NFT Crash – Is There Still a Chance for a Bounce-Back?

We’ve witnessed an almost cataclysmic NFT market crash during the first half of 2022 after the explosive growth in 2021. NFT activity took a nosedive around mid-March to $964 million compared to February 2022 when trading volume was estimated at around $3.9 billion. 

In other words, volume is still there but trading activity has contracted, big time. Does this mean that the inflated NFT bubble is about to blow up? Why did people start tightening their belts when it comes to investing in web3? Has the NFT crash started or there is still a chance that these risky digital assets will go back to what they used to be after a rough start of the year? 

Reasons Behind the Activity Drop 

It has been a month since the NFT market began to level off. NFT transaction activity flopped by almost 50% compared to the same time last year. However, did NFTs crash just like that or are there some major reasons behind? 

Digital assets are risky, out of which NFTs are the riskiest while cryptocurrencies were considered relatively safe, all until the past month when $500 million was wiped out of the crypto market. 

During one of the craziest weeks in crypto, LUNA, one of the most popular stablecoins dropped to 0, USDT dipped to 95 cents, and Elon Musk said that the Twitter acquisition was put on hold. 

As a result of all this, the market experienced a massive sell-off. Bitcoin dipped below $27,000, Ethereum below $1,700, Solana below $45, and so on. 

Cryptocurrencies started bleeding and NFTs simply followed and took the huge burnt out of the crypto crash. It turned out NFTs were even more vulnerable to speculations compared to crypto than everyone thought. 

Newbies got scared that we were entering a crypto winter, meaning their digital assets would lose value significantly. A single question circled their minds – will NFTs crash? 

Flippers were selling at a loss (their idea was to limit the damage by selling low) whilst some of them were just listing but never selling their NFTs, which was a result of a massive downturn in trading volumes. 

To clarify, most people in NFTs are seeking overnight profits. No wonder such a large drop in value when it comes to cryptocurrencies made them fear they would lose most or all of the money invested. For the same reason, they got discouraged from injecting more money and buying new stuff. 

Note that most new people in the space aren’t making educated decisions. They are, mostly, buying the hype, and just going for the latest trend instead for utility projects is enormously risky. “Scared money makes no money” is something you’ll often read on Twitter about investing in NFTs. 

Another reason for a significant volume drop is that the number of frauds or rug pulls has never been higher and the entire NFT space feels less safe than it used to be. 

Connect your wallet to the wrong website and you will get drained –  all of your NFTs and funds, gone, within seconds. Click on the link sent to you on Discord, and the same thing happens. The more people in the space, the more scammers, and needing to stay super-cautious about all this simply kills the vibe NFTs had initially. 

The declining price of cryptocurrencies and NFTs has a lot to do with the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the rise of interest rates, and, needless to say, inflation. If we enter a recession, the world will be way less interested in art. 

Still, it’s good to know that successful holders, traders, and flippers in the NFT space are not newcomers. A large portion of people in web3 are crypto-natives, deeply enthusiastic about decentralization, gaming, and art and they are considering this dip advantageous in so many ways. 

NFT whales do not have the need to cash out, or, at least, not entirely. They have survived bear markets and their mindset is set to “1 ETH is 1 ETH”. They are willing to participate in transactions almost without caring what is happening to fiat. Shortly said, crypto and NFTs are not for the faint-hearted. 

Are All NFTs Performing Badly? 

Of course not! High-profile aka blue-chip projects (Bored Ape Yacht Club, Mutant Ape Yacht Club, Crypto Punks) as well as the metaverse land, Otherdeed for Otherside, are doing relatively well. 

The number of active collections, buyers, and sellers is growing consistently as well. A weekly number of active collections on OpenSea solely skyrocketed from below 500 in Q1 2021 to 5,000 in Q1 2022. In Q1 2022, almost 1 million unique addresses performed a transaction – bought or sold an NFT, compared to Q4 2021 when the number of active wallets was around 627,000. 

On the other hand, Solana NFTs have gained huge traction since the Okay Bear mint followed by the Trippin’ Ape Tribe mint. Thanks to the latter, Solana NFTs surpassed trading volume on Ethereum NFTs first time in history – $24.3 vs $24 million in a day. 

A recently minted NFT on Solana, Trippin’ Ape Tribe, surpassed the most popular Etherem NFTs in 7-day volume on OpenSea.

Source: https://opensea.io/ 

Magic Eden took over OpenSea in terms of both transactions and weekly users. One of the reasons behind this is that minting, purchasing on the secondary, listing, and bidding costs practically 0 SOL, and transaction fees on Ethereum are still relatively high. 

