How did a brand-new collection climb the ranks and produce 280 million $ in sales just two days after the mint?

Author: Otto Verstl (Analyst of OFR)

Moonbirds is a new 10K PFP-collection which currently sits at a floor-price of 26 ETH and  generated in the first two days after the mint more volume than the Bored Ape Yacht Club in the  last 30 days. But how does a brand-new collection reach such astronomical levels?

Moonbirds is part of a bigger ecosystem, the PROOF-Collective. It all started as a podcast in 2020,  where they have interviewed creators and crypto-influencers and tried to give their audience  more than just regular “alpha”. Most discords at the time focused on just finding and flipping the  next blue-chip NFTs and make quick money. PROOF focused on a quite different timespan, 10-15  years. The goal was to talk about long-lasting collections and trends in the web-3 world and what  collections could still be at the forefront of innovation in the next decade.

PROOF-Collective Artwork 
PROOF-Collective Artwork 

This podcast grew to a massive community, which led  the founder Kevin Ross to the idea of launching their  first collection with the aim to bring collectors  together and talk about NFTs of the next decades. In  December 2021, PROOF-Collective was launched.  1000 NFTs granting their holders access to a private  discord, annual conferences in LA and deep-dived  research-reports of the current trends and  developments.

As seen in the picture to the left, the value of this  collection is clearly placed on the community and its utility and not the artwork itself, as it acts more like a  membership than an individual art-piece.

PROOF-Collective Artwork

The launch was a total success. Starting with the price of 1 ETH, it drastically increased in value,  now sitting at a floor-price of over 94 ETH. This does not only has its origin in the mentioned  utilities offered, but also because of one other major advantage: Access to exclusive new NFT drops.

The first one was the Grail-Collection revealed in February, featuring 20 artists which include  names like Larva Labs, Tyler Hobbs, Dmitri Cherniak and Hackatao, some of the most expensive  NFT-artists in the world right now. But also Gary Vee and other upcoming creators. Every PROOF holder had the right to mint one NFT. After the mint has been completed, the artwork was  revealed and randomly assigned, leaving some lucky holders with NFTs worth over 200k $. This  process aimed to shift the focus more on the art and accompanied creators, rather than  speculative pump-and-dumps.

In the following are two examples of Tyler Hobbs and Dmiri Cherniak’s artworks for the Grail collection:

Wall, by Tyler Hobbs 횡단보도, by Dmiri Cherniak 
Wall, by Tyler Hobbs 횡단보도, by Dmiri Cherniak 

Following up on this success, Kevin Ross planned on PROOF’s first PFP-collection: Moonbirds. It  consists of pixilated Owls which differ in a variety of attributes. The founder put an emphasize on  diversity and wanted that everybody feels represented. Therefore, many women and people of  color out of the PROOF-holders consulted him, which led to attributes like the “rose-colored glasses” and the “gold chain”:

Attribute rose-colored glasses, Moonbirds Attribute gold chain, Moonbirds 
Attribute rose-colored glasses, Moonbirds Attribute gold chain, Moonbirds 

The collection was launched in April and Every PROOF-holder was eligible for two Moonbirds at  the price of 1 ETH. The remaining ones were distributed through a whitelist. Besides a private  discord for which every holder is entitled, the NFTs can be nested which grants the holder several  rewards. Nesting could be compared to staking with the difference that the NFT still is in the  user’s wallet. After three months of nesting the holder gets a high-quality hoodie with his Moonbird printed together with 250 stickers of the same motive. Besides the physical rewards  the NFT will upgraded to the next tier, for which more utility is planned in the future. Additionally,  the purchase of the Moonbird also entails the intellectual property rights to the motive. This mechanism is incorporated from the BAYC-community, and it enables the holder for example to  sell merch of his Moonbird or build a company around it.

To summarize, Moonbirds is part of the PROOF-Collective and belongs to a driving ecosystem of collectors which focus on long-term value rather than pump-and-dump schemes. PROOF as a  company recently hired many new employees to deepen their research-capabilities and set up  regular meetups between holders. Furthermore, they are working on a new project called  Highrise, which plans on involving the metaverse into their ecosystem.


Bankless. (2022, April 20). Moonbirds and the Future of Utility NFTs [Podcast]. Spotify.

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