August 9, 2022


It has been greater than a yr because the NFT growth in 2021. In response to NFTGO, the market cap of NFTs peaked at $36.8 billion in March 2022. Because the market later cooled, the buying and selling quantity and market cap of NFTs began to shrink. This crypto novelty expanded its affect past the crypto neighborhood and fostered an enormous market, which additionally gave rise to the mixture of NFTs and DeFi. The market has witnessed the looks of NFT lending platforms, NFT aggregators, and NFT derivatives markets, which constitutes the second debut of DeFi Lego enabled by NFTs. Nonetheless, one wonders whether or not these merchandise had been constructed to satisfy actual market calls for and if they’ve created a false proposition that lacks any worth for market participation. At the moment, we are going to dive into whether or not NFT-fi is a possible development and if it’ll earn market recognition.

Determine 1: Market Cap & Quantity of NFTs | Supply: | As of June 1, 2022

There are various NFT liquidity options and NFT structured merchandise in immediately’s market:

1. NFT fragmentation: FT tokens (equivalent to ERC20 tokens) which might be issued by dividing the possession of precious NFTs. NFT fragmentation initiatives embody Fractional.artwork, NFTX, and many others.

2. NFT lending markets: Holders can borrow short-term loans by collateralizing their NFTs with out promoting them. Outstanding NFT lending markets embody BendDAO, NFTfi, and Drops DAO.

3. NFT leasing: Holders earn rents by leasing NFTs to customers in want. NFT leasing initiatives embody Double, reNFT, and many others.

4. NFT aggregators: These aggregators, equivalent to, deliver collectively the transaction information of a number of NFT exchanges, acquire the perfect NFT transaction worth in a single cease, and supply customers with elevated liquidity and extra choices.

5. NFT derivatives: NFT derivatives embody NFT choices like Putty, in addition to NFT perpetual futures contracts equivalent to NFTprep.

These initiatives are early makes an attempt to deliver collectively NFTs and DeFi. Specifically, NFT fragmentation initiatives and NFT aggregators handle the issues of poor NFT liquidity and excessive market threshold. NFT lending markets and NFT leasing initiatives additionally give attention to bettering NFT liquidity and capital utilization. In the meantime, NFT derivatives are extra complicated structured merchandise constructed to enhance capital utilization. Nonetheless, these initiatives haven’t been in a position to obtain large-scale adoption as a result of they face limitations by way of the underlying NFT logic and the event area. Subsequent, we are going to discover the actual calls for and false propositions of NFTs.

Actual Calls for

1. The capital utilization of NFTs must be improved, permitting holders to collateralize their NFTs for partial liquidity when operating out of money.

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2. The liquidity downside of NFTs must be addressed, enabling holders to rapidly purchase/promote the NFTs they personal.

False Propositions

Did the capital utilization of NFTs go increased?

The issue of NFTs’ capital utilization will be seen in two elements: 1) Customers have to rapidly purchase and promote NFTs, and the transaction frequency shouldn’t be affected by the poor liquidity of NFTs; 2) Customers ought to be capable of rapidly change their NFTs for liquidity and acquire money for different functions. With regards to FT tokens, capital utilization will be improved by way of staking, leverage, and many others. Nonetheless, within the NFT market, there are only some methods by way of which customers can enhance their capital utilization. As well as, combining finance with NFT considerably will increase the educational value. Proper now, most NFT holders nonetheless depend on the “purchase low and promote excessive” technique. Furthermore, most such holders should not the goal person of NFT lending initiatives as a result of solely blue-chip NFTs with sound liquidity and worth consensus are accepted.

By way of the general market scale, most customers are absorbed by secondary markets and aggregators with low working thresholds, they usually haven’t achieved any main enchancment in capital utilization. As proven in Determine 2, the variety of new addresses of Genie and Gem, two NFT aggregators, has been on a gentle rise, with more and more frequent day by day transactions. Nonetheless, because the buying and selling quantity and transaction frequency of the 2 have been hit by the sluggish market circumstances of NFTs, Genie and Gem have but to succeed in their most potential for bettering the capital utilization of NFTs.

Determine 2: New Addresses and Transactions of NFT Aggregators | Supply: Dune @sohwak

Let’s flip to the capital utilization of mainstream lending initiatives. BendDAO is a lending market primarily based on the liquidity pool mannequin the place holders can borrow ETH from the pool after collateralizing their blue-chip NFTs. As a result of latest market fluctuations, a considerable amount of ETH deposit in BendDAO’s liquidity pool has been withdrawn, which resulted in decreased ETH provide. But, the ETH loans have remained at round 19,000 ETH, whereas the MA14 provide stands at 46,000. As such, we are able to make the tough estimate that BendDAO’s capital utilization is about 41%.

Determine 3: Bend ETH Utilization | Supply: [email protected]

Notice: MA14 refers back to the transferring common in 14 days, whereas MA7 signifies the transferring common in 7 days

NFTfi is a lending market following the P2P mannequin. The quantity, rate of interest, and length of loans on NFTfi are collectively decided by liquidity suppliers and NFT lenders, which is extra versatile by way of the mortgage charge. The variety of month-to-month loans supplied by way of NFTfi elevated from 21 in Could 2020 to 2,000+ in Could 2022, and the utmost month-to-month mortgage quantity reached $27.52 million (March 2022), however this determine solely accounted for 1% of the market cap of blue-chip NFTs (as reported by NSN-BlueCHIP 10).

