NFT marketplace tokens soar in 2023, and Blur’s recent airdrop may extend the trend

Cumulative NFT trading volume was on an upward trend in January, with data from a recent Delphi Digital report showing monthly volumes hit an eight-month high of over $1 billion.

The key factor that influenced NFT trading was the distribution of Blur tokens on February 14th. Since its launch last year in the third quarter of 2022, Blur has been rewarding users with “help packages” that can be redeemed for tokens starting Feb. 14 at 12:00 pm EDT.

Many users have tried to process these airdrops by increasing the trading volume on the platform. Since early 2023, Blur’s trading volume has surpassed that of OpenSea, the market leader in the NFT trading space.

Market share of NFT Marketplace by volume for 7 days. Source: Dune

Airdrops often create a buzz in a market of enthusiastic users who receive free money and FOMO from those who miss out. It is likely that the Blur team’s next move will be to launch new liquidity mining campaigns like Optimism in order to maintain volume and user numbers. In addition, users will also move on to other in-space experiences like Blur.

On-chain data shows whales are hoarding NFT tokens

The best NFT trading platforms on Ethereum with native token are LooksRare and X2Y2. The growth in the price of their tokens since the beginning of the year is 100% and 260%, respectively. The tokens outperformed the average market growth, which suggests that buyers are paying more attention to these tokens.

Independent Network Analyst The Data Nerd found that Taureon Capital is accumulating NFT trading platform tokens. Ethereum wallets, which Nansen called “smart money”, also saw significant increases in X2Y2 and LOOKS holdings. This shows a growing trend among sophisticated investors towards NFT marketplace tokens.

The number of smart money wallets and X2Y2 balances in them. Source: Nansen

Let’s look at each platform in more detail:


X2Y2 ranks third in terms of NFT trading volumes on Ethereum. The platform launched its token in February 2022 and has been in stable use ever since. It distributes the platform’s trading fees to X2Y2 participants and incentivizes trading with X2Y2 incentives.

The platform has a price to earnings ratio of around 14, which is in the lower range of other DeFi tokens that range from 10 to 250 PE.

Recently, in early February, 37.5 million LOOKS tokens were unlocked for the development team and the treasury, which is 17% of the turnover. The team reassured investors declaring“Team X2Y2 will NOT be selling any tokens from this upcoming unlock, or any tokens unlocked so far, for the foreseeable future.”

X2Y2 token release schedule. Source: X2Y2 documents

However, the token faces the risk of inflation, which will nearly double its circulating supply by the end of the year. The team also placed a monthly burn mechanism to counter dilution.

The token is trading near a 2022 range high of around $0.20. If buyers can break through and gain a foothold above this level, there is a possibility of more upside in X2Y2.


LooksRare is another OpenSea competitor that offers tokens with platform fees to stakers for trading in ETH and Wrapped Ether (WETH). In the market, the competitive PE ratio is 11.7, which is less than X2Y2.

On-chain analytics platform LookonChain disclosed this well-known trader and founder of BitMEX, Arthur Hayes, owns 3.62% of the total supply of tokens. The confidence of whale investors like Hayes encourages retail and other funds to follow suit.

Like X2Y2, the LOOKS token went through significant unlocks towards the end of 2022, but there were no major token unlocks until Q2 2022.

Schedule for the release of LOOKS tokens. Source: Koingeco

The LOOKS price action suggests that the market has absorbed the recent dilution. Judging by the 2022 trading levels, the token has the potential for significant growth to $0.35 and $0.50. However, the platform must show an increase in usage in order to support further rallies.

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Rarible’s native token differs from LooksRare and X2Y2 in that it does not share the platform’s trading income. The RARI token only serves as a governance token used in voting on proposals in the Rari Foundation.

The team has adopted Curve’s escrow-style voting tokenomics, which has yet to see actual staking tracking. In addition, RARI can be used to trade on the platform, but its use as a payment token is limited compared to ETH and stablecoins.

The price dynamics of the token reflects its poor tokenomics. If the Rari Foundation does not take action to increase the utility of the token, RARI performance may remain low relative to the rest of the market.

There may also be some hidden features on DeFi-NFT platforms such as JPEG’d and Pine that allow NFT-backed loans as collateral.

The total trading volume of NFTs is less than one percent of the volume of cryptocurrency exchanges. However, it is a growing segment that is projected to generate revenue of around $5.9 billion by 2025. Thus, early investments in decentralized marketplaces that share a portion of their income can generate solid returns in a couple of years.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the authors only and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cryptooshala.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading step involves risk, and readers should do their own research when making a decision.

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