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Aptos Is Luring Away Solana NFT Traders and Creators—Will It Last?

Solana’s NFT scene has had a rough month amid creator royalty disputes. The rising Aptos space may be taking advantage.

4 min read
Images from the Aptos Monkeys and Aptomingos NFT projects. Image: Aptos Monkeys/Aptomingos

In brief

  • The Aptos NFT market has been growing since last week’s launch of the mainnet.
  • Solana NFT trading is down recently amid moves by marketplaces to no longer enforce creator royalties.

Enthusiasm around the Solana NFT market has been in short supply lately on Crypto Twitter as marketplaces push back on honoring creator royalties. Trading volume is creeping down, and it might not just be due to bad bear market vibes: rival blockchain network Aptos also appears to be stealing the attentionand fundsof some Solana NFT traders.

Aptos, the so-called “Solana killer” backed by $350 million in VC funds, launched its mainnet last week to doom and gloom from crypto observers, who criticized the supply and distribution of the APT token and claimed that the blockchain was technically underwhelming.

But despite all of that, NFTs on Aptos are selling, with its top project at the momentAptos Monkeys—topping all other NFT collections across both Solana and Ethereum in terms of 24-hour trading volume.

Aptos NFT marketplace Topaz has amassed $5.46 million to date in NFT trades since its launch on October 18, based on the current price of APT, Topaz's pseudonymous founder 0xclickbait told Decrypt. Since launching on Tuesday afternoon, Aptos Monkeys alone have generated more than $2.3 million in trading volume (253,000 APT), according to data on Topaz. By contrast, the top selling collection on OpenSea right now is CryptoPunks, generating 559 ETH over the last day, or roughly $800,000.

Trading volume on Topaz is “basically doubling every day,” 0xclickbait told Decrypt.

Aptos doesn't yet have NFT data analytics platforms aggregating public blockchain data, but the figures provided by Topaz line up with the flood of transactions seen on the marketplace so far.

Topaz's reported trading volume nearly matches that of Solana NFT marketplace Magic Eden over the last day. Magic Eden reports 58,100 SOL worth of NFT trades over the past 24 hours, which comes out to $1.8 million worth—compared to $1.71 million for Topaz during the same span.

Other data collected by analytics platform Dune suggests a mostly downward trading volume trend for Magic Eden over the past several days—from about 100,700 SOL on Friday dropping gradually to 58,400 SOL on Monday, although the marketplace saw a pop up to nearly 79,400 SOL on Tuesday.

Market-wide, data analytics platform Nansen reports that Solana NFT trading volume has dropped 33% over the past 30 days compared to the previous span—2.08 million SOL, down from 3.08M SOL—with suspected market-manipulating wash trades removed from the data. Ethereum’s NFT market, meanwhile, is up nearly 6% during the same span.

Crypto Twitter is replete with examples of Solana traders chatting about jumping into the Aptos space, which some say reminds them of the early days of Solana NFTs. The shift could explain the swings in liquidity in both markets.

Aptos Monkeys has made the largest splash yet on the nascent blockchain, but the pixel-art, flamingo-themed Aptomingos has also moved big numbers, amassing about 100,000 APT ($882,000) in trading volume to date. The cheapest-available Aptomingos NFT is currently listed at 78.5 APT (nearly $700).

Over the last 24 hours, Aptos Monkeys has yielded significantly more trading volume on Topaz than the top Solana NFT project—DeGods spinoff y00ts—has generated on Magic Eden (5,700 SOL, or $177,000).

The shifting momentum is also pushing some would-be creators away from Solana, with NFT projects—such as Zodiac World, Mogu Dragonz, and Aptos Top Sharks—announcing that they are “moving to Aptos” to take advantage of the hype. Meanwhile, existing project Okay Bulls said today that it will transition to Aptos, letting NFT holders swap for an Aptos version.

That trend has caused grumbling among some Solana die-hards on Crypto Twitter, as some recall what happened with Near Protocol, a platform that uses the same Rust programming language as Solana.

As with Aptos, there was early hype around NFTs on Near, and many Solana traders rushed into the space to try and seize the opportunity—but it didn’t last. Top Near marketplace Paras has under $5,000 in trading volume over the last day, per DappRadar.

Whether Aptos repeats that rapid boom-and-bust cycle or turns into the next Solana remains to be seen, but the early momentum is building. With Bruh Bears and other anticipated mints still on the horizon, traders will no doubt be watching closely to see whether Aptos can provide a sustained challenge—especially if Solana NFTs bounce back.

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