Is Goblintown really just a degen mint?
An in-depth analysis on goblintown.wtf, the NFT project that made us forget we are in a bear market
Get your daily dose of Internet here! Yes, this Twitter Space recording was spreading around like wildfire among different communities and social media. The Space, which lasted about 3 hours and replayed over 45,000 times, featured the community of goblintown communicating with each other in a guttural, goblin-like voice.
Ellio Trades, the founder of Neo Tokyo, tweeted “Fxxk it… I wanna make goblin noises too”.
Wtf is Goblintown?
Goblintown is an NFT project / movement that emerged on May 21st 2022. It has no roadmap, founders are anonymous, CC0, looks extremely ugly, and has a free mint. Even in a bull market environment, such a project is expected to flop within a few days. How is it possible that in the current bear-market situation, goblintown’s floor price manages to moon from a meagre 0.04ETH to more than 7ETH in just a matter of 5 days? Is it really just a degen-meta season? Or is there something more going on?
On 21st May, goblintown commenced their mint phase. In actuality, mint has already started a day before (20th May). Initially, there was not much attention on it.
This changed when Mike DAOdas, founder of The Block, tweeted that he participated in the free mint on Twitter. This led to the eventual sell-out of goblintown. However, just when people believed that this was nothing but a worthless (and ugly) PFP project, goblintown started to roll out their marketing strategies…
YugaLabs Secret Project?
On 22nd May after the mint phase, goblintown released a very interesting marketing poster on their Twitter, which consists of 2 goblins engaging in a conversation.
This quickly sparked some interest amongst the community, as people start to speculate that goblintown could be YugaLab’s secret NFT project. Upon closer analysis, this claim is not as baseless as it seems.
In YugaLab’s 90-page pitch deck, it mentioned that after Koda sales, there will be a “Trezor” (Treasure) Hunt activity. The word “Trezor” is very similar to the goblin language of the word “Treasure”. Coincidentally (or not), treasure hunting is also very related to how goblins are like in nature.
Furthermore, on page 86 of YugaLabs’ pitch deck, it can be seen that 1% of revenue will come from “Goblins(S)”.
Following this, more and more sleuths started to emerge with their theories and investigation findings as they attempt to uncover goblintown’s relation to YugaLabs. I am using @phaaz’s findings as an example here.
Phaaz also did an in-depth analysis and comparison on the artwork style of goblintown, BAYC and MAYC.
YugaLabs has not made any official response, but this did not stop the exponential price growth of goblintown. Within 2 days, the floor price had risen from 0.04ETH to 0.6ETH (1500%).
Just when we thought their marketing phase was over, goblintown was actually just getting started…
When people were still debating whether YugaLabs was behind goblintown, new rumours have emerged.
On 22nd May, goblintown posted a tweet stating “What YugaLabs? We are Steve Aoki”. Steve Aoki is a DJ that has over 9 million followers on Instagram, and one of the highest grossing electronic dance music artist in North America.
This claim does not seem baseless either, as there is indeed a rare goblintown NFT that looks very similar to Steve Aoki. On 25th May, TheSandboxGame bought this particular NFT for 26 ETH on Opensea.
Goblintown did not stop there. Just 6 hours later, goblintown tweeted “We not Steve Aoki, we Beeple”. Beeple is a well-known American digital artist who once sold his NFT for $69 million, a record-breaking sale.
Less than 4 hours later, Frederic Duquette became goblintown’s next target. Frederic is a 3D artist from Canada who once released a NFT collection named “FVCK_CRYSTAL//”, garnering over $11,500 in transaction volumes on OpenSea.
Just when people think it’s the end, on 25th May goblintown tweeted “oh yis we r absulutlee Snoop Dogg” in an attempt to imitate famous rapper Snoop Dogg, sparking massive public interest once again.
So, who is behind this?
I did some digging from goblintown’s contract and transaction history. As seen from the data, after the last contract was deployed by the goblintown team, an address (mikedudas.eth) interacted with “Makinggobblin” contract to mint right after 15 minutes. This particular address belongs to none other than Mike DAOdas, the founder of The Block.
This led many to believe that Mike DAOdas is the mastermind behind goblintown. Rumours spread like wildfire, to the point where Mike had to step in to clarify the situation.
Turns out, he only KNOWS the team behind goblintown, and the tweet about the mint served as free alpha for the people. He emphasized that he was neither paid nor sponsored to do so.
One must agree that goblintown’s marketing tactics were top-notch and executed to perfection. They leveraged on the existing bluechip projects and influential people to spur people’s interest and incite feelings of FOMO.
On top of their marketing tactics, goblintown’s appearance also fits the narrative of the new #GoblinMode meme culture admist the coronavirus pandemic, striking a resonating chord with the people.
"Goblin Mode" was originally more widely used on Tumblr and Urban Dictionary for many years, referring to someone who was sloppy, unkempt and lazy. However, this term has evolved to become a more relatable one during this pandemic period where everyone was essentially "forced" into "Goblin Mode" (in bed most of the time, wearing the same clothes for multiple days, immersing in social media for long hours etc.)
People relating to Goblin Mode is also one of the reasons why goblintown amassed such a huge community.
Goblintown’s language style, the goblin language, is extremely unique within the NFT space. Budweiser’s Bud Light was also seen using goblin language in their most recent Twitter post. It is unknown whether Bud Light has any relations to goblintown, but this inadvertently promoted their usage of goblin language.
The community has also initiated lessons in order to teach newcomers how to better communicate in goblin language, and many have created numerous goblin memes and sticker packs in order to futher spread the culture of the goblin community.
Out of all the goblin NFTs, 5 of them are Easter Egg NFTs. The team has mentioned that “this egg is very special”, once again spurring people’s interest as they are eager to find out what the egg would turn into. The egg NFT had a gradual transition from being a normal egg to a cracked egg that revealed an eye.
In an unexpected turn of events, it was revealed that the egg had been smashed into pieces by a goblin, leaving many dumbfounded.
These unorthodox moves have constantly piqued people’s curiousity. As of now, the floor price for the “Mistryuss eggie” is 125ETH on Opensea.
On goblintown’s website, they tease us by slowly revealing each team member’s portrait per day.
Personal Thoughts and Conclusion
To answer the question: Is goblintown really just a degen mint? Well, at the start it definitely is. Given their characteristics from the start, anyone (other than Mike DAOdas) would have rated this particular project to just be another high risk degen mint. However, I believe the team behind goblintown has executed their marketing strategies extremely well, with some initial help from Mike of course. At that point, goblintown is no longer just a degen mint.
They leveraged on the emotions of people, using that to incite feelings of curiosity, FOMO and to a certain extent, uncertainty. All of these come together and increased the price even higher. This brings me to the next point, should you invest in goblintown?
Given the current macro conditions, I will advise staying away from copping a Goblin if you are not a whale with 20 ETH lying around. Even though the price has managed to stabilize for a week now at a relatively high floor price (5-6 ETH), this project is still very much built on hype and FOMO since the very first day. Sure, there exists a strong goblin community with their own unique culture, but the fundamentals (roadmap, actual identity of founders etc.) are still unclear.
But of course, if the team manages to deliver utility and actual value soon, then I am confident to see goblintown do well in the future.
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