If crypto gains have been parabolic in 2020-2022, then NFT gains have been explosive. People half my age are making retirement money by trading JPEGs of pet rocks. But the NFT market is frothy right now- meaning it could go bust soon. NFTs are by and large a crapshoot. Before you throw some money at any NFT, read on to see some characteristics you should look for.
If you’re an NFT ‘hater’ and you really don’t get it- let me take a second to explain why NFTs are valuable. You don’t have to like them to understand why people find them valuable.
Why NFTs are valuable
Over the ages, humans have shown immense need for non-replicable items of value. Art worth billions fills museums around the world , limited edition Corvettes sell for enormous sums, and people pay thousands for artisanal salt and pepper shakers. The common theme here is that something doesn’t need to be ‘useful’ in the traditional sense for people to see it as valuable. For instance, what makes art valuable? And what makes art, art? In my mind, a few things:
- It’s unique and/or one of a limited number
- Its value appreciates over time
- You have to take care of it
- You can enjoy it each day you own it, providing a daily utility
- It’s actually one of the best stores of value there is
NFTs have all these properties except for upkeep, and possibly the daily utility derived from owning something. You can’t hang an NFT in your bedroom. I suppose you could install a screen and have it on that screen, but this is different from owning a physical Picasso.
Like art, people are buying and selling NFTs constantly. A lot of NFT traders have made insane gains over the past few years. The space is overbought right now, and the worst time to be entering a space is when greed is abundant and everyone is chasing profits.
To make money trading NFTs, you need to have buyers who are willing to pay more than what you paid for the art. If the price of NFTs keeps going up like it has been, eventually there will be no more buyers you’ll be stuck ‘holding the bag’.
Still, art has been one of the best performing asset classes in the last 30 years and has vigorously held its value. Given the similarities between NFTs and traditional art, you can make a strong case NFTs will do the same. Some argue that NFTs will do even better, since platforms like OpenSea are available to everyone rather than a small number of folks who know art dealers in New York City, for example.
How to spot a good NFT collection
In one of his videos, Guy over at Coin Bureau outlined three criteria for what makes a solid NFT project:
- A low number of assets
- A low number of owners
- A high trading volume
The first two points here are basic supply and demand dynamics. Much the same way a crypto coin’s supply and inflation are potential barriers to its price increases, an NFT’s price fate is subject to these figures. Below you can see on the stats-> ranking screen how to see all three of these.
A high trading volume means that there’s demand for the NFT, and the NFT is trending. The higher the volume of trading of any NFT, the easier it will be for you to sell it for a profit.
Lastly, you should buy an NFT that you like. I’ve had my eye on NFTs from some of my favorite NHL players that I wouldn’t mind owning through a market downturn. Next time you’re at a dinner party you can show your friends the NBA TopShots NFT you own of Kevin Durant dunking. NFT trading can be very profitable- but it’s an extra plus if you can find stuff that you really like and appreciate.
Finding the most popular NFT collections on OpenSea.io
To find the most popular NFT collections on OpenSea.io, go to OpenSea’s homepage and click Stats on the top menu bar and then rankings on the drop down bar. On the next page, you’ll see all the most popular NFTs ranked:
The volume of an NFT collection is the amount of money (or rather, Ethereum) that has traded hands in the past 24 hours. For CryptoPunks we can see that it’s around 6,500 Ethereum, or about 30 million dollars. That’s a lot for some pixelated JPEGs, right?
Who would be trading that kind of money for CryptoPunks? Here’s a quick list of a few people you might know:
- Serena Williams
- Lebron James
- Logan Paul
- Snoop Dogg
- Gary Vaynerchuck
For more on the CryptoPunks insanity this piece by Business Insider is solid.
New NFT verification badges on Twitter
This article outlines a few of those folks and the punks they bought and for how much. Many celebs use Twitter’s new Ethereum verification badge on their profile pictures now.
Side note- this is another reason to be bullish on Ethereum. These people have hundreds of millions of followers on Twitter- and have Ethereum verification badges for their NFT profile pictures. Their fans probably don’t even care what Ethereum is. But many of them will see this and want in on the action!
How much do NFTs cost on OpenSea?
The short answer: anywhere from $0.001 to $100 million and everywhere in between. Since OpenSea is an open platform, any creator can mint their own NFTs and post them for sale. This means it could be a 13 year old throwing some shapes together in powerpoint and screenshoting it and then minting that as an NFT. It could also mean a world-renowned artist releases a brilliant collection that’s bought up by celebrities.
I’m a fan of personal NFT collections released by sports starts- be it MLB, NBA, NHL, The English Premiership or otherwise. Most of these start around 0.1 Ether, around $460 at the time of writing. If you do look for an athlete’s collection, make sure it’s verified. You’ll see the ‘Verified’ checkmark next to the athlete or artist’s name, like for Toronto Maple Leafs start defensemen Auston Matthews:
NFTs are a wild space that are new and I believe are a ways off from finding their true place in the metaverse. This means that they are likely overvalued OR undervalued depending on how you look at it. Not financial advice- but be careful with the NFT space. Volatility is often worse than crypto with most of these collections.