Moonbirds, the profile picture project launched by PROOF Collective, the incredibly successful private discord for NFT traders and artists, led the charge.
If you spend a lot of time in the NFT ecosystem, you’ve probably already heard chatter about Moonbirds. Yet not many people seem to understand why it has been so successful. While we can’t be completely sure of all the reasons why this collection took off as it did, we know it has a lot to do with PROOF’s founder, Kevin Rose.
The Moonbirds art is rather simple—little more than cute pixel-art owls. The utility promised isn’t all that revolutionary either. That leaves Rose himself as the obvious reason why it has reached heights never before seen.
Who is Kevin Rose and what is PROOF?
Kevin Rose is an influencer, podcaster, entrepreneur, and venture capitalist with more connections to other massive investors and VC funds than one can count.
He is also an expert in cutting-edge technology and has been for a long time. It’s obvious just from looking at his first investments: He was an early angel investor in Twitter, Facebook, and Square. He even started one of the first social media sites ever created called Digg, which launched in 2004, only a year after Myspace.
Rose used his expertise and extensive experience in new tech to become a partner at a large venture capital firm with over $2.8 billion in management called True Ventures, making a ton of connections with other venture capitalists along the way.
PROOF is his most recent project, but it’s quickly becoming his greatest accomplishment.
The PROOF Collective is more than a run-of-the-mill private NFT pass. It has been this way from the beginning when it minted out at 1 ETH per pass in December. One can see how much the market’s sentiment has changed by looking at the PROOF access pass’s floor price. Right now one can not buy a pass for less than about 120 ETH (almost $400k).
The greatest benefit of holding a PROOF pass (by far) has been the ability to mint 2 Moonbirds for free. Holders basically got 70 ETH worth of NFTs at zero cost, even if they didn’t get a rare Moonbird (assuming they held onto both for a few days).
The price of the passes dipped to about 80 ETH after the Moonbirds mint, but has already soared back to all-time-highs again.
Why should we care about Moonbirds?
There’s a good reason why the whole community is talking about Moonbirds, PROOF, and Rose nonstop: they seem to be setting a new record every single day.
Within 24 hours of the Moonbirds mint, the birds broke 60k ETH trading volume across all NFT marketplaces. That’s a mindblowing $180 million, more than the total volume traded on OpenSea that day (around ~$177 million). This is absolutely unprecedented in NFTs.
Credit to @rchen8 on Dune.xyz for the graph
This insane volume also helped Moonbirds set a new record in hitting a ridiculously high price floor as fast as it did. No collection of this size (10,000 NFTs) has ever seen that kind of price action. It turned 2.5 ETH (~$8,000) into 39 ETH (~$120,000) in 5 days. PROOF Collective pass holders essentially were given $240,000 for free.
The NFT market offers some of the quickest paths to becoming filthy rich, but it’s never been this easy or this quick.
So how did they do it?
The community knew Moonbirds would perform well, but most of us had no idea of its true potential.
NFTs were relatively slow leading up to the launch as investors held onto their available liquidity to snap up a Moonbird or two on the secondary markets. (OpenSea trading volume on the day before was lower than it had been for a month; only about $66 million of NFTs were traded.) Some of the unprecedented volume on the day of the mint obviously came from regular NFT traders. We can tell by the major dip in volume in the days leading up to it.
However, that is only part of the picture.
Many members of the NFT community think that the price action and volume are so out of this world that it’s suspicious.
Pump-and-dump schemes are unfortunately all too common in the space, because they can be ridiculously profitable and require little liquidity compared to traditional markets. However, most community members think it’s all legitimate—just surprising and a bit befuddling.
It’s nearly impossible to determine exactly where all this money is coming from, but a popular theory is that a large portion is coming from Rose’s venture capitalist buddies. We can’t prove this unless they come out and announce that they’ve made huge purchases, but it’s a decent theory.
Rose is famously well-connected in the venture capital scene and has a wide reach on Twitter and other social platforms. He could have convinced a myriad of extremely rich people to buy a Moonbird (or 10).
Even if Rose isn’t out there wooing other major VCs, it doesn’t really matter. A major part of the community believes he can bring in a ton of investments, and thus they are buying Moonbirds with this expectation.
Retail traders are becoming more and more important in making major price moves, as evidenced by the Gamestop short squeeze rollercoaster last year. The perception of Rose’s tremendous skill at attracting VC investors could easily be just as important—or even more important—than his actual ability to do so.
In the end, it probably doesn’t matter where the liquidity came from. It’s a great sign for the NFT market either way. It shows the absolutely absurd profit potential of a market that appears to be ever-increasing.
The NFTimes will have our digital binoculars ready to spot the next Moonbirds, so keep an eye out.
Do you want to learn more about NFTs and keep up with the rapidly evolving market? Check out some of our favorite editions of The NFTimes:
- Yuga Labs’ massive $300-400 million NFT sale is coming very soon. Read all about it in NFTimes 11 – $400 Million From One NFT Mint?
- To learn why we think April could be the most important month for NFTs ever in NFTimes Volume 15 – Is April The Beginning Or The End Of NFTs?
- Are you considering starting an NFT project soon? Learn the vital first steps in NFTimes Volume 16 – How To Start An NFT Project By Yourself
Keep up with Henry and NFTs 24/7. Join him in AlphaMint’s dedicated NFT Discord server.