NFT Bear Market Survivors

NFT Bear Market

As NFT markets hit what may be cycle lows, we can identify resilient projects such as Pudgy Penguins, Ordinal Maxi Biz, Memeland, Milady Maker, Nakamigos, CryptoPunks, and Yuga Labs. The NFT art scene has also remained strong throughout the bear market, with many active artists, and buyers collecting artwork.

How does the NFT bear market fit into the crypto cycle? General consensus is that Q4 2023 puts crypto in a kind of post-bear/pre-bull position, past the worst, waiting for upside.

When it comes to NFTs though, the story is different as markets appear only now to be hitting rock bottom after a long grind down. However, if the halving brings better times for crypto, then we can expect NFTs to be back in the mix, meaning the current lull is an ideal moment to note the NFT bear market survivors that are still active.

Pudgy Penguins

NFT bear market
Image credit: Pudgy Penguins

Back in the NFT heyday, it seemed like every big JPEG drop came with the promise of real-life goods and merchandise. This often meant streetwear, and tended to end in a collection of black hoodies.

However, one project that actually delivered and made a success of it, is Pudgy Penguins. Having been taken over by entrepreneur Luca Netz in 2022, the project has launched a series of toys, which are blockchain-connected and–here’s the best part–doing impressive sales to non-crypto consumers.

Ordinal Maxi Biz

NFT bear market
Image credit: Ordinal Maxi Biz

Everyone knows CryptoPunks (mentioned below), but 2023 brought NFTs on Bitcoin (known as Ordinals) and the CryptoPunks-esque Ordinal Maxi Biz collection. As with other NFTs, Bitcoin Ordinals volume has dropped off after initial hype, but OMB is still holding a floor of 0.23 BTC.

Whether it’s through sheer force of will from the creators, being early, or looking kind of like a more punk version of CryptoPunks, OMB seems to have value simply as a blockchain collectible.

There are three types of OMB–blue eyes, red eyes and green eyes–of which green eyes are the cheapest, while blues and reds are expensive due to being scarcer and earlier to release.


NFT bear market
Image credit: Memeland

The entire Memeland project has held up well throughout the bear market, up to and including the Captainz PFP collection. As it’s the work of 9GAG, a huge, meme-oriented, Web2 social platform, it has a very solid base, and it never takes itself too seriously, which is a huge strength.

The collections to look at are Potatoz and Captainz at the more affordable end, while the 420-piece You the Real MVP collection has a floor price just under 30 ETH, and with only 1% listed.

Milady Maker

NFT bear market
Image credit: Milady Maker

The most counter-cultural NFT collection in existence, Milady has been at the center of some darkest-corners-of-4-chan type controversies, but appears to be antifragile, with avant-garde credentials that only ever grow.

Deeply weird and with a cult-like popularity (which is what allows it to maintain value), Milady was created by Remilia Collective and designed by Charlotte Fang, but a new dispute has now erupted between Fang and Remilia, with the possibility of legal action on the cards. This has caused Milady prices to drop (the current floor is 2.45 ETH), but if the story up to now is a good indicator, then–however the disagreement unfolds–the project is likely to come out intact.


NFT bear market
Image credit: Nakamigos

Appearing earlier this year, Nakamigos was a free mint for holders of EOS passes (which were made by Sartoshi, founder of the MFers collection), and it took over the NFT space for a few months amid wild speculation about who had created it.

Then, earlier this month, there was outrage following the announcement of a 20,000-item companion drop, called Cloaks. This was derided as a supply-diluting cash grab and Nakamigos prices crashed, whereupon the creators announced that original Nakamigos holders would get a free Cloaks mint, and prices recovered a little.

Plenty of drama there, but when it comes down to it, there’s something unusual about Nakamigos. No-one knows who made them, they minted quietly during a bear market, there’s too much supply, and yet they went from free, to around 0.9 ETH at peak, to around 0.4 ETH before the new collection announcement, and even after all that, floor prices remain at around 0.2 ETH.


NFT bear market
Image credit: CryptoPunks

The original, format-defining PFP collection. CryptoPunks are as much a part of the art world as they are a part of the crypto world, they don’t have any utility, and they don’t need it, since they’re regarded purely as digital collectibles.

Floors may be down from a 2021 peak approaching 125 ETH, but that still means you’ll have to cough up, right now, 46 ETH for the cheapest Punk, and actually, that might not be a bad long-term investment.


NFT bear market
Image credit: Yuga Labs

Are Bored Ape Yacht Club and Mutant Ape Yacht Club down bad? Yes, they are. The BAYC floor has gone from around 150 ETH to around 25 ETH, and MAYC has gone from around 40 ETH to around 5 ETH. That said, though, we’re still talking about JPEGs changing hands for–in BAYC’s case–tens of thousands of dollars.

And that’s because Yuga Labs–which has steered long-term in a gaming and metaverse direction–remains the biggest name in NFTs.

Art in the NFT Bear Market

The most resilient part of the NFT world has been the art sector, where upbeat artists have been keeping busy. There are too many thriving participants to go into detail about each one, but some names that remain as creative as ever include:

  • Tyler Hobbs
  • Dmitri Cherniak
  • Grant Riven Yun
  • Deafbeef
  • Refik Anadol
  • Vinnie Hager

And some forward-thinking art platforms that are always worth checking in with include:

  • Art Blocks
  • Verse
  • BrainDrops
  • Sotheby’s Metaverse
  • Bright Moments

All in all then, while NFT markets as a whole may be down heavily, there are several highly valued PFP projects still pushing on, while digital artists remain active and new creative work finds buyers.

NFT Bear Market Survivors - - 2023

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