In brief: Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have taken the world by storm in 2021, and according to the latest data from Chainalysis, there’s little evidence to suggest a slowdown anytime soon. Chainalysis said in its 2021 NFT Market Report that users have sent at least $26.9 billion worth of crypto to ERC-721 and ERC-1155 contracts, the two types of Ethereum smart contracts associated with NFT collections and marketplaces.

Interest in collections has spiked at times but since March 2021, the CryptoPunks collection has been the most popular with more than $3 billion in transaction volume. Released in 2017 before the NFT craze, this collection from Larva Labs studio consists of 10,000 pixel art images that have skyrocketed in value as of late.

Back in August, Visa joined the rat race with its $150,000 purchase of CryptoPunk 7610. That may sound like a lot, but it pales in comparison to what some have paid for the most sought-after CryptoPunks. As it sits today, CryptoPunk 3100 is the most valuable, having fetched $7.58 million the last time it traded hands. CryptoPunk 7804 isn’t far behind at $7.57 million.

Last month, someone paid more than $650,000 for a luxury NFT yacht that only exists in the metaverse.

Chainalysis’ data indicates that Central and Southern Asia are hotbeds for NFT marketplaces, as is North America. Western Europe and Latin America have also picked it up as of late, although no region has made up more than 40 percent of monthly web visits since March 2021.

Image courtesy Quartz