Trading volumes on OpenSea have plunged by more than 90%. The floor price of blue-chip NFTs is down sharply, too. Headlines about rare crypto collectibles selling for millions have vanished.
It's very easy to conclude that the show's over for NFTs — that the mania has died down. But that doesn't tell the whole story.
Big bands are releasing their albums in NFT form… and racing to the top of the charts. FIFA's building a platform for football-themed collectibles ahead of the World Cup. A-list celebs are proudly flaunting their Bored Apes — and featuring them in music videos. Some of the world's biggest brands are unveiling plans to release NFTs with every passing week.
This is a market that's still full of momentum — and it's clear that creators are undaunted by the crypto winter. The burst of the dotcom bubble didn't kill off the Internet — it led to a new wave of innovation and the creation of bigger, better companies. We're now seeing the same with NFTs.
Bitcoin will never hit $69,000 again — and the world's biggest cryptocurrency could end up being "regulated away," a researcher has warned. Speaking to CoinDesk, Kyle McDonald predicted that The Merge — Ethereum's imminent switch from a Proof-of-Work to a Proof-of-Stake blockchain — will be a game-changing moment for the crypto industry. Estimates from the Ethereum Foundation have previously suggested that PoS will use 99.95% less energy — and if this technology works as well as promised, McDonald thinks investors and regulators will realize PoW was never necessary. During the interview, he urged investors to sell Bitcoin now — and a lack of "coordination" means this network will be stuck with PoW indefinitely.
A hacker has stolen 110 Wrapped Ethereum that was raised for charity by actor and comedian Bill Murray. It followed the sale of a one-of-a-kind NFT called A Great Story — a black-and-white portrait of Murray accentuated by 3D glasses and a vivid green bowtie. At the time of writing, this WETH is worth $171,000. The theft is particularly heartbreaking given how the crypto was intended to help Evelyn — a three-year-old girl who has a rare gene condition and epilepsy. But thankfully, some good has come out of all of this. The person who narrowly missed out on winning the NFT during the bidding process has reportedly donated 120 ETH (worth $186,000) to assist with the little girl's medical care — even if the stolen crypto is recovered.
Muse have made history after becoming the first band to top the U.K. charts with an NFT album. Will Of The People was made available as a limited-edition "digital pressing" — alongside streaming, downloads, vinyl, CDs and cassettes. But it's a bit misleading to say that the success of this album rests solely with the non-fungible tokens. A grand total of 51,500 copies were sold in the first week — and while this is more than the other nine albums in the top 10 combined, the NFTs represented just 1.96% of British sales. Success was almost certain for Muse, not least because they've had six #1 albums in the past. Nonetheless, it does show NFTs are gaining momentum in the music industry — with Aitch also releasing a digital pressing recently.
Terror groups may be planning to use non-fungible tokens to raise funds and spread their message, according to a report. The Wall Street Journal says an NFT has emerged that praised Islamist militants for bombing a mosque in Afghanistan — an attack that killed 21 people. It was called IS-NEWS #01 and featured the logo for Islamic State — and worryingly, the NFT was visible on at least one marketplace. One former CIA analyst told the newspaper that it was "a matter of time" before extremists started to use this technology to further their goals. Here's the problem: American officials could find it "nearly impossible" to take this NFT off the internet. Even if marketplaces agree to blacklist it, the collectible would still exist on the blockchain.
South Korea's government has been left red-faced after an official YouTube channel was hacked by crypto scammers. In the early hours of Saturday, the channel's name was changed to SpaceX Invest — and a livestream was launched that showed an old interview of Elon Musk speaking to Bloomberg. It took four hours for South Korean officials to regain control of the account, which has more than 500,000 subscribers, and an investigation has now been launched. The channel remains offline at the time of writing. Rather embarrassingly, this is the third government-operated YouTube channel in the country to be hacked this week, according to local reports. All three were operated by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.