Are ETH NFTs Really Making a Comeback?

ETH NFT

TL;DR
ETH NFTs entered a long decline after the initial NFT wave of 2021/22, but recently, several well known collections have been making moves off the bottom, with BAYC and MAYC, CryptoPunks, Azuki, Moonbirds and DeGods all making gains, while there are multiple other well-established collections, including Doodles and Pudgy Penguins, which have good potential from here.

Whisper it quietly, but are ETH NFTs making a comeback? Having been down bad for months, several collections appear to be making moves off the bottom, so are there further gains in store for NFTs that have rallied, and which other collections might be ready to reverse the downward trend?

What Happened to ETH NFTs?

Let’s start with a catch-up on the storyline so far. During the major NFT wave of 2021/22, while there was plenty of opportunity in Solana and other ecosystems, Ethereum was far and away the dominant NFT blockchain, and the hugest collections were all on ETH.

But then, despite crypto emerging from the bear market in 2023, OG ETH NFTs remained in the doldrums, and it’s not simply that there’s no appetite for JPEGs, as there’s been positive price action around Bitcoin Ordinals, and NFTs on both Base and Blast are generating interest.

However, it’s often the way in crypto that when something is at its most hated, it suddenly then starts to rally, and that looks like exactly what’s been going on with some down-but-not-out ETH NFTs lately.

Collections Making Moves

So which collections have been waking up and dusting themselves off recently? Let’s take a look.

BAYC and MAYC

ETH NFTs
Image credit: Bored Ape Yacht Club

Bored Apes and companion collection Mutant Apes are the most recognizable NFTs in the world, but despite the high profile have crashed and then crashed some more, hitting lows last month of–in the case of main collection BAYC–just over 10 ETH, which is an astonishing comedown from the over 150 ETH floor price highs of 2022.

Then, amid long-running complaints that creator Yuga Labs had lost its way, came an announcement from Yuga that it was stripping down and going back to basics, having already, a month earlier, sold off some of its side projects.

Since then, the floor price on BAYC rose briefly to above 16 ETH, and MAYC went from around 1.7 ETH to above 3 ETH. But is there further upside to come? BAYC is far from previous highs, the behemoth that is Yuga Labs looks like it’s regaining its focus, and when it comes down to it, Apes–whether you love or hate them–are an iconic component in crypto history.

CryptoPunks

ETH NFTs
Image credit: CryptoPunks

And speaking of crypto icons, CryptoPunks are also demonstrating demand. Created in 2017, this collection set the template for PFPs, they’ve been sold at art auctions and displayed in galleries, and–although Yuga Labs acquired the CryptoPunks IP in 2022–are sometimes regarded as more high-end and (sorry BAYC holders) less tacky than Bored Apes.

The Punks floor price never dipped below 36 ETH, but still experienced a significant drop from the 2021 highs of around 125 ETH. However, fifteen sales in the space of one day last week (the most in one day since January) ticked the floor price up to 38 ETH.

Azuki

Arguably the most important NFT project after BAYC and CryptoPunks, Azuki is certainly the leader in the anime niche, and has been busy regardless of price action, last month releasing the first part of an anime short series called Enter the Garden. This was produced in collaboration with Japanese advertising agency Dentsu and renowned anime creator Goro Taniguchi, and has been well received.

ETH NFTs
Image credit: Chiru Labs

As for its NFTs, the Azuki main collection has seen its floor price rise over the past month from around 3.6 ETH to above 5 ETH. That’s still a long way off previous highs (above 30 ETH in 2022), but Azuki is delivering on expectations and has its own distinct niche firmly carved out.

Moonbirds

ETH NFTs

There have been a lot of ups and downs with Moonbirds since it was launched in 2022, with a takeover by Yuga Labs earlier this year and, recently, criticism of plans to change the project’s licensing model. In fact, Moonbirds was already criticized for changing the licensing model once before, in 2022, so all in all, it’s been a bumpy road so far.

However, there are also now plans for a new ecosystem called Moonbirds Universe, and floor prices have doubled over the past month from around 0.4 ETH to around 0.8 ETH, although that comes after a huge decline from 2022 highs that peaked above 38 ETH.

DeGods

This collection is the odd one out here, because it both is and isn’t Ethereum-based. DeGods originally minted on Solana, then switched chains over to Ethereum in the depths of the last crypto bear market, before this month opening up a bridge back to Solana.

ETH NFTs
Image credit: DeGods

Founder Frank DeGods received criticism for chopping and changing chains, but in the end, the market seems to like the Solana homecoming, and the floor price in ETH has risen from a low of around 1.25 ETH to, currently, above 2.2 ETH.

As not all holders have bridged back to Solana, the collection is now spread across both chains, and just to confuse matters further, DeGods also released an Ordinals component on Bitcoin last year, so there’s now a slightly messy, uniquely multichain vibe.

Other Collections With Comeback Potential

There’s plenty happening at OG project Doodles, which last month announced an incoming animated series sound tracked by Pharrell Williams, and there’s also Pudgy Penguins, which last year crossed over into releasing its own range of physical toys.

Besides those, some other collections that can tap into renewed NFT activity include Quirkies, Chimpers, Sappy Seals, Creepz and CloneX, all of which have retained their communities and have distinctive identities.

Are ETH NFTs Really Making a Comeback? - - 2024

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Are ETH NFTs Really Making a Comeback? - - 2024
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