Fluke... or Sign of Life? CryptoPunk and Bored Ape Both Sell for $1M as NFT Values Rally

Fluke... or Sign of Life? CryptoPunk and Bored Ape Both Sell for $1M as NFT Values Rally

1 year ago

The average price of collectable non-fungible tokens is soaring, as are sales. Is a new beginning in sight?

Fluke... or Sign of Life? CryptoPunk and Bored Ape Both Sell for $1M as NFT Values Rally

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The death of NFTs was proclaimed — and proclaimed and proclaimed and proclaimed — too soon, it seems.

Despite sales dropping 90% from January 2022 compared with January 2023 — and there's a big old asterisk on the number that we'll get to later — the first week of February has shown definite signs of a thaw.

Two of the hottest NFT collections saw sales reaching well over $1 million, with CryptoPunk #5066, a rare zombie, selling for $1.44 million.

Bored Ape Yacht Club #7090, an also-rare BAYC with a multicolored grin and solid gold fur, went for $1.34 million.

Both of those were sold by serious collectors. The CryptoPunk was sold by Kevin Rose, a noted NFT collector, venture capitalist and founder of Proof Collective, whose $280 million launch of the Moonbirds collection in April was one of 2022's biggest launches.

Rose made headlines last month when a phishing hack drained his portfolio of 40 NFTs worth at least $1 million.

The BAYC was sold by Jimmy McNelis, who owns the four apes — three Bored and one Mutant — that are the front-simians for Kingship, Universal Music Group's NFT "supergroup."

Prices Rising

More broadly, over the past 30 days the average price of many top collections have been soaring, with BAYC up almost 40%, CryptoPunks nearly 30%, Doodles 27%, Art Blocks 26%, and Azuki 43%, according to DappRadar.

All of them had sales growth of 35% to 45% in the past week, with Azuki as the outlier, up more than 110%, according to CryptoSlam.

Both the CryptoPunks and BAYC collections saw their market caps climb back over $1 billion.

But Wait...

There's another side to the NFTs-are-dead story that's worth pointing out.

The big lead in that story is that NFT prices were down 90% between January 2022 and 2023. That was 97% from January to September last year.

However, the key to those big headlines is January 2022. You can call it a peak or all-time high, but really, a spike is more accurate.

From when NFT sales first crossed $1 billion monthly in July 2021, according to CryptoSlam, to when it crossed back below 10 figures in June 2022, it only crossed $4 billion twice.

Except for January 2022, when sales hit $6.17 billion — more than double the previous month.

Having a spike in anything in January is what journalists call a gimme — you've got a free story every month for a year.

And for all the narrative of 2021 being the year NFTs exploded and 2022 the year they collapsed, the total sales in 2022 was $24.9 billion and $20.1 billion in 2021, according to CryptoSlam.

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