A tough year for NFTs is finally over, but the pain for NFT investors is likely to continue in the new year.
Marketplace volumes have yet to pick up, and the debate over royalty enforcement continues after many major marketplaces made the fees optional. Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs ended 2022 with a floor price of 69 ETH ($83,000) — a far cry from its peak in May of almost 145 ETH, which was around $410,000 at the time.
Still, after a rollercoaster year those buying NFTs have somehow managed to keep their sense of humor.
Web3 gaming has seen less upheaval. Alien Worlds remains the most popular web3 game by unique wallet interactions despite its gameplay consisting of little more than clicking one button repeatedly, according to DappRadar. Splinterlands, Farmers World, Planet IX and X World Games round out the top five.
Trump NFTs sold out in hours
Former U.S. President Donald Trump launched a 45,000-piece NFT collection on Dec.15, which sold out in hours.
At $99 a pop, buying an NFT automatically entered the purchaser into a sweepstake featuring prizes such as a group cocktail party at Mar-A-Lago, a dinner in Miami, a golfing trip with the former president and a group Zoom call.
Buying 45 or more NFTs guaranteed an invite to a gala dinner featuring Trump. The floor price of the collection — which still contains watermarks from stock images on some of the NFTs — jumped up several times, but is currently sitting at around 0.17 ETH ($211).
The collection has seen almost 7,900 ETH in total sales volume. It ranks 259th in sales volume on OpenSea, between “adult animated short series” Stoner Cats and the “story-driven artwork series” The Boring Ape Chronicles.
Polygon NFT hype surged
In 2022, Polygon was the chain of choice for many corporate NFT projects, with Starbucks, Meta, Nike and Reddit just some companies that chose to launch projects on the chain.
However, the picture isn’t as simple as a surge in Polygon's popularity. “The main challenge currently facing the Polygon NFT market is likely the unsustainability of its many growth spurts that have primarily come in a pulsed and short-lived manner,” said Thomas Bialek, a researcher at The Block.
Another Polygon transaction spike appeared with the launch of Trump's NFTs. Still, the volume quickly fell back to a similar level — a level far below the volumes on Ethereum and Solana.
Polygon NFT sales volumes Dec 2022. Source: CryptoSlam
It remains to be seen if the Polygon team can turn hype around high-profile partnerships into a regular, sustainable customer base for NFTs. "As its partnerships gradually assume the shape of concrete business ventures, more sustainable growth patterns could manifest over time," said Bialek.
VR headset sales fell
According to data from CCS Insight, sales of virtual reality and augmented reality headsets dropped 12% globally to 9.6 million in 2022.
The data come following widespread criticism of Meta — both from outside the company and among its staff — for its gamble on the metaverse. The company rebranded itself and poured billions into taking the metaverse mainstream. Its efforts have yet to pay off.
That said, several other companies will launch headsets in 2023. Sony’s PlayStation VR2 will come out in February and cost $550. There are also rumors Apple may have a product in the works.
NFT Christmas sales dipped
NFT sales volumes dipped in the days leading up to Christmas. Volume hit a monthly low of $13.6 million on Dec. 24 followed by $15.8 million on Dec. 25. Just days before, it had hit a high for the month of $32 million on Dec. 20, according to the NFT data tracker CryptoSlam.
A similar pattern appeared in 2021 when sales dropped from $80.8 million to $64.3 million.
Uniswap's new NFT marketplace
When you think the NFT marketplace space can't get any more crowded, a new contender squeezes in.
In November, the decentralized exchange protocol Uniswap debuted its NFT marketplace aggregator. It currently features NFTs from OpenSea, X2Y2, LooksRare, Sudoswap, Larva Labs, X2Y2, Foundation and NFT20.
Uniswap Labs started work on the product in June when it purchased NFT aggregator Genie as part of expansion efforts.
A little over a month since launch, the marketplace has seen almost $3.7 million in total volume and over 6,200 transactions, according to data from @Marcov on Dune analytics.
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