According to NFT industry data aggregator CryptoSlam, global NFT sales reached $18.5 billion in 2021, a 570-fold rise from 2020, as the record bid for Beeple’s digital collage and the excellent reaction for NBA Top Shot drew new collectors and raised prices.

From Ray-Ban and Gucci to McDonald’s and Coca-Cola, many businesses started to provide NFTs.

The market for new NFTs is expected to rise to at least US$30 billion this year, with monthly sales exceeding US$2.5 billion in recent months and rising as high as US$4.5 billion (figures as of February 2022). According to CryptoSlam, sales volume will likely expand by 50% to 70% by 2022 due to an estimated increase in purchasers of between 200 and 300 percent.

Contrast this with the roller coaster trip of other financial markets as central banks prepare to raise rates and inflation hits multi-decade highs.

As the entire market value went below US$2 trillion in January 2022, the lowest level since September 2021, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies failed to offer investors a haven.

NFT sales, according to CryptoSlam, were $4.5 billion in January 2022, barely shy of the all-time high of $4.9 billion in August 2021, according to the company.

In July year 2021, monthly NFT sales surpassed US$1 billion and have not looked back since.

Buyers and Sellers

January 2022 saw an increase in NFT sellers from 27,963 in January 2021 to 759,145 unique sellers in January 2022, which is a tiny decrease from the market’s all-time high of 791,631 in November 2021.

In January 2021, there were 29,581 unique purchasers, but in February, there were 910,611 — a new record monthly high. More than a million transactions on the Ethereum blockchain have been made since this measure started to be recorded in 2017.

However, despite a rise in buyer and seller variety, the value is still concentrated in a few traders and investors. According to recent research published in Nature, the top 10 percent of all NFT traders accounted for 85 percent of all transactions.

NFT sales are expected to be driven by “whales,” or investors with large portfolios, but the number of unique purchasers demonstrates that NFT-curious investors are warming up to this new asset class.

More than 3.7 million users have signed up for Coinbase’s soon-to-be-launched NFT marketplace at this writing. NFTs may now be purchased with Mastercard without the requirement for bitcoin, solving one of the present difficulties in purchasing NFTs.

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