NFTs dive into the Ice Age – How much have the once high-profile celebrities lost?

In a continuously declining market, users have little desire to trade NFTs, which are relatively illiquid and have a single use. According to data analysis, over 80% of Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and CryptoPunks have not been sold even once in 2023, and the NFT market this year is extremely illiquid. Head project Azuki has suffered a crash at this time, completely eroding users’ patience and motivation to hold NFTs, and digging the entire market into an ice cave.

The entire NFT market evaporated by 30% in just two weeks. NFT OG blue chips Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and CryptoPunks were hit particularly hard. BAYC, which once soared to a floor price of 146 ETH, plummeted back below 30 ETH, prompting users to exclaim, “I haven’t seen monkeys this cheap in a long time.” CryptoPunks, which had always been “unfazed,” also fell 20% due to Azuki’s “ignorant little brother,” and its floor price almost broke through the 40 ETH mark.

Recently, Justin Bieber spent 500 ETH (about $1.31 million) to purchase BAYC #3001 in January 2022, which is now worth less than $60,000, losing more than $1 million.

Yesterday, BAYC #3953, ranked second in rarity according to, sold for only 200 ETH (about $372,000), far below the peak price of rare NFTs in the series. It is worth noting that in October 2021, BAYC #8817, ranked 16th in rarity, sold for $3.4 million at a Sotheby’s auction, becoming the most expensive BAYC ever sold.

In October 2021, BAYC #8817 sold for $3.4 million at a Sotheby’s auction, purchased by an anonymous buyer. This is also the most expensive BAYC ever sold.

Looking back two years ago, 2021, which was jokingly called the “Year of NFT,” witnessed not only the rise of countless projects but also the total market value of the NFT market increasing nearly 3,000 times from 168,000 ETH to a high of 5.06 million at the end of the year. Even at a time when the pandemic cast a gray shadow of panic over the world, “Non-Fungible Token” became the Collins Dictionary’s word of the year for 2021. Subsequently, many well-known celebrities and institutions at home and abroad, including Curry and JJ Lin, purchased the elder NFTs such as BAYC and CryptoPunks at high prices and entered the Web3 world.

In the NFT frenzy of 2021, can you imagine such a grand and novel concept falling into a slump in just two years? This article will take stock of the celebrities who have or still hold well-known NFT projects and are well-known in China, and calculate how much they have lost in this market that has fallen into an ice cave.

JJ Lin

JJ Lin is one of the celebrities who boarded the Web3 train in the “NFT Year”. In March 2022, JJ Lin posted a wallet photo with the BAYC #3914 pattern on his Twitter and thanked his buddy Huang Licheng for gifting him the NFT.

According to transaction history tracking, BAYC # 3914 was acquired by Huang Licheng for 2.59 ETH and then gifted to JJ Lin. According to OpenSea’s tracking of JJ Lin’s wallet address, he actually started buying NFTs in 2021. In 2021, he even bought CryptoPunks #8601 for 125 ETH, which was worth nearly $600,000 at the time, when ETH was at a historical high of $4,742. In today’s disillusioned market, #8601 has shrunk to only $84,000, and JJ Lin’s wallet holding this NFT has lost assets of up to $500,000.

As of now, JJ Lin owns a total of 111 digital collections, including BAYC, CryptoPunks, Azuki, Azuki Elemental, and other projects.

In the turmoil of the past month, JJ Lin’s NFT portfolio value has fallen from 152.71 ETH to 91.12 ETH, a cumulative loss of 40%. It is worth mentioning that when the reputation of Azuki Elementals was rubbed into the ground by the entire community, JJ Lin still minted six of this series of NFTs on June 30. He deserves to be the man who had 23 domestic concerts this year, and he is just being willful.

