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GameStop finally introduces Web3 gaming to its marketplace

GameStop recently announced the addition of NFTs issued on Ethereum’s Immutable X Layer-2 scaling network to its marketplace.

The additional support allows users to buy and sell Web3 game assets.

Marketplace

Plenty of games now have interactive NFT items available on GameStop marketplaces.

The market offers digital trading cards, customizable bundles, and more.

Immutable X-based game titles include:

  • Gods Unchained
  • Illuvium
  • Guild of Guardians

In July, GameStop launched its long-awaited NFT Marketplace.

However, the platform only offered digital artwork and collectibles at launch.

Many in the Web3 space were curious when the company would include interactive game NFTs, given the company’s direction and plans for the market thus far.

Read also: Andreessen Horowitz lends a hand to the new Twitter

Immutable X

GameStop’s partnership with Immutable X was announced in early February.

The companies announced a $100 million token incentive fund for Web3 game developers.

Additionally, GameStop participated in a $500 million investment and grant fund for NFTs and game makers on Immutable X.

The platform is built on Ethereum.

While Ethereum transactions require high gas fees, Immutable X allows faster and cheaper gaming, app and NFT interaction.

The platform offloads transactions to the second level of the blockchain, speeding up the transaction.

Immutable, the company behind the platform, achieved encrypted “unicorn” status in early 2022.

Tencent and Animoca are investing in the company’s Web3 gaming vision.

The two investors are bringing the startup to a $2.5 valuation through a Series C funding round of $200 million in March.

The platform

GameStop announced that its marketplace had completed beta testing.

As a result, it is encouraging merchants to use its NFT platform.

A representative said that the market returns users 1% of their daily trading volume in Immutable IMX tokens.

The market also offers rewards for staking tokens.

In addition, the marketplace commission is 0.2% for an indefinite period.

Read also: Ubisoft and Take-Two show support for NFT game maker Horizon

NFT

GameStop’s NFT, before the launch of Immutable X, only saw a total volume of over $29 million from nearly 24,000 retailers.

Meanwhile, OpenSea generated $309 million in trading volume last month.

Although GameStop NFT has more trading activity than Coinbase NFT, they still do not have a significant share of the NFT market.

Adding Web3 games to the platform could affect the change.

Reference:

GameStop adds Web3 gaming NFTs to marketplace with Immutable X

GQ3 NFTs failed to gain traction upon mint

GQ3 – For the past few years, NFTs have been all the rage, and even past its peak, NFTs continue to influence industries.

Celebrities are not the only ones who have been working to break into Web3 as several major brands have also made the switch.

Legacy brands, in particular, are eager to break into Web3, hoping to revive their popularity with the new generation.

GQ is among the latest legacy brands to jump into Web3.

It launched its GQ3 community, releasing an associated Ethereum NFT drop to complete the venture.

The NFT promised benefits to buyers, but the GQ3 collection failed to sell out.

As a result, the brand is looking for ways to keep NFT buyers happy despite the declining resale prices.

The news

The GQ3 NFT mint launched on Wednesday as 1,661 NFT access pieces were offered for over 0.1957 ETH each.

According to data from the OpenSea marketplace, only 1,060 NFTs were sold when the mint window closed on Friday.

GQ released an announcement on its official Discord channel and a tweet that is now deleted, saying it would randomly airdrop half of the remaining NFTs to current holders.

The move is sometimes utilized by projects that fail to fully mint out NFTs.

It provides holders with additional potential value when NFT launches fail to translate its hype into sales.

“We are going to reward all those who supported our artists and believed in GQ3 by sharing an Issue 001 token to a randomized 50% of unique holder wallets,” said the announcement.

It also suggested that NFT recipients can share with a friend.

In addition, the Condé Nast-owned publication revealed that it would hold on to the remaining supply, citing community and promotional reasons.

Read also: Candy Digital to launch NFT collection based on Getty Images

The NFTs

Following the mint conclusion, GQ revealed the NFTs artworks were made from several artists including:

  • Chuck Anderson
  • Kelsey
  • Niziolek
  • Serwah Attafuah
  • The pseudonymous REO

Meanwhile, secondary market prices for the GQ3 NFTs fell sharply.

The floor price, the price of the cheapest-listed NFT, sits at 0.105 ETH or $155 on OpenSea.

It also briefly fell below 0.1 ETH.

Following the end of the mint, 27 ETH or $39,350 worth of NFTs have been traded so far.

