Mutant Ape Yacht Club, CryptoPunks Among This Week’s Record-breaking NFT Sales

The bear market is not stopping generative art and blue chip NFTs sales


Source: Mutant Ape Yacht Club


key takeaways

  • NFT-collateralized lending has become a popular financing tool for blue chip NFT holders
  • Sales of rare MAYC and Ape Punk NFTs prove Yuga Labs’ market dominance

The NFT ecosystem has been waning in terms of monthly trade volumes since May’s crypto market downtown, and especially compared to all-time highs in January of this year.

However, this week in particular saw some significant trading activity, and Wednesday takes the cake for the highest daily volume of NFTs sales, measured in ether (ETH), in September and in the past 30 days.

Sept. 28 saw 12,565 ETH, or $16.6 million, transacted that day. While Sept. 20 recorded a lower volume amount in ETH — 12,549 ETH — the USD amount of $17 million was higher due to the fluctuating price of ether.   

This week’s spike can likely be attributed to a $16.75 million generative art sale, a $1.3 million Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC) lending deal and a $4.45 million CryptoPunks sale.

Tyler Hobbs, the creator of the popular Fidenza project on Art Blocks, and Archipelago co-founder Dandelion Wist released mint passes for their new collection, QQL, dropped via a Dutch auction on Wednesday.

This generative art experiment sold out 900 mint passes using a rebate mechanism so that all buyers ended up paying the same price once it settled. While the auction closed out at 14 ETH, the QQL project collected around 12,600 ETH, or approximately $16.7 million.

Claiming it “empowers the collector as co-creators,” QQL pass holders can use the algorithm to pick the output of the on-chain art they mint.

Many QQL collectors may already be collectors of other generative art pieces or of Hobbs’ Fidenzas, a collection that recently saw one holder scoop up seven NFTs worth $912,741 within 24 hours. 

The success of generative art NFTs has contributed to the growth of the NFT art sector, and the Art Blocks NFT platform is at the front of the pack thanks to collections such as Fidenza, Chromie Squiggles and Ringers, to name a few. 

Art Blocks, which is approaching its two-year anniversary in November, is also known for its curated collections consisting of a series of projects that individual artists or collaborations can submit to.

Its eighth and latest series will also be the “last of its kind,” Art Blocks announced this week. Any future curated projects won’t belong to a numbered series.

Mega Mutant Apes-collateralized loan

A mega NFT lending deal made a big bet on Mutant Ape Yacht Club NFTs. 

Fragment — a company “creating rich stories and worlds for the metaverse,” according to its Twitter — took out a 1,000 ETH loan, worth about $1.3 million, via NFT lending platform Arcade on Tuesday to purchase Mega Noise, one of the rarest NFTs in the MAYC collection. 

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The collateral is two other Mega Mutant Apes — Mega Electric and Mega Swamp — that Fragment will lose if it does not repay the loan within 90 days. 

Nexo served as originator of the loan, financing it through Arcade, while Meta 4 NFT Lending Fund sourced and structured it as the underwriter of the loan, assuming the liability in the event the borrower defaults. 

“This type of activity is significant, not just because of the sticker-shock on the assets, but because it’s a really lovely example of tokenized finance — where we’re operating at the intersection of DeFi and NFTs,” Brandon Buchanan, Meta4’s founder and managing partner, told Blockworks. 

“Deals like this come with a lot of complexity because you are valuing assets with little transaction history or comparables,” Buchanan added. “You want to be assured that custody solutions are safe, and need alternative forms of financing from sources that can tolerate the perceived risk.”

This purchase of Mega Noise ups Fragment’s Mega Mutant count to five NFTs. Only a dozen or so Mega Mutant Apes exist, spun off from Bored Ape Yacht Club using “mutant serum.”

Rare Ape CryptoPunk

Daniel Maegaard, also known as seedphgrase.eth, sold his rare Ape CryptoPunks NFT for 3,300 ETH, or $4.28 million, to an unknown buyer.

That makes it the highest ETH value sale for a non-alien punk in history. It is also the fourth-highest Punks sale of all time and second-highest sale in 2022 after another Ape Punk sold for 2,501 ETH, or $7.8 million, in February. 

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CryptoPunks is one of the OG NFT projects, and it continues to demonstrate massive interest and major sales, especially since its $12.5 million luxury jewelry sale with Tiffany’s & Co

CryptoPunks and MAYC collections operate under parent company Yuga Labs, which was valued $4 billion in March — the largest valuation of any NFT company to date.

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