fRiENDSiES "Pauses" Project, Deletes Twitter
fRiENDSiES is pausing their project and all future digital goods, according to a tweet from the now deleted @fRiENDSiES_Ai Twitter account.
Screenshot of the deleted tweet from @NFTethics
🔙 Back It Up
fRiENDSiES was created by FriendsWithYou, which started in 2002 as an art collaboration between Samuel Albert Borkson and Arturo Sandoval. Their work has been exhibited in museums all over the globe.
On April 2, 2022, fRiENDSiES launched a 10,000 NFT collection of Tomogatchi-like characters, with the promise of a play-to-earn game in the future. The Dutch auction started at a 3 ETH mint price and went on to raise over $5m of funds. The collection has also traded 3,775 ETH in total volume.
❗ Why It Matters
The fRiENDSiES tweet states that they've succumbed to market volatility, but there are now questions about how the funds could've been spent. According to @zachxbt, the roadmap channel in the Discord was removed, and there have been no announcements since September. There was also never a community treasury, or evidence of a P2E game being built.
The discussion around project funding is especially salient at a time like this, when competing NFT marketplaces are putting a squeeze on creator royalties - which is in turn forcing projects to be more mindful about how it must operate sustainable business models.
🖼️ The Big Picture
Unfortunately one doesn't have to go far back at all to find another memorable instance of a project founder completely misappropriating investor funds. In January 2023, @DNPthree disclosed that he had gambled away every last dollar of the funds from his projects, which included Goobers, Gridcraft, CLU, and Xenia. Of course going further back, other examples come to mind like Pixelmon, which also happened to mint in April 2022 via dutch auction.
The blockchain is supposed to at least heighten the sense of accountability around projects' management of funds, but instances like this show how far we still have to go in this space.