This is shaking up the NFT market (non-fungible tokens, “non-fungible tokens”), these digital property certificates registered in the blockchain (a technology for storing and transmitting information based on cryptography) and which, last year, panicked the counters . According to a report published on May 5 by the monitoring platform Chainalysis, the passion for these tokens showed a sharp decline in the first quarter of 2022. After a record 69 million dollars (65.4 billion euros) for the sale of a The NFT of the artist Beeple in March 2021, the number of transactions exploded, rapidly crossing the 40 billion dollar mark throughout the year.
According to data from the insurer Hiscox, the three main auction houses, Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips, which have not yet ventured into this field, sold 185 million dollars of NFT. But this growth is irregular and fluctuates greatly from month to month. Chainalysis thus sees a peak of activity in August 2021, coinciding with the release of the NFT Mutant Ape Yacht Club collection from Yuga Labs startup. At the end of January, transactions returned again after the launch of the LooksRare platform.
Since then, however, the market has experienced a sharp decline. In one month, between February and March, the amount of spending fell from 3.9 billion to 964 million dollars. For Ethan McMahon, economist at Chainalysis, “The slump in NFT trading in Q1 2022 coincided with a collapse in the broader cryptocurrency markets.” But in his eyes, “People’s interest waxes and wanes independently of cryptocurrencies, which is also the strength of this market.”
“Towards a Bubble”
This volatility does not worry the specialists. According to Chainalysis, NFT buyers have spent over $37 billion so far this year. And the market came to life again in mid-April, when Yuga Labs, to which we also owe the Bored Ape Yacht Club collection, sold virtual plots of land from its next metaverse project (virtual that world), called the Other side. The potential is such that the NFT SuperRare platform will open a physical gallery in New York on May 19 to expand its community and convince the last recalcitrants.
The Chainalysis study also revealed that this type of asset attracts buyers from all over the world, led by Central Asia and South Asia, followed by North America and Europe. Their motivations could not be clearer: a taste for investment rather than a passion for art. According to a survey published by Hiscox on April 25, ROI remains the top driver for more than 80% of NFT buyers. Almost a quarter of them, mostly women, said they were looking for crypto-arts that they liked.
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