What happened to Goblintown’s Art?!?

What happened to Goblintown’s Art?!?

Holders of Goblintown PFPs were shocked this morning. Instead of seeing their whimsical, funny, intentionally-gross Goblins, they were given a literal middle finger! Without warning,  Truth Labs took away all of Goblintown’s metadata (which contains the collection’s art) and started the process of migrating the collection’s contract to one that preserves royalties. While many applauded the migration as a way to make the project’s long-term functioning more sustainable, others were angered by this unilateral move by the project’s devs.

Web3 is about immutability, personal freedom, choice and decentralization. All four of these tenets were violated by Truth Labs. An NFT is supposed to be “forever.” Nothing is supposed to change it, move it, damage it, or migrate it to a new smart contract… with the exception of a democratic vote that precedes a change. Through this sudden change in metadata, the illusion of immutability was lost. 

Of course personal freedom and choice was violated by this sudden metadata dump. Sure, the intentions of Truth Labs are understandable. However, that doesn’t change the fact that they should have asked their community for permission before switching smart contracts. Goblintown holders will receive an airdrop when their reconstituted NFTs are prepared–many pointed out this will be perceived as a taxable event to government agencies. It's certainly best practices to give people a choice before they have to incur a tax burden!

Goblintown Tax Tweet

A single entity changing the look of 10,000 tokens overnight… this is the stuff of web3 nightmares. An attack on a project’s metadata is one of the weak points in the infrastructure of ERC-721s. Many NFT collectors are unaware that their token, and the data files that contain the token’s art, are separate things. Truth Lab’s move is a rude awakening to anyone who didn’t know their NFT could become instantly unrecognizable. All NFT collectors simply assume that project devs will behave in their community's best interest–they further assume the wallet controlling a collection's metadata isn't hacked.

The bear market has been raging for a long time; many projects, especially PFP NFTs, are down bad. With the rise of royalty-free marketplaces, and the revelation that royalties on OpenSea were never actually enforced on-chain, NFT teams have seen their incomes dwindle to a fraction of what they were. Events like the Blur airdrop brought the professional trading of NFTs into the spotlight. What’s odd and distasteful about Truth Labs’ sudden change today–beyond what was already mentioned–was the rant against NFT flippers: Truth Labs has essentially accused its own holders for speculating on NFTs! It is a weird message for a die-hard community member to receive within their artwork. Given that Goblintown is down over 80%, anyone holding one of those tokens does not want to be called a callous tradoor.

Moving forward, it is guaranteed that other projects will follow Goblintown’s lead and migrate to a royalty-protecting smart contract. However, it is also very likely that teams will learn from the outcry against Truth! Giving holders a choice, or a vote, in matters of mutable metadata is essential. This is exactly what Yuga Labs did. They earned praise for giving owners a choice in their Otherdeeds Koda decoupling. They even incentivized owners to make the change by offering up an additional NFT as inducement.

Surviving a bear market is hard! Many projects will have to make bold moves to stay afloat. While it is likely that this move will be positive in the long term for Goblintown, angering customers shouldn’t be part of the process.

Writer and Redlion's editor-in-chief. Musician, 🥁 streamed over 100,000,000 times playing for Caught A Ghost, Magic Bronson and more. 2017 Experian hack victim... made the benefits of web3 easy to understand. Listening is his superpower.

Did you enjoy this article?

Subscribe to Redlion Gazette

Gazette time units are weeks so our subscriptions follow that pattern. You are always getting your Gazette & ArtDrop plus saving 30% of the minting price! There are 2 tiers of subscription.

        Never miss a thing!

        Find your weekly guilty pleasure in a mailbox.