Trying to stay on top of transactions, OpenSea now accommodates Solana collectibles (Polygon and Klaytn as well) and currently supports trading over 500 collections. On June 5th, NFT trading volume on Solana surpassed $2.35 billion, and it could be that Solana summer is really not just a buzzword.

Finally, some big brands such as Nike, Lous Vuitton, Pepsi, and Samsung have dipped their toes into NFTs. A couple of established brands that are just about to get into the NFT world are LACOSTE, Diesel, and Audi, which is an indicator that NFTs are far from dead.  

Summary

So, do we think this NFT crash means the end of NFTs? Not at all! We’re going through a period of consolidation. The market is maturing, and, eventually, it will bounce back. However, people willing to invest in NFTs should be more cautious and go for projects they believe have potential and will stay around long-term instead of looking for quick flips.

Mining Explained: A Detailed Guide on How Cryptocurrency Mining Works.

During the peak of cryptocurrency mining, war ensued that boosted demand for GPUs. GPU manufacturer Advanced Micro Devices reported impressive results in its latest earnings report as demand for its shares rose and shares were at a record high for the past ten years. Although demand for graphics processors has increased dramatically crypto mining gold rushes have quickly ended as difficulty in mining top cryptos including Bitcoin increased rapidly too. cryptocurrencies are still lucrative. What does cryptomining mean? The following article focuses on this subject further.

Understanding Bitcoin

Bitcoins are a very popular type of cryptocurrency that are digital currencies. Bitcoin is distributed in the form of distributed ledgers, which monitor the transactional data in cryptocurrency and track the transaction. When computer systems verify and process transactions, new bitcoins may be created. These networked computers process this transaction by accepting bitcoins and then paying them. Bitcoins are based on blockchain technology, enabling some cryptocurrency systems and applications. A blockchain is essentially a centralized ledger that records every transaction within a network.

Is Bitcoin mining profitable?

That’s a question. Even if the Bitcoin mining business succeeds, the mining companies are unsure about their potential profits because of the high initial equipment prices and the ongoing electric expenses. The ASIC’s electricity will consume about twice what is used to power the PlayStation three in the US, according to the report released in April 2019. Since the complexity of mining bitcoin increased, it was necessary for a higher computing capacity. Bitcoin mining consumes 14.5 terawatt-hours of electricity a day, according to Cambridge Bitcoin electricity consumption.

How Bitcoin mining works?

Bitcoin miners compete for the best chance to create and maintain a large amount of blocks using expensive computer software and massive electricity. To complete the extraction the miner must find a correct answer. A method to guess a correct amount is called proof of a work. Miners guess targets’ hashed data using random guessing as quickly as possible — a method that requires massive computational power. The difficulties are increased with increasing numbers of miners joining the network. ASICs are computer hardware that are typically referred to as ASICs and can be up to $10,000 to build.

How can I start mining Cryptocurrencies?

Mining cryptocurrencies uses computer programming software geared toward solving cryptographic mathematical calculations. Until recently, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin were mined using just the CPU chips of home computers and were easy to use. In recent decades, CPU-chip technology has largely become unsuitable for mining cryptocurrencies because of increased challenges. Nowadays mining for cryptocurrency requires a GPU mining device or ASIC mining software for applications. In addition, every GPU in mine must have reliable internet connectivity.

Tell me the best way to mine Bitcoin?

Initially individuals could compete to buy Bitcoins using a computer that was connected to their computers, but it is no longer so. It’s because of how complicated Bitcoin mining can be with time. In the hope that it will be possible to run the blockchain in a smooth way and be processed and verified by a Bitcoin blockchain, the network will generate one block each hour. Nevertheless the mining industry is likely to be able to solve the problem in less than two hours with fewer hacked computers than 10 hacked computers compared to 100.

Different methods of mining Cryptocurrencies

Different methods to mine a cryptocurrency take different times to do so. In the early days of computer mining, CPUs were the preferred solution for all of the mining jobs. Despite the huge electricity costs and increased difficulties across the country, CPU mining remains slow. GPU mining is a way to explore cryptocurrency. It increases computation power when combining GPUs with one machine. In the GPU mining rig the motherboard must have cooled systems installed in order. ASIC mining also provides another way of mining cryptos.

What are mining pools?

