Controversy surrounding Rick and Morty creators: Debate over ethics of NFT influencers

November 4, 2022

By Sharan Kaur Phillora

Art Gobblers, an Ethereum NFT project by co-creator of “Rick and Morty” Justin Roiland and cryptocurrency investment firm Paradigm, was launched Monday and has already generated over $26 million in secondary sales (per CryptoSlam), suggesting a huge hype around the project.

However, several in the NFT space have assailed prominent influencers and personalities for minting free NFTs, now trading for nearly $23,000, alleging unfair distribution practices. 

Here’s what we know: 

According to the allegations made against the influencers, it appears that they are feeding a system where powerful voices are exploiting their platform without proper disclosure. On 31 October, Art Gobblers launched 1,700 NFT artworks that could be minted for free by anyone added to a permitted list. 

Another 300 NFTs were reserved for project creators and contributors, with another 8,000 Gobbler NFTs to be released gradually over the next ten years.

Soon after, NFTs began selling for significant sums through secondary markets, with the cheapest available NFT currently listed at 14.5 ETH, about $22,850. In addition, one NFT was sold Monday night for nearly $138,000 in ETH.

Amid the surge in secondary sales, Crypto Twitter lit up with viral tweets sharing lists of prominent NFT influencers, content creators, and personalities who had successfully minted one of the NFTs. 

In general, the initial reaction was negative, with users saying that it all reflected the huge benefits gained by influencers with large audiences. The list includes widely followed Twitter personalities such as Rug Radio co-founder Farokh Sarmad, pseudonymous collector and creator Fxnction, frequent Twitter Spaces host and Devotion co-founder Andrew Wang, and pseudonymous influencer and content creator Zeneca. 

“That’s why NFTs are never taken seriously,” tweeted a well-known pseudonymous influencer ShiLLin_VILLian. Complaints from other Twitter users have sometimes been less friendly, with some claiming that there were pay-for-play deals for popular NFT collectors to hype the project in exchange for a whitelist slot, with no clear disclosures shared.

About the author

Sharan Kaur Phillora’s thirst for knowledge has led her to study many different subjects, including NFTs and Blockchain technology – two emerging technologies that will change how we interact with each other in the future. When she isn’t exploring a new idea or concept, she enjoys reading literary masterpieces.

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