In 2021, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) saw tremendous growth in popularity and launched into the mainstream.
NFTs represent real-world items with particular value and worth in the market. They can be anything and everything that one can think of. These digital collectibles allow people to visualize, create, own, and trade valuable tangible and intangible items. With cryptocurrency as their backbone, NFTs have hit the chord well with the masses and have emerged as a notable trend in the financial space.
The scope of NFTs is endless—from artists, innovators, and hedge funds to retail investors and everything in between, NFTs have become a platform for everyone to partake.
And although trading volume and sales declined significantly overall in 2022, the trend is far from over. This year, we saw a shift toward higher-quality offerings, known as “blue chips” in the space. Some projects, such as Bored Ape Yacht Club, CryptoPunks, and Doodles, have been doing well since launch.
Be that as it may, a disruptive collection called Moonbirds that was launched in April 2022 caught the entire community’s attention and soared to unimaginable heights. Only a few days after Moonbirds’ launch, secondary market sales of its tokens had already exceeded 100,000 ETH ($300 million at the time). That was around 19,687 ETH ($60 million) after its public sale of 7,875 raffled NFTs.
What is the collection about, and what makes it so special? Let’s find out.
What is Moonbirds NFT collection?
Since it first hit the market on April 16, the highly anticipated Moonbirds NFT collection from PROOF Collective has attracted and raked in a whopping 170K $ETH in OpenSea alone, amounting to roughly $275 million in sales—including more than $200 million in sales in its first 48 hours on the market alone.
Despite the steep mint price of 2.5 ETH and a 5% royalty for its creators, the floor price reached an astronomical 36 ETH peak.
Moonbirds is an exclusive collection by the PROOF collective featuring 10,000 non-fungible tokens created on the Ethereum blockchain under the ERC-721 standard. These PFPs feature pixelated owl profile pictures that instantly take flight after their launch. These NFTs showcase portraits of “owls,” one of the most mysterious members of the nocturnal family.
According to their website, Moonbirds are a “collection built with utility & community at the foundation.” Further, they cite how every Moonbird is a key to their private PROOF Discord – where they will have admittance to their gated Parliament channels.
With access to their channels, holders get exclusive access to future Moonbird-related drops, meetups, IRL (In Real Life) events, and upcoming PROOF projects in the pipeline, such as the PROOF metaverse called Highrise.
Who created Moonbirds?
PROOF Collective is a private membership community of 1,000 NFT holders and artists founded and led by Kevin Rose.
Rose is a renowned internet entrepreneur who co-founded Revision3 (a network of online video shows), Digg (a social news aggregator site), Pownce (a microblogging service), and Milk (a startup incubator).
The PROOF Collective was established in December 2021 to provide a one-stop shop for the most innovative and influential minds in the space, including early collectors and strategic decision-makers. You must hold a unique PROOF collective non-fungible token (NFT) to gain access. This token is a key to the exclusive community, including access to the private Discord channel, in-person events, NFT collaborations, podcasts, and other benefits.
Based on their site, the collective owns 153,940 NFTs, which includes over 817 Bored Apes, nearly 499 MeeBits, 148 CryptoPunks, and 5288 ArtBlocks.
Six months after its launch, PROOF announced that it had raised $10 million in funding from Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six VC firm. The Web3 company revealed the news on April 25, roughly a week after releasing the Moonbirds NFT collection.
With PROOF’s momentum, the number of people seeking to join the community has grown immensely. However, as of late, the collective has not announced any plans to expand its membership beyond the 1,000 original collections. And with an initial mint of 5 ETH and a current floor price of 48 ETH on OpenSea, those interested will need to spend a hefty amount for this exclusive club.
With PROOF as its core foundation, it was no surprise that Moonbirds would soar to extraordinary heights from its onset. Founded by renowned faces of the NFT space, Kevin Rose and Justin Mezzell, Moonbirds was launched to provide access to the PROOF ecosystem at a much lower cost. PROOF collection owners enjoy multiple benefits, one of which is being allowlisted to mint two Moonbirds tokens.
What are the utilities of Moonbirds?
The project aspires to become a blue-chip PFP initiative, focusing on utility and offering an array of opportunities exclusive to its holders.
A major perk of owning a Moonbird is getting access to unlock a membership to an NFT-gated Discord server exclusive to holders. Here, owners can communicate with the community and get first-hand access to private channels offering information on future drops, events, and plans.
The Moonbird platform offers a feature called “Nesting” that allows users to lock or stake their Moonbirds for a set period. That is an innovation in itself. This form of “soft staking” mechanism, where the Moonbirds team locks up NFTs without transferring them out of the user’s wallet, allows holders to receive rewards based on how long they hold the NFT in nesting. When the process reaches a certain threshold, the NFT will upgrade itself, unlocking new benefits and rewards for the owner.
The caveat is that they cannot list or sell the NFT. Otherwise, it resets and accrues anew at square one.
These rewards will compound over time, and some require a minimum nesting time to redeem. In addition, tiers will be part of the nesting program. Moonbirds will start nesting in a straw nest, then upgrade to bronze nests after 30 days of nesting.
