Bored Ape Yacht Club Otherside mint causes Ethereum chaos

Millions made… But at sky high gas fees

As predicted, Bored Ape Yacht Club’s first land sale – selling plots of land on their upcoming Otherside metaverse – was a huge ‘success’. A sellout that shifted 55,000 ‘Otherdeeds’ at a flat 305 Apecoin apiece raising the group ‘approximately’ $320million.

We say ‘approximately’ in that it’s hard to accurately assess the value of the sales due to the huge volatility that Apecoin endured during the sale and afterwards, being around $19 before the sale, peaking to $27 during it before settling to $15 at the time of writing.

And we say ‘success’ in that the sale proved so popular as to overload the Ethereum blockchain, delaying and cancelling transactions far beyond the remit of the Otherside land sale.

The peak of Ethereum activity caused gas fees to rise dramatically meaning that a single NFT purchase of any value was soon costing users thousands in transaction fees alone. Plus some users with insufficient funds were charged the gas fees, only to run out of cash and have the transaction fail during processing. If a transaction fails, fees are not refunded…

For example this purchase at the peak of the Otherside frenzy incurred a gas fee of over 5 ETH ($14,000) to purchase Otherdeeds for a total of $9000.

The chaos has proved so extreme that Yuga Labs – the company behind the Bored Ape craze – have gone public to apologise for the mess. “We know that the Otherdeed mint was unprecedented in its size as a high-demand NFT collection, and that would bring with it unique challenges,” they wrote on Twitter.

“This has been the largest NFT mint in history by several multiples, and yet the gas used during the mint shows that demand far exceeded anyone’s wildest expectations. The scale of this mint was so large that Etherscan crashed. We’re sorry for turning off the lights on Ethereum for a while.”

Etherscan data estimates that the total transaction fees for Otherdeeds alone topped 64,700 ETH – approximately $183 million.

It’s certainly been a wild ride so far, and one that we’ll continue to keep an eye on. Those lucky enough to purchase Otherdeeds have since seen the value of their holdings approximately double at the time of writing.

Commenting on Apecoin’s future on Ethereum, Yuga Labs tweeted “It seems abundantly clear that ApeCoin will need to migrate to its own chain in order to properly scale. We’d like to encourage the DAO to start thinking in this direction.”

As to what this means for Ethereum and any efforts to become a mainstream, credible, trusted financial system – used potentially, one day by billions of people at a time – only time will tell.

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