At the height of the NFT craze, New Zealand-based Fluf World digital bunnies were selling for the equivalent of $32,500 each. Now they go for about $3,900 on average.
The decline equates to an average loss in value of just over $28,500 per rabbit since January 2022 — a trend played out across the highly speculative NFT market.
Sale volumes have decreased significantly as well, going from 362 sales per week in January 2022 to 52 in early April, nearly an 85% drop, according to Opensea.io. It was the largest marketplace where non-fungible tokens were bought and sold.
Despite the fallout, Fluf World’s creators, Non-Fungible Labs, said the bunnies remained part of a larger plan, and an academic studying the market said Flufs has some qualities that could help the project survive its upcoming potential cull.
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In their current form, Flufs are more than just 3D digital bunnies bobbing around on a screen, and their value comes largely from the fact that each is a one-time, verifiable ownership.
Some Flufs have hats, some have eye patches, some have smokes, and each has its own short background. There are 10,000 of them, and in the past they have attracted a partnership with American rapper Snoop Dogg.
Fluf World Burrows — the NFT homes where Flufs can live — have been worse than the bunnies themselves, dropping in value from 4.25 ethereum at the end of January last year to 0.19 ethereum at the end of March.
In dollars, that’s the equivalent of the burrow price, which has fallen from over $1,800 to $551 today.
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Aaron McDonald, co-founder of Non-Fungible Labs, said in a statement that he has remained firm that Flufs has a future in the next iteration of the internet..
“While the total price of assets in many market segments has fallen from historic highs, we continue to build that foundation and remain committed to our long-term vision of reshaping the Internet,” McDonald wrote.
McDonald is the CEO of the Futureverse, a company that aims to create a new digital universe where the Flufs are planned to mature.
The recently created Futureverse Foundation is an amalgamation of 11 different local and international technology and media companies, which McDonald said was one of the largest metaverse communities in the world.
The metaverse, often equated to the Facebook-led initiative to bring more people’s work and social life online, is a vague catch-all term for the next phase of the internet.
MacDonald saw it as a space that would be created through the collaboration of many entities, but did not say how it would take Flufs into account.
Whether they will evolve into playable characters or avatars, for example, or remain inanimate pieces of digital art has remained unclear.
Associate professor of commercial law Alex Sims is currently conducting research on NFTs, and he said whether any NFT was likely to regain its value depended on two main factors: did the creators have a future plan for expansion, and was the artwork likely to come back into fashion.
You’re not surprised that NFTs have gone through a boom-bust cycle, as excitement often blossoms when a new concept or technology emerges.
She equated the explosion with the dot-com bubble, and said the amount of money that initially poured into NFTs was likely exacerbated by the amount of money being laundered when interest rates were at historic lows.
Just like companies during the dot-com bubble, a lot of NFTs will never regain any value and disappear, but Sims thought some would stand the test of time.
Sims was familiar with the team behind Flufs, and said they have experience in digital design and blockchain, which is encouraging.
“The goal of Fluf World is to build that metaverse and more things around it to give value to, and that may or may not work.
“It’s different than some NFT projects, which actually sold 10,000 full JPEGs, and there was really nothing.”
“I always say – only invest if you personally like it, or if you see value in the community around it.”
“It’s like with any piece of art, if you buy for imaginative reasons only, your fingers will always get burned.”