NFT collection Raccoon Secret Society “kills” entire project to prove a point

The collection of 10,000 digital artworks will, in the coming days, be transformed into bones as developers strive to demonstrate the fragility of NFTs

NFT collection Raccoon Secret Society has revealed its developers will update the metadata of the entire collection and turn all 10,000 raccoons in the collection into a “pile of bones”.

In a Twitter thread, the developers outlined their reasoning, claiming the “NFT community is sick” and their one goal with the NFT project was to “show people what are they actually buying” when minting an NFT.

The developers also pointed the finger at the wider “NFT community”, saying that they were the ones who “killed” the entire collection.

As the thread continued, the developers expanded on the “vulnerability” of the smart contracts used to code the project and how the same code is ” being copy-pasted by the developers” within the community.

They noted the smart contract has a vulnerability where the owners of a contract have too much power over it, adding: “Specifically, the function setBaseUri allows the owner to remove all the metadata, arts, etc at any time.”

The developers also added that leading NFT project Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) has the same vulnerability.

The metadata of an NFT is information about other data. In the case of NFTs, it contains the essential properties including its name, description, links to the images and other assets that give an NFT its value.

If the metadata is changed and amended – which is what happened with the Raccoon Secret Society – the developers can essentially “kill” a collection with ease.

In a final tweet, the developers said “OpenSea will update the metadata from the contract and all Raccoons will turn to a pile of bones”, which will remove the metadata, rarity traits and art of the NFTs.

They finished by mentioning that owners of the NFTs will be left with “only the meaningless records on the blockchain” – a final blow for the now despondent owners of a Raccoon.

At the time of the reveal, the collection had more than 2.8k owners, with a respectable 191 ETH in trading volume over the last 30 days.

Marketing ploy or “rug pull”?

In response to the move by the developers, owners and NFT enthusiasts alike took to Twitter and Discord to express their displeasure at the decision, with many calling the project a “rug pull” and a “scam”. One user even light-heartedly referred to the project as the “Raccoon Rug Society”.

However, some said the decision would have the opposite effect for the project. They noted the change in metadata could bring more exposure to the ‘vulnerability’, more attention to the NFT collection and, potentially, lead to an “airdrop” of a new NFT if the smart contract is updated.

The decision could also be a marketing ploy ahead of the project’s “ritual” event, which requires users to “perform a sacred ritual” and “trade the harbinger status of three raccoons and summon the superior being…”.

The roadmap of the project also mentions “The Apocalypse” when 100% of Raccoons have been “initiated” – another homage to the bones and ritual theme.

Whether this will transpire is unclear due to the strongly-worded message from the developers and their thoughts towards the NFT community.

A harsh lesson for the “PFP” NFT community

The decision does bring much-needed exposure to the growing number of “PFP” (profile picture) projects that are emerging on a daily basis.

“PFP” projects have been branded as such due to their commonality and the “incentive” to change your profile picture on community channels to reflect your ownership.

The blueprint is simple for many of these projects… 10,000 NFTs, animal-based, an alliterated project name and bright, colourful artwork.

Some aspects may change from project-to-project but, across the board, the collections starting to emerge are very similar in nature. To get an idea of the variety on offer, simply head to OpenSea and browse the growing number of NFTs for sale. Due to the growing number of these projects, the market is now becoming saturated with “copy-and-paste” materials that hold no inherent value.

The issue with these is that NFT enthusiasts are eager to “ape” into a project, which means minting an NFT without doing any prior research.

Due to the over eagerness to mint, scams have also become more prevalent, with some leading to extremely costly mistakes,

Based on the developers’ sentiment and wording in their decision, it’s clear that the project wanted to send a message to the wider NFT community to be cautious and careful in the NFT market.

Due to the exponential returns and growing value provided by NFTs, the appeal of quick, easy returns from simply minting a jpeg is intoxicating and is driving the FOMO being demonstrated across the NFT market.

It’s expected that “blue-chip” NFT projects like CryptoPunks and BAYC will maintain their value over the coming months due to their current popularity and value. However, it’s anticipated that the growing spate of ‘PFP’ NFT projects will simply fade away when the cycle ends.

For the holders of the project, and the wider NFT community, the decision to amend the metadata has proven itself to be a harsh lesson and a much-needed wake-up call to the volatility and dangers that exist across the crypto space.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.

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