Chainalysis, a company that analyses blockchain technology and provides data to banks and governments, has launched a detailed NFT market report, with some useful insights into the space. The headline stat is that, in 2021, “users have sent at least $26.9 billion worth of cryptocurrency to ERC-721 and ERC-1155 contracts, the two types of Ethereum smart contracts associated with NFT marketplaces and collections.” OpenSea is the most popular marketplace by a long way: receiving over $16 billion worth of cryptocurrency in 2021.
Music NFTs don’t get much of a look-in: this is still a visual art-based domain. If Music Ally was to boil down the wider analysis, it would be this: cartoon animals = $billions. The top “collections” include CyberKongs, CrypToadz, Pudgy Penguins, and of course, Bored Apes. The most popular collection was the originator of the NFT phenomenon, CryptoPunks, with over $3 billion in transactions – but notable were huge spikes in transaction volume around the launch dates of the spin-off Mutant Apes.
Success in crypto world is measured by hard value: the more something is worth, the more successful the project, it’s assumed. But also notable is that the “vast majority of NFT transactions are at the retail level,” which means below $10,000 worth of cryptocurrency – as opposed to hardcore NFT collector-sized transactions, (between $10,000 and $100,000), which account for 19% of all NFT transactions.
It points NFTs towards possibly becoming a semi-expensive – but not unaffordable – hobby; the equivalent perhaps of superfans buying £250 album box-sets for the extras like limited-edition books, photos – and the fan status.