What are Ether Rocks? Meet the NFT Digital Rocks Craze
The cryptocurrency space has repeatedly taught us that with time anything can be valuable, even a collection of ordinary, digital rocks with no “real” value or purpose.
For the past few months, the entire industry has been raving about non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which are digital collectibles stored on the blockchain and can represent anything from art to music and real-world assets.
The craze has seen Investors pay mad money just to acquire NFTs like the infamous Beeple’s “First 5000 Days” that sold for $69 million. Even mainstream companies like Twitter and Visa are not left behind. The social media platform launched its own NFT collections while the payments giant just purchased its first CryptoPunk NFT for $160,000.
Recently, though, attention has shifted to EtherRocks, one of the oldest NFT collections that only came into the spotlight this year.
Crypto investors and avid NFT collectors are clamoring for these virtual rocks, and their prices are climbing to outrageous heights. But what exactly are ETHRocks, and what value do they have?
What are EtherRocks?
Although EtherRocks, or ETHRocks, are only just gaining attention, they are almost as old as the now-extremely popular CryptoPunks NFTs, selling for several millions of dollars. While CryptoPunks collection was created in June 2017, EtherRocks were launched in December that same year.
ETHRocks is basically a collection of digital rocks tokenized on the Ethereum blockchain. The NFT consists of still images of a “rock” which are all identical in design and shape but with different color tones. The creation of the EtherRocks was inspired by the Pet Rock toy craze in 1975 and only 100 ETHRocks will ever exist.
Interestingly, the very first rock sold for 0.0999 ETH worth around $300 at that time. The other rocks were sold between 0.1 and 0.36 ETH. The price increased as new rocks were minted. During the first three years of its launch, only about 20 out of 100 rocks managed to sell, leaving the remaining 80 rocks unclaimed.
But the recent hype and explosive growth of NFTs have shot these virtual rocks’ prices beyond the moon. Currently, all of the rocks have been minted and many of them have been put up for sale on the EtherRocks’ NFT marketplace.
What is the Most Expensive Ether Rock for sale?
The rocks are selling for 31 ETH (approximately $104,000 at the time of writing) to an outrageous 626,262 ETH ($2.1 billion) per one, and they are being bought. Just a few weeks ago, ETHRock #21 sold for 45 ETH, worth about $134,240, at the time.
The craze continues to push prices further. The cheapest rock in the EtherRocks marketplace is currently priced at 95 ETH ($305,000). Within the past few days, some of the rocks have been sold for $612,00, $642,000, $714,000, and even $837,000.
Unlike other NFT collections that can be traded on third-party NFT marketplaces, the ETHrocks can only be sold on its platform.
As of writing these lines, the most expensive rock was sold for approximately $1.3 million, or 400 ETH. Moreover, the craze did not miss the leading figures of the crypto industry: TRON’s founder, Justin Sun, bought a rock for $500,000.
What is the Value of ETHrocks?
Despite the hype around ETHRocks, the NFT collection has no real value. In fact, it is clearly stated on EtherRocks’ official website that the rocks are valueless and have no purpose.
“These virtual rocks serve NO PURPOSE beyond being able to be bought and sold, and giving you a strong sense of pride in being an owner of 1 of the only 100 rocks in the game,” part of the website reads.
But that’s not all. The metadata of these rock images is not even stored on the blockchain, thus making it almost impossible to tie their sole ownership to the images.
So what exactly is driving the craze? Most buyers of ETHRocks say their motive for spending huge sums of money to purchase the NFT, which has no real-world value, is to be in possession of the second-best historical NFT left, after CryptoPunks.
Holders revel in the nostalgic aspect of the non-fungible token rather than the monetary benefits or external utilities tied to the rocks.
Some people are convinced that the prices of EtherRocks will continue to soar. Speculation of institutional involvement in the EtherRocks has further moved many buyers to purchase the rocks, waiting for the right time to sell them and cash out in millions.
How to Buy Ether Rocks?
Just like any other dApp on the Ethereum network, users have to connect their web-extension wallet – MetaMask to the official website, using the “Connect to MetaMask” button. Follow the instructions on the MetaMask extension to let the wallet integrate with the EtherRock.com website.
Now, after making sure you have enough ETH in your balance, you can browse the marketplace and simply look for rocks with a BUY button below them.
Just Another Seasonal Hype?
With EtherRocks having no real purpose, critics argue that it’s just another passing trend in the crypto space pushed by the rapid growth of the NFT market, and it won’t be long until the hype dies down.
But at the moment, the price of these virtual rocks is increasing every minute and smart investors are cashing out. Whether it will soon be lost to the pages of history like the good old days of ICOs or become a vital part of the industry, only time will tell.