NFT Weekly Preview | NFT Bulls Are Back

NFT Weekly Preview | NFT Bulls Are Back

It was a mixed week of results in the NFT market but you would not know if from the general market sentiment which seems to be trending in just one direction - up only.

Folks are turning bullish and drawing similarities to the summer of 2021, which was dominated by CryptoPunks and Art Blocks along with the explosion of a new project in the Bored Ape Yacht Club. Fast forward to July 2022 and history sure seems to be rhyming. Top headlines in the NFT market from this past week:

  • CryptoPunks surge 12% to 85 ETH floor on the back of two 2,500+ ETH sales for ape punks
  • Art Blocks sells out a Curated dutch auction at the top price of 3 ETH (and sees success on secondary)
  • Yuga Labs pulls off an incredibly bullish demo event for The Otherside on Saturday, leaving most BAYC holders as confident as ever in their founders

Are we just going to run back to last summer? That scenario is definitely in play and is beginning to show real signs of coming to fruition.

The crypto market is finally pulling its weight and turning bullish all of a sudden (at least in the short term). ETH is leading the way, up a whopping 27 percent on the week at $1,480 at the time of writing, with BTC up as well but lagging considerably up just 6.5 percent on the week to $22.2K. This puts the BTC:ETH ratio at ~15:1, down from over 19:1 at its peak. There is growing chatter around the question of if we have seen the bottom, and more and more pundits are saying that the worst may be behind us. Of course, there are still plenty of bears and many are warning that this is a relief rally/scam pump and true capitulation is still to come.

And then there's this tweet making the rounds. It seems that new address action is overwhelmingly dominated by NFT activity vs DeFi, for months now. There are several potential reasons for this, but at a high level, it is providing a foundation for speculation that NFT activity will lead the next wave of activity on the Ethereum blockchain (versus Defi in the prior cycle). 

This is all against a shaky macro environment, with recession fears still fully in play (though hasn't the recession already started?), real concerns in Europe as the Euro plummets and oil starting to creep back up after a big drop. But the consensus seems to be that July CPI will come in lower than June, that inflation has perhaps peaked in the near term, and we may be in for some bullish macro news coming in the next few weeks.

So now the most pressing question in NFTs becomes the age-old one - what happens to NFTs with an ETH rally?

Let's look at the weekly board as we ponder this question. 

NFT Weekly Market Action Recap

project rankings.webp

Of the top ten projects in weekly volume, only one is in the green on the week - CryptoPunks. The rest are showing red, mostly down in the 5-10% range on the week. If we take a larger sample, just six of the top 25 projects by ETH floor price are in the green on the 7-day view (though 24 of 25 are green on the 30-day still). This is not a huge shock, especially with ETH up 27 percent on the week. A portion of the market always gets jittery when ETH makes violent moves up or down, and listings will likely continue to be up until ETH stabilizes a bit.

Punks had a fantastic week, perhaps an all-time week, led by Punk #4464 selling for 2,500 ETH on July 12 followed shortly by Punk #4156 selling for 2,690 ETH just three days later on July 15. There were the 4th and 5th highest sales of all time in ETH terms, and have clearly led to growing confidence in the Punk market. This translated nicely to floor price action, up 12% on the week to 85 ETH and anecdotally a very "thin" board - there are not many nice punks sub-100 ETH anymore.

So will Punks re-flip BAYC? The floors are getting closer, as BAYC fell to 94 ETH this morning making the spread just 9 ETH (though there are only 2 apes below 98). This is on the back of an overwhelmingly positive The Otherside demo on Saturday, which has led to the growing sentiment that Yuga might actually pull off this game/metaverse at scale. The question remains how the success of The Otherside translates to Yuga NFT prices, reinforced today with BAYC/MAYC/Otherdeeds all down on the week even with the great demo.

Generative art certainly made a splash this week as well. The GODA Mint Pass launched their first project from contemporary artist Nina Chanel, which traded over 2k ETH since Wednesday's mid though the floor is down 20 percent from the mint price at 0.39 ETH. Then the latest hyped project Factura took the market by storm yesterday, doing over 2,500 ETH volume in the past two days as the floor ripped to 3.7 ETH (from a 0.15 ETH mint). Art Blocks did over $6M volume on the week across collections, and the latest Curated drop Running Moon did a solid 1,500 ETH volume after minting out at the top of the dutch auction at 3 ETH, though the floor is now slightly below mint at 2.75 ETH.

The rest of the PFP market has been quiet and chopping, with Moonbirds, Azuki, Clones, and Doodles each down 4-8 percent on the week on low volume. Moonbirds will be in the spotlight this week though, ahead of the silver nest unlocking on July 21 along with the Oddities reveal, which should be a large liquidity event. If there is a new airdrop or announcement of one, that could send the very thin Moonbirds floor into the stratosphere.

New mints have struggled as well, as the market feels tired of the free mint meta and hype cycles seem as short as ever. This presents a tough backdrop for new founders to launch in, and the schedule shows that, with a very light week of new drops. Here are the events to watch this week of July 18:

  • Art Blocks Playground and Factory Drops
  • Moonbirds Silver Nest and Oddities Reveal 
  • Hyped New Projects

Let's break down each group.

Art Blocks Playground and Factory Drops

Art Blocks is gaining momentum each week, and last week's Curated drop Running Moon reinforced that these mints can be very profitable if traded correctly. This is great news for the three artists dropping projects this week, as liquidity will be as high as it's been in months - though this is not necessarily good for minters/collectors. 

There is no curated drop this week, and in fact, there is not one even on the schedule right now. This puts today's Playground drop "Latent Spirits" in the spotlight, as Curated artist Robert Hodgin returns for his second project. 

