NFT Insider Dec. 14

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NFTs in 2021

Though it’s a small sample size of only a few assets, trading NFTs continued their decline into the end of 2021. That said, they’re still up over 200%, and the decline is mostly due to the insane run up of one Crypto Punk on Otis in early September.

Price data taken from Rally and Otis fractional platforms

Looking at the NFT market more broadly, total daily sales seems to have flattened out into a new bottom of around $500m / day. Will be interesting to see if that declines further into Christmas as retail investors cash out to buy gifts. Chart action below looks to mirror that of the fractional markets, more or less, but I think that’s a coincidence.

NFT Sales Volume 2021 courtesy NonFungible.com

Last Week

Fractional Marketplaces

Price data from Rally and Otis fractional platforms

It was the definition of a mixed week in the fractional NFT markets on Otis and Rally with two assets up, two flat, and two down.

Elsewhere

The CryptoPunks finished the week with the top position in sales volume on OpenSea, but taking the top spot this week was not a good sign. Instead, the most valuable profile pic (PFP) project finds itself at a crossroads. We’ll discuss this in more detail in this week’s Industry News.

This Week

Fractional Marketplaces

Otis is unleashing a pair of NFTs by XCOPY and FEWOCious. Rally is also IPO’ing “Laser Eyes” Bored Ape #4612.

FEWOCious was a recent addition to the Otis lineup. Otis purchased, “i miss your voice call back soon okay” #03/16 less than three weeks ago for $44k. It is being IPO’d on Tuesday for $49k. The 18-year-old FEWOCious is prolific and already a top 10 NFT artist globally.

His secondary market is very active, but it involves some less pricey pieces that have larger edition numbers. For his lower edition numbers, collectors tend to hold, and they can go months between sales which limits the number of direct comps.

FEWOCious: Hieronymus Bosch, Marc Chagall, and Pablo Picasso in one.

New IPO’s

Bottom Feeder by XCOPY (edition of 38)

  • Market Cap: $93,700
  • Inferred Value: $89k
  • Drop: Dec. 14 @ 12 PM EST on Otis
  • Recommendation: [Insiders Only]

i miss your voice call back soon okay by FEWOCious (edition of 16)

  • Market Cap: $46,800
  • Inferred Value: $55,555
  • Drop: Dec. 14 @ 2 PM EST on Otis
  • Recommendation: [Insiders Only]

“Laser Eyes” Bored Ape #4612

  • Market Cap: $700k (30% retained equity)
  • Inferred Value: $515k
  • Retained Equity: 30% (30,000 shares)
  • Drop: This Week on Rally
  • Recommendation: [Insiders Only]

Interesting projects elsewhere

World of Women

  • Since September, World of Women has been one of the most successful PFP projects.
  • With a floor price at just under 2 ETH, and some sales in the 1.5 ETH range, this is a solid project to research as a potential investment.
  • In addition, the project states on its front page, “each token grants you commercial rights to the art for you to create something with your WoW NFT if you wish to do so.”
  • Any royalty earned by the Creators from WoW images will pay a 50% fee to said Owners. You can read the full ownership license here.
World of Women is legit awesome

Hapebeast

  • A collection of 3D Ethereum-based NFTs centered around pop culture and fashion
  • The developers are fully doxed and have substantial experience working with 3D projects
  • Imagine BAYC comes to life – like for real, real
  • The Collection will be released sometime in December, but no official date has been announced

Industry News

Mutant Ape Yacht Club / Bored Ape Kennel Club

As the CryptoPunk star wanes during this round of controversy, the Bored Ape Yacht Club has ascended. The project’s floor price rose by 20 ETH in a month. Riding on their coattails are its derivative project, Mutant Ape Yacht Club.

MAYC has been steadily increasing in value in lockstep with BAYC, but at a much more affordable (relatively, speaking) floor price of just a little more than 6 ETH. It has been a steady presence on the OpenSea top 10 sales volume during the past two months.

If 6 ETH is over your reach, you might want to track Bored Ape Kennel Club. The floor is about 2.5 ETH and could be a value play if it experiences residual benefit from BAYC and MAYC.

RTFKT CloneX – Mint Vial

Boosted by the news that Nike acquired this project / team, the floor price has more than 3x since last week from around 3.3 ETH to 12 ETH.

