Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are a concept that is still confusing to many, yet it keeps soaring in value and growing rapidly in popularity.
In 2021, the average prices of NFTs rose tremendously, attracting the interest of thousands of investors to these unique digital assets.
Most buyers are speculators who hope to buy these assets early and sell for a profit in the future. If you are an artist or investor who wishes to get into NFTs, you need to understand its impact in the world of digital assets.
Here are some statistics and facts about NFTs projects and markets you should know.
Key NFT Statistics
- Almost $41 billion being spent on the NFT marketplaces in 2021 alone.
- An estimated 250,000 people trade NFTs each month on OpenSea.
- NFT sales volume added up to nearly $11 billion in the third quarter of 2021.
- NFT sales grew by 131 times between 2020 and 2021.
- The Most Expensive NFT ever sold is “The Merge” $91.8 milion.
General NFT Market Overview Statistics
1. The first NFT was minted in 2014.
Statistics show that the first NFT was minted in 2014, about five years after Bitcoin was created. Kevin McCoy created the first NFT in May of 2014, which was later sold for $1.4 million in November 2021 at a Sotheby auction.
In the first half of 2021, NFT sales volume skyrocketed to about $2.5 billion.
2021 was the year that saw NFTs blooming, as the NFT market reached new highs in the first half of the year. The estimated NFT transactions in the first half of 2021 was valued at $2.5 billion, a massive jump from the $13.7 million recorded during the first half of 2020.
In 2021, about $41 billion worth of crypto was spent on the NFT marketplaces.
NFT stats compiled by Chainalysis Inc., a blockchain analytics firm, shows that in 2021, the NFT marketplace grew to almost $41 billion. This is close to the amount realized from conventional art and antique sales in 2020, which amounted to $50 billion. The growing popularity of NFTs can explain the high volumes in sales.
The real most expensive NFT is worth about $92 million.
In December 2021, Pak’s The Merge was sold for more than $91.8 million on the Nifty Gateway. It is the biggest and most expensive NFT sale ever, with more than 30,000 collectors pitching in for the sale. It is said to be less shady than the sale of CryptoPunk #9998.
However, it is yet to be counted as a series of artworks or a single artwork. This is because it wasn’t sold to a single buyer, as many buyers bought different numbers of tokens they wanted. The NFT started selling at $575 per unit and increased by $25 every few hours. By the end of the sales, about 30,000 buyers were recorded, with a total sale of $91.8 million.
Cryptopunks account for five of the 20 biggest NFT sales.
The Larvalabs creation, CryptoPunks, accounts for five of the biggest NFT sales in the NFT marketplace. They are very rare NFTs that operate on the Ethereum network. This makes them extremely and highly valued. CryptoPunk #7523 and CryptoPunk #3100 are the two most expensive CryptoPunk NFTs sold for approximately $11.8 million and $7.7 million, respectively. They are the fourth and fifth largest NFT sales to date.
Between Q2 2021 and Q3 2021, NFT trading volume rose by 704%.
Between the Q2 and Q3 of 2021, the NFT industry experienced eightfold gains in quarterly trading volumes, making 2021 the year of the NFT boom. According to NFT market stats, in the third quarter of 2021 alone, the value of all global NFT transactions hit $10.7 billion.
More than 50% of all NFT sales sold below $200.
NFTs are believed to be big money generating digital assets; however, not all NFTs are sold for millions. Statistics show that over 50% of the recorded NFT sales were below the $200 mark. Furthermore, most primary sales went for about $100 or less, according to an analysis of NFT trends by Artnet.
The average prices of NFT vary six-fold by platform.
The value of NFTs varies based on the marketplace. For example, the average NFT price on Valuable is around $150. On OpenSea, the average NFT price is $500, while $900 on Mintable. However, the top-selling NFTs sell for millions of dollars.
In 2021, the Nyan Cat GIF sold for $590,000.
(South China Morning Post)
The infamous Nyan Cat GIF, which started in 2011, was sold for over $590,000, dethroning Dragon, the cotton candy cat, as the highest-selling kitty NFT to date.
Over 75% of E-sports Fans are Interested in NFTs
A survey involving 2,200 respondents on their interest in collecting NFTs was conducted in March 2021. The survey checked if these respondents collected NFTs either as an investment or a hobby. The results revealed that about 75% of e-sports fans showed interest in collecting NFTs. About 20% of the respondents were very interested, while 35% were somewhat interested. 23% of millennials were very likely to invest in NFTs, while 2% of baby boomers showed interest in collecting NFTs.
