With the super hot NFT collectible drop hype cycle going on right now, many in the community are apeing into NFT project after project. From fucking pickles, bananas, rats, misfits, camels, strawberries, ducks, and now some undead monsters to boot, there is an emerging trend in collectible drops.
We have a large number of NFT drop examples to pick from and many in the community are letting it be known what they don’t want to see more of.
Take this tweet from one of the most vocal on-chain evangelists J1mmy.eth, founder of NFT42, Nameless, and Avastars
selling out and "waiting" a week for reveal of the actual tokens is pretty much the same thing as a FOMO ramp. and devs can give their friends the good nfts since we have no idea what we got until they decide to tell us.
delayed reveals are bad.
— j1mmy.eth 📛⛺🦩 (@j1mmyeth) July 1, 2021
Obviously, there are pros and cons to any line of logic, and J1mmy himself notes that there are some useful reasons to use a delayed reveal mechanic in certain situations, but not in the way we are seeing it used for the sake of pumping the floor price before a reveal. This is a trend that I agree, we as a community should push back on.
To be contrarian for a moment to J1mmy.eth’s point, instantly revealing when a collectible NFT is minted, whales often have a serious advantage over us mere mortals who would like to participate in certain drops. We must find a solution that keeps things pointed towards a more egalitarian outcome, in my personal opinion.
Then there is this rather concise summary of what many in the community are not liking about these recent collectible NFT drops:
Couldn't agree more @j1mmyeth. Summarizing the responses on my earlier post of what people hate:
-Use of generic OS storefront
-No community building / anon teams
-Absence of roadmap
-Paid shilling https://t.co/uCv8UbPUA7
— Alley Cat (@AlleyCatNFT) July 1, 2021
I would agree with all of these points.
While I do understand that projects are all working to extract attention from a rather modest NFT-aware userbase, as we slowly creep towards mass adoption. The FOMO mechanics of many of these projects are merely trying to replicate what they have seen work in the past.
If every NFT project team is replicating what they think will sell out the fastest, raise the most funds, or create the most hype and attention then we will keep getting more of the same repeat mechanics in future NFT drops.
I will not lie and say I don’t fall victim to the collectible hype, but I think we as a community should become more thoughtful in what we vote on supporting with our participation and spending. In full transparency, I own at least one of each of the NFTs I mentioned earlier( besides a banana). This is all mostly due to my efforts to diversify which projects I currently own, but low key because I am still butthurt that I didn’t get a few Bored Apes when I had multiple chances to.
For me, bonding curves will keep me out of a project. Anonymous developers just feels like trouble, and no real utility being added to a project just spells a HARD no for me. Now, fun and novelty can be an underestimated utility especially if there is strong community involvement.
This commentary is mostly referencing these newer NFT collectible drops and not just crypto art that I like or supporting artists that I connect with. I don’t necessarily buy all NFTs because I think they may be worth more in the future, I will buy something that I really love, if I can afford it at the moment, or if it’s from an artist that is someone I really want to intentionally support because of who they are as people and/or if their work is just really dope.
This would bring me to my next major gripe, especially around Avatar NFT projects. I want to pick what my avatar looks like, and not just randomly receive something I may not like at all. I see the outcome of this quite often when people start dumping avatars they don’t like on Opensea for lower prices than they paid for them.
Now I understand there are issues with letting everyone just choose what they want, but I am putting it out into the universe. If someone can come up with a novel method that protects the masses from gas wars and whales from just taking over while allowing us to build out avatars that we can love, then I think we would mostly agree: that would be cool!
Perhaps without revealing the rarity of those physical aspects that are ‘choosable’ then we would have a win-win, or if rarity was not tied to only visual attributes but instead non-visual attributes to allow for customization. I know technically this could just be wishful thinking, at least for right now, but if we can send chunks of silicone and metal to Mars I think we can at some point figure out how to let me buy an avatar NFT that I fucking love before it hits the secondary market or I get priced out of what I want.
Many projects are thinking in the short to medium term and not thinking about their futures, where new technical possibilities can and will exist. This is where the on-chain gang argument really does shine with merit. Being able to reference things on-chain in the future will be a really powerful asset and boost the longevity of the projects that keep that future-focused mentality.
I spoke with Michael Keen, founder of NFTcatcher.io, that is building a really fantastic platform that aggregates the most significant upcoming NFT drops in a comprehensive and useful way. I asked him about what he does not like to see in NFT drops because, honesty, he probably participates in and is aware of more drops than any single person that I know.
Michael echoed many of the similar points listed above with some additional nuance:
He told me “I don’t like to see metadata leaks before a reveal, any issues with the smart contract implementation really scares buyers” and he “doesn’t like to see the developers hiding and not answering questions”
I would like to second the metadata leak issue as there were early rumors that were later confirmed during the Misfit University drop, which can be exploited by the technically gifted over the average user to mint the token ids with the rarest traits.
Crying eyes and duct tape drama debacles aside, a responsive team can work through issues with the community as they arise. I personally watched as NFT Twitter wanted to burn the devs of the Misfit University project at the stake, with the alleged rape culture references, but they were responsive and listened to the community and arrived at a solution that in many ways has saved that project, at least to live or die another day.
If we want to see better NFT Collectible Drops with less of what we don’t want and more of what we do want then we as a community should be having these conversations with the developers and creators of these projects. Above all, we should be putting our crypto where our mouths are and voting with our fungible token spending.
Main Featured Image Credit: Remix of Slacker Duck & Arabian Camel by Albert Polanco