Written by Medha Singh

(Reuters) – He is alive! The NFT market is emerging from its slump, defying reports of its demise.

Total sales of NFTs on the ethereum blockchain, which accounts for the majority of trading, jumped to $780.2 million in January from $546.9 million a month earlier, according to market tracker CryptoSlam.

Digital art collectibles were among the big hits. “Bored Ape Yacht Club #5840,” a cartoon monkey that shoots green lasers from its eyes, fetched $822,730, for example, while “CryptoPunks #7674,” a pixelated character smoking a pipe, fetched $433,555.

According to CryptoSlam, the average sale price of an NFT was a more modest $372.38.

The $780 million in sales recorded last month is a small fraction of the roughly $5 billion recorded last January and $2.7 billion in May, before the market plunged into the must-have market along with much of crypto world.

However, according to CryptoSlam data, the market has slowly rebounded since November after hitting a low of $324 million a month ago, with some traders betting on the future of NFTs in gaming and branding.

“We’ll see another 2021-style run if we can really get the next big wave of participants into the space,” said Teng Yan, lead researcher at Delphi Digital, estimating that there are between 30,000 and 50,000 people currently actively trading NFTs. .

GRAPHICS: CRYPTOVERSE-NFT-BLUR (https://www.reuters.com/graphics/FINTECH-CRYPTO/lgpdknezrvo/NFT-trades-Blur.jpg)


Despite the initial rebound, the future of non-fungible tokens remains shrouded in mystery. Few crypto experts expect a repeat of the 2021 boom anytime soon. Some question the long-term appeal of paying to be recorded on the blockchain as the owner of a digital file that anyone can see online for free.

Saro McKenna, CEO of NFT metauniverse and blockchain gaming firm Alien Worlds, said NFTs can help companies and celebrities engage with customers and fans.

“The most promising aspect of this technology will be that more and more Disneys and Dua Lipas of the world will increasingly turn to NFTs,” McKenna added.

Some market participants said January’s surge in NFT sales was also driven by the emergence of new online marketplace Blur, which has attracted investor interest since launching late last year and announced a series of free coin “airdrops” and other rewards.

NFT trading volumes on the Blur platform totaled 101.2 million over the past seven days, slightly higher than the $100.4 million on the dominant trading platform OpenSea, according to data from DappRadar.

However, in the last 30 days, OpenSea remains the leader with $443.98 million against Blur’s $366 million.


In another indispensable development, the new use of the Bitcoin blockchain to mint a collection of NFTs has created a buzz among crypto enthusiasts.

Bitcoin Punks is a series of monkey themed NFTs and a derivative of the very popular CryptoPunks collection. Some media outlets are reporting that the Bitcoin Punk NFT is selling for 9.5 Bitcoins, which is worth around $205,000.

“We’re going through a bit of a hype phase with this because it’s just new, it’s a novelty, and people are rushing to try to be the first to mint NFTs on bitcoin,” said Teng Yan of Delphi Digital, noting that there hasn’t been a marketplace for bitcoin-NFT, all transactions were done over the counter.

“The excitement will die down over the next few weeks.”

(Reporting by Medha Singh in Bangalore; Editing by Pravin Char)


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