For 2 whole days last week, Magic Eden usurped OpenSea’s throne to be crowned as the top NFT marketplace with the highest daily volumes.
Just when we were wondering if Solana could sustain its magical run against Ethereum in the NFT ring, the network suffered yet another one of its infamous outages on 1 June, this time for over 4 hours in total. Remarkably, the most recent outage already marks the 12th time this year that the blockchain has been afflicted with an outage (partial and major), according to Solana’s own status report.
SOL What Now?
Solana network might have gone lights-out but SOL was still being traded on major CEXes. Within hours, the market reacted to the incident and the coin quickly dipped from $45.57 to $38.88 (-15%). The network lurched back to life on Wednesday evening, with its price having retraced back to ~$42.96 at the time of writing.
Coming off a record breaking week (thanks to Trippin’ Ape Tribe), Magic Eden cooled off and has since been stuck in a lull of $11-17m daily volume. Total volume this past 7 days is down -33% compared to the week before but mostly, the level of activity is similar to the days before the outage even though it’s down week-to-week. Meanwhile, transaction count soared by 27.74%, perhaps due to users selling off Solana NFTs in light of recent events?
A quick look at the collective floor price of the top Solana NFT collections however determined that this was not the case. For the most part, the floor price in SOL has been maintaining at the same level relatively even after the controversial network outage, although the price in USD has dipped slightly since then, mostly due to SOL plunging in price as mentioned before. Judging from this, the increase in network activity was most likely due to transactions generated by other collections with lower floor prices that saw an influx of volume in the past week, such as Great Goats, Suteki, and Ghostface Gen 2.
All in all, Solana NFTs just shrugged off one of the biggest challenges to date during its ascent and despite this, the space is still well and alive and chugging along just fine. It remains to be seen if Magic Eden and Solana can regain its momentum to challenge OpenSea and Ethereum for the top spot again.
The X Factor
NFT activity in general across chains have increased in the past week, but a combination of network outage and overperformance in the week before resulted in Solana NFT sales plunging ~47%. Meanwhile, ImmutableX (IMX) shot up the rankings to snatch a spot in the Top 5 this week, flushed with new excitement for the Illuvium land sale that ushered in a 1,097% increase in sales volume.
The Illuvium Land Sale is officially over!— Illuvium (@illuviumio) June 5, 2022
💥 All Land Plots Sold Out
💥 $72M+ in Total Sales
💥 239,388 sILV2 to be burned
💥 4,018 ETH to be redistributed
💥 NO GAS WARS
MASSIVE thank you to all participants and partners that helped make this a historic success ♊️ pic.twitter.com/adMTq6PpKe
Touted as the first AAA blockchain game to grace the cryptoverse, Illuvium (ILV) has been one of the most anticipated titles slated to drop this year. Be that as it may, concerns for an NFT land sale amidst a bear market brewed but as it turns out, they were unnecessary after all. The Illuvium Land Sale marched on steadily across 3 days, raking in over $72M in a sell-out for 20,000 land parcels. Owning an Illuvium land essentially turns the otherwise free-to-play game into play-to-earn, allowing players to produce and earn utility NFTs or tokens that can be sold or used.
Unlike the Otherdeeds land sale which was mired in controversies and frustration due to the the record-breaking gas war, Illuvium’s sale in comparison was buttery-smooth, largely owing to its launch on ImmutableX which is a zero-gas fee L2 ecosystem. Bear in mind too that the total supply for Illuvium land NFTs is 100,000, and the first drop only accounts for 20% of their land. At the current rate, Illuvium could potentially dethrone Otherdeeds as the biggest land sale ever (~$310M) if it could somehow replicate the same success for its upcoming drops.
NFT land parcels for high-profile projects like Illuvium, Aavegotchi, and Otherdeeds have historically performed well in primary sales, with many expecting the same from future drops by other notable games/collections such as Aurory (AURY).
The End of Move-to-Earn?
For the second consecutive week, BNB Chain cracks into the Top 5 spot in NFT sales volume, this time overtaking Flow which has been buoyed by the hype for the NBA Finals (Warriors in 6 😈). STEPN is most likely the driver for the rise in activities within the ecosystem, as traders rush to sell (or buy-in low) STEPN sneakers due to mounting concerns for the recent ban by China as well as DDOS attacks that brought down the servers.
The effects of these reverberated through the entire STEPN ecosystem. GST on BNB Chain was previously trading at a premium to its native Solana counterpart, reaching as high as >$40 just less than a month ago vs. GST-SOL which was priced at ~$4.82 around the same time. Due to the lack of a bridging mechanism, STEPN BNB Chain and STEPN Solana have become isolated ecosystems with huge disparities in prices for the same assets (at one point in time). GST-BNB was already sliding in price ($13.81) even before the announcement of China ban in late May 2022, and recent news only drove the price down further. This came as no surprise at all since an overwhelmingly large part of STEPN’s community is Chinese. At the time of writing, GST-BSC is trading at a price of $0.89, a whopping -98% drop from its ATH less than a month ago.
Stepn Token GST on BSC has exceeded $40, 9x compared to the GST price on Solana. NFT floor prices on BSC have been pushed up to $13,000. The main reason is that Stepn did not build a cross-chain bridge between Solana and BSC. However, GMT is down 21% in the last 7 days.— Wu Blockchain (@WuBlockchain) May 9, 2022
STEPN sneakers on BNB Chain haven’t fared any better, currently trading at a floor price of ~$330 vs. ~$13,000 on 9 May, registering a -97% cliff drop since then. If it’s any consolation (it’s not), GST and STEPN sneakers on Solana have weathered the storm slightly better and are trading at ~$0.64 and 3 SOL respectively. There also appears to be a recurring difference in floor price between MagicEden and STEPN that timely arbitrageurs can capitalize on.
