TIME magazine’s launch of an NFT collection did not go smoothly on Thursday.
Not only did the collection of 4,676 NFTs sell out in one minute, users experienced gas prices reaching 9,000 gwei for a rapid transaction. When minting finished, there were roughly 700 holders of NFTs.
Anish Agnihotri, a researcher at Paradigm, claimed that bots were at play. “Any NFT drop that is First Come First Serve is bound to experience the same level of bot activity and push the auction into the gas markets,” Agnihotri said on Twitter. “Additional on- or off-chain information only makes botting easier.”
TIME magazine announced their NFT collection, called TIMEPiece, yesterday. The collection held over 4,676 works from 40 artists. In regards to why the magazine chose to release the art collection as NFTs, TIME president Keith A. Grossman wrote:
“TIMEPieces is our latest foray into NFTs, this time with the goal of also fostering community, loyalty and rewards. While many of the NFT drops that have happened to date within the media space have focused on high-end single editions or multiple versions of collectables, the release of TIMEPieces marks the first time a major media brand has taken on a Web3 approach toward building community and using this technology as an innovative extension of our current Digital Subscription efforts.”
The minting took place on Thursday, September 23 at noon ET. The cost to mint each NFT was 0.1 ETH, and those who owned a TIMEPiece obtained a lifetime membership to Time.com and other perks.
TIME has not commented on the activity that occurred during the minting process as of press time.