An explosion of enthusiasm around bustling blockchain-based digital holdings known as non-fungible tokens helped OpenSea, the world’s largest NFT marketplace, top $4 billion in trading volume this month for the first time ever, defying the lackluster performance of the broader cryptocurrency market as celebrity embraces And companies hype about NFTs.
Buoyed by as much as $261 million in daily trading volume, NFTs on OpenSea topped $4 billion in January trading volume after posting $218 million in trading Wednesday, adding to the monthly record increase of nearly 20% from the previous peak of 3.4 bucks. billion in August, according to data from Dune Analytics.
In a note, Nigel Green, CEO of the $12 billion fortune consultancy DeVere Group, said NFT’s burgeoning business comes as an increasing number of global sports franchises, fashion brands and celebrities congregate around digital collectibles.
Crypto analyst Marcus Soterio, of British brokerage GlobalBlock, agreed via email, noting that celebrities such as Britney Spears, Eminem and Jimmy Fallon have all recently been linked to the Bored Ape Yacht Club, a group of 10,000 Ethereum-based NFTs sold on OpenSea in one time. Average price is over $300,000.
The popular images – which depict cartoon monkeys in various states of emotions – have sold for up to $1.4 million this month, with a combined market capitalization of $2.4 billion and trading volume of more than $43 million over the past week (representing about 3% of OpenSea’s total). ), according to CoinGecko.
Green notes that the hype also comes with “increasingly investors perceive” NFTs as a future-proof asset class, in large part due to their use of the blockchain to demonstrate ownership and crypto-rights.
The NFT explosion has challenged a broader flaw in the cryptocurrency market, which has seen bitcoin fall 12% this year, while ether and sol — the two most popular cryptocurrencies for NFTs — are hoarded by 17% and 23%, respectively.
The total trading volume of NFT was more than $23 billion last year, reflecting a staggering increase of more than 20,000% from less than $100 million in 2020.
Earlier this month, rapper Eminem became the latest celebrity claimant for bragging rights about BAYC NFTs, receiving a piece he dubbed “EminApe” for $460,000 and instantly making it his Twitter profile picture.
Celebrities weren’t alone in joining the hype around NFTs. Last month, Nike bought NFT startup RTFKT Studios for an undisclosed sum, and luxury carmaker Ferrari signed a multi-year partnership with Swiss tech company Velas Network days later to create the NFTs. Meanwhile, a large number of players have been trying to make money out of the mania by building their own NFT marketplaces. Earlier this month, GameStop shares surged as much as 30% after reports that the virtual reality video game seller had hired more than 20 people to help build an online marketplace for trading NFT games for virtual games. Even retail giant Walmart is exploring the space, with reports this week indicating that the company has filed several NFT-related patent applications, including one for the NFT market.
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