The past week has seen unprecedented drama and sell pressure on several bluechip PFP NFT projects. Some of the price action can be explained by the Silicon Valley Bank crisis. But what has caught the attention of the web3 space is the sudden, massive schisms between these bluechip communities and their founders. Perhaps this is just a signal that the market bottom is near… but as seen through CloneX, Doodles and Moonbirds, if founders alienate their community, the floor price falls fast!
CloneX by RTFKT promised to bring amazing irl merch to collectors through web3. Nike acquired RTFKT in December of 2021. After a few months, the CloneX NFT collection was launched. Collectors could buy shoes, jackets, hats in NFT form with the promise of an irl delivery of the product in the near future. The wait for these deliveries is now over.
I paid 1e for alien puffer jackets and I get something I didn’t order. The vest is a joke. Some generic thing that looks like it’s grabbed from a Chinese night market. It’s not even related to the forge pictures. The murkami hat looks like you stole a McDonald’s hat and slapped a… https://t.co/3cBeQIyqhI pic.twitter.com/dS9JwwGaxn— Grail.eth (@graildoteth) March 15, 2023
Given Nike’s track record of excellence in apparel and footwear, the expectation was that the purchased digital goods would be nearly exactly matched by the delivered physical goods. This was not the case. Huge waves of disappointment washed over Twitter as CloneX hodlers received poor imitations of the products they expected to receive. As a result, the floor price of all CloneX collections has fallen significantly. Community sentiment is equally bad.
Perhaps no community has had a bigger schism with their founders than Doodles’ holders and Doodles founder, Poopie. In now famous statements made on the community Discord, Poopie announced that Doodles is “no longer an ‘NFT project.’” While he had a valid point that Doodles can become a “leading media franchise” that goes beyond web3, he threw his community under the bus. His statement continued with, “We are not going to spend any resources appeasing those with financial motivations.” This was the part that started the community backlash. Many Doodles collectors had bought in the last year and had thousands of dollars in unrealized losses… yet they were holding the NFTs loyally. The next thing Poopie did was make sure to instantaneously erode that loyalty.
When several Doodle hodlers complained that they wanted Poopie to work on raising the collection’s value, he gave them a figurative middle finger. In words that are now etched forever into NFT meme lore, Poopie said, ”floor it and gtfo.” That’s a surefire recipe for customer dissatisfaction! Customers vote with their wallets. The floor price of Doodles is down down bad.
Rounding out the trio of beleaguered bluechips is Moonbirds. This collection has gone on a bear market backtracking trek from 40Eth highs to current 4Eth lows. A big reason for this is a lack of delivery on the project’s roadmap. While Yuga’s ApeCoin made BAYC holders money, Moonbirds has promised and failed to deliver its own coin. There is talk of a metaverse, called High-Rise, for all the loyal “nesters” of the project, but promises of a future immersive realm stopped exciting communities about a year ago! In total, people who have held Moonbirds have received socks and a fanny pack! Nesters also witnessed an embarrassing recent incident. Proof, the company behind Moonbirds, canceled their annual conference due to a lack of interest. As a result of these cascading disappointments, and triggered by some SVB banking FUD, Moonbirds’ floor price dipped below 4Eth for the first time in two years.
Moonbirds dumping on the news that they have money tied up in SVB, signaling that holders are worried about the status of their 2023 edition fanny packs— quit.q00t.eth (@0xQuit) March 11, 2023
Founders are in a tough position right now. NFT communities are filled with members who are there primarily for the speculative gains of ownership. They are not there for community, art, utility or anything else. In a tough macroeconomic climate, it is nearly impossible for Founders to deliver gains the their communities. So far, only Yuga has increased their buyers’ wealth.
The frustration that has bubbled over in recent weeks has another source: it is probably correlated to the pump in crypto markets. While Ethereum and Bitcoin are up significantly since SVB’s collapse, NFTs are having their toughest times. A long bear market and an inverse correlation to crypto is a recipe for NFT anger.
With sentiments at an all time low, it is worth considering, “Is this the bottom of the NFT market?” Only oracles and hindsight will know for sure! Not financial advice, but, maybe bidding today at 50% of a bluechip’s floor will look smart in 2025?