Moonbirds NFT holders furious after Proof cancels major conference

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Proof Collective came under fire after announcing the cancellation of its May Proof of Conference yesterday. The creator of Moonbirds NFTs pointed to “less interest than anticipated” as the primary reason for the cancellation.

Moonbirds NFTs, the team’s most famous collection, is the tenth best-selling Ethereum-based NFT collection. After seeing massive success from Moonbirds, the team announced its first in-person event, Proof of Conference, in November 2022, scheduled for May 2023 in Los Angeles.

Plans for the conference included experienced NFT speaker sessions, art galleries and interactive activities. The event promised to host many major NFT creators, including Yuga Labs, Beeple and Gary Vee.

However, Proof Collective later announced the event’s cancellation, replacing the primary website with a creator note. The post explained that it was not “the right time” for the event and that the team wanted to maintain a “high bar” for their projects.

“After several weeks of sales data, speaking with potential sponsors, and talking to community members, it’s clear that there is considerably less interest than anticipated for an event like this right now,” the post reads.

The Proof team informed Moonbirds NFT holders about the cancellation via a mass Discord meeting. Moonbirds creator Kevin Rose also said he would post a “holistic” update on Discord regarding Proof’s next steps on March 2.

However, it was not enough to relieve the Moonbirds NFT community’s collective disappointment.

“I’m not rushing to floor my Moonbird [right now], but this is absurd,” NFT trader and Moonbirds holder Edward Kayal said on Twitter. “What is the long-term plan here if the crux piece has been canceled?”

Lack of proof

Many other holders were disappointed by the Proof Collective team’s explanations in their Discord meeting. The team noted that only a hundred people had booked linked hotels for the event, proving a lack of interest in the conference.

However, holders pointed out that others may have booked accommodations outside of Proof’s links, making their claims unverifiable.

Considering the scale of the event, the overall trust in the Proof team dwindled, with many traders, including Kayal, considering selling their Moonbird assets.

“Yeah, I’m out. Just looking for a reasonable exit on my bird. Sad,” Kayal said in a follow-up tweet.

Some others noted a pattern of failure, particularly with Proof creator Kevin Rose’s history before NFTs. Rose co-founded and ran Digg, a news aggregator launched in 2004. The site sold itself on its then-innovative pattern of discovering buried news content and sharing it with others through likes and recommendations.

The website received over 236 million viewers every year by 2008. However, the website quickly fell off the map with the rise of similar websites like Reddit and Digg’s poorly-received redesign in 2010, losing over 50 percent of its user base. Rose left the company shortly after.

“It’s like Digg all over again. [Rose] has issues finishing or following through on everything,” Team Wen Moon CEO Joey “Vowels” Ioia said in a tweet to Kayal.

“Take some time to read his history as an entrepreneur. Not sure why people thought this would be different.”

As of February 21, Moonbird’s ownership and sales have taken a considerable blow from the backlash. The Moonbirds website reported a sharp plunge in “nested” NFTs, which went down from 9,126 to 9,009 from February 20 to 21 alone, with individual holders decreasing from 6,513 to 6,480 as of this writing.