Demographic NFT Statistics
23% of millennials in the US collect NFTs.
Demographic NFT statistics show that one in every three American adults are collectors of physical items as a hobby or for investment. One in four of these collectors engage with NFTs. Also, about 23% of millennials in the US collect NFTs.
On OpenSea, about 250,000 people trade NFTs monthly.
OpenSea is arguably the most popular and biggest NFT marketplace worldwide. The platform uses an NFT price tracker, which helps to track NFT sales. Records suggest that about 250,000 people actively trade NFTs on the platform monthly. This is a huge percentage of NFT users worldwide.
However, the number of NFT users is projected to skyrocket in 2022, with about 2 million users on the Coinbase’s waiting list for its upcoming NFT marketplace that launches in 2022. This could see Coinbase NFT marketplace become the biggest NFT marketplace worldwide.
The probability of men being collectors of NFTs is three times more likely than women.
Surveys on NFT collections reveal that the collection habits of men and women differ. It shows that men are more likely to be NFT collectors than women at a ratio of 3:1.
Asia is home to the top five countries with the biggest NFT adoption.
Asia has one of the highest numbers of NFT collectors. A poll on the top countries to adopt NFTs involving 28,000 people in 20 countries shows that Asia is home to the top five countries with the biggest NFT adoption. The Philippines ranked as the country with the highest number of NFT owners with about 32%. Thailand, Malaysia, UAE, and Vietnam came second, third, fourth, and fifth, respectively.
The country with the biggest growth in NFT adoption is Nigeria, with a 21.7% expected NFT adoption rate.
Nigeria is forecasted to become the country with the biggest growth in NFT adoption, which is expected to grow from 13.7% to 35.3%. Peru, Venezuela, and Colombia are other countries forecasted to enjoy notable increases in NFT adoption rates at 14.5%, 13.5%, and 11.9%, respectively. The UK and the US are expected to experience a growth rate of 3.3% and 3.9%, respectively.
The rate at which those earning less than $25,000 yearly invest in NFTs is similar to those earning more than $150,000.
Income is not a barrier to buying NFTs because statistics show that the upper and lower-income persons have the same passion for buying NFTs. Those who earn less than $25,000 yearly and those earning more than $150,000 yearly invest in NFTs similarly. However, people who fall within the $25,000 and $150,000 per year income bracket appear to be considerably less excited about buying NFTs. About 94% of these people claim not to be interested in NFTs at all.
Women own more NFTs in Thailand than men.
In Thailand, about 53% of the adult population owns NFTs. 30% of NFT owners are women, while 23% are men. Venezuela is the only country apart from Thailand to have their women own more NFTs than men. In Venezuela, 11% of the women population own NFTs, while 10% of men own NFTs.
California buys more NFTs than any other state in the United States of America.
In the United States, the state that buys the most NFTs is California. San Francisco and Los Angeles are the Californian cities with the most NFTs buys. San Jose, San Diego, and Austin in Texas are other cities that come next with the most NFTs buy. The state with the second-highest NFTs buy in the United States is Hawaii, followed by Nevada in third place.
More than 70% of American adults don’t know what an NFT is.
Recent NFTs data in the United States show that about 70% of the adults in the country are not familiar with NFTs. This figure is alarming, considering how popular NFTs have become in recent years. However, this percentage is less than countries like Germany and Japan, where 82.6% and 90% of the adult populations, respectively, don’t know about NFTs.
Environmental Impact Of NFTs
Ethereum’s power consumption is as much as Hungary and Qatar.
Minting NFTs have a serious impact on the environment. Statistics show that Ethereum’s power consumption is a lot and can be compared to that of Qatar and Hungary. Ethereum currently consumes 44.94 terawatt-hours of electrical energy, which is equivalent to the annual consumption of several countries. It also releases roughly 21.35 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year, equivalent to Sudan's carbon footprint.
An average NFT and the monthly electricity usage by an EU citizen have the same carbon footprint.
The energy consumption of the Ethereum blockchain is alarming, yet, it is ten times less than the amount of energy required to create, distribute and transfer the ownership of an average NFT. An average NFT transaction produces the same carbon footprint as the monthly electricity usage by an EU citizen, which is around 48 kg of CO2.
