Morning Minute | Token Launches See Resurgence in NFTs
TylerD's Market Summary
NFT projects are once again turning to token launches to grow their ecosystems. Will it work out this time?
📈 NFT Tokens Make A Comeback
Memecoin mania over the past few months has made NFTs an afterthought for a majority of traders who are still here and active in the broader crypto space.
But some NFT projects have taken note and are looking to capitalize on the interest in token trading with recent or upcoming launches.
Two notable examples include The Grapes and Knights of Degen.
Before we dive into what those two projects are doing, let's look at some history of NFT tokens.
A Brief History of NFT Coins
My colleague Logan Hitchcock wrote an incredible summary of the NFT coin ecosystem back in March of 2022.
At that point in time, NFT tokens were on their way out as concerns over SEC scrutiny scared new founders and teams away from new launches.
He separated NFT tokens into 4 categories (with notable examples for each):
- Metaverse + Ecosystem: $WRLD, $SAND, $MANA, $JEWEL, $MAGIC, and $APE
- Utility tokens (no game): $VOLT, $BANANA
- Utility tokens (with a game): $MILK, $POW, $WOOL, $RAIDER, $GALA
- Miscellaneous: $ASH
Overall I think those categories still stand up pretty well. One could argue that separating coins like $MAGIC and $JEWEL out from the metaverse sector into their own grouping as Ecosystem tokens could make sense, but we'll leave it for now.
Now let's look at performance.
The top 5 coins by market cap as of today, Aug 2, 2023:
- The Sandbox ($SAND): $813M
- Axie Infinity ($AXIE): $785M
- Decentraland ($MANA): $700M
- ApeCoin ($APE): $673M
- Gala Games ($GALA): $580M
Those 5 alone combine for $3.5B in marketcap. Taking his list in its entirety and we tally about $4.09B. So clearly the big players are dominating the overall market.
How have they stood up over time?
Again looking at the top 5, this is how much each is down from ATH (looking at token price):
- The Sandbox ($SAND): $0.42 (-94% from high of $7.43 in Nov 2021)
- Axie Infinity ($AXIE): $6.01 (-96% from high of $157.80 in Nov 2021)
- Decentraland ($MANA): $0.38 (-93% from high of $5.20 in Nov 2021)
- ApeCoin ($APE): $1.83 (-92% from high of $23.63 in Apr 2022)
- Gala Games ($GALA): $0.023 (-97% from high of $0.71 in Nov 2021)
So basically all the NFT coins topped when crypto topped in November of 2021 (with the exception of APE which topped just before the launch of The Otherside).
For quick reference, Bitcoin is down about 55% during that time frame and ETH is down about 61%.
Certainly each of these NFT tokens has individual factors at play in their demise, but the broader trend is an obvious one and the charts look nearly identical.
This doesn't even cover tokens like $MILK from the Cool Cats, which is now at $0.00014 and effectively dead. It's a similar story for other coins on this list like VOLT and ASH, and likely just a matter of time until others meet the same fate.
Bitcoin and ETH have been up only in 2023, with BTC up 75% and ETH up 52%. But these NFT coins are all red on the year, so they aren't riding the crypto trend.
Ongoing dilution as more tokens unlock over time has just one result for NFT coins (at least so far) - down.
But, we do have an exception. The $PRIME token from Parallel.
While it is down 62% from its ATH right after the airdrop in March of 2023, it's been on an upwards trajectory over the past 90 days.
In fact it's up 80% from its local lows around $1.19, now at $2.15.
Why is that?
Likely tied to speculation around its use in the upcoming Parallel beta game. That's likely good news for the 2 projects below, each of which has games as a core focus.
The Grapes Soar on Token Speculation
Anyone following the NFT market closely over the past few weeks has at least heard of The Grapes.
Why? They've been on a big run.
They're up 107% on the week, now over a 0.5 ETH floor. That run has been mostly fueled by speculation around its upcoming token launch.
For quick background, The Grapes was created to be a cross-media, family-friendly entertainment IP brand with a heavy gaming focus.
Backed by Animoca, it was founded by Ben Cusack and Dan Beasley, who founded VIKER together in 2019 (a leader in the Play & Earn mobile game sector).
Holders of The Grapes NFTs have priority access to The Grapes token, which gains revenue share from the mobile games created by the team. $GRAPE is backed by Animoca and acts as the utility token to The Grapes ecosystem.
As for the token speculation, it really took off after Grom (@gromwtf) shared a detailed note outlining the Grapes tokenomics, revenue from the game and expected value. Of course, it's very speculative and has a lot of dependencies, but his tokenomics seemed to inspire a big run of buys.
The question here - can The Grapes maintain and grow their daily revenue via their mobile games? If so, the token could have a nice setup ahead of its airdrop (coming sometime this year).
Knights of Degen Launch $DGEN
The fantasy sports-affiliated Knights of DeGen made headlines on Monday with the launch of their $DGEN token.