Jay Chou

The two words “popularity” often appear together for those born in the 1990s and 2000s when it comes to JJ Lin and Jay Chou. The buddy Huang Licheng who also knows this principle, of course, sent them each a monkey. In April 2022, Jay Chou posted on Instagram, stating that the BAYC # 3738 given to him by Huang Licheng was stolen by a phishing website, and this NFT subsequently changed hands for 130 WETH (about $440,000), 155 wETH (about $500,000), and 164.69 wETH (about $575,500) respectively. Prior to this, the highest selling price for this NFT was the 15 ETH that Huang Licheng paid for it, and after staying in Jay Chou’s wallet for three months, its value increased tenfold. Although the NFT was stolen, it indirectly caused Jay Chou to lose $500,000. However, for him, this is just the small change from the sales of “Mojito” in 2020.

Jay Chou, who has always loved to keep up with fashion, established his own fashion brand, and helped to promote his friend’s milk tea shop. It makes sense that he would invest in NFTs. Unlike JJ Lin, Jay Chou did not become an “NFT shopping fanatic”, but instead teamed up with his fashion brand PHANTACi to create the NFT project Phanta Bear, which is based on himself as the creative prototype.

After all, it’s “Jay Chou’s bear”. On the day Phanta Bear was launched, there were 4944 holders, and the total market value of the project reached its peak after a week, with the highest point of Phanta Bear’s total market value being locked at 51999.99 ETH.

Unlike Jay Chou’s long-term domination of pop music for more than 20 years, Phanta Bear finally settled down after nearly two months of issuance due to its constant total supply. In the recent turbulent NFT market, Phanta Bear’s floor price has also dropped from its highest point of 7.3 ETH to the current 0.11 ETH. It’s all because of the deep bear curse, and even Jay Chou couldn’t help it.

Xu Jinglei

She’s even more heavyweight.

Xu Jinglei is one of the early NFT players. In 2021, Xu Jinglei changed her Ins avatar to the Animetas series NFT. Friends who were watching the excitement quickly dug out Xu Jinglei’s OpenSea account from her avatar. According to her holding records, Xu Jinglei already had 400+ collections in 2022, and now she has more than 1,300 collections, including BAYC, MAYC, DeFi Apes, Azuki, 6Sixty6, and other series.

If we only calculate BAYC and do not consider the situation of transfer, Xu Jinglei herself has bought BAYC five times. And judging from her high-stakes bet on buying BAYC #1505 for 95 ETH on February 16 this year, it seems that Xu Jinglei is a player who bets when she sees something she likes. Based on the current market floor price and ETH/USD ratio, just these five monkeys have cost Xu Jinglei more than $220,000 in losses.

By extrapolation, Xu Jinglei, who still holds and continues to bet on Azuki, 6Sixty6, and other series, has already suffered losses of more than $1 million.

Most of the new series of NFTs from Jay Chou and JJ Lin accounts are now from others’ transfers. However, Xu Jing Lei’s account remains active in the trading market. According to NFTGO data, the gas used for trading alone in Xu Jing Lei’s account has reached 715.67 ETH, equivalent to nearly $1.54 million. However, in the continuously declining market, active trading cannot reverse the continuous loss of portfolio value. The turbulence of the past week has reduced the value of Xu Jing Lei’s collection portfolio from 715.59 ETH to 628.85 ETH. Nevertheless, Xu Jing Lei seems to genuinely love “small images.” In the past week, she has continued to purchase 40 new collections despite the market sentiment.

Not all celebrities who invest in NFT projects have “pure love” for small pictures like Xu Jing Lei. As an early NFT player, Louis Koo mainly collected collections gifted by others. Taking CryptoPunks as an example, Louis Koo currently holds eight NFTs from the series in his account, of which only two were purchased by himself (although they were acquired at high prices of 70 ETH and 85 ETH, respectively). Even if you only calculate these two pixelated figures, Louis Koo has lost $150,000.

With the popularity of “Jay Chou Bear” in early 2022, Louis Koo also released his own NFT brand “ZombieClub Token” amid the market heat. The sale was sold out in less than two minutes, immediately occupying the first place in the OpenSea platform, and setting a record of selling out all in just 2 hours and 42 minutes. The sales of ZombieClub on all platforms were as high as HKD 35 million, approximately US$4.48 million. It turns out that the profit from this sale is three times the amount he has lost in the past few years.