Each GQ3 NFT comes with several benefits, such as:

  • A one-year print magazine subscription
  • Digital access
  • A GQ hat
  • Other GQ merchandise
  • Access to GQ3 parties (a party will be held at the NFT NYC conference in April)

Additionally, holders can participate in an exclusive channel of the Discord server, gaining priority access for future NFT drops.

“We are committed and dedicated to GQ3 and in this for the long term,” the GQ3 announcement reads.

“[And] we want everyone to see the inspiring work our artists created.”

Legacy brands

GQ is following the steps of other legacy brands in print publications as they embark into the Web3 space, including:

  • Time
  • Playboy
  • The New York Times

All brands have utilized NFT drops and focused on community efforts.

In 2022, GQ released an NFT-themed print issue, heralding the launch of the GQ3 initiative, including its Discord server and eventually the NFT rollout.

So far this year, GQ is not the only legacy brand to fall short of its NFT hype and drop.

In January, auto brand Porsche tried to sell 7,500 Ethereum NFTs.

One of the reasons the launch failed was in how the brand marketed itself.

Due to the vague utility and benefits, Porsche failed to spark much interest.

Upon launching, it only sold over 1,850 NFTs before the company announced that it was cutting the mint short.

As a result, less than a third of the planned supply was sold.

However, the restricted supply of the Porsche NFTs helped boost demands.

Since then, secondary prices have surged, starting at 1.98 ETH (around $2,800) on OpenSea, more than doubling its original mint price.

 

Creator royalties to remain in OpenSea and X2Y2

Creator royalties have become the hottest topic in the NFT space for the past couple of weeks.

For weeks, it appeared that most of the NFT market favored rejecting creator royalties.

OpenSea, the largest marketplace in the space, also considered making creator royalties optional.

However, creator pushback prompted the marketplace to maintain royalties.

Even rival Ethereum marketplace is saying it will enforce creator royalties.

The news

X2Y2, Ethereum’s NFT marketplace, launched earlier this year and witnessed significant trading activity in the summer.

Over the weekend, X2Y2 announced that it would enforce creator royalties on all NFT collections, from existing projects to newly-launched ones.

The marketplace previously offered a flexible royalty model that gave creators and collectors input on how X2Y2 enforced royalties for projects.

However, only specific types of NFT projects (artwork and access passes) could choose to have royalties fully enforced.

PFP projects or Profile Picture projects were ineligible for the option.

Read also: Yuga Labs’ founders stand with creators for marketplace creator royalties

Praise

X2Y2 praised OpenSea for taking a stand for creator royalties on Twitter over the weekend.

The marketplace admitted that many new projects used OpenSea’s blocklist code banning NFTs from being traded on marketplaces without royalties.

“Putting belief aside, if there was anything self-evident in crypto, it’s the ‘code,’” X2Y2 wrote.

“Since [OpenSea] released the OperatorFilter two weeks ago, most of the new projects have sided with it.”

“‘Code is law,’ and we respect the law.”

X2Y2 shared that it removed the flexible royalty setting for new projects using the OpenSea blocklist code.

The marketplace also said it will now enforce creator royalties for existing NFT projects.

“With OpenSea risking its market share and taking a brave move to defend royalties, they have our respect,” X2Y2 wrote.

OpenSea

The top NFT marketplace responded to X2Y2 on Twitter, saying it removed them from its marketplace blocklist.

As a result, NFTs from creators using the OperatorFilter code can now be traded on X2Y2.

“Proud to stand with you – and the many brilliant creators in our community – on this critical measure,” OpenSea wrote.

“We hope other marketplaces will continue to join us. Onwards and upwards.”

Read also: A Bored Yacht Club is in development to introduce a real-world yacht club

Royalties

NFT royalties are fees taken from a secondary market sale.

They usually range between 5% and 10% of the sale price and go to the original creator.

Royalties cannot be fully enforced on-chain with popular NFT standards on chains like Ethereum and Solana.

However, top marketplaces previously respected creator royalties, deeming it a social construct.

Creators and collectors consider royalties as critical components of the Web3 ethos.

Over the summer, market momentum started shifting away from creator royalties.

New trading platforms like SudoSwap and Yawww ignored royalties to move away from market share from top marketplaces.

After Magic Eden’s shift last month, nearly all Solana trades are done on platforms that don’t require royalties.

