CI’s analysis shows sales in the NFT collectible market, by far the largest sector by volume, have doubled since the end of May.
And since the beginning of 2021, more than $700 million in funding has flowed into NFT projects, cash infusions that appear to be paying dividends for supported projects. The funding mix is attributed to Wall Street sources intermingled with crypto-native cash infusions.
The overwhelming majority of that cash flowed into NFT projects in the weeks after the market’s peak in February — a two day period, largely propelled by NBA Top Shot, when more than $100 million in NFTs were sold and traded.
Since then, the market has searched for its footing, with huge swings propelled by high profile NFT drops.
Among the most popular:
- LeBron James “Cosmic” Dunk: $208,000
- Zion Williamson “Holo MMXX” Block: $100,000
- LeBron James “From the Top” Block: $100,000
- LeBron James “Throwdowns” Dunk: $100,000
- LeBron James “Holo MMXX” Dunk: $99,999
- Steph Curry “Deck the Hoops” Handles: $85,000
- Giannis Antetokounmpo “Holo MMXX” Dunk: $85,000
- LeBron James “From the Top” Dunk: $80,000
These unique NBA moments are minted and released into the marketplace via “pack drops.” The most common sell for only nine dollars, but more exclusive packs can sell for much more.
The change allows for near gas-less transactions — a mounting cost problem that plagues many ether-based projects.
The game platform has already posted more than $42 million in sales in June, more than the rest of 2021 combined, according to CryptoSlam.io. With more than 22,000 transactions on its closed marketplace, the platform has already surpassed its May sales.
Sorare’s European football collectible project also raised $50 million in the rush, which has turned into steady trading volume and less heart-wrenching swings than some of its competitors.
Analysis shows the average sale on Sorare has only fallen 25% since its peak in February, compared to NBA Top Shot at 85%.
All three have been successful in providing something early NFTs did not — utility.
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New markets are on the horizon, though.
The Bored Ape Yacht Club, a collection of NFT cartoon apes, has printed more than $30 million in sales this month bolstered by celebrity endorsements and the promise of commercial rights for owners. Music platform OneOf recently raised $63 million to build an environmentally friendly NFT service on the Tezos blockchain.
Mythical Games closed on a series B of $75 million last week led by WestCap Group and backed by Vayner Media and Galaxy Digital to boost their NFT gaming platform.
And just yesterday, Fox announced it was seeding its own NFT platform with $100 million.
The space, for the moment, is only getting more crowded.
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People interested in Crypto-trading and people who like to collect artwork often use NFTs. Other than that, it has some other uses too like:
- Digital Content – The most significant use of NFTs today is in digital content.
Content creators see their profits enhanced by NFTs, as they power a creator economy where creators have the ownership of their content over to the platforms they use to publicize it.
- Gaming Items – NFTs have garnered considerable interest from game developers. NFTs can provide a lot of benefits to the players. Normally, in an online game, you can buy items for your character, but that’s as far as it goes.
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It is essential that there are strong values carried by strong communities as we start to build a whole new web3 industry.”
Kelly added, “Even if the figures are very encouraging in all segments for 2021, we can anticipate an overall decline in activity in 2022 but which will undoubtedly be more mature.”
I think that means there is a very narrow base of cryptocurrency fans who loved buying NFTs as they became trendy during the year, explaining things like the artist Beeple selling an NFT artwork in March 2021 for $69 million. For whatever reason, buying NFTs became hugely popular in 2021 just like buying Bitcoin.
HODLing, or “holding on for dear life,” wasn’t for the faint of heart.
The report said that during 2021, NFT projects evolved from simple tradable collectibles into more sophisticated virtual assets targeted towards the metaverse.
Over $5.4 billion of total profit was generated when buying or reselling NFTs, with 473 wallets each generating over $1 million in profits during 2021.
The most popular category of NFTs were collectibles, which generated $8.4 billion worth of sales. This includes collections like CryptoPunks and Bored Apes.
The fourth annual study by NonFungible.com tracked the rapid growth of a new asset class as the market moved toward the mainstream.
NFTs are digital blockchain-linked assets that, unlike cryptocurrencies, are completely unique and not interchangeable with any other asset.
The remaining collections are scheduled for later debuts, while the hiPunks collection will go on sale on August 2, 2022. Investors do not need to create an ETH wallet to trade ETFs in the stablecoin USDT.
Launched on Friday, July 29, 2022, the KuCoin NFT ETF.
KuCoin is not the first business to introduce an exchange-traded fund for nonfungible tokens.
Defiance, a fintech company, announced opening a comparable marketplace in December 2021. This time, the ETF followed a collection of businesses with interests in the metaverse and the NFT industry.
Despite the winter, KuCoin advances. The CEO of KuCoin recently had to address recent speculation about the exchange’s possible insolvency that was started by the now-deleted Twitter user 0tteroooo.
Completing different tasks with Axies rewards players with Smooth Love Potions (SLP) that can be sold for cash on crypto exchanges, thereby creating a stream of income for the players.
In general, Axie Infinity accounted for 19% of the estimated $17 billion in total nonfungible token transactions in 2021. Last November, Axie Infinity exploded considerably in popularity, mostly among the gamers in developing nations, where one can possibly earn more playing Axie Infinity than working minimum wage jobs.
Nonetheless, many players have complained to the developers that their earnings have plunged in the wake of SLP falling in price by around 67.5% in 2021.
Of the over 71 million active Ethereum addresses, a total number of active wallets transacting NFTs (including buying, selling, holding or using them in a blockchain application) increased from 89,061 in 2020 to more than 2.5 million in 2021 (2,574,302); an increase of 1,822%.
NFT market by segment
NFTs have a range of use cases. The report found collectibles were the biggest category with $8.47 billion in sales, driven by the over-speculation on this class of asset and the extremely high value of sales by a small number of big Profile Picture collections such as CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club.
This segment saw the most growth in the last quarter of 2021, coinciding with Facebook’s decision to rebrand to Meta. This segment is expected to grow in the coming years as consumer brands ramp up investments in Metaverse projects, for example Nike’s acquisition of RTFKT.
And utilities hit $530.8 million in sales in 2021.
This is a segment of the market comprising a diverse range of use cases across finance, ticketing, insurance, and communities, such as new social clubs like Maxwell Tribeca that require an NFT ‘passport’ for access. This segment is probably one of the most complex and promising in the market.
The market hit is fever pitch in the summer of 2021 and a peak in August when nearly $400 million in NFTs was traded in a single week.