Is this a new blue chip collection or the beginning of the end for NFTs?
Art Gobblers is a new NFT project from the creator of Rick and Morty. The free mint took place on October 31 at 4:20 PM EDT. Less than 24 hours later, the unrevealed NFTs now have a floor price of 13.05 ETH and people are asking if the NFT game is rigged.
- The average sale price for Art Gobblers NFTs in the 24 hours following the free mint is $19,760.
- Influential voices, with expensive NFT collections, were the main beneficiaries of Art Gobblers’ carefully selected whitelist.
- DappRadar data shows accumulated NFT sales were $0.53 billion in October 2022. That’s a drop of around 90% from September 2021.
- Art Gobblers artwork reveal will happen on November 1 at 21:00 UTC.
What are Art Gobblers?
Art Gobblers is a newly-minted NFT project created by Justin Roiland and Paradigm. Roiland is the creator of Rick and Morty while Paradigm is a crypto and Web3 investment firm. The team came together as early as February 2022 and launched their NFT on October 31.
There are a few reasons this project has captured the NFT community’s imagination. Firstly, Justin Roiland is popular among Web3 enthusiasts as the voice and writer behind Rick and Morty.
Second, the concept behind the project is innovative. Users can go to the Art Gobblers site and, in a process called “glamination”, create their own art and mint it as an ERC-721 token. Gobblers can then “gobble” the best artworks and wear them as digital images. Art Gobblers, in effect, become mobile, virtual art galleries.
Minting was free for whitelisted addresses and the 1,700 available Gobblers were claimed in minutes. 300 of the NFTs have been reserved for the project’s creators. The remaining 8,000 will be released over a 10-year period.
Why are people questioning the distribution process?
There are very few regulations around NFTs and there are no rules that govern who can start a project and which users benefit from them. For this reason, Art Gobblers has done nothing wrong. But people are already beginning to question who got on the whitelist and how they were awarded their place.
The image above shows some of the wallets that were airdropped Art Gobblers NFTs. All of them are influential names in the NFT space and were likely whitelisted on the back of their popularity. Below are links to their wallets so you can see what other expensive assets they are holding.
Grievances have arisen across Web3 Twitter due to the perceived unfairness of people with expensive NFTs getting early and cheap access to more expensive NFTs. But there are no rules about who gets given an NFT. And nobody has any right to automatically receive one themselves.
Art Gobblers isn’t the first project to leverage the clout of big voices to market their NFTs, and they definitely won’t be the last. People are calling the distribution process unfair, but how many of them would be saying the same thing if they’d got a $20,000 Art Gobblers NFT for nearly $0?
What next for Art Gobblers and the NFT industry?
One Twitter user did raise an interesting point about how these tactics will affect NFT culture in general. Pons Asinorum stated that nothing wrong has happened and no laws have been broken. But how much longer will people continue to play the NFT game when borderline insider-trading and rigged giveaways are the norm?
We can see that people are turning away from NFTs in their millions. This graph from DappRadar shows how far the market has fallen since its September-October 2021 peaks. Across all blockchain protocols, total sales were more than $5 billion just over a year ago. Last month, total sales were $0.53 billion.
There are many reasons why people are spending less on NFTs than they were in late-2021. We know that systemic changes to the wider global economy mean users have less free cash for purchasing digital assets. But Pons Asinorum is correct when they say the community will disengage from NFTs if the game is consistently and purposefully rigged against them.
The big artwork reveal will happen in the next few hours and DappRadar will report tomorrow on how this will affect the collection.