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Sales have steadily risen in recent weeks, with October’s trading volume tally up 32% over September and daily trading volumes ticking up each of the last few days. Prominent NFT prices are popping, as well, and not just because of rising crypto prices. And yes, people are spending six-figure sums on JPEG illustrations of rocks.
Are we back? Not so fast. While these hints of excitement are starting to whip traders into a frenzy again, sales tallies and prices are nowhere near the levels seen in 2021 and early 2022 when NFTs were generating billions of dollars’ worth of monthly sales.
But after a pretty rough year and a half for NFTs, the numbers and broader sentiment alike are finally turning around. And if you have NFTs sitting around in your wallet, they might be a lot more valuable now than they were in months past.
Better yet—people might actually want to buy them. Here’s what you need to know about the rebirth of the NFT market.
Prices are rising
Cryptocurrency is getting hot again. Bitcoin is up 38% over the last 30 days to a current price above $37,000—more than double the price from this time last year. And Ethereum is up 33%, as well, with some altcoins seeing even larger gains.
Climbing crypto prices are similarly helping to drive rising NFT prices, as well, but it’s not the whole story. For example, some of the biggest NFT projects have seen escalating floor prices, or the price of the cheapest listed NFT on a marketplace.
In terms of U.S. dollars, the CryptoPunks floor is up 82% over the past 30 days to about $125,500, the Bored Ape Yacht Club price floor is up 67% to $65,000, and Azuki NFTs are up a whopping 107% to $13,200. In Ethereum (ETH) terms, however, Punks are up 31%, Apes are up 25%, and Azuki assets are up 48%.
In other words, owners of those NFTs are asking for substantially more ETH than one month ago, and the value of that ETH has also jumped significantly. Go down the line at NFT Price Floor, a tracker for NFT values, and all but two of the top 50 collections by total market cap have posted USD price gains in the past 30 days.
Granted, there are plenty of projects that probably won’t post sizable gains, and may not ever return to “blue chip” status. But if tokenized rock illustrations can sell for $100,000 or more and knockoff “Simpsons” NFTs can generate millions of dollars’ worth of trades, then who knows which projects will be next to command attention again?
Sales are up too
Rising prices are meaningless if nobody’s buying the NFTs, but sales are rising too.
As mentioned, data resource DappRadar marked a 32% month-over-month increase in NFT sales, jumping from $306 million in September to $405 million in October.
And according to on-chain data on Dune collected by data analyst Hildobby, daily NFT trading volume has risen for five straight days this week, hitting a new three-month peak above $24 million on Thursday. There are more traders in the mix too, with Tuesday seeing the most unique wallets for a single day in at least three months at 16,615.
The rising price of crypto along with grail NFTs selling has pushed the average NFT sale price up to $195.65 today.
That's the highest we've seen in 238 days, when we saw an average sale price of $197.03 on March 16.
— CryptoSlam! (@cryptoslamio) November 9, 2023
A look at sales data from CryptoSlam reveals sizable increases in trading activity for popular NFT collections. Bored Ape trading is up 140% in the past 30 days to $35.7 million, with CryptoPunks up 1755 to $25.3 million and Gods Unchained NFT trading cards rising nearly 22% to $19.4 million during that span.
Granted, not everything is purely positive. DraftKings NFT trading for its Reignmakers fantasy game is down 40% over the past month to $11.7 million, while Sorare NFT card trading is down nearly 7% in the past month to $11.5 million. And trading on Ethereum scaling network Polygon is down a whopping 58% over the past 30 days, says CryptoSlam.
But by and large, NFT trading is climbing. CryptoSlam’s own data points to a 22% increase in trading volume over the past 30 days for the projects and chains that it tracks.
Vibes are returning
After well over a year of broad decline for both crypto prices and NFT sales, these recent green shoots and signs of life are pumping excitement all around the market. Crypto Twitter is full of longtime traders stoking the fires of excitement over sizable NFT purchases, increased engagement, and the possibility of greater gains ahead.
It’s not all good vibes, though. OpenSea, long the leading marketplace for NFTs until earlier this year, laid off half of its team last Friday and reportedly had its valuation slashed by nearly 90% by investor Coatue. And last weekend, attendees of ApeFest Hong Kong—the exclusive festival for Bored Ape NFT holders—complained of eye pain, apparently due to the wrong kind of UV lights being used.
Context is important, too. While a 32% month-over-month increase in NFT trading volume is a positive sign, October’s $405 million tally is still a far cry from the roughly $5 billion traded during the peak month of January 2022. And the —$65,000 floor price for Bored Apes is well shy of the peak of $429,000 worth of ETH from April 2022.
Likewise, Bitcoin is still down 46% from its peak price from November 2021. On the other hand, the price of Bitcoin has more than doubled since this time last year. It’s all relative.
We’re still far from the madness of the initial NFT boom and the peak of the crypto trading craze, but things are happening and there’s excitement abound. And if you bought some NFTs during the hype cycle, it’s worth looking them up—they might not be so worthless anymore.
Edited by Guillermo Jimenez