After thousands of fans lined up on November 30 to buy The Matrix Resurrections movie on Nifty, they were left disappointed when the non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace crashed during the sale due to overwhelming demand ahead of the action/sci-fi movie’s release later this month.
Furious Fans Left in Limbo Overnight
Warner Bros announced last month that it would mint a set of 100,000 NFTs of Matrix-inspired avatars at US$50 each on Nifty. In anticipation of the launch, hundreds of thousands of fans were lined up on the marketplace to buy the NFTs, but within just an hour of the site opening, the company had to pause the sale as systems were overloaded.
Sale Restarted But Crashes Again
Nifty briefly restarted the sale but again had to pause it, leaving furious users in limbo overnight. By December 1, more than 330,000 fans were still waiting in the queue to buy the collectibles.
The marketplace conceded that the launch of the Matrix avatars did not go “the way we had hoped it would”, but said on Twitter “even as the queue continues to be paused, we want to assure you all of a few things – we’re very actively working on a solution, along with our partners”.
Demand More Than Nifty Could Handle
The chaos surrounding the launch proved that the initial demand for the Matrix avatars was more than Nifty could handle. However, the marketplace recommended that users still in line to buy the collectibles add their email addresses to the “please notify me when it is my turn” field on the website, “so that you’ll know specifically when you have made it to the front of the line”.
Nifty’s customer-support site added: “Due to such high traffic, there may be a delay with the Matrix Avatar NFTs appearing in your account. Please allow some additional time (up to eight hours) to determine if your NFTs have arrived successfully.”
Naturally, users were not entirely happy with Nifty’s response to the crash:
Nifty responded by saying the company plans “to make it up to fans and give all Nifty’s users who queued yesterday for a Matrix Avatar a free ‘glitch in the Matrix’ NFT”.
On the evening of December 1, Nifty issued a statement and said it had reopened the purchase queue for the Matrix NFTS after completing an audit of its platform. After about an hour, the platform said it had officially sold out.
NFT Madness Causes Pandemonium on Marketplaces
The Matrix NFT sale is not the first launch to have overloaded and crashed a system. In September, Time magazine announced a new collection of NFTs offering “unlimited access” to its website throughout 2023. Within minutes, all 4,676 tokens tied to the digital artworks had sold out. The rush clogged the Ethereum blockchain and consequently sent gas fees through the roof, causing such chaos that buyers spent almost four times as much on transaction fees as they did on the NFTs themselves.
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