Earlier this month, OpenSea said it was considering a move away from creator royalties, following moves by marketplaces like X2Y2, Blur, and LooksRare to make them optional.

However, OpenSea faced significant backlash from creators like Yuga Labs.

Streetwear brand The Hundreds canceled a planned NFT drop on OpenSea following its consideration.

Last week, OpenSea changed its mind and announced it would continue with royalties on all projects: old, new, and those using its blocklist product.

Reference:

Ethereum NFT marketplace X2Y2 will enforce royalties following OpenSea’s ‘brave move’

Nate Chastain pushes against ‘insider trading’ claims

Nate Chastain — In 2022, leading NFT marketplace OpenSea went through a series of trouble as suspicious NFT trades led to accusations of insider trading.

Nate Chastain, a former OpenSea product manager, was charged with wire fraud and money laundering.

He allegedly purchased dozens of NFTs before they were scheduled to feature on the OpenSea homepage.

FBI assistant director-in-charge Michael J. Driscoll released a statement in 2022, saying:

“With the emergence of any new investment tool, such as blockchain supported non-fungible tokens, there are those who will exploit vulnerabilities for their own gain.”

“The FBI will continue to aggressively pursue actors who choose to manipulate the market in any way.”

This week saw Nate Chastain’s trial begin, and the former head of product pushed back against the characterization of the “insider trading” charges against him.

The charges

Insider trading is the illegal practice of buying or selling securities using non-public information that is not available to the general public, giving insiders an unfair advantage over other investors.

The charges were dubbed as the “First Ever Digital Asset Insider Trading Scheme.”

According to the Department of Justice, Nate Chastain used confidential information, taking advantage of the knowledge about the NFTs that were going to make it to OpenSea’s homepage to enrich himself.

In the indictment, the DOJ said it was looking to have Chastain forfeit any and all property or proceeds from the NFT sales involved in the alleged fraud and money laundering.

If Chastain is found guilty, each of the charges awaiting him will give him a maximum sentence of over 20 years in prison.

While Nate Chastain was initially charged with wire fraud and money laundering, DOJ prosecutors expanded their claims, slamming his actions as “insider trading.”

Defense

Nate Chastain’s lawyers have persistently defended him, fighting against the charges and language used to describe them.

They argued that due to the unclear legal framework surrounding NFTs and the absence of legal precedent or regularity clarity regarding their status as securities or commodities, the jury should dismiss the lawsuit.

“As alleged, acting with purported criminal intent, Mr. Chastain exploited his advanced knowledge of which NFTs would be featured on OpenSea’s homepage by purchasing certain NFTs before they were featured and selling them at a profit after they were featured,” their 2022 filing said.

“The rub, however, is that the NFTs are neither securities nor commodities.”

Read also: John Ray III criticizes FTX for private keys decision

The marketplace

OpenSea is a decentralized marketplace for buying, selling, and discovering non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and other digital assets.

It allows users to create, list, and trade NFTs representing various digital content, such as art, music, domain names, virtual real estate, and more.

OpenSea operates on the Ethereum blockchain, enabling users to transact without the need for intermediaries or centralized authorities.

It also provides various tools and services for NFT creators and buyers, such as customizable smart contracts, analytics, and advanced search capabilities.

OpenSea has gained popularity in the NFT space, attracting thousands of creators and collectors to its platform.

Proposals

In a pre-trial conference last week, Judge Jesse M. Furman requested that Nate Chastain’s attorneys provide the jury with a set of instructions.

On Sunday, April 23, a letter was submitted to the judge, which had the defense team offering several proposals that differed from the prosecution.

According to Chastain’s lawyers, he isn’t actually charged with “insider trading,” thus, the charges against him should not use the term.

“The defense disputes that Mr. Chastain’s conduct can be described as ‘insider trading,'” attorney David Miller wrote.

“Whatever understanding you may have about what ‘insider trading’ may be, you should not concern yourselves with it.”

When Nate Chastain was indicted in October 2022, the Department of Justice specifically charged him with wire fraud and money laundering linked to a scheme to commit insider trading in NFTs.

However, the former OpenSea head’s legal team is trying to get the jury to ignore any reference to insider trading and focus on wire fraud and money laundering.

Second proposals

Nate Chastain’s lawyer’s second set of proposals relates to people who were harmed by his actions, a contentious topic in the trial.

According to the DOJ, individual buyers were unfairly affected by Chastain’s actions, with encouragement to include them in the court case.

