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Bok bok motherfucker
This is a bit of an unusual post for me, as I mainly write about technical topics or ecosystem projects that I’ve personally participated in. I’ve had these thoughts for a while now but never really had the impetus to put them to paper, until the recent events at the Avalanche summit.
The Chikn project
Chikn is an Avalanche NFT/gamefi project. It launched in November 2021, minting 10K pieces at 1A, and later 5K ‘Roostr’ pieces at a more confusing price (some in $egg, some at 1.75A).
As for the art, well, it’s chickens and roosters. Not sure what else you were expecting.
I’m not really an art guy, but I’m assuming that people are not in this for the art.
In addition to the NFTs people paid to mint, they have some other NFTs that people earned / were airdropped, and multiple ERC20 tokens in the ecosystem.
It’s pretty complex. Devs are doing something, for sure.
The Chikn devs
Which brings me to my first point. The people running this project have done a crazy good job. You can’t deny that they’ve shipped a ton of stuff with interesting mechanics, constantly improving things over time. From what I’ve observed, they’re pretty in touch with their user base, and responsive to feedback.
I have a ton of respect for the people running this project. It’s undeniably one of the best run NFT projects in terms of features shipped, one of the longest running, and one of the most impressive volume/price charts on an Avax NFT.
In addition to the technical merits, they’ve done an amazing job of cultivating a (rabid) fan base, which is a big part behind the project’s success (more on that later). Really solid community management.
If you want to instantly trigger anyone associated with this project, the magic words you use are ‘Chikn ponzi’. And to be fair, it does have a lot of the same hallmarks as other ponzis; expensive NFTs that produce some kind of resource that you can sell for ‘income’. This is literally NFT Ponzi 101.
And I think it’s undeniable that the chart does kind of look like your standard ponzi token. Here’s $EGG charted against $AVAX to remove the ‘market downturn’ effect.
In any game where a resource is produced that can be bought/sold via swapping, it’s inevitable that some people will farm and dump, and you can see that happening here.
But to be fair, if you minted a Chikn and held it until now, you’re still way up even with the market downturn. Although the price of a Chikn has dropped dramatically over the last few months, there’s still a lot of volume, and it’s not like it dropped directly to zero.
I think the difference here (e.g. compared to Crabada) is that they built a lot of sinks for people to ‘invest’ their minted resources into, and people seem to genuinely like participating in this game.
If some people can ‘win’ by farming and dumping, then some people need to be OK with ‘losing’ by not taking profits on their farming, otherwise things go directly to zero. And people do seem to be OK with it; they’re trading the money they could get from dumping for enjoyment playing the game.
So although I don’t think anyone should be buying in for the purposes of making money, I feel pretty good about declaring this not a ponzi.
A lot of people hate Chikn. A lot. A tremendous amount.
I feel like people who are in this ecosystem don’t understand this, and they don’t understand why. So I’ll try and explain some of the reasons people don’t hate Chikn, and some of the reasons people do.
People do not hate Chikn because it’s successful
OK, probably some trolls do. But the vast majority of people don’t care about how successful the project is. People who take the time to think about it would probably just be happy that anything is succeeding on Avalanche.
If you’re telling yourself that people hate your project because it’s successful you have serious maxi delusions. Like, Pulse Chain enthusiast level delusions.
People do not hate Chikn because it’s a ponzi
Maybe some people invested in Chikn and lost money and resent it. But the vast majority of people who hate it have no exposure whatsoever.
People do not hate Chikn because they don’t understand it
Seriously, I don’t even know why you would think this matters. Reading the whitepaper won’t make them like Chikn. Playing it won’t make them like Chikn. Not having played it isn’t the reason they don’t like it.
People hate Chikn because of the community
This is literally the entire thing. People hate the project because of how people who own the project behave. By percentage, it’s probably not even that many people, but I’m telling you that you’re bad representatives of your project and we judge the project because of how you behave.
Here are some things you do that make us hate you.
Chikn is the second coming of Christ
We get that you love your project. But when you say things like ‘Chikn is the only reason Avalanche is relevant’, we hate you.
