The Demand for Non-Correlation, Part Two
By Adam Szymanski, PhD
In the past, crypto used to have its own distinct market cycles which were relatively independent of macroeconomic dynamics. Now that the crypto markets have developed a strong correlation with the NASDAQ — at least in the short term — investors are searching for assets which are non-correlated with the equity markets.
NFTs can rise to the momentous occasion and fill this demand, thanks to the unique value proposition put forward by Artfi to create NFTs which represent ownership ofphysical works of fine art.
Why can’t NFTs, as they exist now, step up to fill this demand for non-correlation? The directional market volatility over the past two months has shown that even the most popular ‘blue chip’ NFTs are trading in tandem with the crypto markets. Even though there is not enough historical data on this one-year-old asset class to show how it is correlated with crypto over the long term, early indicators suggest that the NFT market shows weakness when Bitcoin bleeds.
Let’s take a look at some of the top NFT projects and their recent performance:
In the last 30 days, Bored Ape Yacht Club is down over 60%, CryptoPunks is down more than 25%, Moonbirds is over 30% off of its highs, and the value of Azuki’s floor price has been slashed in almost half.
The exception to this trend appears to be fine art NFTs, such as Fidenza curated by Blockworks and The Currency by Damien Hirst.
The way that these two NFT price floors are holding up well in spite of the broader sell-off is a sign of what fine art investors have known for a long time: that investments in blue-chip fine art have a low degree of correlation with equity markets. In a bearish period of extreme fear, the high-end fine art market has historically done remarkably well.
During the financial crisis of 2008, Damien Hirst set new auction records as the markets crashed. Now in 2022, his NFT market value is showing strength in adverse conditions.
The blue chip fine art market has historically proven itself to be uncorrelated to the equity and crypto markets, and it is doing so again today. On May 9th, 2022, a day when Bitcoin and the NASDAQ were selling off sharply, Warhol’s painting Shot Sage Blue Marilyn (1964) sold for $195 million at auction. It was the second most expensive work ever sold at auction and shattered the previous auction record for an American artist.
Now, imagine a premiere collection of NFTs which is backed by the most exclusive and non-correlated of assets: blue chip fine art. These NFTs represent would ownership of the most prestigious artworks which sell at auction for over $1 million and are sought after by the world’s most renowned collectors. Such artworks not only retain their value during a recession, but they are also seen as a flight to safety for the wealthiest investors. These asset-backed fine art NFTs are Artfi’s value proposition.
Artfi will back its NFTs with blue chip fine art so that they are designed to fluctuate with the fine art market, rather than with the broader crypto markets. This makes them a potentially attractive investment opportunity for investors who already have portfolio exposure to crypto or technology stocks and are looking to diversify.
Previously, only the elite had access to this investment strategy, but now Artfi is on a global mission to make it available to everyone.