Ethereum 2.0 technology could reduce energy usage by more than 99%.
Ethereum is working on completely moving to the proof-of-stake (PoS) protocol from the proof-of-work (PoW) protocol. If this is achieved successfully, it could reduce the blockchain’s energy consumption by 99.95%. This will also be great for minting Ethereum NFTs, as less energy would be consumed.
Tezos emit less than 1% of the CO2 generated by Ethereum.
The Ethereum blockchain is arguably the most popular blockchain for minting NFTs, and most NFTs on the Ethereum network cost a lot of energy to be minted. However, proof of stake networks consumes less energy to mint their NFTs. Tezos, for example, consumes only around 0.00006 TWh per year, while Ethereum consumes an estimated 103.17 TWh per year.
Once the switch from proof-of-work (PoW) is made to proof-of-state (PoS), the carbon footprint of an average NFT can be reduced to that of just mailing a physical piece of art.
The carbon footprint of an average Ethereum based NFT is around 48 kg of CO2. This could be reduced to 2.11 kg CO2 once the switch to PoS is complete, almost the same as e-mailing a physical art cross-country.
NFT Sales Statistics
Jack Dorsey, the founder of the famous social media platform Twitter, sold his first tweet in NFT format for $2.9 million.
Jack Dorsey’s tweet is described as the Mona Lisa of tweets. Due to the projected prospects of NFTs in the future, he was able to sell this tweet as an NFT at a high price of $2.9m. The tweet, valued at $100,000 per character, reads, “just setting up my twttr.”
A LeBron James NFT sold for more than $21.6 million.
A statue of Lebron James in the form of an NFT was sold for over $21.6 million on the NFT marketplace. The basketball star is believed to have benefited from the sale of the NFT.
Grimes, a Canadian music sensation and Elon Musk’s ex-girlfriend, sold thousands of NFTs, netting more than $7 million.
Grimes holds the history of one of the best-selling NFTs in history. Thousands of copies of her album in NFT format were sold for over $7,500 each. Her unique video “Death of the Old” sold for over $389,000, amounting to an estimate of $7 million in total from her NFT sales.
Eminem sold his first NFT collection for $1.78 million.
Eminem is another celebrity involved with the NFT industry. In April 2021, his Shady Con collection sold for $1.78 million, based on Nifty Gateway statistics. Some of the items in the NFT collection included digital action figures from the rapper’s childhood.
A piece of NFT artwork, Human One, sold for $28.9 million at an auction.
A Beeple sculpture named Human One fetched its seller $28.9 million at a live Christie’s auction. This was even reported on the front-page news on Forbes, Barrons, and the Wall Street Journal.
In 2021, the sales on Nifty Gateway exceeded $250 million.
The sales on the Nifty Gateway recorded a huge success in 2021 compared to 2020. NFTs on the platform sold for less than half a million dollars monthly in early 2020. This figure rose to $9.94 million by October 2020 and hit $29.54 million by December 2020. However, by March 2021, sales hit a whopping $105.71 million per month.
In 2021, NFT art sales were over 1.5 million in a single month.
Between October and November 2021, there were 1.538 million NFT art sales. According to some recent statistics, the total number of NFT art sales for the whole of 2021 was over 11 million.
The world’s most expensive meme NFT cost over $4 million.
Meme NFTs have become popular in recent times and this has increased their value. The Doge meme is the most expensive meme NFT sold for $4 million worth of Ether. This broke the previous record of around $570,000 held by the meme NFT “Disaster Girl.”
Artwork by Beeple, “The First 5,000 Days,” is one of the top five most expensive NFTs of any type ever.
Beeple’s NFTs hold some of the record-breaking sales in the industry. A compilation of the legendary artists' works, “The First 5,000 Days,” sold for an eye-watering sum of $69.3 million, making him the best-selling digital artist worldwide. It was bought by Vignesh Sundaresan, Singapore-based serial entrepreneur, and crypto billionaire, on March 11, 2021, at auction at Christie’s for 42,329 ETH. When converted to its dollar worth at the time, he spent a total of $69,346,250.
The most expensive NFT song ever is Gunky's Uprising, which sold for $1.33 million.
SlimeSunday and 3LAU put a song up as an NFT for auction, which was bought for $1.33 million by an anonymous buyer, and he named it according to his wish.
