NFT sales plummet 92% as market ‘collapses’

Decline in interest comes as Elon Musk mocks non-fungible tokens

Anthony Cuthbertson
Thursday 05 May 2022 11:37 BST
The popularity of NFTs saw billions of dollars pour into the space in 2021
The popularity of NFTs saw billions of dollars pour into the space in 2021 (AFP via Getty Images)
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Sales of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have fallen 92 per cent since September, according to new data.

Analysis by the website NonFungible, first cited by the Wall Street Journal, found that NFT sales fell to a daily average of 19,000 this week, compared to 225,000 seven months ago.

Active wallets, which are used to store NFTs, also dropped by 88 per cent. The article concluded: “The NFT market is collapsing.”

Data from Google Trends also shows that online search interest in the technology – which allows assets like digital artwork to be traded and stored through online ledgers – has plummeted by 89 per cent since peaking in January 2022.

Separate data from Dune Analytics suggests the decline may not be so severe.

Last month, the Royal Mint announced that it would create an NFT backed by the UK government this summer as “an emblem of the forward-looking approach” it wished to take.

“Unlike the EU and US, the UK has a small number of regulators, and central government sets the overall framework and can take decisive action,” the economic secretary John Glenn said at April’s Innovate Global Finance Summit 2022.

“We can move very nimbly,” he added, though the issuance of a governmnet-backed NFT appears to come after interest in the space has substantially subsided.

What are NFTs?

The apparent decline was seen during an auction of an NFT of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s first tweet last month.

After initially purchased for $2.9 million last year, the resale attracted a top bid of just $280 in April.

Tesla boss Elon Musk, a prominent cryptocurrency advocate, also appeared to dismiss NFTs this week. After changing his Twitter profile picture to a collage of the popular Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT series, Mr Musk tweeted “I dunno... seems kinds fungible.”

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