Another day, another PFP craze — which stands, of course, for Pump Flip Ponzi. It doesn’t matter that Goblintown, currently the third highest collection on OpenSea by trading volume, has no roadmap, practical utility, or artistic merit whatsoever. In fact, these are being hailed not as drawbacks but features of this ‘masterclass in launch and branding in the NFT space’. Unfortunately, I’m left no choice but to agree.
The free-to-mint NFT collection, launched by anons with little to no hype a few days ago, quickly made the rounds on Crypto Twitter, fueled by the go-to degen cocktail of 1.) baseless speculation, 2.) recreational hopium abuse, and 3.) raw meme potential. Due to references in the leaked Yuga Labs pitch deck to a ‘Goblin’ project with expected revenue from the secondary market only, conspiracy theories soon circulated linking the pervading BAYC founders to Goblintown, driving copious trading volume by proxy.
These rumors have since been pretty thoroughly debunked, but it didn’t stop the initial mint from selling out, and it hasn’t curbed the subsequent hopium supply, with thousands of collectors attempting to raise the floor and profit off the ride. Somewhat refreshingly, it’s shaping up to be the most nihilistic pump and dump of all time. No one seems to be under the impression that this collection has any genuine value. They’re all just in a massive multiplayer metagame of chicken, committing to the bit until the last possible second, then locking in their gains before what little liquidity exists is flushed into the sewer where everything else about Goblintown belongs.
But making a strategic exit is a dangerous game when you’re dealing not with market forces but memes. Which, to be clear, is exactly what Goblintown is. The artwork, like Wojak or Troll Face before it, is a brazen anti-aesthetic. The project’s Twitter Spaces are just grown men grunting out ‘goblin noises’. And the founders communicate exclusively through their own Mocking-Spongebob-style dialect, a convenient non-response to all rugpull accusations:
Although about as tasteless as the average Yuga offering, it’s more likely Goblintown is the brainchild of some coordinated VC-funded guerilla marketing campaign. It feels tailor made for the bear market, designed to tap the wallets of a bunch of deprived gambling addicts desperate for another fix while hodling more rapidly deflating fake money than they know what to do with. Not to mention our boots on the ground (@NFT_nom, of course) reports that the word ‘Goblin’ kept popping up in random contexts all across Twitter in the days leading up to the launch.
Coincidence? Circumstantial evidence? Cold hard proof of widespread shadow government puppet mastery? It doesn’t matter, really. Memes are the original headless brand, appearing into the ether parthenogenetically to momentarily distract us from our crippling, congenital malaise, then disappearing without warning when our collective boredom grows too large to be contained, even by meaningless entertainment. A strong, risk-free investment if I’ve ever seen one.