ARE NFT’S DEAD?

1ATH.Studio
6 min readSep 25, 2023

What Are NFT’S

Non-Fungible Tokens, commonly referred to as NFTs, represent a unique category within the digital asset landscape. Distinct from regular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum, an NFT is a one-of-a-kind digital asset, verifiable through blockchain technology. This cryptographic proof ensures that every NFT is distinguishable, authentic, and cannot be replicated, offering a true sense of digital ownership.

The historical trajectory of NFTs is nothing short of fascinating. Their roots can be traced back to early concepts of crypto-collectibles and digital art, but it wasn’t until recent years that they truly blossomed into the mainstream. What began as a niche concept soon developed into a global phenomenon, reshaping the discourse around digital art, collectibles, and even tangible assets like real estate.

The chronicles of NFT trends read like a rollercoaster narrative. From the monumental sale of Beeple’s artwork, fetching a staggering $69 million at Christie’s, to the captivating world of CryptoPunks, NBA Top Shot, and other groundbreaking projects. These weren’t just isolated incidents of digital art sales; they represented a broader cultural movement. A movement that saw creators, artists, and investors alike exploring the uncharted territories of digital ownership, heralding a new era where virtual assets were as valuable, if not more, than their physical counterparts.

The NFT Market Correction: Facts and Figures

The ascent of NFTs was meteoric. Platforms like OpenSea became bustling marketplaces where users discovered new collections and traded these digital collectibles. In 2021, OpenSea’s dominance was undisputed, with countless artists and collectors flocking to the platform. However, by 2022, a new contender named Blur began challenging this supremacy. By early 2023, according to NFTGo.io, Blur surpassed OpenSea in daily Ethereum blockchain transactions.

Reflecting on the market’s trends, 2022 witnessed an NFT trading volume of around $24.7 billion across various platforms. But when juxtaposed against the $67.8 billion from traditional art sales that same year, the discrepancy is evident. Notable NFT projects, like Ethereum’s Bored Ape Yacht Club, stood out, boasting a trading volume close to $1.6 billion, as per CryptoSlam’s data.

A monumental moment in NFT history came when ‘The Merge’ by Pak fetched a whopping $91.8 million on Nifty Gateway in December 2021. This artwork surpassed previous records, including Beeple’s ‘Everydays: The First 5000 Days’ which auctioned at Christie’s for an astonishing $69.3 million.

Geographical interest in NFTs has evolved too. Google Trends indicates soaring interest from China and Hong Kong, followed by Singapore. Strikingly, while Venezuela showed a strong inclination last year, it’s now absent from the top 10 list. Equally surprising is the lack of the U.S. in the top rankings.

NFT Decline: Potential Reasons

The allure of NFTs took the world by storm, but recent trends paint a story of slowed momentum and dwindling interest. Let’s delve into some potential reasons behind this decline.

Oversaturation and Diminishing Value

The crypto world is no stranger to oversaturation. Soon after the NFT boom of 2021, a torrent of new projects flooded the market, with many lacking distinct uniqueness or inherent value. A recent report by dappGambl, incorporating data from NFT Scan and CoinMarketCap, delivered a startling revelation: a staggering 95% of NFT holders, equating to 23 million people, are in possession of NFTs that now have a market cap of zero Ether. This implies that their investments are essentially valueless. The report further highlighted that 79% of all NFT collections remain unsold, underscoring the imbalance between supply and demand.

Evolving Economic Landscape

The broader economic environment, both within the crypto domain and in traditional markets, has a ripple effect on NFTs. The NFT market’s robustness in 2021, with million-dollar deals and a total market cap of $22 billion, has transformed. Now, a mere 1% of NFT collections surpass the $6,000 mark. The fluctuations in NFT prices of renowned collections, such as Doodles and Moonbirds, which experienced drops of 90% and 94% respectively in their base prices, reflect this shift. The sales volumes also plummeted, with Doodles sliding from $53 million in April 2022 to $2.4 million in April 2023, and Moonbirds from $484 million to just $3.1 million over the same period.

Changing Perceptions and Waning Interest

One evident sign of waning interest is the sharp drop in global Google search queries related to NFTs. After reaching its zenith in January 2022, search interest took a nosedive, registering its lowest score of 12 by September 2022. Collections like Goblintown, which once commanded significant attention, have seen their floor prices tumble. This might be indicative of a shift in perception: from viewing NFTs as stable, long-term assets to potentially ephemeral bubbles.

The crypto world’s inherently speculative nature, coupled with an influx of projects not backed by genuine value or uniqueness, has led to a volatile NFT market. As enthusiasts and investors grapple with these changes, it becomes essential to approach the NFT domain with a blend of enthusiasm and caution.

Counter Arguments: Signs NFTs Are Here to Stay

Despite the market fluctuations, several indicators suggest that NFTs have carved out a permanent niche in the digital world. From successful projects to integration in various sectors, NFTs have demonstrated resilience and adaptability.

Successful NFT Projects Demonstrating Continued Interest

Some NFT projects continue to draw significant attention, with collections that stand out due to their innovation or unique appeal. For instance:

Otherside: Venturing beyond the typical profile picture collection, Otherside delves into the realm of virtual real estate within a dynamic metaverse. This initiative aspires to craft an ever-evolving universe, influenced and shaped by player engagement.

Bored Ape Yacht Club: The rise of this collection to NFT stardom can be attributed to numerous celebrities showcasing their apes as Twitter profile pictures.

Mutant Ape Yacht Club: An extension of the Bored Ape Yacht Club, this collection boasts 20,000 mutant apes, offering added benefits to its parent project’s holders.

CryptoPunks: Revered as the pioneering NFT collection, CryptoPunks has set a gold standard for profile picture NFTs and has been the muse behind many subsequent successful projects.

Technological Advancements and Gaming Integration

The synergy between NFTs and the gaming sector is noteworthy. Renowned entities like Ubisoft have embraced this trend, introducing in-game NFTs known as Digits. Ubisoft didn’t stop there; they unveiled their dedicated NFT platform, Ubisoft Quartz. The announcement by GameStop about its foray into NFT marketplaces and partnerships within the crypto realm led to a marked surge in its share value. Moreover, the emergence of the play-to-earn model, which rewards players with tokens, is gaining traction, especially in developing nations.

Broad Spectrum Integration and Daily Participation

NFTs are no longer confined to the world of digital art. Their integration spans diverse sectors, with gaming leading the charge. Data from 2022 reveals that 51% of active NFT wallets were linked to gaming. Collectibles claimed a 32% share, while utilities stood at 9%. While art, the traditional stronghold of NFTs, constituted 6% of active wallets, the Metaverse segment was still nascent, holding a 2% share. The daily engagement metrics are promising too, with over 10,000 active wallets engaging in NFT transactions and approximately 6,000 distinct buyers diving into NFT purchases.

Conclusion

The world of NFTs is much like a digital rollercoaster, with exhilarating highs and inevitable lows. While recent data might hint at a slowdown, it’s essential to view this as a market correction rather than a death knell. Successful projects like Otherside and the Bored Ape Yacht Club continue to captivate audiences, and the integration of NFTs into diverse sectors, from gaming to real estate, signals a bright future.

The transformative potential of NFTs remains undiminished. Much like the art world has its ebbs and flows, the NFT market is experiencing its downtime. But remember, even the most iconic artworks weren’t always in the spotlight. So, before penning the obituary for NFTs, consider this: the next digital renaissance might just be around the corner. Stay curious, stay invested!

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