In July 2022, Moonbirds shook the world again by launching Moonbirds Oddities.
In design collaboration with Gremplin, the artist behind Nouns and CrypToadz, these 10,000 Moonbird “pellets” NFTs are described as “the expelled contents of the Moonbirds stomach” by Moonbirds co-founder Justin Mezzell.
These Moonbirds Oddities NFTs were subsequently airdropped to holders who had their Moonbirds nested, a reward of sorts for being loyal holders and supporters of the ecosystem and its vision.
Why Moonbirds is so popular?
Since its launch, Moonbirds has cemented its position in the global NFT space. Despite being in its infancy stages, the project has ascended as one of the premier NFTs.
We can attribute several reasons for this success achieved by PROOF Collective’s Moonbirds NFT collection. Here are some of its compelling factors:
Each Moonbird is unique. Featuring more than a dozen traits, no two Moonbirds are alike. As every Moonbird is algorithmically created from a subset of traits, we see varying degrees of rarity. That makes the collection appealing to collectors and traders, especially those looking to own a rare Moonbird. The eye-catching designs of these owls, produced by the PROOF collective make for great PFPs, a sort of “flex” in the digital arena within the NFT space.
The Moonbirds collection has the backing of PROOF collective. The market presence of PROOF collective provides structure and guidance for the whole ecosystem of Moonbirds. That adds credibility and trustworthiness to the project’s vision, prompting investors to put confidence in the team. Prominent names in the space, such as Gary Vaynerchuk and Beeple are just some of its distinguished members.
As an investment piece, Moonbirds have rewarded their holders countless times. People love to speculate on NFTs. And as mentioned, with the backing of PROOF Collective which enjoyed an all-time high floor price of 109 ETH from a Dutch auction of just 5 ETH, those who were lucky enough to own a piece of the collection were rewarded a hundred-fold. That emphasized the Moonbirds collection—people drew a direct correlation between PROOF’s price and the effect it may have had on it. As such, this was the catalyst that fed the frenzy and Moonbird mania that ensued during its launch.
Like any other project launch, the Moonbirds NFT Collection was not exempt from drama and controversy.
First and foremost, the Moonbirds’ listing style, i.e., allocating two Moonbird mints for PROOF NFT holders, caused a stir. They were guaranteed mints and received mixed reviews as people clamoured for fair distribution and a chance for all. In effect, this lessened the raffle allocation by 2,000, thereby lessening the cases of those who joined.
Secondly, the project mechanics of launching via the allowlist raffle added fuel to the fire. Reports and FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) citing a glitch in the minting process, such as accusations of a Sybil attack wherein bots were allegedly used to create multiple accounts for a single user and win numerous slots from the raffle. This “manipulation” irked the public and caused drama for days leading to the mint.
Despite this, the team held its ground and continued with its launch—it was a success despite the controversies thrown at it.
Above anything else, one of the more recent issues it faced was Kevin Rose’s announcement regarding Moonbird shifting to the CC0 (Or Creative Commons Zero) domain. Put simply, CC0 is a public domain dedication that enables creators and owners of copyright- or database-protected content to waive those interests in their works and thereby place them as completely as possible in the public domain, so that others may freely build upon, enhance and reuse the works for any purposes without restriction under copyright or database law.
That faced many backlashes as people were wary and clamoring about losing the exclusivity rights they enjoyed from owning a Moonbird. On the other hand, others embraced it, citing how it supported a revolution geared toward decentralization and free market creativity.
The future of Moonbirds
So what’s next for the Moonbirds?
Highrise, PROOF Collective’s take on their metaverse, is also in the pipeline. The team promises that Highrise will be a better avenue for the Moonbirds community to network and communicate.
In 2023, PROOF will also hold its first IRL conference, Proof of Conference. One of the most anticipated events to date.
The Moonbirds ecosystem will also be expanding its collection soon with Moonbirds Mythics, a 20,000 PFP collection. That builds upon the storyline of the Moonbirds Oddities finding eggs deep underground, and in these eggs are the Mythics.
For a chance to get a Mythic, you will need to burn an Oddity, and only a total of 25 can be burned per day. Nested Moonbirds also have a chance to get a Mythic, but much like the burning mechanics, only 25 per day will be lucky enough to get a Mythic.
The target release for this collection is Q1 2023 at the earliest. More information on their roadmap can be found here.
With the ongoing craze for NFTs, we have seen how a utility-packed NFT collection, backed by industry titans, succeeds in this space.
Undeniably, the backing of the PROOF collective is a strong selling point for Moonbirds NFTs. The team’s core competency lies with its founder, Kevin Rose, and his vision, evident with the project’s launch and its community today. Launching something as massive as Moonbirds with a 100K ETH trading sales volume was no ordinary feat.
The Moonbirds have genuinely solidified their ranking among other blue chips in the NFT scene and look to dominate space in the coming months and years ahead.
This article is written by Paolo Deyto. This article is not financial advice.