Update: Things got a little interesting and we’ve all learned a bit about the world of crypto with a chance to participate week. The NFTs all sold, but not exactly the way I suspected.
The identity owning the bulk of the first batch of NFTs seems to be a Tester: https://opensea.io/trabulmonkee
The good news is that it all actually worked. Many folks read and learned about an intersection of crypto and software testing, and the NFTs were all sold, and faster than I’d expected. The NFTs were also bought by true testers versus some random folks on the web, so it is a community thing. I’ve had folks reach out to me and heard side discussions about crypto and some of the strangeness of this new world which is a great thing. Crypto and testing is a rare topic today, but given its growth, it will probably be a full ‘track’ at the conferences next year :). A quick note on that growth, for its size, the world of Crypto (aka web3), is growing at twice the rate of the internet at the same size, and we all know what happened with that. Crypto is definitely something for everyone to keep an eye on.
The bad news is mild but real. Firstly, trying to buy a $20 dollar item today on the Etherium blockchain means paying an additional ‘gas’ fee of about $180 dollars, depending on the time of the day. This is crazily the cost of ‘writing to the database’ in the world of crypto. Let me repeat that — it costs $200 to purchase a $20 dollar item. This gas fee is because many machines around the world have to solve Proof-of-Work problems today to ensure that new change to the blockchain is secure and consistent. This should get better sometime later next year when Etherium should be moving to Proof-of-Stake instead, which will save a lot of money, and a lot of carbon dioxide. I heard this scared off quite a few buyers. The other issue was that the initial batch of 10 TestNerd NFTs were only sold to two individuals — I was hoping for more of a 1:1 ratio of NFTs to buyers. But, of course, this is a free market and frankly, these folks are smart and probably understand the exploding world of NFTs and their prices! And they were probably smart to be early, as I’ll be setting the base price higher in the next batch, and if that works, they will have made on paper at least 10X in just a few days.
The pricing for the second batch will be higher, at $200 a pop. The reasoning is that at this price, only 50% of the cost is gas fees, and the royalty would cover half of the price of generating the images :).
Social consequences were also interesting. There was zero blowback as far as I could see or hear. Frankly, people seemed to be flattered to be featured as NFTs and shared it with their friends and followers. I’m slightly disappointed there wasn’t more drama ;). I don’t think any of the virality of people encouraging people to trade TestNerds has started yet, but that's probably due to the low price, the number of owners, and newness to the testing community at this point. We shall see how this evolves with the second batch,which just went live:
The first launch of the TestNerds was more interesting, and fun, than I’d thought. Before launch, the thinking was that this is an experiment perhaps no one notices, or understands, but at least served the purpose of introducing testing to part of the quickly evolving world of crypto — you can read all about that here in the first post.
Until blowback or the third batch, happy NFT’ing :)
— Jason Arbon