GAN-tastic

“Spent $6500 of my retirement money on a JPG, AMA.”

So last night was pretty interesting. I stumbled across the Singularity NFT project earlier Saturday and was captivated by the art. I set a timer to catch the launch and went about my day.

I did some sleuthing and managed to find the token mint address, and looked over the contract. There was a whitelist for the presale, and a number of functions related to triggering the public sale. So I loaded the contract up in Blocknative.com’s mempool explorer and waited. I was pretty tense, I was limited to minting three at 0.77 ETH each, which is a huge investment for me, but I was determined to pick up one of these.

My other NFT mint experiences haven’t been too good. I’m bagholding my ten CutePigClub pfps, and my Fewmans mint didn’t come out spectacularly well either. Still, I knew I wanted to get one of the Singularity jpgs. The floor on the previous project, Explosions of Color, was 15 ETH at the time, so I’m fairly confident it’ll be a good value.

Watching the mempool on the Singularity launch was pretty interesting as well. There were a number of transactions from people trying to trigger calls that were set to onlyOwner, like turning on the public sale and such. Then, around 6:30, the time the launch was announced, I started seeing mint after mint after mint. All of which failed. By this point my mempool watcher was filtering out everything but the owner’s address. I was watching everything else in Etherscan.

Then the command to start the public sale came through.

I had already connected my wallet to Etherscan and had the mint command queued up. 2.31 ETH to mint three. I pushed send and then stared in disbelief at my Metamask. Insufficient funds. It had an obscene amount of gas listed, the max. I pulled up one of the failed mint transactions to see how much gas it had used, doubled it and threw it in Metamask. (In hindsight, I should have used one of the pre-sales txs to get the amount.) But by then it was too late. I was getting a contract execution failed error in the UI. I checked the website. All of them had been minted.

Apparently, I wasn’t the only one watching the mempool. It had been botted. The Discord server was livid, so I quit it and started watching OpenSea as they started showing up. FOMO kicked in, and I bought the one I have because I was worried the floor was going to get away from me, and I needed to have one. The floor’s come down a bit to around 1.6 ETH or so, I’ve put mine up at five for a week, which seems to be the highest sale price so far. If that sells I’ll buy a couple more floor pieces, maybe something that will make a good pfp at some point.

Anyways, the whole experience really got me thinking. It’s obvious that I’m going to be doing an NFT launch on Solana at some point, I already have several collaborators. This type of abstract GAN art really fascinates me, I’m really curious how the Singularity team trained their AI, and I started doing a bit of research into it last night. I need to gather some reference images and start some testing. There are some Docker containers that I can load up on this laptop and do some testing. Then we can refine things and prepare the actual launch.

I can’t wait to get started.

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