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NFT market– statistics 2021-2023

METAV.RS / NFT market– statistics 2021-2023
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The NFT market has become one of the most successful areas in recent years. If the first NFT created by Kevin McKoy was from 2014, it is a few years later that the popularity of NFTs will take a great leap. 

NFTs have got significant developments in the field over the years. Although 2021 was a phenomenal year for those digital certificates, mid-2022 did not match the same level of success. The period from the end of 2021 to the beginning of 2023 was dubbed as the historical “NFT Bull Market”. However, since the second half of 2022, the market has largely been in a cooling-off phase. To comprehend the true impact of these digital assets, it’s essential to examine their growth statistics and facts, in order to delve into the main data.

Why talking about the NFT market?

An NFT or non-fungible token is a unique, verifiable and authentic digital asset. The value that NFTs bring to dematerialized property is scarcity. Scarcity will give counterfeit, copied or plagiarized works a “digital value”. The NFT market has managed to penetrate a multitude of areas by recreating added value to digital possessions. If we consider that the cost of minting an NFT varies between $70 and $150, it is easy to grasp the almost spectacular return on investment from which many NFT players have been able to benefit.

Although it is complex to assess this very undulating and fast-paced market, we have compiled some key NFT figures for the years 2021-2023


NFT market size

  • The NFT market is estimated at $44 million. (Source: Chainalysis)
  • OpenSea is considered the largest and the most important NFT Marketplace. It was also the most used of all until Blur surpassed it in mid-February and remained on par with it in March 2023.
  • The commercial value of OpenSea is estimated at less than $90 million every month or so.

NFT sales

General sales statistics in the NFT market

  • More than 50% of NFT sales do not reach $200.
  • NFT’s weekly sales volume has gone from 100 sales in 2017 to 15,000 or even 50,000 in 2022. This is an awesome increase.
  • In one month in 2021, over 1.5 million NFT art sales were recorded.
  • On the Nifty Gateway platform, sales exceeded $250 million for 2021. Monthly sales were estimated at around $500,000.
  • NFTs have generated an expenditure of approximately $41 billion in cryptocurrency for the year 2021.
  • The Play-to-earn model which is a trend in the NFT market reaches a revenue of $776 million in the 3rd quarter of 2021.
  • The NBA Top Shot records a transaction volume of more than $700 million.
  • A LeBron James NFT have been sold for more than $21.6 million.
  • 5 of the 20 biggest NFTs were sold in Cryptopunks.

The fastest growing NFT market segment is collectibles, such as with Cryptopunks, Bored Ape Yatch Club, Mutant Ape Yatch Club, Clone-X, etc. They are all down over 64% from all-time highs in 2023. Moonbirds was the worst hit, down 92% and 49% year to date.

Number of users on NFT marketplaces

  • The OpenSea platform has at least 250,000 monthly active users selling and buying NFTs.
  • Between 2020 and 2021, there has been a 450% increase in the number of unique NFT buyers. It went from a monthly volume of 10,000 buyers to 40,000.
  • However, perhaps due to the royalty wars between Blur and OpenSea, the number of NFT holders dropped to its lowest point in the last 12 months (with respect to Q1 of 2023).  The most expensive works sold in the NFT market
  • The artwork The Merge by artist Pak is the most expensive NFT sold in the world for the tidy sum of $91.8 million.
  • The NFT collection with the highest transaction volume is the Bored Ape Yatch Club (BAYC) estimated at $2.5 billion. The floor price of a BAYC today is $215,000.
  • The following is the collection of NFT cryptopunks with an estimated transaction value of $2.1 billion. We note as a floor price today for a cryptopunk the sum of $210,000.
  • The most expensive NFT video sold was of Beeple named Crossroards, for $6.6 million.
  • The highest priced NFT meme is Doge, a Japanese dog breed, for $4 million.
  • The most expensive NFT Tweet is by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for $2.9 million.
  • When it comes to selling virtual lands, the most expensive NFT is on Axie Infinity, which is $1.5 million.
  • The most expensive NFT song sold was for $1.33 million.
  • The NFT Nyan Cat GIF sold for $590,000.

Ecological cost of NFTs

  • The Ethereum blockchain is very energy intensive. For a transaction carried out on this blockchain, the energy consumption is around 77 Kwh.
  • For one year, the electricity consumption of the Blockchain Ethereum is estimated at more than $6 billion. (Source: Gary Cook, Director of International Research at Green Peace)
  • The Ethereum blockchain alone releases almost 22 tons of carbon dioxide annually.
  • Ethereum 2.0 technology wants to drastically reduce its energy consumption by 99%.
  • The carbon footprint of an NFT transaction is equivalent to that of the average monthly electricity consumption of an individual in Europe.
  • On the other hand, the Solana blockchain is much less energy intensive than Ethereum, with each transaction consuming approximately 0.00051 kWh.
  • The Blockchain Polkadot is on a very reasonable energy consumption of 0.8 kWh per year.

NFT consumers

  • In the NFT space, there was a higher number of buyers than sellers, so 1.3 buyers to 1 seller ( till 2022. However, the recent decline in NFT transactions in 2023 was accompanied by a year-long trend of fewer buyers than sellers, indicating changing market behaviour. This could also just be  the indication of  early stage of its second major cycle.
  • Singaporeans, Chinese and Venezuelans are respectively the populations the most involved in NFT trading.
  • Nigeria is a country that is more likely to have the strongest progress in terms of NFT trading in the years to come. It would range from 13.7% to 35.3%.
  • 35% of e-sports fans are interested in collecting NFTs for fun or profit, while 20% said they were very interested.
  • 23% of millennials in the US are NFT collectors.
  • 30% of women versus 23% of men in Thailand collect NFTs.
  • 70% of the American population is not informed about what an NFT is.
  • 3.5% of French people have already purchased NFT.
  • 49% of 18 to 24 year olds in France are open to the possibility of buying NFTs. (Source: IFOP)