Crypto has now entered a bear market. The recent aggressive rise in interest rates by the Federal Reserve, the crash of $LUNA and Celsius, regulation fears and the correlation with the stock and equity markets are all contributing to the swings in today's market across high volatility assets. Wild swings in speculative assets have become commonplace and NFTs are no exception.
Blue-Chip NFTs, which are believed to be the most valuable and promising NFT projects in the market, have been drastically sinking in price over the past week. The NFT market is largely denominated by ETH. As ETH almost crashed down to $1K over the past week, NFT valuations have been falling faster than ever. In our Bear Market Series, we will analyze the market from multiple aspects — the performance of Blue-Chip NFTs, people who are buying the bottom, NFTs and their correlation with the crypto market, and tracking of whale wallets. Starting from Series 1, we will focus on:
As fear of the bear market takes place, we might see more cheaper NFTs listed in marketplaces. However, this might be a huge opportunity for new Web3 adopters. In the past year, the NFT market was in a historical bull cycle. The NFT technology is still in its early days of creation and it might have the potential to return to its all-time-highs again or even exceed its previous peak. To assess the performance of the current bear cycle, we have analyzed three of the most recent data points, each reflecting a specific market sentiment.
1- April 2022: The crypto bear cycle continues to shrink in price, some analysts still call it a Crab market. War and US Fed impacting crypto prices.
2- May 2022: The amplification of the cryptocurrency bear cycle because of the crash of $LUNA
3- Current prices: The most bearish energy in the first half of 2022, prices drastically going down and liquidations happening.
The cooling market sentiment of NFT collections has severely impacted the average price of these collections, during the highs of the mania, some of the NFT Blue-Chip collections reached high valuations. These valuations have since been plummeting, leaving the investors who often paid thousands of dollars for these NFTs with a cool-down cycle. The chart below illustrates the average price of NFT collections during May and April of 2022 and compares it to the current average prices in USD. We can see that NFT collections have yet again lost their value. The first crash of the market happened at the beginning of May when $UST and $LUNA began their death spiral and the Fed started to signal spiking inflation. The current bear market happened at the start of June.
The chart illustrates how NFT collections have fallen in price as a reaction to the Cryptocurrency market shocks. Although some collections are more resilient than others, there is a general downtrend in price. The significance of the losses these holders were willing to take by selling their Blue-Chip NFTs varies from 46% to 27%. On average, Blue-Chip holders sold their NFTs in June at a -40% loss from their price in April 2022. The chart below presents the significance of losses for different NFT projects between the average sale price in April and June 2022.
Blue-Chip NFTs have been the primary growth factor of the NFT ecosystem. Some of these NFT Blue-Chips have been traded at a loss. Although ETH's price for some of these NFTs has been higher than the previous price, it's worth mentioning that as ETH has drastically plummeted over the past few weeks, there's a negative correlation between ETH and USD price differences for these NFT sales. We constantly update our real-time top sales leaderboard to reflect the Top 100 Most Expensive NFTs Sold in the selected time period. The chart below shows the distribution of the NFT collections in the weekly sales leaderboard.
We observe that BAYC has by far been the most sold collection among the top most expensive NFT sales. More than 85% of the expensive sales in the past week have been from BAYC. After that, we have CryptoPunks with about 3% of total shares. The dominance of BAYC is both bearish and bullish for the project.
Another observation is that people are trying to buy in this bear market because they see potential in BAYC. While other projects might have fewer buyers, BAYC is still dominating the most expensive NFT sales leaderboard.
But the question that comes up is that at what cost are these holders selling off their luxury Blue-Chips, we have looked into the mean profits and losses of the top 200 sales over the past week. To further illustrate the impact of the ETH price drop on the market's valuations, we have charted both ETH and USD profits and losses (PnL). PnL is calculated by subtracting the selling price from the buy price.
The data shows that on average, while the ETH profits have been high, the USD profits are either negative or significantly less in magnitude relative to ETH profits. This is an alarming factor for all NFT holders as some holders have been willing to take the extra losses in USD just to exit from their NFT collections. After all, panic selling is one of the main signals of entering the bear market territory.
The Ethereum NFT market is mainly dominated in ETH terms and when the value of the main unit of exchange in the NFT market goes down, it directly impacts the price of the NFT collection. The USD price of many of the Blue-Chip collections has been falling with the ETH price. The fall of the average sell price of NFTs both in ETH and USD terms is apparent in the charts below.
The fall in the number of active Whales shows that Whales are slowing down their trading activities. Since NFT Whales are the most capitalized investors in the NFT market, they drive a huge part of the market liquidity and notable activities. When the number of active Whales starts to shrink, the NFT market starts to go slow as well. The chart below illustrates the trends in the Blue-Chip index and the number of active whales.
Therefore, as $ETH was losing its value against the dollar, it underperformed against the Blue-Chip Index in terms of USD.
We converted some Blue-Chip NFTs into USD and compared the trend with that of BTC in recent weeks.
During the gradual decline of BTC from March 27 to May 1, the trend of Blue-Chip NFTs fell into two main categories. BAYC and Azuki are not following the trajectory of BTC. Some built their positions in the market and some NFTs even continued to increase. For example, BAYC increased by 9%, Meebits by 29%, and Azuki by 54% (all in USD), while others, such as Cool Cats and CloneX, were following BTC's downtrend.
After May 1, most Blue-Chip NFTs started to drop more than BTC, and the above-mentioned NFTs with independent positions started to catch the fall. From May 1 to May 10, BTC declined by 19%, while BAYC by 42%, CloneX by 32%, Meebits by 43%, Azuki by 78%, and Cool Cats by 39%. During the recent decline, most Blue-Chip NFTs started to follow the BTC trajectory, while magnifying the drop. From June 5 to today, BTC declined by 25%, BAYC by 49%, CloneX by 57%, Meebits by 54%, and Azuki by 49%.
To sum up, the Blue-Chip NFTs from the dollar standard show two interesting features in this bear market. First, some Blue-Chip NFTs will build up their independent market positions against the general trend, followed by an accelerated decline. Second, some Blue-Chip NFTs recently started to follow the BTC trajectory with amplified decline.
Blue-Chips are the most valuable subset of the NFT ecosystem. Even if you aren't investing in Blue-Chip NFTs, it's important to keep an eye on these projects. Our data shows that the NFT Blue-Chip Index is strongly correlated with the NFT Market Cap.
Our Index records the value of these prominent NFT projects and the NFT market cap represents the entire value of the NFT ecosystem. The chart below illustrates how these two indicators significantly overlap.
In this article, we went over how the Blue-Chips NFTs have been impacted by the bearish crypto market. The NFT market is one of the most promising new sectors and Blue-Chip NFTs have a high potential for future growth. Aside from the hype cycle and the bubble we have experienced, NFTs still have a long way to go in expressing their fullest value in the markets.
We are constantly researching the latest dynamics in the NFT market and following the latest trends. This is our first article in the series of analysis reports we'll share about the bear market. Be sure to tune into the latest insights into the NFT market. Meanwhile, you can monitor the latest real-time data of the NFT market right here on the NFTGo.io website.
Note: The above information is for informational purposes only. Investing in digital assets such as NFTs and cryptocurrency brings with it a high degree of risk. Please consult with a financial advisor before making any investment decisions. NFTGo does not provide financial advice and is not responsible for any losses incurred as a result of investing in digital assets.