A tumultuous week in the NFT space has been marked by widespread selling, prompting jitters among collectors and investors as “blue chip” projects like the Bored Ape Yacht Club careen toward multi-year low prices.
When digital asset markets were frothy in 2021 and early 2022, the Bored Ape Yacht Club became synonymous with NFTs for mainstream audiences. As celebrities bought in and creator Yuga Labs’ Otherside game took shape, the Ethereum NFTs surged in value—hitting a peak minimum price of 152 ETH, or $429,000 in April 2022.
But the NFT market has lost steam over the last year-plus, and Bored Apes have fallen about as fast and hard as they initially rose. And over the weekend, they hit a low floor price (or the price of the cheapest listed NFT) not seen in nearly two years.
The floor price for Bored Ape NFTs fell to just over $52,000 worth of Ethereum late Sunday, or about 27 ETH at the time, per data from NFT Price Floor. It’s rebounded slightly since then to a current price of $55,000 (about 28.5 ETH), but that still marks a 20% dip in terms of USD value over the last week.
Zooming out, Sunday’s low marks a nearly 88% decline in floor price from the Bored Ape Yacht Club’s April 2022 peak when measured in USD. It’s not quite as severe in ETH terms—that's about an 82% dip. In USD terms, it’s also the lowest floor price for Bored Apes since August 2021, or nearly two full years.
I remember when I told my friend to buy BAYC at $300k floor price, I'm happy he didnt listen to me
— Maison Ghost (@MaisonGhost) July 3, 2023
The Mutant Ape Yacht Club, a follow-up to Yuga’s smash hit, has seen its floor price dip 32% over the past week to 5 ETH, and fell as low as just over 4.7 ETH late Sunday—about $9,100 worth. That’s the lowest USD value ever tracked by NFT Price Floor since the project debuted in 2021.
The floor price of Bored Ape NFTs has seen additional turbulence over the past week due to a flood of the NFTs hitting the market. Bored Ape prices tumbled last week as noted NFT collector Jeffrey Huang, the Taiwanese-American musician and tech executive who goes by Machi Big Brother, unleashed a flurry of Apes on the open market.
Not just Apes
While Bored Ape prices have plunged hard, other NFT projects are feeling the bitter breeze of an increasingly chilly market for profile pictures (PFPs) and collectibles.
Azuki is the other big project that's been suffering over the past week. Collectors of Azuki NFTs were broadly upset following last week’s launch of Azuki Elementals, which left collectors disappointed and disgruntled due to the release of nearly-identical artwork for the follow-up collection.
Azuki’s namesake NFT collection has seen its floor price sink 59% over the past week to around 6 ETH (USD $11,785). The floor price for Beanz, another collection from Azuki creator Chiru Labs, has also plummeted 77% to 0.4 ETH (USD $785).
As collectors recalibrate, enthusiasm for NFTs appears to be dampening broadly, weighing on established projects as sour sentiments spread. Overall, the correction in NFT prices has been concentrated among PFP collections—a trend centered on brands as opposed to art, the pseudonymous crypto influencer and Ord.io founder Leonidas told Decrypt.
There is a lot of tension in the NFT space right now. Let's try to diagnose some of the problems.
The single largest source of tension in the NFT space arises from people misunderstanding the dynamics between collecting scarce digital objects that are intrinsically valuable and…
— Leonidas.og (@LeonidasNFT) July 2, 2023
“The core of what’s happening is PFP brands are getting repriced across the board,” Leonidas said. “This is not really anything unprecedented. Typical bear market stuff.”
While it’s unclear exactly what’s spurred recent declines, Leonidas.og said Azuki Elemental’s lackluster mint is the “closest thing to a catalyst.”
Azuki’s troubles made it “glaringly obvious” that the value of some PFP collections is dependent on brands’ ability to execute on a roadmap, he said, and is predicated on a company’s performance as opposed to the intrinsic value of the artwork.
That could explain why CryptoPunks, one of the earliest prominent examples of NFTs, has shown relative stability. Widely regarded as culturally important to the Web3 space without the need for added “utility” or features for holders, CryptoPunks has seen its floor price fall 14% over the past week to 43 ETH.
Not that long ago, CryptoPunks and Bored Apes had nearly identical starting prices on secondary markets. Both are owned by Yuga Labs, which created the Bored Ape Yacht Club in 2021 and then acquired the CryptoPunks IP from Larva Labs in 2022.
“Fuel to the flames”
Many recognizable collections have faced headwinds over the past month. The floor price of Moonbirds, Meebits, and Nakamigos have respectively sunk over 35% each in ETH over the past 30 days. DeGods, Doodles, and Milady Maker NFTs have been comparably more resilient during that period, with floor prices falling around 20% in ETH for each.
A drop in the price of nearly all major NFT collections has coincided with an uptick in trading volume on leading marketplaces like Blur and OpenSea. Combined the two marketplaces have seen around $245 million in NFTs traded over the last week, according to DappRadar.
Compared to OpenSea, trading volume on Blur is over three times higher at $54 million and $194 million, respectively, partly due to Blur’s incentives for traders to flip NFTs with the same sort of frequency and ease as trading cryptocurrencies.
We just had a "Black Weekend" for NFTs.
Floor prices for BAYC, MAYC, Azuki, Memeland Captainz and other PFPs fell 30 – 60%, accelerating over the weekend.
What caused all of the panic selling?
It all started with the Azuki Elementals mint.
The Azuki community spent $38M to… pic.twitter.com/AQp1tslNFJ
— Teng Yan ⛩ (@0xPrismatic) July 3, 2023
Delphi Digital’s Head of NFT Research Teng Yan said on Twitter that the recent wave of NFT “panic selling” has been made worse by traders on Blur reaping rewards that stem from how much they trade.
“They have no incentive to hold onto their NFTs,” he said. “So once the selloff started, they only added fuel to the flames and exacerbated it.”