Floor prices were up, GameFi and metaverse plays were booming, and January 2022 saw record trading volumes of over $5B a week.
Of course, not all of it was organic, as wash trading spiked due to generous token incentives from new marketplaces like LooksRare and X2Y2.
Still, it was a time of plenty, and the frothy market enabled some crazy things, like Pixelmon raising $70M on the back of some slick trailers and little else. Bored Apes hit a floor price of $420,000, and NFT Worlds changed hands at $60,000 a pop.
As the year draws to a close, the NFT market remains a shadow of its former self. Volumes have plunged 90%, Ether is down nearly 70%, and the floor prices of most collections have crashed 50% or more, leaving NFT holders truly ‘in it for the art.’
But despite the carnage, we’ve seen some NFT collections overcome adverse market conditions by innovating and keeping their communities engaged.
In January 2022, the penguins’ future looked uncertain after the community ousted the founding team, and the floor price of the collection dipped under 1 ETH in February.
However, after being officially taken over by entrepreneur Luca Netz in April, the flightless birds were off to the races, and it’s been a steady rise since. The project also unveiled a series of physical toys in August.
Penguin #6873, the only left-facing one in the collection, was sold for 400 ETH in August.
Launched as a free stealth mint in August, DigiDaigaku is a collection of 2,022 anime-themed characters created by Limit Break, a web3 gaming company that raised an eyewatering $200M in two funding rounds.
After an initial surge, the collection’s floor price has remained steady in the 7-10 ETH range. Limit Break went on to release a second collection, called DigiDaigaku Heroes, which is trading for around 3 ETH as of Dec. 26.
DeGods were minted in October 2021 at 3 SOL ($450 at the time) and currently command a floor price of around 700 SOL ($7,000).
On Dec. 25, DeGods and y00ts unveiled plans to migrate to Ethereum and Polygon, respectively, in a controversial move.
Ethereum Name Service
ENS domains have been around since 2017 and serve as a form of digital identity in web3, allowing users to map their Ethereum addresses to easily readable .eth names.
Interest in ENS domains started to pick up after the protocol airdropped its eponymous governance token to early adopters in November 2021 but hit a whole new level in 2022.
Over 400,000 domains were registered in September as collectors began to vie for various combinations of numbers and letters – a trend kicked off by the 10K Club, which includes four-digit numerical domains from 1000.eth to 9999.eth.
Though nowhere near 2021 levels, generative art has seen a steady uptick in activity over the past few months, and the older Art Blocks Curated collections held up fairly well in ETH terms over the year.
Tyler Hobbs’ Fidenza collection remains popular with collectors, sitting at a floor of 90 ETH. Meanwhile, Gazers by Matt Kane is up 700% in 2022 to a 35 ETH floor.
Chromie Squiggle, the flagship collection from Art Blocks founder Erick Calderon, has doubled its floor price to 15 ETH this year, and recent launches have started to sell out quickly once again, almost reminiscent of the gas wars of Fall 2021.