NFT Roundtable | The AI Art Revolution
Welcome to the Weekly NFT Roundtable, where members of the Lucky Trader team weigh in on some of the most pressing questions, news, and events in the web3 space.
The commentary below is purely opinion —not financial advice!
P.S — We launched our first edition of the NFT Roundtable Live Show this week, now available on both YouTube and in audio form!
Yuga's Bitcoin Blast Off 🚀
Question 1: The Yuga Labs TwelveFold auction finished on Monday, bringing in $16.5M (735 BTC) on the 288-piece collection. The highest bid was 7.11 BTC (101 ETH), and the lowest sale was 2.25 BTC (32 ETH). What are your reactions to those numbers? Predictions on what the floor price on these are in one year?
Tyler: The prices were too high, but pretty much expected. We knew the whales would come out for this one, and they indeed did. To put the 32 ETH “floor” in perspective, it would make TwelveFold the 7th highest Art Blocks generative art project by floor price. And it would be the 15th ranked project in the entire PFP/Art space by floor. It all comes down to location, location, location - Yuga took advantage of the Bitcoin Ordinals hype, executed, and earned a pay day (but they don’t rake as much if this is minted on ETH).
As for the floor price in one year, it’s probably around the same as it is now and very illiquid. I doubt we see more than one sale per month after the initial post-mint dust settles.
Jason: I think it’s tough to say the prices were “too high” when the NFTs were sold in a fair auction format. The prices are exactly as the market decided they should be. Yuga Labs proved they have a wealthy and dedicated following. With a low-count collection, they’re always going to do well. I don’t see how this helps their other holders, but that’s a conversation for another day.
In a year, the upside is there. I don’t see the price dropping, as the people who bought these aren’t necessarily looking to flip, and as the Bitcoin NFT ecosystem grows (if it does), it’ll get easier to buy, sell, and trade NFTs. As new tools are developed, more money will start to flow in, and they could see a massive spike. Though, the most likely scenario is that they’ll stay right around the same price as they are today.
Ghost: Agree with Jason — the prices were what the market was willing to pay for them. This is why I think the people crying ‘cash grab’ are, to be frank, full of shit. Yuga has clearly built a brand and reputation strong enough that people want what they have to offer — and I think with the BTC inscription hype, it was a sharp move and a nice way to both play around with a different medium and style, as well as capitalize (16.5M is no joke).
Even more importantly, and I think this leads into the “how does this help other holders” — this money isn’t in $APE, locked up or anything else. So it adds to a nice war chest for Yuga to keep delivering on its other initiatives without having to drop more dilutive NFTs or do another land sale. It may not be as directly beneficial as an airdrop, but what’s good for the business is probably good for the holders if you believe their ability to reward will continue.
I think the floor price is an interesting question — and probably depends more on the evolution and acceptance of BTC NFTs and Ordinals more than the actual collection itself. If Ordinals succeed, these will likely continue to be in demand for the Yuga provenance. If Ordinals fade out, these might be illiquid, but the supply is low enough that they will probably still hold significant value as digital artifacts.
Logie: Would I have paid this much? Absolutely not. Do I think the people who paid it bought it for the art? Absolutely not. Do I think it could have gone a lot higher? Yes. Do I care to participate in a major debate about it? Not really.
Jason’s right - it was fair price discovery. Sorry my answer stinks.
Rumblings in the Amazon 👀
Question 2: Rumors are swirling around Amazon potentially entering the space with an NFT marketplace of their own, which will reportedly focus on gaming and digital ownership of physical goods. What would an Amazon entrance mean for the space, and what are your thoughts on those potential specific focuses?
*Note — these rumors are still unconfirmed by Amazon, and should be treated as just speculation for now
Tyler: It’s hard to over-state the importance of Amazon entering NFTs. It’s the number 1 household company name. Amazon Prime has over 200M subscribers. That’s a huge, active user base. And apparently, Americans trust Amazon more than every other company or institution in America apart from the U.S. military. This will be huge for my bags (over time) - a bigger user pool means bigger fish. And they’re going to want my jpegs.
