Dozens of Bored Ape Yacht Club non-fungible tokens (NFT) bought with borrowed money are on the verge of being sold forcibly, which could lead to even more liquidations.
The problem is getting worse at BendDAO, which is a peer-to-peer lending service that lets people use their NFTs as collateral to borrow ether (ETH). Customers can usually borrow 30% to 40% of the NFT collection’s floor price, which is the lowest price at which one can be bought on the open market. The NFT is used as collateral for the loan.
In the past few months, floor prices have dropped so much that 45 of the 272 Bored Apes with BendDAO loans are now in the platform’s “danger zone,” which is when an NFT used as collateral is close to being sold at auction. In other words, Bored Apes worth $5.3 million are at risk of being sold off.
People who collect NFTs like BendDAO, so a fire sale could have a huge reach. The 272 Bored Apes that are linked to BendDAO make up 2.72 percent of the whole collection.
A mass liquidation event could also affect other NFT lending services, which have become more popular as the NFT industry has grown in popularity over the past year. Also, Bored Apes are one of the most important, if not the most important, NFT collections, so a chain reaction of liquidations in that space could have effects that go beyond just the Bored Apes.
“It’s normal for the NFT floor price to change in the short term,” BendDAO said in a statement. “Consensus on blue chip NFTs didn’t form overnight, and it won’t fall apart quickly either.”
Most people who own Bored Ape pictures that could be sold bought them months ago when the floor price was 125 ETH. Since then, it has dropped to just above 70 ETH as part of a wider NFT rout. Collectors who used their Bored Apes as collateral for a loan can get their NFTs back by paying back the loan plus interest.
Part of the problem is how NFT trading works. Floor prices change as the price of ETH changes against the U.S. dollar. Even though the price of ETH has gone from $1,000 to almost $2,000 in the last month, lending services like BendDAO still use the token that was used to make the loan. This means that some Bored Apes are being sold at higher dollar prices than where they were bought.
As more high-priced NFTs go “on sale” through liquidation auctions, collectors have started looking at prices to see if they can save money. No-Fee Token (NFT) bids on BendDAO must be within 5% of the collection’s floor price, no matter how good it looks.
As the biggest borrower on the platform, Franklin, a frequent NFT collector, quickly became a source of concern. Franklin owns 60 Bored Apes and has borrowed more than 10,000 ETH (about $17.5 million) from BendDAO. He tweeted, however, that he had already paid back the loans.
Like many services in the crypto world, Franklin’s case shows how important “whales” can be to smaller players, and how the actions of a few people can put whole ecosystems at risk.