Avalanche NFTs | A Growing Community in a Bear Market (Q3 2022)

Avalanche NFT

The Avalanche NFT ecosystem (with its native token AVAX) has had its own community growing for some time, and despite the bear market there has been plenty of development around marketplaces and tools, projects minting new collections, and an optimistic mood.

This is not to say that user activity didn’t drop when the markets crashed, but it now appears to have leveled off at the bottom and even started picking up a little, while creators themselves have kept on working.

Looking at Avalanche stats showing the network’s daily active NFT users and NFT transactions, we can see activity peaking from late January to early May, and then crashing with the unfolding crypto chaos that has affected the entire market (and let’s not forget the macro turmoil that is hammering traditional markets too). We seem to have passed the quietest stage though, and activity has been slowly creeping up again since the middle of June, and through into July.

Avalanche NFTs | A Growing Community in a Bear Market (Q3 2022) - - 2023

The JOE Empire


Image credits: Trader Joe

If you’ve used Avalanche for DeFi, then you’ll be familiar with Trader Joe, which is the blockchain’s leading DEX (find out more in this interview). Building on its DeFi success, Trader Joe this year also launched the Joepegs marketplace and launchpad, specializing in AVAX NFTs.

And on top of that, there are the JOE ecosystem’s own NFT collections, first Smol Joes, and then Smol Land. There are 100 Smol Joes and 200 Smol Lands, and both collections were free to mint and have no roadmaps. This launch strategy is reminiscent of Goblintown, as is the use of weird fonts when tweeting, and the fantasy-style storytelling you can find on Twitter and in the Discord.

It’s unclear exactly where these collections are leading, but it appears they will tie in with plans to expand the JOE brand through an in-development 10,000 item PFP collection. They’re currently ranked as numbers 1 (Smol Land) and 3 (Smol Joes) by volume on Joepegs, but be careful about buying unofficial derivatives, which will not be supported by the JOE platforms. 

Other Marketplaces

There are other players when it comes to AVAX NFT marketplaces, most notably, Kalao and Campfire. It’s also worth looking at what’s available on NFTKEY and NFTrade. These marketplaces both feature AVAX NFTs, along with NFTs on several other blockchains.

You may also want to try out the new Avalanche browser extension wallet, Core. This is a non-custodial wallet with support for NFT assets, and which can bridge ERC-20 tokens, and also allows many native Avalanche tokens to be swapped directly using ParaSwap.

Interesting Projects

There are several gaming projects being developed on Avalanche, which fall into the Play and Earn category. By the way, the Play to Earn label is falling out of favor, with Play and Earn more common now. A difference is that Play to Earn sounds as if the only purpose is earning, while Play and Earn emphasizes that a project is primarily a game, but has the additional bonus of including crypto earning capacity.

When looking to pick up NFTs with utility, projects building out real products are especially interesting, and gaming is a huge industry that could become an intersection where crypto and NFTs connect with a wider audience.

Castle Crush

nfts on avalanche

Image credits: Wildlife Studios

This game is the work of proven mobile gaming developer Wildlife Studios, a foundation that puts it ahead of the majority of NFT projects promising games and metaverses, but that have limited hands-on experience of gaming development.

Castle Crush is a hugely popular, free-to-play game that revolves around battles and strategic planning against a fantasy backdrop, and that has decided to integrate NFTs and an in-game token. It will be interesting to follow along with how smoothly its shift into web3 progresses, and how NFTs and crypto are utilized by experienced developers who have an in-depth understanding of gaming mechanics.



Image credits: Smashverse

The Smashverse project stands out through looking great, which is important, but also because it’s taking recognizably popular genres and interests–combat games, wrestling and martial arts–and introducing NFTs and tokens into the equation.

Importantly, the NFT element has clear utility, with tokens representing in-game fighters that owners will be able to customize and trade. This could, potentially, be a project that leads with gameplay, fits into a niche, and incorporates crypto in a meaningful way.


best avalanche nft

Image credits: RunBlox

Runblox really fits into the Move to Earn category, rather than just straightforward gaming, but is similar in that it’s a project with utility extending beyond crypto, that also includes mechanisms by which to earn in-game tokens.

Essentially, it’s a gamified fitness app that incentivises exercise, utilizes sneaker NFTs and native tokens, and includes features such as creating new sneaker NFTs that are bred from existing ones that you already own.

RunBlox has been created on OpenBlox, an Avalanche-integrated GameFi platform with several more games in development and scheduled for launch towards the end of this year and early 2023.

Unrelated to OpenBlox, some other notable Avalanche-based gaming projects to look into include Heroes Chained, Time Shuffle, and Crabada, all of which have the potential to do well.

GameFi (or blockchain gaming) is a new sector that has yet to fully prove itself, and Avalanche is just one part of the wider ecosystem. However, of the projects that are building now, while crypto is fearful, there are some clear candidates for explosive growth when bullishness returns.

Avalanche NFTs | A Growing Community in a Bear Market (Q3 2022) - - 2023

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