Compared with the USD 13.7 million in the first half of 2020 last year, the non-fungible token (NFT) market has exploded this year.
Market data shows that the non-fungible token (NFT) market soared to a new high in the second quarter, with sales so far this year of US$2.5 billion, higher than the US$13.7 million in the first half of 2020.
NFT is an encrypted asset that represents an intangible digital item, such as images, videos, or in-game items. The owner of the NFT is recorded on the blockchain, allowing the NFT to be traded as a substitute for the digital assets it represents.
After the huge popularity of NFT at the beginning of this year, sales have remained high. Monthly sales of OpenSea, the main NFT market, hit a record high in June.
Some NFT enthusiasts regard them as collections of intrinsic value because of their cultural significance, while others regard them as an investment, speculating on rising prices.
According to data from NonFungible.com, which aggregates NFT transactions on the Ethereum blockchain, the number of buyers has mostly been 10,000 to 20,000 per week since March, surpassing sellers.
Total sales estimates vary depending on which NFT transactions are included.
DappRadar, which tracks sales of multiple blockchains, said that the transaction volume in the first half of 2021 was slightly less than $2.5 billion. But NonFungible.com’s figure is 1.3 billion U.S. dollars, which does not include about 8 billion U.S. dollars of “DeFi” (decentralized finance) NFT.
Both of these sites only track sales that occur on the blockchain, also known as “on-chain” transactions. For some of the largest NFT sales, such as auction house sales, some transactions occur “off-chain”, which means they must be added to the data manually.
In March, a digital image was sold as an NFT at Christie for a record US$69.3 million. Since then, no NFT sales have come to an end. The second most expensive NFT auction known is “CryptoPunk”, which was sold at Sotheby’s for $11.8 million.
The National Basketball Association’s Top Shot market, which allows fans to buy and trade NFTs in the form of video highlights, has seen a decrease in transaction volume, with the number of buyers falling from 403,000 in March to 246,000 in June. The average price of Top Shot “moment” reached a peak of US$182 in February and fell to US$27 in June.
But as some NFT types became less popular, other types became popular.
The Bored Ape Yacht Club is composed of 10,000 unique digital ape NFTs and has become a hot topic among collectors. As of July 1, the average selling price of apes on OpenSea was US$3,6000, a 1,574% increase from the April release price of US$215. According to the club’s founder and headquartered in the United States, Yuga Labs, total sales have jumped to $61 million.