Judging from the above, the poster child of move-to-earn, STEPN, is exhibiting tell-tale signs of tailing off, at least for now. A quick comparison against February’s projected earnings does show that daily ROI in USD is significantly down ($38 vs. $11) for 3 pairs of sneakers but due much lower CAPEX, daily ROI (% of CAPEX) has almost doubled which means users can breakeven at a much quicker rate.
There are several cases where crypto has bounced back shortly after a Chinese clampdown, which makes one wonder if a similar fate will be bestowed upon STEPN, with a bit of the usual creative get-arounds. The bigger question that we should concern ourselves with is “Is move-to-earn dead?”.
From what we could see, no. Instead of fleeing entirely from the move-to-earn economy altogether, users seem to have shifted their attention to another up-and-coming move-to-earn game that all of you should be familiar with by now - Genopets (GENE). The floor price of Genopets and Genopets Habitat NFTs have been steadily climbing since our first feature of it, reaching 74 SOL and 81 SOL respectively at the time of writing. A launch during the demise of its biggest rival would help to cement its status as the go-to move-to-earn game but alas, there is still no concrete date for this yet.
Top Collections of the Week
Source: OpenSea; Snapshot taken 6 June 2022
The crypto market as a whole has been very “AUUUUGH!” lately but serprize serprize, NFTverse heartthrob Goblintown is still well…not in goblintown. At one point, Goblintown’s floor climbed as high as 8.7 ETH before coming back down to Earth to settle at ~5.5 ETH at the time of writing. Swarms of Goblin derivatives such as Goblin Grlz, Elftown, and baby goblinz just to name a few graced the market with their outstanding innovation, all in the hopes of replicating a smidgen of the success that Goblintown has had.
Many however fizzled out and quickly faded into oblivion (often within a matter of hours), with the exception of mcgoblin which is an official spinoff from the original Goblintown collection, this time featuring another one of crypto’s favorite bear market meme, McDonald’s. The way we see it, the lowbrow art of Goblintown is an allegorical satire of the current state of the crypto bear market, basically a self-deprecating meme that somehow resonates well with the humor of the crypto space.
Slowly but not surely however, it’s beginning to become a little more than that. The longer Goblintown stays up there in the rankings among the greats like Bored Ape Yacht Club and Cryptopunks, the more likely it is to evolve into a “bluechip meme” much like Dogecoin (DOGE) and Shiba Inu (SHIB). This of course applies to any other up and coming projects as well, meme or otherwise. Longevity plays an essential role here and though Goblintown is far from being there yet, it’s definitely on the right track towards the ascension from meme to status symbol.
Free-to-mint NFT drops are still dominating the rankings this week, with bluechip projects falling out of favor as NFT traders vie for the relatively low risk, high reward, high variance play, FOMO-ing into projects hoping they would emulate the success of Goblintown. We Are All Going to Die, another no utility no roadmap collection like Goblintown, is the latest example of how such projects can skyrocket from mint to a floor as high as 1.4 ETH.
ill poop it nft which is another free-to-mint collection dedicated as a pedestal to worship bodily excretions, also snatched the NFT headlines with its explosive rise to stardom. At the time of writing, this piece of shit NFT has generated over 3100 ETH in sales, sitting at a floor price of 1.2 ETH. And just like a case of diarrhea that doesn’t stop at one episode, ill poop it nft owners can also mint a special pixelated pool NFT that better masks the graphical horrors, or they can even burn 2 poop NFTs to receive a Genesis Shit Beast and $SHIT. In just less than a week since its free mint, ill poop it has blossomed into an ecosystem but like all the other Goblintown-like collections in this wave, its success largely hinges on Goblintown. If Goblintown were to go down, down, we would very likely see a domino effect sweep through these copycats. That is unless they could differentiate themselves enough from their predecessor beyond being just a “no utility, no roadmap” meme.
What else are we paying attention to
ApeCoin voting on new chain
After Otherdeeds’ controversial drop that saw gas fees spiking up to record breaking levels of >8,000 gwei, Yuga Labs teased the possibility of a migration to a new ApeChain. Yat Siu, one of ApeBoard’s DAO members, did however emphasize that any decisions to build a new chain would ultimately be up to the ApeCoin (APE) community. That time has come.
An ApeCoin proposal polling on whether ApeCoin should remain within the Ethereum ecosystem has been put up. The main arguments for this is that despite the exorbitant gas fees and slowness, “staying within Ethereum gives ApeCoin the strongest security model”. Ethereum is also the ecosystem where the BAYC collections reside. The voting was initially heavily one-sided with ~91% of the voters supporting the proposal before quickly evening out in the latter days. Ultimately, the proposal ended in favor of remaining within Ethereum with 53.62% in favor.
If the proposal had gone another way, there would be overhauls to the entire ApeCoin/BAYC ecosystem, including complex migration considerations for both the token and various Yuga Labs NFT collections. For now at least, things will remain status quo.
Takashi Murakami, the founder of Murakami.Flowers and artist of CloneX, recently announced an upcoming airdrop for Murakami.Flowers holders. The collection’s floor price quickly rose from ~2.55 ETH to ~4.38 ETH after the announcement as traders rushed to grab a piece in anticipation for the airdrop. Users who are interested in copping one too will still have time as the snapshot will be as of June 12, 11.59pm UTC. Do bear in mind that unrevealed Murakami Seed holders will not be entitled to an airdrop so be sure to proceed with the reveal before the snapshot date if you have one.
Dillon is an Operations Associate at CoinGecko with a weakness for 3-digit APYs. As an ex-consultant, he now finds joy in laughing at consulting memes unironically.