Ordinals market weekly roundup (April 1st – 7th 2023)
DeGods dominate Volume & Pixel Mumus are selling like hotcakes… but are we heading to a planet of the Apes scenario?
The new Ordinals data aggregation site, Best in Slot, has solved one of the major headaches of tracking relative Ordinal performance by bringing together trading data from the 6+ major marketplaces into a single location. Best in Slot (“BiS”) track the Bitcoin blockchain for Partially Signed Bitcoin Transactions (PSBTs) linked to Ordinals, which means they get comprehensive, objective info from the safest and most common trading method for Ordinals, used across marketplaces.
Of course, nothing prevents unscrupulous actors from wash trading (sending Ordinals between their own addresses to pump up their volume figures) and even buying their own inscriptions to fake demand. Such volume inflation and price manipulation shenanigans have been common across the more disreputable crypto exchanges for years… Something to keep in mind as the Ordinals market matures and competition increases.
At any rate, Best in Slot makes it a breeze to start analysing the state of the Ordinals market, with a view to spotting hot collections and single inscriptions. Here’s what their collection data sorted by trading volume over the last week looks like:
DeGods, so hot right now (being the last 7 days) with 14.35 BTC in volume, giving them a 4.5 BTC lead over Ordinal Maxi Biz (OMB), their closest rival. Bitcoin Apes, that block-busting collection of 10,000 Ethereum NFTs cloned to Ordinals, also put in a strong performance with 8.74 BTC in sales. From these top three Ordinals, volumes drop off a cliff by 5 BTC or so, down to JOMO Hippo (another cloned NFT) with 3.44 BTC traded.
Did Steve mention that DeGods are also an NFT clone? With at least 5 out of the top 10 being clones (add Punks and, arguably, Bit Apes), an important trend emerges: NFT clones are big on Ordinals. This is predictable, given that human nature is to default to the familiar and to double down on proven winners. As an Ordinal investor, it makes sense to bet on a clone that succeeded on another chain, all else being equal. Another obvious trend driven by similar market psychology is that recognisable characters and memes, such as Pepes and Bitcoin Maxis (yes, there’s a Steve in there), are popular.
Let’s turn now to total Sales numbers for the week:
Pixel Mumus are charging ahead of the field! They sold 2411 inscriptions, which is nearly 5 times more sales than their nearest competitor, BTC Moonbirds, which “only” sold 547. All the other entrants in the top 10 also made three digit sales. Still, these are impressive numbers all round considering just how new this space is – in a year all these figures could easily be order(nal)s of magnitude higher!
Any road, it’s clear from the Sales data that a low Floor Price (the minimum price for an Inscription within a collection) helps to do big sales. Again, that’s a rather predictable outcome but it leads to a conclusion worth noting for anyone interested in creating their own Ordinal collection… To attract a big community, list a lot of pieces at a low price. More expensive collections might garner more prestige but they’ll attract far fewer art hodlers, limiting the size of the community you can leverage for future expansions or new projects.
Interestingly, Bitcoin Apes hold down 3rd position by both Volume and Sales. It seems their relatively massive supply of 10,000 is offset by having only ~10% of their total for sale across the 5 marketplaces currently integrated with BiS (Gamma.io, Magic Eden, Ordinals Wallet, Ordswap, and Ordinals Market). Bitcoin Apes weren’t inscribed by Yuga Labs, the creators of the original Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs on Ethereum – and how they must be kicking themselves for missing the trick! – but by the organic Ape community themselves. So, another notable point arises from this observation. The Bitcoin Ape hodlers are cooperating – perhaps even coordinating as community – in order to limit market supply and maintain a decent floor price. An interesting emergent economic phenomenon to be sure, which suggests to the prospective Ordinal investor that community health can play a big role in the success of any collection!
Full Disclosure: the author holds no financial stake in any products or services mentioned above.