This week, there was a mix of excitement and caution in the crypto community as Bitcoin surged past $37,000 for the first time in 18 months on the anticipation of a spot Bitcoin ETF approval. Similarly, Ethereum reached over $2,100 on news of a pending ETH ETF application from BlackRock.
In addition to the market optimism, there was also a surprising development in the world of digital collectibles. On Friday, two separate on-chain images of illustrated rocks—one on Ethereum as an NFT and the other on Bitcoin as an Ordinal—were sold for six-figure sums on secondary markets.
An NFT from the EtherRocks collection, EtherRock #95, was sold for 100 ETH, equivalent to over $209,000. Just hours prior, an Ordinal from the visually identical Bitcoin Rock collection was sold for 2.99 BTC, worth over $111,000.
These JPEG images of gray boulders have no additional perks or hidden features. They are simply lightly illustrated images without backgrounds.
Dumb as rocks?
EtherRocks, which was initially launched in 2017 with little attention, gained popularity during the NFT bull run in late 2021. Individual EtherRocks were sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars, with one selling for $1.3 million.
Some members of the crypto community saw the pet rock NFT sales as a return to the absurdity and financial foolishness of the previous bull run, while others were amazed by the unpredictable nature of the crypto space.
Despite the return of these bull market antics, crypto activity is still far from the levels seen during the peak of the NFT market in 2021/2022. Trading volume for Bitcoin Ordinals and NFTs has increased but is still significantly lower compared to the previous bull run.
While the recent NFT figures show a 93% decrease in trading volume from the peak in April 2022, the expensive purchases of digital rocks indicate a desire for the same level of excitement and frenzy that characterized the earlier era.
Edited by Andrew Hayward