The Concept of “Gachiho” Diamond Hand Culture 💎🙌

12 min readJan 10, 2023


Greetings, everyone! Just a quick introduction about this article... I just recently read this article and post by Ikehaya that highlights the uniqueness of the emerging “Gachiho” (ガチホ) or “Diamond Hand” Culture that is storming Japan. I did not write any of this content, I just wanted to translate it to make it more accessible for English speakers. There is so much incredible innovation happening inside these Japanese communities and projects that most of the NFT space isn’t aware of and doesn’t have access to… so without wasting any of your time, let’s get into Ikehaya’s thoughts.

📰 Original Article by Ikehaya

Hi, Ikehaya here.

Here are my thoughts on boosting the NFT market in Japan in 2023.

“The projects with cheap minting prices and low listings are the strongest.

It’s new year now, and let’s have a look at the current market.

Top 10 NFT Marketcap Ranking

It is important to note here, that many of the top projects actually had started with a cheap minting price.

The “BIG 3 (CNP, APP, LLAC)” are all 0.001 ETH

In addition, these projects also have low listing rates. Here is the listing rates after taking into account the team holdings.
*Listing rates refers to the amount of NFTs that are listed for sale*

CNP : 0.8%
APP : 0.8%
LLAC : 0.9%
CNPJ : 2.6%
ShikibuWorld : 1.8% (Japanese only)

CNP, APP, and LLAC, commonly known as “BIG 3”, are especially impressive.

In spite of the fact that prices have skyrocketed so much, the available listings are just a few.

Needless to say, there are a lot of advantages in low listing rates.

If the project has a large number of people who are HODLing or who have Diamond Hands, it is easier for community to create daily excitement and progress, which will continue to increase its value of branding on an ongoing basis.

CNP’s app for owners is a good example of strategy to understand. Currently, more than 2,200 people are using the app.

The more tempting for the owner-oriented policies are, the more people will want to hold CNP. That also will be a tempting point to investors.

And another aspect that is often overlooked is the high volatility, which is one of the most tempting aspects in Diamond Hand projects.

The lower the listing rate, the more profitable for the short-term trading.

WAFUKU GEN just a little while ago is a perfect example of this, let’s have a look.

It may be hard to see what’s going on here, so let me explain that.

  • The price slowly rose to around 0.17 ETH in a few days.
  • On Jan. 3, it exploded to like a bull run. Started buying from 0.2 ETH and it reached 0.439 ETH at one point.
  • Then the listing had increased due to that surge, and it went dropping to 0.25ETH.
  • Currently, it is stable at around 0.3 ETH.

This is the timeline of what happened.

The point is this movement on Jan. 3, it more than doubled instantaneously. Traders who successfully took advantage of this timing got lots of profit.

The reason why WAFUKU GEN showed such a rise movement is because the original listing rate had been quite low.

In other words, because “the selling order book had just a few orders only from the start” (low listing rate), so that once it started to take off, it went up smoothly.

LLAC also has a just few listing orders, obviously. If 10 more be bought, the floor will go up in a flash… and if 20 more, it will be on a completely higher level.

LLAC Collection has such a limited amount of NFTs Listed

Conversely, a project started with a high listing rate (5–10%) doesn’t have this volatility.

In my experience, they will go up about 20% at best, and then revert back to their original price, with unavoidable sell-offs.

The point here, “the bid order book has just a few orders” is also tempting for the short-term traders.

In fact, Diamond Hand projects area profitable target for short-term traders as well.

2023 will be a year that Diamond Hand projects get attention.

This is no longer a prediction though, because it already has come true…

Unless the Japanese market are in a bubble, 2023 will be the year that investment money and a certain amount of speculative money goes into “Diamond Hand projects”.

But once the bubble comes, it will no longer matter if they are Diamond Hand project or not.

Actually, during the bubble era overseas, some project’s price went up smoothly even that the listing ratio exceeded 15%. In other words, there were enough buy orders to digest those selling them.

… Of course, it is the bad period for crypto now, and the Japanese market is also depopulated market with only about 15,000 buyers.

Since this situation will remain largely unchanged in 2023, so…

Strong community and expectation of long-term development are key.
Expectation for price rising easily because of just a few bid orders all the time. The possibility for gains due to temporary volatility increases.

Investors and traders will prefer “Diamond Hand projects” that have the above features.

Cheap mints are an effective way to encourage people to become Diamond Hands.

Here continues the story…

I think that “mint price” is actually a parameter that correlates with the rate of Diamond Hands.

