Non-fungible tokens or NFTs are soaring in value. Average prices rose tremendously throughout 2021, sparking a wave of interest in these uniquely identifiable digital assets. Buyers are often speculators, believing that if they get in early, they’ll sell higher in the future. 

However, NFTs are a relatively new concept, and many people are still trying to get their heads around the underlying factors. In this post, we run through the most important NFT statistics to give you a better idea about some of the potentially lucrative trends.

Key NFT Facts – Editor’s Choice

The most valuable NFT is worth more than $91.8 million. 

The first NFT emerged in 2014.

The top five countries with the biggest NFT adoption are in Asia.

Men are three times more likely than women to be NFT collectors.

More than 70% of Americans don’t know what an NFT is.

An NFT meme sold for $4 million.

23% of millennials in the US collect NFTs.

The number of NFT art sales surpassed 1.5 million in a single month in 2021.

General NFT Market Overview Statistics

1. Nearly $41 billion worth of crypto was spent on the NFT marketplaces in 2021.

According to NFT stats compiled by blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis Inc., the NFT marketplace grew to almost $41 billion in 2021, closing in on conventional art sales. In 2020, conventional art and antique sales amounted to $50 billion. The closing gap can be explained by the growing popularity of NFTs and auction house closures during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

2. The most valuable NFT is worth more than $91.8 million.

Pak’s “The Merge” rose to the top of the NFT ranks when it sold for more than $91.8 million in December 2021. 30,000 collectors pitched in, making “The Merge” the biggest NFT sale ever.

3. NFT trading volume rose by 704% between Q2 2021 and Q3 2021.

The NFT boom was hard to miss throughout 2021, with eightfold gains in quarterly trading volumes between Q2 and Q3. The value of all global NFT transactions in the third quarter hit $10.7 billion, according to NFT market stats.  

Cryptopunks account for five of the 20 biggest NFT sales.

The Larvalabs creation, CryptoPunks, operates on the Ethereum network. These are extremely popular because they are rare. CryptoPunk #7523, for instance, sold for approximately $11.8 million, while CryptoPunk #3100 sold for $7.7 million – the fourth and fifth largest NFT sales.

The first NFT emerged in 2014.

Five years after the introduction of Bitcoin, the minting and selling of NFTs began. The first NFT was created by Kevin McCoy in May of 2014. McCoy minted Quantum, which raked in $1.4 million at a Sotheby auction in November 2021.  

Over 50% of all NFT sales are below $200.

Not all NFTs bring in millions of dollars. More than half the recorded sales didn’t even hit the $200 mark. An analysis of NFT trends reveals that most primary sales went for $100 or less.  

Average NFT prices vary six-fold by platform.

On Valuable, average NFT prices are just $150, while on OpenSea, they are $500, and on Mintable, they are $900. Top-selling NFTs, however, sell for millions. 

The Nyan Cat GIF sold for $590,000 worth of cryptocurrency in 2021.

The infamous Nyan Cat GIF, which celebrated 10 years since its inception in February 2021, sold for more than $590,000. It dethroned cotton candy cat, Dragon, as the most valuable kitty NFT to date. 

An estimated 250,000 people trade NFTs each month on OpenSea.

OpenSea sits at the top of the world’s biggest NFT markets at the moment and has an NFT price tracker. Estimates suggest that around a quarter of a million people actively trade NFTs every month on the platform. CoinBase has a waiting list of 2 million users for its upcoming NFT marketplace, due to launch in 2022. 

Demographic NFT Statistics

23% of millennials in the US collect NFTs.

A recent survey found that one in three American adults collects some sort of physical item as either an investment or a hobby. Of those who identify as collectors, one in four also engage with NFTs. Meanwhile, 42% of millennials collect NFTs.

Men are three times more likely than women to be collectors of NFTs.

The same survey reveals that differences between men and women extend to their collection habits. Men are three times more likely to identify as collectors than their female counterparts.

The top five countries with the biggest NFT adoption are in Asia.

A poll involving 28,000 people in 20 countries found that the Philippines has the highest number of NFT owners (32%).  The country with the second-highest NFT adoption rate is Thailand (27%), followed by Malaysia (24%), the UAE (23%), and Vietnam (17%). 

Nigeria is expected to have the biggest growth (21.7%) in NFT adoption.

The number of Nigerians who own NFTs is expected to grow from 13.7% to 35.3%. Notable increases in NFT adoption rates are also forecast for Peru (14.5%), Venezuela (13.5%), and Colombia (11.9%). In the US and UK expected growth rate is 3.9% and 3.3%, respectively. 

People who earn less than $25,000 per year invest in NFTs at a similar rate as those earning over $150,000.

