- EtherRock launched in 2017 with only 100 rocks minted on the blockchain.
- Rock prices have surged, setting a new price floor of $120,000.
- One blue-hued rock is currently on sale for 500 ETH, or more than $1 million USD.
- The current NFT mania is bound to be called “NFT Summer” following the theme of “DeFi Summer” from 2020.
The crypto universe is a peculiar space where the least expected outcome is usually the most plausible one. The emergence of NFTs was at first classified as a speculative trend, following Beeple’s $69 million NFT auction. The trend took a sharp downward curve, with the sales volume decreasing by 90% after their all-time high in May. Now, the industry is experiencing a trend reversal as 2017’s digital rocks are re-emerging, this time posting record sales.
Your Pet Rock
Created in 2017, following the release of Larva Lab’s CryptoPunks, EtherRock launched a string of uniquely generated collectible NFTs, limited to 100 pieces. The rocks are all grey in color, with four unique blue-hued rocks spread throughout the ecosystem.
In the wake of the 2021 DeFi Summer, EtherRock has returned with the emergence of the EtherRock Price tracking account on twitter, reporting an average sale range of between 70 to 80 ETH, or $260,000, with one rock selling for a record 96 ETH. Interestingly, the EtherRock website states, “these virtual rocks serve NO PURPOSE,” and are solely meant to be bought and resold. Furthermore, unlike new NFT series such as “Untamed Elephants,” which is sold on OpenSea, EtherRock is transacted exclusively on their “home” website.
DeCrypt reports that EtherRock follows the 1975 collectibles trend of Pet Rock, which sold 1 million rocks as “animal pets.” Among the 100 rocks, some of which have already been lost, there are 4 uniquely blue-hued NFTs. Investor LilMoonLambo has one of them listed for 500 ETH, yet no recent traces of blue-hued sales have been recorded.
The Supply-Demand Dynamic
The EtherRock website jokes that owning one rock gives a “strong sense of pride,” though their network value transcends usability and exists only in humankind’s financial greed. EtherRock has proven that, despite its simplicity and scarcity, it generates network demand, which brings high speculative prices.
Gary Vaynerchuk tweeted that older NFTs will be “fun” to watch over the next decade, yet buying simple digital rocks might not have been his preference. Despite the current craze, EtherRock has been in demand since 2017. As EtherScan shows, the first NFT was minted the same year it was launched at an ETH price of $0.099, though only 20 rocks were sold in the first three years.
On The Flipside
- The price surge has been attributed to its self-proclaimed status as a collectible.
- NFT rocks have become popular only with the surge of NFTs as financially rewarding assets.
- Unlike new NFTs, which aim to interconnect a digital metaverse, EtherRocks have no value.
NFTs Beat DeFi
Following Amazon’s crypto market ignition, NFTs have turned into a trend in 2021 in a similar way to DeFi in 2020. CryptoBriefing reports on the existing price trends that compare the NFT mania to the DeFi mania, confirming that we are in the midst of NFT Summer.
The argument stands due to the explosion of NFTs, which was not driven by artists who were established pre-NFT such as Jake Paul or Beeple, but rather by community incentives. CryptoPunks has gained global popularity with Gary Vee and Jay-Z buying into 2017 freely minted NFTs, reinforcing its market status as prices start from 34 ETH or more than $100,000 in USD.
Gaming NFTs are driven by similar speculative characteristics, yet they strive to reframe the current gaming model, diverging from ‘freemium’ concepts and towards a ‘play-to-earn’ model. Thus, AXS, the native token of the Axie Infinity game, has increased by 1000%, aiding people in emerging economies to build a new way of living.
All of these market movements are directly reflected in the price of Ethereum and its transaction volume, which stands as the most used token to purchase and transact NFTs.
Why You Should Care?
NFTs are changing the way we interact with digital assets. While they are perceived as a speculative asset, as the world trends more profoundly into virtual environments, NFTs may well become the assets that fuel the digital economy.