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The $2 Billion Month in NFTs

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The non-fungible token space’s marketplaces saw little over $300 million in trading activity in July. Most of it happened on OpenSea, an a16z-backed market that launched a $100 million investment round the same month.

The monthly amount wasn’t the all-time high – March brought in roughly $315 million, headed by Nifty Gateway — but it was part of a series of data signals that pointed to a recovery in NFT activity, notably around collectibles and artworks — or “jpegs” in crypto trade terminology — in July.

No, you don’t need to turn down the volume – August’s NFT market volume is currently $2.3 billion, with OpenSea accounting for $2.23 billion of that total. It’s the clearest indication yet that OpenSea has surpassed the competition in the NFT sector.

Of course, OpenSea’s quick growth has not been without its drawbacks. The market’s website fell yesterday, prompting a flurry of social media complaints — no doubt a result of the fact that NFTs are the dominating crypto narrative this summer. As a result, all eyes are on this particular sector of the ecosystem.

Other markets have witnessed a rise in volume as well. SuperRare grossed just over $23 million in August, up from roughly $6 million the previous month. Nonetheless, the August figure is lower than the all-time high of $29.5 million set in March. Nifty Gateway increased from $7 million to $27.3 million from July to August, although they remain behind its March high of $143.5 million.

The Block Research’s weekly data shows that most of the activity — especially in recent days — is coming from the trading of NFT art and collectibles — think CryptoPunks, Art Blocks, and so on.

The point is that interest is high right now, which is benefiting markets that cater to NFT trade activity — and, no doubt, operating platforms like OpeanSea. Is this the apex or just a foreshadowing of what’s to come? We’ll defer to the crypto Twitterati on this one.

Gone Ape

Bored Apes is one of the most well-known NFT collections today, with interest from Christie’s and a $180,000 purchase from NBA star Stephen Curry. Simply put, Bored Apes are, to quote Mugatu, “so hot right now.”

After that, the Mutants appeared.

Mutants Apes are, well, mutations of the NFT collection’s established look. The event took place on two fronts this past weekend. The first was a public sale of Mutants Apes by the Bored Apes Yacht Club (BAYC), which netted more than $90 million in ETH in less than an hour. Simultaneously, BAYC airdropped “serums” to current NFT holders, which resulted in a mutant version when applied to a specific NFT.

Simply put, the event provides a big financial windfall for a project that has grown into a darling of the NFT community. The company behind Bored Apes (and Mutant Apes) has subsequently disclosed future plans for NFT owners (membership in the Yacht Club is one of the “perks” of owning one), which appear to hint at a Bored Ape Metaverse. 

NFT

NFTmania to Decrease? Volumes of NFT Trades have Begun to Decrease

Although the volumes of NFT trading achieved tremendous heights in August, they decreased dramatically in September.

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Investors appear to have drastically lessened their demand for non-fungible tokens, reaching all-time highs in August. Indeed, the NFT-based trade volumes at Ethereum did not exceed $100 million in the last three days, while in August, they exceeded $500 million for one day.

The Volumes of NFT Trade to the South

According to Alex Thorn, head of firmwide research at Galaxy Digital, a recent study has shown that daily volumes of non-food tokens have been falling steadily every day since the start of September.

For example, the NFT marketplace was about 300 million dollars on September 1 and 2; however, the marketplace was less than 100 million dollars after September 10. On the contrary, the trade volumes recorded successive all-time highs, exceeding $500 million daily on 29 August.

Talking of the amazing peak last month, OpenSea – a significant peer-to-peer marketplace that is not fungible – was an enormous milestone as its trading volume reached the 1 billion dollar mark.

Previously, the platform had a total transaction volume of about $100 million in 48 hours. Moreover, this figure was four times higher than that registered by the Open Sea during 2020.

However, the NFT industry has increased its popularity this year despite the fall in trading volume in September. Athletes, singers, entertainers, musicians, and other notable people who started their different digital arts became highly attractive.

Who Was Part of the NFT Craze

Some are particularly concerned with the mania that is not fungible among these renowned persons. For example, the famous quarterback Tom Brady is like this.

In April, the 43-year old, probably America’s most successful football player, said that his own NFT platform, Autograph, would be released. By doing that, Brady planned to bring together important names from diverse industries, such as sports, fashion, pop culture, and entertainment. They might produce individual digital pieces of art.

Since Naomi Osaka, Tiger Woods, and Tony Hawk joined the platform, his plan appears to have been tremendously successful.

Eminem, a hip-hop giant, also stepped onto the NFT bandwagon. After working with the digital art auction platform, Nifty Gateway, the 15-time Grammy winner, unveiled a collection of his own, dubbed Shady Con.

One of the latest examples of this is the American comic book powerhouse Marvel Entertainment. Firstly, in early August, the organization joined together to release Spider-Man NFTs with the blockchain digital collectibles market – VeVe. Shortly thereafter, new digital collections, including Captain America, Barnes’ Bocky, and Red Skull, were added to expand their not-fungible token universe.

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China’s Official Media Slams the NFT Craze

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Securities Times, a sister publication of the People’s Daily, issued an editorial piece criticizing non-fungible tokens as the hype and arguing that digital assets should serve the real economy by tokenizing actual assets.

The essay also stated that NFTs should benefit the real economy by tokenizing real-world assets such as real estate and automobiles.

Meanwhile, Chinese tech behemoths are capitalizing on the NFT market’s strong success. Last week, Alibaba’s online mall launched an NFT moon cake — a dessert to commemorate the Chinese traditional celebration Mid-Autumn Festival — and it sold out in one day. In addition, Alipay sold two batches of NFT artworks in June and August, totaling 160,000 pieces on the day of issue. Tencent’s NFT platform “Huanhe” was also introduced in August.

Despite this, Chinese technological behemoths have been the subject of antitrust investigations for nearly a year. Alibaba was fined 18.2 billion yuan (US$2.812 billion) in April after being accused of monopoly. In July, the Market Supervision and Administration agency issued 22 antitrust fines to technology companies, including Alibaba, Tencent, and Meituan. The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, China’s anti-corruption watchdog, published an article on its website on Saturday headlined “Set Traffic Lights for Capital Expansion,” demonstrating the government’s antitrust determination.

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Fees for Ethereum have Risen Dramatically

Yesterday, Ethereum’s average network fees increased by 300 percent, owing to the market’s fall and a hyped project’s minting event.

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Fees on the Ethereum network have risen yet more. This time, it appears to have been triggered by two different factors: the market’s fall and the impending release of a new NFT collection.

Since May, Ethereum fees have been at an all-time high

The costs on Ethereum’s network have soared yet again, with a 300 percent spike in a single day. According to YCharts, they were at their highest position since late May yesterday.

On September 7th, the average costs for Ethereum were $21.29.

The entire community took notice, with many claiming that there are cheaper choices available from competing businesses.

What Caused the ETH Fees to Increase?

Two factors could be at the root of the exorbitant ETH expenses. The marketwide collapse that we saw yesterday seems to be the most obvious explanation right off the bat.

Over $2.5 billion in long and short positions were wiped out in just a few hours. This occurred as Bitcoin fell below $43,000 and Ethereum fell below $3,000.

Such events trigger panic sellers. People are flocking to exchanges, especially decentralized ones like Uniswap, to liquidate their holdings and avoid more losses. As a result, the number of requests for transactions rises, pushing up the ETH fees. It occurs whenever there is a sudden movement in any direction.

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