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NFTs are doing better than ever

Photo of: Joseph Stone
by Joseph Stone

The non-fungible token (NFT) industry is far from dead and buried: wealthy investors are spending millions on art, NFTs that are selling for millions, and trading volumes are picking up.

OpenSea, a popular marketplace for non-fungible tokens (NFTs), generated about $95 million in trading volume over the past weekend – nearly five times more than it did in all of 2020.

“In 2020, OpenSea did about $21 million in total transaction volume. In the last two days, we’ve done $95 million. The growth curve for NFTs is insane,” OpenSea CEO Devin Finzer tweeted today.

OpenSea’s massive trading volumes also come amid another boom in the NFT market.

NFTs have been launched by celebrities, athletes or musicians; one of the latest being Mila Kunis’ animated adult series “Stoner Cats” featuring Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Vitalik Buterin. NFTs are also attracting interest from businesses for commercial uses.

Exchange FTX, for example, has partnered with entertainment company Dolphin Entertainment to launch an NFT marketplace for major sports and entertainment brands.

Elsewhere, an Ethereum whale has been buying pixelated images known as CryptoPunks, which have gained a lot of traction in the crypto space, especially since there are only 10,000 of them.

A portfolio shows 104 purchases of CryptoPunks made last Friday and Saturday: the latest Punk was bought for 29 ETH (72,125 USD), for example. According to OpenSea’s own ranking, CryptoPunks were the hottest item on the platform over the past week.

The total trading volume of these NFTs on the platform was about 49,200 Ethereum (about $128 million at today’s prices) over the past seven days.

And there is a bid for a rare Punk, one of nine Alien Punks – currently priced at 35,000 ETH, or 87 million USD, more than what was paid for Beeple’s famous NFT, sold at Christie’s.

According to dapp (decentralized app) data analytics company DappRadar, CryptoPunks’ NFT collection dominated the Top 10 NFT sales in the past week, with the highest priced Punk selling for over USD 5.4m, a new benchmark for the collection.

The cheapest Punk on the market now costs 33 ETH (82,203 USD), according to DappRadar.

Due to several large purchases, CryptoPunks saw its trading volume increase by 1,223% in one week to over $121m.

According to a new NFT ranking published by blockchain analytics firm Nansen in late July, the number one NFT collector on this list is Pranksy, with a total profit of ETH 1,573 (USD 3.93 million), and a total spend of ETH 1,860 (currently USD 4.65 million) – three times the amount of all other players on the ranking.

In addition to CryptoPunks, other collections such as Art Blocks, Bored Ape Yacht Club, and Meebits have seen their volumes increase by 321%, 193%, and 632% respectively, according to DappRadar.