Because it is relatively new, it is quite easy to underestimate just how robust the NFT space is. Oftentimes, NFT critics will suggest that the ‘hype’ around them is fleeting and has died down. But every now and again, a project is launched that exceeds all expectations and shows just how high the demand for NFTs is.
Over the weekend, Moonbirds, a new NFT collection was launched and set new sales records for the industry in just a few days. Since its launch on April 16, 2022, the collection has grossed over $200 million on OpenSea.
To The Moon
The collection consists of 10,000 pixelated images of different owls and has been linked to the PROOF Collective, which is a private network of NFT owners. The collective is known to be quite influential, with members being required to spend roughly 99 ETH to be admitted.
Clearly, this association has worked in Moonbirds’ favour as it is now placed at the top of OpenSea’s leaderboard, alongside iconic collections like the Bored Ape Yacht Club. Those who bought the NFTs will have several perks as a result, including access to the private PROOF Collective Discord channel, in-person meetups with other members, and so on.
The PROOF Collective also has its own metaverse in the works and once it is launched, it will be called ‘Project Highrise’. While the Moonbirds collection was certainly successful within the market, it did spark some debate online.
First, some complained that the mint price of the collection, which was about 2.5 ETH, was too high. There were also accusations of those with intimate knowledge of the project practising rarity snipping.
But more than this, it was suggested that the sudden success of the project implied that the NFT market has become less democratic and instead, influence and resources were being used to manufacture inorganic success.
As one Twitter user said, “In the last 7 hours, Moonbirds have done more volume than BAYC, MAYC, Azuki, Beanz, Punks, Doodles, and CloneX have done. Over the last 7 days. Combined.
This is ridiculous. Our market is simultaneously maturing & behaving immaturely at the same time.”
Several Twitter users also said that their feeds were spammed with messages promoting the collection. Allegedly, the accounts posting the messages were verified but were not known within NFT and blockchain circles on Twitter. The verdict for many was that these accounts were bots.
High in the Sky
The Moonbirds debut shows a few key things. First, the NFT market is thriving and can reach many new heights, especially when projects are intentionally promoted. At the same time, it does show that NFT lovers are frustrated with what they see as market manipulation.
From accusations of exploitative minting costs to concerns about Twitter bot campaigns, it is clear that the industry needs improvement in specific areas. Like Twitter user Zeneca.eth said, there are parts of the industry that have retrogressed and this is not addressed, it could cast suspicions on NFT drops in the future.