The year 2021 was ruled by NFT, short for Non-Fungible Tokens. They represent who owns the digital art while the actual rights are still retained by the original artist.
CryptoPunks sales in millions moved from being news to being a practically weekly event.
The trade volume per week skyrocketed to 1.9 billion dollars at the end of August. This was a dramatic rise from 5 million dollars at the beginning of 2021, despite NFT sales falling each day.
Another aspect that came to light in the current year was NFT being questioned by several people for its impact on the natural environment.
Bored Apes Stand Out In The Year Of NFT
The Bored Apes Yacht Club was launched in Spring. The initial price was set at 0.08 ETH. It increased tremendously and touched the 50 ETH mark.
Stephen Curry, an NBA legend, and Post Malone, a Rapper, updated their profile picture on Twitter with Apes. This shows how NFT has become deeply pervasive and now enjoys an active presence in the mainstream.
Going by the figures shared by Dune Analytics, the weekly trading volume of NFT increased to $1.9 billion by the end of August 2021. This increase came amid the constant sales of NFT every day in 2021.
Apart from Bored Apes Yacht Club, many more grabbed the opportunity and got on board with their NFTs in the market. This includes Beeple selling a piece of Everyday’s for a whopping amount of $69 million.
The list extends to the likes of CryptoPunk and Art Block. Both of them made $11.4 million and $1 billion respectively from their artwork. While CryptoPunk earned its share from CryptoPunk 7523, Art Block sold its generative art pieces.
Everyone in the NFT industry succeeded in earning millions and billions. They were able to monetize their digital artwork and sell it to the interested buyer. Most importantly, everything happened without the involvement of an intermediary or a platform.
The sales of NFT in 2021 were not just restricted to individuals. Two well-established brands also got their hands on NFT.
Nike and Adidas, two fierce competitors in their respective fields, entered the world of NFT.
Nike is gearing up to build its metaverse-ready NFT through RTFKT that it purchased in January 2020. Adidas, on the other hand, partnered with Bored Ape Yacht Club to announce 30,000 NFTs.
The Dark Side
Things haven’t seemed great all the time, with NFT trading volume dropping to 2.38 billion on OpenSea, a top NFT exchange platform.
Others to witness the fall were Cryptoadz, with the market value touching 2.09 ETH and Pudgy Penguins beginning to head towards the value of 0.59 ETH.
NFTs are also being questioned for harming the natural ecosystem through the excessive emission of carbon. A switch to proof-of-stake from proof-of-work is expected to lower the ecological cost, but it is yet to be implemented.