Mutant Cats are a rising force in the NFT world — but what are they? Like CryptoPunks, Mutant Cats are an NFT collection consisting of 9,999 unique algorithmically generated collectibles.
However, that’s where their similarity to CryptoPunks ends. Mutant Cats are more than simple artwork — they’re also your membership card to the exclusive Mutant Cat DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization).
The purpose of the Mutant Cat DAO is to use its treasury funds buying red-hot Cool Cats NFTs at first, then other big-name NFTs later. Then, the treasury’s NFT holdings are fractionalized and given back to Mutant Cat NFT owners in the form of $FISH tokens.
If all of that sounds complex right now, don’t worry. This guide to Mutant Cats NFTs breaks the project down into easy-to-understand terms and explains how the DAO works. By the time you finish reading, you’ll have a leg up on one of the fastest-rising NFT projects around.
Before getting to the DAO aspect of the Mutant Cats project, you should have a basic understanding of what an NFT is in the first place.
NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token. Like other tokens, NFTs are cryptocurrencies. Unlike other tokens, such as ether (ETH), each NFT is unique and, therefore, not interchangeable on a 1:1 basis with other tokens.
To illustrate that point, imagine a dollar bill. Two people can exchange dollar bills without losing value since dollar bills are fungible (i.e., interchangeable). Non-fungible assets like NFTs represent unique items such as singular artworks, so they can’t be traded in the same way.
Besides being non-fungible, NFTs act like proof of ownership over unique items. These items can be natively digital or physical in origin. So, NFTs can represent literally anything on the blockchain. All you have to do is hold the corresponding NFT in your crypto wallet to prove you own the thing.
That’s the basic idea behind NFTs. If you want to dive deeper, read our beginner’s guide to NFTs. Now that you understand NFTs let’s move on to Mutant Cats.
Mutant Cats NFTs are 9,999 cats that have been mutated by a mysterious disease, giving them weird traits like cyclops eyes, gamma-ray skin, and radioactive slime. But beyond being cool to look at, Mutant Cats NFTs also provide their owners:
The DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) has a unique purpose. Its goal is to use royalties collected from Mutant Cats sales on OpenSea to fund the DAO treasury. Then, treasury funds are spent on buying Cool Cats NFTs.
Cool Cats NFTs are another collection of 9,999 randomly generated cats. However, they predate Mutant Cats and have earned blue-chip status amongst NFT collectors. The price floor (the lowest price) for a Cool Cat is currently 10 ETH (~$35K).
Every time the DAO acquires a Cool Cat NFT, it fractionalizes it using the Fractional.art platform and gives ownership back to Mutant Cats holders in the form of $FISH token. Later, the Mutant Cats DAO plans to diversify into other blue-chip NFTs like CryptoPunks, Bored Ape Yacht Club, and CyberKongz.
Currently, the Mutant Cat DAO owns 11 Cool Cats after spending roughly $380K of treasury funds.
So, owning a Mutant Cat NFT gives you direct exposure to high-value NFTs like Cool Cats and, eventually, CryptoPunks and BAYC via collective buying power. But to get that exposure, you must stake your Mutant Cat NFT.
Alright, at this point we know that each Mutant Cat NFT gives its owner access and voting rights in the DAO. Moreover, the DAO’s directive is to buy Cool Cats NFTs using OpenSea sales royalties, then fractionalizes ownership back to Mutant Cat NFT owners via $FISH token.
Every day, each Mutant Cat NFT is entitled to 10 $FISH tokens per day. Since $FISH token gives you partial ownership of Cool Cats NFTS (and other valuable NFTs once diversification begins), getting your hands on $FISH tokens seems imperative.
To get $FISH tokens, you have two options:
If you go the NFT staking route, your wallet is credited with $FISH tokens throughout the day and can be withdrawn at any time. But since there’s no rush to withdraw your $FISH tokens, the best strategy is to let your $FISH tokens accumulate for a while to avoid overpaying ETH gas fees.
Right now, roughly 66% of all Mutant Cats NFTs are staked and earning $FISH tokens.
To make sure you’re clear on how this all works, here are the two key takeaways about Mutant Cat NFTs and $FISH tokens.
Because $FISH tokens are listed on secondary markets, it’s unnecessary to own a Mutant Cat to gain exposure to the DAO’s NFT treasury. But, you won’t have voting rights within the DAO, so you’ll miss the process of selecting which NFTs the DAO is buying.
Mutant Cats and $FISH tokens have interesting utility beyond DAO voting and fractionalizing valuable NFTs. Soon, they’ll combine to breed additional NFTs, mint companions, and receive airdrops as staking milestones are reached.
Although the details aren’t crystal clear yet, NFT breeding will probably require either 2 Mutant Cat NFTs (which are burned when their spawn is created) or 1 Mutant Cat plus an amount of $FISH tokens.
Notable projects that have successfully implemented NFT breeding include the Bored Ape Yacht Club. The BAYC gave all Bored Ape NFT owners an additional mutant serum NFT, spawning Mutant Ape NFTs in the process.
Besides Mutant Cat breeding, companion NFTs have been mentioned by the project’s developers, along with unspecified new mints. Considering the project’s meteoric rise to the top of OpenSea’s trading charts, it’s safe to say people are excited about the utility of Mutant Cat NFTs.
Beyond the hype, Mutant Cats are proving that NFT collectors now want collectibles to have additional utility like DAO access, treasury funds, and incentives. As such, it’s unsurprising that Mutant Cats have vaulted higher in sales volume than Cool Cats, the very project they were created to collect.
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