The Ethereum floor price of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT collection has dropped to its lowest level since the start of the year, amid a continued NFT market slump and wider crypto market crash.
At 65.68 ETH, the floor price of Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs has fallen to levels not seen since January 2, 2022. According to data from CoinGecko, it has been on a downtrend since reaching an all-time high of 153.7 ETH on May 1.
BAYC remains the biggest NFT collection by market capitalization, at 656,800 ETH—just above its nearest rival, CryptoPunks, with a total market cap of 655,000 ETH and floor price of 65.5 ETH.
However, it’s not all bad news for Bored Ape holders. Ethereum’s fluctuating price means that in dollar terms, the BAYC floor price is around $107,000 today; substantially lower than at the start of the year, when it was just under $256,000, but up from a low of just under $87,000, recorded in June.
BAYC faces liquidations on BenDAO
To add fuel to the flames, Bored Apes acquired using loans on peer-to-peer lending service BenDAO could face being liquidated, due to the collection’s plummeting floor price.
BenDAO, which allows customers to borrow ETH in exchange for NFTs, enables users to take out loans up to 40% of an NFT's floor price. Should the floor price of the NFT drop to a point where the NFT-backed loan’s “health factor” is below 1, the NFT is placed in a 48-hour auction and sold to the highest bidder if the loan isn’t repaid.
The health factor is defined as a “numeric representation of the safety of your deposited NFT against the borrowed ETH and its underlying value.”
There are currently 72 Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs on the platform in the “danger zone,” defined by NFT trader Cirrus, who broke the news of the potential liquidations, as having a health factor of below 1.2—where they’re at risk of a drop in the price floor triggering a liquidation.
BenDAO states in its FAQ that “short-term fluctuations in NFT floor price are normal,” and that, “Consensus on bluechip NFTs wasn't built in a day, and it will not be collapsed in a short period of time.”
Its documentation also notes that “the platform only has a temporary floating loss and no actual losses,” but leaves open the question of what happens if no buyer steps in, and the value of the NFT falls below that of the interest-accruing debt.
With the BAYC floor price down 57% from its all-time high recorded in May, and 2.57% of the BAYC collection linked to BendDAO, it’s a question that could become pressing.
NFTs track crypto market slump
NFTs like BAYC that operate on the Ethereum network and are sold for Ether (ETH) tend to shadow the price of Ethereum.
Following the collapse of Terra's algorithmic stablecoin UST in May and the bankruptcy filings of hedge fund Three Arrows Capital and crypto-lender Celsius Network in June, Ethereum lost 43% of its value.
The floor price of BAYC correspondingly dropped by 36%, from 116 ETH to 65.5 ETH during the same period from May to June.
However, as investors prepare to capitalize on Ethereum's upcoming Merge, NFTs have broken step with the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.
Between June 19 and August 20, Ethereum rose from an eight-month low of $995 to $1,634, while BAYC’s floor price has continued to drop.
Zooming out, the NFT market as a whole has not fared well over the past 12 months.
Number of NFT sales vs. sales in USD. Source: NonFungible.com
Daily sales numbers (orange) have declined while the dollar value of the sales (white) remains stagnant.
According to NonFungible.com's Q2 2022 industry report, "interest has dropped" in NFTs, with "geopolitical concerns" hampering the market.
"The liquidity of most collections has decreased considerably, thus lowering the rate of release on the secondary market", the report suggests.