We Are All Rarible CEO? - TokenSmart NFT Humpday Report #35

Welcome to the 35th issue of the NFT Humpday Report, a weekly column covering and providing embedded analysis on the NFT economy’s biggest topics du jour. Brought to you by WIP meetup collaborators and nft42 community hub TokenSmart.

This week an NFT collector drummed up a publicity stunt on Twitter by boisterously declaring themself the CEO of NFT marketplace Rarible. The ensuing social media kerfuffle led to confusion for some and then to the meme of the day, as other NFT users began poking fun at the strange episode by humorously referring to themselves as Rarible’s CEO, too.

The context: Nick Cuttonaro, currently @NickyPapersNFT on Twitter, is an entrepreneur who specializes in marketing. His most prominent venture to date has been The Link Builders, which began as an SEO company but then evolved into an online reputation management firm. 

Between July 2017 and October 2019, Cuttonaro wrote approximately once every two weeks as the “admin” author for crypto site coinreviews.io, whose management team was “powered by The Link Builders.” Then his crypto writings seemingly went cold for a while. 

The trail appears to pick back up with Cuttonaro’s first extant tweets on NFTs, which came amid the NFT boom in late March 2021. At the time, he said he had “gone down the NFT rabbit hole” and that he’d “Sold my first NFT this morning on @rariblecom. [...] No matter how long I've been generating leads or conversions, I still get that ‘first conversion high.’” 

Since late March, Cuttonaro has routinely championed his Rarible activities on Twitter and at times even promoted his NFT-centric tweets to position himself as a top Rarible influencer. Over the past two months, Cuttonaro’s public remarks suggest these activities have given him the conviction that he’s provided a major service to the project. He recently said: 

“I've quite literally put everything I have in my personal and professional life into ensuring @rariblecom is positioned to grow and NFT artists and collectors have a community.”

What happened: Last week, Cuttonaro roped Rarible co-founder Alex Salnikov into what Salnikov obviously thought was a friendly challenge, i.e. the first to 7,000 followers on Twitter. To Cuttonaro, though, this would later loudly be treated as a binding agreement to assume the CEO position at Rarible.

Flash forward to this week, and Cuttonaro starts taking victory laps on Twitter over his self-described #RariCEOChallenge after he notched 7k followers first. He then proceeded to go on a long posting spree as if he was, in fact, really Rarible’s CEO. However, from comments like …

and …

Suggests this whole episode was little more than a publicity stunt, presumably to bring attention to Cuttonaro’s NFT activities, which apparently now involve building an NFT marketplace. The entrepreneur falsely cast his new “CEO position” as the will of the community, and then when he started to receive pushback on his misleading remarks, he started repeatedly haranguing Rarible’s founders (example 1, 2, 3). 

Why it matters: Cuttonaro’s antics got so much attention that some people in the NFT ecosystem actually became confused as to whether Rarible had experienced a major leadership change or not. Then the silliness of the episode also inspired more than a few jokes, memes, and even some NFTs, like Jonathan Mann’s Song A Day #4527, titled I’m the CEO of Rarible.  

What they’re saying

  • “Please be advised this tweet is fake news,” CoinFund’s Jake Brukhman said. “The CEO of @rariblecom continues to be founder @alxfal.”

  • “No, really, is this a joke about you … being CEO? I know this is crypto and governance is loose but no @rariblecom announcement? I'm just trying to get up to date,” said Twitter user @xCryptochild.

  • “[I]s this a real person that is just … claiming the position? would be an interesting world if that was how it worked!” said Trenton Van Epps.

Zooming out: The irony of this faux coup is that Rarible users can rise up and help steer the future of the project via RARI governance. But there’s a productive and practical way to go about that, and then there’s … Cuttonaro’s way. You be the judge on what you think is fair game in this space, but when you do come across noise sometimes the only thing to do is tune it out.

Thanks for reading the 35th NFT Humpday Report! Check back this time next week for more excellent NFT ecosystem coverage! Cheers 🌠