One of the more interesting parts of being involved in the NFT industry is seeing which new projects take off very quickly and cause discourse among fans. This could be a wave of praise or endless back and forth among those who love and hate it.
Art Gobblers, the new NFT collection from ‘Rick and Morty’ creator Justin Roiland has done just that. Released on October 31, 2022, the Ethereum-based project which was done in partnership with blockchain firm Paradigm has already secured the top spot on the OpenSea table and has brought in tens of millions of dollars in resale figures.
But despite all the instant success, it has also been quite controversial, with some accusing it of being overhyped or even a scam.
All About Art Gobblers
One very unique thing about this new drop is that buyers can mint their assets as Page NFTs and also trade in Goot tokens to get more assets. But this novel minting mechanism is not what has gotten NFT fans on Twitter talking. Instead, there have been accusations of Roiland leveraging influencer support to drum up publicity for the collection without proper disclosure.
You see, 1,700 of the Art Gobbler NFTs were made available for a free mint. These free NFTs were given only to those on the allowlist and they quickly began selling for tens of thousands of dollars apiece online. That, in itself, is not unusual but what caused controversy was when people began reviewing the names of who was on the allowlist in the first place.
As several reports indicate, the allowlist was full of NFT influencers and content creators. This included personalities like content creator Zeneca and Devotion co-founder Andrew Wang. This led many to believe that it was all a marketing ploy that the general public was not let in on. Everyone knows that NFT buyers follow the activities of influencers and other famous people very closely. If a horde of them are found to be buying from a specific collection, others will flock to buy from it as well.
This, perhaps, contributed to the high floor price of the Art Gobblers collection and naturally, made many angry. And given how much the secondary sales are commanding, these influencers have likely made a tidy sum in profit as well.
This has cast a dark shadow over what was one of the most impressive NFT debuts from a well-known creative this year and has also reignited the conversation about NFT best practices, disclosure and ethics.
The Role of Disclosure
The NFT sector is still fairly unregulated and as such, there are several ethical and legal grey areas which can be seen in this current incident. As many have pointed out, influencers hold a certain level of sway with their audiences. If they are being paid to buy into an NFT collection in order to trigger fans into buying from it, at what point should this be disclosed?
This incident begs the question that hopefully, will be clearer and better enforced over time.