Moonbirds COO Leaves Project for New Fund – With $1M in NFTs in Tow

Founder Kevin Rose addressed the controversial exit of Ryan Carson, the project’s chief operating officer, in a Twitter Spaces on Monday.

AccessTimeIconApr 25, 2022 at 8:08 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 6:48 p.m. UTC

Ryan Carson, the chief operating officer of the popular non-fungible token (NFT) collection Moonbirds, announced on Twitter on Monday that he has left the project to start his own NFT venture fund.

The news garnered an immediate and negative reaction from the broader NFT community, with many voicing frustrations that Carson purchased hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of Moonbirds before his exit, possibly using insider knowledge to poach undervalued editions.

Carson’s cache of avian collectibles is currently worth $1.2 million based on floor prices alone, most of which were bought before Moonbirds values ballooned in the days following the initial mint.

The project’s founder, longtime internet entrepreneur and Digg co-founder Kevin Rose, addressed the Moonbirds community in a Twitter Spaces following the news, saying Carson’s actions went against the project’s internal policy.

Rose also said during the Spaces event he had “no idea” how much capital Carson planned on using to buy up Moonbirds NFTs following the release.

“I think one of the special things about Web 3 is we can be transparent and share and learn from each other,” Rose said during the talk. “I can tell you that there’s going to be a kind of communications policy put in place as well, moving forward.”

Rose also mentioned that he had waved Carson’s vesting cliff, a move that stemmed from the trust he had in their personal relationship, according to the Spaces.

While news of Carson’s departure has been framed in a largely negative light for Moonbirds, others are optimistic the project will learn from its mistakes and be better for it in the long term.

Moonbirds currently have a 34 ETH (roughly $100,000) floor price, and have done over $330 million in sales since its April 16 mint, the most of any NFT project in the last 30 days.

“We are not the next Yuga Labs or Crypto Punks, we’re Proof and we're going to keep being Proof and we're confident that alone is a reason why we want to be here,” Rose said towards the end of the Spaces.


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Eli is a news reporter for CoinDesk. He holds ETH, SOL and AVAX.

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