Simpsons End The NFT Bear Cycle?

From It's So Over to We're So Back - Time to Pay Attention

The prolonged NFT winter has been too cold for NFT lovers. While they struggle to maintain their conviction, a recent NFT-themed The Simpsons episode might be the ray of hope they need.

In a special Halloween-themed episode titled 'Treehouse of Horror,' we witness the beloved yellow family embarking on a remarkable journey into the realms of NFTs and cryptocurrencies.

The story unfolds within a captivating metaverse called Microcosm, where Bart Simpson unexpectedly transforms into a unique NFT, representing his character in the digital realm.

As the plot thickens, we are drawn into a world where various characters from the Springfield universe navigate the complexities of decentralized finance and the vibrant landscape of digital art.

This unexpected adventure takes them through thrilling twists and turns, offering viewers an unforgettable blend of comedy, crypto, and creativity. While this episode is one among many expressions of cartoon art, there’s more to it than just entertainment.

The Simpsons have long been known to depict cultural satire intertwined with near-accurate predictions for the future. While this is subject to debate, this episode shines some light into the future of the once-struggling NFT landscape.

If this assumption is anything to go by, are NFTs back?

On-chain metrics indicate so. Let’s dive into the world of NFTs to uncover why we believe a new NFT summer might be starting.

TL:DR

  • NFT prices have rallied recently, with trading volume hitting a 3-month high, possibly driven by several factors. 

  • A marked rise in NFT sales and the number of buyers indicate renewed interest in these digital assets.

  • The increasing demand for NFT across different verticals, such as music, sports, gaming, and art, underscores a more diverse development and adoption in the NFT space.

  • Experts are beginning to explore real-world use cases for NFTs beyond art, as highlighted by a report by the World Economic Forum.

  • An episode of The Simpsons might have breathed fresh air into the NFT industry, raising speculations of a better future for NFTs.

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What Happened to NFTs?

There’s a question we’re often asked by many of our readers: What happened to NFTs?

While this might not reflect the situation on the ground, sometimes, we’re tempted to answer NFTs went the MySpace way.

This sounds like an overstatement.

But picture this: do you remember that Bored Ape NFT Justin Bieber splashed $1.3m on in 2022, now worth a meager $60,000? Or Logan Paul’s JPEG purchased for $623,000 whose price fell to $10?

Well, retail investors caught wind of these unfortunate occurrences. Massive FUD has marred the NFT landscape in light of the declining floor prices.

Let’s look at some numbers.

During the NFT summer in 2021, trading volumes topped $13 billion. However, data from DappRadar shows that NFT trading volumes fell by a staggering 81% between January 2022 and mid-August 2024. This saw the floor prices for blue-chip NFTs like Bieber’s Bored Ape plummet, resulting in giant losses for holders.

At this point, negative media reports and pessimistic community sentiments ruled out NFTs as a fad whose time had been outlived. Regardless, NFT creators have remained relentless in their quest to promote and solidify these digital assets in the crypto space.

However, even with the broader crypto market showing some strength and stabilization, NFTs have failed to recover — until now.

There is growing excitement within the NFT community, with the NFT-themed episode of The Simpsons providing some much-needed conviction NFTs need to pick up the hype. After all, The Simpsons always predicts the future, right?

NFTs Are So Back — And They Are Bigger and Better!

In the past week, apart from The Simpsons, Elon Musk, Mark Cuban, Joe Rogan, and our very own M6 Labs team members have uttered the word NFTs.

If this does not convince you of the renewed interest in NFTs, let’s check out some stats:

After months and months of falling volumes, NFT markets are starting to show signs of life. According to a report by DappRadar, NFT trading volume rose by a whopping 32% in October compared to September. Unique active wallets(UAW) holding NFTs grew by 7% in the last three months.

    Industry dominance by UAW. Credit: DappRadar.

The floor prices of many popular NFTs also increased. BAYC’s floor price grew from $40k to $55k, demonstrating the vast amount of liquidity flowing into the market.

If these numbers are anything to go by, we will likely be at the beginning of an uptrend for NFTs. This comes when the broader crypto market is awakening due to speculations of a looming bull run together with rumors of Bitcoin and Ethereum ETF approvals.

Honorable Mentions

In a world ruled by pixelated treasures, real gems often separate themselves from cat GIFs and their counterparts. Not every pixelated creation is destined for greatness.

Two NFT collections have caught our attention:

1. Pudgy Penguins

Pudgy Penguins recently debuted a unique Pudgy Toys collection across Walmart’s 2000-plus stores in the U.S. This partnership will bridge the gap between the physical and digital world, pushing the boundaries of what NFTs can be used for. 

