How Is the Market Reacting to NFT Airdrops?
0xFE0d
July 8th, 2022

Key Takeaways

  • Before an airdrop occurs, primary collections pump floor prices. This normally takes place days before, or when an airdrop is announced.
  • Secondary collections are correlated to the primary collection's performance.
  • Investors evaluate airdrops similarly to their respective collections. This is because they share the exact same roadmap, team, and community.
  • Once the airdrop is released, investors are driven by speculation about the future utility.

Airdrops have become popular in recent months. After the secondary collection is minted new utilites are provided to the holders. These utilities vary greatly, depending upon the given collection. They often include, but are not limited to, avatars, abilities, and tokens. We've found that shortly after an airdrop takes place, these collections see a significant increase in holders.

Market Reaction

How the market reacts to an airdrop is unique to each collection. The reaction is often determined by factors such as the quality of the build team, the quality of the community, number of whales holding, and a variety of other metrics that traders use to evaluate a collection. These other metrics as well as the aforementioned metrics can all be found right here on NFTGo.io.

BAYC Ecosystem

Bored Ape Yacht Club is the gold standard for Blue-Chip NFTs as well as new collections arriving in the space. The BAYC community has given the most airdrops to their holders and it is very clear that this is a big reason why they continue to be such a powerhouse in the NFT marketplace. The number of holders for the primary collection (BAYC) has consistently increased on each airdrop.

BAYC, Holder Trends: Whales are defined as investors/holders with $1,000,000+ in NFT holding value.(Source: NFTGo.io)
BAYC, Holder Trends: Whales are defined as investors/holders with $1,000,000+ in NFT holding value.(Source: NFTGo.io)

The Otherside collection brought a historical number of whales into both BAYC and MAYC. Almost 600 whales were in BAYC days before the airdrop. The recorded number of whales is correlated with the historical floor price of BAYC, which pumped the floor price to 150 ETH.

Based on holder trends, there is a strong correlation between an increase in floor price and an airdrop.

Bored Ape Yacht Club Ecosystem (Source: NFTGo.io)
Bored Ape Yacht Club Ecosystem (Source: NFTGo.io)

However, it's important to note the market is quick to correct itself shortly after the airdrop occurs. Additionally, as the primary collection matures, we see an increase in long-term holders, often becoming the most dominant holding period.

BAYC, Holding Period Trends (Source: NFTGo.io)
BAYC, Holding Period Trends (Source: NFTGo.io)

Clone X Ecosystem

Clone X made all of their airdrops in a one month span. Despite their early drops, they're still attracting new holders and new whales.

Clone X, Holder Trends (Source: NFTGo.io)
Clone X, Holder Trends (Source: NFTGo.io)

Clone X and RTFKT MNLTH both see an increase in floor prices around airdrops. While Clone X saw a much bigger increase in value than MNLTH did, it also saw a much more significant correction shortly thereafter.

Clone X Ecosystem (Source: NFTGo.io)
Clone X Ecosystem (Source: NFTGo.io)

Azuki Ecosystem

The Azuki team was one of the most prominent teams in the space. They innovated smart contracts by creating their own that enabled users to reduce their gas fees and to mint multiple NFTs for nearly the same costs as minting 1.

Despite the scandal involving one of Azuki's founders, holder trends did not change very much. However, whales who invested in the project dropped by 13% because of this.

In terms of its reaction to drops we saw a consistant increase in whales following the first airdrop and then a large increase in blue chip holders when the second airdrop arrived. (Our blue chip holder metric is new, so we don't have data regarding the first airdrop.)

Azuki, Holder Trends (Source: NFTGo.io)
Azuki, Holder Trends (Source: NFTGo.io)

The floor price of Azuki skyrocketed when their first airdrop arrived. Then the floor price fell dramatically due to their big scandal. However, when they announced their second airdrop we saw a slight increase. The numbers on the second should be taken with a grain of salt in terms of how airdrops affect floor prices because what we're seeing here is mostly caused by the scandal. If we focus on the first drop, we can see that they can have a significant impact on the floor price of a project. When looking at graphs like this, it's important to also take news into consideration.

Azuki Ecosystem (Source: NFTGo.io)
Azuki Ecosystem (Source: NFTGo.io)

Not Every Airdrop Goes Well

While some Blue-Chip collections are doing well with their airdrops, this isn't always the case. It's important to understand that there are many different metrics to take into consideration when analyzing the data of a collection. Just because there is an airdrop announced doesn't mean that it will always help a project.

Karafuru's airdrop didn't have a catalyst for the primary collection, not even in the days just prior to the drop. It's important to note the market as a whole took a huge downturn at this time, so the fact that the airdrop couldn't help them is likely related to the harsh market conditions.

Karafuru Ecosystem (Source: NFTGo.io)
Karafuru Ecosystem (Source: NFTGo.io)

Once the unrevealed Gachapon collection touched the secondary market, it saw a massive pump from .41 ETH to 0.78 ETH. Selling pressure started shortly thereafter, over 80 whales sold 1 or more NFTs from the collection.