It is clear from the results, that Diamond Hand projects tend to be very cheap for minting. XANA : GENESIS could be the only exception in this theory.

The reason why cheap mints are easy to get Diamond Hand-ed is because the early investors don’t have to “recover their investment” (ROI).

For example, LLAC is just 160 JPY per item for the initial mint. and whether recover or not is meaningless on this low price.

However, if the initial minting price is 0.08 ETH (about 13,000 JPY) per item, and in the case of 3 mintings, many investors will indeed try to recover their initial investment (ROI).

For those who minted 3 NFTs, when the floor reaches 0.3 ETH, they can sell 1 to recover their initial investment.

For those who minted 2 NFTs, if the floor reaches 0.2 ETH, they can recover their initial investment.

Hence, in those projects, the bid order book tends to stand around 0.2–0.3 ETH.

It would be no problem if there was enough buying pressure to get out of this price, but in this bear market, it is very difficult to do so…

In contrast, cheap minting doesn’t have the strong urge to recover the initial investment, so when the floor goes up, it runs up smoothly and grows organically.

LLAC, which reached 4 ETH in its initial running, is a good example.

If LLAC had started their mint at 0.1 ETH, it also would have been stuck around 0.3 ETH. Then it would never have reached the current floor price (around 3 ETH).

How to launch as cheap mint, but not give it to Paper Hands?

So, looking at the current market, we can see one conclusion that “it might be quite good to start with cheap mints”.

Of course, there are other successful patterns other than cheap mints, such as XANA : GENESIS, so this is just a trend.

Also, once looking at the whole market, we will notice that “cheap minting does not always guarantee a success”.

The conditions are below.

(1) Cheap mint price
(2) Low listing rate (minimal selling pressure)
(3) Constant buying pressure (increased demand and hype)

I think that next brand like “BIG 3” is born when these conditions are fitted.

Here, I exclude “(3) increased demand and hype”, because it is obvious, but the difficult part here is to achieve the “(2) low listing rate”.

LLAC did a crazy job that they checked AL (Allow List) with visual confirmation, but even then, they could not perfectly eliminate Paper Hands (immediate sellers). It is inevitable, some people will always sell.

Nevertheless, LLAC was undoubtedly successful to a certain degree, and many people must have realized that it is important not to give it to Paper Hands after all.

Hence, if we are planning to launch a cheap mint project in the future and want it become business like the “BIG 3” projects, we should consider as follows.

How we launch without giving it to Paper Hands?

The marketers will have to think hard about how to launch the project without giving it to Paper Hands and protecting the value of the project, as well as encouraging the Diamond Hand mindset.

Why don’t you just give AL to the people who are definitely Diamond hands?

Here is my answer to the NFT marketers.

If you want to eliminate the Paper Hand’s moves, just give AL to “the people who are already Diamond hands of existing projects”.

This is exactly what LLAC did.

In LLAC, they awarded AL to those who were Diamond Hands for CNP/APP with enough time. Though their results are not perfect, but we also see that their method was effective enough.

However, some may criticize that newcomers cannot get AL with this method.

This point will be solved that we evaluate and awarded based on the activities of the community.

As for LLAC, they also created “contributor spots” and distributed a considerable number to other than CNP/APP holders.

You contributors aren’t Paper Hands, are you!?
(Of course, you are allowed to sell it, so please let it go when you need money in the future.)

But if we increase the distribution quota for community activities too much, that leads to increase the number of drifters for just AL purpose, and the community will die as a result.

It is basically difficult to distribute a large amount of AL towards community participants, so it is better to give it to a few trusted people.

A test to give AL for the “BIG 3 owners”.

And when I was just thinking that.

The chance to have a collaboration with XANA (PENPENZ) came up.

PENPENZ is exactly a cheap mint (0.001 ETH) project!

So, as Rio has informed us, we will be very selective about who we give AL to.

This could be a perfect opportunity to test various hypotheses at.

So, PENPENZ is now planning to give AL to “the owners of BIG 3 (have all of CNP, APP, and LLAC) participating in ICL”.

Basically, we are planning to make it with “confirmed distribution”, but please note that it is possible to win a lottery, depending on the situation.

Also, planning to distribute them in various ways from the XANA side, other than this way. The number of cards or max supply is indeed enough, if we distribute to BIG 3 owners only, so please do not worry about that.

CNP, APP, and LLAC. The Top 3 Marketcap for Japanese NFT Projects.

