For those following the NFT world today it was probably hard to miss the launch of Gutter Cats which, well, let's just state the obvious here and say - it didn't go smoothly. Readers of my blog know that I was excited about this project and originally wrote about it in late May.
Gutter Cats had originally planned to launch on June 4th but the launch was delayed to today at 4:20pm EST, which the team announced this morning with this tweet:
People like me that have been following the project were excited, today's the day! We all jumped on Discord and started chatting. Since I was working all day I wasn't able to stay plugged-into the Discord but I checked it every now and then to see what was happening.
That's when things started to get weird.
Before the launch time I saw people posting about cats they bought...wait, what's happening I thought - did I get the launch timing confused?!?! I popped over to Twitter to find this series of tweets:
Oh no! Had I missed my chance to buy a Gutter Cat? I had been waiting for this project to launch for weeks 😢 I rushed over the to the site and saw the buy button - how many cats do I want? I thought quickly, entered "4" and kicked things off.
Things were moving slowly and I soon realized I was going to miss my chance, so I popped into MetaMask and decided to speed up the transaction, there had to be more people like me rushing in and trying to buy cats.
I got lucky, it worked, and I ended up with four cats. I popped over to Twitter and saw some pretty angry people, then to the Discord, same - people were pissed 😤 Soon stories started to pile up about people who paid gas fees and lost money or just missed the entire drop completely because it launched early.
Then came the fud.
Rumors started to spread that the devs had jumped ship, taken the ETH and bought Lambos. Oh no, was it all a scam?!?! I started to get concerned 😦 Did I write a blot post week ago about a total scam, and then write a second post today about it? Ugh, that's bad. Did I just get scammed? What is happening!
On both the Discord and Twitter, myself and others waited to hear from the team, and well, thank goodness, they responded in the #announcements channel.
Phew 😅 I think for me and many others this calmed our heart rate, the devs were still there, or at least that's what it seemed, they didn't just take the money and run.
Of course, people were still pissed - what about the money wasted on gas fees by investors that didn't ever end up with a cat? The answer given above didn't fly well with a lot of people, i.e. "We apologize to everyone this happened to, and unfortunately this is not uncommon for high demand NFTs." didn't leave everyone feeling warm and fuzzy.
Twitter continued to flood with angry people, but the angry people also were counter-balanced with excited people showing off their cats, yeah - things were getting weird. The vibe in the Discord also changed as people started talking about their cats and trying to figure out rarity details.
Hours passed and then the following was posted in the #announcements channel on Discord:
It looks like the team, likely flooded with emails and Tweets, decided they probably needed to do something to help all the people who lost money on gas fees and ended up empty handed. The team jumped on Twitter and shared a similar update, in short - they know people are pissed and they're trying to make it right:
Overall it's safe to say, this drop did not go smoothly. A lot of people have shared on Twitter how it went wrong even sharing what appears to be code from the project. How someone was able to jump in early and start minting cats is a question on a lot of people's minds. Also, why start the whole thing early?
It's disappointing and I'm sure the whole team at Gutter Cats is less-than-thrilled about all the issues, but it's also clear that they didn't just take the money and run and they are trying to make things right.
Oh and just to be clear, I don't know anyone at Gutter Cats and am not associated with the project outside of hearing about it, writing some articles, and being lucky enough to mint some cats. That being said, I'm going to invite the Gutter Cat devs to do an interview on my blog as I'm sure there's a lot to this story that we don't know and I think it's fair to let them share their side of the story.
For me personally, as an investor in NFTs in what I think we can all rightfully say is still very much the early days, I expect bumps in the road, and no I don't think everything will always go smoothly. I think the team behind Gutter Cats probably was trying to do their best and ended up in a crazy situation that was, and still is, tricky to navigate.
Overall I'm someone who likes to see the glass half full and give people the benefit of the doubt. I want to help foster a community of positivity in the NFT world since I think overall this has been such a positive experience that brings so many people together.
Only time will tell how this all goes down, and like I said, I don't know the Gutter Cat team, so tomorrow if they all disappear and buy Lambos, I guess that could happen? But it seems a lot less likely now than it did a few hours ago. Let's try to work together as a community to make the NFT space a friendly and compassionate space. We're all in this together, and these are still the early days, we can help define the culture of this community.
And with that, Gutter Cat devs/founders, if you're reading this, I'd love to invite you to share your side of the story, shoot me an email at hello(at)nftinvesting.io!
Disclaimer: The above references an opinion and is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice. As of this afternoon the writer does own four Gutter Cats and he loves them all equally.