This week saw an NFT collection go from hype to hazard. "The Quadratic Funding Record" was quietly dropped on March 7th by Gitcoin and Metalabel. These NFTs include a digitized edition of “Liberal Radicalism” a paper about Quadratic Funding that was co-authored by Vitalik Buterin. Because of Vitalik’s involvement, the philanthropic, ‘use web3 for good’ ethos of Gitcoin was forgotten; instead, NFT degens got wind of a “Vitalik NFT” and aped in!
What started as a modest 0.05 Ethereum mint, turned into a rollercoaster of boom and bust. At its peak, this Gitcoin presents collection had a floor price North of 0.75 Ethereum. Influencers like Farokh shilled the collection. Whales like MachiBigBrother swallowed up the supply. Then the banking crisis news hit. The rally was crushed.
An official Vitalik NFT? Sign me up!— Farokh (@farokh) March 8, 2023
Had to get the Gitcoin Presents NFT, that thing is going absolutely crazy right now, shoutout to everyone who minted! pic.twitter.com/xEnDkbCgBN
Currently, the collection is trading back around mint price, 0.05 Eth. Many lost money on this crashing collection–at least they inadvertently funded charity! No one lost as big as Machi who realized an estimated ~3500 Eth in losses before gas fees!
Airdrop farming is not for the weak at heart.— NFTstatistics.eth (@punk9059) March 11, 2023
Machi now at 3500 ETH in realized losses (before gas fees) after unwinding most of the gitcoin trade which went all kinds of wrong. pic.twitter.com/wIlIfEIOYG
This incident is indicative of a degen attitude prevalent in NFTs: blind Anons following blind influencers, money being spent without any meaningful research backing the buys. Usually cases like this fund scams! Thankfully this episode saw over 11,250 Eth spent on a charitable effort. However, the idea that this was a "Vitalik NFT" in any meaningful way was and is laughable. His only involvement is that he wrote a paper that is commemorated in the NFT. It's not like, as some people thought, he is a dev of this new project. These facts are easily found on the collection's mint site.
Does Gitcoin Represents NFTs have a game/burn mechanics ? Voting power? What’s the rarity for? Or is art the utility?— Machi Big Brother (@machibigbrother) March 10, 2023
Sorry didn’t DYOR I just aped in! LFG!!!
NFT degeneracy is alive and well! As the bear market continues, it is worth pondering if this behavior indicates that the bottom is NOT yet in. In most cases, the bottom of a market is indicated by an absolute dearth of market participants; however, the NFT market has consistently found buyers despite a tough two years. While it seems unlikely that Ethereum will go below the $880 low from 2022, it does seem unusual that interest and prices in NFTs have not completely cratered since the highs of 2021. Perhaps degens are here to stay no matter the market conditions? Whether the market gets better or worse, it is always important to DYOR and second guess any influencer shills!