NFT Weekly Preview | Boring Blue Chips and Bullish Joiners

NFT Weekly Preview | Boring Blue Chips and Bullish Joiners

It was a week of major headlines in the NFT and Crypto space, which helped distract us from the slow bleed-out in this ongoing bear market. Here is a quick sample of some of the major headlines from last week:

  • Meta announces plans for Coinbase and Dapper integration, and Instagram rolls out NFT integration
  • Blackrock details plans for institutional crypto investing 
  • Brevan Howard spins up new $1B crypto hedge fund
  • Starbucks is set to release its web3-based rewards program (with NFTs)
  • Tiffany's sells out 250 luxury CryptoPunk pendants in their NFT debut

The long-term backdrop for NFTs and web3 is as bullish as ever. But that is not translating well to the current value, as the week closed with ~86K ETH traded across markets, up slightly from the week before but still the second lowest total of the year. Only six of the top 30 NFT projects by floor price were in the green on the weekly view, with most down 5-15 percent. The monthly view looks even worse right now, as just five of the top 30 are in green and most are down 20-40 percent.

A partial reason for this downturn could very well be an increased focus on the ETH trade ahead of the merge expected next month. More and more "how to trade the merge" threads are popping up, and general sentiment seems to be that holding as much ETH as possible into the major event is a strong strategy. That likely translates to pain for the NFT market, with more to come in the near future. Now attention shifts to the CPI numbers released tomorrow, which will likely dictate short-term movements in the market pending how those inflation numbers come in. Most are expecting lower numbers than last month, which should be bullish for equities and crypto, but it's certainly not a lock and may have already been priced in. 

But crypto markets aside, it's been a relatively boring summer for the top NFT projects. You could count on one hand the number of major announcements since NFT NYC, and it shows in the open interest out there right now. There does not appear to be much going on in the major sets, and thus no reason to enter those markets. Thus we see chop and slow decline, which has been the theme of the entire mid-tier PFP market (CloneX, Doodles, Azuki). Moonbirds and Kevin Rose tried to buck that trend last week with a major announcement, but it may have backfired.

NFT Weekly Market Analysis

XCOPY started the week off by making all of his art CC0, making it open for the public to use, copy and make derivatives of with basically no limits. KRO and the Moonbirds team seemed to want to capitalize on that headline by making their own, with the groundbreaking announcement that they would be switching the Moonbirds project to CC0. This caused quite the uproar, with some collectors calling the move a bait and switch, and several voting with their feet/wallet by exiting the project. The floor has fallen 20% since the news and general sentiment regarding the top-5 PFP project nearing all-time lows. The vibe most have gotten from Kevin Rose has been "trust me, we did this for a reason and there are big things coming", but that trust is starting to erode.

The other CC0-related headline of the week is from the cult meme project CryptoDickButts, which soared 70% on the week to a 3.5 ETH floor as the primary winner of the week. This crypto-native project which caught widespread acclaim in the punks discord last year raced up the charts and traded over 1200 ETH on the week (+500% compared to the prior week) on its big run. It is certainly the meme in the spotlight right now, and now the question becomes whether will it be able to keep this fickle market's attention?

The rest of the PFP market did not fare well on the week, with Punks chopping on the week at 74 ETH floor even with the NFTiff drop selling out. BAYC held at 84 ETH, down one percent on the week, and it was a similar story for MAYC (16.55 ETH, -1%) and Otherdeeds (2.1 ETH, -2%). The mid-tiers are all stuck in the 8-9 ETH range now, and it's currently hard to see the catalyst that will push them back into double digits.

There were several winners on the week to note though, led by Rare Apepe's, which hit 0.7 ETH this morning, up over 10x from last Monday and capturing the 7th spot on the weekly mover's board. Just above them is the Memeland Potatoz, which sits at 1.4 ETH this morning up 15 percent on the week, (although down from recent highs near 1.69 ETH) after their announcement of staking to come this week. Ledger Genesis jumped 28 percent on the week to 0.6 ETH floor after news broke that their marketplace would be coming soon and their first mint would likely be the Brick project. Then Bored & Dangerous from the Jenkins the Valet ecosystem pumped 33 percent on the week to 0.52 ETH, as the burn decision approaches and hype around Azurbala builds.

The art market quietly had a strong week as well, led by the GODA Mint pass up 15 percent to a 10 ETH floor as their genesis project Nina's Super Cool World crossed the 1 ETH barrier and had a major announcement of a collab with Michael Jordan and Jumpman for a limited number of their NFTs. Squiggles led a struggling Art Blocks market, up 30 percent to a 10.69 ETH floor. And Claire Silver did an AI-project drop on Mirage Curated which reached a 1.2 ETH floor from 0.15 ETH mint.

So there actually were several opportunities for winning trades this past week in the low cap sector, for new projects, and in the art market, even in the depths of this ongoing bear market. This bodes well for new projects dropping this week, some of which are already off to a fast start.