Both lower- and upper-income persons share a passion for buying NFTs. However, those who fall within the intermediate income bracket (between $25,000 and $150,000 per year) appear to be considerably less excited, with 94% saying that they have no interest in NFTs at all. 

California buys more NFTs than any other state.

San Francisco and Los Angeles top the list of cities buying NFTs. They’re followed by two other California cities San Jose, San Diego, as well as Austin in Texas. When it comes to states, Hawaii is in second place, followed by Nevada.

In Thailand, more women than men own NFTs.

30% of women in the country own NFTs, compared to just 23% of men. The only other surveyed country where women had more NFTs than men was Venezuela, where 11% of women own NFTs, compared to 10% of men. 

More than 70% of Americans still don’t know what an NFT is.

The latest data shows that most adults in the US aren’t familiar with NFTs. The figures are even higher in Japan and Germany, where 90% and 82.6% of the adult populations haven’t heard of them. Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, only 55.3% of people don’t know what an NFT is.

Environmental Impact Of NTFs

Ethereum’s power consumption is comparable to that of Hungary and Qatar.

Ethereum currently consumes 44.94 terawatt-hours of electrical energy, which is equivalent to the annual consumption of a number of countries. It also releases roughly 21.35 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year, which is the equivalent of Sudan’s carbon footprint.

Ethereum 2.0 technology could reduce energy usage by more than 99%.

If Ethereum is successful in moving from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake, it could reduce the energy consumption of its blockchain by 99.95%. The transition may come in 2022.

An average NFT has the same carbon footprint created by more than a month of electricity usage by an EU citizen.

The amount of energy required to create, distribute and transfer ownership of an average NFTs is believed to be around 10 times higher than on the Ethereum blockchain. The average NFT transaction produces around 48 kg of CO2. 

The carbon footprint of an average NFT can be reduced to mailing a physical piece of art if the switch is made to proof-of-stake.

With that aforementioned transition, the carbon footprint of an NFT can be brought down to 2.11 kg CO2, which is the same as smiling physical art cross-country.  

Tezos, Symbol, and Polygon emit less than 1% of the CO2 generated by Ethereum.

Most NFTs are on the Ethereum network, and NFT industry stats show that the token was using an estimated 103.17 TWh per year at the end of 2021. By contrast, proof of stake networks, such as Tezos, only consumes around 0.00006 TWh per year. 

NFT Sales Statistics

A LeBron James NFT sold for more than $21.6 million.

A statue of basketball star Lebron James sold for more than $21.6 million on the NFT marketplace. LeBron is believed to have personally benefited from the sale. 

Twitter founder, Jack Dorsey, sold his first tweet in NFT format for $2.9 million.

Described as the Mona Lisa of tweets, Mr. Dorsey was able to get such a high price because of speculation that the NFT’s value will increase in the future. The tweet read, “just setting up my twttr,” putting the price at $100,000 per character. 

Eminem sold his first NFT collection for $1.78 million.

Eminem sold his Shady Con collection in April 2021 for $1,78 million, according to Nifty Gateway statistics. The NFT included digital action figures that influenced the American rapper during his childhood. 

Elon Musk’s ex-girlfriend, Grimes, sold thousands of NFTs, netting more than $7 million.

Grimes is responsible for one of the best-selling NFTs in history. She sold thousands of copies of her album for more than $7,500 each in NFT format and a unique video called “Death of the Old” for more than $389,000. 

Human One, a piece of NFT artwork, fetched $28.9 million at auction.

Human One, a Beeple sculpture, sold at a live Christie’s auction in Switzerland for the eye-watering sum of $28.9 million. The story was front-page news on Barrons, the Wall Street Journal, and Forbes. 

The number of NFT art sales surpassed 1.5 million in a single month in 2021.

There were 1.538 million NFT art sales between October and November 2021. Over the whole of 2021, there were more than 11 million art sales, according to some of the most recent data.

Sales on Nifty Gateway exceeded $250 million in 2021.

In early 2020, Nifty Gateway was selling less than half a million dollars worth of NFT art per month. By October 2020, that figure rose to $9.94 million, and in December, it hit $29.54 million. By March 2021, sales reached $105.71 million per month. 

The world’s most expensive NFT meme sold for more than $4 million.

Meme NFTs are valuable because of their universal recognisability. The Doge meme owner sold it for a record-breaking $4 million worth of Ether. The previous record-holder was “Disaster Girl,” which raked in around $570,000. 

Parting Words

These NFT statistics underscore the fact that non-fungible tokens are sweeping the globe, and the newfound wave of popularity is here to stay. Demand for these unique digital assets is

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