Metaverse-building has been the focal point of tech and venture capital in the last two years. From Facebook to Microsoft, nearly everyone is betting big. Last April, Epic Games alone, with its omnipresent Unreal Engine, raised $1 billion for a long-term metaverse plan. Likewise, Yuga Labs of BAYC fame, raised $450 million this March.
With so many big players stepping into the metaverse pond, where does that leave the community? If Clayton Patterson has a say in it, with Pudgy Penguins NFTs. As blockchain avatars go, Pudgy Penguins made a good showing of it in the beginning, but recent happenings have left Patterson out of the loop.
What Are Pudgy Penguins?
In cooperation with his three classmates, Clayton Patterson, at the time a computer science major at the University of Central Florida, created 8,888 Pudgy Penguins in the summer of 2021. As with other generative NFT collections, Pudgy Penguin’s appearance ranges in rarity, revolving around which attributes are combined with others to create a precious online avatar.
Soon after the NFT collection launched, on July 22, 2021, it gained traction as memeable plump penguins showed their worth. Within 20 minutes of the public sale, they sold out like hotcakes at Ξ0.03 each, which was at the time under $100.
Since then, Pudgy Penguins accumulated $169.49 million in total sales, exchanging hands to reach 4,494 owners. For the most part, Pudgy Penguins have been hovering between Ξ1–2, excluding exceptional peaks that tend to happen when more notable personalities join The Huddle community.
As of April 2022, Pudgy Penguin’s floor price — the minimum ask bid — sits at Ξ2 ($6k). Source: OpenSea
Speaking of a vibrant community, Pudgy Penguins departed from the norm in that anyone could join its Discord server without holding PP. This approach increased its popularity to the point of Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, getting one.
However, the highest one sold for Ξ225 ($677k) last September. Interestingly, Pudgy Penguin #6873 is a default-looking Penguin with no frills about it. It just goes to show that the subdued norm can become expensive within a context of exuberance.
Circling back to the intro, does that mean that Clayton Patterson is a rich man? In a way, but not before getting ousted out of the Pudgy Penguin game.
The New Owner of Pudgy Penguins
Once you set up a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) and give NFT holders voting power, you run the risk of getting outvoted from your own project. That’s exactly what happened to Pudgy Penguin founders this January. In particular, at the center of this controversy was one of the founders, Cole Villemain. In his previous project, he purportedly has a history of abusing customers and mishandling projects, as detailed in this Twitter thread.
However, for depleting the DAO treasury without meeting stated goals, Pudgy Penguin founders saw the writing on the wall. According to user @9x9x9eth, who has in possession Ξ600 worth of 242 Pudgy Penguin NFTs, they approached him with an Ξ888 (~$2.8m) offer for the whole project, which he declined.
Instead, the buyer ended up being Netz Capital’s Luca Netz, for Ξ750 (~$2.5m at the time). Luca Netz marked his acquisition as a new chapter in the Pudgy Penguins’ journey toward web3.
What’s Next for Pudgy Penguins?
Just as BAYC launched its ApeCoin for the backbone of its metaverse-building, so too was a similar token in mind for the $PENGU token. This was announced before the project was sold to Netz, in December 2021.
Luca Netz hinted at continuing with the set plan; however, there is no timeline specified yet. In the meantime, at least Pudgy Penguins are no longer delisted from OpenSea, which happened on March 28th. Founders such as ColeThereum, now delegated to mere members, are looking forward to what Luca Netz has in store for the meme-disposed penguins.
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