Throughout a rapidly decreasing market sentiment, the NFT community has noticed that “degen mints” have been some of the most successful new mints in the space. Most degen mints are extremely cheap, some as low as ~0.03 SOL, and successful ones have been able to reach 2-3 SOL, a 66-100x trade if executed properly. Therefore, if someone catches a mint early enough that ends up doing well, this person can mint a lot of the supply and realize a lot of gains. This article will break down two things: 1) how to approach degen minting and 2) which established projects are capitalizing off this observation. Even if degen minting is (understandably) not your thing, understanding the observation can still inform other trades.
HOW TO APPROACH DEGEN MINTING
If you are interested in getting involved in the degen minting space, the most important thing to remember is that the vast majority of them are pump and dumps. The only project that started as a degen mint that has potential to break this mold is GhostKid DAO, but even that project is still too early in its infancy to be called “established.” Based on this fact, it is important to not be greedy. A 10x can quickly turn into a loss is the momentum is lost. This is based in the fact that investors in degen projects do not expect anything from the project itself; it is essentially a gamble on which project will attract the most attention and eyes.
In "normal," non-degen NFT trading, it is advisable to not follow influencer pump and dumps. However, in degen plays, following influencer shills can be profitable. Most of the time, influencers are not paid to shill degen projects, but they are in the same boat as other investors: they are looking to have some fun. They often use their influence to direct attention to certain projects in a sea of degen options, but be wary of influencers looking to dump on their followers. If the project has slow sales volume, it is most likely that the influencer is looking to get out of the project unscathed. Again, it is important to not get holding the bag. The 100x degen plays are rare when considering the sheer number of degen mints per day, and the smartest play is to lock in gains when able.
A pillar of degen mints is that the team is unknown and usually untrustworthy. A lot of degen mints end up being fast or slow rugs, and this is another reason to not hold any degen project for more than a handful of hours. A perfectly executed degen play often involved staring at Magic Eden listings the whole time, and if this is something you are unable to do at the time, it is best to skip the play and wait for the next opportunity that comes.
Though it can often seem random which degen projects do well and which don’t, most of the successful projects have a standard of art is that is high compared to other degen mints. Because there is an oversaturation of degen plays and plays are not based on project merit, art is one of the few things that can separate one from another. Below, some successful degen plays are presented to highlight the level of art that is noticed and rewarded. In order from left to right by row: GhostKid DAO, Skellies DAO, Xth Street Terriers, and Lost Boys Club. Note: most of these plays have come and gone; highlighting these projects is not a buy signal, but rather a way to show the art which has performed well (past tense).
Another way to determine the potential of a degen mint is by the community in the discord. If the community is vibing, excited, and positive, it is more likely to do well than a discord that is toxic, screaming “DELIST” or “RUG,” or watching floor price extremely closely. The biggest recent degen mint success story, GhostKid DAO, which reached an all-time high of ~25 SOL, is known for its carefree nature and positive community.
OTHER PROJECTS CAPITALIZING OFF OF DEGEN ENERGY
It is interesting to think about the reasons that degen mints are performing well. It is likely that many investors are taking smaller risks, and though degen mints are almost 100% a gamble, the risk involved can be very low if someone only mints one or two, for example. Additionally, being part of a degen mint can be very fun and exciting, and it is filling some of the void of excitement in the larger NFT market.
However, not all degen energy is expressed in degen mints. For example, Degen Coin Flip, a project who runs a website where users have the chance to double their SOL through coinflip odds, is reliant on the gambling nature of degens. This project has been able to maintain its success, and at the time of writing, there are zero listed. A newer project with a similar model, Looties, essentially only differs in the fact that the website includes loot boxes with different prices and rewards, not just betting to double SOL. It was a slow, sleeper mint, but quickly found success as the word got out. Despite having no marketing push yet and still being in the process of fixing the bugs in the website to handle higher traffic, the floor price has reached an all-time high of ~60 SOL, and after the first week, 0.74 SOL was paid out to holders per lootie. This project plans to integrate $DUST and other project tokens, include NFTs or whitelist spots in loot boxes from partnerships, and more.
An upcoming project called Microlooties is looking to buy as many Looties as possible with mint funds, and the funds from the Looties they hold will be distributed among holders. This could be a good way to gain exposure to the Looties project if the floor price of Looties is out of one’s price range (at the time of writing, floor price is 55 SOL), and it speaks to the success that the community is expecting from Looties.
Another project capitalizing off the degen meta is Cubist Collective. Their prediction game, which allows users to bet various amounts on upcoming mints based on if they think the price will be above or below a certain point, has gained a lot of traction, and this has resulted in a steep increase in price for the NFT recently. The model of the project is essentially write-to-earn, where members that contribute writeups in the discord on various topics are able to earn USDC weekly. Non-holders can utilize the prediction game in the same way that holders can, but the winnings the project earns from the game go back into the community wallet. However, there are rumors of upcoming partnerships and continued innovation, and it will be important for interested investors to closely watch announcements, volume, and listing counts for a good entry.
In summary, the NFT community is in degen mode, where degen mints are flourishing as well as projects that rely on degen energy, like Looties and Cubist Collective. Degen activities are fun, lighthearted, and can be low risk. Some recent influencers have noted that last time there was a time in the market where degen mints flourished, an NFT bull run started quickly after. However, it is best not to get one’s hopes up, as the macro conditions are much more bearish than the last time an NFT bull run occurred.
However, it is best not to get one’s hopes up, as the macro conditions are much more bearish than the last time an NFT bull run occurred.