NFT 101 is a series of articles exploring some of the most exciting NFT projects. Check out some of our other articles in the series:
CryptoKitties aren’t the only cats in town. The internet’s insatiable demand for all things feline has generated its own sub-genre of NFTs, with a project known as Cool Cats emerging as a standout success.
These adorable creatures made their appearance just last year and still have the NFT community buzzing. But what are they all about?
What are Cool Cats?
Cool Cats are 9,999 randomly-generated cartoon cats, each with a unique combo of traits like outfits and faces.
Launched in July 2021, the Ethereum collection is one of the most popular NFT projects and is considered by many in the community to be “blue-chip”—a coveted label given only to the most promising ventures. Depending on who you ask, other blue-chip NFTs include Bored Ape Yacht Club, CryptoPunks, Meebits, Vee Friends and ZED run, among others.
Of course, it’s too early to say which NFT projects will stand the test of time, so the blue-chip designator may be slightly premature. But it certainly says something about Cool Cats that the collection often tends to make the cut. People must think they’re, well, cool!
Who created Cool Cats?
Tom is the developer, handling smart contracts and technical interfaces, Clon is the primary cartoonist who illustrates the cats, Lynq maintains the website, and ELU runs everything from creative direction to marketing and project management.
“I woke up one morning feeling code-brave,” wrote Tom in an article explaining the project’s genesis.
“I was feeling confident that I could now build a solid solidity contract [Solidity is the programming language used to build smart contracts], so I convinced Lynq (took all of 5 seconds) to help me out, hired some pixel artists, and began work on Faticorns.”
It was while building Faticorns (“fat” + “unicorns”) that Tom and Lynq sharpened the requisite skills needed to create a successful NFT project. Clon and Evan (ELU) then came around, and the rest is history.
What makes a Cool Cat...cool?
Besides being a so-called “blue-chip” NFT project, all the cats in the first generation of Cool Cats are, well, blue.
But that’s probably the only thing they have in common–that and the fact that they all sold for a mint price of 0.02 Ξ, or $75.80 at the time of writing.
Every other attribute (“catribute” is already taken by CryptoKitties) is unique: the 9,999 first generation Cool Cats were randomly generated from a pool of 300,000 different body, face, hat, and costume combinations, each of which determine how “cool” a Cool Cat is.
You see, there are degrees of coolness. Fewer than half the cats (4,599) are strictly “cool” – the rest are even cooler. Nearly a third (3,000) are “wild”, just under a fifth (1,750) are “classy”, and the remaining 650 are the coolest of cool, the “exotic” cats.
Cats with complete outfits are the coolest. For example, it’s cooler to have a full pirate outfit than just the eye patch. With Rarity Tools, you can sort by traits to see which cats are coolest.
The Cool Cats community
Cool Cats are more than just PFP art, however. A fifth of the ETH used to buy them is allotted to the wider community for contests, raffles, and other programs. According to the Cool Cats website, owners have a voice in the community so they can help guide the direction of the project.
“We take our orders from the community,” wrote Tom. “If the community decides against anything, we scrap it.”
According to Clon, a collaborative, community-led project was the intention from the get-go: “Outside of being cool and unique collectibles, our aim is to grow the Cool Cat community so they can help us craft the narrative, evolve the brand and assist in growing.”
One of the more exciting announcements to come from a Cool Cats town hall was the introduction of $MILK.
$MILK is an ERC-20 token that acts as a currency within the community. While the mechanics are still being fleshed out, it’s been agreed that members will passively earn $MILK per Cool Cat owned. The cooler the cat, the more $MILK is earned.
Where to buy Cool Cats
Cool Cats are incredibly popular, commanding a floor price of 11.27 Ξ (!) at the time of writing. While you can buy Cool Cats directly from OpenSea, a more affordable option is to check out marketplaces such as Fractional for fractionalized Cool Cats.
Pro tip: You should never buy NFTs from unverified marketplaces or through unknown users on Discord. Be sure to read our articles How to spot and avoid crypto scams and Crypto security basics: Staying safe in Web3 before purchasing your first NFT.