Here are the projects in focus for this week:

  • 8liens
  • Webaverse Genesis Pass
  • Art Blocks Curated: Fake It Til You Make It
  • Other Events to Watch

Let's explore each one.

8liens

The latest free mint to catch a storm is 8liens, which has already minted half its supply of 10k and holds a 0.22 ETH price ahead of the rest of its free mint. This project from a team of crypto and NFT OGs has been a year in the making and has quite the history, including a "fight" months ago with the Treasure DAO team which led to their separation (8liens was initially planning to launch in the Treasure DAO ecosystem). The team kept with the free mint ethos of Treasure DAO though, and that decision has been very well received by this market.

This CC0 alien project inspired by CryptoPunks is simply an art project, with no planned utility or roadmap. There are five different species of aliens, including Ethereals, 8liens, Tetrabots, Xenomorphs, Tritons, and then a few 1/1 8liens from guest artists which will be "the grails of the collection". The 1/1 possibilities are definitely contributing to the surge in price, especially driven by top artists like Grant Yun tweeting about this set.

The whitelist mint will continue today, and once this set approaches full mint out, expect some volatility and potential upwards trajectory this week, especially with a few new drops coming out.

 

Webaverse Genesis Pass

The metaverse sector has a new joiner this week was Webaverse throws its hat in the MMO (massive multiplayer online) ring. This set of 20,000 passes will grant collectors access to The Upstreet, the open-sourced metaverse which has parcels of land for claim each with unique lore and artifacts. There is also potential for future airdrops as utility, touted as "the secret projects" on the team's website

This project has been a recent rocket, moving from a 0.2 ETH mint to a 0.7 ETH floor with 60 percent of the supply out (12,000 NFTs). Typically a drop of this size, in this bear market, would spell disaster, but clearly, there is interest in this project. It has already traded 2500 ETH since it was first released on Saturday, putting it squarely in the top three movers. 

It does appear their Twitter handle has been spammed and taken down, and they have a new one up here - but tread carefully and avoid links that haven't been verified by multiple third parties.

The remaining supply will be released in a capped auction, which is an English-sale auction where the top 8,000 bidders will win. If the floor reaches 2 ETH, the auction automatically ends and everyone will mint at that price. This is certainly an aggressive auction style, and one that went terribly for Doodles Genesis Box minters (minted at 0.5 and sits at 0.25 ETH currently), but perhaps Webaverse will buck the trend. So be careful out there, but definitely pay attention to this top mover here across the next 24 hours.

Art Blocks Curated: Fake It Til You Make It

This week's curated drop has been as controversial as they come, with the Art Blocks discord sentiment completely torn between "how did this project make it to curated status" and "this is amazing, innovative and I can't wait to mint". A few reasons for the backlash were around the style (word-based), the supply (higher than the recent average at 700 mints) and previous exhibitions of this project (or a similar one), all of which will make this the most exciting dutch auction to watch in a while.

For a quick preview from the project page, the theme is all about bubble language from Instagram and how fake they can be. Each output contains a phrase with a bright pastel or rainbow backdrop, all positive and seemingly inspirational or upbeat. But there is a deeper meaning to this project, and this last paragraph from the project description sums it up well: "Online, these media objects survive on likes, comments, and shares. What do I believe? becomes What do I want to appear to believe? Fake it till you make it! Maybe your dream life lives here: In a digital, fantasy world where the algorithm plays god and loving yourself feels like looking into the light of your screen."

Most are expecting this drop to reach the lowest mint price of recent Curated drops, with many expecting it below 1 ETH. This is compounded by the recent struggles of new mints on secondary (almost all under mint price now) and just a general lack of volume in Art Blocks right now across the board. The controversy and ire this has drawn may be to its benefit though, as there are already a set of fired-up collectors who want these pieces. If this one goes below one and nears min price (0.14 ETH), it likely becomes a slam dunk. But if it mints out too high (above 1), be ready for pain. Either way, this will certainly be the primary art drop of the week to watch on Wednesday.

Other Events to Watch

A few more rapid-fire events to watch this week that will likely make a splash in the market:

  • Potatoz staking to start this week (time TBD), where each staked Potatoz will automatically evolve to the next state, likely receive a new trait (with a rare lotto), and begin accumulating raffle tickets for the first prize of 2 MVP NFTs and 10 Potatoz (~75-80 ETH value)
  • Ledger is partnering with Brick for its first mint, leveraging a PREMINT raffle for a majority of the supply
  • Coinbase launches its next project, Historical Figures 

Conclusion

Overall the bear market rages on with a slow bleed up top, but there are still ample opportunities to make great trades in the right spots. The key is to stay up to date, watch the trends and act fast on news and announcements. With only a minimal set of new projects launching this week, expect continued attention on the secondary market for projects which are able to capture and maintain that critical attention factor. Webaverse and 8liens will likely lead trading in the early part of the week, with Potatoz staking being a big potential market mover, and a big wild card in the Art Blocks Curated drop this week pending mint out price.

As always, be careful out there, be safe when minting, and keep up to date with all the breaking news and announcements with Lucky Trader newsfeed

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