NFTs in Numbers: A 2021 Recap

Published 31 December 2021

NFTs in Numbers: A 2021 Recap
What a year it’s been for the non-fungible token (NFT). The biggest year yet, in fact. From starting the year off with trades reaching $100 million to ending the year with numbers reaching over $23 billion, we thought a breakdown of some of the most impressive figures was in order. So here we have the NFT numbers of the year, or NFTNOTY if you will.

$532 million: ‘Most expensive’ NFT sold

Kind of. CryptoPunk #9998 was the NFT in question, but the person behind the transaction essentially bought the punk from themselves. In a slightly overcomplicated process involving a “flash loan”, the NFT community quickly speculated it was a publicity stunt attempting to drive up the CryptoPunk price. So we’re not going to count that one.

$91,806,519: Actual most expensive NFT sold

Pak was made the most expensive living artist, exceeding Jeff Koons, after an NFT sale on Nifty Gateway brought in $91.8 million between December 2nd-4th. The NFTs had an interesting twist, where buyers could purchase stakes of the work which would then be combined to make a greater ‘mass’. The NFTs that resulted were minted in the following days and were worth the total number of shares purchased by the buyer. A leaderboard tracked the buyers with the largest mass, and the buyer with the largest was dubbed the ‘alpha’.

16,742,258: Number of NFT sales this year

And counting…

$6.6 million: Most expensive NFT video sold

You may recognise this one from our list of the top 10 most expensive NFTs sold to date. Beeple’s ‘Crossroads’ tops the list for the most expensive NFT video sold showing a representation of the 2020 Presidential election.

704%: Increase of trading volume from Q2 to Q3

AKA $10.7 billion was recorded in third-quarter trading volume, a 704% increase from the previous quarter which came in at under $2 billion (still not entirely measly). Much of that growth came from blockchain-based video games using NFT collectibles.

$220 million: Combined trading volume of Nike, Adidas and Pepsi

2021 was the year where we saw mainstream brands dipping their toes into the NFT world. Nike acquired RTFKT which boasts the avatar project CloneX, by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami. Adidas launched 30,000 NFTs in partnership with BAYC (Bored Ape Yacht Club), Gmoney and PUNKS Comics. Pepsi launched their ‘Mic Drop’ collection and most importantly, more mainstream audiences began to understand and appreciate the NFT space.

$4 million: The most expensive meme NFT ever sold

The iconic “Doge” image which sold for $4 million. Source: Instagram @brendansdogespamThe iconic “Doge” image which sold for $4 million. Source: Instagram @brendansdogespam

You may be familiar with this image of a Shiba Inu which became one of the most iconic memes, bagging Know Your Meme’s prestigious ‘Meme of the Decade’ award in 2019. The owner of the ‘doge’, Atsuko Sato, put the image up for auction for 3 days and sold it for 1,696.9 ETH (approx $4 million at the time).

39,000: Number of unique NFT buyers in March

Not too shabby considering the majority of 2020 saw fewer than 10,000 unique buyers per month.

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