Bing Dwen Dwen NFT price goes on roller-coaster ride
Global Times

While the craze surrounding Bing Dwen Dwen, the panda-themed mascot of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, is still heating up, scenarios in the digital world are drastically different: the price of the non-fungible token (NFT) involving multiple designs of Bing Dwen Dwen went on a roller-costar ride, rising more than 20 times on the first day and then plummeting, wiping out almost all the gains within a week.

Industry insiders said that the dramatic rise and fall, which deviated from the mascot's popularity in reality, underscored the acute issue of a nascent industry full of speculation and too dependent on traffic generated by a specific event or celebrity effect.

But as more players swarm in, the market will gradually establish mature mechanisms and trading rules, analysts said, which could help investors reach a consensus on the genuine values of digital pins.

The second batch of officially licensed Bing Dwen Dwen legendary NFT boxes hit the market on Saturday (Beijing time). Each box contains one legendary work, the highest-level NFT, and two epic pins at a price of $349. The first issuance of NFTs was on February 11, containing one epic version of Bing Dwen Dwen and two rare models at a price of $99 each.

Some investors who participated in both rounds told the Global Times on Monday that market sentiment palpably cooled down in the second issuance, with a handful of legendry NFTs - out of the 200-limited-edition - still in stock despite the closing of the Olympics.

"The highest sale price to date for legendary NFTs was $1,500, compared with the highest offering of $1,888 for epic NFTs in the first round. Trading volume also dropped drastically, from 56 on the first day, to single-digits over the weekend and zero on Monday," an investor told the Global Times on condition of anonymity.

The investor, who grabbed a legendary NFT and two epic NFTs in the second round, said she immediately sold the legendary one due to "uncertainty over how long the mania would last and a potential oversupply in the market." She earned $1,151 from the transaction, selling at $1,500, which she said was "a smart and satisfying decision."

The investor said that the reason why Bing Dwen Dwen NFTs lost glamour in the digital world was partly due to the lack of any phenomenal collaboration with celebrities, such as Olympic champions.

"The fever for digital mascots is fleeting. But if a star was involved, the value could be quite different, and the fever may last a long time," she said, taking the example of NBA Top Shot NFTs, one of the most successful NFT collections, featuring influential NBA scoring moments.

Wang Peng, a professor at Renmin University of China, told the Global Times on Monday the hype over Bing Dwen Dwen NFTs reflects an immature yet booming market, for which China and other major economies have not yet come up with legislation.

"It's like the capital market in the early stage. But with the entry of more players and more rules set by trading platforms, the NFT market will develop a mechanism to anchor the value of digital tokens, and it is primed to march ahead in a regulated way," Wang said.