However, Chastain’s defense team claimed the only victim was OpenSea.

They argued in their letter that the jury should only hear from the NFT marketplace.

Last week, Judge Furman allowed the Department Justice to refer to the charges against Nate Chastain as “insider trading.”

Candy Digital to launch NFT collection based on Getty Images

Candy Digital – In 2021, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) burst into the scene, with thousands of projects capitalizing on the movement.

While many projects swung in a direction that offered unique digital assets, Candy Digital capitalized on one of the most popular sports in the United States, creating a collection based on Major League Baseball.

Launching in 2021, they produced the official line of MLB NFTs.

Having established itself as a leader in the NFT space, Candy Digital is going for a new line.

However, this time around, they are looking to create an NFT collection with Getty Images in the hopes of getting another major hit.

The collection

Candy Digital curated a collection of photos after going through Getty Images’ massive archive of stock photos.

For the collection, they are going to focus on some of the most prominent musicians from the 1970s along with the photographers that took them.

Among the icons they are looking to digitize are James Brown, John Lennon, and Elvis Presley.

One of the most unique things about the upcoming collection is the fact that it’s organized to revolve around six photographers like David Redfern and Fin Costello, rather than focusing on musical talents like Jimi Hendrix or the Rolling Stones.

Additionally, the collection isn’t just limited to a certain quantity.

The latest Candy Digital collection is scheduled to launch on March 21 through an open-edition mint.

It also comes after Candy Digital and Getty Images struck a partnership in May 2022.

Prospective buyers can get their hands on the collectibles by then, which are priced from $25 to $200 through a months-long mint availability window.

The partnership

Candy Digital has launched collections in the past based on sports and entertainment.

It managed to secure licenses with Netflix and World Wrestling Entertainment.

According to CEO Scott Lawin, the Getty Images partnership is targeted to fans of music and photography.

“We’re really excited about the fact that we’re talking to a different type of audience,” he said.

“The way we’ve thought about our partnerships, it really is creating opportunities for people not to just go deep in a category that they love, but also discover and collect across different types of content and IP.”

Academic research has found that sports fans are the better audience for digital asset ownership.

However, Lawin described Digital Candy’s partnership with Getty as a long-term relationship that he and the team are looking to build on over time.

They also noted that the Getty archive is home to millions of photos that span over decades and cover a plethora of subjects.

Read also: Momoguro makes debut in the NFT space, courtesy of Baobab Studios

The firm

Candy Digital was founded by Michael Rubin in June 2021.

Rubin is the executive chairman of Fanatics, a sports franchising company, and he is joined by NFT entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuck and Galaxy Digital founder and CEO Mike Novogratz.

Due to Rubin’s involvement, Fanatics was a majority owner of Candy Digital.

Months after it was launched, the firm touted a $1.5 billion valuation by October 2021.

By then, it also revealed that it raised $100 million in a Series A round courtesy of Insight Partners and Sofrbank’s Vision Fund 2.

Despite its success, Candy Digital still suffered from crypto winter.

In November, Sportico reported that the firm laid off more than a third of its 100 workforce.

They weren’t alone as other NFT marketplaces like OpenSea also had job cuts, along with NBA Top Shot and NFL All Day creators Dapper Labs.

A change in the winds

In January, Fanatics sold over 60% of its majority stake in Candy Digital to a group of investors.

The group was led by Galaxy Digital and includes ConsenSys Mesh and 10T Holdings, an equity fund.

Michare Rubin published a Fanatics memo saying that NFTs are unlikely to succeed as a standalone business in an imploding NFT market that is witnessing drops in transaction volumes and prices for independent NFTs.

While they have different outlooks, Scott Lawin said Fanatics was a great partner to start the journey with as they leaned first into the sports space.

He added that the sale was a natural shift in a challenging market.

Trading

While NFTs can be traded on various marketplaces, Candy Digital NFTs are restricted to its marketplace on Palm, an Ethereum sidechain.

However, Lawin is optimistic that the limitation will change in the long run.

“Part of our roadmap [is] to allow our customers to take custody of their assets and potentially trade those in different marketplaces,” he said.

“It isn’t going to be a flip of the switch. It’s going to be something that we’re spending a lot of time internally with our technology partners, our communities, and our IP partners to do it the right way.”

 

Coinbase NFT vows to persevere despite weak sales

Coinbase – The NFT space lagged in 2022 when the crypto market crashed, but has since found its footing again.

