The ETH merger did little to boost a lukewarm NFT market

As Ethereum continues its reign as one of the dominant blockchains for launching non-fungible tokens (NFTs), some have speculated that its landmark transition from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake will last week would help reinvigorate an NFT market that has been trending down for almost two months. But the data shows little movement in either direction despite major improvements in blockchain power consumption, speed and scalability.

In the weeks leading up to the merger, NFT trading declined overall, and last week was slightly better. One of the industry’s leading marketplaces, OpenSea, saw $84 million in volume over the past seven days for Ethereum-based NFTs, a 5.3% increase from the week before the launch. merger, according to data from DappRadar. The average weekly price of an Ethereum-based NFT on OpenSea stands at $199, down 14.5% from the previous week.

Still, the total number of traders on the platform increased by 9% over the past week, totaling 156,000 unique wallets.

Read more: What is Ethereum merger?

The lack of appetite for post-merger NFTs, to some, came as a surprise, with many traders believing that Ethereum’s transition to proof-of-stake would attract would-be traders previously concerned about exorbitant energy consumption. Salesforce, for example, has been chastised by employees who opposed its NFT cloud platform plans out of concern for the technology’s environmental impact, despite the company stressing that it would not take supports proof-of-work blockchains. But after the merger, there were no meaningful conversations about how NFTs on Ethereum are now significantly less taxing on the environment and create less emissions.

Additionally, concerns about forked NFTs – a concern that NFTs are duplicated and have a version on the new main Proof-of-Stake blockchain as well as a version on the forked ETHPOW chain – have been raised, although none of these problems have yet materialized.

A report published Thursday by DappRadar concluded that Ethereum-based NFTs are functioning normally after the merger and that holders will not need to take any additional actions to ensure normal market functioning. The first NFT minted on Ethereum using proof of stake happened 26 minutes after the merger, and it was purchased for 36 ETH. Bloomwhich claims to be the first NFT collection created in Ethereum’s new proof-of-stake era, also had a successful launch.

Zooming out, September 2022 is shaping up to be one of the worst months for NFT as a whole since its mania in August 2021. The industry is on course to achieve less than $600 million in total sales for September, a fraction of its monthly peak of $5 billion last January, according to data from The Block.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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