The Wall Street Journal's piece entitled NFT Sales are Flatlining
They Are. Blockchain companies are researching during this cryptowinter.
The Wall Street Journal did a piece entitled NFT Sales are Flatlining, showing, from the September 2021 peak, a decline in 92% in NFT sales, 88% in active wallets, 94% for OpenSea downloads, and 64% for top 50 in crypto apps global downloads. What are the top blockchain brands doing during this crypto winter? Research.
Andreessen Horowitz hired the dream team of blockchain academics in Tim Roughgarden, Dan Boneh, Joseph Bonneau, Dr. Benedikt Bunz, Scott Kominers & Valeria Nikolaenko to construct their crypto research team. The aim is for such research to best position their a16z multi-billion dollar crypto fund to deliver impressive returns, to match historically impressive returns, reflective of the forethought delivered by this cutting-edge internal research.
Avichal Garg raised some eyebrows when he revealed that 68% of Electric Capital's team are software engineers & designers, giving them the tech competency to do the type of research they need for internal or public-facing reports that communicates crypto topics authoritatively. Research matters in being able to double-click on important trends more granularity, delivering powerful takeaways that can seismically impact a fund's performance.
While such research delivers profitability opportunities as well as being a public good, if widely released, it also reflects favorably on brands who are benefactors of authoritative Web3 research.
Superlunar, a Gemini Opportunity Fund extension, invests in multidisciplinary research that delves into topics across the ecosystem because it strengthens the fabric of web3's infrastructure. The FTX Future Fund similarly offers grants to fund across-the-board blockchain research as well as ambitiously funding plans for epistemic institutions, policy decisions that would deescalate political tensions, containing catastrophic biorisks, and space governance.
Interest in blockchain goes through peaks and valleys. While flying, few passengers are rattled while experiencing turbulence because they understand the fundamentals of the plane's operation is sound. Similarly, seasoned blockchainers are here for the tech and not focused on price movements or market noise.
If the Google keyword search volume is any indication of broad interest, we're currently in a downward dip. When blockchain sentiment shifts, as it radically has in a dozen boom and busts since bitcoin's birth 13 years ago, and trends upwards, these companies will be well-positioned to reap the rewards from months of keeping their head down and innovating while fair-weather technophiles pivot elsewhere, only to return as visibility returns.