HBO’s "Game of Thrones" NFTs sell out even as crypto collectibles lose their sheen

Thursday, January 12, 2023 by Robinhood Snacks |

Crypto winter isn't coming… it's here. But HBO embraced the cold this week, launching a "Game of Thrones" non-fungible-token collection on Nifty's digital marketplace. The 5K "hero box" NFTs — minted on ethereum and palm (an ethereum sidechain) — contain "GoT" characters like White Walkers and Free Folk. They were roundly mocked as poorly designed, but still sold out within seven hours — for $150 each.

Like "GoT" season eight… NFTs are in a slump. Once the talk of the tech town, NFTs receded from public consciousness as crypto scandals (think: TerraUSD, FTX) sucked up all the industry's oxygen. Trading volumes plummeted 97% from January to September of last year. And “wash trading” (picture: buying and selling to yourself to create the illusion of demand) is estimated to have represented over half of that dwindling pie. Even so, some non-techy NFT mints have managed to draw interest:

  • NFTrump: Last month 44K Donald Trump-themed NFTs minted on polygon sold for $99 each. (Trading volume has since tanked.)
  • NFTennis: The Australian Open plans to sell 2K+ tennis-themed NFTs ahead of next week's tourney. Last year the Open's mint of 6.7K NFTs sold out.

It's not tech culture — it’s pop culture… NFTs are no longer a buzzword. Last year they were supplanted by web3, which itself seems like a distant fever dream as investors now froth over genAI (cough, ChatGPT). But HBO's seemingly successful "GoT" mint suggests there's still an appetite for some NFT projects, assuming they have a strong mainstream hook.