NFT market alive again and surging steeply

    Non-fungible token (NFT) activity is far from dead and seems to be picking up speed – with rich investors spending millions on artworks, NFTs are selling for millions for a piece, and the trading volumes are growing up again.

    Jeff Dorman, Chief Investment Officer of US-based investment management firm Arca, said on Twitter: “The rise of NFTs is similar to what we’ve seen in TradFi [traditional finance] markets for 2 decades. While Bitcoin is a great asset, it’s no longer representative of the asset class as other sectors are leading the way forward.”

    By Dorman’s recent post, the NFT ecosystem remains red hot, following last year’s decentralized finance (DeFi) summer, which was called an “NFT summer.”

    NFTs have been issued by celebrities, athletes, musicians, and other popular individuals, or even far-famed beauty brand NARS. In the same row Mila Kunis’ adult comedy animated series named “Stoner Cats,” starring Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin.

    Also, NFTs are starting to grab the interest of corporations for business use. For instance, crypto exchange FTX partnered up with entertainment company Dolphin Entertainment launched an NFT marketplace for famous sports and entertainment brands.

    According to DappRadar, decentralized application (dApp) data aggregator and analysis firm, the CryptoPunks NFT collection has completely dominated the Top 10 NFT Sales over the past week, with the top Punk selling for more than $5.4 million, setting a new benchmark for CryptoPunks sales.

    By the rumors spreading, someone buying up pixelated images, known as CryptoPunks, which have gained great popularity in the crypto space, issued by a limited series of only 10,000.

    An anonymous wallet purchased 104 CryptoPunks last Friday and Saturday, spending millions. The last Punk was purchased for 29 ETH ($72,125), for example.

    And there is an offer for sale of a rare Punk, currently priced at 35,000 ETH (or $87 million), which is more than the famous Beeple’s NFT sale on Christie’s.

    Also, serial entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk acquired another a Punk for 1,600 ETH (currently $4 million).

    Another five punks sold for $1 million or more, while someone made nearly $1 million flipping ‘Punk 6649’ within 24 hours. It sold first for $1.04 million (450 ETH) and then changed hands again a day later for $1.99 million (810 ETH).

    According to DappRadar, the cheapest punk on the market now costs 33 ETH ($82,203). Due to several big purchases, CryptoPunks saw its trading volume increase 1,223% in one week to more than $121 million.

    According to July NFT Leaderboard published by Nansen blockchain analytics firm, the lead NFT collector on this list is Pranksy with a total profit of 1,573 ETH ($3.93 million) and a total spend of 1,860 ETH (or $4.65 million), which is triple the amount of anyone else on the list.

    Another internet meme has been tokenized as an NFT. Muhammad Asif Raza announced in September 2015 on Facebook that “Friendship ended with Mudasir. Now Salman is my best friend.” This NFT sold August 1 on the NFT marketplace Foundation for 20 ETH ($49,878) to Andrew Kang to co-founder of crypto investment firm Mechanism Capital. Two other NFT-powered memes include the “Overly Attached Girlfriend” and the “Disaster Girl.”

    Aside from CryptoPunks, other collections, including Art Blocks, Bored Ape Yacht Club, and Meebits, have raised their trading volumes 321%, 193%, and 632%, respectively, by DappRadar data. The leading NFT collection is still gaming project Axie Infinity, which trading volume surged 12% a week to more than $170.5 million. However, the average price of an Axie NFT is $558, notably lower than a CryptoPunk.

    OpenSea, a major NFT marketplace, showed a trading volume of about $95 million over the weekend, which is 4.5 times more than by the entire 2020.

    “The growth curve for NFTs is insane,” tweeted CEO Devin Finzer.

    OpenSea reportedly raised $100 million in a round led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), turning the company into a unicorn with a $1.5 billion market cap and fueling NFT adoption.

    By the words of Jeff Dorman, OpenSea’s daily volume exceeded $53 million on August 1, which is eightfold the volume for the whole of January and 30-50% of the monthly volumes from January to July.

    Even more, despite the May plunge, total NFT trading volumes last week are starting to exceed the March high, with projects across the board receiving a significant increase in demand, as Dorman said.

    Number of weekly sales

    (Source: nonfungible.com)

    Value of weekly sales, USD

    (Source: nonfungible.com)

    Weekly unique buyers

    (Source: nonfungible.com)

    Weekly unique sellers

    (Source: nonfungible.com)

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