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Sales of NFT assets totaled $946.7 million last month, according to the analytics firm, which tracks data across multiple blockchain networks and marketplaces. That’s a significant rise from the $683.9 million figure registered in December, and marks the largest market-wide total since June 2022.
DappRadar excludes data from suspected wash trades, or sales that have been manipulated in some way. Often in wash trading, a user sells an NFT at an inflated price back and forth between his or her own controlled wallets, typically in an effort to game a marketplace rewards model or boost the visibility of a lesser-known project.
Organic trading volume grew in January, but so did the total number of NFTs transacted during the month. DappRadar registered more than 9.5 million NFT sales in January, which is the largest recorded tally in nearly a year—since February 2022. That’s a 42% increase from December’s total of about 6.7 million NFTs sold.
An NFT is a blockchain token that represents ownership of a unique item, and is often used for things like digital collectibles and artwork, as well as video game equipment and apparel.
Every significant blockchain protocol saw NFT sales growth in January, per DappRadar’s data, with Ethereum sales volume jumping from almost $558 million in December to over $772 million in January, and Solana following suit with a rise from $69.5 million in December to almost $86 million in January.
OpenSea remains the leading NFT marketplace with over $495 million in total trading volume in January, according to DappRadar’s figures, up from $297 million in December. The platform offered one of the previous indications of a market-wide resurgence earlier in January, handily surpassing its Ethereum NFT volume total with more than a week left in the month.
The broader market tallied about $25 billion worth of organic trading volume in 2021 and then again in 2022, despite declining activity in the back half of last year.
The marketplace’s jump this month was boosted in part by the launch of Yuga Labs’ Sewer Pass, an NFT access pass offered up to existing Bored Ape Yacht Club and Mutant Ape Yacht Club owners. Yuga Labs blocked marketplaces like Blur and LooksRare from transacting the pass—which lets holders play a new web game—over creator royalty disputes.
Broadly, the Bored Ape Yacht Club and its associated collections led the charge for NFT sales growth in January. Supporting data from CryptoSlam points to a 45% rise in Bored Ape trading volume over the past 30 days, with a market-leading $71 million in sales during the span. The Sewer Pass has yielded over $58 million worth of trading since its mid-January launch.
But it wasn’t just Bored Apes seeing sales growth. Most other top projects that CryptoSlam tracks saw notable increases, with Azuki up 89% over the past 30 days, Art Blocks climbing 62% in the same span, and Solana project DeGods charting a 113% rise.
Granted, most of these figures are down sharply year-over-year. Last January, the NFT market set a new and still-active peak with $5.36 billion worth of total trading volume. But momentum, sales, and NFT prices fell sharply in May as the crypto market declined.
Even so, the significant rise in NFT trading volume and asset sales in January follows smaller month-over-month increases in December, and coincides with rising crypto prices in recent weeks as well.
Many NFT skeptics declared the market dead after the diminishing returns of the past several months, but data shows broader activity and prices for major projects rebounding. We’ll see whether the recent momentum—driven in part by the Bored Apes—continues ahead and pushes the market to its first month above $1 billion since June.