Dogwifhat Spat? Ethereum NFT Auction Reveals Tensions Between Dog’s Owners and Solana Community

By Decrypt March 16, 2024 In DAO, Ethereum, NFTs, Solana
The Dogwifhat meme (cropped). Image: Foundation

Known for adorable memes, its own cutesy language, and massive monuments to beloved pets, the multi-billion dollar ecosystem of Shiba Inu-themed meme coins is generally a place of cuddly cohabitation.

But recent tensions between users in the Solana ecosystem—home to the exploding Dogwifhat (WIF) meme coin—and owners of the real-life South Korean dog who inspired the token may have created some trouble in pet paradise.

On Thursday, a South Korean Instagram user announced that the Shiba Inu featured in the “Dogwifhat” meme, named Achi, was in fact their pet—and that to celebrate the dog, they planned to auction an NFT of the original, iconic photo of Achi wearing a woven beanie (which the user said they knit for the dog).

The user’s Instagram profile has consistently posted photos of a Shiba Inu in various woven clothing for the last five years, since the dog was a puppy; they also posted the famous “Dogwifhat” photo itself in December 2018—almost a full year before the photo went viral online. Partners of the Achi NFT auction confirmed with Decrypt that the user has been verified as Achi’s true parent.

Upon the announcement of the NFT photo auction, however, several members of the WIF community and other Solana users bemoaned the fact that for the Achi NFT, the dog’s parents had partnered with Feisty DAO—an online community with previous experience purchasing and fractionalizing Shiba Inu-related NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain.

The new Achi NFT will be minted as an Ethereum NFT, and is currently up for auction on Ethereum NFT platform Foundation. The auction ends on Monday; at writing, the piece has a current bid of 50 ETH, or over $182,000 worth.

Complaints about the NFT drop—many of which implored Achi’s parents to partner with the WIF team on Solana instead—reached the extent that the pet owners publicly pleaded for the barrage to stop.

“Please don’t insult [Achi] and us,” the owners wrote in a pinned comment on the Instagram post. “You have no reason to blame us. Please cheer for us.”

Apparently, however, Achi’s owners previously did attempt to work with Solana users—to disastrous results. One meme coin that popped up in the wake of WIF’s runaway success, ACHI, launched late last month with the support and backing of Achi’s parents. Shortly thereafter, the token’s creators allegedly rug-pulled the project.

Due to that bad experience, Achi’s parents opted to partner with Feisty DAO, which had successfully launched several NFT sales in the past, Path, a Feisty DAO member and the facilitator of the Achi NFT auction, told Decrypt.

Decrypt reached out to Achi’s parents via Instagram but did not immediately receive a response.

Though several WIF community members clearly felt frustrated that Achi’s parents did not coordinate their NFT launch with the meme coin community, it appears that the community has done little, if anything, to reach out to the family of the dog whose visage blasted their token to a multi-billion dollar valuation.

WIF launched in December; as of a few weeks ago, Achi’s parents had reportedly never heard from anyone in the WIF community and were attempting to get in touch.

Mihir, one of the WIF community members who coordinated the raise of almost $700,000 this week to plaster Achi’s face on Sphere, the massive LED screen-covered arena in Las Vegas, told Decrypt that he wasn’t aware of Achi’s owners until last week. However, he believes that they are owed something from WIF’s spoils.

At writing, WIF’s market capitalization is in excess of $3 billion. Achi’s parents’ NFT—of the original photo they took, that WIF is based on—has a current bid worth about $182,000.

Path, the Feisty DAO member who is coordinating the NFT photo auction, said that if there was interest from the Solana community in buying the picture, then he would gladly consider re-minting the NFT on Solana for the auction’s winners.

Path said he reached out to Ansem, a prominent member of the WIF community, to see if the crypto influencer might want to purchase the Achi NFT, but that Ansem wasn’t interested. Path says he hasn’t heard from anyone else related to WIF.

Ansem did not immediately respond when Decrypt reached out for comment.

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