NFT sales plummet nearly 90% from their peak as collectibles market cools

Beeple V4

On March 11, the digital artist Beeple sold a non-fungible token of his magnum opus, titled “Everydays: The First 5000 Days,” for a record $69 million at a Christie’s auction.

The sale sparked a new wave of interest in collectible digital assets that peaked on May 3, when $102 million worth of NFT sales went through in a single day.

In the seven days surrounding NFTs’ May 3 peak, the market saw $170 million in NFT transactions, according to data from Protos.

This past week, that number fell to just $19.4 million, a nearly 90% drop from May’s record high.

The number of NFT wallets showing signs of daily activity is also down 70% since early May, falling from 12,000 to 3,900.

Not only have sales and interest in NFTs declined but according to Protos, there’s been a shift in the type of NFTs buyers are demanding.

Sales of digital art have fallen dramatically since Beeple’s record sale in March, while sales of digital real estate and other collectibles in the so-called metaverse have risen.

$3.3 million worth of metaverse NFTs have sold this past week, while just $3 million worth of crypto-art sold, Protos data shows.

NFTs have seen their fair share of critics after gaining popularity this year. Ethereum co-founder Anthony Di Iorio told CoinDesk in early May that he believed the NFT market had become saturated, and there were a lot of projects that he didn’t “find very sexy at all.”

Di Iorio, who made his fortune as an early bitcoin adopter, added that NFTs are “not interesting” to him, but he thinks “over the next few years, we’ll really see how it does provide value.”

Despite some waning sales and bearish critic opinions, the NFT market still has some life left in it.

On May 24, Guggenheim cofounder Todd Morley told Bloomberg TV in New York that he is building a “blockchain tower” that will give anyone in the city access to wireless trading, provide a way to announce and showcase new technological advances, and house the world’s largest collection of NFTs.

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