Blink and you might miss it. The second most traded NFT today is something called Gutter Passes, which are “buy-now, take-now” vouchers used to purchase a range of upcoming NFTs.
According to data analytics site Nansen, the program has completed 4,002 ETH transactions since it was deployed 20 hours ago.
Having a gutter pass entitles you to cast a third and fourth gutter species. The first is the gutter cat and the second is the gutter rat.
Both come from a post-apocalyptic society where cats have taken over. Here is a description of the project from the OpenSea list.
“The year is 2050. Humans are an interstellar species that has completely abandoned the post-apocalyptic pieces of society on Earth. The cats have taken over. A crime-ridden, incestuous inner city is inhabited by a group of cats collectively known as the Gutter Cats.”
Aside from the lore, the Gutter Cats serve as (yet another) incarnation of a project similar to CryptoPunks and The Bored Ape Yacht Club. exactly 3,000 cats were released to the public in June, and they sold out in 10 minutes. The base price for a gutter cat is now 5ETH ($19,737).
Next up are the “gutter rats”. Here is a description of them.
“Deep underground in the autonomous region, gutter rats roam, sustaining themselves on the rotting detritus of the extravagant lifestyle above. Resentful of their subservient position in the gutter, these sinister rats lie in wait, plotting to one day reclaim the throne from the gutter cat gang.”
The gutter rats have a reserve price of 1.55 ETH ($6,118).
In contrast, the sale of “gutter species” is an investment in something that has yet to be created.
“I think this mint is a plan by the team to keep us guessing what the two species are so they can make the best choice that everyone likes lol,” wrote Gutter Burrito, a member of the gutter cat gang Discord.
Some have begun to wonder if such products contain the more insidious elements of the 2017 ICO boom, where investors were encouraged to buy things that hadn’t been created yet. Others don’t care, because the 2017 ICO boom made a lot of people very rich.
What’s interesting about the recent spate of NFT avatar projects is that, like ICOs, they have rapidly converged on a similar economic model. For NFT avatar projects, it’s a rare mint of exclusivity that then offers sister and spin-off projects for anyone who misses out.
It’s increasingly clear that the value of an investment depends on the ability of the founders to build a real community around their NFT: one that’s profitable enough, but attracts members who aren’t just there to flip the next big viral project.