Ducks, Geese, and NFTs: How Ethereum and NFTs Saved a Couple From Losing Their Home


This is the story of an how an American couple managed to stop their home from being foreclosed with the help of an inspired collection of Ethereum-based non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and the amazing support of the kind and generous NFT community.

Recently, CNBC’s “Make It” did a report about an American couple — Thorne Melcher and Mandy Musselwhite — who “own a homestead outside of Atlanta.”

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Apparently, “after Thorne Melcher lost her job as a software engineer in February, bills started piling up.” Although “her girlfriend, Mandy Musselwhite, was able to cover a few expenses selling her artwork,” sadly “the couple quickly fell behind on their mortgage payments.”

Their Atlanta, Georgia homestead “includes a farmhouse where they’ve raised six ducks, two geese and other animals.”

Musselwhite told CNBC:

I knew we had to think of something. We really didn’t want to lose this property. We love it here. The animals love it here.

Thankfully, they were able to come up with the idea of creating “Dastardly Ducks, a collection of 10,000 cartoon duck nonfungible tokens (NFTs) generated by code with unique combinations of over 100 different traits, in order to raise money.” They launched this NFT collection on January 19 and “it sold out in less than six hours, earning them just under $120,000.”

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What makes this story even more exciting are two things.

The first is how dire the couple’s financial situation was just before their NFT launch. It seems that they had “a few bank accounts overdrawn”, one shared account with a balance of “less than $1”, one account with a balance of “negative $4.11”, and only “89 cents left” on Musselwhite’s Cash App.

The second is that “the couple owed $35,587 in mortgage back-payments” and they needed to present a check to their lawyer by January 20 or else they would have to appear in court on January 21.

Melcher told CNBC:




“We saved our farm by selling cartoon ducks. It was like a fever dream. They immediately started going so fast. I couldn’t sleep until they were all gone.”

Another interesting aspect to this story is that before the NFT sale, the couple were so broke that they could “barely afford food” and so “didn’t have the funds to afford the fee to deploy the collection’s smart contract at first.” Thankfully, one of their friends kindly “offered to cover the fee for Dastardly Ducks.”

So, how did they manage to co-create this NFT collection and generate enough interest to be able to do so well with the sale?

According to Melcher, they started work on their NFT collection back in early January 2021. Melcher, who is a programmer, quickly learned Solidity, the main language for creating smart contracts on the Ethereum platform, and Musselwhite, who is a graphics artist, “designed each Dastardly Duck.”

One thing that helped the sale be a success was that “at the time of release, each Dastardly Duck cost about $15, and a 12-pack cost about $120,” which meant that many people would be able to afford to buy at least one NFT.

The launch of their NFT collection has also made it easier for both of them to find work.

Melcher Says:

I have so many people that suddenly want to work with me is a Solidity coder. There are people who are interested in working with Mandy [Musselwhite] as an artist.

Dastardly Duck NFTs are available on the two most popular marketplaces for Ethereum-based NFTs: OpenSea and LooksRare.

Currently (as of 10:45 a.m. UTC on February 6) on OpenSea, the cheapest Dastardly Duck NFT you can buy costs 0.004 ETH, which is around $12.

Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed by the author, or any people mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only, and they do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice. Investing in or trading cryptoassets comes with a risk of financial loss.




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