In 2021, NFTs went from an underground phenomenon, to the thing that everyone was talking about. Huge deals were made, billions of dollars were traded, and the NFT hit the mainstream.
2022 has looked a little different, as the market took an almost inevitable downturn. Check out these 33 fascinating NFT statistics for 2022, to find out more.
1. The NFT Market Is Expected To Grow To 80 Billion USD By 2025
Reports estimate that the NFT market might reach a value of over 80 billion USD by 2025. This is thought to be driven by a greater awareness of NFTs, and more brands moving into the digital space.
As digital assets become of ever increasing interest, the value of NFTs could potentially grow and grow.
2. OpenSea Is Valued At 13.3 Billion USD
Since its emergence in 2017, three years after the first NFT was minted, OpenSea has become the biggest player in the NFT marketplace. Having been valued at $1.5 billion in July 2021, it was announced in 2022 that OpenSea is now worth an incredible $13.3 billion.
3. Over 1 Million People Are Signed Up To OpenSea
So, how did OpenSea get its massive $13.3 billion valuation? OpenSea is the largest NFT marketplace, hosting over 1 million users in 2022. According to Alexa, OpenSea has been visited over 121.7 million times, and registered over $2 billion in trading volume.
And despite hosting a notoriously confusing technology, OpenSea is surprisingly easy to navigate.
4. NFT Trading Topped 17 Billion USD In 2021
2021 was undoubtedly the year that NFTs hit the mainstream. Almost overnight, they went from being a rarely understood internet phenomenon, to being a global news story.
In fact, NFT trading in 2021 increased by 21,000% from 2020. NFTs also generated higher profits in 2021 than ever before, with sales rising to $17 billion. The total of NFT trading in 2020? $82 million.
5. Ethereum Is The Biggest Cryptocurrency In The NFT Space
If you want to trade NFTs, the chances are you’ll be using Ethereum. This cryptocurrency has become almost synonymous with the NFT, as the first NFTs were created on the Ethereum blockchain.
A highly secure network, major NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea, Nifty, and Rarible all run on Ethereum. As of May 2022, total Ethereum sales were around $27.50 billion.
6. Other Popular Cryptocurrencies Lag Behind
Ethereum isn’t the only cryptocurrency you can use to trade NFTs, but it is by far the biggest. Other popular blockchains include Ronin, Solana, Flow, and Polygon.
However, total sales from these platforms trail Ethereum. Solana, for example, has only one tenth of the sales volume as Ethereum. While other cryptocurrencies have come and gone, Ethereum has maintained its market position.
7. Over 360,000 People Own NFTs
Over 360,000 people are thought to own NFTs, with 9% of collectors holding 20% of the market value. However, it’s tough to understand the actual figures in any detail.
Single collectors can own multiple wallets, and for the most part, statistics are measured in wallets. The actual number of NFT owners is impossible to determine to any specific degree.
8. And 29% Of U.S. Adults Are Interested In NFTs
While it’s difficult to understand the exact number of people who own NFTs, we do know roughly how many people are interested in getting involved. 29% of U.S. Adults expressed an interest in joining the NFT market, and 9% of them said their interest was particularly high.
These numbers are close to the number of U.S. Americans who consider themselves a collector of physical objects.
9. The Most Expensive NFT Sold For $91,800,000
NFTs rounded off their most impressive year to date with a record breaking sale at the tail end of 2021. Digital artist Pak sold their latest creation, known as The Merge, for $91,800,000 on Nifty Gateway.
However, whether this can qualify as the most expensive NFT sold is a matter of some debate. The Merge was sold as 312,686 units to 28,983 collectors.
If we’re being picky about single artworks vs art collections, Beeple’s Every Day, which sold for $69,346,250, is still the most expensive NFT ever sold.
10. The Most Expensive NFT Meme Sold For $4,000,000
If you’ve spent much time on the internet in the past several years, you’ve probably come across the iconic Doge. An excitable Shiba Inu known as Kabosu, the Doge image quickly became an internet legend thanks to a very relatable facial expression.
Which is how an NFT of the famous internet “Doge” was able to sell for $4,000,000 in June 2021.
11. CryptoPunks Are The Biggest NFT Sellers
Scroll through the list of the most expensive NFTs ever sold, and you might notice a certain pixelated style crop up repeatedly. These are CryptoPunks, and they’re some of the biggest sellers in the world of NFTs.
Launched in 2017, CryptoPunks are a series of algorithmically generated pixel artworks. Ranging from rare to incredibly rare, CryptoPunks are highly desirable to NFT collectors.