Regarding specific focus areas, I’d say infrastructure support for token-gated product offerings and token-gated subscription models are likely top of list. Shopify just partnered with thirdweb to add Web3 features like tokengated commerce, NFT loyalty programs, digital collectible sales, and more to Shopify storefronts.
I’m not an e-commerce expert but this seems to be one of the most rapidly growing sectors for NFTs (and the most likely path to mass adoption).
Jason: Amazon entering the NFT space this fast is massive for global public appeal. It legitimizes NFTs as a technology that all other companies can’t ignore. And it fast-tracks legal and political regulation and acceptance.
As Tyler mentioned, trust is important, too. Everyone trusts Amazon. In a space where trust is limited and rug pulls are frequent, involving massive, trustworthy companies like Amazon is a big deal.
All that said, Amazon joining the NFT space is inevitable. Whether it happens sooner or later, it will happen. NFT technology will infiltrate every aspect of the consumer experience and beyond.
Ghost: Imagine the cope from all the NFT-hating normies when they are buying our bags via Amazon Prime! In all seriousness, Amazon potentially entering the space is awesome to see — and another inflection point that the tech is here to stay, regardless of what normie sentiment and doom articles from media might make normies think.
I think these rumored focuses on gaming and ownership of physical goods are super interesting — and while the knee-jerk reaction from some has been to compare this to a Coinbase NFT marketplace launch, having those specific use cases as potential priorities signals to me that they are looking at things a bit differently. This is a good thing — and those are two areas that probably have the most potential to bring the tech mainstream, rather than the PFPs which have become the face of NFTs.
Logie: I think we will all be disillusioned by what Amazon's entry into the NFT space will really look like. While I’m in the camp that strongly believes these rumors will lead to nothing, in the next month at the very least, I am shocked that many suspect an Amazon Marketplace will just be an OpenSea or Blur clone, and we'll just be trading our bags there along with Amazon’s millions of other customers.
It’s not going to be like that. Not a chance.
Amazon is obligated to act on behalf of shareholders, which means profits, margins, and money on the brain. Would they really join a race to the bottom, platform-fee-free game alongside OpenSea and Blur? I really doubt it. I’d suspect Shopify’s efforts (as outlined by Tyler) are closer to the Amazon web3 integration we will eventually see, enabling subscriptions, token-gating, and its world-class logistical network to flex. I really don’t think Amazon is going full web3.
An AI Art Revolution 🤖 🎨
Question 3: Notable AI artist Claire Silver announced this week that her next collection will premiere at The Louvre, and that she has signed with WME Talent Agency. What does a move like this mean for the AI Art sector, as well as the public perception of AI-generated/assisted art?
Tyler: This is another massively bullish headline for digital art and NFTs overall. Claire Silver is going to be exhibiting an NFT in The Louvre. It’s a f***ing huge deal. I don’t think it matters what type of digital art it is (i.e. AI art vs generative); the whole space will benefit.
I really liked Mando’s tweet on this matter “AI art at the Louvre is a Trojan horse. NFTs silently being accepted as the medium of the future.” NFTs have officially arrived. And just wait til the institutions see all of the cool things they can do with digital art that is just not possible with physical. The Digital Art Renaissance is beginning to play out before our eyes.
Jason: This is well-deserved for Claire Silver, one of the greatest artists in the NFT space. Museum adoption of AI art (and other forms of digital art) is important, but it has been happening for quite some time. See the Centre Pompidou displaying CryptoPunks and Autoglyphs. All of these museums want to be at the forefront of the next artistic revolution, and it’s rather clear at this point that AI art is part of that revolution.
What’s more interesting to me is when these museums start using interactive digital experiences to create personalized, 3D works of art. Art will move beyond physical space. Museums, much like movie theaters now, are going to have to create a viewing experience that can’t be replicated at home with the newest Meta Quest.
Anyway, congrats to Silver and to all the artists currently participating in the NFT and digital art space. And thank you to the Louvre for recognizing the incredible talents of all these people.
