NFTimes Volume 15 – Is April The Beginning Or The End Of NFTs?

The NFT market hit its peak in January, reaching an incredible $5 billion of trading volume on OpenSea that month alone. It doubled the trading volume of the previous month, and the community was hopeful that this amazing growth would continue.

This dramatic shift was mostly due to increasing NFT adoption. The number of active monthly OpenSea traders nearly doubled in January alone. We likely have the many large brands and celebrities that got into (and promoted) NFTs to thank for that.

Unfortunately, the growth wasn’t sustainable and faltered in the middle of February, even before Russia invaded Ukraine. The downward pressure of the geopolitical crisis put too much stress on the market, stifling it further.

The Bull Case for NFTs in April

This will probably be the most impactful month in NFTs ever–blowing away January’s trading volume records. The problem is that it could be either the best month for NFTs or the start of a devastating bear market.

The argument for April being a positive game-changer is quite simple. It looks like a repeat of the end of January is happening all over again on an even greater scale.

We have good reason to believe that far more celebrities, massive corporations, and established NFT projects will bring tons of new money into the space.

Almost every single day, we hear about yet another influential person or brand launching their first NFT project. In the past few weeks alone, we found more examples than we could cover.

Fans of celebrities like filmmaker Kevin Smith may be persuaded to invest in NFTs soon. He is one of many making his first foray into the market, with an innovative collection that will power his next film, a comedy horror called Killroy Was Here. Only holders of his new generative NFTs will be able to access the movie.

While lesser-known celebrities like Smith might bring in a few of their fans, established brands have much more power in spreading adoption. When Nike acquired RTFKT, the NFT startup behind CloneX, the market performed exceptionally well.

The most famous supercar company in the world, Lamborghini, surprised us all when it announced its upcoming NFT. It will sell the last Aventador Coupé ever produced in a Sotheby’s auction along with an extremely special NFT. Famed DJ and NFT influencer Steve Aoki worked with Krista Kim, the revolutionary artist who founded the Techism movement, to create it. Aoki even made a special song for it and an entire soundtrack for the car. The auction will likely be heavily publicized and could turn a ton of eyes toward the market.

Lamborghini isn’t the only world-renowned brand making waves in the market this month.

The game studio behind Fortnight (Epic Games) just announced that it has raised an incredible $2 billion to build out its metaverse. Megalithic corporations like Sony and KIRKBI, the parent company of LEGO, took part in the round of funding. Institutional support is coming in droves.

Sega, the powerhouse behind the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise and many of the best early generations of gaming consoles, is also getting in on NFTs. It recently announced its “Super Game” project, which is said to be a paradigm shift in triple-A games. It will feature multiple games and likely cloud and NFT technology.

NFT gaming collections are more popular than ever now, but nearly all of them lack a fun gaming experience. A real gaming company like Sega or Epic Games could easily change that and bring millions of fans into NFTs.

Media companies are diving into the market too. TIME Magazine had the foresight to launch its own collections months before any of its competitors, but many are following suit now.

Forbes premiered its first full collection of NFTs through the crypto exchange FTX this week called Virtual Billionaires. This wasn’t even Forbes’s first venture into NFTs in April. It already turned one of its covers with the Bitcoin billionaires Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss into an NFT and auctioned it off for $333,333, all of which went to charity.

These exciting developments don’t even include the largest NFT mints ever, which are planned for the next few weeks.

Yuga Labs, the startup behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club, will sell more than $300 million of metaverse land NFTs this year. They will split it into two sales this year, and the first is set for April. The collection will be the foundation for their upcoming metaverse “experience,” MetaRPG.

An ultra-famous (by NFT standards) Twitter influencer and VC expert, Kevin Rose, is also launching his profile picture project called MoonBirds. Due to his popularity and the value of his first project, PROOF Collective, the relatively large supply of 10k will likely sell out at the unusually high mint price of 2.5 ETH each.

MoonBirds NFT

The thinking of NFT bulls is simple to understand: all these massive accomplishments will attract new investors and new money, bringing the market to another level entirely.

Not everyone is convinced, however.

Are We Facing NFT Doomsday Instead?

The positive argument makes sense, right? So why do so many people think the opposite—that April will bring nothing but a calamity to NFTs?

The doomsayers have a solid argument. It’s a bit more nuanced, but it’s simple enough. The theory is that the NFT market won’t be able to handle the loss of liquidity to these absolutely enormous mints.

They don’t see Yuga Labs and Kevin Rose as their saviors. They only see them as greedy companies, sucking ETH out of the market with a 10,000 horsepower vacuum.

While it might be a bit of an exaggeration, they certainly have a point. It seems unlikely that the new money these sales bring in through adoption will effectively compensate for the hundreds of millions of dollars transferred straight from traders to Yuga Labs’s coffers. At least only half of the sale is happening this month.

What do the founders of Yuga Labs need with $300+ million anyway? Will they make a game for $50 million and then buy a few yachts and half of the real estate in the Hills for themselves? What will Kevin Rose do with $80 million?

We don’t know, and we probably never will. We can only hope that these mints, and future sales like them, won’t cause the bear market that many are predicting.

———–

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:

Want to keep up with Henry and NFTs 24/7? Join him in AlphaMint’s dedicated NFT Discord server.

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