This year, the market has seen some major improvements.

Despite the positive news for the wider market, it isn’t entirely sunshine and butterflies as trade volume continues to present a problem for some projects.

Among those venturing into NFTs without much luck is cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.

The platform experienced a massive drop in volume over time, getting bombarded with scrutiny from shareholders.

Despite all that, Coinbase has asserted that it isn’t giving up on its NFT venture.

Shareholders curiosity

Coinbase reported sales that were higher than expected but also suffered a heavy loss of $577 million for the final fiscal quarter of 2022.

During its earnings call with investors and analysts, they allowed questions on the company’s health.

A shareholder then brought up the exchange’s NFT venture, which launched in the spring of 2022.

Coinbase was asked to disclose how much it lost with its marketplace and its contingencies to reduce the “burn” with operating the business.

In addition, the shareholder asked what was ahead for the marketplace and how Coinbase could improve market share.

NFT progress

In the past week, Coinbase NFT had only recorded 41 sales.

According to a Dune Analytics dashboard, they received less than 3 Ethereum, which is worth around $4,900.

The Coinbase NFT marketplace is essentially a virtual ghost town.

Meanwhile, other NFT marketplaces like OpenSea and Blur are enjoying sales with 303,000 and 53,000 sales respectively this week.

Belief in the project

Coinbase President and COO Emilie maintained that the company still sees Coinbase NFT as a worthwhile project without disclosing any losses specifically related to the project.

“We continue to see medium and long-term opportunities here,” she said.

“We’ve got a very lean team on it now, but we’re not throwing in the towel by any means.”

Read also: FTX Japan gets the green light to resume operations

In January, Coinbased announced its second round of layoffs in the past year, with 950 employees set to leave.

In June 2022, the company let go of 1,100 employees.

“The Coinbase NFT team has realigned its resources to focus on the highest impact areas for our users,” said a Coinbase spokesperson.

“We’re bringing increased focus and efficiency to a smaller set of high-impact focus areas within Coinbase NFT.”

The NFT space

NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are uniquely-made digital tokens that collectors have with proof of ownership.

They are typically presented as digital art, but can also be video clips, music, or even social media posts.

Since the NFT boom in 2021, the space has undergone plenty of highs and lows.

Recently, the ecosystem around NFT trading went through a shakeup.

Two marketplaces, Blur and OpenSea, are in the race to become the top NFT marketplace.

Despite only launching last year, Blur’s volume has significantly increased, overshadowing the once untouchable OpenSea.

As a result, OpenSea is taking any measures necessary to reclaim its throne.

This week, the marketplace slashed creator royalties, intent on leaping over Blur.

Coinbase NFT progress

As the two continue their battle, Coinbase NFT has been staggering, paring back elements of its business.

According to the platform, the NFT venture is hitting the brakes on future NFT drops with creators.

Instead, they will take the time to focus on other features and tools, listening to what creators are saying so they can accommodate their needs.

“We recently shared that we are pausing creator Drops on the NFT marketplace to focus on other features and tools that creators have asked for,” tweeted Coinbase NFT.

“To be clear: We are not shutting down the Coinbase NFT marketplace.”

With Blur and OpenSea shifting their focus from creator royalties, Coinbase could take the opportunity to jump in.

The team responsible for Deathbats Club NFTs recently said they are going to utilize Coinbase NFT for buying and selling.

In addition, they are blocking OpenSea.

 

Blur adds incentive program to stay ahead of OpenSea

Blur – Since NFTs surged in 2021, many collectors have utilized OpenSea as their go-to marketplace, but now things have gone up in the air.

Since then, there has been more competition, with other marketplaces emerging.

Among the latest to come up is upstart NFT marketplace Blur, which is taking great strides in the Web3 space.

Blur recently managed to overtake OpenSea, and now it’s looking to do more with a new, aggressive incentives program.

Incentive program

On Tuesday, Blur announced it will airdrop over $300 million worth of additional tokens to loyal users.

The news comes after the platform overtook the top competitor OpenSea.

Blur will release 300 million of the native BLUR tokens to traders throughout its “Season 2,” which has already started.

According to CoinGecko, BLUR is currently trading at $0.95.

Season 1 led to the debut of the BLUR native token last week, which saw the platform distribute “care packages” of BLUR to traders who moved to Blur from a competing marketplace.

It also listed NFTs on the platform after the October launch.

