The Rise of NFTs | Footprint Analytics Annual Report 2021

NFTs are becoming a major player in the gaming industry. The rise of games that incorporate blockchain technology is potentially disruptive for traditional game publishers and developers. But what does it mean for businesses?

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The “nfts art” is a type of cryptocurrency that has been gaining traction in recent years. The “nfts art” was first introduced in the year 2021 and it is predicted to grow exponentially.

Although the idea of NFTs has been around since 2014, they remained mostly unnoticed until last year, when they all of a sudden grabbed headlines throughout the globe. NFTs are drawing people in with intriguing artwork, profitable games, and even some useful use cases, much as DeFi did for the crypto industry.

An NFT is what?

Non-fungible tokens, often known as NFTs, are exclusive, non-splittable tokens that may decentralizedly represent ownership of a digital asset. They are a ground-breaking internet invention because of their intrinsic resistance to counterfeiting and the openness of the transaction process.

What took place in 2021?

NFTs had a rollercoaster journey in 2018 as institutional investors first became interested in them, then crypto enthusiasts. In order to determine which projects did the best, let’s examine NFT data from 2021.

Before 2022, Footprint Analytics – Quarterly Trading Volume and Traders

Footprint Analytics estimates that by the end of 2021, the total trading volume of NFTs increased by 200x to $21.5 billion from $120 million the year before. Additionally, the number of dealers has increased 50 times, from fewer than 1.3 million to 65.4 million by 2021.

1642175348_599_The-Rise-of-NFTs-Footprint-Analytics-Annual-Report-2021NFT Monthly Trading Volume by Projects in 2021, by Footprint Analytics

  • NFTs began expanding in Q1 and Q2 as a result of the adoption by artists, sports leagues, and celebrities. 

More money was made in February from video highlights sold as NFTs thanks to Dapper Labs’ NBA Top Shot, which generated $226 million. Other types of cryptocurrency investors took note of this.

Footprint Analytics - NBA Top Shot Trading Volume & Trader in 2021Footprint Analytics – NBA Top Shot Trading Volume & Trader in 2021

Third-largest single sale for a living artist, Beeple’s digital piece First 5000 Days sold for $69 million on March 11 at a Christie’s auction.


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The first tweet from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in 2006 that was sold as an NFT for nearly $2.9 million on March 23 contributed to the surge.


Other avatar initiatives, such as the 2D CryptoPunks and 3D Meebits from Larva Labs, have attracted media attention and popular interest.

  • GameFi began to dominate the NFT market in Q3

With 2.8 million traders, Axie Infinity, the first revolutionary play-to-earn blockchain game, attained a transaction volume of $1.8 billion in August, an increase of 1,500 percent from January 2021.

Footprint Analytics - Axie Infinity Trading Volume & Trader in 2021Footprint Analytics – Axie Infinity Trading Volume & Trader in 2021

More astonishingly, the price of the game’s token, AXS, defied all accepted cryptocurrency patterns and diverged from BTC price swings. 

Footprint Analytics - AXS PriceAXS Price Footprint Analytics

A produced art project called Art Blocks saw its trading volume hit a record high of $587 million in August, and there were more than 20,000 traders overall. Since then, in terms of sales, it has grown to be the biggest NFT art undertaking.

Footprint Analytics - Art Blocks Trading Volume & Trader in 2021Footprint Analytics – Art Blocks Trading Volume & Trader in 2021

Loot would seem to be the most bizarre illustration of a successful NFT initiative to outsiders. Loot NFTs, in contrast to most others, which offer tokenized graphics, is made up of 8 lines of text spelling out randomly generated items of fantasy adventurer gear, such as war hammers, dragonskin belts, amulets, and so on. Owners cannot yet apply these to any playing game. 

Footprint Analytics - Loot Trading Volume & Trader in 2021Footprint Analytics – Loot Trading Volume & Trader in 2021

The Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) gained a lot of celebrity fans. NBA player Stephen Curry purchased a Bored Ape for $180,000 in August. Shaquille O’Neal, Logan Paul, and Jimmy Fallon are among other owners.

Footprint Analytics - BAYC Trading Volume & Trader in 2021Footprint Analytics – BAYC Trading Volume & Trader in 2021

  • Metaverse Real Estate Became Expensive in Q4

Facebook declared on October 28 that it will change its name to Meta and fully embrace the metaverse. 

This stretched the public’s imagination and led to speculative discussions about the potential value of digital real estate. By the end of 2021, an increasing number of investment firms started purchasing property in online communities like The Sandbox and Decentraland. On November 23, $2.43 million was paid for a digital plot of property in Decentraland.

vFootprint Analytics - The Sandbox Trading Volume & Trader in 2021Footprint Analytics – The Sandbox Trading Volume & Trader in 2021

Summary of NFT 2021: Numerous booms, but little sustained momentum 

NFT was selected as the 2021 Word of the Year by Collins Dictionary. 

True, price increases in a number of NFT subcategories helped to significantly increase awareness of this new digital technology. However, none of them were able to maintain pace for more than a few months until investors discovered a new potential market, which caused trade volume in the earlier period to decline.

In 2022, how will NFTs change?

  • Additional Sectors and Brands

Numerous companies, including Nike, Adidas, Budweiser, and Disney, started to compete in the NFT market in the second half of 2021. More corporations and brands are probably going to join in.

  • Creators Will Concentrate on Resolving Actual Issues

NFTs are still a fairly new segment of the cryptocurrency market. Creators will struggle to find solutions to real-world issues like copyright claims and digital asset validation as trade volume, asset liquidity, and the number of new users increase along with Web 3.0 infrastructure. 

  • Real Assets Will Supplement NFTs

For a variety of reasons, several cutting-edge businesses have already begun employing blockchain technology to issue actual assets on-chain. For instance, music NFTs are beginning to alter how musicians get money from their creations. 

Advantages for Reader

1641897617_272_Footprint-Analytics-After-BTCs-Big-Rally-in-2021-Whats-inClick this link to obtain a free 7-day trial of Footprint Analytics from January 11 through January 25, 2022! Only new users!

Date & Author: 14th Jan, 2022, [email protected]

Data Source: 2021 NFT Annual Report Dashboard via Footprint Analytics 

Part of our Year in Review series is this article.

Footprint Analytics: What is it?

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Posted in: NFTs, Analysis


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