Top Ten NFT Projects Ranked - July
The OPJ Power Index Gets a Shake-Up
👋 GM, GM and welcome back to our NFT Top Ten Index, our regular power rankings of the strongest NFT projects *right now*.
It’s been a bit but since the market was gearing up to actually *do* stuff we wanted to wait until things like the Azuki Elementals mint (woof) and the Yuga HV-MTL launch (semi-woof?) happened. We also got the Captainz reveal (big woof and then maybe no woof?) and a whole lot more…
And boy oh boy, did that shake things up.
We don’t want to spoil the rankings but our top four projects were separated by the thinnest of margins -- literally .04 between them after our Council weighed in.
What a difference a few weeks makes.
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As always, we solicited opinions from 15 hand-selected “OPJ council members” from different corners of the web3 ecosystem, who we quote anonymously, from time to time in this piece. These council members are all heavy traders, market participants, or NFT professionals. The factors into all the selection and weighting of creating the initial list are at the bottom of this post.
Our quantitative data comes from our partner, Web3Sense, who give us a number of rich insights into each community. We’ll be sending out a second PRO newsletter this weekend with a breakdown of the Web3 data for each project so stay tuned for that.
If you missed our last rankings… find them here now!
Did your favorite project make the list? Let’s dive in and find out!
10 - Coming in at number 10 is…RTFKT!
Topline: Back but are they becoming Nike’s NFT stepchild?
Back on the list after being booted last time, RTFKT seems to mostly have made it on here because it’s been quietly churning on some cool stuff in the background after their pretty big wiff earlier in the year around the Cryptokicks launch (lack of global shipping, price, quality issues -- big stuff).
That said, they have been doing some interesting things as you’d expect from a company owned by Nike.
RTFKT holders were able to enter into a raffle to win one of a limited number (888 total) of the physical luggage which can be redeemed with an NFT. It’s that phygital thing we’ve been promised and Nike + RTFKT is making it happen.
On the other hand, Nike themselves seems to have been spending a LOT of time working on .SWOOSH, a completely different web3 brand outside of RTFKT so it makes you wonder a little bit about how deep the ties at RTFKT go to their corporate overlords. To dive in deeper on Nike’s plan for .SWOOSH, check out our PRO newsletter on them.
The next big upcoming thing is Project Animus, a new PFP project the team has been teasing for some time. CloneX holders were eligible to mint Animus “eggs” and they’re currently holding a pretty decent floor of .4ish. Reveal is yet TBD as well as a possible public sale but it seems that RTFKT is smartly laying low on this for now.
They did release a pretty good trailer teasing the project just a few days ago.
From the Council:
It will be interesting to see if any of the recent Nike activations bleed over into the RTFKT ecosystem. Nike is making some big moves with the Epic games / Fortnite partnership.
Why We’re Bullish:
.SWOOSH shows Nike still interested in NFTs
Phygitals are a good business model
Luxury partnerships are solid
Why We’re Hesitant:
Focus on .SWOOSH has a chance to snag Nike resources from RTFKT
No news on the Animus drop date
We’re a bit worried people might just be done with the project overall after disappointments.
9 - At number 9 we have…Doodles
Topline: Sneakily building something pretty interesting
Down one spot to nine, we have Doodles which has mostly been working in the background for the last few months. At times, it feels like projects slide slightly if they’re not *insanely* active around the time we take our poll but Doodles keeps chugging along.
All the things we mentioned last time are still happening -- they’ve greatly improved their connective tissue to their community via better comms and the codifying of the Doodle Bank.
Even co-founder Poopie, he of the not-so-great-social-media-skills, has been improving his twitter abilities lately with a nice thread celebrating all the stuff the team has accomplished over the last year and teasing their “stealth platform” upcoming.
They’ve also done a fun collab with cult kids store CAMP as well as a Pharrell Williams (yes he still is Chief Brand Officer… we think?) themed drop of limited edition Doodles 2 wearables.
On top of all that, Golden Wolf is hiring for what looks like a pretty significant push into Doodles animation. We’ve gone on and on about the Golden Wolf acquisition before and we truly believe this studio sets Doodles apart from ANY other PFP project and we’re excited to see what comes out of them in the future.
One of the big questions we have about Doodles is how all of their big dreams to be an massive IP fit into the business of NFTs or whether or not it really matters. We’re also still not convinced that FLOW is the right chain for Doodles 2 to be on but we’ll see how it all plays out.
Overall, they seem to be doing ok and may be working up to something big.
From The Council:
No idea what Proof, Doodles, Invisible friends, or Digidaigaku (Editor’s Note: The other projects listed missed the Top Ten) are doing for their NFTs anymore..It feels like they've given up on NFTs and are just trying to build web2 plans.
Why We’re Bullish:
Basically what we’ve said before…
Large war chest (raised $50+million)
High percent of believers, low percent of flippers
Golden Wolf + IP = Great
Why We’re Hesitant:
Flow Blockchain For Doodles 2 still feels wrong to us.
Does it matter with what they’re building?
Do they even want to be an NFT?
8 - Coming in at number eight on our list… VeeFriends!
Topline: Identity (still) in flux
VeeFriends is down 1 spot in this month’s rankings from #7 to #8 (having peaked previously at #5) as the project continues to struggle to find its identity (and target audience). While the best projects have begun to carve out definable brands, VeeFriends still flounders.
