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Cats Clog Ethereum, the Sequel | Daniel Kuhn

Ethereum had another hairball, this time called “Stoner Cats.” Sales of the much-anticipated, star-studded animated series with a non-fungible token (NFT) tie-in resulted in losses of 344.6 ETH ($790,000) because of failed transactions at the show’s launch on Tuesday, according to Dune Analytics. 

Demand was high for the rare crossover event between crypto and Hollywood that was developed by actress Mila Kunis and that featured Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin alongside a host of comedic legends. Some 10,420 Stoner Cats NFTs sold out at 0.35 ETH (about $785) within 40 minutes. 

This article is excerpted from The Node, CoinDesk's daily roundup of the most pivotal stories in blockchain and crypto news. You can subscribe to get the full newsletter here. 

But many ran into cat-astrophe while minting their Stoner Cat NFTs. The influx of users throttled the Ethereum network and caused the pricing mechanism on the minting contract to present incorrect gas fee estimates. 

The high-profile event once again raises age-old questions about the limitations of the Ethereum protocol, as well as newer considerations about the responsibility creators have to their audience. 

What went wrong

According to industry publication The Defiant, the majority of users who lost out were likely those who attempted to mint 20 NFTs (the maximum allowed) without manually adjusting the gas limit in Metamask, which is a software cryptocurrency wallet that’s used to interact with the Ethereum blockchain. An influx of buyers temporarily drove Ethereum gas fees to $33.67 (from $9.50), according to analytics firm Defi Prime, meaning those whose bids placed earlier likely didn’t have enough gwei to pay for the entire transaction. Although those transactions failed, the gas was still paid.

“In this case, the gas limit wasn’t set high enough to cover all steps in the transaction, so the transaction failed. However it’s not failing until it runs out, so ~100%...

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