$719,000 Lost in Failed ETH Transactions as Stoner Cats NFT Cartoon Goes Live

By Robert Drage July 31, 2021 In Ethereum, Gas, NFTs

The new animated adult show Stoner Cats lost close to its total of 310 Ethereum (US$719,000) from failed minting of associated NFTs. Due to the huge demand, the NFTs sold out in record time, spurring an incident where miners were mostly only able to process high gas fee transactions.

Stoner Cats title page: Let’s Eat Cake

The latest non-fungible token (NFT) craze took place on the Ethereum blockchain this week with the release of Stoner Cats, an animated cartoon series with a few hard hitters on board such as Chris Rock, Mila Kunis, Seth MacFarlane, and even Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Vitalik Buterin.

The first drop on July 27 made a total of 10,420 NFTs available and they were selling for 0.35 ETH each on the Stoner Cats website. (The NFT doubles as exclusive early access to the show before opening to the public, and provides lifetime access to the future episodes.) The high demand for the cartoon drove the network to capacity:

High Network Capacity Leads to High Fees

Selling out in minutes, the volume of purchases drove the gas price off the scale. When transactions are conducted on the Ethereum blockchain, like most blockchains it requires gas (gwei for Ethereum) in order to enable miners to process transactions or mint NFTs.


Users who didn’t set a high enough gas price had transactions that were left uncompleted as miners opted for higher-priced transactions.

In this case the gas limit wasn’t set high enough to cover all steps in the transaction, so the transaction failed. However it’s not failing until it runs out, so ~100% of allocated gas is actually being used even without the transaction succeeding.

Daniel Kuhn, Coindesk

During such situations, competition for transactions to be written into the block increases, incentivising miners to prioritise the highest-priced transactions. The developers are being held responsible for not setting the default gas limit high enough.

Blockchain a New Funding Medium for TV?

Stoner Cats is the first TV show to be funded entirely from the sale of NFTs. The team behind it says this was done to escape TV network censorship and retain creative control. The production team, led by producer Mila Kunis and husband and fellow actor Aston Kutcher, plans to release a further 3,000 NFTs per episode and will continue making the series as long as fundraising goals are met.

The profit realised by the NFT sales indicates the Stoner Cats team must have made more than US$8 million on the 10,000 NFTs.

The upcoming Ethereum documentary Ethereum: The Infinite Garden has also recently had its very successful funding round and is planned to premiere by 2023.

Robert Drage

Robert Drage

Robert is a freelance researcher, with a background in information science currently interested in blockchain technology and technical developments in the field.

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