According to a report from the world’s largest data resource Nonfungible.com, sales of Non-fungible tokens soared 21,000 percent to more than $17 billion in 2021. The study was developed alongside research firm L’Atelier owned by French international banking group BNP Paribas.
In 2020, NFT sales totaled $82 million. In 2021, it totaled $17.6 billion, signalling a 21,000 percent increase from the previous year. The year 2021, was a great year for NFTs. Not only did sales of NFTs increase, the market’s value increased astronomically.
NFTs are digital token tokens representing value for another item such as an artwork, a photo, video, basically anything…With NFTs, anything can be “tokenized” to create a digital certificate of ownership that can be bought and sold. This is done by embedding a unique ID (metadata) into a token that represents the asset. When an NFT is minted, its ID is registered on the blockchain and becomes its passport, enabling users to see and verify its entire history (ownership, creator, price) without the need for an intermediary. The blockchain is a digital ledger that allows the recording of transactions and enforcement of contracts through a decentralized network of computers and without the need for an intermediary.
NFTs really made waves in 2021 – it was the year they went mainstream. According to Nonfungible’s co-founder Gauthier Zuppinger, “We’ve seen exponential growth over the past year.”
As impressive as Nonfungible’s estimate may seem, it is lower than that of Chainalysis’. Chainalysis is a blockchain analytics firm and puts the total sales of NFTs in 2021 at more than $40 billion.
Nonfungible’s co-founder said that its system of measuring takes note of only legitimate volumes of NFT sales. What this means is that Nonfungible doesn’t take note of transactions that involves wash trading and bots – a practice where investors simultaneously buy and sell an asset to artificially inflate the activity of the market.
The rise of the metaverse also helped to push NFT transactions. Sales of digital land and other projects in the space reached $514 million.
Collectibles was the most popular category of NFTs in 2021, according to Nonfungible. This category accounted for $8.4 billion worth of sales. Gaming NFTs followed next recording $5.2 billion in sales.
NonfungibLe claims that in 2021, more than 2.5 million crypto wallets were owned by people holding or trading NFTs, easing from 89,000 from 2020. Buyers of NFT was up from 75,000 in 2020 to 2.3 million in 2021. Profits from sales of NFTs recorded by investors in 2021 ran into a total of $5.4 billion, with more than 470 wallets making profits of at least $1 million.
In 2022, however, the co-founder says he doesn’t expect NFTs to experience the same astronomical increase it saw in 2021. He spoke that volumes had averaged to around $687 million per week so far in 2022, a little above the average of $620 million recorded weekly in the fourth quarter of 2021. “What is interesting is that we are seeing less people, less buyers, less sales. The global community may have decreased because of speculation and a loss of interest in collectibles. But the global market is still really high and the value of some of these assets has continued to increase,” he said.
Gauthier Zuppinger, however, forecasts that companies and financial instItutions will participate more in the NFT market.
To get information on how NFTs fared in 2021, click here.