In this week’s newsletter, we dive into the dynamic world of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and their impact on the digital landscape, as NFT sales have skyrocketed to an impressive $129 million in November, according to data from Nansen. Despite the surge in sales, OpenSea has laid off a substantial amount of staff as it prepares to launch version 2.0 of its platform, and Elon Musk unintentionally made a case for Bitcoin Ordinals. Meanwhile, an OpenSea investor has taken a 90% markdown on their stake in the platform, and don’t forget this week’s Nifty News featuring The Simpsons roasting NFTs.
NFTs have seen a large increase in weekly sales volume, with sales reaching 29,704 Ether (ETH), worth approximately $56 million, and later surging to 68,342 ETH (over $129 million) in a matter of weeks.
NFT marketplace Blur had the highest trading volume in the last 30 days, with 161,433 ETH, which is worth around $305 million, followed by OpenSea with 52,307 ETH, which is around $100 million. When it comes to NFT collections, Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) had the highest trading volume in the last 30 days, at 35,226 ETH, which is approximately $66.7 million.
OpenSea announced on Nov. 3 that it was laying off employees as part of its plan to launch OpenSea 2.0 with a smaller team. The company has previously laid off 20% of its employees in July 2022 due to the “crypto winter.” At that time, it had a staff of 230.
According to the company, around 50% of employees would be affected across all functions. Those affected by the mass layoff would receive four-month severance packages, accelerated equity vesting, and six months of continued healthcare and mental healthcare.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has unintentionally highlighted the case for Bitcoin Ordinals, also known as Bitcoin NFTs, during his recent appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. The billionaire pointed out that NFTs are often not stored on the blockchain but are merely URLs linking to JPEG images.
Bitcoin supporters used Musk’s comments to argue in favor of Bitcoin Ordinals, which were launched in January by developer Casey Rodarmor. Bitcoin Ordinals are similar to NFTs but are stored on Bitcoin’s blockchain.
Coatue Management, a tech investment firm based in the United States, has marked down the value of its stake in the NFT platform OpenSea by 90%. The company reduced its investment from $120 million to $13 million, driving down OpenSea’s valuation to $1.4 billion.
Apart from OpenSea, another Web3 firm has also been marked down. Coatue Management also marked down its investment in a Web3 payment provider firm called MoonPay by 90%.
The animated television series The Simpsons has shown an entire segment making fun of NFTs in its Halloween special. In a segment called “Wild Barts Can’t Be Token,” Homer mints Bart on the blockchain. The segment continued to poke fun at the industry and how the fear of missing out fuels the market.
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Thanks for reading this digest of the week’s most notable developments in the NFT space. Come again next Wednesday for more reports and insights into this actively evolving space.