In a sign the NFT market is enduring a brutal winter, OpenSea’s trading volume plunged to its lowest level in 13 months on Tuesday.
OpenSea, the No. 1 NFT marketplace, handled $6.5M worth of trades, a fraction of the $204M executed at its peak in February, according to data from DappRadar.
The number of transactions on the site has also plunged by two-thirds in the last six months. As for active players, that, too, is way down with 15,220 traders on the marketplace, a 70% dive from the heady days of February.
‘Here For the Art’
OpenSea is not the only platform in the dumps. Volume on NBA Top Shot, Dapper Labs’ NFT sports series, is down 87.4% from its high of $3.17M on April 29.
There’s plenty of gallows humor in the NFT space.
“I’m here for the art,” Twitter user apebayc tweeted sarcastically after watching the value of their NFT portfolio slump from $1M to $300,000 in the last 12 months. Bubz0088 replied that their portfolio was worth just $10 after investing $30,000 into NFTs.
The downturn is a reality check for a market that became a pop-culture phenomenon in 2021. Even as Ethereum and other DeFi stalwarts rally in the runup to The Merge — ETH has soared 41% in the last 30 days — the leading collections in NFT land are swooning.
The floor prices for Bored Ape Yacht Club, perhaps the most celebrated collection with fans such as NBA star Stephen Curry, have plunged 69%, to $128,722, after peaking on May 1.
Other collections are doing even worse. Doodles lost 81% of their value since surging to $67,750 on May 6. Clone X plummeted 82% after peaking at $72,600 on April 4, and Azuki tanked 88% since tagging $108,000 on April 3, according to data from NFT Price Floor and CoinGecko.
Yet many traders have bailed on NFTs as the bear market in crypto tightened its grip in the third quarter this year. Many may be piously bag-holding as a result of the brutal downtrend of Q2 2022.
According to Google trends, the volume of traffic searching for the keyword ‘NFT’ surpassed ‘Ethereum’ in November, and ‘crypto’ in December. However, interest in nonfungibles appears to have since declined by 85%.
Meanwhile, only a handful of collections have posted meaningful gains against Ether in recent months. CryptoPunks, the five-year-old blue chip collection, jumped 82% since May 30 to an all-time high of 83.7 ETH on July 18. But it remains down 72% against the dollar.
It seems NFT holders are retreating to tried and true assets as times get rough. That’s a new role for CryptoPunks.