Taproot Wizards Debut Sale of Bitcoin NFTs ‘Quantum Cats’ Marred by Tech Issues

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The sale of a debut collection of “Quantum Cats” Bitcoin inscriptions by Ordinals project Taproot Wizards was marred by technical issues on Monday.

The planned sale of around 3,000 digital cats, designed to honor a Bitcoin improvement proposal known as OP_CAT, commenced with a two-hour “whitelist” window at 17:00 UTC Monday, but this had to be postponed until Tuesday due to the issues encountered.

“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,” Taproot Wizards posted on X, adding that 30% of the cats had been sold. This would equate to around 90 BTC ($3.9 million).

The collection was on sale for 0.1 BTC ($4,300), meaning as much as 300 BTC ($12.9 million) could have been raised if every cat was to be sold.

It was an inauspicious start for Taproot Wizards, which raised $7.5 million in a seed funding round in November to advance its Ordinals-focused projects.

Udi Wertheimer, one of the company’s co-founders, apologized to would-be buyers during a live Spaces session on the social-media platform X.

“There’s been some glitches,” Wertheimer said. “I know this isn’t the experience people were expecting.”

Following the two-hour whitelist window, the plan was for minting to pause for an hour before the remaining cats became available for general sale.

Complaints filled the project’s Discord channel on Monday: “This has got to be one of the worst mint experiences I’ve ever seen,” one user wrote.

The Ordinals protocol allows the inscriptions of data into satoshis – the smallest units of bitcoin – effectively creating non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the Bitcoin network. The protocol debuted at the start of 2023, becoming a contentious issue for the Bitcoin community, with some users saying they are pointlessly congesting the network.

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