Bitcoin NFT Project Taproot Wizards Sells Out First Collection, Raking in $13M

All 3,000 of the "Quantum Cats" digital images were claimed by the end of Monday's public mint, selling for a fixed price of 0.1 BTC ($4,265) each – despite severe technical issues that had delayed the process by a full week.

AccessTimeIconFeb 5, 2024 at 8:26 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 9, 2024 at 5:48 a.m. UTC

Bitcoin Ordinals project Taproot Wizards saw robust uptake for its inaugural "Quantum Cats" digital-art sale on Monday, despite severe tech issues that delayed the planned mint three times last week.

All 3,000 of the NFT-like collectibles in the series had sold by the end of a public mint on Monday, at a fixed price of 0.1 BTC ($4,265) each – for total revenue of nearly $13 million.

Such proceeds easily exceeded the $7.5 million that Taproot Wizards raised last year from investors, amid a wave of enthusiasm for the Ordinals inscriptions, sometimes referred to as "NFTs on Bitcoin." Most of the images were sold to whitelisted investors who were given access during a five-hour exclusive buying window on Monday, and then 313 of them sold out during the first two seconds of the public mint, according to the team.

The Quantum Cats sale kicked off last Monday but was paused due to technical problems that prevented buyers from completing their purchases, causing frustration and leading to widespread complaints on a Discord channel for the project.

Taproot Wizards officials, led by co-founders Udi Wertheimer and Eric Wall, postponed the resumption of the mint twice more, saying that despite having fixed the issues, more time was needed for additional testing.

Based on the results, the collectors – or speculators – appear to have been undeterred by the inauspicious start.

"We knew that the demand was high," Wertheimer told CoinDesk told Monday in a Telegram chat. "We’re just pleased we’re able to provide a smooth experience for our community today."

The Ordinals protocol and its "inscriptions" – launched in early 2023 by creator Casey Rodarmor – effectively allows NFTs to be minted and stored on the Bitcoin blockchain.

While the Bitcoin community is somewhat divided on the potential ramifications of the surging minting activity, which at times has created congestion on the network and driven up fees, many crypto experts argue that the trend has brought a newfound energy to the pace of development on the oldest original blockchain.

UPDATE (23:55 UTC): Adds details from the public mint, including final sale amounts.

Edited by Bradley Keoun.


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Jamie Crawley

Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.

Bradley Keoun

Bradley Keoun is the managing editor of CoinDesk's Tech & Protocols team. He owns less than $1,000 each of several cryptocurrencies.