A bright light illuminated the non-fungible tokens scene this week, but was it a near-death experience for NFTs or a beacon of hope?

Like a moth to the flame, I’m drawn in to investigate.

Maybe it’s liquidity freshly in traders’ hands from Blur’s new Blend lending protocol, or perhaps those sweet $PEPE and $TURBO gains are finally trickling back to NFTs, but NFTs just had their best single day of sales since mid-March.

It’s actually pretty simple to see what happened. The weather in NFTs has been perfect, with good news from established projects, hot tech, a bit of money in traders’ pockets from trading meme coins, and a well-timed tweet from none other than the current (and soon-to-be former) chief executive officer of Twitter, Elon Musk.

Nobody knew that Musk was preparing a rocket launch this week, but that’s exactly what happened when he tweeted a meme from the Milady Maker’s NFT community that has now been viewed over 32 million times. Sales of Milady NFTs exploded and carried the rest of the market with them to a height of US$217 million in sales volume this week. 

Milady NFT CryptoSlam chart

Binance integrated Bitcoin NFTs into their marketplace, giving Ordinals a new way to reach the masses without needing to be a technical wizard to trade them. NFTs on the OG blockchain were red hot, with a new flavor of Ordinal called BRC-20s picking up momentum. BRC-20s are Bitcoin’s version of Ethereum’s meme coins, but at their core, they’re also like an NFT collection. We’ll give a technical breakdown of these new Bitcoin Ordinals in a future edition of On Deck.

The Bitcoin ecosystem seems to be in “up only” mode right now, and when that will end, nobody knows. Ribbit.

Bitcoin-Ordinals CryptoSlam chart

The Pudgy Penguins project had two announcements this week that added to their feel-good story. First, they announced a new partnership with WME talent agency that brings them closer to movies, games, and other mainstream entertainment. Then the adorable crew followed that up with an announcement that they had raised US$9 million in seed funding. Not bad for a project that was circling the drain before being purchased by the marketing master Luca Schnetzler (Gel Blaster, Vibe Body Care, Cookies n Kicks).

The Pudgy Penguins’ NFT sales probably didn’t have much of an impact on the market, but the positive news coming in the thick of a bear market was a welcomed bright spot that just for a moment reminded us all that there is real growth happening here.

Pudgy Penguins CryptoSlam chart

Here’s where things get interesting, and if you are a regular reader of On Deck, you already know this re-occurring topic. The Forkast 500 NFT Index reflects the NFT market losing over 8% this week.

Yes, high gas fees are largely to blame, but we can’t minimize the effect that the NFT casino continues to play. Traders are still trading the way we’ve come to expect, as out with the old and in with the new has become the degen’s creed. Established projects have continued to lose value and volume, as traders favor the newest drops and the hottest trends.