NFT Trading Reached $23 Billion In 2021, Biggest Expansion Yet

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NFT trading exploded in 2021 by peaking at $23 billion as proof of ownership and intelligent computing have made their biggest impact yet on digital art and collectibles. Led by CryptoPunks, Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), and Art Blocks, and with big brands and artists jumping on the bandwagon, “NFT” also became the word of the year.

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NFT Trading Soared

According to a Dapp Industry report, 2021 was the year of the biggest NFT trading expansion yet as it reached $23 billion. The craze has been such that worldwide brands like Coca-Cola Co (NYSE:KO), Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE), and Gucci, and artists like Eminem, Lindsay Lohan, and Quentin Tarantino, have all joined in.

However, “Not only NFTs but blockchain-based games also enjoyed an outstanding year. The play-to-earn revolution, spearheaded by Axie Infinity, helped the game category attract a current average of 1.4 million daily UAW, accounting for almost half of the industry’s usage,” the report states.

Further, NFTs had such a big impact in 2021 that even developing economies like Venezuela and the Philippines have seen a flock of prominent Venture Capitals (VCs) pouring a scarcely believable amount of $4 billion worth of investments there.

During the first half of 2021, NFT trading reached $2.5 billion, which was then considered an absolute record. Still, in the third quarter, the NFT market skyrocketed to a whopping $10.7 billion in trades.


Metaverses have also played a key role in this boom, triggering blockchain-based virtual realities to reach mouthwatering values, as lands in these digital worlds are appreciating by 500% and trading at $2.5 million.

“The tokens supporting this narrative were amongst the best performing cryptocurrencies, signaling the potential of this virtual space,” the report says.

In 2021, blockchains such as Terra, Solana, BSC, and Avalanche truly established themselves as alternatives to Ethereum by offering lower transaction costs and higher scalability.

However, for as much as last year was a scintillating one for this growing industry, challenges remain in the shape of security, as the blockchain cosmos lost $1.9 billion to hacks, exploits, or blunders.

This is not to be overlooked when “the number of daily Unique active wallets connected to dApps increased 7 times, reaching an all-time high of 2.7 million at the end of 2021.”

“The stories about the social impact… appear to come straight out of a Hollywood script,” the report concludes.