NFTs are going through the second period of market euphoria this year. The market is reaching levels of hype not seen since March when digital artist, Beeple sold a piece of art known as Everydays: the first 5,000 days for $69 million at Christie's. The sale put him among the top three most valuable living artists and put NFTs right into the public consciousness.
The hype that surrounded NFTs back in March caused many people to speculate if the NFT market could grow to reach the size of the art market. The comparison makes a lot of sense. Art is typically used as a store of value over a long period of time. The uniqueness and history of a piece of art tend to give it more value as time passes. Considering that we are currently witnessing the birth of the NFT art market, NFTs released this year are seen by many as automatically having significant historic value. In addition to that, the ability for blockchain to verify this history and to prove the ownership of the piece give us a significant advantage over traditional art when it comes to verification.
The first half of this year saw the size of the NFT market grow from $13.7 million to $2.5 billion, representing a rise of quite an incredible 18,000% in just a year. Currently, the worldwide market for art is worth approximately $50 billion, so even at its height, the NFT market still had a lot of potential to grow. The market hype brought many artists into the space with everyone from Grimes to Logan Paul to The Kings of Leon. Each released pictures, gifts, songs, and other pieces of art, and minted them as NFTs on the blockchain.
A New Hype
The current mania around NFTs is slightly different. It's much more focused on NFT collections that allow investors to accumulate many different pieces from a single collection. Although there were certainly NFT collections seeing huge success during the first boom, collections are now the most sought after. Nowhere is this seen more clearly than with the explosion in the price of CryptoPunks.
CryptoPunks is one of the earliest use cases for NFTs as digital collectibles. It is composed of a series of 10,000 pixelated pictures of characters that have been programmatically generated to each be completely unique. Minted in 2017 and given away for free, CryptoPunks can currently not be bought for less than $260,000. The history and uniqueness of every single CryptoPunk has led to this massive valuation.
This latest NFT rise has once again made many people question how early we are in the NFT market’s cycle. How much potential could a market that has already grown so much have for the future? The recent moves have led to the suggestion that they will not only challenge the world of traditional art but also the world of physical collectibles. The collectibles market was estimated to be worth more than $370 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $522 billion by 2028. This means that the collectibles market is currently worth more than 7 times that of the global art market and nearly 125 times that of the current NFT market.
If the adoption of blockchain is to continue then the NFT market could well grow to encompass that of physical collectibles and traditional art. That would mean that what we are now seeing is the very early stages of an absolutely massive shift in how art is collected and stored. It would mean that the collections that are currently being minted are being minted at the very genesis of NFT history.
One such collection that has just arrived on the scene is Lucky Maneki, available on OpenSea. Maneki’s are mysterious creatures modeled after Japanese lucky cats, and a total of 14,159 are minted. Each one is completely unique and, similar to CryptoPunks, programmatically generated from over 410 potential lucky properties. These properties include backgrounds, faces, bodies, items, and even hidden messages.
A new collection was just released called the Maneki Gang Avatars which were designed to be profile pictures for users to add to their social media. These can also be found on OpenSea.
There are different layers of rarity embedded in the Lucky Maneki collection. Maneki’s that possess certain rare traits, like the leopard print yellow background for example (which only occurs 0.14% of the time) will be especially valuable. In addition to that, the first 40 Manekis minted are known as Epic Manekis and are the most sought-after of all.
These rarity levels create a healthy ecosystem that allows large investors to get a hold of especially rare items to store large amounts of capital. Meanwhile, smaller investors can also participate by having greater access to the more common, more affordable Manekis. The ability for each type of investor to trade within the same ecosystem creates a mutually beneficial economy where trading volumes are high. They also give the collection more variety making it more interesting overall.
Lucky Maneki NFT is community-owned and operated, so holding either a Lucky Maneki or Maneki Gang NFT gives the user a vote in the Lucky Maneki Brand.
Holding a Maneki also gives an investor access to Lucky Raffles. After every 30 unique collectors complete purchases, 10% of all fees collected from these purchases will be given to a random holder of a Maneki in a lottery. The winner will be selected by a third-party random number generator to ensure the integrity of the raffle.
Holders of Manekis will also get access to a Lucky Chest, an indestructible treasure chest that can only be opened by the holder who provides a key phrase that is hidden somewhere in the art collection. Whoever can unlock the secret can open the chest and get access to the secret prize within.
Finally, holders can also participate in the Lucky Bank. 5% of all transactions executed within the Lucky Maneki ecosystem are deposited into a smart contract. The contents of the smart contract will be donated towards initiatives chosen by vote that is participated in by all holders of Maneki’s.
To see what the community has planned for the future, Discord is always the best option for NFT news. New initiatives include implementing the community DAO and a Merchandise Shop where holders can utilize their Lucky Maneki NFTs IP to create custom merchandise.
These little features are vital to maintaining activity within the Lucky Manekis ecosystem. Most successful NFT collections are made of unique, cute characters surrounded by an active NFT community. This is exactly the dynamic the Lucky Manekis is creating, making it an NFT collection worth keeping an eye on.