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NFT Weekly Preview | NFT NYC, Art Blocks, and Looney Tunes

Tyler WarnerTyler Warner
NFT Weekly Preview | NFT NYC, Art Blocks, and Looney Tunes

The crypto bear market may be raging on but it was a cautiously bullish week for NFTs. After last Monday's "apocalypse" where NFT floors fell 20-30 percent in hours, it has been a steady rebound as the market adjusts to cheaper ETH prices.

In fact, it looks like the top-end sets may have "decoupled" from ETH, as the two have traded in line for the past few months but NFTs appear to have broken out in the past week (albeit a small sample size). It is green across the board and most sets are up 30-40 percent from last week's bottom.

Leading the way we have somewhat of a surprise - Punks are back. After slowly falling to the mid-40 ETH range, punks surged over the weekend back to a 66 ETH floor on over 10k ETH volume. Some are calling it insider trading front-running yesterday's Yuga announcement of appointing Noah Davis as the CryptoPunks lead for the Yuga ecosystem, while others point to simple flight to value and FOMO following. Either way, it was a great weekend for the punks and they have some real momentum behind them, as people are already calling for the re-flippening with apes.

That might be difficult though, as BAYC had a huge rebound week as well, running up from the 70 ETH bottom back to 92 ETH. BAYC/MAYC/Deeds combined for over 25k ETH in the past week, as their floors all jumped 25%-30% to 92/8.25/2.25 ETH. The Yuga set has some strong momentum as well, heading into ApeFest this week at NFT NYC, and with just fifteen apes within 10 percent of floor, that 100 ETH threshold is certainly in sight.

The rest of the leaderboard is mostly made up of the other blue chips, including:

  • CloneX with 5K ETH volume, 10.35 ETH floor (+35%)
  • Moonbirds with Kk ETH volume, 19.7 ETH floor (+31%)
  • Azuki with 2K ETH volume, 10 ETH floor (+37%)
  • Doodles with 1700 ETH volume, 12.55 ETH floor (+30%)

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Overall a very solid week, especially against a much uglier crypto market backdrop. Both BTC and ETH are down 22 percent on the week, currently sitting at $20.6K and $1,140 respectively at the time of writing. It was worse over the weekend, as BTC briefly lost the $20K threshold and ETH saw triple digits (bottoming around $900) before seeing a bit of a relief rally on Sunday and into Monday.

The headline of the week was major fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC) being declared insolvent, the latest domino to fall in this dark crypto market. The question remains of what will happen with their NFT portfolio, which contains several grails and over 100 punks - any forced selling could be a major market impact event. 

The general sentiment is that 3AC is not the last major fund or protocol to fall and more damage is expected, as most seem to be of the mindset that crypto still goes lower from here and the bottom is not in yet. Thus many buyers seem to be staying on the sidelines, for now, waiting on the "capitulation" event that many expect. 

The big open question for NFTs is - will that capitulation event spill over into the NFT market or have we effectively re-priced into USD terms? Many sharp traders seem to be remaining on the NFT sidelines as well, expecting more capitulation, but that scenario seems less certain now and the scenario where cheap ETH is a boom for NFTs is seeming more likely (although definitely not certain). This will be the major theme to watch over the coming weeks.

Even with this big rebound in the large-cap NFTs, it was a rough week for new mints as most failed to even mint out and project pivoted with their supply counts (dropping, doing airdrops, etc.). There were a few winners, with Lacoste holding a 3x from mint price, LonelyPop responding well to its pivot, and SneakerHeads running to 0.70 ETH after its 0.25 ETH mint (before falling back), but it was mostly bleak as liquidity is concentrated at the top end.

Founders seem to have gotten the signal, as this is the slowest week for new drops in recent memory, perhaps also tied to NFT NYC. With only a handful of new drops, all focus will be on the major parties and events in NYC this week and what announcements may (or may not) come out. Thus NFT NYC leads the focus of the week:

The focus for week of June 20:

  • NFT NYC announcements and reveals
  • Art Blocks x Pace "Petro National"
  • Nifty's Looney Tunes

NFT NYC Reveals and Potential Announcements

All attention this week is on the major NFT NYC event, and more specifically on the marquee parties for the top-end collections. Azuki set the bar for how to throw an NFT party after their LA event in March was a raging success for the brand, highlighted by the now-iconic "check your wallets" line by Zagabond, announcing the Beanz airdrop.

The problem with that precedent is now many are expecting similar announcements/airdrops at this week's parties, and that outcome is definitely uncertain. Launching a companion or any airdrop in this macro-environment would be at high risk of flopping or underperforming, and founders are well aware. But the flip side is if there are no announcements or airdrops, will we see a sell-off event post-NYC on the lack of news?

