Crypto prices are down across the board this week amid news of FTX’s liquidity crunch and alleged mismanagement of customer funds—and the market turmoil may be extending into the NFT world, as well. Popular Ethereum project the Bored Ape Yacht Club is seeing sinking prices as ETH falls and owners potentially panic-sell their valuable NFTs.
According to data from NFT Price Floor, the cheapest available Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT on the market (i.e. the “floor price”) is listed for 57.5 ETH as of this writing, or about $76,400. Measured in ETH, that’s a 7% drop over the last 24 hours. But measured in USD, given the declining value of ETH (which is down 13% this week), it has fallen almost 24% over the past day.
Based on the current price, in USD, the floor price of a Bored Ape has plummeted since its peak of nearly $429,000 (152 ETH) on April 29 earlier this year, ahead of the launch of virtual land NFT deeds for creator Yuga Labs’ Otherside metaverse game. That’s an 82% drop.
After recently riding neck-and-neck in terms of floor price with CryptoPunks, another valuable Ethereum NFT collection (also now owned by Yuga Labs), the Apes have lost pace.
As of this writing, the floor price for a CryptoPunk is up 6% (in ETH) over the last 24 hours to 66.75 ETH, or about $88,700. Amid the renewed market struggles, some investors may see CryptoPunks as more durable assets that will hold value better than other NFTs, given their status as an influential, enduring project from 2017.
An NFT is a blockchain token that can be used to represent ownership in an item, including things like profile pictures (PFPs), artwork, and collectibles. The Bored Ape Yacht Club is a popular PFP collection spanning 10,000 unique images, and has yielded nearly $2.5 billion worth of secondary market trades since launching in April 2021.
There are a couple of potential factors that may be pushing Bored Ape prices down this week. One is the general crypto market despair amid the FTX collapse, which may be prompting some investors to offload their “blue chip” NFT assets amid the downturn. Interestingly, there’s on-chain evidence to suggest such action.
WETH trades as a percentage of total OpenSea volume is above 50% for the first time today. The chart below is pretty wild.
Everyone accepting the bids that are out there.
This is up from 40% when I tweeted this chart earlier. pic.twitter.com/5Zo66UPLfF
— NFTstatistics.eth (@punk9059) November 9, 2022
Data aggregated by Flipside Crypto and shared by Proof Director of Research Punk9059 on Wednesday shows a significant increase in trades on leading marketplace OpenSea using Wrapped Ethereum (WETH) instead of standard ETH. The share of WETH trades surged this week, popping above the 50% mark as of late Wednesday afternoon.
Why is that significant? Placing a bid on an NFT on OpenSea requires WETH, so when that number rises, it means more NFT owners are accepting bids placed on their assets. Bids are typically below the market value for any NFT, so the figure suggests that sellers are taking lowball offers to quickly liquidate their NFTs amid the market mayhem.
Another element tied into the crypto market decline pertains to BendDAO, a lending protocol that lets users take out crypto loans by using valuable NFTs as collateral. Currently, BendDAO is auctioning off 14 Bored Ape NFTs from liquidated loans, with the current bids on all of them well below the floor price on major marketplaces. That may suggest soft demand for the assets.
In August, BendDAO itself faced a significant liquidity crisis when it ran out of ETH and wasn’t receiving high-enough bids to auction the NFTs seized from liquidated loans. Ultimately, the protocol’s members voted to lower the liquidation threshold so that it’s easier for BendDAO to auction off the NFTs for underwater loans.