According to the company, “Season 2” will have tokens distributed to traders in a more established, gamified program.

Blur customers will receive a “loyalty score” based on their activity and commitment to the trading platform.

Buyers and sellers who don’t use other NFT marketplaces will receive a massive reward of 100% loyalty score.

The loyalty score (combined with the quantity of NFTs users list) determines how many BLUR tokens they ultimately gain during the airdrop.

With the new loyalty system, almost anything can go.

Minor actions can also boost a user’s odds of receiving more BLUR.

According to the company on Tuesday, even quote-tweeting its Twitter announcement about Season 2 could raise users’ loyalty score.

However, it remains to be seen what technical mechanisms Blur installed to link activity on separate platforms like Twitter to align its metrics to its site.

Read also: FTX Japan gets the green light to resume operations

Marketplace competition

The Tuesday announcement markets the latest development as NFT platforms have gone all-out in a free-for-all war to attract and retain customers.

OpenSea had long been the sole dominant Ethereum NFT marketplace, boasting a value of $13.3 billion.

However, it has recently been losing its position to Blur thanks to the upstart’s lucrative token-backed incentives program.

The two marketplaces have also offered extra incentives to users who blocklist the other.

Overtaking OpenSea

NFT trading has improved with Ethereum NFT volume more than doubling in the past week.

Blur generated over $460 million worth of Ethereum NFT trades in that period, a significant 361% increase from the last span.

CryptoSlam highlighted a 155% week-over-week increase in Ethereum NFT trading volume, which came after Blur airdropped its BLUR governance token.

Traders received the rewards through the Blur marketplace and by trading in other platforms ahead of its launch last fall.

OpenSea tries to stay competitive

Blur later overtook OpenSea thanks to its trading frenzy.

On Friday, the (former) leading marketplace announced it was temporarily cutting its 2.5% marketplace.

OpenSea will also cut back on creator royalty enforcement actions to stay competitive with Blur.

In other words, the marketplace is forgoing the fees that help generate its revenue and fees that finance most NFT projects.

Additionally, OpenSea still has a slight advantage over Blur, serving over 106,000 more unique wallets in the past week compared with Blur’s 66,000.

A new chapter

Although Blur’s incentives program sustainability is still unclear, it can’t be denied that it has had an immediate impact on competitors, which will reinforce current trends.

While Blur has higher trading volumes than OpenSea, most of the activity seems to be generated by a handful of whale traders flipping NFTs to benefit from the rewards program.

The program’s popularity is also subject to change based on the value of its native token.

 

Trump NFT recovers from January drop

Trump NFT – The NFT market has a tendency to be unpredictable, with some projects receiving plenty of attention before falling flat.

Recently, Donald Trump NFTs have started to pick up again.

The news

The Donald Trump NFT trading cards made their debut in December, grabbing attention within the Web3 space.

However, the popularity died out in January.

It wasn’t until the disgraced former US president announced his plans to run for office again coupled with the prospect of returning to social media that the Trump NFTs started picking up its pace again.

The NFTs

The Trump NFTs are minted on Ethereum scaling network Polygon.

According to NFT Price Floor data, the collection hit a new all-time high floor price (the lowest price for NFTs on the market), selling at $1,000 on Sunday.

Trump NFTs initially minted for $99 each.

Sales

In mid-December, Trump’s business partners sold 44,000 out of the 45,000 Trump NFTs.

The NFT prices quickly surged, selling for as high as $990 worth of ETH on OpenSea on December 17.

However, the short-lived hype fizzled out as prices tumbled in the following days and weeks.

However, market-wide data from NFT Price Floor indicates that prices have been steadily making a comeback since January.

They went from $250 worth of ETH on January 13 to a new peak of $1,000 on Sunday, February 12.

Although it took a slight dip, the Trump NFTs recovered back to the $1,000 line.

February progress

CryptoSlam data shows that Trump NFTs have generated over $2.4 million so far this month.

The numbers nearly match the January total ($2.6 million worth of trades).

The average sale price nearly doubled to $905 per trade.

In addition, the project has yielded over $313,000 in trades in the last 24 hours.

Read also: PleasrHouse to sell the original doge couch

Criticism

When the Trump NFTs dropped, it was widely criticized.

The disgraced former president’s supporters were among those who blasted the drop after he touted the collection as a “major announcement.”

However, the buzz around Trump NFTs boosted its initial sales, with 44,000 NFTs sold for $99 apiece.

