Web3 Watch: Solana and Bitcoin top Ethereum in NFT sales

Plus, Pudgy Penguins releases an online game and the Jackson 5’s first studio recording becomes a digital collectible


Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks


This week’s Web3 watch begins with a significant shift in the NFT marketplace. Ethereum, traditionally the frontrunner in NFT trading, has seen a downturn in sales volume, facing competition from two emerging players.

The Bitcoin network witnessed a surge in digital art collectible trading, primarily driven by ongoing interest in ordinal inscriptions. Ordinals allow users to mint NFT-like assets directly on the Bitcoin blockchain. The past month has seen a 500% increase in sales volume for this asset class, eclipsing Ethereum’s figures over the same timeframe.

The popularity of Bitcoin’s cheap-to-mint ordinal inscriptions has led to a significant increase in demand on the network. This trend reflects a broader shift in the digital collectibles market, where novel and cost-effective methods of NFT creation and trading are gaining traction.

Read more: Sotheby’s announces its first Bitcoin Ordinals sale

The Solana blockchain has also stepped into the spotlight, recording higher NFT trading volumes than Ethereum on Friday. This increase in Solana’s trading volume is the culmination of a banner week for the network. 

“Something that’s obviously interesting and different in the ordinals space versus every other popular blockchain is that your NFTs are actually stored on-chain versus in smart contracts-enabled ecosystems, [where] they’re stored on some decentralized server like IPFS,” Sarah Satoshi, the head of business development at ordinals marketplace Gamma.io, said. “I think that’s one of the factors that attracts a lot of people.” 

Liquid staking protocol Jito executed an airdrop on Thursday, distributing $165 million worth of its native token to users. The following day, Solana saw a spike in its NFT sales, processing nearly $15 million in transactions.

There was a marked increase in activity on Tensor, a Solana-based NFT market, which may have been fueled by speculations of another potential airdrop.

On Friday, “Tensorians,” a Solana-based NFT collection, topped the sales volume charts according to CryptoSlam. The collection’s sales volume rose over 100% in the past week.

Pudgy Penguins takes up the Webkinz model

The NFT collection Pudgy Penguins debuted an online open-world game called Pudgy World Alpha at Art Basel Miami. 

The game lets players control avatar lookalikes of the penguins, but users don’t need to own an NFT to play. 

Pudgy World builds on the NFT collection’s partnership bringing toy versions of Pudgy Penguins to Walmart stores. Each toy comes with a QR code that claims a Pudgy Penguin character inside of Pudgy World. 

Every toy corresponds to a Pudgy Penguins NFT, and holders receive licensing royalties on their corresponding toys, the project said in a press statement. 

One interesting stat:

  • Interest in Bitcoin ordinals dramatically increased the blockchain’s mempool to an all-time high. Mempools collect all unconfirmed transactions waiting to be validated and added to a blockchain. When too many transactions are added, it becomes congested, leading to slower processing times and higher fees for prioritizing transactions.

Also of note:

  • Recordpool released the Jackson 5’s first ever studio recording as a digital collectible on Web3 music marketplace anotherblock.
  • The digital art arm of Sotheby’s is auctioning off its first set of ordinal inscriptions.

Don’t miss the next big story – join our free daily newsletter.


Upcoming Events

Hilton Metropole | 225 Edgware Rd, London

Mon - Wed, March 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience: Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts.

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Research report - cover graphics (1).jpg


In this report, we dive into crypto private market data to gather insights on where the future of the industry is headed. Despite a notable downturn in private raises, capital continues to infuse promising projects that aim to transform payments, banking, consumer experiences, community, and more, with 2023 being the fourth-largest year for crypto venture capital.


BUZZ holds shares of Coinbase, Robinhood and MicroStrategy


Opinion: Even though I didn’t pay for my “Diamond Hands” burger with BTC, don’t let that fool you into thinking that crypto’s development is futile


The results mark “a major positive inflection point,” one analyst says, as the exchange carries net income momentum into a crypto rally


While the slate of 10 US spot bitcoin funds have tallied $4.6 billion of net inflows thus far, half of the field is lagging the leaders


Trading volumes totalled $154 billion in Q4, including $125 billion in institutional volume


DeFi on Bitcoin is all the rage right now and Stacks is positioned to benefit