Al Cabones, a new NFT collection, is tapping into the criminal underbelly of the metaverse. These are not your average adorable NFT avatars. Instead, they are skull mobsters lurking underground in the metaverse, preparing to go to war.
The NFT project was highly publicized even before its launch a month ago. For one, no one knew what the avatars would look like. NFTs were only represented by a silhouette and the actual avatar was revealed after minting. However, 3,000 of these were sold in a matter of minutes at as low as 0.03 ETH during the pre-sale, according to Blockonomist. The remaining 7,000 NFTs were put up for public sale at 0.06 ETH each on August 29.
However, around a month after launch, Al Cabones appears to be in murky waters, following a security lapse.
What is Al Cabones?
Al Cabones is a collection of 10,000 unique algorithmically generated skeleton mobsters living on the Ethereum blockchain. The project’s website describes them as “ruthless and cold-blooded mobsters”.
The collection consists of a total of six mobster families: Boneannos, Corlebones, Gambones, Colombones, Rambones and Napoleones. Each family is in rivalry with each other and is ready to “go to war soon”.
As with other NFT avatar projects, each Al Cabones NFT is unique and has different characteristics. The collection has over 150 attributes spread across traits like clothing, headgear, eyewear, and more.
Outwardly, however, the collection resembles another NFT project, Wicked Craniums. Skulls are also algorithmically generated skeletons with unique traits such as headgear, clothing, and body. However, the artwork of the specific features of both collections is different, and the skeletons face in different directions.
Many NFT collectibles, such as Lonely Alien Space Club and Animetas, offer special benefits to their NFT holders. Similarly, Al Cabones also promises “special benefits and exclusive perks” to its holders. While ETH giveaways, Mobster airdrops, and weapons distribution are all part of the pipeline, there isn’t much information about the other benefits holders will enjoy.
The collection is completely sold out at this time. If you want to grab one, head over to OpenSea.
Security Lapse and NFT Takedown Controversy
During the launch, Al Cabones identified a security loophole in the NFT smart contract. This meant that all holders had to exchange their original NFTs for new ones.
“In order for your assets to be safe, you need to change your tokens to the updated and most secure version,” Al Cabones tweeted. “The updated Al Cabones will not differ from the current ones you have, they will consist of the same artwork and the NFT will have the exact same token ID.”
To do this, Mobster owners need to go to remember.alcabones.io, connect their crypto wallet, and select the Unlock and Recover buttons. After this, they can exchange old NFTs for new ones and view them on OpenSea once the reveal is released.
However, users had to pay gas fees for the entire process. “Unfortunately, there will be some gas fees involved in this process,” the bill said. “…however, gas fees won’t be high as you can run the swap at any time, which means no gas wars.”
Twitter users criticizing Al Cabones
The need to pay gas fees again, of course, was not welcomed by many users. “Imagine instead of airdropping they force us to re-mint and pay more gas lol,” one Twitter user commented. Many users expressed that the right thing for the team to do would have been to airdrop the new NFTs, instead of asking members to pay for gas again.
Meanwhile, many others took to Twitter (where the project has around 30,000 followers) to complain that the reveal button wasn’t working. This was especially difficult for those who used hard wallets connected to their Metamask wallets. Others stated that the reveal did not release as scheduled. Furthermore, several members also claimed that the project removed them from the Discord channel for raising their concerns.
“Your mods banned me on Discord for no reason. I just expressed my concerns,” one user tweeted.
On September 15, Al Cabones tweeted that around 9,000 NFTs had been removed. Additionally, those NFTs that have not been removed from the previous collection by September 25 will be “left there and removed.”
Several users were not happy with Al Cabones setting a deadline, especially with owners using hard wallets unable to trade their NFTs. Some also wanted to keep the old NFTs and not have to pay gas fees to change them.
Sentiments have also been similar on the Discord channel, which has close to 31,000 members. Many users expressed disappointment in the project, with some even calling it a “scam”.
In the latest update to the project, retweeted over a week ago, Al Cabones asked OpenSea to resolve issues the project was facing on the platform. Since then, things have been terribly quiet in the world of Al Cabones.
What about sales?
Al Cabones’ new collection has 9,400 NFTs on OpenSea, with 3,500 owners. While the sales volume on the platform stands at 620 ETH (around $1.7 million), there has been a lull in sales recently. Also, the floor has dropped to 0.03 ETH.
According to NFT Stats, the most expensive sale, recorded almost a month ago, was for AlCabones #07842, which sold for around $20,700 (as of this writing). Meanwhile, AlCabones #00180 fetched his owner around $19,000.
Clearly, things are not going very well with Al Cabones’ NFT collection. The developers have also refused to contact concerned owners for over a week. A dedicated community is crucial to the success of any NFT project. If the developers at Al Cabones don’t take heart and try to resolve the community’s concerns without delay, their future looks bleak.