How to Play Stealcam 📸

Snap, steal, and earn crypto with this Arbitrum app!
Apr 13, 20234 min read

Dear Bankless Nation,

One month ago the beta for Stealcam launched.

Since then, this indie “steal to reveal” app has already captured the imaginations of thousands of frontiering NFTers.

It’s fun, simple, free to start, and playable with friends. Its mechanics are also unlike anything we’ve seen in the NFT space before.

Interested in diving deeper here? I’ll walk you through all the basics for today’s post!


A Beginner’s Guide to Stealcam

Stealcam is an innovative “photo stealing” game built on the Arbitrum layer-two (L2) scaling solution.

To play, users mint their photos as NFTs after which other players can steal them as they please. You start by simply snapping a photo or uploading one from your camera roll, and then it’s posted on Stealcam as a pixelated picture.

Example of a Stealcam profile

In Stealcam, only the current owner of an NFT can unveil its image, allowing other users to steal and reveal a photo themselves. After a photo is stolen, its price rises, and the original creator earns a cut of ETH every time this happens.

The proceeds generated from stealing memories are shared among the NFT's creator, the person from whom it was stolen, and Stealcam. Whenever a memory gets stolen, the price climbs by 0.001 ETH in addition to 10% of the preceding price. The former owner obtains the ETH amount they initially paid, and the remaining price difference is then divided with 45% allocated to the creator, 45% to the previous owner, and 10% to Stealcam.

The Earnings page

As you can see in the image directly above, there are 5 main emoji icons running along the bottom of the Stealcam website that can help you navigate to where you want to go once you’ve connected your wallet to the platform:

  • 👑 Ranks — A leaderboard of the top earners on Stealcam; this is a great place to review if you want to see what the top minters and stealers are up to lately.
  • 🌎 Explore — A dashboard for tracking recent activity on the Stealcam platform; you can use filters like “All,” “Following,” and so forth to hone in on particular activity streams.
  • 📷 Capture — The section of the platform where you can upload and mint photos to be stolen.
  • 💵 Earnings — A dashboard that tracks your lifetime ETH earnings on Stealcam and the history of steals that have brought you revenue.
  • 🏠 Home — The profile area of Stealcam where you can upload a profile picture and track your creations, your collections, and your top fans all on one page.
The top fans dashboard

How to mint and steal

If you want to begin stealing pieces on Stealcam, consider bridging some ETH over to Arbitrum so you have a little spending money. Keep in mind that since there are many free or low-cost pieces on the platform, you don’t need to bridge much ETH, if any, to start.

Once you’ve stolen your first piece, you can reveal it and view its contents as you wish by pressing the “Reveal” button beneath the photo and then signing the ensuing gas-less transaction.

As for minting new pieces on Stealcam, the process is straightforward. Head over and click on the 📷 Capture tab to bring up the photo upload user interface. Press “Open Camera,” select your picture of choice, press “Upload,” and sign the ensuing gas-less transaction.

That’s it! You could then consider using the “Share to Twitter” button to let your followers know about your latest mint. Note that a red dot will appear on the 💵 Earnings tab on Stealcam as a notification for whenever your pieces are stolen.

Stealcam stats to date

According to this Dune dashboard by Panda Jackson, so far over the span of its first month the Stealcam beta attracted:

  • +2,000 users
  • +1,350 users with earnings
  • +16,000 photos uploaded
  • +19,000 steals
  • +415 ETH / +$730k USD worth of total volume
via Panda Jackson

The big picture

Stealcam is refreshing. It’s light, fun, on an L2, and has an interesting “steal to earn” element that creates an added layer of intrigue.

We’ve already seen the platform used in a variety of ways, too. People have minted memes, essay sneak previews, selfies, thirst traps, you name it. I’ve been minting some of my favorite AI outputs lately to add a fun wrinkle to sharing them, for example.

It’s up to you how you approach Stealcam, but I do think it’s one of the most interesting apps worth trying in crypto right now. It doesn’t fit neatly into any preexisting categories here because of its uniqueness. It’s not just a game, it’s not just a social media platform, it’s not just a minting protocol, yet it’s all of these things and somehow something more, too.

As for what Stealcam portends, I think it’s a new era of lighthearted decentralized apps that can enjoy mainstream appeal because they’re just simply entertaining rather than being super focused on the web3 niche.

Of course, don’t forget that Stealcam is very new and still in beta, so it’s best for experimentation for now. But if you’ve been meaning to try out some Arbitrum apps that you haven’t before, this is certainly one to think about adding to your to-do list in the near future!

Not financial or tax advice. This newsletter is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This newsletter is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research.

Disclosure. From time-to-time I may add links in this newsletter to products I use. I may receive commission if you make a purchase through one of these links. Additionally, the Bankless writers hold crypto assets. See our investment disclosures here.

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