We ran our second day of Mining Claim NFT sales this week, selling Wonderland (Claim #4) and Area 51 (Claim #5). Both Claims sold strongly, though not as strongly as our first three Mining Claims. Both have also continued to sell, and all five Claims are being held by the community to earn mining rewards.
Mining Claims earn you $GENESIS as long as you hold them. They also let you in at the front of the line during the land sale for that World. Not only that, during the land sale, you can convert your Mining Claim into a Land! If you want to learn more about why holding Mining Claims is great, check out this post.
So, in more detail, what happened with this release, and how did we do? Overall, it was another successful and smooth sale, but there were a few issues that we’d like to improve on for next time.
We had one issue with Wonderland sales where Metamask wasn’t correctly estimating the total price of the transaction correctly, which caused a lot of users’ Claim purchases to fail due to hitting the (incorrect) gas limit. We were able to override that value in the code, and we pushed the fix live before the Area 51 sale.
We also had one issue with rate limiting on pulling data from our RPC nodes, which caused some data to be not pulled for some users. This didn’t affect the “buy with GAME” functionality, but it did affect the “buy with MATIC” functionality. We fixed those issues later in the day on Tuesday, and have since pushed a new build of the site which doesn’t have rate limit issues.
All in all, we definitely had some bumps, but they were quickly found and resolved. And, for the most part, everyone who wanted a Claim was still able to buy one.
Even discounting the technical issues we had, the nature of the Mining Claim sale causes a lot of failed transactions – people are trying to buy at the same time, and the price rises along the curve faster than they can respond. Given that gas costs on Polygon are super cheap, this isn’t the end of the world. But the mad scramble at the start of a Mining Claim sale is not a great user experience and failed transactions can be frustrating. With thousands of people all hitting a Mining Claim sale at once, the end result is effectively random – 10x the number of people means something like 30x more failed transactions (it’s not linear, as we’ll start getting multiple levels of collisions). This is something we want to address sooner rather than later.
We received feedback from a number of community members that the sale came too soon after the previous sale, or they didn’t know about it. That’s on us. We’ve taken that feedback to heart; we’re going to give more notice about the next sale. That sale will happen on Thursday, February 17th – look for more details to come.
And, if you’re just realising that you missed out on Wonderland or Area 51, the good news is that you didn’t! You can still buy Wonderland, Area 51, or any of the five Mining Claims right now. This is all thanks to the bonding curve – it ensures that there will be Claims available for new users to buy, while still limiting the total amount of Claims that exist.
We saw more “flippers” in these latest sales. No, not the dolphin; around 10% of the Claims purchased were flipped and sold back to the contract. These flippers are people who buy at a low price, and quickly sell. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that; it’s what the bonding curve is designed to do. But, the speed of our Mining Claim sales really incentivizes that behaviour, and that can start to crowd out people who are looking to buy a Claim for their personal use. We expect that the number of “flippers” will increase as we go forward, and this is something that we’re looking to address in some way to help with the initial purchase congestion.
Claim Purchase Limit
One of the things that we did in the run-up to this Claim sale was to decrease the maximum number of Claims that can be bought from 10 to 3. The goal of this change was (a) to allow more individual people to get access to a World, and (b) to reduce the impact that flippers would have on the market. The first was at best a moderate success – there are more owners per Claim. The second might have helped, but wasn’t good enough – we had way more flipped Claims than before. While it’s not the result we hoped for, that’s not a bad thing for a test – you want to test things that you think could be improvements, but you’re not quite sure.
The bigger, more fundamental problem is that both of these were the wrong tests to make. “Increasing the number of owners per World” is the wrong metric to manage. We know we’ll have a broader ownership of each World as we move towards land sales (more people will buy into Mining Claims as the land sales get closer), and through the land sale (there will be many, many opportunities to buy in the land sales). The option of “lower the limit to discourage flippers” is the wrong approach to deal with that issue – we have far better tools available. So from that perspective, we’ll definitely do better next time.
What should we do?
To summarize the goals, we want to:
- Continue to grow both the total number of Mining Claims owned, and the number of Claim owners
- Incentivize as many people as possible to buy Mining Claims, and make it as easy for them to do so in the way they want to.
- Make the process of buying Mining Claims as smooth and painless as possible.
- Guide more purchased Mining Claims into the hands of people who will HODL those Claims and become community members.
We felt that we needed to reduce the limit on the number of Mining Claims sold to try to improve #3 and #4. But, doing that is detrimental to both goal #1 and goal #2. We do have tools at our disposal that can do this.
The first is the minimum price, currently 500 $GAME. It’s clear that, even with the small community we have, the real market price for a Mining Claim is 1000-2000 $GAME (currently; in the future I’d expect those numbers to go up). Setting the minimum price way below that market price encourages flippers, and reduces the number of Claims sold along the flat part of the curve, so increases the number of failed transactions. Putting the minimum price up to a number that’s more representative of the actual price would smooth out the buying process (less transaction failures), and focus purchases onto the hodlers, not the flippers.
The second is our price discovery technology. This works in a similar way to a dutch auction. The minimum price starts at a point above the expected buy price for a Claim and reduces the price every minute until it meets back up with the bonding curve. This is overall a better approach than the minimum price approach in several ways:
– It handles incredibly high demand Worlds and incredibly low demand Worlds far better.
– It allows a user who wants to buy up a lot of Claims to do so (they’ll pay a premium for doing that, but if that’s a premium they wanted to pay, that’s how a market works).
– It’s a massively better buying experience for most normal users, with far fewer failed transactions.
– And it rewards decision-making more than speed. People are no longer incentivized to all cram in on the first 10 seconds of the Claim purchase, but can instead pick the point in time when they think they’re most likely to be successful.
If I was making the decision on my own, I’d switch from the minimum price limit to the price discovery technology, and I’d remove the cap on the number purchased entirely, as it’s unnecessary in this World. But, this is not just me – so this is something that we’ll be discussing in Discord this week. Which brings us to…
In the Genesis Worlds Discord, all through this next week, we’re going to be discussing the options for improving the next Mining Claim sale. On February 3rd, we’ll announce the exact details of that next Claim sale. At the same time, we’ll keep on developing, designing, and having fun with the community.