After cryptocurrency, if there’s any digital asset that has taken the internet by storm in the past two years is Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). The popularity of the NFT market skyrocketed in 2021, with its global worth of $22 billion. Now, more people are witnessing digital images or NFTs as a smart investment opportunity. But why are NFTs popular? The primary reason behind its popularity is its exclusivity. People like to buy NFTs because they are one of a kind and allow you to be their digital owner. Still, the NFT concept is relatively new, and people are still trying to understand it. That is why I have curated these fascinating NFT stats to give you a clear picture of its market, trends and sales.
Historical Facts – When did NFTs start?
The term “Non-Fungible” stands for “non-replaceable”, and NFTs refer to such digital assets/arts as one of their kind & exclusive. Some historical facts that made NFTs popular in the blockchain world were:
- The concept of NFTs came to life in 2014 when artist Kevin McCoy and tech-entrepreneur Anil Dash met in a hackathon. The first NFT minted by McCoy on “NameCoin” blockchain technology was “Quantum” – a pixelated octagon image filled with denoting arcs, circles, and other shapes. Recently, the art was on sale for $7 million.
- In 2015, the first-ever blockchain-based game called Spell of Genesis was launched. The game had an in-built currency called BitCrystals.
- In 2016, memes made their way into the blockchain, and the most popular one was RarePepes. It was an interesting meme featuring a comic character Pepe the Frog. With RarePepe Wallet, the CryptoArt was born, and creators started minting their own artworks.
- In 2017, Matt Hall and John Watkinson created 10,000 popular “CryptoPunks – punk-rock-resembling pixelated avatars.” For each avatar, they issued an NFT, and no two avatars would be the same. Around 9,000 CryptoPunks were auctioned for sale and sold within 24 hours after a Mashable article featuring them. By the end of the year, the crypto punk NFT sold for $170,000.
- Another popular project named CryptoKitties launched in 2017, featuring unique cat avatars. It was a blockchain-based game centered around breedable cats with a new ERC721 standard.
- The most popular and first NFT marketplace, OpenSea, was launched in the same year (Dec 2017). This marketplace allowed creators to mint and trade their original digital artworks.
- In 2018, John Crain created an NFT marketplace called SuperRare. The platform used blockchain technology and charged a 15% commission from the artists to list and sell their NFTs there. On every NFT sale, the artists used to get a 10% royalty.
- By 2021, widespread and big NFT projects like NBA top shots, Axie Infinity, and Decentraland came into existence.
Types of NFTsThere are seven popular types of NFTs you must know about: 1) Digital Artworks – The most popular NFT type. It could be anything from a painting to a photograph to drawings. 2) Music NFTs – Popular artists are releasing their tracks as original Music NFTs directly to the fans. Artists like DJ Steve Aoki or bands like Euphoria are all set to follow this trend. 3) Avatars/PFPs – Avatars or Profile Pictures NFTs are the other most common type. Some popular NFTs like CryptoPunks, BoredApes, LazyLions, etc., fall under this category. The owner of these NFTs can use them as their identity or profile picture on digital platforms. 4) Video Game NFTs – Multiple blockchain games allow gamers to buy or trade gaming NFTs in the form of characters, weapons or in-game accessories. One popular NFT in 2021 was Axies – the pokemon-like character from the game Axie infinity. 5) Collectibles or Trading Cards NFTs – It includes the digital version of traditional cards or collectables that owners can store or trade. Popular examples of it are Sorare cards and God’s unchained. 6) GiF and Video Clip NFTs – Moving digital artworks fall under this category. In Feb 2021, a famous Video clip NFT by LeBron James’s Kobe Bryant Tribute Dunk was sold for around $400,000. 7) Meme NFTs – It could be both standalone or moving and thus considered as a different category. Some popular Meme NFTs are Dogecoin, Disaster Girl, Charlie Bit My Finger and Bad Luck Brian. [Source: BusinessInsider]
Popular and Most Expensive NFTs of All TimeAlthough it is hard to decide which is the most popular NFT to date, the sales statistics of the most expensive NFTs can give us a better picture:
- The most expensive NFT sold for $91.8 million in 2021 was “The Merge” by Pak.
- “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” is the second most expensive NFT so far, sold for $69.3 million in Feb 2021.
- After “The Merge by Pak”, another popular NFT purchased by multiple collectors for $52.7 million was “Clock” by Pak & Assange.
