Over the past year, Cool Cats has proved to be one of the most exciting brands in all of NFTs. Having reached the #3 spot in both popularity and sales volume among avatar projects (behind Bored Apes and Larva Labs projects), the collection of lovable blue cats brings with it a vibrant community and mission to innovate.
Cool Cats, Hot Topic
Cool Cats is a collection of 9,999 programmatically, randomly generated NFTs created by Tom Williamson (xtremetom), Rob Mehew (Lynqoid), Evan Luza (ELU), and Colin Egan (clon — also known as The Catoonist). Similar to its predecessor CryptoPunks, each Cool Cat is comprised of a variety of unique traits; including over 300,000 possible combinations for body, hat, face, and outfit attributes.
Of course, not all Cool Cats are created equal; as some are much cooler than others. Less than half of all Cool Cats have a basic degree of “cool.” As exhibited in the chart below, some Cats are “wild,” “classy,” and even “exotic.” While this ranking system is a callback to CryptoPunks and even CryptoSkulls — and would ultimately help define rarity among Cats — any Cool Cats community member will gladly tell you that each and every Cat is a Cool Cat.
Launched on July 1, 2021, Cool Cats followed in close proximity to the Bored Ape Yacht Club. Yet, while BAYC undoubtedly provided the catalyst for the profile-picture (PFP) NFT boom of Summer 2021, Cool Cats in no little part helped lead the all-out avatar bullrun.
Priced at 0.06 ETH each, Cool Cats first sold 300 NFTs, before lowering the price to 0.02 per mint. It took about eight hours to sell out, and in the days to come, the project would begin to explode across the NFT ecosystem.
Only eight days after launch, Cool Cats received a huge endorsement by way of Mike Tyson. Upon changing his Twitter PFP to a Cool Cat, the boxing legend helped further solidify both his and Cool Cat’s names as prominent parts of the NFT community.
Over the summer months, more celebrities and prominent collectors would become enamored with the project. With a promise to give 20% of all ETH raised from the primary Cool Cats sale back to the community via contests, raffles, and more, Cool Cats quickly became a hot topic in the NFT space.
Similarly, the team behind Cool Cats continued to develop upon plans to build a “Cool Cat ecosystem comprised of interactivity and utility, community rewards and growth, collaboration with brands” and more — making any of these already aesthetically pleasing NFTs a desirable purchase.
We Like The Cats
Early on, “we like the Cats” became the official slogan of Cool Cats. As trading began to pick up and NFT enthusiasts started to become bullish (confident due to factors like rising prices and increasing support) on the project, the collective Cool Cats ethos of positivity and enthusiasm was quickly established.
As with most other PFP NFT projects, Cool Cats became all about community; further signifying that the project’s developers truly were in the works on something grand. And to extend a warm welcome to any individual interested in joining the Cool Cats universe, the Cooltopia was opened to via the project’s official Twitter or by joining the Cool Cats Discord server.
Yet, owning one of the thousands of Cool Cats NFTs does come with an array of incentives. Holders not only receive an exclusive role in the Discord, but also access to airdrops, priority minting for all subsequent Cool Cats endeavors, access to online and IRL Cool Cats events, and a non-exclusive license.
As licensing has been a continuous topic of debate within the NFT space, Cool Cats’ non-exclusive license helped circumvent the usual problems by granting its holders the power to do anything with their personal Cool Cat NFTs that they please. At the same time, the Cool Cats creators also reserve the same right and are able to use any Cool Cat in their 10,000 NFT collection for merch, marketing, etc.
And in August, Cool Cats launched its first major partnership, flexing the freedom given to the project developers and NFT holders by way of the non-exclusive license. A limited-edition drop featuring 100 TIME-branded editions of Xtremetom, Lynoid, ELU, and clon’s signature cats, the collaboration came alongside a meme competition and started an upward trend in Cool Cats secondary sales.
Nine Lives Worth of Happenings
In September of 2021, the Cool Cats ecosystem absolutely exploded with the announcement of two things: Cool Pets and the $MILK token. These two announcements bolstered secondary sales even further sending the Cool Cats floor into the double digits for the first time.
Cool Pets is a companion NFT series to coincide with Cool Cats. As companion collections like the Bored Ape Kennel Club, KingFrogs, Thingies, and more have helped popular projects capitalize on demand and further expand their collector base, Cool Cats seems to be going in a similar direction with their Pets.
Lunching on Jan. 28th, Cool Pets will feature 20,000 NFTs with half of the supply reserved for Cool Cats holders and the other half is to be put on public sale. This is the largest expansion effort we’ve seen from Cool Cats to date and is set to help onboard thousands of new members into the Cool Cats community. Although Cool Pets was set to launch in Q4 of 2021, halfway through December the Cool Cats team announced that the new collection would be postponed till January 2022.
$MILK is the forthcoming social token to be implemented within the Cool Cats ecosystem. The launch of the token was also slated for 2021 Q4 but was pushed back, similar to Cool Pets, due to project developers experiencing bandwidth issues.
$MILK is said to be needed for all sorts of things in the Cool Cats ecosystem, including buying Pet chests, Battle chests, Housing chests, going on Quests, and future gamification. Although $MILK will be able to be purchased via various token-swap interfaces, it will also be available to Cool Cats holders as passive income accumulated over time. Upon Cool Pets launch, Pet owners will supposedly also be able to earn $MILK by taking their Pets on quests.
The announcement of $MILK also led to a new trend within the Cool Cats community: the milk chug. In celebration of the rising floor and the token news, community members and Cool Cats’ developers alike began to post videos of themselves downing anything from a small glass to a full gallon of milk.
Considering Cool Cats was launched less than a year ago, it’s incredible to see the growth and accomplishments achieved by the four project founders. As time goes, on projects come and go, but it seems that Cool Cats — among other PFP projects launched throughout the year — is here to stay.