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Determine 4: NFTfi Month-to-month Mortgage Quantity by Depend/Worth | Supply: [email protected]

JPEG’d can be a P2P mannequin lending protocol, and it now solely gives collateralized lending for Cryptopunks, EtherRocks, BAYC, and MAYC. After staking NFT, holders will obtain PUSD, a stablecoin, offered by the protocol from the pool. Moreover, JPEG’d additionally includes a 32% capital utilization restrict on lending.

In fact, there are additionally different early-stage NFT derivatives platforms, however they haven’t launched any mature merchandise, so we couldn’t analyze their capital utilization. Regardless of that, it’s foreseeable that such NFT derivatives will include increased studying prices as they’re merchandise designed for skilled merchants with higher danger urge for food. As such, their development potential is restricted in immediately’s NFT market.

Asset Pricing and Liquidation Dangers?

The pricing of NFTs has been so ceaselessly mentioned that it has now turn into a cliché. Persons are involved with the difficulty as a result of the value swings of NFTs will expose NFT lending or derivatives to liquidation dangers. Because the NFT costs fell over the latest interval, BendDAO has began a number of liquidation auctions.

Though many of the lending protocols on the market have adopted over-collateralization, within the face of untamed worth swings, many NFTs could be liquidated and bought in marketplaces. This, coupled with the poor liquidity of NFTs, would possibly result in panic promoting, which might create downward worth spirals, finally turning the loans into unhealthy money owed.

The pricing of NFTs is topic to a number of elements. Plus, additionally it is simply manipulated. For instance, massive holders may maliciously increase the ground worth after which liquidate the NFTs on function, and an NFT may take a worth plunge on account of hacking or good contract loopholes. Furthermore, NFT pricing may be affected by many intangible elements. As an illustration, the value of an NFT may soar if a well-known particular person instantly buys it in giant quantities or if it releases a brand new airdrop plan.

As most lenders can’t precisely estimate the intrinsic worth of their NFTs, they’re weak to liquidation in the event that they borrowed loans or utilized leverage. That is additionally one of many explanation why NFT lending and derivatives haven’t gained mass adoption: Blue-chip NFT holders are fearful that they could undergo losses within the above situations, which is why they’re reluctant to collateralize their NFTs.

Do blue-chip NFT holders really want NFT loans?

All NFT lending markets give attention to blue-chip NFTs, however most blue-chip NFT holders should not in nice want of loans. To start with, such holders care extra about their possession of the NFTs, identical to billionaires wouldn’t use their collectibles as collateral for loans. Secondly, NFT loans include unknown dangers, and plenty of blue-chip NFT holders refuse to use for such loans after weighing the dangers in opposition to the advantages. Thirdly, making use of for NFT loans comes with excessive studying prices, and never each person can perceive the precept behind such loans.

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Let’s evaluate the person base of the main NFT lending initiatives. As of June 15, there are about 2.4 million holders within the NFT market, of which 27,833 maintain blue-chip NFTs (a person might be thought to be a blue-chip NFT holder so long as he owns no less than one such NFT), based on NFTGO. There are 771 debtors on BendDAO, 1,038 on NFTfi, and 51 on Arcade. As customers should first deposit/collateralize their NFTs earlier than making use of for a mortgage, we are able to regard all these debtors as blue-chip NFT holders. It’s subsequently clear that the majority blue-chip NFT holders should not customers of NFT lending markets.

Determine 5: Bend ETH Debtors & Depositors | Supply: [email protected]

Might NFT-fi initiatives retain customers with the identical outdated incentive?

Lending or derivatives initiatives additionally bear the duty of bettering the protocol’s liquidity. Most such initiatives supply native tokens as the motivation for recruiting NFT holders and depositors as they go dwell. On this regard, these initiatives resemble DeFi liquidity mining platforms that entice speculators with excessive APYs. Nonetheless, the issue is that they might not be capable of keep such liquidity if the APYs went down. Attracting customers with token incentives remains to be the identical outdated method. Although this technique may create a big person base on the very starting, nobody is aware of whether or not the protocol may retain customers.

For instance, when the undertaking was first launched, BendDAO airdropped BEND tokens to customers who had deposited blue-chip NFTs and ETH. It additionally makes use of BEND as a subsidy when paying pursuits. Nonetheless, the rate of interest went down when the BEND worth dropped, which slowed down the expansion charge of latest customers.

As such, attracting customers with excessive APYs is simply step one. To retain new customers, they have to additional discover the lending mechanisms, handle the oracle pricing difficulty, and mitigate the liquidation dangers. Initiatives ought to develop extra versatile merchandise whereas increasing the scope of NFT lending. Final however not least, they might additionally present danger opinions, decrease the educational value, and supply extra satisfying person experiences.


The evolution from NFT to NFT-fi is a course of by which a market grows from its infancy to a extra mature stage. Nonetheless, additionally it is inevitably a course of that’s stuffed with doubts, traps, and issues. As NFT-fi initiatives search to satisfy actual calls for, they may also need to face doubts that they’re stating false propositions. At the moment’s NFT market is sort of a new child youngster who must develop up and stick by way of challenges. Though NFT-fi could be an incredible try, there’s nonetheless a protracted technique to go, and NFT-fi initiatives need to maintain exploring their underlying logic to earn market recognition.