The NFT craze appears to be fading fast, with sales collapsing by nearly 90 percent over the past month, according to new data.
The market for so-called “non-fungible tokens” — one-of-a-kind, verifiable digital assets that grabbed headlines when Sotheby’s sold an NFT by the artist Beeple for $69 million — peaked on May 3 with $102 million of sales in a single day, according to a Wednesday report.
That was during a frenzied week that racked up $170 million sales in total, according to an analysis published Wednesday by crypto news site Protos.
By contrast, a middling $19.4 million in NFT sales were processed in the entire past week, according to the site. That’s a month-over-month drop of 89 percent — and a big embarrassment for NFTs, which have racked up big price tags for everything from old YouTube videos to tweets, and which auctioneers at Sotheby’s recently said represent “a new flowering of human creativity.”
The number of users buying and selling NFTs has also plummeted by about 70 percent. There were 3,900 active crypto wallets on Tuesday, compared to more than 12,000 in early May, according to the report.
But while NFT art has received the most mass attention, the NFT “collectibles” market has proven more resilient, according to the report. Collectibles like “CryptoPunks” and “Hashmasks” clocked $9.2 million in sales during the last week, compared to $3 million of NFT art.
The news comes on the same day that Sotheby’s begins a weeklong auction of the world’s first known NFT, a simple red, blue and pink image from 2014.