MoonCats, a long-lost NFT project was mined by the on-chain sleuths on March 12. According to Etherscan, the MoonCatsRescue contract is 1310 days old, first written to Ethereum on Aug 09 2017.
On March 12, a Twitter user by the name ‘ETHoard’ posted a short thread whereby he tweeted the discovery of the second-ever nonfungible token. It happens so that MoonCats came after CryptoPunks, preceding the NFT fame ‘Cryptokitties‘.
Users were in fervor in order to interact with it manually via Etherscan, as the MoonCat’s website was no longer in function. The first MoonCat minted in 992 days came to digital life at 2:52 PM UTC the same day.
Mooncats look like the 2nd oldest #NFTs on Ethereum… How to claim for free? See below, DYOR, not responsible. 1. Find Cats https://t.co/S7G2N83pDj 2. Record seed and ID 3. https://t.co/CmoUPrmepM 4. Connect MM 5. RescueCat() enter seed 6. Pay Gas 7. Call GiveCat(to claim) — Allen Hena (@RealAllenHena) March 12, 2021
According to MoonCatRescue’s website, the project was launched by another defunct website called Ponderware, which tweeted after four years the next day.
Attempting to re-establish contact with the moonbase. Stay Tuned. — ponderware (@ponderware) March 13, 2021
For the MoonCats to be listed on marketplaces like OpenSea, token rescuers needed to wrap their NFTs, for a fee of about $200, which seems a relatively nominal fee whereas some MoonCats were already resold for almost $40k. The only way to rescue MoonCats was to mine it by the ETH transaction fee. Within four hours, MoonCats took second place with the highest transaction fees on the Ethereum network that day, raising over $600,000 in gas fees alone. Over 25,600 cats were minted within a few hours.
Making an analogy with forgotten archaeological pieces, highly valuable for letting us explore the past, MoonCat collector Elmo said:
In my opinion, what we witnessed yesterday was the digital equivalent of discovering historical artifacts. While that may sound hyperbolic right now, I think history will look back on these seemingly rudimentary pieces of art as the first steps in pioneering the growth in digital arts.
Elmo even went onto post statistics with a Reddit thread, where users said the cost of minting a Cat was 50 cents. He also describes the project to be a truly “fair launch” as the contract was open to the public for years before the community stumbled upon it for it to get exploded in popularity.