Surging PIXEL Gaming Token Becomes 10th Most-Traded Crypto

Surging PIXEL Gaming Token Becomes 10th Most-Traded Crypto

 Published: February 21st, 2024

Ethereum gaming token PIXEL has racked up more than USD 1.2 billion in trading volume since launching this past Monday, 19th February 2024.

According to data from CoinMarketCap, that establishes PIXEL as the tenth most-traded cryptocurrency across the 8,800 coins and tokens the firm tracks. That means PIXEL generated more buying and selling than some of the most popular coins, beating big names like Dogecoin (DOGE), Polygon (MATIC), and Cardano (ADA) in its first 24 hours of trading.

An offshoot of the popular blockchain game Pixels, PIXEL is also far and away the most-traded gaming token for the same period. Runner-up XAI pulled in USD 277 million in trading volume. The token achieved a new all-time high on Sunday 18th February, rising steadily since its launch in January 2024.

The USD 200 million trading volume level eluded every other gaming token in the 24 hours between Monday and Tuesday morning. PIXEL led the pack while XAI followed and Ronin (RON) came in third, reaching USD 150 million in trading volume over the same period. Because they run on the same Ethereum network, Pixels handed out 20 million PIXEL tokens to RON stakers in a surprise airdrop on Monday morning.

Crypto gamers had been restlessly awaiting the PIXEL launch. The Pixels game has attracted a steady stream of new player accounts over the last few months following its migration from Polygon to Ronin in October 2023. By employing play-to-airdrop campaigns, the gaming firm has been able to boost its engagement with the promise of rewards for its +/- 28,000 top ranked players.

At time of writing, PIXEL was up 15 per cent and trading at USD 0.58, for a market cap of USD 450 million.

Winning where established brands failed

In January, US video game chain GameStop shuttered its branded NFT marketplace, which offered collectible gaming and other non-fungible tokens via the Loopring and Immutable X scaling networks on Ethereum.

According to the GameStop NFT marketplace website, the company took the decision to close its NFT marketplace because of 'continuing regulatory uncertainty in crypto markets.’ Gamestop added that the platform would cease operations in February 2024. GameStop NFT holders will still have options to trade them, however, since they were minted on the Ethereum blockchain. That means they can be accessed, sold, and purchased on other NFT marketplaces.

The high street retailer announced it was discontinuing its NFT wallet four months ago, citing similar reasoning. GameStop also delivered the news to crypto traders the same way, through a pop-up window on the NFT marketplace home page. Why GameStop didn’t close out both products at once remains a mystery.

GameStop announced plans to enter the NFT space in 2021. In January 2022 it hired a 20-person team to build a branded marketplace for gaming NFTs and announced that it had partnered with Immutable to use its blockchain about a month later. A USD 100 million facility was created for Immutable’s IMX token and then the company cashed out almost half its IMX token horde the following week, sending USD 47 million in tokens into the market.

GameStop launched its NFT marketplace in July 2022, but only listed Immutable X gaming NFTs much later, and then only after it had parted ways with the CEO who led the charge on its push into crypto.

Leveraging pop culture brands

Back in July 2023, a Simpson-eque NFT collection that blended elements of the successful CryptoPunks’ NFT collection with bits borrowed from ‘The Simpsons’ animated comedy, generated more than USD 2.3 million in sales in under 24 hours, leaping to OpenSea’s top trending spot.

The long-running series had just aired a special episode devoted to NFTs, lampooning non-fungible token enthusiasts.

Called ‘Springfield Punks’ the unofficial collection arrived as a free mint on Sunday, 5th November. Traders rushed in to grab the 3,400 Ethereum NFTs, generating 1,311 ETH (worth ca. USD 2.3 million) in trading volume at time of writing. Springfield Punks NFTs can be purchased for about 0.11 ETH (ca. USD 200) on secondary markets.

The brainchild of self-described parody artist Rino Russo, the Springfield Punks collection went live shortly after The Simpsons episode aired on Sunday night. Stacked against NFT’s big names, the collection was second only to Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks in trading volume

It wasn’t the only NFT collection paying homage to The Simpsons. On Monday, collections like ‘SimpsPunks’ and ‘The Chimpsons Official’ also staked out a position on OpenSea’s front page.

Beehive hairdos, beer, and donuts are all emblems of the long-running satirical comedy, and those images have found their way into all these projects. Most of the NFT profile images on offer bolt Simpsons-themed imagery onto ape-ish creatures, for collections encompassing thousands of choices.

‘The Chimpsons Official’ collection earned a special spot in the aftermath of Sunday’s NFT episode. Launched in September 2023, it’s attracted around 600 new sales this week alone.

First movers claim a significant share of the market

In July 2022, in a period when all of the big name Ethereum NFT collections saw their valuations crater amid a wider crypto market crash, CryptoPunks jumped back to prominence. Following two multi-million-dollar sales in rapid succession, the minimum or ‘floor’ price for one of the project’s NFTs rose substantially.

On Monday 18th July, the floor price for CryptoPunks on secondary marketplaces jumped to above USD 100,000 for the first time since the crypto bear market began in mid-May. Data from NFT Price Floor showed the floor price for CryptoPunks at 84.84 ETH, or about USD 113,000.

That represented a leap of more than 30 per cent in a week.

The rising value of Ethereum, up 27 per cent over the same period, was part of the story. However, when measured against ETH, the CryptoPunks floor beat Ether's rise by nearly 12 per cent and by nearly 26 per cent over the previous month.

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