Widely mocked plans to establish a tropical haven for cryptocurrency enthusiasts have run into trouble after a contract to buy an island in Fiji for US$12 million fell through.
A group of crypto-evangelists, led by Max Olivier and Helena Lopez, outlined plans for the island, Nananu-i-cake, in a lavishly animated YouTube video, featuring a wide-eyed crypto bro named Christopher landing by helicopter and being given a guided tour by a talking coin called Connie.
The full YouTube clip has been taken down, but cached copies show it touted the island as “an international hub for the community to come live, work and have fun and enjoy a first-class crypto lifestyle”, boasting “a complete ecosystem that represents the blooming crypto space” that was “a paradise made by crypto enthusiasts for crypto enthusiasts”.
Ben Butler of The Guardian goes on to write:
But the project appears to have hit a bigger hurdle than bad publicity. The real estate agent selling Nananu-i-cake, Rick Kermode, of New Zealand firm Bayleys, told Guardian Australia that the contract to sell it to Cryptoland’s backers fell through this week and the island was back on the market.
“We’re telling people that it was under contract during the period of time that they had the contract but it has come back on the market,” he said.
So, it would appear that Cryptoland’s grand plans have come to nought, unless they can somehow find a way to renegotiate the contract. Somehow, given all the negative publicity and ridicule this project has attracted, I don’t think that is going to happen.
I had also heard that they had removed the project’s highly-scrutinized white paper (called a “Why Paper” ) from the Cryptoland website, but I was able to locate it fairly easily, here. Of course, they’re still minting their butt-ugly NFTs, and still trying to sell the project to crypto bros using the face, voice, and quotes from Carlos Matos:
As to why Cryptoland would want to associate Mr. Matos (infamous for his batshit crazy speech promoting the BitConnect ponzi scheme) with their project in any way absolutely mystifies me. I mean, c’mon people, the quote comes from this:
So, it would appear that the strange Cryptoland saga is coming to an end sooner than expected! However, I have no doubt that many equally cringeworthy NFT projects will come along to take its place in 2022.
UPDATE Jan. 16th, 2022: Well, it looks as though I wrote off Cryptoland too easily! Apparently, the team is undeterred by this development. I am not on the official Cryptoland Discord, but someone shared the following screen capture with me:
I know it’s a bit hard to read, so here is a transcription:
Thanks for the list of thoughtful points.
1. Right now the purchase agreement is until December 17th, but we had a conversation with the sellers of the island and they said they would be open to extend it (for a few more months, we need to discuss that still) if things look promising (if we get more investors). The island has been for sale for many years, no one is going to buy it right now, even if the contract expires.
2. If somehow someone were to buy the island, we would find another one (there are some) or we could re-buy it from the new owner maybe. This island is going to be for Cryptoland, we know the market for islands like this is very small, the risks of someone else acquiring before us are very low.
This response seems overly confident, bordering on brash, to me. All this talk about simply switching to another island if Nananu-i-cake is sold to another buyer means (among other things) that the Cryptoland team will have to completely rewrite their white paper proposal, as well as impact the layout and even the number of real estate parcels they can sell. Stop and ponder this incontrovertible fact for a moment: Cryptoland is already selling land on an island they don’t even own yet.
I still believe that this project is never going to come to fruition. Anyway, the Cryptoland saga seems to have a few more chapters left, Stay tuned!