Will NFT Sales Surge because of Ethereum Merge?

Ethereum ETH/USD got its long-awaited upgrade. After years of planning, development, and delays, the world’s second-largest coin by market capitalization has moved to proof-of-stake. The Merge is up and running, yet the price is still down but NFT sales went up after months of downtimes.

Sales volume and prices of NFTs have surged, according to crypto Footprint Analytics, a crypto big data company. Before the merge, Bored Ape's sales were up by more than 45% from a week before. They have transacted one of the NFTs at 130 ETH, which was around $230,911.25 at the time. After Merge, they made around $7 million in sales. While CryptoPunks had 25% more than its previous week. Doodles, an NFT collection had more than a 1,200% jump in sales after it secured a $54 million funding round led by Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian’s venture capital firm, Seven Seven Six.

Four seconds after the Ethereum Merge, the first transaction of an NFT created using the proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus was approved. Block 15537393's timestamp for the Merge was 6:42 AM UTC on Thursday. A user promptly purchased an NFT at block 15537394 with 36.8 ether (ETH), or $53,403 at the time.

For now, the increase in demand for NFTs is a bright spot for the industry. The communities who are watching the NFT market closely also pointed out that there is a chance for the 5th month of continuous dive in the overall NFT market. Others who do not know what will the merge bring to the table were hoping that the transaction fees would be lower and will bring in more sales and liquidity.

Anndy Lian, best-selling book author “NFT: From Zero to Hero” commented: “Users will need to wait for the Surge, Verge, Purge, and Splurge improvements to see a reduction in transaction costs and boost scalability significantly. Low transaction costs are crucial because large costs make many NFT use cases unfeasible, particularly in the gaming and metaverse industries. Numerous NFT gaming weapons, avatars, and skins will probably trade for relatively little money, therefore for them to be profitable, transaction times must be quick and costs must be cheap.”

Lian added that the current cycle looks speculative as the spike effects only happened to a few projects and not all. Whether the prices of existing NFTs would come back is still unclear.

The other talking point on the ground is about intellectual property rights after the merge. Much is also unknown regarding how or whether intellectual property rights would be transferred to NFT copies on forked versions of Ethereum. Most NFT developers will almost certainly only transfer rights to holders of NFTs on the most popularly adopted post-fork chain, which will almost certainly be EthereumPoS.

Suppose the legitimacy of both the PoS and PoW chains is recognized by major players in the NFT ecosystem. In that case, the split EthereumPoW chain may dilute the value of existing NFT collections owing to increased supply. This would also create a tangled scenario in terms of intellectual property and commercial rights, perhaps leading to huge disputes amongst NFT owners.

Eventually, the market will determine which NFT assets are valued based on liquidity and community acceptability. Investors and traders may want to wait till the dust settles before making any decisions about their Ether and NFT holdings.

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