After months of turmoil in the community and losing their leadership, the Penguins have begun to trade.
The Pudgy Penguins collection, which includes 8,888 Ethereum NFTs, was sold to Netz Capital’s Luca Netz for 750 ETH (roughly $2.5 million). He’s currently leading the project and will be receiving all future royalties from secondary sale.
NFTs such as the Pudgy Penguins, are unique tokens on blockchain that signify ownership of an asset, in this case an image or penguin.
Netz stated that she was looking forward to spreading love throughout the Meta. The acquisition was made public Saturday.
This sale occurs just months after Cole Villemain, a prominent and controversial founder, voted for the project. He goes by the name “ColeThereum.”
Netz published his offer of 750 ETH in January, writing: “Make your move ColeThereum.”
Decryptvia TwitterDM, ColeThereum confirmed that he and the other founders are no longer involved with the project.
Cole explained to Decrypt that the original team wanted to see their creation reach the next level. We felt Luca had the experience and connections to do so.
Although the sale may seem exciting for holders, some have raised concerns. claimed Netz was not a well-known figure within the Penguins community prior to the acquisition.
The history of the Pudgy Penguins collection is not rosy. On December 11, a former community moderator named ColdPizza–previously known as 0xDarth–publicly exited the project after being promoted to community manager without coming to an agreement on job terms, including compensation.
ColdPizza had openly criticised ColeThereum’s leadership during a Twitter Space that was 3,000 users. Cole claimed that Cole bribed Cole with 1 Ethereum ($3,500 at the time of publication).
Cole responded to the allegation by saying, “I have never and will never bribe anyone.” Cole responded, “We let go one of our employees and I offered 1 Ethereum bonus for being useful to the project. False rumors were spread and it was taken outof context.”
The 9x9x9 Pudgy Penguins whale previously criticised Cole’s leadership. They wrote in a long Twitter thread that the project was “sinking” and that they were not interested in purchasing the collection for 888 Ethereum in part due to the wallet being empty.
“Cole” is a reflection of the lack trust and transparency between founders and the community. “Removing Cole is like taking a painkiller if you have cancer,” they wrote.
Some Penguins members were disappointed when a new companion collection was revealed. These eggs had been hatched into mysterious fishing rods. They were initially called ” rogs.” This term is often used by Twitter as a pun on “rug” and “rugged,” which refers to being “rugged” or “rug pulled.”
Some Pudgy Penguins owners sought to get out of the project in January because they were not happy with leadership. The Wrapped Penguins were created on Metadrop. It allows existing Penguins holders to wrap their Penguins in a new collection that does not pay royalties to the team, according to the Metadrop website.
Many involved in the Penguins project speculate that Netz’s purchase may have been a legal exit strategy. However, they are afraid of being publicly critical of the project due to the possibility of violent retaliation. As part of its “roadmap”, the original team promised a Pudgy Penguins token and game as well as other products.
One community member said Decrypt that Cole was a fraudster and tried to warn everyone. Law enforcement cannot say that they didn’t follow through on the promises and roadmap if they sell the company. It was legal, I think. They would have kept it otherwise.”
Although the Pudgy Penguins may not be considered a rug puller, the Justice Department is now taking legal action against founders who fail to deliver on their promises. After collecting $1.1 million in profits, the Justice Department charged two founders of the Frosties NFT collection for wire fraud and money laundering. The project was abandoned immediately.
When Cole was asked by Decrypt to comment on the scam allegations Cole replied via Twitter DM: “A con artist would leave people with nothing, but take a look at the 3 projects that I’ve been involved in creating… they are all worth many multiples the mint price and have had a huge impact on the NFT scene.”
Cole stated that he is no longer associated with any of these three projects, but supports them as a member of the community.
He wrote that he considers himself more of a designer than a builder and that he was okay with it.