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

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Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks

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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.

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