Global NFT Sales Hit Record $7 Billion in January Despite Crypto Slump

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While the crypto market at large has been slumping in the first month of the year, NFTs continue the explosive trajectory they have been on since 2021. In fact, global NFT sales hit a record $7.3 billion, according to data compiled by The Block.

Tobias Batton, CEO and Co-Founder of Animoca-backed Web3 gaming publishing company Ex Populus, told GOBankingRates that the continued upward trend of the NFT industry, even amid a slowdown of the general crypto market, is a sign that the NFT Boom of 2021 is more than just a phase.

“NFTs have attracted a new class of investor to crypto: collectors, fans, mega celebrities and retail investors alike are flocking to the market to get involved. People are excited about digital objects and their potential to grow in value, along with things like provable, immutable ownership that is provided by blockchain-based systems,” he said.  As the industry matures, we can expect to see NFTs develop past the high cost, low pixel model and in turn focus more on utility. Whether that’s incorporating NFTs into gaming, the metaverse, or unlocking unique engagement experiences in the physical world, the potential of digital objects is limitless.”

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One of the biggest winners in the space is Axie Infinity, which just recorded a whopping $4 billion in sales, the company said, citing data from CryptoSlam.

“@axieinfinity just hit $4Bn traded NFTs between players sales. It’s the most traded NFT collection ever!Usually, game devs take 100% of the proceeds, but the Axie biz model is different. 4.25% of each trade goes into the $AXS token treasury. $AXS can be earned by playing,” Aleksander Leonard Larsen, Axie co-founder and COO of the company, tweeted Feb. 21.

Jon Venverloh, COO of Hypernet Labs, told GOBankingRates that “crypto is down, yes, but NFTs are anything but.”

“For a lot of non-crypto people, NFTs can be a first foray into the crypto space and a way to dabble with deeper blockchain concepts without having to learn the ins and outs of the more complex side of crypto assets. It’s more fun to show friends what NFTs are in your wallet than it is to talk about how much crypto you own, and I think that’s one of the reasons they’re continuing to gain popularity amidst the crypto downturn,” he said.

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Additional drivers for their growth and their non-correlation to the crypto market at large is that NFTs are becoming significantly more applicable and digestible to everyday consumers, rather than the somewhat niche audience that is interested in the general crypto sphere, some experts said.

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James Aitken, Chief Marketing Officer of NFT platform Ethernity, told GOBankingRates that NFT growth is likely to continue because we have only seen the tip of the iceberg as far as what can be done through NFT technology.

“We have seen NFTs for play-to-earn gaming, collectibles, wearable technology for the metaverse, and more. I predict that it won’t be long before NFTs are a part of everyday reality. From being used as the title to real-life assets, to being issued as tickets to events. NFTs are here to stay,” he said.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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