In brief: The cryptocurrency universe has been growing at an incredible rate, and with it, many correlated markets. Such is the case of NFTs, which have seen an enormous jump in the past year with sales volume increasing from $13.7 million in the first half of 2020 to $2.5 billion in 2021 so far.
As we've explained, NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token, a tradeable piece of digital art, video or in-game item authenticated by a blockchain to ensure its uniqueness. The popularity of NFTs are reaching new levels as some are being sold for millions of dollars, like Beeple's "Everydays: The First 5000 Days" selling for $69 million, and Twitter's first tweet going for almost $3 million.
Just last week, we had another multi-million sale thanks to Sir Tim Berners-Lee, which amassed over $5.4 million for the source code of the World Wide Web he wrote.
All these sales have greatly helped the NFT sales volume, almost reaching $2.5 billion during the first half of 2021 as reported by DappRadar. However, NonFungible is reporting $1.3 billion during this period, but it doesn't consider the $8 billion of "DeFi" (Decentralized Finance) NFTs.
"Everydays: The First 5000 Days" by Beeple
Both DappRadar and NonFungible only track transactions made through the blockchain. Given that some of these multi-million sales are partially made out of the blockchain and then later added to it, these figures could increase even further.
NFTs are mainly sold in marketplaces. Rarible and OpenSea are open marketplaces featuring a wide variety of NFTs from multiple collections. Other marketplaces such as NBA Top Shot and Axie Infinity Marketplace only sell a collection of NFTs, but can still gather hundreds of thousands of traders.
Some see NFTs as a scam, others as a piece of culture, but many consider it an investment opportunity similar to cryptocurrency. Regardless of which one it is, it looks like NFTs are here to stay for the time being.
Masthead by Vladimir Kazakov