For quick background, the $DGEN token is a utility and governance token, meant to empower the community and the DAO. The token will have use in fantasy sports contests, DAO gaming, voting and more.
NFT holders can claim the following allocations:
- Knights NFTs: 7,000 tokens
- Steedz NFTs: 3,500 tokens
- Goblet NFTs: 1,000 tokens
- Partner Collection NFTs (Players Only, Dinomonks): 1,000 tokens
At current prices of ~$0.02, that's a ~$140 airdrop per Knight.
There are multipliers for more NFTs and combinations as well, so bigger holders likely got even more.
It's got some interesting tokenomics, with 15% slotted for the token drop, 37% to the DAO, 35% to the Inc and founders as well as 13% to DAO contributors. Those tokens unlock over an 8-year time period, with 75% unlocked by year 4.
🚚 What else is happening in NFTs?
Here is the list of other notable headlines from the day in NFTs:
- Trading volume again came in around 7k ETH on Tuesday; NFTs saw a mix of red and green with DeGods again leading top movers (back over 9 ETH) along with Nakamigos
- Yuga Labs shared that it will re-launch ApeFest ticket claims on Thursday, August 3 at 10:00 a.m. ET
- Notable digital artist Sam Spratt announced that his "The Monument Game," the next phase of the Skulls of Luci, will begin on Aug 21
- Nakamigos shared a cryptic teaser with the message "Fall Is Coming" with a wolf featured in the letter 'o'; the floor rallied 27% to 0.29 ETH on the news
- PROOF's Grails IV mint passes were airdropped on Tuesday (0.78 ETH floor), with new details shared including 20 total artists, no repeat artists, 6 Art Blocks Curated artists, 3 long-form generative collections, 1 Genesis NFT and 1 NFT will interact with a secret contract
- CryptoDickbutts completed their S4 mint with all 6,900 NFTs being sold at 0.065 ETH, starting the 30-day clock for the new owner (with the most CDBs) to take over; the floor jumped to 0.09 ETH in early trading, then fell to 0.05 ETH after a surprise late evening reveal
- Bicycle announced its BAYC-themed playing cards will launch on Aug 8, prominently featuring BAYC #1227
- Sorare revealed a Cash Wallet feature, enabling managers to trade its digital player cards with fiat, starting August 2; Sorare uses Mangopay for its payment solution and will start by accepting Euros, British Pounds and USD
🌎 Around Crypto and Web3
A few other Crypto and Web3 headlines that caught my eye:
- The crypto market rallied on Tuesday; BTC +2% to $29,500; ETH +1.4% $1,860; WLD +5% at $2.40 even after being banned in Kenya
- Six firms have filed applications for ETH ETFs, including Volatility Shares, Bitwise, VanEck, Roundhill, ProShares and Grayscale
- Etihad Airways expanded its partnership with Arcube for the development of a "Staking-for-miles" platform, letting NFT owners earn Etihad Guest miles for locking up their NFTs
- Hurley, the notable action sports brand, is entering web3 with the introduction of NFTs and the Hurley Super Surfer™ Game; the NFTs (already available for pre-booking) feature surf-ready sloth PFPs inspired by athletes, and they will be able to play within the game coming on Sept 29
🚀 NFT Total Volume
- BAYC (1,861 ETH, 29.1 ETH Floor)
- MAYC (1,143 ETH, 552 ETH)
- DeGods (551 ETH, 9.23 ETH)
- Azuki (465 ETH, 4.97 ETH)
- CloneX (262 ETH, 1.43 ETH)
📈 NFT Floor Price Increase
- LinksDAO (42%, 0.14 ETH Floor)
- Mutant Garden Seeder (31%, 5.5 ETH)
- Nakamigos (27%, 0.29 ETH)
- Kanpai Pandas (23%, 1.14 ETH)
- CryptoDickbutts S3 (13%, 0.74 ETH)
🗓 Upcoming NFT Mints and Reveals
Today is a lighter day of drops but some notable ones.
Floor is back with its 2nd ICONS drop, this week featuring Amber Vittoria following their Vinnie Hager debut from last week.
Then Art Blocks Curated is back with esteemed artist Joshua Bagley from Dreams and Ecumenopolis. With Ecums at 0.9 ETH floor and Dreams at just 0.43 (his Curated debut), it's hard to see a ton of upside on Spaghetti Bones from a trading perspective. But near mi price, this could be an interesting mint.
If you want more, see the full list of today's drops from Swizzy's daily mint monitor.
- Memes by 6529 (11:00 a.m. ET)
- Floor x Amber Vittoria "Dancing Upwards" (12:00 p.m. ET)
- Art Blocks Curated "Spaghetti Bones" (1:00 p.m. ET)
Enjoy this write-up? Follow along with me on Twitter @tyler_did_it or reach out via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For all volume and floor price data, see Lucky Trader's Project Rankings page.
For all upcoming mints, see Lucky Trader's NFT Calendar page.