Also, with an established retail chain like Walmart in the picture, Pudgy Penguins NFTs will attract the attention of newer audiences, a positive catalyst for their widespread demand.

2. Bitcoin(BRC-20) NFTs

The BRC-20 standard is one of the latest blockchain innovations. BRC-20 allows developers to create tokens on the Bitcoin network, enabling the creation of Bitcoin NFTs.

On November 8, Bitcoin surpassed Ethereum in NFT sales, raking in $17.17 million compared to Ethereum’s $15.77 million. Bitcoin’s prominence in the NFT space is rising significantly. While it's still too early to tell, we won't be surprised to see the NFT ecosystem in Bitcoin thriving beyond expectations.

The top five BRC-20 NFT projects include Bitcoin Frogs, DogePunks, Misprints, BTC DeGods, and NPC Ordinals.

Looking Ahead: What Does The Future Of NFTs Hold?

One thing we can be sure of is that crypto enthusiasts, who also double up as NFT collectors, will always find a way to market their beloved assets. From an objective point of view, NFTs are primed for a better future.

Why do we say so?

For one, even with NFT prices and volumes taking a nosedive, the industry has remained consistent and continued to mature, innovate, and find new ways to bolster NFTs’ position within the crypto market.

We’ve witnessed the eruption, success, and growth of new NFT marketplaces like Blur and Magic Eden. These platforms are backed by reputable ventures, indicating institutional interest in NFT infrastructure.

While OpenSea has seen its market share and trading volume decline(and even some recent layoffs), it may be due to stiff competition in a full-blown NFT winter.

As the Binance of NFTs, it’s hard to ignore the kind of sentiment OpenSea’s misfortunes send to the industry, but we must also consider the development of newer, disruptive platforms as a positive pointer.

Another bullish indicator for the future of NFTs is the maturation of the NFT landscape to include new, innovative use cases.

We’ve observed a few new trends that will generate further momentum:

  • The integration of NFTs with real-world assets is picking up pace. NFTs have been used to tokenize physical art pieces, real estate, land, etc., marking a new frontier in the utility of these tokens.

  • While still in very early stages, the metaverse is intimately intertwined with NFTs. NFTs are the most viable instruments of ownership and value within the metaverse.

  • NFTs have been used to propel social impact projects such as philanthropy and charity. With an intrinsic sense of belonging attached to NFT communities, they have helped to connect and strengthen social impact groups with mutual interest.

  • The fractionalization of NFTs to democratize access is unlocking new investment opportunities. This trend is popular with RWA-related NFTs like art, luxury items, real estate, etc.

  • Game developers are increasingly integrating NFTs for in-game ownership. This will become one of the most powerful driving forces for NFT adoption, as gaming ecosystems already boast hundreds of millions of knowledgeable communities.

One major challenge the industry faces is the growing regulatory scrutiny. While the SEC still struggles to define what qualifies as a security and what doesn't, NFTs are already feeling the heat.

For instance, in September, the SEC filed a lawsuit against Stoner Cats 2 LLC for issuing what they termed as “unregistered crypto asset securities.” The issuance and sale of Stoner Cats NFTs was meant to fund the production of the Stoner Cats animated series, offering some incentives to holders.

The Howey Test doesn't capture the dynamics of modern-day digital assets, which will delay regulatory clarity and enforcement, so much to the disadvantage of NFT developers.

On the positive side, massive attention and endorsement by different expert groups will favor NFTs. A World Economic Forum report explored NFTs in detail and concluded they stand a chance to attract and maintain huge demand in the coming years.

Overall, the pulse of the industry remains healthy.

Final Take

The current on-chain metrics indicate the beginning of an uptrend for NFTs. If so, watching NFT markets from an investment perspective is wise.

The short history of NFTs affirms that these digital assets will continue to play an essential role in web3. While there may be several fluctuating cycles, similar to the rest of crypto, NFTs will always find their way back up due to strong cultural alignment with the crypto community.

Even better, the growing number of use cases will give NFTs some real utility and market them beyond the speculative narrative currently attached to them. This, in effect, will bolster the general demand for all types of NFTs, whether they have real utility.

The growing regulatory concern is a huge drawback for NFTs. However, we’d like to think otherwise. Strong regulation will help eliminate bad actors from space and generate trust from retail investors. This is subject to how strict and fair the regulations will be.

Ultimately, the growth of NFTs signifies a paradigm shift in how we perceive digital assets. Creativity, ownership, and value find new meaning in NFTs, and just as The Simpsons might have foreseen, NFTs are primed for a better future.

Did The Simpsons Episode Make You Fomo Into NFTs?

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