Collectibles and Marketplace Report | July 2020

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How Garbage Pail Kids re-energized the Collectibles sector

Back in 2017, collectibles were the hottest dapp category.

CryptoPunks launched in June, with CryptoKitties following in November; both on the Ethereum blockchain. 

Significantly, this was also the period when cryptocurrency prices hit their all-time highs, further driving activity around this new type of digital asset. 

Fast-forward a couple of years, however, collectibles have become something of a niche. 

Breeding activity in CryptoKitties is down over 95% from its first month, while its daily activity is down from a peak of over 17,000 unique wallets to around 50. Meanwhile CryptoPunks’ has never attracted more than 53 unique wallets on a daily basis.  

The activity has been further impacted by Ethereum’s recent high transaction prices, but it’s not game over. 

Indeed, since May, the Collectibles category has been re-energized by the launch of collectibles such as Garbage Pail Kids cards and a photo set from actor William Shatner on the EOSIO-based blockchain WAX.

These launches have immediately propelled WAX’s daily activity around collectibles higher than that on Ethereum. 

This is something that looks set to continue in the coming months as more collectible dapps launch on WAX.

Follow the money

A strong NFT standard is a prerequisite for a vibrant Collectibles sector, which is why the vast majority of such activity is happening on the Ethereum and WAX blockchains. 

There is a small amount of activity on the TRON and EOS blockchains but it’s so tiny, we will ignore it for this report. Obviously, this may change as standards improve and new products launch. 

It’s also important to point out that while WAX has been successful in terms of attracting a new audience, the maturity of Ethereum’s Collectible sector means it contains more value.

This can particularly be seen in the case of CryptoPunks, which experienced an explosion in trading activity during May, with a single day peak of over $150,000 of value, taking the total market value of Collectibles on Ethereum – for the first seven months of 2020 – to almost $2.5 million. 

Diving deeper into the value side of Ethereum’s Collectibles sector, the top three projects were CryptoPunks with $1.6 million of trading value in 2020 to-date, with CryptoKitties accounting for $1.6 million, and blockchain avatar creation dapp Avastars (over $500,000).

WAX: It’s complex

When we come to look deeper into the value of the Collectibles category on WAX, the situation is more complex than on Ethereum.

Both the Garbage Pail Kids and William Shatner launches restricted users to pay with their credit cards, generating over $500,000 in the process. 

However, because this value isn’t captured on-chain, we can’t track this original sale amount. Of course, we can track the subsequent on-chain trading transactions.

And these demonstrate how successfully launching collectibles products drives trading activity. 

There are now over half a dozen marketplace dapps on live on WAX, which has enabled almost $1.6 million worth of trading since the first Garbage Pail Kids packs launched on 12 May 2020. 

That this total is a multiple of the original amount raised by the launches shows that many collectibles have been sold a number of times, presumably generating profits for smart traders.

What will be fascinating to watch in the future is whether these new traders will continue to keep this value on the WAX blockchain and recycle it, buying and trading new launches, or cash out.

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