The revealed Clone X characters are sitting at a floor price of 6 ETH. So why the discrepancy between vials and revealed characters?

It’s like purchasing a lottery ticket. For some, the possibility of revealing a rare Clone X like Clone #19503 and selling it for $43k is enough to take a flier. Clone X #2388 sold for $570k early Monday morning.

CryptoPunks

Punk4156, one of the most influential NFT voices on Twitter, sold his Punk #4156 for more than $10 million. It should have been a sale to celebrate. Instead, the transaction has become a symbol of a contentious fight between Punk owners and Larva Labs over IP rights.

It’s never a good sign to see one of your project’s whales ditch your community. The sale of Punk #4156 saw a sell-off of some of the most expensive CryptoPunks in a matter of hours, including Punk #8473 ($607k), Punk #7677 ($1 million), and Punk #5361 ($500k).

The graph above shows that the sell-off started at the beginning of December, kicking off a period of sales volume for CryptoPunks not seen since October. In this instance, it’s not that Punk holders are selling to realize gains, but are selling off in protest.

This is remarkable. It marks a new stage of the debate around commercial terms, IP ownership, and what it means to be an NFT.

The rise of the NFT industry is in part due to the assumption of absolute ownership — the idea that you have the rights to an individual JPEG to do whatever you want with, including profiting from it. For many NFT projects, this is the case, so long as you do nothing to harm the overall brand with hateful or demeaning images.

But that idea took a hit in recent weeks when a fight between some high-profile CryptoPunk owners and Larva Labs, the CryptoPunk creators, broke into mainstream media.

For months, Larva Labs has been non-committal in specifying Punk owners’ licensing and IP rights. Over time, when Punk owners wanted clarity on the copyright, and when Larva Labs vacillated from an open license to a limited copyright license, some had enough.

Punk owners do not know if they have the right to commercialize, modify, or market their Punk for monetary gain beyond $100,000. The $100k figure comes from the Meebits agreement, Larva Lab’s second NFT release. In it, Meebit owners can profit from their NFT for up to $100k, and they cannot use it to market 3rd party brands.

What ramifications does Punk 4156’s sale have? The sale implies that he does not value his CryptoPunk beyond the $10 million he sold it for. Perhaps he sold on principle. But he feels strongly about his conviction.

As Punk 4156 put it, “It’s just kind of an illogical position to continue building your brand around something over which you don’t have the strongest claim.”

Punks vs Apes

At the same time, the Bored Ape Yacht Club’s much more generous licensing agreement has grabbed headlines in juxtaposition to the Punk agreement. Some have argued that this is precisely why a project like BAYC, which some view as a rival to the Punks, is much better positioned for its owners over the long term.

A portion of art analysts see no difference between buying traditional art and art in NFT form. When you buy an art piece, you maintain ownership but cannot use a hypothetical Van Gogh or Basquiat to launch your brand for financial gain.

Do these NFT projects, many with 10,000 images and some with 20,000 images, maintain the same rights as original 1/1 artworks? That’s yet to be determined. So far, if a company like Larva Labs decides to pursue its rights under its current terms of agreement, the courts have shown that they will side with the Creators. This is one way to go around it.

Others argue that a change in copyright license would have little effect.

But for those that are willing and able, should that prohibit them from networking to create licensing agreements, start a restaurant with their Punk as the brand, or start a clothing brand?

Speaking of starting clothing brands, HERE is a handy step-by-step guide by Printful on how to start a clothing brand in 2022.

There are so many layers and legal considerations to this story. For now, the trend seems to favor those Creators and projects that give owners unlimited IP rights to potentially use their NFTs to build a life for themselves around their NFTs.

We may have entered a new NFT phase where investors and collectors will now ask to see the licensing agreements before any roadmap.

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Author

Horacio Ruiz

Horacio Ruiz

Horacio is a veteran math teacher of the New York City public school system. Prior to teaching, he lived in New Orleans where he worked in sales for the New Orleans Hornets before joining The Institute for Sport and Social Justice to rebuild homes in the Lower Ninth Ward and neighboring St. Bernard Parish. He currently lives in Staten Island with his wife, Alicia, his three sons; Oliver, Henry, and Jacob, and their pitt-mi,x Tipitina. In 2019, Horacio published a biography, The White Knight: Calvin Patterson and the Integration of Florida State University Football.

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