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Danny is CoinDesk's Managing Editor for special projects. He owns BTC, ETH and SOL.

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Join the most important conversation in crypto and Web3 taking place in Austin, Texas, April 26-28.

Pudgy Penguins NFTs are on a Christmastime tear.

The Ethereum-based non-fungible token (NFT) lineup has eclipsed Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and other so-called “blue chip” digital collectibles in 24-hour trading volume – its 1,200 ETH is nearly double that of the runner-up, BAYC, according to data site Nansen.

That surge in trading activity comes as Pudgy Penguins sets new all-time highs in terms of ETH-denominated floor price, a popular metric. At press time, the lowest asking price for a “Pengu” on NFT trading hub OpenSea was 7 ETH. That’s a 32% jump in 24 hours, per Nansen.

The market drama caps Pudgy Penguins’ year-long redemption arc. It began 2022 in the dumps price-wise but then rallied after a change of ownership and refocus on branding.

And the late-December moon mission is lifting all ice boats. Sister collection Lil Pudgys has seen its floor price spike 56% (to 0.69 ETH) and trading volume explode 713% (to 464 ETH) over the last 24-hours. Pudgy Penguin owners are buying their smol counterparts at a faster clip than any other collection, Nansen data shows.

Nansen reports the average Pengu is now selling for 6.5 ETH, surpassing the collection’s previous high-water mark of 6.11 ETH set on December 9. Penguins last showed such market strength when its owner in August inked a licensing deal for Pudgy Penguin toys.

The collection’s revival this year comes under new ownership as Penguin holders ousted the NFT’s founders in January after the original team squandered the project’s treasury with little to show for it.

Four months later, serial entrepreneur Luca Schnetzler (Netz) bought the rights to Pudgy Penguins for $2.5 million and a promise to “build the brand.” He’s since rolled out Pengu licensing deals, a collection marketplace and social media campaign to break into blue chip territory and connect “with everyday consumers.”

That means “making real money and selling real products – not some imaginary web3 setup where you kick back and collect royalties [on NFT resales] all day.”

Netz noted that Pudgy Penguin-branded merchandise – t-shirts, hats and hoodies – have seen an uptick in sales during the holidays. He’s banking on toys and collectibles in the year ahead.

Punk9059, the pseudonymous director of research for NFT club Proof Collective, credits the surge to “the right combination of a very active founder” and “a fair number of influencers getting on board.”

Still, finding the spark for the holiday rally is difficult. Netz admits there’s no traditional catalyst for this change in the market weather.

Except, perhaps, a change in the weather.

“It's the culmination of Christmas and Penguins being a cold animal,” he said.

Eli Tan contributed reporting.


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Danny is CoinDesk's Managing Editor for special projects. He owns BTC, ETH and SOL.


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Danny is CoinDesk's Managing Editor for special projects. He owns BTC, ETH and SOL.