A year ago, numerous predictions regarding the performance of NFTs in 2022 were made. At the time, the NFT market was buzzing, and it seemed to be the next big thing. One notable prediction for NFTs in 2022 came from Jason Yanowitz, the founder of Blockworks. According to Yanowitz, the financialization of NFTs in 2022 will drive prices to the moon since holders will no longer need to sell their digital tokens to get cash. As much as that was an interesting prediction, it never played out. Or maybe not yet.
The blockchain expert also predicted that GameFi would go mainstream and NFTs and DeFi would be seamlessly embedded into games. Again, a wrong prediction. In fact, 2022 saw a decline in blockchain gaming on the Ethereum network. Although some non-fungible tokens have been integrated into games, we are yet to see a seamless integration. A smooth integration seems to be a work in progress.
Even if Yanowitz’s optimistic predictions failed to play out in 2022, many positives could still be drawn from the NFT market. So many positives, and of course, negatives too. Let’s now take a look at how non-fungible tokens performed last year.
NFTs in 2022 – New Adoptions, New Records, and New Hacks
NFTs gained wider adoption last year. Some celebrities and brands joined the NFT train. New use cases of non-fungible tokens were discovered, and existing use cases were improved. New products hit the market, and some big names like FIFA integrated non-fungible tokens to elevate the fan experience. Also, some previously unknown individuals came to the limelight after making a ton of cash from the space.
The Easiest $1 Million he’ll Ever Make
How would you explain the source of funds to your parents if you suddenly woke up one morning to find $1 million worth of tokens in your account? That was the dilemma of a 22-year-old Indonesian student who trended in January 2022. Sultan Ghozali took selfies of himself in 2017 to look retrospectively at his schooling journey.
Eventually, these selfies proved to be worth more than mere throwback pictures. Ghozali uploaded the collection to OpenSea and listed each for various prices. He then urged his Twitter followers to purchase and flip his photos, and the response superseded anything he expected.
Some of his selfies sold for as high as 0.9ETH. In no time, his pictures gained a lot of hype, and the trading volume for the non-fungible selfies spiked immensely. The young lad realized over a million dollars from the collection, definitely having one of the best-ever financial starts of the year.
CryptoPunks NFT Got to the Guinness Book of Record
February was a month to remember in the CryptoPunk ecosystem, especially for the holder of CryptoPunk #5588. The unique token sold for 8000 ETH and was valued at $23.7 million at the time of sale, making it the most expensive NFT collectible ever sold. The CryptoPunk NFT now has its name inscribed in the Guinness book of records.
But guess which other NFT has a spot in the Guinness book? One of the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs! In March 2022, the BAYC NFT got a spot for the NFT collection with the highest floor price. The lowest price of the 10,000 BAYC collection was a whopping 99.99ETH, equivalent to about $295K at the time.
BAYC Keeps Getting Hacked
For NFT fans, three things are certain in life:
3) The BAYC project getting Hacked.
Which big project is not a target for hackers? Well, none. The BAYC NFT project got hacked first in April. The hackers got in through their Instagram accounts and used a false announcement to sway unsuspecting NFT holders. The hackers promised an airdrop and urged BAYC holders to connect their wallets to a phishing link. About 100 NFTs were stolen, although the BAYC team gained control of their account shortly after.
Again, in June, the hackers struck hard. This time, the hackers promised the distribution of limited quantities of airdrops, and users had to connect their wallets to claim. The same old technique worked; collectively, NFT holders lost 32 digital tokens worth $370,000. BAYC holders will now be more cautious when participating in airdrops or connecting wallets.
NFTs Issued at the 2022 Ballon d’Or Ceremony
The Ballon d’Or is arguably the most prestigious individual award for professional footballers. Famous names like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have recently dominated the ranks. Last year, NFTs were awarded for the first time since the inception of the award in 1956. Karim Benzema received a physical golden ball and an NFT golden ball at the event. Four other sports personnel were awarded NFTs too.
L’Equip organized the sporting event and auctioned NFTs from September through November. Each auctioned collection had its unique privileges. Notably, in November, L’Equip hosted an auction where artistic NFTs created by Leo Caillard were sold. The non-fungible tokens proved to have great utility, granting holders access to the next Ballon d’Or ceremony, which will be hosted later this year.
Solana NFT’s Freefall
Who would have imagined? It was black November for the Solana ecosystem, and its NFT projects were not sparred. The FTX scandal struck Solana, too, like a stray bullet. Sam-Bankman Fried, the then CEO of FTX exchange, had invested heavily in Solana. His company provided Alameda Research with a loan backed by FTT and SOL tokens.
Further, Alameda had $1.1. billion worth of Solana on its balance sheet, and when the company went bust, it tried to liquidate its assets to pay back FTX’s loan. Sadly, FTT and SOL were the two tokens to suffer from the incompetency of SBF and his allies. SOL’s price crashed by over 50% within a few days. Perhaps, we can boldly say that SOL NFT holders had one of the worst investment experiences in the latter part of 2021.
The fall of SOL forced DeGod’s y00ts NFT project to migrate from the Solana network. While this seemed like medicine after death, it aided its rebranding process. Interestingly, the SOL ecosystem was revived slightly when the BONK token was launched to boost Solana’s liquidity.
VISA Partnered with Crypto.com Ahead of World Cup
In November, VISA partnered with Crypto.com to create unique experiences for sports fans at the FIFA world cup. The just concluded FIFA world cup became the first world cup to feature NFTs. The world cup NFTs allowed fans to use their feet on the pitch, not to kick the ball this time, but to draw their own NFT designs. This was made possible with a LED football pitch, and the resulting designs were emailed to participants and then minted as NFTs.
Just before the FIFA World Cup, several NFT fans predicted the issuing of a tokenized world cup, along with the physical trophy. Others could also foresee the individual accolades being tokenized as NFTs as it was for the Ballon d’Or ceremony, but all hopes of these happening got dashed on December 18th. The tournament was over, and non-fungible tokens were not issued at the final. Notwithstanding, non-fungible tokens were significant for sports fans throughout the event.
More Brands Utilize NFTs and Troop into the Metaverse
Adidas and Nike continue their rivalries in the sports-kit world, but this time, with a touch of NFTs in the metaverse. Both sportswear giants have strategically collaborated with web3 entities and carved an NFT product niche.
A year ago, Nike purchased RTFKT, an NFT collectible studio, to aid its development of blockchain-based digital footwear. The Nike x RTFKT collaboration has yielded some positive results. The duo has released a series of NFT products: Mystery boxes, Cryptokicks, digital sweatshirts, and so forth. Nike’s community members quickly purchased most of these tokenized products shortly after release.
Adidas also has not been left behind. Adidas collaborated with BAYC and Punks Comics to bring the metaverse closer to its fans. Following the partnerships, a handful of NFT products were released in the Adidas community. One of its collections, themed “Into the Metaverse,” hit a milestone sales volume of $23 million. The sportswear company swiftly built on this success by launching other eye-catching NFT products the following month.
The Enter Ecosystem Launched its NFT Collection
We cannot completely look at the NFT market in retrospect without mentioning Enter’s NFT collection. In August, the Enter team decided to reward early users of the Enter ecosystem. Before enter.market was launched, the ecosystem had some curious followers who signed up for its pre-launch newsletter.
Enter.market airdropped the very first enter NFT collection. The collection was distributed to reward early adopters and loyal supporters. It was an art collection that consisted of 3333 collectible 3D NFTs. The art collection comes in various colors and backgrounds. If you couldn’t be among the first users, don’t fret. You stand another chance of acquiring the Enter NFT from the second-hand market or future giveaways in the ecosystem.