There’s a weird, elitist, cultist ingroup circle jerk going on in the Chikn community. And it really annoys everyone when you bring it up in front of people who are not involved.
Coming on unrelated spaces and constantly talking about Chikn
Honestly I haven’t been listening to that many spaces recently, but 3-4 months ago I felt like every god damn space had people saying ‘Bok Bok’ and shoehorning Chikn into every conversation. It was maddening.
Not sure if you’re still doing it, but if you are, stop. We hate it.
Chikn can do no wrong
It’s pretty common for political parties to circle the wagons at the first sign of criticism, and Chikn people do the same thing. Any thread with the slightest tinge of criticism for the project, and a bunch of Chikn pfp people start circle jerking in the comments about how ‘they don’t understand all part of the plan’ blah blah blah.
Notably, this happened recently with the Avalanche Summit presentation.
Why are they like this?
I think this is a natural outgrowth of the cult-like culture that has grown up around the project. The high levels of engagement that the project fosters encourages people to build an identity around the project, and they react very negatively to anything they perceive to be an attack on Chikn because it’s transitively an attack on themselves.
Although these people undeniably drive some outsiders away, I suspect from a community engagement and new participant point of view that this is a tradeoff worth making for the devs. And realistically, they don’t have any good way of curtailing the behavior without undesirable knock-on effects to enthusiasm.
A minority of users
One thing I want to make very clear is that I personally believe that this is a very small percentage of the Chikn community. If there are 2,000 holders, and 2% of the population is one of these annoying autistic guys, that makes 40 people on Twitter constantly circle jerking each other off. Given the size of this space overall, that’s a lot of noise and it makes the issue seem worse than it actually is.
Avalanche Summit presentation
Which brings me to the thing that prompted me to write this post, the recent Chikn presentation at the Avalanche Summit, and the community reaction.
Something has gone terribly wrong if you are presenting at the Avalanche summit and you throw up a slide like this. You have drunk too much of the cool-aid from your own project.
When I saw this, obviously I immediately rushed to Twitter to shitpost.
What I didn’t expect was how many people would be in the comments talking about how this is fine and I just didn’t understand the context, or what they were announcing.
To be extremely clear, I don’t care about what happens to Chikn. The project could succeed, fail. Whatever, I’m not an investor. I don’t gain if it dies either. If anything, I gain if it succeeds (as an AVAX bagholder).
I’m not sure if what they’re planning will work out or not. Maybe it will make their project grow. Maybe it will bring users back to AVAX and make the chain grow.
None of these things are relevant to the appropriateness of announcing this at the AVALANCHE SUMMIT. You’re going to go up on stage and display the logo of what is arguably one of the primary competitors to the chain? Say you’re opening a bridge and launching features there?
Surely you must be kidding
I’m not kidding and don’t call me Shirley.
Get the fuck out of here. You’re delusional if you think that people are going to react positively to this (other than Chikn maxis).
I posted that someone had described the scene to me as ‘shocked silence’ and ‘very awkward’.
As ‘proof’ that it wasn’t the case, a Chikn owner posted a video they took of them and their friends cheering during the announcement. Meanwhile in the background you can clearly hear someone shout ‘oh come on’.
Several people that I know were at the event contacted me afterwards to confirm that it was an extremely awkward announcement and it did not receive a great reception.
I can guarantee you that a lot of people who aren’t in the Chikn community did not think this was appropriate. I think you will be hard pressed to find someone who did.
About that community
Those of you that are incapable of divorcing your own self-worth from your association with this project are the primary reason that people dislike your project.
No one hates Chikn, it’s just an NFT project. Well, maybe some people think the chickens are ugly. When people say they hate Chikn, they mean that they hate the people they see with Chikn PFPs.
If your reaction to people making fun of this announcement was to get angry or upset instead of considering that just maybe it wasn’t the appropriate venue and timing, consider that you might be part of the problem.
Edit: Comments from the community
Since posting this I’ve received a few replies from people in the Chikn community, which you can read below. They’ve provided some interesting additional context, I encourage you to read them.