Backlash as More than $150M Burned in Gas Fees During Otherside NFT Mint

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Saturday saw the long-awaited land sale and public debut of Yuga Labs’ ‘Otherside’ metaverse project. As expected, the event served as the largest NFT mint to date, however its consequential gas war also left many community members with a sour tasting mouth and an empty pair of pockets. 

As you’d expect, the mint was an indisputable success with respect to revenue generation, as its 55,000 Otherdeeds NFTs, which each represent titles to plots of virtual land in the upcoming metaverse space, sold out in approximately three hours, with each NFT costing 305 $APE (around $5,800) to mint. In total, the mint generated roughly $320 million, although this figure has since dropped to around $285 million because of the fall in $APE.

Record revenue wasn’t the only significant point of discussion however, as the mint also created some of the highest gas fees in the history of the Ethereum network, as in total, investors spent over $176 million on fees alone. This staggering figure was comprised of huge gas fee accumulations (where, at times, a single fee would range from 2.6 ETH ($6,500) to 5 ETH ($14,000) as well as around $4.4 million worth of ETH being lost in over 15,000 failed transactions. 

In addition, in-the-know coders have also pointed out that the mint’s absurd fees were also due to the poorly optimized smart contract. Overall, and despite being active for less than four hours, the Otherdeeds contract burned more Ethereum than MetaMask’s swap router and Ethereum Name Service had done in their entire history.

In response, Yuga Labs have made a public apology, whilst also making hints at refunding traders’ gas fees, although it’s unclear how this process would play out. Inevitably, the ludicrous fees have also raised questions over Ethereum’s long-term viability as a host for large scale projects, which has further prompted Yuga Labs to consider building its own dedicated blockchain: “It seems abundantly clear that ApeCoin will need to migrate to its own chain in order to properly scale,” they stated said on Twitter.

Despite such efforts to rectify their failures, the ever-enthusiastic NFT community are still left with much anguish, with many stating that Yuga’s mention of Ethereum’s frailties is more of a deflection tactic rather than an acknowledgment of responsibility. 

This being said, the project’s figures in wake of such controversy do not suggest the presence of any lingering bitterness, as rare Otherdeeds are selling for upwards of 250 ETH, whilst the collection’s overall trading volume on secondary markets has exceeded 165,000 ETH, making it the 8th most traded NFT collection ever, despite only being active for around 48 hours.


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