NFT Roundtable | The Royalty Rumble Resumes
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!
OpenSea's Rough Waters 🌊
Question 1: OpenSea made some major changes on Friday, dropping their fee to 0% for a limited time, applying a 0.5% minimum creator earnings, and updating their operator filter to unblock other marketplaces. The moves come in response to Blur’s hostile takeover of the NFT volume charts, with its recent token drop and continued $BLUR farming leading to a serious shift in market share. What are your thoughts on the move, and do you think these changes make a difference?
Tyler: Too little, too late for OpenSea. It came across like a desperate hail mary attempt to keep up with Blur, and in doing so, they seemingly pissed off dozens of artists and founders who saw their royalties instantly reduced. I am happy that OpenSea is challenging Blur because it will ultimately be good for NFT traders, but this was not their best move IMO. And while this move has seemingly stopped the bleeding in their daily users and daily sales, it has not helped daily volume or market share much at all. They are losing the chess match with Blur pretty badly right now. It feels like Blur is the new King and OpenSea has officially lost its crown.
Logie: I can respect OpenSea feeling it “needed to act” to stop the bleeding of volume towards Blur, but in my view…it is far too late. Blur has all the things active NFT traders wanted….and now it is literally paying to trade on Blur instead of OpenSea. Considering Blur is already zero fee, OpenSea’s response is unlikely to make any dent or shakeup for the foreseeable future. It sounds dramatic, but OpenSea might be second-best forever…without a token.
Jason: Calm down, OpenSea is fine. As Logan mentioned, Blur is literally paying people to trade on its platform. Eventually, that stops. OpenSea has half a billion dollars in investments and a major first-mover advantage. It’s fun to watch innovation happen so fast, and this is why web3 is long-term beneficial to marketplace participants, but when the music stops, the platform with the most money and resources typically wins, and that’s OS.
Ghost: I thought OpenSea’s moves this week came across as reactive and desperate — and meanwhile, Blur has put on a masterclass of how to disrupt an incumbent. Many already felt Blur was the superior marketplace from a useability standpoint even prior to the drop — and it feels like a large section of the NFT community has now rallied behind them as the scrappy underdog beating down a Goliath. While I don’t think OS is completely dead in the water, I do think they are in serious trouble — especially if Blur has innovative approaches on a longer timeframe. And looking at their Idea Map and how quickly they’ve been able to ship new products and features, I wouldn’t bet against them.
Jack Attack 📈
Question 2: Opepens is the latest Jack Butcher project to print generational wealth, with a tweet from the creator teasing a potential PFP sending the floor price to nearly 1 ETH. If you had to pick one right now, choose your NFT — Checks or Opepens? Is Jack solidifying himself in the top tier of creators in the space?
Tyler: Checks for sure, but I hold both. Jack is our new NFT Jesus. Anything he touches, or tweets, turns to gold. I am not fading that. His popularity aside, I genuinely think Checks is a really cool performance art project, and he has demonstrated that he will continue to manage it - which was the biggest concern in the market. We will see bigger ATH’s in the future for Checks; I’m betting on that.
Logie: Wouldn’t you rather Jack Butcher’s “Duplicate” from way back when? Pump my bags, too? I think I’d rather own Checks, given the optionality and intrigue surrounding the collection and its burn mechanisms. I don’t need another PFP.
Jason: Who’s Jack Butcher? There’s no way I missed out on generational wealth… twice. Anyway, *puts head back in the sand*
Ghost: Jack has mastered the balance of innovation and capturing attention — and his ecosystem is already marching up the historical NFT volume leaderboard. Of the two projects, I am more bullish on Checks — I think the meme and conversation around the artwork have transcended into NFT canon at this point. But I do think Opepens will tie into Checks in some format — which could have super interesting implications for both projects. When everyone argues over Art vs. PFPs, Jack is saying, “Why not both?”
PROOF of Conference Goes Poof 📉
Question 3: PROOF made the polarizing decision to cancel its PROOF of Conference this week, creating a wave of negative sentiment and significant floor drops for both PROOF passes and Moonbirds. Thoughts on the decision, and the long-term future value of the collections?