There will certainly be pressure on the Azuki team to announce something, making up for the FUD of the past month as well as general expectations from the last party. Yuga is also facing some pressure, as they have been incredibly quiet about The Otherside since their mega-fund raise with the Deeds sale, and a lack of announcements related to that game or their overall roadmap at the 4-day ApeFest event would be a pretty big disappointment.

The founders certainly understand this expectation, and the most likely outcome is some roadmap announcements without airdrops, as a safer way to have some fireworks without the botched launch risk. But airdrops are certainly not off the table and would not be a huge surprise.

We do have one confirmed major reveal coming with Doodle's Dooplicator on June 23, and this one is likely to be a market mover. The claim window for the Dooplicators ends on June 21, a teaser trailer will be released on the 22 and then the full trait and rarity reveal to take place on the 23, with Dooplication beginning.

Doodles have certainly surged in the past week, and a bullish reveal for the Dooplicators could catapult this blue chip collection to the next level. A disappointing announcement though likely relegates this set to the Cool Cats range, as this would be two failed announcements/airdrops in a row (after space capsules busted).

Beyond announcements and reveals, the major outcome to look out for is which community(ies) are deemed the strongest coming out of this week's events. Gmoney now infamously noted how strong BAYC's community was against a lack of activity for CryptoPunks at last year's event, which was prescient as BAYC then began its yearlong run to flipping the Punks (and set the stage for Yuga's acquisition).

Will we see a similar anointing of the next BAYC at this year's event? It is certainly on the table.

Art Blocks x Pace "Petro National"

Art Blocks made headlines a few weeks back when they announced their collaboration with contemporary art gallery Pace, as a mechanism to help push Pace's established artists into the digital and generative art space. Now we get to see the first collab as "Petro National" debuts on June 21 at 10 a.m. ET (apologies to NFT NYC partiers). 

This 196 supply set is meant to shine a spotlight on oil spills and consumption around the globe. The project tagline from the Art Blocks site states "196 nations realized as gasoline spills on the world ocean", thus each piece represents the per capita annual assumption of petroleum for different countries. Additionally, each piece runs on local time as dictated by the respective country's capital city, and night, day, and seasonality will be reflected in the piece as time passes.

The mint will be a descending dutch auction, starting at 5 ETH and exponentially decreasing until a resting price of 0.15 ETH.

Given recent successes for Art Blocks project, the high profile collaboration with Pace and this being the genesis set, plus low supply, expect some attention on this drop. Once it starts minting with any velocity, it could sell out very quickly, especially if/when it gets under 1 ETH. The bear case would be that NFT NYC may steal attention and the past few weeks have been rough for new mints in general. This one gets very attractive in the sub 0.5 ETH range and will definitely be worth watching for those around tomorrow.

Nifty's Looney Tunes

This one might not make the focus list in a different week, but with the relative scarcity of new drops, this one made it into the spotlight. The team at Nifty's has partnered with Warner Bros to bring the famous cartoon Looney Tunes to NFTs, in the latest 10K PFP set.

Each NFT is a variation on the canary character, Tweety, who is celebrating his 80th anniversary in 2022, and in that spirit, the mint will be $80. Buyers will be able to use credit/debit cards and well as DAI on the Palm blockchain. Collectors will gain access to a new storyline from the writers of the original series and be able to participate "in fun activities and gamers to earn exclusive rewards." Per the team's blog post, this is just the beginning and much more should be expected from this new ecosystem. 

Given the low entry cost and big-name partnership, this one could do well on the secondary market (as Lacoste proved last week). But the Palm blockchain is an X factor here and thus it might not get the same user base as standard ETH mints. Still, one to watch on a week with few options.

The presale begins today at 11 a.m. ET and the public sale will be on the 21, with the reveal coming on the 23. 

Conclusion

There are reasons to be optimistic about the major rebound in the NFT market this past week. With that said, there is still trouble looming on the crypto horizon and any major events/dips there could certainly impact the NFT market. But if crypto can remain relatively quiet for a week, then all focus will be on the major projects at NFT NYC and if they can live up to expectations. 

Any bullish announcements or airdrops in NYC this week could serve as a catalyst to move us up a level in pricing, especially as the market continues to price in USD (and NFTs are looking cheap). The recent surges in BAYC and Punks up top has been great to see, and the very top sets are usually a leading indicator for the rest of the market. BAYC reclaiming 100 ETH floor would be a major event and one to look out for this week. 

With very few new drops, expect liquidity to remain focused in these top-tier sets again this week. Be careful with new mints, as they have been underperforming. Overall it seems like another good week to watch market trends, and stay up to date on major news but act/buy cautiously (or not at all).

Good luck out there this week, enjoy NFT NYC for those attending, and make sure to follow @LuckyNFTNews to stay up to date on all your relevant NFT news and info.

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