12. Collectible NFTs Are Popular
As different forms of NFT enter the marketplace, we are seeing a change in trends. However, one type of NFT remains consistently popular: the collectible.
NFT collectibles are typically a series of images that follow a similar form with small changes. Popular collectibles include the previously mentioned CryptoPunks, CryptoKitties, and Bored Ape Yacht Club. Like physical collectibles, the rarer your NFT, the more it’s worth.
13. NBA Top Shot Has Reached Over 1 Billion USD In Sales
Created in partnership with Dapper Labs, NBA Top Shots was introduced to the marketplace in October 2020, just in time for the NFT boom.
Since launch, NBA Top Shots has racked up more than $1 billion in sales, and Dapper Labs have since signed deals with the NFL and UFC.
14. Most NFT Sales Are Under $200
News headlines are dominated by stories of NFTs selling for massive amounts. This can make getting started in the NFT market seem impossible for the average collector.
But most NFT sales are smaller, and more affordable. The median price for an NFT is close to $200.
What does that mean for you as a collector? Essentially, it might be easier to get in the NFT market than you expected, but you’re also unlikely to become an NFT millionaire.
15. NFT Fragmentation Might Be The Next New NFT Trend
NFT fragmentation is similar to buying shares. Instead of one person purchasing a single piece, multiple people are able to invest in an NFT. They claim part ownership at a lower price.
Owners of NFT fragments are able to vote on decisions regarding the NFT, and trade their fragments. Buying an NFT fragment actually turns your item fungible, and you can trade your piece for an identical piece!
16. At The High Point, 117,400 NFTs Were Sold In 30 Days
During that 2021 peak, NFTs were trading at an incredible amount. August 2021 saw the height of the NFT trading frenzy: more than 117,400 NFT artworks were traded in a 30-day period.
Numbers have dipped since then, although they’re still reasonably high. Roughly 28,400 NFTs were sold in a 30-day period in April 2021, and around 16,700 NFTs were sold in a 30-day period in September 2022.
17. People In Singapore Search For NFTs More Than Any Other Country
More and more people worldwide are becoming interested in NFTs, with people in Singapore searching for NFTs more than any other country in the world.
Hong Kong, Canada, Iceland, and the United States rounded out the list, showing a true global interest in NFTs.
18. And Montenegro Is The Country With The Most Positive Feelings For NFTs
NFTs can bring out some pretty strong feelings in people, but most Twitter users in Montenegro are positive about the new technology. 862 of 1,000 Montenegro Twitter posts were favorable toward NFTs.
On the other end of the scale, Twitter users in Poland were more likely to be negative than anywhere else. 227 out of 1,000 tweets were critical of NFTs.
19. California Is The State With The Highest Interest In NFTs
More people in California searched for NFTs than anywhere else in the U.S., and the state was ranked ninth for the search term “Buy NFTs”.
Nevada was ranked second both for the search term “NFT” and the term “Buy NFTs”. New Jersey came in third, with a search interest that had increased by 488% in one year.
At the other end of the scale, Mississippi, Alabama, and Kentucky showed the least interest in NFT searches.
20. Only 1 In 4 People Actually Know What An NFT Is
NFTs might be becoming an increasingly popular investment opportunity, but only 1 in 4 people in the U.S. actually know what an NFT is. Roughly 12% of people surveyed believed NFTs were bought with traditional money, while another 12% believed that NFTs were a form of cryptocurrency.
While NFT interest is rising, it’s clear many people are yet to grasp the intricacies of NFT trading.
21. Men Primarily Invest In NFTs
The majority of NFTs are owned by men, with the gender gap highest in Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates. In the U.S., there’s a 3% difference between male owners of NFTs, and female owners.
The statistics are reversed in Thailand and Venezuela, where women are more likely to invest in NFTs than men.
22. Men Also Dominate The NFT Artist Space
It isn’t just men that are buying NFTs: the majority of NFT creators are also male. Reports show that potentially between just 5 and 15% of NFT art accounts are owned by women. And of the top NFT artworks sold, the majority of these were created by male artists.
More is being done to promote the role of women in the NFT art world. Recently, SuperRare collaborated with World of Women to emphasize the role of female creators.
23. But Grimes Made $5.8 Million Selling NFTs
The majority of women may be struggling to find their space in the NFT collectors world, but there is one woman who has made waves with the technology.
Grimes — singer, artist, and former girlfriend of crypto heavyweight Elon Musk — made over $5.8 million in just 20 minutes by selling NFTs. One piece alone sold for $400,000.
