Yuga Labs made a heap of ETH this weekend and secondary sales are flying, but not everyone is happy about the Otherside mint.
Saturday’s launch of NFT virtual land deeds for Yuga Labs’ Otherside—an upcoming metaverse game based on the Bored Ape Yacht Club—was the largest NFT drop to date, and it has thus far yielded over $900 million to date in total sales volume. But it wasn’t all smooth sailing.
Yuga Labs offered up 55,000 Ethereum NFT “Otherdeeds” that represent digital terrain in the game, and the frenzied attempt by approved buyers to snap up the valuable NFTs drove up the Ethereum network’s gas fees to startling levels.
Some users spent thousands of dollars on fees to push through their transactions during the “minting” process, which refers to how new NFTs are created and sold. All told, buyers collectively spent about $180 million worth of ETH solely on fees during the sale. It made Ethereum incredibly expensive for anyone to use at the time, and led to a lot of bickering and griping among NFT owners on social media.
Unsurprisingly, many prominent Bored Ape Yacht Club collectors are upset about Yuga Labs’ approach to the Otherside mint, not to mention the company’s response to the fallout.
In a lengthy thread posted on Sunday, Bored Ape NFT holder ap3father reckoned with his allegiance to the community and personal gains from the project, but also disappointment with the format of the sale and communication from Yuga Labs.
“The drop went unbelievably poorly. That’s the truth of it all,” he wrote, adding that the overwhelming demand and high gas fees, the costs associated with transacting on the Ethereum network, created a “nightmare scenario” for buyers.
Weeks before the sale and before the public knew about the project, Yuga Labs asked NFT collectors to complete a know-your-customer (KYC) ID check. Once Otherside was revealed, prospective buyers who completed the check could be approved to try and mint the virtual land, which was selling for 305 ApeCoin (APE)—nearly $5,800 per NFT at the time of the mint.
The team initially planned to hold a Dutch auction for the 55,000 available NFTs, a format in which the price of the NFT gradually decreases during the course of the sale to help mitigate high demand.
But ahead of Saturday’s mint, Yuga Labs wrote that the format was “actually bullshit,” and instead said it would use a fixed price and let buyers mint additional NFTs in successive waves. “Fuck doing a Dutch auction,” they added.
However, there never was a second wave—so many people were verified for the drop that everything sold out in the first batch, and buyers collectively spent enormous amounts of ETH to participate in the tumultuous sale. Whatever the complaints with Dutch auctions, it appears that Yuga’s created solution wasn’t an improvement over the original plan.
“Yuga Labs didn’t realize they were still doing a Dutch auction, it was just via gwei and not price,” joked Twitter user 0xBender, a Mutant Ape holder. Gwei refers to the way that Ethereum gas fees are denominated.
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