NFT sales volume soared to $2.5 billion in the first half of 2021, as artists, celebrities and even Twitter and CNN joined the crypto craze

NFT art
  • NFT sales volume skyrocketed to $2.5 billion in the first half of 2021, according to DappRadar.
  • Artists, celebrities and organizations like Twitter, CNN and the US Space Force jumped onto the trend.
  • The NFT market has however cooled off since the height of the frenzy in these tokens back in May.
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Sales volumes for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) soared to a record $2.5 billion in the first half of 2021, according to DappRadar, as artists, celebrities, companies and even government institutions have joined the crypto craze and created a red-hot market for digital tokens.

Digital analytics firm DappRadar, which tracks data on decentralized applications including NFT sales platforms that are based on blockchain networks like ethereum, noted the explosion in growth, particuarly over the last 12 months.

“In 2020, the total amount of volume generated by the NFT collections tracked by DappRadar equaled a staggering $94,862,807. Even more impressive is that by the end of Q2 2021 that figure stands at almost $2.5 billion dollars.”, the company said in a blog post last week.

NFTs are digital tokens that can represent real-life assets such as artworks, music, video, games and even virtual land. Unlike a typical cryptocurrency, they are unique and not interchangeable, much collectible items.

DappRadar’s data shows NFTs started gaining traction in January of this year, before sales volume exploded in March. A major contributor to this boom was the sale of the most expensive NFT ever – a digital artwork by Beeple that was sold for around $69 million by luxury auction house Christie’s that month. The craze continued from there, reaching its peak in early May when NFTs worth $102 million sold in a single day, according to Protos data.

A series of artists, celebrities and organisations have since created and sold the digital tokens. Reddit recently auctioned NFTs featuring it’s mascot for instance, while the US Space Force sold NFTs to commemorate the launch of a vehicle during their GPS Block III mission and Twitter creator Jack Dorsey sold his first ever tweet as an NFT. Existing NFTs, for example a series of collectibles called CryptoPunks, one of which sold for $11.8 million, were also pushed into the spotlight.

NFT prices have dropped since that peak – DappRadar noted that sales volume fell in the second quarter of the year. However, the number of sales per day and active wallets increased, their report found.

“In comparison to Q1, the number of sales spiked by 111.46%, while the daily average of unique wallets increased by 151.86% as well.” it reads.

According to the data platform, the NFT market is shifting from highly priced, individual sales to smaller, more frequent ones as online games which incorporate digital tokens for example become increasingly popular.

“It appears that a wider, more mainstream audience has finally arrived. [ … ] The mass adoption factor is undeniable.” DappRadar’s report said.

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MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor says his casual Twitter exchange with Elon Musk in December prompted Tesla to buy bitcoin

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  • Michael Saylor said his Twitter exchange with Elon Musk might have influenced Tesla’s bitcoin bet.
  • Saylor, the MicroStrategy CEO, told Time that Tesla’s decision was an inflection point for bitcoin.
  • Saylor said it wasn’t “appropriate business decorum” to discuss conversations with another CEO.
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Elon Musk’s Twitter dialogue with MicroStrategy’s CEO, Michael Saylor, influenced Tesla’s decision to invest $1.5 billion in bitcoin, Saylor said in a recent interview with Time magazine.

Late last year, in response to a tweet from Musk with a lewd meme about bitcoin, Saylor said he should do Tesla’s shareholders a “$100 billion favor” by converting the company’s balance sheet from dollars to bitcoin. “Other firms on the S&P 500 would follow your lead & in time it would grow to become a $1 trillion favor,” he said.

Musk asked whether such large transactions were possible. Saylor replied that they were and that he was willing to share his playbook with the Tesla boss.

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A little over a month later, Tesla revealed its biggest bitcoin endorsement to date. It announced that it would invest $1.5 billion in the world’s most popular cryptocurrency and soon accept crypto payments for its products. The automaker used the crypto exchange Coinbase to make its bitcoin purchase, according to The Block.

Saylor called Tesla’s move an “inflection point,” adding that the narrative about belief in bitcoin quickly changed from skepticism to growing acceptance. He said that while it wasn’t “appropriate business decorum” to comment on conversations with a CEO of another public company, their Twitter exchange likely affected Tesla’s decision.

Read more: The CIO of a crypto hedge fund breaks down why bitcoin could rally as high as $400,000 in 2 years – and explains why he’s also bullish on DeFi and NFTs

Saylor pushed back on the idea of bitcoin as an example of irrational investor exuberance, involving enthusiasm about news of price increases.

“If you’re looking for an example of real speculation, it would be people speculating upon whether they can squeeze others in a short squeeze and a small stock, like GameStop,” he said. “Bitcoin is not speculation, OK? Bitcoin is a unique new technology, it’s like the Facebook of money or the Google of money. And it grew from nothing to a trillion dollars in monetary value in 12 years.”

Bitcoin traded flat at $57,380 in early European trading on Monday. It’s up about 95% year-to-date and more than 885% in the past 12 months.

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