The highly anticipated sale of the debut collection of “Quantum Cats” Bitcoin inscriptions by the Ordinals project Taproot Wizards encountered technical issues on Monday, causing frustration among users and an embarrassing delay. The planned sale, which involved around 3,000 digital cats designed to honor a Bitcoin improvement proposal known as OP_CAT, was supposed to begin with a two-hour “whitelist” window at 17:00 UTC (noon ET) on Monday. However, due to the encountered issues, the sale had to be postponed until Tuesday.
Taproot Wizards posted on X, stating, “There’s been an incredible demand for the cats today, and our servers simply couldn’t handle the amount of people who were trying to mint.” The collection was priced at 0.1 BTC ($4,300) per cat, potentially raising up to 300 BTC ($12.9 million) if every cat was sold. According to a tweet, approximately 30% of the cats were minted on Monday, which would amount to nearly 1,000 cats and around 100 BTC ($4.3 million).
This setback marked an inauspicious start for Taproot Wizards, which had previously raised $7.5 million in a seed funding round in November. The company’s success reflected the high expectations for projects focused on the rapidly growing field of inscriptions from the Ordinals protocol, commonly referred to as “NFTs on Bitcoin.” The first item in the Quantum Cats series, a special image called “Genesis Cat,” was sold earlier this month at Sotheby’s auction house for an astonishing $254,000.
During a live Spaces session on the social media platform X, Udi Wertheimer, one of the co-founders of Taproot Wizards, apologized to potential buyers, acknowledging the glitches and stating, “I know this isn’t the experience people were expecting.” The initial plan was for minting to pause for an hour after the two-hour whitelist window, before the remaining cats would become available for general sale.
Complaints flooded the project’s Discord channel on Monday, with one user expressing, “This has got to be one of the worst mint experiences I’ve ever seen.” The Ordinals protocol enables the inscription of data into satoshis, the smallest units of bitcoin, effectively creating non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the Bitcoin network. The protocol was introduced at the beginning of 2023 and has become a contentious issue within the Bitcoin community, with some users arguing that it needlessly congests the network.
Overall, the technical issues faced by Taproot Wizards during the sale of their Quantum Cats collection have caused disappointment and frustration among users. Despite the setback, the company’s previous success and the high demand for NFTs on the Bitcoin network indicate the continued interest and potential for growth in this emerging field.