Moonbirdz, a collection of 10,000 pixelated bird NFT has become the top NFT collection on popular NFT marketplace OpenSea in less than a week of its official launch, with its sales volume of over US $391 million. The collection already ranks among hugely successful NFT collections like Azuki, Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and CryptoPunks.
The super quick success of Moonbirds has stunned many in the NFT community. The astonishing debut has put Moonbirds on top of OpenSea’s volume leaderboard not just for the week, but for the last 30 days, ahead of Azuki and BAYC. Moonbird’s meteoric rise comes in sharp contrast with an otherwise downtrend in the NFT market, in which many top projects have seen significant drops in sales over the past few weeks.
Industry experts believe interest in the Moonbirds collection was high, partly because of the people behind it – the Proof Collective, a group of 1,000 private NFT collectors. The members of the group include well known NFT figures such as artist Mike Winkelmann, known as Beeple and investor Gary Vaynerchuk.
The co-founders of Proof Collective, Kevin Rose and Justin Mezzell, are also highly visible in the NFT world. Rose is a venture capitalist at True Ventures who focuses on blockchain startups and hosts popular podcasts on crypto. Moonbirds was one of the collaboration benefits for Proof Collective members and its membership is represented in Proof NFT.
Incidentally, any member of the public was able to enter a raffle to be guaranteed access to mint, or create Moonbirds NFT upon their launch. Proof Collective members were able to enter the raffle as well but were also guaranteed two Moonbirds for every Proof membership NFT they hold.
Out of the total 10,000 Moonbirds NFT, 7,875 were allotted for those who won the raffle, 2,000 for Proof Collective members and 125 for distribution by the Moonbirds team.
The Moonbirds drop also had its own share of controversies. It was alleged that some that bots had manipulated the raffle to their benefit and concerns were raised that the project leaders used inside knowledge to buy Moonbirds that featured rare traits, which could lead to their price being higher in the future.
As for Moonbird’s roadmap, its holders are given access to Moonbirds-related drops, Parliament meetups and physical events, as well as the private Proof Collective’s Discord channel. Proof Collective also has its own metaverse in the works. It is calling it Project Highrise and is encouraging holders to ‘nest’ (hold) their Moonbirds for added utility down the line.
Meanwhile, as the price of Moonbirds continues to soar in the secondary market, some experts see it as a turning point for the NFT market as a means of fund raising. Proof Collective has been around for few months and has gained around 1,000 members.
The fact that it managed to raise the money in an unstable market speaks about the trust in its co-founders, according to experts. In an industry rife with anonymous traders, projects tied to famous investors and their own connections to the VC world often have a leg up and experts believe Moonbirds seems to be enjoying that privilege.