They then generated millions of dollars’ worth in secondary market sales.

Amid the sales, the project creators benefited with a 10% cut from the secondary sales.

However, daily trading volume took a steep drop in January, falling 99% from its peak.

The sudden drop made it seem like the hype faded.

However, traders seem to be betting on the NFTs value rising as Donald Trump makes his way back into the spotlight.

Reemergence

Donald Trump’s social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter were initially banned for his role in the January 6, 2021, attacks on the US Capitol.

However, they were recently restored.

Despite the restoration, Trump has yet to use his old accounts.

punk9059, the pseudonymous Director of Research for Proof, said:

“My sense is that people are anticipating a possible rally if he speaks about the NFTs, should he return to Twitter, or otherwise.”

In late January, Meta announced plans to restore the former president’s access to his social media accounts as Trump NFT prices were surging.

Last week, the accounts were confirmed to have been unlocked.

Meanwhile, Elon Musk posted a public poll on Twitter after he bought the company, asking people to vote on whether to keep Trump banned or not.

Ultimately, the ban was lifted.

Recent sales activity

According to recent sales activity on OpenSea, experienced NFT traders seem to be buying Trump NFTs by bundles, stocking ahead of a hopeful continued rise.

Many traders buying Trump NFTs recently have collected and flipped various NFTs in the past.

The mass buying is more than just Trump fans attempting to break into the NFT space.

DonAlt, the pseudonymous crypto YouTube personality, tweeted in early February that he bought several Trump NFTs as a bet on the collection’s future value.

The YouTube personality described them as “hideous pictures,” but also called the collection “oddly iconic.”

In addition, he said Trump is likely to appear on TV more with his 2024 presidential campaign ramping up.

“It’s a 50 IQ play,” said DonAlt. “It’s Trump. He’s gonna be loud again in 2024.

 

NFT trade shows positive market sign in early 2023

NFT trade: For the past few weeks, cryptocurrency prices have shown a positive change with numbers going up.

Coinciding with improved cryptocurrency prices are signs of the NFT space rebounding.

OpenSea, the NFT space’s top marketplace, saw back-to-back Ethereum NFT monthly sale improvements not seen in a long time.

The January sales volume alone is topping the December tally, and there is still one week left before February comes around.

The road so far

Dune, an analytics platform, released public blockchain data saying OpenSea processed about $320 million worth of Ethereum NFT trades this month.

In comparison, the December tally generated over $283.5 million.

Last month also marked the first time OpenSea posted a sales increase since April 2022, which went up from $235 million worth in November.

The rise can be attributed to the rising value of Ethereum, which was up 33% in the past 30 days to hit a price of $1,620 on Monday.

However, when measured in ETH, the January OpenSea sales only edges December by 228,000 ETH compared to last month’s 227,000.

Meanwhile, OpenSea only had almost 191,000 ETH worth of Ethereum NFT sales in November.

OpenSea

Although the rise in OpenSea is positive for the NFT trade after months of declining sales, the figures also underline how much the market deteriorated last year.

In January 2022, OpenSea enjoyed its best-ever month, earning over $4.86 billion worth of Ethereum NFT sales.

For five straight months in early 2022, the NFT marketplace had over $2 billion worth of NFT trade volume.

However, it also experienced volatile swings in that period.

Previously, OpenSea witnessed two consecutive months of sales volume growth between December 2021 and January 2022.

Read also: Cryptocurrency rally raises caution in the crypto space

Other signs

The positive signs from OpenSea aren’t the only indication of improvement in the NFT space.

For example, prices are also up for highly-rated collections.

The cheapest Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT went from $84,500 worth of ETH to $108,000 in the past 30 days.

CryptoPunks also jumped to $108,000 from $76,500 worth of ETH.

In the past 30 days, Bored Ape sales are up from 45%, as reported by CryptoSlam.

Additionally, Azuki NFTs rose 89%, while Art Blocks sales were 62% higher.

Furthermore, NFT trade volume has increased beyond OpenSea.

CryptoSlam showed a broad 33% rise in Ethereum NFT sales volume in that period, with a massive 95% surge in Solana NFT sales.

Additional notes

According to DappRadar, overall market organic sales volume made a slight improvement last month compared to November.

It went up to $684 million from $662 million.

The launch of Sewer Pass NFT for BAYC members last week helped boost secondary market trading.

So far, there are over $35 million worth of secondary trades.