If the solver has a puzzle then he receives a bonus from mining, and the probability that a participant finds a solution equals the percentage of the mining power. Participants with relatively small proportions of mining power can’t really discover the next Block alone. A mining card a user might have for tens of thousands would not be enough to supply 0.09% of the mining power of an entire system. It may take the miner quite some time for him to locate the block, and the difficulty is going to increase it.

What is Hashrate?

GitHub hashrate represents the computation power used by mining companies. The more people mining Bitcoin and hoping to earn money, the more difficult it gets to solve it. This is a computational battle where individuals or groups have more computing power. More computers have the more opportunities the mine is going to get and thus the more blocks it can get. In 2009 Hash rates were initially measured in Hash Per Seconds (H/s – H/s was quickly used to indicate that mining grew exponentially in the future.

Is Bitcoin mining legal?

Bitcoin mining has a legal status depending purely on where you are. Bitcoin’s concept threatens fiat currencies and government controls on financial markets. Bitcoin is illegal in some locations. Bitcoin owners can legally use their Bitcoin to mine Bitcoins and other cryptocurrency. The country has been found to be illegal for several reasons. 8. Currently the ban includes China, Bangladesh, Dominica, North Macedonia, Qatar and Vietnam. In most countries bitcoin use remains a legal practice.

Downsides of mining

Generally, mining risks can be financial or regulatory. Mining of the Bitcoins is a serious and expensive risk since it is impossible to earn enough profit by buying and selling mining equipment for a single investment. However, these risks can easily be reduced through mining. When mining is considered a risk and living near a place where the mine is illegal then reconsider it. You should also consider the country regulation and general sentiments regarding cryptocurrency before investing.

FAQ

How much can you profit from Bitcoin mining?

If an Ethereum miner can create an Ethereum block, he will get 625 bitcoins. The prize is halved every 4 years or a quarter of the 200,000 block. Bitcoin was valued between $40,000 and $750 million and is worth approximately $150,000.

What is block mining in bitcoin?

Bitcoin mining is used to store current bitcoin transactions in blocks that can be added to blockchains. Bitcoin miners are used to analyze transactions by analyzing data from bitcoin transactions. The miners receive bitcoins for each block.

How long does it take to mine a bitcoin block?

Bitcoin blocks are mined every 10 minutes. This means that the theory will take about 10 minutes to mine a BTC reward.

How many bitcoin blocks is a mining?

How many coins can be minted per block is varied. Each block produced 6.25 BTC.

What is the return on Bitcoin mining?

Miners will receive a reward of 625 bitcoins. The price will decrease by 1.325 Bitcoins from 2023 to 2027. The prize is paid to the miners first solving this puzzle. Typically the same procedure repeats for ten seconds for all of the mining machines in networked systems.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Wild West of Crypto Mining

“Bitcoin mining” is a phrase that has been tossed around for over a decade now and even people with no knowledge of crypto have encountered it at least once. The crypto market has evolved a great deal since 2009, however, the regulations of crypto trading and mining are still considerably lagging behind. This gray area is leaving plenty of room for trading manipulations and causing a Wild West of crypto mining.

Wild West Crypto Mining – no Pickaxe required

When a typical person hears “crypto mining” the thought that comes to mind is a gamer using his rigged PC to mine Bitcoin while offline. In actuality, according to a new study, half of all Bitcoin mining capacity is controlled by 0.1% of miners.

A typical Bitcoin miner is a corporation operating “mining farms” – numerous warehouses full of ASIC (Application-Specific Integrated Circuits) mining computers. These organizations make it impossible to compete against them for lucrative Bitcoin hashrate, practically pushing an individual miner out to the curb.

However, Bitcoin, even though the most recognized, is not the only proof-of-work (PoW) crypto. Despite some arguing that proof-of-stake (PoS) is the new norm among the blockchains, there are still quite a few cryptos that can be mined.

Deciding Whether to enter the Wild West of Crypto Mining

Despite numerous arguments against it, PoW seems to be here to stay, at least for the time being. For those who are interested in making some easy passive income on the side, once they dismiss the idea of mining Bitcoin, the next stop is Ethereum.

Ether’s price has lately made its mining an extremely lucrative endeavor. It attracted many first time miners, so it is no wonder Ethereum’s hashrate is at its all time high. Miners’ only concern is Ethereum’s eminent transition to PoS, which is expected to take place by 2023.

Ethereum Network Hash Rate Chart by etherscan.io

Honorable mentions of PoW chains include, though are not limited to:

  • Ethereum Classic
  • Monero
  • Ravencoin
  • Dodgecoin

Mining each of them comes with different equipment requirements and fluctuating hashrate difficulty. Anyone looking to get into crypto mining needs to weigh out the current hardware availability and prices against the potential gains.

