Crypto art is selling like hot cakes with figures for March hitting record levels of over $200 million as the NFT frenzy continues.
According to data from CryptoArt, there have been over $200 million in sales of digital artwork for March alone. This figure is more than the past 12 months combined according to the data provider. Sales for February were around $91 million with January even lower at around $12 million.
The Nifty Gateway was the biggest marketplace in terms of sales with $140 million, followed by SuperRare with almost $30 million in sales for March.
Digital art is verified cryptographically by something called a non-fungible token (NFT) which authenticates the unique properties of the piece and its owner on the blockchain.
What is all the fuss about NFTs?
If 2020 was the year for decentralized finance (DeFi), then NFTs have taken the limelight in 2021. They provide a way for sports stars and celebrities to generate unique collectibles and fans to own them and show loyalty.
They are largely based on an Ethereum standard called ERC-721 which identifies unique, or non-fungible, assets on its blockchain. They can represent anything from digital art to virtual land to gaming items to music or even traditional assets such as vehicles or real estate.
The big hype at the moment, however, is crypto collectibles and these can be anything from a single pixel to an animated dragon. NFTs gain their value from rarity, if there is only one in the world it will be deemed valuable and can fetch a high price.
Renowned digital artist Beeple knows too well as his collage of 5,000 pieces sold for a whopping $69 million in mid-March.
The Ethereum based CryptoKitties was the first real NFT collection to gain traction when it ground the network to a halt in December 2017. Since then, hundreds of them have emerged, some fetching huge sums at digital auctions.
Some of the most popular NFT collections at the moment include NBA Top Shots which are basketball collectors’ items of great moments from the game. Collectible card game Gods Unchained is also popular and there are other quirky collections such as Hashmasks, CryptoPunks, MoonCats, and Polkamon being bought and sold on platforms such as OpenSea and Rarible.
New NFT platforms exploding
The number of new blockchains and platforms catering to NFTs is surging. Just this week Ethereum solutions provider ConsenSys announced a new NFT Studio called Palm.
Nifty’s NFT social platform has had huge backing from VC giants, gaming token platform Enjin announced a new NFT blockchain based on Polkadot, and Circle launched a complete payments solution that allows NFT marketplaces to accept credit card and crypto payments.