NFT Roundtable | Rug Reminders
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!
Airdrop SZN 🪂
Question 1: The next major airdrop coming to the NFT space arrives on Thursday, with 1.2B tokens of long Arbitrum ($ARB) set to be delivered to the community. Are we about to see new liquidity enter the market at a time of need for NFTs? Are you feeling bullish or bearish on the token and the broader Arbitrum ecosystem?
Jason: I’ve never been a fan of relying on airdrops to jumpstart the NFT ecosystem, but it is impossible to be bearish on Arbitrum. BitMex, a cryptocurrency exchange, shows traders betting that ARB will be significantly greater than $1. This would make Arbitrum the second-largest Layer 2 blockchain platform. It’ll be interesting to see how the liquid market reacts to the airdrop, but with 1.2 billion tokens coming soon, we’re bound to see some kind of volatile price action for both ARB and NFTs. I don’t know what that volatility looks like, but I’m long-term bullish on Arbitrum.
Logie: Not only am I not a fan on relying on airdrops to jumpstart the NFT ecosystem, I’m not confident that this airdrop is the type that will reward NFTs. While lots of NFT users may earn or benefit from $ARB as a result of interacting with Treasure or $MAGIC, the larger demographic of recipients fits more squarely in the “broader crypto” box. Add in the general market uncertainty and macro climate, and it just doesn’t seem like many will flock to safety in illiquid jpegs. I won’t feign as an expert on the subject, but my experiences with Arbitrum have all been positive, and the general sentiment seems positive. That’s enough for me…for now.
Ghost: I have not dipped into the Arbitrum waters much, but have seen a lot of sharp people be very bullish on the ecosystem. And in the past, we’ve seen most airdrops inject some nice liquidity into the market. But with the macro concerns seeming to have a drastic impact on the market’s willingness to trade NFTs, I wonder whether we’ll see the airdrop pile into crypto or Arbitrum-related projects — not necessarily Ethereum (my bags).
I am bullish on Arbitrum as a whole, but bearish on this being a significant needle-mover to restart an NFT run given the current climate.
Gaming Gone Wild 🎮
Question 2: The NFT gaming meta seems to be gaining steam, with tons of big news trickling out during this week’s Gaming Developer Conference. In addition to major funding rounds for blockchain and NFT-centric games, we’ve also seen major streamers like Dr. Disrespect both launch games (DeadDrop) with an NFT component and participate in our corner of the Web3 space (Mongraal, Orangie, other pro gamers playing Dookey Dash). Is the gaming meta here to stay? Are you bullish on Web3 games? What traditional games would you love to see implement NFT technology?
Jason: Web3 gaming is definitely here to stay. It makes too much sense to implement NFT technology into popular video games, and the wonderful world of making money playing games online is growing rapidly. The gaming market did decline for the first time in years in 2022, but its a $200 billion industry with more than 3 billion players. In 2022, eSports nearly broke $1 billion in revenue, and multiple professional gamers are making 8+ figures. It’s even easier to make money playing video games that use NFTs to prove ownership of digital objects and collectibles.
Forget about Dookey Dash, we’re bound to see NFT technology implemented into gaming giants like Fortnite, Call of Duty, and PUBG, MMORPGs like Elder Scrolls and Diable, and even mobile games like Candy Crush and Clash of Clans. And that’s step one. The next step is building web3 games that rival these popular games with blockchain and NFT technology at the center of the game, not as an add-on. Bullish.
Logie: What he said. What that guy said. I won’t try to share any other data points, Jason made it quite clear. It seems like games are one of the most natural paths to adoption, and there are clear winning narratives (ownership of in-game assets) that can be successful if messaged appropriately. I am bullish on this sector, but as a non-gamer, I’m skeptical about my own ability to pick out winners. It seems that many in my situation are opting for “fun first” games... I guess that means I’m searching for the Web3 Boggle?
Ghost: Huge, huge news this week, and it's pretty much impossible not to be incredibly bullish. Seeing giants like Sony (NFT-related patent), EVE Online and MapleStory Universe partnering with Polygon, Dr. Disrespect’s Deadrop — all of these headlines indicate a broader acceptance of the technology. While we saw a few pro gamers enter the space for Dookey Dash, that’s not exactly a title that screams mass adoption. But meeting gamers where they live — on games they already love on the biggest platforms and consoles — is how we see mass adoption.
