NFT Prices Diverge Sharply as Ethereum 'Merge' Mania Intensifies

Prices of Ether and nonfungible tokens that often run on the Ethereum network have diverged sharply as investors snap up the second-largest cryptocurrency ahead of the blockchain’s highly anticipated software upgrade.

Ether has soared 54% between June 13 to Aug. 15, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. NFTs, on average, have declined almost 19% over the same period, according to researcher NonFungible. Cryptocurrencies hit a low in mid-June -- with Ether falling below $1,000 on June 18 -- after the collapse of the Terra blockchain and when its ripple effects began to topple hedge fund Three Arrows Capital and lender Celsius Network.

“The usual path was, if Eth went up or down, if Eth goes sideway, then NFTs had room to move,” said Sasha Fleyshman, portfolio manager at investment firm Arca. “Now it’s underperforming under any circumstances -- up, down, sideways.”