The founders of Pudgy Penguins were voted out after they reportedly failed to meet stated aims and emptied the treasury of funds. Now, at least one splinter group is proposing that the entire project should be decentralised, which could be a first in the industry.
Pudgy Penguins, which debuted in July and has already sold over 45,400 ETH on the NFT marketplace OpenSea, has become one of the most successful NFT projects. At today’s ether (ETH) values, that translates to around $140 million. Last July, the set of 8,888 pudgy and flightless Antarctic critters — dressed in baseball caps and fishing rods – was available to mint for 0.03 ETH and sold out in under 20 minutes.
On Wednesday evening, Pudgy Penguins owner 9x9x9 posted a Twitter thread stating that the Pudgy Penguins founders were considering abandoning the project and offered to sell him the project’s shell for 888 ETH (about $2.8 million), which he declined. The floor price of a Pudgy Penguin has risen from roughly 0.6 ETH ($1,860) on Wednesday evening to 1.7 ETH ($5,270) as of press time, thanks to the tweets.
Other significant figures in the NFT market, including Mintable co-founder Zach Burks, NFT collector @beaniemax, and Netz Capital’s Luca Netz, have made buyout proposals of up to 750 ETH ($2.3 million) for the project.
The founding team of the Pudgy Penguins receives a modest percentage of each NFT sale in royalties, ensuring that the inventors of successful ventures can continue to enrich themselves as long as trade volume exists.
Wrapped Penguins, which are accessible as a free mint on the NFT platform Metadrop for current Penguin holders, would cut all links with the original founding team in the hopes of forming an alternative community managed by a decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO) architecture. A wrapper is a smart contract that converts one asset into another, allowing Pudgy Penguins NFT holders to retain one identical “wrapped” penguin. The Wrapped Penguins project claims that the token holder will be able to “unwrap” their token at any time and return to the original NFT.
The current rise in NFT sales has been fueled by profile picture projects (PFPs) such as Pudgy Penguins, Larva Labs’ CryptoPunks, and Yuga Labs’ Bored Ape Yacht Club, which are generally administered by centralised founder teams who tease fresh releases for their holders. 9x9x9 told CoinDesk that Pudgy Penguins “may be the first 100% decentralised PFP project ever.”