Once Immune From Crypto Winter, Bored Apes Are Feeling the Cold

For months, many top-tier nonfungible tokens, particularly Bored Apes, have held their value even when Bitcoin and Ether prices were falling, but that’s changing now

Bored Ape NFT graffiti in the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami, Florida.
By Olga Kharif
May 27, 2022 | 08:23 AM

Bloomberg — Blue-chip NFTs like CryptoPunks, Bored Ape Yacht Club and Mutant Ape Yacht Club are no longer immune to the recent collapse in cryptocurrency prices, with one closely watched benchmark -- the lowest priced item in the collections -- down about 50% in the last month.

For months, many top-tier nonfungible tokens -- particularly Bored Apes -- have held their value even when Bitcoin and Ether prices were falling. That’s changing now, with the Nansen Blue Chip-10 Index sliding 41% so far this year. JPG NFT Index, which debuted this spring and features “premier” collections like CryptoPunks, fell to its lowest value yet Thursday, and is down 57% in a little over a month, according to data tracker CoinMarketCap.

The End of Starving Artists

The reasons for the swift catch up are mounting. The most expensive and popular NFTs are purchased in Ether, which is down 33% in the past month, when the entire crypto ecosystem was shaken up by the collapse of the UST stablecoin and related coin Luna. The related loss of more than $40 billion in market value deepened the crypto slump that began in early November. Trading volume on OpenSea, the world’s biggest NFT marketplace, is down 40% over the last 30 days, according to DappRadar.

“The most expensive stuff has relatively few owners, and owners and potential buyers tend to be committed to keeping prices high,” said Aaron Brown, a crypto investor who writes for Bloomberg Opinion. “But economics humble us all, rich and poor, committed and uncommitted.”

NFT Collection Failures Begin to Mount in Flashback to ICO Bust

CryptoPunks’ floor price has been declining since October, according to tracker NFT Price Floor. The lowest-possible prices of Bored Apes and Mutant Apes peaked in late April before beginning to drop. Holders of both collections could receive extra ApeCoins earlier this year, and to buy additional NFTs called Otherdeeds, which were released on May 1.