The NFT craze has seemingly returned to the crypto industry following the record sale of an EtherRock NFT for an astonishing $250k.
EtherRock #61 purchased for Ξ78 Ether ($251,092.92)
3 hrs 14 mins ago (Aug-11-2021 05:54:13 AM +UTC)
— EtherRock Price (@etherrockprice) August 11, 2021
EtherRock remains one of the original NFT projects launched on the blockchain, releasing shortly after the launch of CryptoPunks’ in June 2017. More than just a digital image, or “Rock.jpg”, each EtherRock minted comes in a unique colour and remains identical in shape and size.
What makes them so popular is the scarcity and collectable nature of the rocks, with only 100 EtherRocks ever being minted. EtherRocks were first deployed on December 25, 2017, and according to Etherscan, the first EtherRock was sold a day later on December 26, 2017 for 0.099 ETH. They were minted using a bonding curve, which means that the first rock minted cost 0.01 ETH to mint, and the last to be minted cost around 10 ETH.
Now, the entire collection of 100 EtherRocks has sold out, with only 33 available for resale on EtherRock.com. It is estimated that around 20% of the original 100 rocks minted are in either dead wallets or have, unfortunately, been forgotten about by their original owners.
The current price floor for EtherRocks, which indicates the lowest amount one can be purchased for, is now 79 ether or roughly $253k based on current ETH prices. The most expensive rock available for sale is EtherRock #61, which looks to have been relisted instantly by the owner for 9001 ETH, which equates to around $28m based on current ETH pricing.
Current #EtherRock Price Floor: Ξ79 Ether ($253,996.06)
Rock ID 97 Ξ79 Eth
Rock ID 52 Ξ80 Eth
Rock ID 43 Ξ84.44 Eth
Rock ID 81 Ξ88 Eth
Rock ID 91 Ξ91 Eth
Rock ID 10 Ξ99 Eth
Rock ID 75 Ξ95.1 Eth
Rock ID 79 Ξ95.2 Eth
Ξ78 Eth 3 hr 23 min ago
Ξ47 Eth 17 hr 23 min ago pic.twitter.com/wFY8kmPyCl
— EtherRock Price (@etherrockprice) August 11, 2021
According to the EtherRock website, the NFTs were designed to be scarce and collectable, saying “These virtual rocks serve NO PURPOSE beyond being able to be brought and sold, and giving you a strong sense of pride in being an owner of 1 of the only 100 rocks in the game :)”. The Admin team on their Discord channel also said that EtherRock is “working on an ERC721 wrapper”, meaning they can be traded and sold on popular marketplaces such as OpenSea.
The price floor of EtherRocks is expected to reach 100 ETH very soon if the NFT market continues its rampant growth, but it remains to be seen if they can retain their value if the NFT craze subsides. The meme culture surrounding the rocks has also helped with their popularity, with many saying that despite their simple and somewhat ridiculous premise, they serve as a scarce, extremely limited supply collectable that may become more valuable as time goes on.
Also, in fitting with the simple nature of the project, the comical tagline “We like the rock” frequents EtherRock related posts on Twitter.
The meme culture has spread to other NFT projects too, with CryptoPunks, Pudgy Penguins and other rock-related NFT projects becoming the latest NFT projects to flourish throughout the various crypto communities on Twitter and social media.
CryptoPunks are considered an “OG” project in the NFT space and are seen as the “holy grail” of NFT among avid collectors. Recently, they have seen an incredible increase in purchases and interest from investors as the NFT space continues its ascendance. According to LarvaLabs, the current lowest price CryptoPunk available is 47.7 ETH, or $153k. The record sale of a punk belongs to Punk #7804, which sold for $7.57m in March 2021.
Although less scarce than EtherRocks, with 10,000 total punks minted, they remain a highly sought after collectable within the NFT space, with many leading NFT influencers proudly displaying their Punk as their Twitter profile picture. One of the more famous NFT collectors is GaryVee, who currently owns 7 CryptoPunks and recently shelled out $3.76m for Punk #2140.
— CryptoPunks Bot (@cryptopunksbot) July 30, 2021
A recent newcomer to the NFT space is Pudgy Penguins, a collection of 8,888 penguins that feature a range of styles, accessories and colours. Their friendly, adorable appearance has helped the project become the latest trend amongst leading NFT influencers and grow by 7700% from their mint price on June 28. The founder of Aave, Stani Kulechov, has even changed his profile picture to a penguin NFT, further reinforcing their popularity amongst the overlapping Ethereum and DeFi communities.
PUDGY PENGUINS ARE SOLD OUT! ❄️
This Tweet is a little late, considering we sold out in 19 minutes… 🤯
For those looking to join the iceberg and get pudgy, you can purchase a Pudgy Penguin on OpenSea: https://t.co/Dkye2hjOf3
— Pudgy Penguins (@pudgy_penguins) July 28, 2021
The popularity of NFTs has seen the leading NFT marketplace OpenSea achieve record metrics in trading volume and the numbers of users active on the platform. According to Dapp, trading volume on OpenSea over the past 30 days has reached a record $834m and reached an August peak of more than 200k users that have made one transaction. Additionally, following the EIP-1559 upgrade to the Ethereum network on Thursday August 5th, OpenSea has contributed to burning over 3,000 Ethereum since its inception, overtaking Uniswap and the popular NFT game Axie Infinity.
OpenSea also recently received $100 million in funding from top investors in a Series B round led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. OpenSea disclosed that they wish to use the funds to make NFTs more accessible to mainstream users by expanding into global markets and supporting multiple blockchains.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.