Tyler: I hated the decision. This seems like the worst possible outcome to me. Why not just downsize the event? Host it at a bar! Or Kevin’s new house! The majority of those going to the PROOF conference were going there to network. Not for all the speakers, not for all the fanfare - they want to network. NFT holders want to connect with their fellow community members. IRL events are awesome and are being under-utilized in general in the NFT space right now.
Even a small event, done well, would have led to positive vibes reverberating through the PROOF discord and possibly onto NFT Twitter. Instead, they got massive FUD and market sentiment is at all-time-lows for PROOF and Moonbirds. Just a terrible outcome for everyone.
Logie: Lolz. That was my initial reaction. Instead of merely dropping the price of admission from a staggering 1.5 ETH…or perhaps forging on with a smaller, more intimate group of individuals who REALLY WANTED to be there…the entire conference collapsed. I don’t have the details on the business, and I’m sure it was probably the wisest move for PROOF’s financial situation, but the short-term benefit may have created a long-term negative impact with the continued bleed of negative sentiment surrounding a once prestigious brand.
Given the connections of the team, I still do expect good things from PROOF overall - and I’d be interested in a Moonbird if the price was right. I don’t think that price is now.
Jason: This move feels like the Moonbirds collection has felt for awhile… disappointing. If Moonbirds has taught me anything, it’s that running an NFT project with ample hype isn’t as easy as Bored Ape Yacht Club and Yuga Labs make it seem. I’d be selling here, and I definitely won’t be buying without a few successful notches in the ol’ Kevin Rose belt.
Ghost: I wasn’t as upset about the decision as others, but what really rubbed me the wrong way was Kevin Rose’s reply-guy session on Twitter. Putting on a conference with weak attendance has reputational risk on its own (not to mention the financial undertaking of putting one on), so from a bottom-line perspective canceling was probably a great move. But in a time where the PROOF ecosystem is struggling with negative sentiment, it’s yet another disappointing moment that had many holders (including myself) exiting the ecosystem.
With Rose set to make some major roadmap announcements in early March, the next moves feel like a make-or-break moment for PROOF.
Ordinals On Our Mind 🔮
Question 4: The BTC Ordinal craze has been front and center in the NFT space over the last month, and we’ve now seen trades of Fidenzas, CryptoPunks, and other high-value assets for Ordinal Punks. We’ve also seen more ETH collections experiment with inscribing NFTs onto the BTC chain. Are Ordinals just a waning fad, or the start of a new NFT revolution?
Tyler: Fad. The chatter and hype has already died down. Outside Ordinal Punks, when’s the last time you even heard about a Bitcoin NFT? Has been well over a week for me. NFTs don’t belong on Bitcoin, it’s just that simple to me. Some will come and go, some will speculate - but it won’t get broad market adoption.
Logie: I’ll disagree on the fad front - I actually think Ordinals are here to stay. I do not think that many of the collections or inscriptions being rushed out now will automatically be the most valuable down the road, but people will continue to innovate with Ordinals and it’s likely that some lonely Satoshi will be worth many many times that in the distant future. Btw, learn more about Ordinals in our guide to Bitcoin NFTs.
Jason: If I were forced to guess – and that’s exactly what this is, a guess – I’d say Ordinal Punks is a fad. Bitcoin NFTs are a fad. But no one really knows. It’s all silly until it’s not. I’m personally not interested, but that doesn’t mean a community of collectors won’t create a big market for these specific pixels, the same way they did for the other collections of pixels.
Ghost: I think Ordinals/Inscriptions are more than just a fad, though I am skeptical that the currently valued collections and gold rush for any low-level inscriptions will be the long-term winners. But to be honest, who the heck knows? A few years ago, the majority of crypto people probably thought NFTs on Ethereum were extremely stupid and just a fad. If a normie knows any one crypto, it is Bitcoin — so I think it’d be naive to write off NFTs on the chain as a whole.
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).