4 - 6 minute read
In November 2021, the Comedy Monsters Club (CMC) project launched in Venezuela, combining humor and nonfungible tokens (NFTs) to create a unique comedy club. Led by Roberto Cardoso, the project was co-founded with brothers José David Roa and David Roa. The club was advertised as the only comedy club to use NFT collectibles as membership, attracting the NFT-curious Latin American audience through well-known Venezuelan comedians. However, the initial hype quickly turned to confusion for the project’s investors.
CMC officially launched in November 2021 with an offering of 10,100 NFTs, with each starting at a price of 0.1 Ether (ETH), worth between $400 and $500 at the time of the sale. The monsters wouldn’t be revealed to their owners until all the NFTs were sold. The project’s purpose was “to deliver as many experiential, material and economic benefits” to its members as possible. However, it was never clear how CMC would maintain or increase the value of its NFTs, beyond the novelty of the project’s proposal.
The CMC roadmap had five stages: the production of a podcast, a comedy festival exclusive to holders, games and raffle prizes in ETH, a foundation, and a United States branch. Despite posts on social media showcasing 2022 as a successful year for CMC, its community shared a very different experience. The project launched a podcast, but stopped after less than 20 episodes. CMC founders organized events, but they weren’t exclusive, and there were limited tickets for NFT holders. Even the raffles ended up switching from ETH prizes to giving out CMC NFTs instead.
The project never reached its goal of a total sell-out, with 2,320 holders owning 7,660 monsters in total. A significant but unspecified number of NFTs were used in publicity stunts and giveaways, and Cardoso blamed the 2022 crypto market crash for the project’s failure to sell out. A rough approximation of the comedy club’s earnings shows that it could have made as much as $2 million to $3 million, based on estimates of the value of the sold tokens at the time of CMC’s launch.
The community never knew for sure how the funds were spent on the project’s roadmap or how much was taken by Cardozo and the Roa brothers, making the case for a possible soft rug-pull. Concerns began when José David, the project’s appointed CEO, left the Discord group, followed shortly by his brother, David Roa. The community also reported that CMC holders who raised questions on Telegram chats were being blocked.
The lack of a community wallet came as a shock for some CMC NFT holders, whose investments’ floor price is now just 0.015 ETH, or less than $30. Cardoso confirmed the community findings, stating that the Monster NFTs were solely “a membership for a club which includes a roadmap with benefits.” After the social media storm, Comedy Monsters Club continues to be active, offering events and workshops to their holders.
The gray zone of NFTs remains unclear in terms of legal protections for users. The only visible promise the Comedy Monsters creators made to their community was a rough roadmap, lacking deadlines and specific consequences if it failed to meet its goals. According to Maria Londoño, a lawyer and co-founder of the NFT project Disrupt3rs, this ambiguity is what led to serious miscommunication between the founders and the community. “They made very vague promises, and there were attempts to solidify them. However, there are neither specified, committed parties nor deadlines for the promises. There isn’t any contractual obligation that could be demanded,” she told Cointelegraph.
The Bottom Line
The Comedy Monsters Club project in Venezuela combined humor and nonfungible tokens (NFTs) to create a unique comedy club. However, the initial hype quickly turned to confusion for the project’s investors. The lack of a community wallet came as a shock for some CMC NFT holders, whose investments’ floor price is now just 0.015 ETH, or less than $30. While the project continues to be active, it serves as a cautionary tale for traders and investors in the gray zone of NFTs. It highlights the importance of setting clear rules and expectations for both creators and the community, to avoid losses and damage to reputation in the volatile and unpredictable world of Web3.