24. Millennials Are More Likely To Invest In NFTs Than Gen Z
Emerging technologies are typically associated with the youngest generation, but NFTs are actually more popular with Millennials than Gen Z. At least, for now.
Keep in mind that Millennials are more likely to be investing across the board, and that includes in traditional avenues such as stocks.
Gen Z, on the other hand, may be less likely to invest, but if they chose to, they’re more likely to put their money into cryptocurrencies than the stock market.
25. Ethereum Has Cut Energy Usage By 99%
One of the major negative news stories regarding NFTs was the amount of energy used to maintain the Ethereum blockchain.
In September 2022, Ethereum took massive steps to change that narrative, reducing their energy consumption by 99% overnight. They did this by switching to proof of stake, a new consensus mechanism.
26. It Can Cost Between $1 And $1000 To Mint An NFT
Minting an NFT essentially readies it for sale, and declares you as the owner. If you want to create your own NFT, you need to mint it so that your ownership and the asset are registered on the blockchain.
But minting an NFT isn’t a cheap process. You pay for the amount of energy used to add to the blockchain, so prices can potentially rise to $1000.
27. The Secondary NFT Market Is Dominant
The secondary market refers to trades and sales that occur after the initial sale, and this is a major player in the NFT world. Many investors are making their money by selling on NFTs already in their collection.
Rare collectibles play a key role, which potentially hints towards the future of NFTs.
28. Types Of NFT Are Consistently Expanding
What exactly an NFT is already confuses roughly 1 in 4 U.S. Americans, and the answer is only going to become more complex.
As brands take notice of the potential for NFTs, and digital assets become increasingly prominent, how we define an NFT might come under review.
Artworks are the obvious, and most widely reported, NFTs, but some unusual offerings have already made headlines. For example, Jack Dorsey’s first ever tweet sold for $2.9 million.
29. Kings Of Leon Were The First Band To Release An Album As An NFT
As online streaming dominates the digital music landscape, artists are looking for new methods to release music. And one potential avenue might be the NFT. Kings of Leon became the first band to release an album as an NFT in March 2021.
The album, When You See Yourself, was also released through traditional avenues. But fans who purchased the NFT gained access to exclusive content.
30. And Kings Of Leon Sold An NFT Concert Ticket
One of the perks offered by Kings of Leon for NFT purchasers was concert tickets. But these aren’t any concert tickets that you might get bundled in with a music release. Kings of Leon offered lifetime, front row concert tickets to those who purchased the exclusive NFT.
31. Overall Profits From NFTs Are Dropping
The third quarter of 2022 saw NFT sales drop by a massive 77%. There has been a noticeable downturn in both the visibility and the sales of NFT, as they no longer dominate the headlines as they once did.
32. But The NFT Market Looks Set To Boom Again
But signs indicate that the NFT market is set again for another boom period. So, we might be ending 2022 the way we started it: with NFTs on the rise.
33. And The Overall Trends Are Stabilizing
These booms and collapses might seem to indicate the end of NFTs, but the truth is probably a little more positive.
As NFTs enter the public consciousness, and become adapted by brands, the market could begin to stabilize. It might not reach the dizzying heights of 2021, but a stable market speaks of longevity for the technology.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are NFTs?
An NFT, or non-fungible token, is a unique digital asset whose ownership is recorded on a blockchain. An NFT can be a digital artwork, but it can also be a song, a meme, a piece of online real estate, and much more.
While NFTs are traded using cryptocurrency, the NFT itself is not currency. Cryptocurrency is fungible, or interchangeable, an NFT is non-fungible, and unique.
Is The NFT Market Slowing Down?
Yes, the NFT market has started to slow in recent months. However, that isn’t as doom and gloom as it might sound. The NFT market exploded in 2021, and that level of growth was unsustainable.
How Big Is The NFT Industry?
It’s difficult to say just how big the NFT industry is, as it’s so consistently changing! However, millions of NFTs have been minted and sold, and the entire industry is worth several billion dollars.
The NFT market underwent a period of massive change in 2021 and 2022. Although the statistics might be daunting, the overall impression is of a market that’s coming into its own.
Paul Martinez is the founder of BendingDestiny.com. He is an expert in the areas of finance, real estate, and eCommerce.
Join him on BendingDestiny.com to learn how to improve your financial life and excel in these areas. Before starting this blog, Paul built from scratch and managed two multi-million dollar companies. One in the real estate sector and one in the eCommerce sector.