTs back from the dead.”

In advance of their buzzworthy Jan. 16 mint, we sat down with their founder, Dollar Crypto, to discuss the project’s genesis, his thesis for the future of crypto, and why sometimes simplicity is the best road map. 

nft now:  You are exploring breaking down the ETH/SOL divide, which has recently been all the talk of crypto. How did this come about that?

Dollar Crypto: I’ve been an advocate of Solana for a good couple of years. I think that from a user experience perspective and from a consumer adoption perspective, there’s a lot of value in using Solana [for certain purposes and applications]. And one of them, I think, is a portion of the NFT market. I think there’s certainly merit on Ethereum for a lot of collections, especially gen art, some of the things that maybe don’t move as much. I think in terms of building a collectibles business, where there’s meant to be regular transactions, especially for something like an NFT, I would generally favor Solana for that if it’s going to be a high volume.

“We’re bringing on half of those who can participate at mint from Ethereum and the other half from Solana.”


To be clear, we’re minting this collection on Solana. So it is a Solana-based NFT project, but we’re dividing the mint, meaning we’re bringing on half of those who can participate at mint from Ethereum and the other half from Solana. The reason for that is I want this to be something that is admired and enjoyed by the whole ecosystem, with the point being to expose Ethereum collectors to Solana a little bit more and again try to bridge the gap between the “I’m a SOL guy” and “I’m an ETH guy” and just kind of open that up and be a little bit more chain agnostic. That’s also part of the reason why we call it CryptoUndeads. I obviously could have just gone and called it ‘SOL Undeads,’ which is generally the most common naming convention on Solana, but I used CryptoUndeads because it feels the most inclusive. It’s kind of about the common goal and meaning behind the project rather than focusing on one chain.

It’s great that a central thesis is to bring people together across both chains. Is that your wider view that we’re working towards an ecosystem that at some point should or could have both chains converge in a marketplace?

I think maximalism is unproductive. I think that both Ethereum and Solana have advantages. I think there are other chains that have unique advantages, but I think, again, maximalism is not a productive way of looking at it. It’s best to use the right product or the right blockchain for the right use. There are pros and cons, and so I’m a big fan of Solana from that user experience and consumer adoption perspective. I think having a collection there may make it a little bit easier to onboard people when it comes to participating, whether that’s due to the simplicity of the wallet, the speed of the transactions, or the close-to-zero fees. So there are a lot of reasons why I think this type of project makes sense on Solana. Still, my broader vision is definitely to say that everybody should be largely chain agnostic as long as there’s a decent thesis and level of security and stability to it that it should be considered and used I think for sure.

So it’s a collection of 10,000, which really feels, as some of your tweets have suggested, like the 2021/2022 bull market vibes. What was the thought behind going with a “traditionally sized” collection, given how the space changed since then?

I anticipated that we could do a pretty good job getting people interested and excited about the project. When you look at CryptoPunks, 10,000 looks like a pretty small number. If you look at their value in terms of the entry point and cost, there are 10,000 of them, but they’re six figures, so it’s not easy to become part of CryptoPunks, despite being a 10,000 collection. For most people, you could probably say the same for Bored Apes and a lot of other collections. Even at 10,000, it’s still quite difficult to get in, and it’s considered a small supply for a prestige collection, in a sense. We’ve seen collections as low as 500, sometimes less on Solana, but I think that if our goal, which is to build a very large and recognizable brand in and outside of crypto, and we want to build a collectibles business ultimately, I think anything less than 10,000 limits our ability to have a decent sized holder base and to create a reasonable entry for people. I think the smaller the collection, the quicker people will be priced out and the quicker it’ll become a little bit out of reach for some people to participate, and it also essentially could half the number of unique holders we have within the brand.

“Anything less than 10,000 limits our ability to have a decent sized holder base and to create a reasonable entry for people.”


You mentioned building a proper brand of “collectibles,” and that being one of the benefits around Solana. Can you expand more on what collectibles mean to you, especially within the context of the project?

Many factors make a good collectible, and we’re trying to attack all of these from these different directions. The first thing with a collectible [brand] is it’s a lot of human psychology. Right? A collectible isn’t collectible unless many people agree it is and are interested in the project. So the first thing we had to do right was create interest, and from here, as we get this project to market, we’re gonna go CryptoPunk-esque in terms of the overall commercial strategy. We’re not trying to release a protocol, game, or anything. We’re trying to do high-level brand activations and partnerships to position the brand at a certain status. Like a  truly premium brand in the space, and then invest in infrastructure supporting the project’s longevity. I’m not exactly going to reveal what that is, but there are a number of things we can do to support the strength of the brand and the collection over time. In addition to what CryptoPunks has done, we will borrow some innovative ideas and implement some of our own to make it a little more fun, new, and still good for the degen palette.

How long have you guys been working on this?

It’s so funny: in January of 2023, I put a tweet out, saying “I’d really love to create a really good PFP for Solana and bring the energy back,” and I tagged Magic Eden, and I said, “Are you in for this?” Wing at Magic Eden replied, “Yep. Let’s get on a call.” We literally had that call at the beginning of January 2023. I pitched the creative idea, and until about June, it was just conversations. Everybody was excited about it. June came around and we started hiring, and now we’re here, and we’re right around the corner from getting it to market.

So it’s around the one-year anniversary then.

Extremely close. Yeah.

What is the long-term vision for CryptoUndeads, and what can people expect?

Let me give you an unconventional answer. Most people would tell you we’re going to change the game, and we’re gonna run all these incredible things and bring all this incredible stuff. I’ve got this philosophy that simplicity kind of wins, and what I mean by that is that there are a lot of projects we’ve seen in the past couple of years that had so much interest and demand and a great collector base, and they did too much. They made big promises that they couldn’t meet, released products that didn’t work, made drastic changes to the IP rights or the overall branding, and essentially, the thesis of the collectors had to change. It was like, this is what I thought I was getting into, and now it’s not, and this is causing a fast, and I’m gonna have to get rid of this or downsize my position, whatever it is.

“I want CryptoUndeads to be this stable hold for collectors on Solana, and part of that means I have to not interrupt it too much.”


I want CryptoUndeads to be this stable hold for collectors on Solana, and part of that means I have to not interrupt it too much. We’ve got to do some great brand activations at a high level, and we do have to build some infrastructure to support it long-term, but I don’t want to mess with it too much. I do want to keep things simple so that a collector can buy a bag of CryptoUndeads and consider their long-term, stable exposure to, at the very least Solana NFTs, but hopefully NFTs more broadly. So I think I can kind of make a promise of stability and simplicity in terms of not interrupting the brand or the original thesis of collectors.

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