The market size of digital collectibles known as NFTs is catching up with the size of the traditional art market.
By the end of 2021, the marketplace for non-fungible tokens, which are digital works of art linked to blockchain technology, reached a value of $ 41 billion, according to blockchain data firm Chainalysis, which updated an earlier report.
And according to the Financial Times, which first reported the new metric, total NFT sales would be even higher if digital collectibles embossed on blockchains other than ethereum were also included.
NFTs are now moving closer and closer to the traditional art market, where people buy and sell physical works. The latest estimate from a 2021 report showed that sales of conventional art and antiques reached $ 50 billion by 2020. This figure was down from the previous year, in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Art Basel and UBS Global Art found Market report.
To be sure, other estimates on NFTs are different, with separate data from DappRadar showing that the market hit $ 22 billion in 2021. But the explosive upward trend is still evident as DappRadar also set digital collectibles at just $ 100 million dollars in 2020.
And the faithful of the art industry have noticed it. Century-old auction houses like Christie’s and Sotheby’s have sold NFTs for millions of dollars while taking advantage of the burgeoning market.
Towards 2022, the NFT market looks set to remain strong. In the past week alone, sales of NFTs reached half a billion dollars, according to the latest data from NonFungible.com. The iconic Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunk’s NFT collections led the sale, followed by Doodles, the Sandbox and Art Blocks, Insider reported earlier.
Many have discussed the benefits of digital collectibles. Enthusiasts have said they are the key to unlocking the next phase of the Internet, often called metaverse or Web3. Naysayers, often called right-clickers, say there is little or no value in digital tokens.
Griffin Cock Foster, one of the twins behind the NFT exchange Nifty Gateway, previously told Insider that the long-term picture for the market is “very strong” and it is likely that no-sayers will eventually become participants.