Once-hot NFT collections, including the celebrity-backed Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunk series, have tanked alongside cryptocurrencies and the stock market, leaving many digital collectible investors deep in the hole.
The Bored Ape Yacht Club series — which has been endorsed by celebrities including Tom Brady, Madonna, Jimmy Fallon and Future — has seen its value crumble in recent months as the Federal Reserve hikes interest rates and the economy is squeezed by inflation.
The “price floor” for Bored Apes — a measure of the lowest asking price for NFTs in the collection — has collapsed 75% from more than $400,000 as recently as April to less than $100,000 on Tuesday, according to data from tracker NFTpricefloor.com.
That’s a greater decline than bitcoin, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, which has tumbled by around 55% since April 1.
CryptoPunks NFTs, meanwhile, fell 66% from $230,000 at some points in April to less than $78,000 as of Tuesday, according to the site.
Overall transaction volume in the NFT market has likewise collapsed. There have been $650 million in NFT sales so far in June, compared with $3.7 billion in April and $3 billion in May, data from industry site CryptoSlam show.
Despite the bleak market, throngs of NFT fanatics are descending on Manhattan this week for a massive event series celebrating the digital collectibles.
The NFT.NYC conference, which kicked off Tuesday and runs through Thursday, has seen NFT fans put on brave faces as they shuttle between networking sessions and panels at venues like Radio City Music Hall.
Last year’s event in November 2021 came as Ethereum and Solana — the primary cryptocurrencies used to trade NFTs — hit all-time highs. It also attracted celebrities like Quentin Tarantino and Logan Paul. Musical acts included chart-topping rapper Lil Baby and New York rock legends The Strokes performed at a Bored Ape party during the conference.
This year’s conference, by contrast, comes under the shadow of the market slump and appears to feature fewer A-list stars. The biggest names announced this year are rappers French Montana and Jim Jones, who spoke alongside record industry executives at Radio City Music Hall on Tuesday. Dance DJ Deadmau5 was set to perform at a NFT event at a nightclub in Bushwick, Brooklyn, on Tuesday night.
General admission tickets to the conference cost between $600 and $850, while VIP passes went for as much as $2,000. Organizers say 15,000 people are attending the conference.
In May, The Post reported that high-profile NFT auctions were increasingly flopping. An auction of three works by Madonna and Beeple — who auctioned off an NFT for a record $69 million in 2021 — sold for just $135,000, $146,000 and $346,000.
In another dramatic example, plans to sell an NFT of Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s first tweet that had previously sold for $2.9 million were scrapped in April after the highest bid came in below $14,000
Nick Rose, founder and CEO of NFT platform Ethernity Chain, told The Post at the time that NFTs were selling for “unexpectedly low” prices.
“NFTs blew up when stimulus checks were coming in but they grew too fast,” Rose said
—Additional reporting by Lydia Moynihan