Described by the artist as "Rorschach meeds Pareidolia...Spirit Animal meets Mood Ring", this set of 400 generative art NFTs appear to be a new age, alien Rorschach images. The art takes 300 seconds to render as the images develop, but is worth the wait. This could be the rare Playground project which exceeds the artist's Curated floor, as "Ancient Courses of Fictional Rivers" holds just a 0.56 ETH floor for the set of 1,000. With recent hype, and the dutch auction starting at 2 ETH, it seems likely that Latent Spirits will mint out above that 0.56 ETH floor (my prediction is 0.75-1 ETH range) and trade above Ancient Courses at least for the near term.

There are two Factory projects dropping later this week as well, with Squares dropping on Wednesday and Metropixeland on Friday. The Factory market has gotten the lion's share of the Art Blocks attention in the past few weeks, with collectors focusing on lower supply Factory sets with nice aesthetics that may have been overlooked during the bear. The supplies of these new projects will make them attractive, as Squares has just 196 NFTs (though a relatively high bottom price of 0.2 ETH starting at 1 ETH in the auction) and Metropixeland has 450 and a 0.1 final resting price.

As always, the mint price is very important in determining if Art Blocks mints will be good trades or not, so everyone needs to have a flexible approach heading into the mints. Identify a price point that feels correct for the project, mint at that price if the auction makes it there and if not, be ok with sitting out. There will be more drops next week. 

But in a week of fairly limited new drops on the schedule, expect all three of these Art Blocks mints to be big events for the standard Art Blocks collector base as well as the growing number of alpha groups getting back into this market.

Moonbirds Silver Nests and Oddities Reveal

It's Monday morning and Kevin Rose is up early and tweeting, and it's a huge week indeed and one of the most pivotal in the early history of the Moonbirds project.

The second nest, Silver, will be unlocked on July 21st and there is much anticipation around what the reward will be. The bronze nest was famously getting stickers, but then Oddities were given in a surprise airdrop, and at 4 ETH value at the time of drop, a very profitable one for Moonbird owners. It set a high bar to surpass, and now if there's no airdrop or all least announcement, ideally of Ravens, it will likely be viewed as a disappointment and may impact the market. But with 67 listed Moonbirds and 9,704 total nest birds, if any strong buy pressure comes the market could violently move up and fast. 

The tricky aspect of a new airdrop though is that it would likely overshadow the Oddities reveal happening this week. Oddities have held up incredibly well over their 60-day pre-reveal window, barely dropping below 3 ETH and holding a 3.4 ETH floor this morning. There is some concern in the market for the ongoing floor of this project post-reveal, as Gremplin's genesis project Cryptoadz holds just a 2.5 ETH floor and it is unclear why the Oddities (a Moonbirds side project from Gremplin) would hold a higher floor. But if perks in the Proof ecosystem are announced, that would likely be enough to keep the floor elevated. 

In a week without much-expected action or news for the midtier PFPs, Moonbirds will certainly be in the spotlight. They have cemented themselves as the top PFP set below Punks/Apes over the past few months, but this week will be a huge test if they will be able to keep that spot or potentially be relegated to the Doodles/Azuki/CloneX tier. But to date, it has not been smart to bet against Kevin Rose in NFTs and I don't expect this week to be any different.

Hyped New Projects

There are a few new projects dropping this week with planned launch dates that have large Twitter followings.

  • Metakami -July 19 10:00 a.m. ET
  • Citizens of Tajigen - July 22 noon ET
  • Mystics - July 23 11:00 a.m. ET

Metakami is the latest anime/manga style project, led by a female team and looking to build out a "choose your own adventure" style project. The project of 5,555 anime avatars will have a WL mint at 0.05 ETH and a public sale at 0.07 ETH. With 113K followers on Twitter, this one will be likely to sell out, and based on the recent success of another anime project in Megami (3x from mint), this only is likely to gain strong attention.

Citizens of Tajigen is a collection of 7,777 PFPs looking to connect a "global underground network of thinkers, builders, and changemakers" and provide a platform for builders via a community incubator with grants. The story-driven project has a "manifesto" vs roadmap, a tactic we have seen before with mixed results. At a 0.08 ETH mint, the price is on the higher side but is still likely to sell out with its 130k Twitter followers, especially in this light week of drops.

Mystics is a "magical 5k CC0 animation project" with similar vibes to invisible friends with its animated style PFPs. The set of 5,000 will have a whitelist sale at 0.059 ETH and a PREMINT raffle at 0.069, and with 137K Twitter followers and strong art (even if it is very similar to some prior projects), this may be the most hyped PFP drop of the week. From the project website, there will be three main projects starting with the Mystics, followed by the web3 Skate Crew, and then the Arcade, with those next two sets coming in Q3 and Q4 2022 respectively. So Mystics gets an extra bump as a "genesis" project. At this low mint price, it's pretty much a no-brainer mint and will likely see strong secondary action this week.

Conclusion

Overall volume is on a nice but slow march up, coming in at around ~120k ETH on the past week and increasing for the 4th week in a row. These are still the lowest weekly prints since last November, but at least they are trending up. 

The sentiment is marching upward along with volume, though this week will present a new test if these recent NFT price surges can hold up as ETH continues to run. 

The market focus remains on Punks, Yuga, and Art Blocks, and expect that trend to continue this week. The wildcard x-factor is Moonbirds, which could dominate attention with the right announcement or airdrop this week.

New mints will likely continue to struggle, but there will be some winners, and the cheap entry, and hyped new projects remain in play as some of the best risk/reward spots.

Without many big new drops, this will be a good week to enjoy Summer, continue to touch grass or sand, and stay up to date on all of the latest breaking news with the Lucky Trader newsfeed. Be careful out there and happy minting!

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