Karafuru Gachapon (Unrevealed) (Source: NFTGo.io)
Karafuru Gachapon (Unrevealed) (Source: NFTGo.io)

On the other hand, NFTs revealed from Gachapon reflect the "real floor price" compared to the unrevealed. Since the market now knows the NFT traits, it's common for the floor price to decrease, mostly affecting the NFTs containing common traits. However, it is worth mentioning that as investors knew the secondary collection traits, the rarest pieces started to trade for about x3 from the floor price at the time.

Karafuru Gachapon (Revealed) (Source: NFTGo.io)
Karafuru Gachapon (Revealed) (Source: NFTGo.io)

Contrary to the Karafurus airdrop, Moonbirds have been steady before and after the airdrop.

Moonbirds Ecosystem (Source: NFTGo.io)
Moonbirds Ecosystem (Source: NFTGo.io)

Similar to Karafurus, Moonbirds Oddities had a massive pump once hitting the secondary market. Oddities have not been revealed, this is why the price has remained the same over the past couple weeks.

Moonbirds Oddities (Source: NFTGo.io)
Moonbirds Oddities (Source: NFTGo.io)

Value of Airdrops in Terms of the Main Collections

Believe it or not, airdrops have never passed 50% of the value of the main collections.

Bored Ape Yacht Club, Collections Value (Source: NFTGo.io)
Bored Ape Yacht Club, Collections Value (Source: NFTGo.io)
Clone X, Collections Value (Source: NFTGo.io)
Clone X, Collections Value (Source: NFTGo.io)
Azuki, Collections Value (Source: NFTGo.io)
Azuki, Collections Value (Source: NFTGo.io)

In the examples above, we can see that the Clone X ecosystem almost approached the 50% mark of the total value of the main collection, the highest among the group.

The main collections still drive the performance of the ecosystems. This is shown by the airdrops maintaining a value below 50% of the main NFT collections.

Anticipating an Airdrop

As soon as teams announce an upcoming airdrop, the volume of the collection immediately starts to spike. Looking at Murakami Flowers, once the group announced it, the floor price went from ~2.5 ETH to ~5.0 ETH within hours before finding a consolidation point around 3.9 ETH.

Murakami.Flowers, Price (Source:NFTGo.io)
Murakami.Flowers, Price (Source:NFTGo.io)

Speculation drives investors to pump prices. Sartoshi provided the mfers community with a date and time for the "next era." Details were not disclosed, but investors were driven by the anticipation, and that produced a 1 ETH increase in the floor price.

Mfers, Price (Source:NFTGo.io)
Mfers, Price (Source:NFTGo.io)

Performance of the Airdrop Index

NFTs have lost almost 50% of USD value in the last 30D. On the other hand, the Airdrop Index (ETH) is recovering faster than the USD from June's dip, gaining almost 45% from the bottom. As the graph below shows, once traders and investors recognize a state of a market, they tend to trade at "ETH value", creating an accumulating phase of Ethereum.

Airdrop Index Last 30 Days (Source: NFTGo.io)
Airdrop Index Last 30 Days (Source: NFTGo.io)

Although looking at the big picture, the oldest collections of BAYC ecosystem have performed well in 2022 in terms of ETH, gaining 40% for BAKC and 45% MAYC respectevely. However, BAYC lands are the asset most depreciated in 2022, 94% in USD and 85% in ETH value.

Performance of Airdrops, 2022: BAYC Ecosystem (Source: NFTGo.io)
Performance of Airdrops, 2022: BAYC Ecosystem (Source: NFTGo.io)

Clone X airdrops currently have the best performance in 2022 at ETH value: MNLTH increased by 12.43%, Space Pod 214.11%, PodX is the only one down by 62.41% from the beginning of the year to Jun 21, 2022.

Performance of Airdrops, 2022: Clone X Ecosystem (Source: NFTGo.io)
Performance of Airdrops, 2022: Clone X Ecosystem (Source: NFTGo.io)

Taking into consideration the main airdropped collection of each Blue-Chip project, all of them have lost its USD and ETH value by at least 25% except for Cool Pets ($ETH), which has gained 8 percent from 2022 highs.

The Dooplicator is the collection which has decreased most of its value . It plummeted by 95% from its ATH. However, airdrops mentioned in the graph above do not take into account airdrops rewards (E.g. MAYC Land for MAYC holders).

Conclusion

Airdrops can be considered as a catalyst for an NFT collection's ecosystem. Still, as the hype begins to fade, and since there is no immediate utility, prices begin to correct. Selling pressure begins because many want to profit from a "free airdrop." These scenarios don't apply to all collections. Some will have a successful airdrop but others won't see a reflection in the prices.

It is worth noting that there is a correlation in the market performance between the main collection and the NFT airdropped collection. Since both projects share the same roadmap, investors price them based on similar metrics: community, roadmap, team, utility, etc.

Perhaps projects should focus first on building a strong community of true believers (including the whales). Otherwise, once an airdrop is confirmed, people will start dumping their bags.

Additionally, when a project is about to release an airdrop to their community, it is worth considering the following questions:

  1. Is the art similar to the main collection?
  2. How much supply is the team adding to the ecosystem?
  3. How much money is the team raising, and how will this money help the team to achieve their goals?
  4. How many OG holders are currently in the primary collection?
  5. Does the secondary collection add to the utility?

If you want to learn about which metrics to follow, please read this article by NFTGo.io. Or if you are interested in other metrics including trading curves, please read here.

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