Would-be collectors of new Pak NFTs lose thousands of dollars in gas fees on failed transactions

A rendering of a clear glass-like sphere partially filled with black sand, with a white 3D x partially embedded in the sandOne of the Ash NFTs (attribution)
Collectors were excited for a chance to obtain NFTs from the artist Pak's upcoming collection, "Ash Chapter II: Metamorphosis". Pak is an extremely popular digital artist, and his newest collection boasted collaborators including Pussy Riot, Paris Hilton, and others.

Unfortunately, the drop did not go smoothly. Heavy botting caused gas fees to spike, and the project claimed there were issues with MetaMask's estimation of gas fees. Outside parties have suggested the issue was not with MetaMask, but rather with a poorly-implemented smart contract.

People wound up making transactions that ran out of gas before completing, meaning they lost their gas fees and did not successfully receive any NFTs. Others paid sufficient gas, but ran into other errors with the contract that meant they didn't get an NFT. The spiking gas fees meant some people lost a considerable amount of money — people reported failed transactions that cost them amounts ranging from 0.1 and 0.8 ETH (between $338 and $2,700). Some who did successfully receive NFTs also claimed to have lost value as a result of the rocky mint, which they said contributed to a lower-valued NFT.

manifold.xyz, the group behind the mint, reported that they planned to reimburse people who lost gas trying to mint NFTs. Some people seemed happy with this solution, while others were upset that they missed their chance to obtain an NFT they wanted as a result of the problems.