Another day, another hilarious NFT drop – MekaVerse is one of the biggest to date.
Since launch, Ether NFTs have generated $60 million worth of sales between the initial mint and secondary sales. Even in the latter, buyers are spending tens of thousands of dollars worth of ETH on things they can’t even view yet.
MekaVerse is a series of 8,888 NFT profile images inspired by Japanese mecha anime series, specifically the classic “Mobile Suit Gundam,” with each 3D rendered image randomly generated from a library of traits. No two images are the same, following the script of popular NFT avatar series such as CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club.
Interestingly enough, even secondary market buyers can’t see what they’re getting with MekaVerse NFTs. Each image on OpenSea is now an animated placeholder, with a full episode disclosure scheduled for October 10-11. As such, there is no way to know if users will pull an NFT with rare properties or something more common.
An NFT itself is a blockchain-backed deed of ownership for a digital item, proving that your unique incarnation truly belongs to you. Other types of NFTs include digital artwork, video files and interactive video game items, and the broader market has exploded in 2021 with $10.67 billion in transactions in the third quarter alone, according to DappRadar.
MekaVerse, led by French cryptocurrency artists Matt Braccini and Mattey, faced huge demand for its minting process on Thursday.Instead of holding a public minting event, which would normally push up the network-wide Ether gas fees (i.e. transaction fees) for other popular NFT projects, MekaVerse held a raffle to secure a closed location for the mint.
The project reported that 172,876 holders of unique wallets registered for the raffle. Ultimately, 8,593 NFTs were sold at the mint window for a fee of 0.2 ETH ($725) each, generating more than 1,718 ETH – almost $6.3 million. The team wrote on its Discord server that the remaining NFTs that were not minted will be used for future giveaways and promotions.
Since minting, secondary sales of MekaVerse NFTs have caught fire, with the OpenSea marketplace showing 14,832 ETH traded in less than 24 hours for over $53.7 million.The floor (or cheapest) price for MekaVerse NFTs is currently around 5.6 ETH, or $20,275 – a a huge increase.
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Avatar collecting is one of the biggest trends to explode at NFT this year. The influential CryptoPunks launched in 2017 and garnered the largest sale price of any collection, currently starting at around $413,000 worth of ETH.Bored Ape Yacht Club is the most popular new collection for 2021, with other top items including Cool Cats and 0N1 Force.
The Meka controversy
However, the launch of MekaVerse was not without drama. Some users were unhappy with the need to log into the sweepstakes system using a Twitter or Discord account, for example, claiming it was a data harvesting scheme. Others alleged that the project was a big scam or “rug pulling,” citing claimed red flags such as unverified ethereum contracts, massive transfers of funds from the contracts, and a lack of communication from the team.
The team announced that the contract was verified (as seen on Etherscan) and that it transferred funds from the contract to a private wallet for “maximum security.” The team further claims that it has minimized social media interactions during the rollout for “our mental health.”
Meanwhile, concept artist Emerson Trung – who has worked on both the Doom and Transformers series – claims the project has refused to fully compensate him for his work. However, in an exchange on Twitter that included allegedly deleted tweets in which Braccini called Trung’s behavior “disgusting,” Trung tweeted that the team would honor its initial agreement, which included a MekaVerse NFT.