• Issue
  • Jan 01, 2023

Cultural Currency: Deep Freeze Cometh

The NFT reproduction of KIM WHANKI’s 05-IV-71 #200 (Universe), 2022, 2000 × 1994 pixels. Copyright and courtesy the Whanki Foundation / Whanki Museum.

After a successful 2021 when NFTs generated a total of USD 25 billion in sales and entered the mainstream consciousness, in 2022 it became clear that a frosty season was coming for digital collectibles. While sales of “non-fungible token” art in 2021 netted a total of USD 2.6 billion—with Beeple’s Everydays: The First 5000 Days (2021) selling for a record USD 69.3 million—transactions have plummeted by 97 percent from January to September 2022. The values of NFTs have tumbled as well. The lowest price on the market, otherwise known as the floor price, of Yuga Lab’s popular Bored Ape Yacht Club (2021) series was 152 ETH, USD 429,000 in April 2022, but by November it had dropped to 57.5 ETH (USD 72,400 at the time of writing), marking an 83 percent decline in US dollar terms.