Pudgy Penguins CEO criticizes the push of crypto and NFTs onto people

The CEO of Pudgy Penguins, a nonfungible token project, has given advice to new projects: stop talking about cryptocurrency. Speaking in an interview, 24-year-old entrepreneur Luca Netz stated that many NFT projects overwhelm people with jargon and information, making it difficult for newcomers to understand. Since taking over Pudgy Penguins in April 2022, Netz has opted for a Web3/blockchain as a “back end, not front end” approach, focusing on creating a lovable character that everyone loves. One of the key initiatives that Netz has introduced is the physical or “phygital” Pudgy Penguins collectibles, which are designed from the IP of around 16 different NFTs from the collection. Each toy comes with a scannable code that people can use to unlock blockchain-based digital penguin customizations to make their own unique NFT. Notably, hodler’s of those specific NFTs get a cut of the revenue. In late 2021, Pudgy Penguins was in trouble as the floor price was plummeting, while promised milestones on the roadmap such as blockchain games were nowhere in sight. The project was subject to a $2.5 million takeover by Netz, and since the announcement on April 3, 2022, the floor price for Pudgy Penguins NFTs has surged from around 1.3 Ether ( ETH ) to around 5.05 ETH at the time of writing.

The Pudgy Penguins recently secured $9 million in seed funding in early May and signed a deal with Hollywood agency WME to expand their intellectual property to TV, film, and gaming. This is in addition to their recent success in the NFT market.

Revival under Luca Netz

While some may have viewed the Pudgy Penguins project as dead in the water, Luca Netz saw potential in the strong community and decided to invest.

“I think it had all of the ingredients to be the face of NFTs. And I felt like nobody [else] at the time had the same value proposition.”

Netz believed that Pudgy Penguins had a unique culture and a universal appeal that would make it successful.

“So what I mean by universal is that anyone and everyone can understand a Pudgy Penguin, regardless of ethnicity, gender, or religion. You all get and understand a Pudgy Penguin,” he said.

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