The best part is that most of these will probably have NFTs featured so seamlessly, it won’t be that much different from how in-game economies are already set up. The user will just have the benefit of owning their assets. That’s when the narratives start to shift and things will click for a lot of the NFT naysayers.
🟠 The DeGods of Bitcoin
Question 3: The biggest mover this week has been the launch of DeGods on Bitcoin, with the 500 resurrected DeGods minting out in three minutes at a .33 BTC price — with the current floor now over 1 BTC. The collection is currently being traded within an OTC channel in the project’s discord, run by trusted members of the community.
How are you feeling about the early success of this launch, and does it make you more bullish on Frank and the DeLabs team? Is what chain your PFP is on becoming less important as we move to a multi-chain world of NFTs?
Jason: I feel like a boomer typing this, but I’m sick of hearing about Bitcoin NFTs already. If we are becoming more chain agnostic, and I think we are, then the case for Bitcoin NFTs is already dead. Some of these early projects may maintain some semblance of historical value, but why trade NFTs on the Bitcoin network over Ethereum, Arbitrum, Optimism, Polygon, etc.? There is no advantage, except “because it’s Bitcoin.” Nothing against Frank, but… next question.
Logie: Jason definitely sounds like a boomer. I have as much skepticism about select Bitcoin NFTs as anyone, but I was extremely caught off guard by the care that was given to this Bitcoin DeGods launch. Frank and team have had hiccups with nearly every major initiative…but this one, concocted in roughly a month, went off without a hitch. They thought of every final detail, and it showed. I am definitely more willing to give DeLabs a chance after this.
As for if the chain matters for which PFP you’re on — for me personally, no. I don’t think it matters at all. Chains will likely play a role when determining the social capital and community that your respective PFP can garner, but…I’m a clay duck, my floor price is 0.01 ETH. You think I care? Quack on.
Ghost: Get off Jason’s lawn! I think Frank is helping dispel the notion that a project has to be specific to one chain — and the launch of DeGods on BTC has been pretty flawlessly executed and brought a ton of positive attention to the ecosystem. With Magic Eden launching Ordinals on their marketplace, it’s also about to become easier than ever to participate — and I think people will flock to the established projects (like DeGods).
I also was interested from a provenance standpoint — how many Ordinals have we seen inscribed that are just straight rips of other projects? With this new DeGods collection, any other fake ones are immediately rendered valueless — a lesson other projects might be keen to notice.
Rug Reminders 💨
Question 4: Let’s talk RUG PULLS — the projects that take our hard-earned digital dollars, and never intend to deliver anything of value. A more open-ended question here — what is the most memorable rug pull you’ve experienced in your time in NFTs?
Jason: Frosties. This hurts to type. I never win the mint lottery. I always mint floor NFTs, and I’m okay with that. But the one time I did win the mint lottery… Frosties. I hit a mega rare “Glitch” trait (0.16%). No way was I going to lose money on this one. Fast forward… oh I don’t know… 15 minutes, rug pull. The founders were arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering, but they should’ve been charged with crushing my hopes and dreams.
Logie: I’ve been fortunate to not have been significantly impacted by any notable rug pull financially or emotionally, I feel for anyone who has. But the craziest rug pulls to me were taking place on Solana during the mania in 2021. I fell victim to the SolToadz rug during that time, and lost 4 SOL to a team that stuck around for like 3 days, only to copy the CrypToadz art and run. I’ve hidden the SolToadz in my Phantom Wallet to avoid any pain upon entry.
Ghost: I haven’t experienced too many outright rugs, but one stands out — Art Wars. These Star Wars helmets supposedly had the IP rights, with artist Ben Moore allegedly winning a suit against George Lucas a while back — and the project teased a series of special helmets done by big-time artists.
After these were revealed, it turns out some random team member named Chewsnacca was the ‘artist’ behind like 95% of them (and other artists had pulled out), leading to a lot of anger from the community. Then, the project gets delisted by OpenSea (spoiler alert, he probably didn’t have the rights). The icing on the cake — a video comes out of Moore in a car shooting a gun (?) bragging about the money he made. In case you were wondering, the project made about $7M before being delisted. Never a dull moment in the NFT space!
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).