Welcome to Goblin Town 🤯

Understanding NFTs!
William M. Peaster William M. Peaster May 31, 20225 min read
Welcome to Goblin Town 🤯

Dear Bankless Nation,

After the implosions of Terra and the UST stablecoin began on May 9th, 2022, cryptocurrency markets took a turn for the worse.

As crypto prices plummeted in the days after these collapses, chatter about the cryptoeconomy entering a bear market surged.

In kind, a joke that the cryptoeconomy had instead entered “Goblin Town” — a reference to how the advent of DeFi and NFTs would make a new crypto bear market weirder than prior cycles — also started gaining traction.

In this atmosphere, a free-to-mint NFT project dubbed was quickly spun up by an anonymous team, and the mysterious project has since taken the NFT space by storm. Let’s get you up to speed on the madness for today’s Metaversal.


The invasion

AAAAAAAUUUUUGGGHHHHH gobblins goblinns GOBLINNNNNNNNns wekm ta goblintown yoo sniksnakr DEJEN RATS oooooh rats are yummmz dis a NEFTEEE O GOBBLINGS on da BLOKCHIN wat? oh. crustybutt da goblinking say GEE EMMM DEDJEN RUTS an queenie saay HLLO SWEATIES ok dats all byeby” —’s collection description

The context

Minting began for the collection on May 19th, 2022. The project was launched without any prior marketing and with little available information; its website mainly noted the collection was CC0, had no roadmap, and had a “1 mint + gas” price per wallet. Additionally, the site noted that goblintown’s unnamed creators had reserved 1k of the collection’s 9,999 NFTs for themselves.

As word spread of the strange but highly-memeable project, savvy NFTers and chain watchers rapidly minted the collection out and then started telling even more people about the goblins. Excitement around the collection’s hideous characters grew, and rumors began to spread regarding who was actually behind the project.

To be sure, the NFTs look scary, but the art itself is of a high-quality style. So too is the project’s smart contract well fashioned, as was the website. The project’s crypto-savvy dadaist approach to social media also suggests the creators are zany NFT veterans rather than novices.

As such, one rumor that’s made the rounds is that Bored Ape Yacht Club creators Yuga Labs are the minds behind — they’d certainly have the requisite experience has been the popular line of argument. Another rumor we’ve seen is that the artist Beeple was on the project’s creative team, an assertion the artist has denied.

Regardless of the ongoing mystery and of the chances the project wasn’t created by NFT superstars, more than a few people have been piling into the collection in recent days in anticipation that something bigger might be going on.

goblintown by the numbers’s price stats - Sign up for Nansen

At press time, goblintown’s been live on the Ethereum mainnet for 12 days. In that span, the NFT collection has seen nothing short of an incredible rise. Pulled from Nansen and OpenSea, some key metrics circa May 31st, 2022, include:

  • Current floor price: 3.5 ETH
  • Average NFT price: 3.41 ETH
  • Highest sale price on the day: 11 ETH
  • Highest sale price to date: 26 ETH
  • Trade volume to date: +14.7k ETH (~$28.8M USD)
  • Current holders: ~4.5k addresses

A spinoff boom

The stats above would be impressive for any new NFT collection. But what’s also incredible is how many derivative projects has already inspired in less than two weeks of existence.

For example, a casual perusal of Nansen’s Mint Master section at the time of this article’s writing showed then-ongoing mint events for HumansTown, OgreTown,, GoblinBirds, True Plebs in Goblin Town, Zen Goblin, and more. These are all third-party spinoffs, or in some cases, plain ripoffs.

Sign up for Nansen

Zooming in, the largest goblintown spinoff so far has been — an effort that has noticeably lower-quality art compared to goblintown but that has now facilitated over 2k ETH worth of volume to date in the slipstream of its progenitor. That’s … pretty astounding.

Image via OpenSea

The free-to-mint meta

Besides gas, NFTs were free to mint. Interestingly, the collection has seen so much volume since launch that the creators have already made in ETH royalties what they would have made and then some if they had originally charged, say, a 0.1 ETH mint price.

Not bad, right? Of course, not every upstart free-to-mint NFT collection can emulate this sort of rapid success. Yet the rise of these goblins has cemented the influence of this free-to-mint strategy going forward, as evidenced by the fact that many new NFT projects have already adopted the approach in recent days.

What’s next for the goblins?

Well, don’t quote me on this because I’m not actually sure what I’m looking at … but it seems the tweet above indicates there’s a new expansion collection mint for holders arriving as soon as this week.

For now, it’s not clear how closely linked the goblintown and McGoblinBurger efforts are, although the similar art and styles of the projects suggests they have the same, or at least share some of the same, creators.

That said, it may be that the goblintown NFT ecosystem is only just getting started. Will this project go down as 2022’s BAYC-like mint event, the collection that came out of nowhere to bloom and keep conquering the space as we know it? In the very least, goblintown will have many of us updating our priors. And I think it’s safe to say that things are going to get much weirder from here if the creators really are just revving up.

Action steps

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William M. Peaster

Written by William M. Peaster

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William M. Peaster, Senior Writer, has been with Bankless since January 2021. Immersed in Ethereum since 2017, he writes the Metaversal newsletter on the onchain frontier, covering everything from AI projects to crypto games, as the team’s lead NFT analyst. With a background in creative writing, he writes fiction and publishes art on Ethereum in his free time. He lives in Washington.

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