- The fourth most expensive NFT so far is “Human One” NFT by Beeple, which sold for $28.9 million.
- CryptoPunk NFTs account for at least five of the top 10 highest-paid NFTs so far.
- CryptoPunk #5822 – Sold for $23.7 million
- CryptoPunk #7523 – Sold for $11.8 million
- CryptoPunk #4156 – Sold for $10.26 million
- CryptoPunk #3100 – Sold for $7.58 million
- CryptoPunk #7184 – Sold for $7.57 million
- The most expensive NFT video sold so far is Crossroads by Beeple for $6.6 million.
- “Earth” and “Mars” by Grimes – $5.18 million
- “Auction Winner Picks the Name” by 3LAU – $1.3 million
- “Metarift” by Pak – $906,709
- “Charlie Bit Me” by Davies-Carr Family – $760,999
- The most expensive NFT meme is the iconic “Doge” meme, which sold for $4 million in June 2021.
- The most expensive NBA top shot NFT so far is LeBron James’ “Cosmic” Dunk moment, which sold for a massive $208,000.
- The global NFT market size in 2022 is $3 billion, which is expected to grow to $13.6 billion by 2027.
- The total NFT sales worldwide reached a peak of $12.6 billion in January 2022 but totaled over $1 billion in June 2022.
- In Q1, 2022, the total number of unique wallet addresses bought or sold NFTs was 950,000, up from 627,000 in Q4 2021.
- In June 2022, the total global NFT sales in the art segment were recorded at around 20.4 thousand.
- Open Sea is the world’s first and largest NFT marketplace, surpassing $3.5 billion trading volume in Jan 2022.
- Nifty Gateway
- NBA Top Shot
- Pak is the highest-grossing NFT artist with a total NFT value of $4.3 billion.
- The second-highest earned NFT artist of all time is Beeple, with a total NFT worth of $1.76 billion.
- Axie is the third most successful and biggest NFT project after Open Sea and Look Rare, surpassing the $4 billion mark in Feb 2022.
NFT Demographics Statistics
- The latest survey shows Singapore is the top country interested in NFT worldwide, with a monthly search volume of 18,717 per 1 million population.
- Hongkong – 15,213 searches per million inhabitants
- Canada – 12,358 searches per million inhabitants
- Iceland – 11,194 searches per million inhabitants
- United States – 10,677 searches per million inhabitants
- Liechtenstein – 10,360 searches per million inhabitants
- San Marino – 9,873 searches per million inhabitants
- Australia – 9,851 searches per million inhabitants
- New Zealand – 8,934 searches per million inhabitants
- Malta – 8,810 searches per million inhabitants
- The most Anti-NFT country is Poland, with around 227 negative tweets out of every 1000.
- The two most-searched NFT in America and worldwide are Decentraland and Axie Infinity.
Who Buys NFTs?So, which gender and age group tends to buy more NFTs over the years? Let’s understand it with the latest research statistics:
- Compared to the other generations, Millennials tend to buy more NFTs – around 23%.
- Compared to females, more males invest in NFTs worldwide.
- Most people who buy NFTs have an annual income of around $25k to $250k.
- 2% of people earn between $25k to $50k
- 3% of people earn between $50k to $75k
- 4% of people earn between $75k to $1,50,000
- 5% of people earn more than $1,50,000
- Half of the male adults in the US invest in NFTs for the better ROI, while the other invests as a crypto art fan or due to the rising popularity.
ConclusionAll these NFT stats clearly indicate how they are becoming the “Next Big Thing” in digital space. Although many popular NFTs have been sold in millions, the average price of a digital artwork starts from $150 and varies according to the marketplace, popularity, and other factors. So, if you are interested in them, you can start investing a small amount and see how it performs. But just like cryptocurrency and other digital assets, NFTs are also subjected to risk and volatility, so do your research before investing.
- NFTNow, NFTNewsPro, GarageFarm
- NFTEvening, iTechPost, Binance
- NFTNow (Clock NFT sales figure)
- BankOnCube, CryptoTimes
- Kapwing, Reuters
- BusinessInsider (Most expensive meme NFT sold so far)
- CryptoPotato, TheVerge
- IndianExpress, CoinMarketCap
- NFTEvening (Best-selling NFT artists)
- NFTNews (Axie – the biggest NFT project)
- Morning Consult
- Statista (Why people buy NFTs)