In a shocking move to many, Ryan Carson announced earlier today that he will be moving on from the Moonbirds NFT collection. Up until this point, Carson served as the COO of Moonbirds and the company behind it, PROOF Collective. For Carson to step down in the midst of Moonbirds meteoric rise to becoming one of the most expensive 10K NFT collections has raised many an eyebrow on NFT Twitter.
PROOF Collective COO Ryan Carson steps down suddenly
The surprising news comes barely a week after the Moonbirds collection sold out. Since then, the 10K project has been the talk of the NFT space, enjoying what could be the quickest rise of any PFP collection ever. To illustrate, the Moonbirds floor price cleared 20 ETH in just two days. By the same token, the project saw an all-time high floor price of 39.39 ETH according to CoinGecko.
For a project that has performed the way Moonbirds has since its mint, the exit of one of its core team members certainly stands out. As a result, reactions to the news have been largely critical of Ryan Carson. In particular, replies to tweets from both Carson and PROOF Collective Founder, Kevin Rose, have laid into Carson and questioned his motives.
What the NFT community has to say about Ryan Carson
While some people on Twitter have wished Carson well following the news, a significant Twitter contingent has been airing out some blunt critiques at the former COO. But first things first – who exactly is Ryan Carson?
According to his website, Ryan Carson is an entrepreneur that led three companies and one non-profit before his stint with Moonbirds and PROOF Collective. Most notably, Carson founded the company Treehouse, which provides online coding classes. Certainly, Carson’s credentials added credibility to the Moonbirds team pre-mint. However, as many people have now zeroed in on, Carson’s tenure with Treehouse was not all smooth sailing.
To explain, Treehouse was acquired by the private equity firm Xenon Partners back in December 2021. Significantly, this sale took place after Treehouse first laid off most of its employees. As a result, Carson himself faced a ton of criticism around his leadership of the company.
Indeed, given his history with Treehouse, and the optics of his exit from Moonbirds, some people are questioning Ryan Carson’s intentions. Basically suggesting that his plan was always to cash out on the project and move on to his next venture. For example, the above tweet shows that one user actually predicted that Carson would make this exact move days before it happened.
Whatever the truth of the situation is, Ryan Carson’s exit doesn’t seem to be affecting the Moonbirds too much. At the time of writing, the project’s floor price is down from its lofty highs, but still around 32 ETH.
What’s next for Moonbirds?
Regardless of the Ryan Carson news, Moonbirds doesn’t look to be slowing down just yet. There have still been plenty of sales in the hours following the announcement.
Moonbirds founder Kevin Rose also held a widely attended town hall on Twitter Spaces following the Ryan Carson news. But that’s not all the Space was for. In fact, Moonbirds had another monster announcement prepared for the occasion.
As the above tweet shows, Moonbirds officially announced that it has received $10 million in a funding round. Seven Seven Six, the venture capital firm of Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian, led the round. One can imagine that the timing of the announcement was at least partially intended to shift the narrative for Moonbirds off of the Ryan Carson departure.
All in all, it may well have served that purpose. To that end, Moonbirds holders and others celebrated the funding news. At the same time, others were questioning why Moonbirds needed to raise money so quickly. After all, the project is barely a week removed from securing over $70 million through its mint.
Another key point is that the Ryan Carson exit isn’t the first minor controversy Moonbirds has dealt with over the past week. In any case, it seems like Moonbirds is only at the beginning of its incredibly fascinating story.