Oh, 2023, with only 3 months in, we already got an overdose of action-packed drama in web3! From a Cryptopunk selling for 2 ETH, Blur attacking OpenSea, Dookey Dash key selling for 1000 ETH, Silicon Valley Bank collapse, to Bitcoin dropping then pumping… It’s been wild, and now it seems like we are in a bluechip NFT crisis. Doodles, Moonbirds, and CloneX seem to be missing the mark with their community, and might not make it.
What is so fundamentally wrong that Bluechip NFTs are at risk?
Will this year mark the end of NFT collections we have grown to love and support?
Before we get all pessimistic, let me point out that Azuki and Pudgy Penguins were also once at risk of fading before making one hell of a comeback. Is it too late for Doodles, Moonbirds, and CloneX? Let’s hope not.
Who Are The Bluechip NFTs in 2023?
First things first, what does the term Bluechip NFT mean? This actually originates from the stock market, where ‘blue chip’ describes large market capitalization stocks that act as the backbone of the stock market. It caught on in the NFT world for projects that are expected to be stable in terms of value and profitable in the long term. We already got a full guide on Bluechip NFTs, but here are some characteristics that define the mighty blues:
- High-value and low-risk.
- Relatively high floor price (much higher than its mint price)
- Brand power (usually founder has lots of experience or influence)
- Celebrity endorsements or capital funding
- High-level commitment and experience from the project’s team
- Real-world utility
- High community engagement
Here’s a little hack you can use to figure out the bluechip NFT projects. Just go over to OpenSea and find the Top NFT projects of all time, et viola. We can see at the top we got Cryptopunks, the holy trinity of Yuga Labs ( BAYC, MAYC, and Otherdeed), Azuki, CloneX, Moonbirds, and Doodles.
Successful Vs Struggling Bluechip NFTs in 2023
The past year was a rollercoaster ride, witnessing a dramatic Bull and then a catastrophic Bear run, you can know all about it in our 2022 Recap. These fluctuations took their toll on every NFT project, and despite some Bluechips holding their ETHs worth, it wasn’t the case for everyone.
The top 3 spots of this year’s bluechip NFTs go to BAYC, Azuki, and Pudgy Penguins. Not gonna make this story too long but Yuga Labs delighted their community with several events this year. Azuki keeps serving especially after announcing their metaverse Hilumia. And pudgy penguins rose from the ashes like a damn phoenix with the most solid community out there.
However, despite still hanging on the top 10 NFT Collections in the OpenSea chart, Doodles, Moonbirds, and CloneX are struggling, and their holders are not pleased.
Doodles, CloneX, and Moonbirds in 2023
Let’s recap these three bluechip NFT stats, and go over how they’re doing so far. Floor price is not the only metric to asses an NFT project. But in the bluechip status case, it’s an indication of what people think of the project because they care about their ROI. They will immediately sell if they feel things are not going in the right direction. Just to make things extra clear here’s a legend to explain my abbreviations:
ATH FP: all-time high floor price since the collection was launched
2023 ATH FP: 2023 All-time high floor price ( since the beginning of this year)
FP ATW: Floor price at the time of writing
- Launch: October 2021
- Supply: 10K
- Mint Price: 0.123 ETH
- ATH FP: 24 ETH (in May 2022)
- 2023 ATH FP: 8 ETH
- FP ATW: 3.4 ETH
- Launch: November 2021
- Supply: 20K
- Mint Price: 2 ETH
- ATH FP: 19.2 ETH (in May 2022)
- 2023 ATH FP: 6.2 ETH
- FP ATW: 3.25 ETH
- Launch: April 2022
- Supply: 10K
- Mint Price: 2.5 ETH
- ATH FP: 34 ETH (in May 2022)
- 2023 ATH FP: 9.4 ETH
- FP ATW: 3.67 ETH
Why Are Bluechip NFT Collections Struggling?
The Bluechip NFTs Doodles, CloneX, and Moonbirds floor prices are going down down down the rabbit hole. Almost 3 ETH FP each! BUT WHY? We can talk about their failure to deliver for hours but let me make it sweet and brief:
1- Doodles NFTs
- Doodles was one of the biggest NFTs ever, reaching an ATH of 24 ETH, 195x its mint price.