A plot of virtual land was sold in 2021 for $913,228.20.
Some of the biggest NFT sales occur in Decentraland, a blockchain-based game. One of the ground-breaking sales on this application is the sale of a plot of virtual land for almost $1 million. It was purchased by the real estate investment firm Republic Realm, making it the most expensive NFT virtual property ever. This increased the interest and demand for digital properties.
Billionaire Shalom Mechenzie owns the most expensive CryptoPunk bought for $11.7 million.
A CryptoPunk sold through the Sotheby auction house became the most expensive CryptoPunk NFT to date. The NFT is an alien punk wearing gold earrings, a medical face mask, and a red knitted cap. It was bought by Billionaire Shalom Mechenzie for $11.7 million, making it the highest-priced CryptoPunk NFT.
At the Sotheby's auction house, an NFT representing the web's original source code was sold for $5.4 Million, making it the most expensive NFT source code ever.
(Wall Street Journal)
Sir Tim Berner-Lee, who created the World Wide Web, auctioned off a piece of his original source code as an NFT. This source code was bought for $5.4 Million in a controversial and record-breaking sale. This made it the most valuable NFT source code. However, many critics were against Sir Tim Berners-Lee's decision to sell the code. They argued that selling the source code is against the web’s decentralized nature.
The most expensive NFT picture is the “Forever Rose” artwork by Kevin Abosch.
Kevin Abosch’s “Forever Rose” artwork ranks as the most expensive NFT picture. The digital picture depicting a red rose was sold on February 14, 2018, for $1 million. The cost was divided evenly by ten collectors.
Beeple's Crossroad, sold at the Christie’s auction house, is the most expensive NFT Video Ever Sold.
The People's Crossroad is a ten-second animation video that sold for $6.6 million in February 2021. It shows the image of a giant Donald Trump lying on the ground.
Out of the $1.5 billion NFT trading volume in 2021, NBA Top Shot contributed about $500 million.
NBA Top Shots is one of the most popular NFT marketplaces. On this platform, historical NBA moments are traded. In 2021, it had a trading volume of about $500 million, making it the largest NFT marketplace by total volume traded.
In 2021, over 45,000 unique wallets were used to hold NFTs from popular marketplaces.
According to Non-fungible, the NFT analysis company, over 45,000 new crypto-wallets traded NFTs between May and June, a period termed as “post-boom.”
As of July 2021, the average Bored Ape NFT sold for $36,000 on OpenSea
A collection of 10,000 unique digital collectibles built on the Ethereum blockchain – The Bored Ape Yacht Club, was launched in April 2021 for $215. From the launch to July 2021, it enjoyed a massive increase in the price of about 1,574 %, selling for about $36,000.
CryptoPunks is the first non-fungible digital art in the world.
(Research and Markets)
Although the first CryptoPunks NFT was created in 2014, CryptoPunks is believed to be the first non-fungible digital art. It was launched in June 2017 and remained one of the first NFT projects ever.
NFT sales amount to millions weekly.
According to NFT statistics shared by NonFungible.com, on average, NFT sales rake in between $10 to $20 million weekly. However, there have been weeks in 2021, especially during April and May, where NFT sales reached $170 million.
NBA’s Top Shots has made over $700 million from NFT sales.
Recent NFT statistics show that NBA’s Top Shots has made more than $700 million from NFT sales. Basketball trading cards became more popular in 2019 when the NBA partnered with Dapper Labs. This led to creating a blockchain-based trading card system, the NBA’s Top Shots. NBA’s Top Shots’ biggest sale to date is a video highlight of LeBron James. It sold for $230,000 in August 2021. Also, the top three biggest sales on NBA’s Top Shots to date feature LeBron James.
Due to the continued evolution of blockchain technology, NFTs have gained a great reputation. However, many art experts and financial pundits are still skeptical about its potential and impact in the art and financial industry.
Many believe NFTs could turn out to be a bubble in the long run because people could eventually give up on the idea of buying them.
Although many are skeptical about NFTs, they remain valuable digital assets. The fact that no one can duplicate them gives them a strong selling point and make it a promising industry to keep an eye on.
Statistics show that thousands of NFTs are sold daily, with a high demand for various such digital assets. These stats show that people value the potential of NFTs, and the concept is here to stay.