The Sui NFT scene already has early buzz—will it last?
by James · May 26, 2023
Since Sui blockchain‘s mainnet launch on wednesdayan active NFT the community is already taking root, with marketplaces dropping projects that have sold out and collectively given trades worth hundreds of thousands of dollars—albeit with some early hiccups.
The Mysten Labs-developed layer-1 blockchain has been billed a “Solana killer” by some, but Solana boasts one of the liveliest NFT markets around, second only to Ethereum. Sui is pulling in traders, but it’s still too early to tell if the network will support a booming area or see the initial hype cool off quickly as it did on networks such as Aptos and Near.
Thursday’s drop off Fuddiesa set of 10,000 Sui profile pictures (PFPs) depicting cartoon owls in various poses and styles, has been the biggest drop so far. However, the marketplace that hosted the release faced technical issues after the mint, prompting backlash from collectors as well as NFT traders and Web3 builders on competing blockchain networks.
Fuddies debuted on the upstart marketplace Clutchy—as Mysten Labs has helped to promote– and offered their NFTs for 95 SUI (about $125) to users who were added to an approval list before launch. Afterwards, the public sale began in a Dutch auction format, with the starting price of 300 SUI (about $395) gradually falling, reaching 150 SUI (almost $200) before selling out.
However, buyers hoping to flip Fuddies NFTs for a quick profit were quickly frustrated when Clutchy’s secondary marketplace did not work as intended.
To all marketplaces at SUI
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Some Ethereum and Solana NFT collectors took the opportunity to call out the new rival’s marketplace for encountering technical issues. Clutchy already had delayed its planned NFT mints on Wednesday after facing problems after the launch of Sui mainnet.
Not long ago, however, the secondary marketplace began to function – and so far, Clutchy is reporting 605,000 SUI (roughly $792,500) for Fuddies in 24 hours. As the project creators noted on Twitterthat is more than the total amount of NFT trading seen on the Ethereum scaling network Polygon in the same time period, per data from CryptoSlam.
However, it is by far the largest NFT project on Sui so far. Another NFT project that marked Clutchy yesterday and was sold out, the one Sushi themed sushihas only recorded about 10,900 SUI (approx. $14,300) of secondary trades since the mint.
However, Clutchy is not the only Sui NFT marketplace that is live. Souffle3a marketplace that started life on Aptos last autumn, has also expanded to Sui – but the top project so far has not been a sales sensation. The biggest Sui project on Souffl3 is Sui Tridentwhich has racked up just under $65,000 worth of trades in the last 24 hours.
Projects are launched and sold out, but with drops like Fuddies and Suishi who both sell through on Clutchy, and Depths and Sui G00dies sell through. On the downside, however, today’s price floor – that is, the price of the cheapest listed NFT in the project – has fallen below the public mint price, to 118 SUI (roughly $155).
Ahead of the launch of the mainnet, Clutchy founder and CEO Jacob “Dizzy Lizzy” Lawless told Decrypt that the marketplace had seen “tons of interest from influencers, investors, creators and viewers.”
Given the gold rush seen on Ethereum, Solana and recently with Bitcoin Ordinals when the earliest NFTs on each platform increased in value, there is always an eagerness among creators to be first out the gate with projects on a new chain. Similarly, experienced collectors try to snap up assets that will have early origins, which could increase their value in the future.
We last saw it with the debut of Aptos in October last year, which saw an increase in trading volume which corresponded with a drop in Solana NFT sales. Like Sui, Aptos is built around the Move programming language, so there are commonalities – and that helps explain why Souffl3, for example, switched to Sui and bills itself as “the NFT marketplace on the go.”
The Aptos NFT fever quickly subsided, but it initial buzz was massive. For example, the Aptos Monkeys NFT project generated $2.3 million worth of trading volume in around 24 hours in October, just over a week after the Aptos network went live. Sui has yet to match that kind of peak, but it’s only been a couple of days since the mainnet rollout.
Among Sui creators, there is excitement over the chain’s ability to enable more advanced features than some other chains, such as dynamic NFTs that update in real time. There is an obvious advantage to blockchain-based video gamesfor example, with weapons or armor that improve over time, potentially becoming more useful or valuable in the process.
And gaming could ultimately prove to be one of the biggest drivers of NFT momentum on Sui, with a number of notable early titles that Overwatch-esque hero shooter Bushia Walking Dead game and tank game Panzerdogs (a Solana transplant) coming out in the coming weeks.
“I feel there are still a lot of interesting experiments going on, culminating in a new wave of NFT and dapp innovation,” pseudonymous Web3 project advisor Dabblers told Decrypt. “The launches are inspired by the lessons learned by early adopters in a few different ways.”
She pointed to other potential NFT use cases on the horizon for Sui, including a project called Sui name service (SuiNS). It is similar in approach to the popular Ethereum naming service (ENS), but with domain names linked both to NFTs as well as smart contracts (which holds the code that drives decentralized apps), which Dabblerer suggested would allow users to “interact with more confidence and security.”
“One of the main reasons we decided to build on Sui [is] because technology provides a platform for innovation,” said Clutchy’s Lawless. He added that the Move language “significantly lowers the boundaries for creators to innovate through dynamic NFTs,” potentially unlocking more types of use cases and compelling apps and experiences.
Just a couple of days after the launch of the Sui mainnet, such innovative projects and applications may still be far off on the horizon. For the time being, the projects launching this week mostly look and feel like spinoffs of collections on other chains.
Still, a small but dedicated community is turning out hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of PFPs something– and we’ll see if the early buzz grows into something that can put a real scare into competing NFT ecosystems.
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