Nike Trips Up .SWOOSH Launch While Bitcoin NFTs Soar

Nike’s .SWOOSH NFT drop was filled with missteps, while a Bitcoin NFT collection topped the charts and NFT lending is gaining momentum.

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This week, Bitcoin NFTs are having their moment, placing them just behind Ethereum NFTs in terms of sales. Meanwhile, NFT lending platforms and loan services are also gaining momentum. Blur’s Blend is dominating with 82% of the NFT lending market share, while Binance has released its own NFT loan service that allows holders to use their blue-chip NFTs as collateral to secure ETH loans.

Also, Nike’s .SWOOSH platform released its first collection of digital sneakers, which netted over $1 million in sales so far, though the mint process was not a walk in the park for eager buyers that faced numerous delays and technical difficulties.

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This Week's Alpha

Go off, Bitcoin NFTs: NFTs on Bitcoin have continued to grow in popularity, jumping to the number two spot in terms of sales per blockchain, coming just behind Ethereum, according to data from CryptoSlam. Bitcoin NFTs are a relatively new phenomenon, as they didn’t effectively exist before the enabling of inscriptions on the Bitcoin mainnet in January 2023.

  • Space Pepes to the moon: The Bitcoin-based “Space Pepes” NFTs jumped to the top of the NFT leaderboard on Thursday, becoming the most traded NFTs over a seven-day period, data from Cryptoslam shows, with over $7.3 million worth of the collection traded.
  • Inscriptions boom: The number of Ordinals inscriptions spiked above 3 million earlier this month following the introduction of the BRC-20 token standard… but the vast majority are just text.

Nike’s jagged path to $1M: .SWOOSH, Nike’s Web3 collectibles platform, released its first NFT sneaker collection called Our Force 1 and has surpassed $1 million in sales despite a bumpy mint. The sale, which began with “First Access” on May 15 after numerous delays, faced multiple technical issues that hindered the user experience. The “General Access” sale began on May 24 – two weeks after its initially-proposed date – and also experienced issues with traffic and tech preventing many from minting. The sale is ongoing, but Nike has already deemed it a success on Twitter, despite the fact that many NFTs haven’t sold.

  • Drop master or drop-saster?: Some users were frustrated that Nike, who are experts in releasing exclusive sneaker drops that sell out in seconds, had so many technical issues with the .SWOOSH drop.

NFT lending is trending: NFT lending platforms and loan services are having a moment, as buyers seek new ways to enter the NFT market without shelling out thousands of dollars:

  • Blend: Earlier this month, NFT marketplace Blur launched its lending platform Blend, which has already seized 82% of the NFT lending market share, according to a report by DappRadar.
  • Binance NFT Loan: Top crypto exchange Binance has launched a new feature integrated into its NFT marketplace that allows digital asset holders to secure ETH loans by using their NFTs as collateral.
  • Astaria: Co-founded by the former CTO of DeFi protocol SushiSwap, Astaria allows NFT holders to lease their assets to traders who may not want to shell out for a blue-chip NFT in a single transaction.

Projects on the Rise

RSTLSS x Claire Silver: Pixelgeist (RSTLSS)
RSTLSS x Claire Silver: Pixelgeist (RSTLSS)

Who: AI artist Claire Silver and digital fashion platform RSTLSS

What: Pixelgeist, a 2,136-edition NFT collection, blends fashion, art and technology through vivid and colorful pieces of art created using artificial intelligence. The collection is made up of new artwork from Silver that range in edition sizes, with each piece portraying a “Pixelgeist,” described as “a digital entity that embodies the essence of an AI soul trapped within a portrait.” Each purchase came with an NFT, a digital and physical wearable featuring the artwork and a digital avatar wearing the specialized garment.

How: During the minting process, collectors were asked two questions that dictated what combination of artwork and clothing they received together. The collection sold out, though many are available for purchase the secondary marketplace OpenSea.

In Other News

Doge-umentary: Columnist Jeff Wilser checks in with TriDog, a member of the Own the Doge DAO, who is working on a wild documentary to tell the memecoin’s story.

The divine path: Gods Unchained, Ethereum's highest-grossing trading card game, revamped its project roadmap, laying out plans to launch a mobile version for both Android and Apple devices by the end of 2023.

Metaverse master: China’s Web3-friendly city of Nanjing, which previously launched a $1 billion blockchain fund, has launched a state-backed organization aimed at promoting metaverse studies across the country.

Virtually slaying: Decentraland is hosting a three-day Pride event featuring virtual art installations and live musical performances.

Non-Fungible Toolkit

The NFT lending market has seen a huge resurgence in interest following NFT marketplace Blur’s launch of Blend, which is already doing hundreds of millions in trading volume. Two more companies entered the market this week, Binance and Astaria, with unique offerings of their own and they won’t be the last.

But before you put your NFT in one of these lending protocols, you should know how they work and the full suite of options available for making money off your NFT without selling it. We’ve got you covered in this guide.

Edited by Toby Leah Bochan.

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Rosie Perper

Rosie Perper was the Deputy Managing Editor for Web3 and Learn, focusing on the metaverse, NFTs, DAOs and emerging technology like VR/AR. She has previously worked across breaking news, global finance, tech, culture and business. She holds a small amount of BTC and ETH and several NFTs. Subscribe to her weekly newsletter, The Airdrop.


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