- Then they wanted to go for mass adoption to become “one of the greatest entertainment and lifetime experiences in the world”
- Lost engagement with their community
- Empty hype for $10 digital socks
- The founder got upset and misexplained that Doodles is “no longer an NFT project”
- Tension grew among the community holders to the point where a parody collection “Not A NFT Project” was made in spite of Doodles.
Holders felt like the Doodles project was telling them: Thank you for funding our company, your purpose is served. We will become bigger with it and you can just clap for us. Some even criticize their move to Web 2. Claiming: If you can’t build a community of 10k, how can you possibly branch out to Web2?
2- CloneX NFTs by RTFKT
- CloneX NFTs were one of a kind with their concept, and sold out their 20K NFTs in 37 minutes!
- Witnessed huge success from the mint price of 2ETH ( which is very expensive as well) to 19.2 ETH.
- They stopped engaging well with their community.
- They shipped merch that was more underwhelming than digital renders promised, and this was their downfall.
Compared to Doodles and Moonbirds, CloneX may seem to not have pumped high enough in its ATH phase. But you need to understand that this collection has a 20,000 supply of NFTs. For a collection of this volume to reach an entry price of 19.2 ETH is a huge deal. RTFKT is trying to clear its name, and doing better with its once-disappointing merch. Hopefully, they are set for a strong comeback- if the community will be merciful enough.
3- Moonbirds NFTs
- Moonbirds captured every collector’s interest, pioneered by Kevin Rose.
- It witnessed a rapid pump from 2 ETH mint (which is very expensive btw) to 34 ETH.
- Team got in their head and made top-bottom decisions that upset their community, especially the CC0 announcement about Moonbird copyrights.
- They overpromised and underdelivered, for example:
- Highrise metaverse canceled
- Token delayed until better regulatory clarity.
- PROOF conference canceled
- They tried to apologize by unveiling their Q1 plans in a video podcast.
- They rebranded as Art Colletor’s PFP
- No utility to their Moonbirds other than Art is the heart, mission, & vision.
Holders felt like Moonbirds were missing the point. Some were pleased with some interesting art collaborations, like the one with Des Lucrece. But they kept failing to impress. Moonbirds still have major events upcoming in April and March and hopefully could win their community back.
Bluechip NFTs in 2023: Lessons Learned
The market crash showed no mercy for anyone last year, but some collections managed to pick themselves up regardless. Let’s recap a little here with these falling Bluechip NFTs. Three months into 2023, here’s where the fallen blues stand:
- Doodles: Fell from FP of 8 ETH → 3.4 ETH
- CloneX: Fell from FP of 6.2 ETH → 3.25 ETH
- Moonbirds: Fell from FP of 9.4 → 3.67 ETH
If any of these projects desire to come back and make amends they have to learn these lessons:
- To be successful as an NFT project, you need to focus on the community FIRST.
- Connect and listen to the people, ego aside, and be humble.
- Be more understanding of the holder’s interests and fears.
- Take responsibility for how you say and deliver things.
- Don’t make promises you can not keep.
- Ditch the top-down Web2 business model.
I can go on and on, but all these tips are COMMUNITY focused. Something Genuine Undead built its whole ethos on. It’s becoming clear in web3, especially in the context of NFTs, that treating your community like “customers” is not a way to go. Look at Yuga Labs hustling to keep their holders engaged with endless games and experiences, that’s how they remain at the top. Catering to the needs and wants of their community- regardless of whether it is a good example of an NFT project or not.
Look at the approach Jack Butcher is having with his Checks NFT collection, literally building the project via threads. Another good example is Valhalla, building its community piece by piece and offering unique experiences. People want to feel involved in the assets they put money into. It’s CLEAR that the majority of people consider NFTs as digital assets and expect an ROI on their investment- or at least some respect and fun experiences.
But WAIT, this raises a more important question, what exactly is an NFT holder? Investor? Stakeholder? Collector? None of the above?