Marketplaces like OpenSea and X2Y2 have mainly handled the majority of secondary NFT trades due to Yuga Labs blocking platforms like Blur and LooksRare.

The block stems from the creator royalties issue.

Creator royalties issues

In late 2022, marketplaces attempted to halt creator royalties on NFT sales.

However, Yuga Labs made their stance clear when they voiced their opposition.

When Sewer Pass NFT launched, Yuga Labs moved quickly to block secondary NFT trading on specific marketplaces.

A positive year

As of late, the Bored Ape Yacht Club and related collections have been driving NFT trade volumes.

Pseudonymous Proof Director of Research Punk9059 alluded to Yuga’s projects taking up half of the entire Ethereum NFT trading volume in the last week.

In addition, the BAYC NFTs were the leading drivers for early-year activity in 2022.

So far, there have been no major shifts.

It remains to be seen if the recent signals will unravel into a full-blown NFT market rebound.

There has been no doubt about the space losing momentum in 2022, but following months of declining activity, any positive movement is taken as good news for traders.

Yuga Labs’ founders stand with creators for marketplace creator royalties

Yuga Labs’ founders, the people behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club, are calling out marketplaces rejecting creator royalties.

The founders defended NFT creators in an issue causing marketplaces to reject them.

The Yuga Labs’ founders proposed a community-governed ‘allowlist’ model that allows creators to decide the marketplaces that can handle secondary sales of their works.

Royalty

The top NFT marketplace OpenSea made the rounds over the weekend when it said it might follow the current trend to reject royalty for NFT creators.

The trend includes the absence of enforcing creator royalty on secondary sales.

As a result, many creators are opposing their decisions.

In a turn of events, Yuga Labs’ founders also join their cause.

Founders Wylie “Gordon Goner” Aronow, Greg “Garga” Solano, Kerem “Tomato” Atalay, and 10KTF CTO Randy “Melonpan” Chang published a post recently.

The post says that the Yuga Labs’ founders are decrying the industry’s shift from honoring creator royalties.

Instead, they proposed a technical solution to enforce creator royalty.

Read also: Yuga Labs co-founders share plans of turning ‘Otherside’ into a Web3 Roblox for adults

The proposal

The Yuga Labs’ founders suggest an ‘allowlist’ model that lets creators approve secondary trades through marketplaces that honor royalties.

If a marketplace’s smart contract is listed, the transaction goes through; if not, it won’t.

However, standard wallet-to-wallet transfers will remain unaffected.

“The NFT ecosystem would be a tiny fraction of what it is today if it weren’t for creator royalties,” the Yuga Labs’ founders wrote.

“The leading marketplaces of the past couple years would be nowhere if they hadn’t supported them.”

They noted that when the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs launched last year at $220 worth of Ethereum, they set a 2.5% creator royalty on secondary sales.

The founders explained that it’s the amount OpenSea charged for its marketplace fee.

The royalty fee is lower than what other NFT creators chose, which is often between 5% and 10% of the sale price.

“The end result has been that OpenSea has made around $35 million dollars from Bored Ape sales on its platform, not including any of our other collections,” they wrote.

“We’ve never met the founders, but perhaps they have a beach house somewhere with a plaque for us.”

Yuga Labs

According to Galaxy Digital, the BAYC founders earned more than $147 million from creator royalties on secondary sales last month.

However, NFT royalties today aren’t as durable.

While creators can set them in smart contracts, they aren’t fully enforceable on-chain.

Marketplaces should honor them as most have until recently.

Read also: ApeCoin price drops after reports of a Yuga Labs investigation surfaces

The marketplaces

In the Solana NFT space, almost all secondary sales take place on platforms that either reject creator royalties or make them optional.

The move came after Magic Eden made them optional after losing market share to rivals.

Meanwhile, in Ethereum, marketplaces like LooksRare, Blur, X2Y2, and Sudoswap also took a similar approach.

OpenSea always honored creator royalties, but the firm acknowledged the shift in the space.

They said that it might make creator royalties optional for traders and that exploring new enforcement models or only requiring royalties for certain projects.

Creators in the Web3 space didn’t take to the OpenSea news well.

Yuga Labs’ founders joined the cause, saying the rejection of creator royalties is a “race to the bottom” they believe OpenSea will participate in.

Reference:

Bored Ape Founders propose NFT royalties model, decry OpenSea’s stance as ‘not great’