Unlike other celebrities, Louis Koo’s collection of small pictures does not seem to be solely for “collecting” or launching his own NFT brand. In 2021, Louis Koo cooperated with the world-renowned auction house Christie’s to hold an event called “No Time Like Present” and sold collections such as CryptoPunks, BAYC, and Meebits. The final transaction amounted to HKD 120 million, approximately US$15.6 million. It is worth noting that a year later, Christie’s auction house sold a total of 87 NFTs for a total price of only 5.9 million.

It seems that Louis Koo may have had some arbitrage intentions when auctioning off his collection and creating his own NFT brand. After all, he made nearly $20 million from it, although the title says “loss”, the more I write, the more I feel that he didn’t lose at all. Standing at the current freezing point of the NFT market, even if all 382 collections held by Louis Koo correspond to projects that have gone to zero, perhaps his previous income is enough to cover the losses brought about by the extreme market. I wonder if Louis Koo, who treated NFT as an investment, is now glad he made the choice at the market’s peak?

On May 1, 2022, Cai Wensheng, the chairman of the Hong Kong-listed company Meitu Group, also bought a “Bored Ape” NFT. He posted on his WeChat moments, “I’ve been Fomoed and couldn’t help buying BAYC #8848.”

Let’s take a look at Cai Wensheng’s wallet address. According to OpenSea data, Cai Wensheng currently owns four “Bored Apes”, the cheapest of which is priced at 87 ETH, or about $203,000. Cai Wensheng himself bought two of the four NFTs, BAYC #8848, which he bought for 187 ETH, or about $560,000, on May 1, and BAYC #8265, which he bought for 133.95 ETH, or about $310,000, on May 13. Based on the current floor price and ETH/USD exchange rate, the value of these two BAYCs is now only $56,000, and the “old hand” of “speculation” is indeed somewhat justified in his “worries”, as he has lost $810,000 on just these two apes.

Bored Ape is not Cai Wensheng’s starting point for investing in NFTs. In 2021, Cai Wensheng traded CryptoPunks, and the last trading price of his five CryptoPunks holdings was around 110 ETH. Cai Wensheng himself bought CryptoPunk #2558 for 125 ETH in August 2021, when the market price was $400,000, but now its value is only $80,000, and Cai’s investment has evaporated by 80% out of thin air.

A shopping mall veteran who had been flipping and flopping was scammed out of more than $1.1 million by just three small images. I wonder if Mr. Cai can resist the temptation and stop rushing around like that.

On April 30, 2022, according to OpenSea data, an address named “allenzhu.eth” bought “BAYC # 9279” bored ape for 170 ETH (about $500,000), and Allen Zhu, a managing partner of GSR Ventures, is his English name. At the same time, Allen Zhu’s latest WeChat avatar has been updated to the “BAYC # 9279” avatar.

OpenSea shows that BAYC # 9279 has been transferred from allenzhu.eth to a wallet account without even a name. Since the screenshot of WeChat Moments recently posted by Allen Zhu still uses BAYC # 9279, we still believe that this NFT still belongs to Allen Zhu’s account. And this account is even more impressive, with a total of 523 NFTs, all transferred from other addresses, and all invested in BAYC, MAYC, and BACK, including 187 bored apes.

These 187 NFTs are now worth “only” 5760 ETH (about $10.938 million), an 80% drop in value compared to the peak of 146 ETH for BAYC.

And the wallet that Allen Zhu bought #9279 with at the time only has NFTs from six projects left, including Tatols NFT, WomenUnite Cold, and Life Beyond Origin Collection. Unlike Allen Zhu’s correct bets on Didi and in the real world, the four of the six NFT series that he still holds have gone to zero, and the remaining two are currently valued at only 0.188 ETH (about $357) and 0.3 MATIC (about $0.201), respectively.

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