Ghost: I think this is one of those inflection points where you look back and realize the paradigm is about to shift. Normies are so fearful of new technology, which includes both AI art and NFTs. So Claire is really fighting against the mainstream tide, and yet here she is in The Louvre. AI art has gone through a renaissance this year, and moments like these are ones that change entire narratives and help others see a different perspective on things. At one point, artists were probably mad at people that use Photoshop too! I see AI art becoming its own genre of accepted acclaimed art, and definitely think Claire is leading the way with her amazing collections and now mainstream work.
Logie: I was at the Louvre last year, fighting for a picture of the Mona Lisa. It’s pretty incredible. What’s more incredible is the centuries and decades of history that are wrapped up in one building. I think the narrative that surrounds traditional art (particularly for those outside of it, like myself) is that it is stuffy, elitist, and unwelcoming. I’d say the Louvre and other museums around the world welcoming digital art, particularly art created on the blockchain, in what feels like such a quick manner is a major win for the space and a trend that has been quietly growing in the last few weeks and months.
Punks Get Blurry 😵💫
Question 4: Punks are now on Blur, with Wrapped Punks seeing over 2,500 ETH in volume over the last week and the floor rising over 10%. Is this move good or bad for the Punks price long-term, and how big of a deal is this for the space?
Tyler: I am not sure there is any long-term impact on the Punks price, but definitely short-term. We have already seen a sharp uptick (from 62 to 67 ETH in just 4 days), and new whales playing in the Punks market (Franklin has 10 now). The Blur trading experience is better than the traditional Larva Labs site (no ETH lock-up, no gas fees on every transaction, collection bid now available), and there’s much more liquidity (over 17k ETH in bids when I checked today).
The problem is, it’s only the wrapped punks (like 630 total). For this to really have a bigger impact we would need to see the entire Punks collection on Blur. But it’s been a fun narrative, and I do think we’ll end up seeing some surprising price action over the coming weeks.
Jason: Blur is irrelevant to CryptoPunks’ long-term price. The collection will be traded on every new marketplace and likely on every semi-successful blockchain. Wrapped Solana Punks, Wrapped Bitcoin Punks, Wrapped Blur Punks — it doesn’t matter. It’s nice to see people talking about Punks again, but this is a non-event, IMO.
Ghost: Short-term, we’ll definitely see more trading volume — and have already seen upticks in floor price and secondary action. Long-term, it probably doesn’t matter that much. Though I do think we see a bump in unique holders, as OG punks with big bags have more readily available bids to sell into. I think there will also be some new converts — someone like Franklin or another Ape whale might discover that they vibe with Punks more now that they can trade them more freely.
Logie: I wonder if Jason cares about the manifestation of his Punk as a Wrapped Solana Punk. Probably not.
Anyway, I’m sorry to disappoint, but I also think this is a non-event. I don’t expect enough users to undertake the technical challenges or risk required to wrap their CryptoPunks just for the purpose of trading them when Punk trading on Larva Labs works perfectly fine and comes with considerably less risk of financial ruin.
If the number of Wrapped Punks increases dramatically as a result of this news, then you can come ask me again.
Meet the Roundtable:
Ghost: Ghost is an NFT analyst at Lucky Trader. He has been in crypto since 2017, and entered the NFT space via NBA Top Shot in January of 2021 before minting Bored Apes and degenning into the broader market.
Tyler: Tyler is a high-volume NFT trader, having reached the top 100 in NFT sales revenue using NFTBank’s rankings, a Pengu maxi (in Luca we trust), and a writer for Lucky Trader. Tyler’s writing spans market analysis, news breakdowns, project ecosystem overviews, and web3 opinion pieces.
Logie: Logan is a content lead at Lucky Trader and is best known for selling every good NFT far too early. He also maintains an irrational exuberance for clay-based NFTs.
Jason: Jason is an NFT lead at Lucky Trader. He has been involved in the NFT space since CryptoKitties in late 2017, and, like most, he lost a lot of money on Top Shot in early 2021. But nevertheless, he persists (with his Series 1 Legendary From The Top LeBron James Block).