There is a nasty experimental element of (curiosity)… to see how the people who are stiffing these will treat PENPENZ, so please don’t apply for AL if you don’t want to participate. lol

The trend that if you are holding a Diamond Hand project, you will get a chance to win AL for another cheap mint project. I have a feeling that this trend will be reinforced. Zazen!

The concept of “Diamond Hand Cultural Area”.

The correlation chart of the collection, which can be seen on oneseep, is very interesting.

It shows the “overlap of holders” in specific collections.

“Diamond Hand Cultural Area” is shown by the pink circle.

From this chart, we could get “Those who have CNP tend to have APP, LLAC, WAFUKU GEN, KAMIYO, Shikibuworld, and TAG.”

It is also interesting to note that CNP has the strongest connection to each collection (because it is in the middle).

And isn’t this … soooo interesting, … all cheap mints and with low listing rates!!

It has to do with the way each Project distributes AL, but strangely, the owners are overlapped in the cheap mint projects.

This means that it perfectly forms one “Diamond Hand Cultural Area”.

Since they are available at low prices, people don’t hesitate to execute new mints, and don’t have to recover initial investment, so that it could be a strong tendency to enjoy them without selling them.

Expanding this “Diamond Hand Cultural Area” is one of Ikehaya’s goals for this year.

This cultural area was still a small one in 2022. Here is a screenshot from the end of October, just before the APP was released.

And let’s have a look current Diamond Hand Cultural Area map again. The impact of APP and LLAC coming is huge! WAFUKU GEN, KAMIYO, TAG and Shikibuworld also have a strong presence.

Incidentally, these “Diamond Hand Cultural Areas” do not exist in the overseas NFT market.

Projects that belong to this cultural area should be tempting to overseas investors.

In fact, they have good feeing to Japanese Diamond Hand (ガチホ, Gachiho) culture.

Here is the comment by Apesian.


Since this article got a bit long, so let me summarize.

  • In the current market, “cheap mints and low listing rates” projects such as CNP, APP, and LLAC tend to have higher market cap and floor price.
  • Low listing rate means low selling pressure, which can easily lead to higher prices in the future.
  • When the listing rate is low, it is easy to generate short-term volatility, which is also profitable for traders.
  • The cheap mints are less likely to be sold, because investors don’t have to recover their initial investment (ROI).
  • However, cheap mints are also targeted by Paper Hands easily. Cheap mints doesn’t mean that it always goes successfully.
  • LLAC distributed AL to “CNP/APP owners” mainly, who had enough experience as Diamond Hands.
  • PENPENZ is planning to distribute AL to “BIG 3 (CNP/APP/LLAC) owners”.
  • Diamond Hand (ガチホ, Gachiho) culture will be a strength of the Japanese NFT Market and Community.

Also, as I mentioned in the article, I would like to note again that if a bubble term would come to the Japanese market, it wouldn’t need to think about these troublesome things.

There is no point in waiting for a bubble that may or may not come, so for the time being, we have no choice but to keep laying the groundwork.

But it doesn’t make sense that we wait for uncertain bubble term coming. So we should keep building up and strengthening our foundation for now.

Let’s keep the Japanese NFT market going up in 2023!!

My Thoughts on Gachiho Culture

Firstly, I think Ikehaya broke down this concept of Gachiho or Diamond Hand Culture perfectly and the reasons how it came into existence, how it is sustained, why, and the fact that these same techniques do not guarantee a successful launch or a Diamond Hand community. The biggest takeaway from this for me personally is the power of people coming together and creating value together… especially from “scratch” (low minting price). Since I have been in this space and involved in different Japanese projects over the past 5 years, I have witnessed this first hand and why I have loved building, creating, and contributing in these communities.

One of the top projects that was mentioned above has my attention the most — Tokyo Alternative Girls (TAG). This isn’t necessarily because I understand all of the projects and teams the best, but because I have taken part in this project since the beginning and have experienced the positivity from the “Gachiho Cultural Area” that Ikehaya has clearly defined. Talking on a daily basis with the founder NanaTaku, has given me a great insight to this world and culture, as well as participating in the community. TAG is also the first project that helped bridge me into this Gachiho Cultural Area and now my goals are to help communicate this information and express these ideas to a wider audience (English speaking). I will do my best to help TAG create a “hub” for this information in English for those who are interested and looking to experience the Gachiho Culture!

Interested to learn more about TAG? Check out my interview with NanaTaku, founder of Tokyo Alternative Girls (TAG) here.

Special thanks to Sohachi for help with the base translation from Japanese to English.