Though Gary remains a big asset, his personal social media success has not translated to the project where the VeeFriends’ Instagram content ranges from boring to outright strange, without a clear sense as to who the team is trying to reach.
Case in point… this reel:
Those challenges being what they are, the team has continued to ship for their holders. A series of Burn Island challenges (discussed in past newsletters) has seen holders get the opportunity to win a CryptoPunk, a rare VeeFriends, and even attend a SnoopDogg x Wiz Khalifa concert with GaryVee as a VIP.
And while these initiatives are great opportunities for holders and an excellent way to deplete supply in an oversaturated market, they also… contribute to the sense that the brand identity is more than a little all over the place and, even, gimmicky.
One clear and interesting area of focus for VeeFriends is trading cards, a well-documented and beloved pastime of Gary’s. In addition to VeeFriends sponsoring the National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago, IL later this month, Gary + reps will be attending the conference from July 26th to July 30th, offering an opportunity for VeeFriends holders and fans to meet the man himself, collect rare cards, and network with one another. We’ll take it!
Why We’re Bullish:
Constant shipping: you can’t argue that this team doesn’t put in work. They have regular Twitter Spaces, Discord updates, blog posts, etc. offering updates about everything happening in the VeeFriends ecosystem (and there are always plenty of updates!)
A willingness to move fast + break things with a Gary-led ethos of patience.
GaryVee’s unparalleled energy, enthusiasm, and business track-record
Large team + war chest: we don’t know exactly what’s sitting in the Vayner coffers but we know it’s formidable. VeeFriends raised $50 million last year.
Why We’re Hesitant:
Brand confusion: VeeFriend’s target demo remains unclear based on its current content.
Brute force approach with no finesse: if great character IP branding comes down to a series of subtle, strategic, almost perfectionistic business moves (as David Horvath tends to argue), we’re not sure that the GaryVee business approach is right for the character IP world…
While we know Gary is a man who believes in ~moving fast and breaking things~... this (hopefully) early period of experimentation leaves a lot to be desired from a brand perspective.
7 - At Number 7 we have…ON1 Force!
Topline: The next Pudgy Penguins?
With 0n1 Force, we welcome our first of two new entrants to the OPJ NFT Top Ten and we couldn’t be happier for them. Not just because we love to see new projects pop up here for the first time (and we’re always sad to see projects fall off) but this is a real NFT comeback story and we need a quick history lesson.
One of the big winners towards the end of the NFT summer of 2021, 0n1 Force, described back then as “the first anime” PFP went insane in terms of price. They hit the absolute perfect time to mint as new money was flowing into the space like crazy and even made national news as Logan Paul purchased a rare 0n1 Force for nearly $625k.
Turns out, not the *best* investment…
What happened and how has it come back?
Well, let’s just bullet point the rest of this:
Hitting the absolute peak of the early market = good for mint out and early valuation maybe not so good in terms of teams that know what NFTs can and will be.
Price falls pretty quickly as ETH skyrockets in the fall of 2021 and the team is accused of some shenanigans including dismissing the community and misallocation of funds.
The summer bear market of 2022 takes hold and 01n Force hits an average ATL of .278 in July.
In February of 2023, the project was fully acquired by Old Fashioned Research, a large new crypto fund led by ex-Binance & YGG executives with eyes on reviving what they see as a strong brand in the NFT space with a resilient community.
Since being acquired, the project has continued to build and release new announcements regarding partnerships or new products.
The floor has crept up over the last four months, peaking around 1.8ETH but sitting at a decent 1.27 as of today.
And the work is ongoing… the team recently announced that David Uslan, the Hollywood movie producer whose father helped launch the Batman movie franchise, has been brought on-board as a strategic advisor along with the launch of a compelling new marketplace the offers significant value incentives to use like a trip to ComicCon.
All of this has us feeling a little…Pudgy? It’s a similar story to what we saw play out with Luca Netz and his purchase of Pudgy Penguins (formerly lauded project falls on hard times, gets bought and resuscitated) but without the very vocal and significant social media genius figurehead.
Starlordy, the current 0n1 CEO, has been super active but isn’t doxxed (as far as we can tell) and doesn’t own the project. He did come from the community tho which we appreciate and seems to be dedicated to the cause.
And maybe that’s why we’re a *little* hesitant so far on the rebuild -- it is clear now that it takes a significant face of a project to make a bluechip NFT work and, as far as we can tell, that person hasn’t yet emerged. But overall, it feels like 0n1 Force is trending in the right direction.
From the Council:
I think 0N1 is a sleeper, the team that acquired the project is extremely strong and I think they'll be making big waves in the later half the year, i'm really excited and this is a project to watch as the team rebuilds the name and brand, particularly in the Asian market.
Why We’re Bullish:
Rose from the ashes of near death, everyone loves a comeback
Great community, strong leadership
Big money backers + in-roads in the Asian market
Why We’re Hesitant:
Lotta baggage from past holders
Semi-complicated strategy going forward
Leader/CEO is undoxxed - could be tricky going forward
6 - Next, up at number 6…OnChain Monkey
Coming in at number six on our list is OnChain Monkey – another brand new addition to the top ten list.
OnChain Monkey has been a cult favorite since launching in September 2021. Co-founder Danny Yang (@huuep on Twitter) has the kind of big-brained-engineer-semi-bitcoin-maxi energy that is appealing in a space built on anonymous tech nerds. He’s not charismatic but it’s in fact the lack of traditional charisma that engenders both trust and respect. He’s a big-brained engineer and that’s the point.