NFT Bubble or Boom 🤔 & Hypebeast’s Star-Studded SPAC
What the NFT market slowdown actually means, and Hypebeast announces NASDAQ listing
Cultured is a newsletter that gets readers up to speed on the most interesting things going on at the intersection of finance, art, collectibles, NFTs, and more. Cultured is produced by Otis, an alternative investment platform that was recently acquired by Public.com.
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🗞 STORIES OF THE DAY
The volatile NFT market appears to be shrinking following a period of massive growth. Sales on OpenSea last month totaled $2.5 billion, down half from January. The number of people who bought an NFT last month also declined by 300,000 from January.
Some skeptics believe this decrease points to a broader decline in the NFT market. However, others say that the market slowdown is part of a broader trend toward consolidation and represents a correction to a more sustainable pace.
While the price of smaller generative projects like Art Blocks have dropped significantly, social-based NFT projects have kept their value. Brands and celebs have also continued to pour money into NFT projects, a sign that the tokens still have cultural weight.
Our Take: The slowdown is the latest sign that the NFT market is maturing.
NFTs exploded in popularity last year, sparking fears of a bubble. As the hype wore off, the market didn’t crash. Instead, it seems to have slowed down to a reasonable point. Coupled with a host of new NFT marketplaces and market tracking tools, it’s becoming clear that the current slowdown is just another sign that the market is stabilizing as NFTs become more mainstream.
The culture company announced plans to list on NASDAQ amid a booming interest in sneakers and streetwear. Hypebeast, which is already publicly traded in Hong Kong, will merge with a SPAC in a deal that values the company at $534 million.
The transaction has some serious star power behind it: Tom Brady, Naomi Osaka, and Jonah Hill will all become investors in Hypebeast. The deal is expected to close over the summer.
Hypebeast has expanded from its humble origins as a sneaker blog to become a one-stop shop for streetwear content. It’s planning to use the cash from the listing to boost its e-commerce segment, as well as continue its metaverse expansion.
Our Take: The decision to list on NASDAQ will give Hypebeast access to new cash that will help it stay competitive.
A secondary listing will generate upwards of $180 million, which Hypebeast can use to fuel further expansion. The company has a significant presence in the streetwear and lifestyle industries, with more than 26 million followers worldwide. However, a host of new publications have put pressure on Hypebeast, and it’ll need the additional funds to remain competitive.
✨ AROUND THE INTERNET
A much-hyped Philip Guston painting is expected to sell for $30 million, a new record for the artist.
Instead of paying its workers, Starbucks is trying to woo them another way: launching NFTs.
We’re slowly getting a sense of what Fanatics’s new zerocool brand will sell. The latest drop is a set of trading cards for the Jackass franchise.
Weekend read: Why the future of NFTs will be decided in the courtroom.