On strengthening Launchpad, serving the ecosystem, and starting a dialogue.
We hear the community loud and clear about the Degen Town collection launched on Launchpad and have been working behind the scenes to reach a resolution with the original founders and current collection owners. We wanted to communicate more, but also wanted to ensure that the communication was actionable and accountable.
The outcomes of this project have disappointed us and the ecosystem and we should not have given it access to Launchpad. Period. As a platform that aims to bring web3 to the masses, we understand that the events surrounding Degen Town may contribute towards a narrative that NFTs are dangerous and harmful, which runs counter to our intentions as a team and as a member of the broader NFT community.
Our goal is to move towards a brighter future. Over the last few weeks, we have been in contact with the community, the original founders of Degen Town, and the new community-elected founders of Degen Town to drive towards a resolution. These conversations have taken time, which is why we haven’t spoken up earlier.
Below we outline our proposal. It is not yet set in stone, and we’ll continue to make updates if/when it evolves. We encourage feedback and always looking for constructive criticism and contribution:
- We are urging the original Degen Town founders to return funds from the project: We have been in conversation with the original co-founders of Degen Town, including @NFTRamo and @0xLerk and urged them to return funds raised from the project given they have profited significantly from the project and walked away from it. We secured funds from @0xLerk. We are still in discussions with @NFTRamo.
- Returned funds will first be used to serve the victims of the wallet drain: One recurring question from the community is when the individuals affected by the wallet drain will receive refunds from the hack, which was promised by @NFTRamo. He has not taken any action to support the victims. We previously helped identify a partner who could process the refunds but the new team also did not process the refunds. Given the urgency around this issue, we will find a 3rd party who will analyze the wallet drain to quantify the damage so we can understand how we can allocate the funds to serve the victims of the drain. We will share our approach as we finalize a partner who will lead this work.
- We have updated our Launchpad vetting criteria: The NFT landscape is constantly changing. We are constantly working to improve and refine our community protection processes, including the Launchpad application. We understand that the Launchpad vetting criteria have not been clear in the eyes of the community and we want to increase transparency as much as possible to address that. We have updated the Launchpad vetting processes here.
- We encourage everyone to continue to DYOR: In light of these events, we intend to champion stronger artists and/ creators. At the same time, we want to remind the community at large to please DYOR when making minting / trading decisions. Ultimately, each minter or buyer is responsible for their decision to purchase an NFT and they should not do so unless they have taken the time to first research the art and the project. It is ultimately the buyer’s decision. Magic Eden strives to increase transparency for Launchpad projects to assist minters / buyers responsible for providing a fair Launchpad with access to transparency on the project. One such initiative where we try to improve transparency is the Launchpad & Grill Twitter Spaces every Friday where the community asks projects questions. We encourage the community to attend and voice their questions, suggestions and criticisms so that we can continue to create a better experience.
- We will keep marketing benefits more consistent across Launchpad projects: We understand that some people associated Degen Town with Magic Eden given Magic Eden’s marketing efforts. We apologize for the resulting confusion. Moving forward, we will be careful to make sure our words are not, and do not look like Launchpad projects are co-owned by Magic Eden. We have an employee policy that prohibits Magic Eden employees from launching an NFT project on Launchpad.
- We are launching a scholarship program to champion artists & founders on Launchpad: Immediately, we are moving 100% of the funds that Magic Eden raised from Degen Town (both primaries + secondaries) to create a scholarship program for NFT artists and creators. Our hope was to announce a scholarship under better orchestrated circumstances, but given what we are present to, we are moving forward with making this public commitment today. We would like to partner with artists and founders we admire in web3. This scholarship will be the first step in that direction.
We know people have spoken out because they’re angry and hoped for better. We agree with you. We value this feedback and we will continue striving to be better.
Magic Eden Team