Are NFTs Dead?
Type those keywords into your favourite search engine and get ready to become confused. Page after page will contain lists of articles, blogs, posts, interviews and more touching on the topic of NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) perceived death, deadness or embodying a dying state.
What Does It Mean to Be Dead?
We hear the term “dead” being thrown around often and have witnessed ‘analysts’ proclaim “Bitcoin’s dead” when it is not — only to have the same writers proclaim “Bitcoin’s revival”, “Bitcoin’s back!” or other sensational attention grabbing nonsense constructed for no other purpose but to gain more traffic. Let’s get out our dictionaries:
- no longer alive. "a dead body"
- (of a place or time) characterised by a lack of activity or excitement. "Calgary isn't dead after dark, if you know where to look"
Source: Oxford Languages
The word “dead” has two different meanings. So, what does it mean to no longer be alive vs. less active than a previous time?
Canadian NFTs: “The Outlaws of Dirtville” by Toronto artist Cat Dirty on Twitter
The dodo bird is dead. Screen legend Ray Liotta is dead. Disco is arguably still alive and for some reason SQUID token is trading up 65.75% over the past 24 hours at the time of writing ranking #3730 on CoinMarketCap.com even after a widely publicised rug pull scam occurred. If SQUID’s alive and running, how could anyone with any shred of self-respecting journalistic integrity put their name behind such a ludacris proclamation such as “NFTs are dead” so early in the game?
It’s a buzzword. More eyeballs. Click bait. Author laziness. The list goes on.
The fact that this article is being written is both a testament to the word’s unfortunate relevance and prevalence in the crypto space, and the necessity to give its use credence. It’s entirely possible that by highlighting NFT’s undeadness, the aim here could very well be to piggyback off the notion of which this antithesis is attempting to discredit.
How Are NFTs Not Dead?
Veering back from digression, NFTs are alive despite the cringe-worthy ‘misinformation’ floating about internetland. The truth is that the NFT marketplace is a platform for speculation and like many technologies or things that are now considered ‘everyday can’t-live-withouts’, NFTs are still well within the infancy stage of adaptation.
1 Year NFT Sales Volume & Frequency Chart - Source: NonFungible.com
The NFT decline from the previous ‘heyday’ is typical of any market where a product or asset sees a surge in price, interest and demand. Corrections are needed to establish stability which eventually results in a safer atmosphere for cautious investors to enter the marketplace.
In the instance of Bitcoin and Ether, there was (and continues to be) a similarity in the sequence that has unfolded. Bitcoin’s inception sparked thousands of alt-coins to be created, which the vast bulk of are considered to be a not-so-nice rhyming name. In short, the market became saturated and the best cream rose to the top.
NFTs aren’t so different. The days where any outsider in the art world is able to sell a clock on a screen for millions of dollars are drastically numbered. Much like the traditional physical art world, one now tends to need a connection to rise above the whitenoise.
How Much Can NFTs Sell For?
In the past, groups pooling funds to own a piece of a Picasso or Michelangelo masterpiece was virtually unheard of — but in the NFT space it’s more common practice. The third most expensive NFT ever sold, “Clock” by artist Pak sold for nearly $53M, funded by a collective of over 10,000 contributors. The project was simple by design as it’s a digital counter (clock) of how many days Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been imprisoned.
Social justice themed artwork, or technological/digital artwork is nothing new but the medium of integrating NFTs is a brave new world. It’s fair to say a portion of the value of these pieces has hype baked into the price. By the way, Pak holds the most expensive NFT ever sold title as well for the work “The Merge” which was bought by 28,983 collectors for a total of almost $100M. That jaw dropping transaction took place only 2 years ago.
Are NFTs really dead? Perhaps put on your favourite Bee Gees vinyl album, drop the needle and think about it.
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