In a statement posted to Discord on Thursday, Castro, known online by his alias, Poopie, discussed the brand's plans to build away from "trends that fuel speculation" in the NFT market.
"We're trying to go from a startup to a leading media franchise," he wrote. He also pledged to focus energy on Doodles' "most loyal collectors."
"We are not going to spend any resources appeasing those with financial motivations," he added. "We never have and we never will."
The statement received mixed reactions from holders who asked for clearer communications.
Others supported the measure as a way for the brand to evolve and innovate.
Several hours later, Castro posted a response to the criticism on Twitter, affirming his commitment to blockchain technology and pledging to "continue to use NFT tech as the connective tissue between everything we do."
He also said that Doodles aimed to "go beyond" the "vicious speculative cycles" that dominate the NFT space by creating products with market fit, solving real-world problems and bringing in "intrinsically motivated users."
Doodles, along with other NFT collections, has seen its floor price steadily decline in recent months. The rise of trader-focused marketplaces like Blur suggests that NFT consumers have shifted their focus to trading NFTs for profit rather than collecting NFTs for their artistic value.
According to NFT Floor Price, the floor price for a Doodles NFT sits at 3.4 ether (ETH), or about $5,700, down from a high of 21.8 ETH in May 2022. The recent news has had a negative effect on the collection's floor price, which has dropped over 8% in the past 24 hours.
Doodles was launched in October 2021 as a collection of 10,000 NFTs made up of colorful artwork by Burnt Toast, the alias of Canada-based artist Scott Martin. The project was created by Castro and Evan Keast, who previously worked together at Dapper Labs. The hand-drawn, pastel characters quickly attracted a passionate consumer audience, and holders of the project are able to access exclusive perks like access to live events and brand-related merchandise.
Over the past year, Doodles has focused its efforts on expanding its ecosystem, and brought on notable figures to help lead its creative ventures, including former Billboard President Julian Holguin as partner, and CEO and musician and producer Pharrell as the project’s chief brand officer. It also previously laid out plans for expansion across music, gaming and intellectual property (IP) partnerships and has stated that it aims to become one of the largest consumer brands in the world. In January 2023, the company acquired animation studio Golden Wolf as part of that roadmap.
“Our vision at Doodles is to be one of the world’s leading producers of media and entertainment,” the brand tweeted in June 2022. “We're building an ecosystem rich in diversity and utility.”
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