What Are These PFP Owl NFTs?

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Over a year has passed since Moonbirds first exploded onto the NFT scene in April 2022. Just days after its launch, the project had already achieved upwards of 100,000 ETH (around $300 million) in secondary sales volume. And in under a week, Moonbirds entered into the top 10 highest-grossing NFT collections.

As of May 2023, though, the floor price for a Moonbird NFT stands at 2.04 ETH. This development invites an insightful discussion about the successes, the setbacks, and all the nuanced details in between for this intriguing NFT project.

What are Moonbirds NFTs?

Moonbirds is a collection of 10,000 NFTs launched on April 16, 2022. It was created by prominent American internet entrepreneur Kevin Rose as part of his recently established Proof Collective — a private members-only collective of NFT collectors and artists. Prior to Moonbirds and becoming a prominent name in Web3/NFTs, Rose had already solidified himself as an internet celebrity, investor, podcaster, and founder of news aggregator Digg, among other ventures.

Credit: Proof

Although the collection features a total of 10,000 NFTs, the full supply was disseminated in three major chunks. First, 2,000 NFTs were reserved for Proof Collective members to mint prior to the general sale. As there are a total of 1,000 member passes that make up the Proof Collective ecosystem, each token ultimately yielded two free NFTs for its owner. This was a good deal if you were one of the few Collective members that owned more than one Proof membership pass NFT.

A supply of 7,875 NFTs was released to the general public via a whitelist. This list was comprised of the lucky winners of a widespread raffle held by Proof that required potential collectors to have 2.5 ETH (the price of one Moonbirds NFT) in their registered wallet at the time of entry. Apart from the reserves and the raffle, the final 125 Moonbirds NFTs were held by the Proof Collective admins for use in future collaborations, marketing, and more.

So, who created Moonbirds?

Moonbirds was the brainchild of Kevin Rose, although there were surely a great number of developers and general Proof members that contributed to the final product. One such member is Justin Mezzell, the Co-Founder and CPO of the Proof platform who is also the artist behind the Moonbirds’ distinctive pixel-art style.

As the thousands of NFTs within the collection feature a wide variety of attributes, hundreds of unique randomized visual traits were created by Mezzell and the rest of the art team to yield a set of generative NFTs. These ultimately follow in the footsteps of pixel-art predecessors like CryptoPunks and CryptoSkulls, as well as PFP powerhouses such as Bored Apes.

Proof Membership Passes

Proof Collective Passes were minted on December 11, 2021, with each of the 1,000 NFTs initially selling for 1 ETH each. Billed as a membership pass to all things Proof, Collective Passes were marketed as offering holders access to a private Discord, early access to Proof podcast episodes, in-person events, and other projects (including Moonbirds).

Credit: Proof

The floor price for Collective Passes saw minor fluctuations throughout the rest of 2021. It then began a slow rise into the double digits, hitting a minimum price of 30 ETH (around $85,000 at the time) by February before skyrocketing to around 120 ETH (approximately $350,000) a week after Moonbirds launch day.

The passes also grant access to the Proof Conference, which is billed as “a three-day event in LA featuring leaders in the Web3 movement.” However, in February of 2023, Kevin Rose canceled the Proof Conference, much to the dismay of holders and community members.

“After several weeks of sales data, speaking with potential sponsors, and talking to community members, it’s clear that there is considerably less interest than anticipated for an event like this right now,” Rose said in a statement. “Ultimately, canceling the conference this year was the best choice.”

The team refunded tickets and hotels with no promise of a rescheduled date.

Utility 101: What does Moonbirds offer collectors

Aside from the typical PFP NFT roadmap promises, the Moonbirds collection offers a wide range of incentives to its collectors.

Possibly one of the most unique and notable of the “utilities” offered to Moonbirds collectors is the ability to stake or “Nest” an NFT. Nesting a Moonbirds NFT entails locking the NFT (making it untradeable) without the need to transfer it to a vault for safekeeping.

But why would you want to lock your Moonbird up? Because doing so will begin a process of your Moonbird NFT accruing additional benefits, achieving new tier levels, and even upgrading their nest to become more profitable, which will in turn yield even more enhanced drops and rewards.

However, many in the community were disappointed to find that after nine months of staking, the merch they received was only socks and fanny packs.

Credit: Proof

$Talons token

In April 2023, the Moonbirds team revealed that NFT holders could earn $TALONS tokens daily by staking their NFTs.

The team has plans to provide numerous benefits to token holders, such as exclusive products, events, collaborative experiences, merch, and allowlist spots. As it stands, the $TALONS token can only be used within the PROOF ecosystem.

What are Moonbirds Oddities?

Moonbirds Oddities are a unique addition to the Moonbirds NFT collection, serving as a peculiar yet intriguing subset. They were unveiled as the first airdrop reward for Moonbird holders who attained the Bronze Nest status after staking their NFTs for 30 days.

Credit: Proof

Oddities were first depicted as owl pellets, small balls containing indigestible food material that owls regurgitate. In the world of Moonbirds, these pellets began to crack open in July 2022, revealing unexpected life forms, i.e. skeletal rodents. The art was creatively crafted by Gremplin in his signature pixel art style. As of August 2022, both the Oddities and Moonbirds collections moved to a CC0 license.

The future of Moonbirds

On May 29, 2023, Kevin Rose came under fire for comparing the Moonbirds floor to Bored Ape Yacht Club’s in a Twitter space. When discussing Moonbirds’ dropping floor prices, Rose said his collection wasn’t as “down bad as BAYC in terms of USD.” 

At its peak, BAYC’s floor price reached 153.7 ETH ($420,430). Its floor currently stands at 47.4 ETH ($90,125). Moonbirds’ all-time high floor price was 37.8 ETH ($115,500) and now has a floor of 2.05 ($3889). Rose referred to BAYC’s floor price dropping more than Moonbirds, if counting US dollars. Some individuals argued that there was no need for him to draw such a comparison.

Holders (of both Moonbirds and BAYC), as well as the broader NFT community collectively voiced their frustration. Kevin Rose then went on a space with ThreadGuy to clear the air. He explained the context and apologized if he offended anyone.

“We pay a lot of attention to what’s going on across the entire ecosystem, including other NFT projects,” Rose said. “But, I shouldn’t talk about other floor prices. If I could take it back I would.”

While Moonbirds initially demonstrated a strong start, its popularity gradually waned over time, presenting challenges in sustaining its early success. Whether or not the project can make a comeback is still to be seen, as it will depend on various factors such as market trends and the project’s ability to adapt and regain traction.

What Are These PFP Owl NFTs? is written by Nft now Staff for nftnow.com

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