Miners versus Gamers

Lately, hardware scarcity has been one of the burning topics among the miner community. Various weather incidents, trade war of the US and China and the consequences of the pandemic as well as the increasing hardware demand by miners resulted in a worldwide semiconductor chip deficit. 

The surge in demand and prolonged chip shortage culminated into a market of online purchasing bots, scalpers, hardware company lotteries, skyrocketing prices and overall equipment unavailability. At one point, the consumers were forced to either pay double and triple the MSRP, or settle for the equipment they already own.

This affair primarily affected the gamers and the miners as they were the pool competing for the severely limited supply of the medium and high performance GPUs. Since the miners were using the hardware to acquire generous income, they were ready to pay high prices to the scalpers thus further deepening the issue. 

This trend prompted manufacturers to put a lid on the GPUs’ hashrates making them less appealing to miners. However, the short term solution was just an implemented driver on the existing GPUs. Consequently, as soon as they hit the market, crypto miners’ forums were overflowing with advice on how to go around the restrictions. It was back to square one for the manufacturers and just another day in the Wild West of crypto mining.  

The Big Miner Migration

Besides the chip shortage, 2021 was significant as the year of the big miner migration. With the release date of digital yuan approaching, the Chinese government saw crypto as direct competition to their CBDC. This triggered one of the world’s biggest government crackdowns on crypto, effectively shutting off power to all Bitcoin mining farms on Chinese grounds overnight.

Bitcoin mining hashrate contribution of China up to that point had been steadily declining in the anticipation of such an event. It went from 75% in 2019 to 44% in May of 2021, however, the ban has suddenly brought all Bitcoin mining in the Republic of China to a screeching halt.

All of the miners had to quickly find an alternative combination of crypto friendly grounds and affordable power. Russia and Kazakhstan were appealing and initially quite popular options because of their proximity. However, over time, they have shown to be risky choices due to governments’ inconsistent policies and electricity shortages. 

Evolution of country hashrate share by Cambridge Bitcoin electricity consumption index

Transporting the equipment to the US and Canada was logistically challenging due to the pandemic imposed shipping strain. Nevertheless, Texas has become the fastest growing destination for crypto mining in the world.

Green is the New Black of the Crypto Wild West

The narrative constantly finding its way back to the headlines of the crypto news section is that of Bitcoin’s “poor effect on the environment”.

Total Bitcoin electricity consumption data by Cambridge Bitcoin electricity consumption index

It is a fact that Bitcoin mining is a highly energy intensive process. According to Cambridge Bitcoin electricity consumption index, monthly Bitcoin electricity consumption has increased from 0.09 to 310 TWh, or close to 350,000% over the past decade. This trend has brought about numerous critics of mining impact on the environment and just about every major news post on the topic resulted in a price hit to Bitcoin.

One of those price hits was in May of 2020 when Elon Musk announced that Tesla would no longer be accepting Bitcoin as payments due to its environmental impact. The news caused a Bitcoin price drop of 15%. The epilogue of this episode was only a month later when Tesla’s CEO tweeted that the company would likely reinstate the bitcoin payment button once miners shift to more eco-friendly energy sources.

Probably unrelated to Mr. Musk’s actions though, Bitcon’s mining industry is showing an overall trend of moving towards more sustainable energy consumption. During June quarter, the share of green energy reached 56%, making Bitcoin mining one of the most sustainable industries in the world according to Bitcoin Mining Council (BMC).

This shift perfectly correlated with the big miner migration into the US. Not coincidentally so, since in Texas, miners shut the rigs upon power use surges and buy electricity when the demand is low. This way, they are efficiently acting as a new green energy shock absorber. Some even anticipate that recent mining activity will catalyze wind and solar energy production in the area to alleviate the power strain.

The demand for green Bitcoin is so high that even hardware manufacturing companies are jumping on the bandwagon, one of which being Intel. There has been a great deal of marketing and fan-fare surrounding Intel’s new “Bonanza Mine” chip and the community expected the new miner to deliver on speed as well as energy efficient performance. However, this turned out to be a letdown, as this chip only has about 40% of the hashrate power of the typical antminer, leaving the consumers to choose between hashrate and sustainability. 

Crypto is here to stay and, despite its drawbacks, PoW is not going anywhere any time soon. However, anyone looking to get into mining has to be aware of the kind of cut-throat business they are entering. Until some serious regulations are in place, this market, as a whole, will be referred to as crypto Wild West among serious investors.