Art NFT sales dropped in the last 30 days, as secondary market slows

By Raffaele Redi

Art NFT purchases worldwide declined by around 20,000 units.

Smartphone showing Beeple artwork surrounded by a range of dollar notes                                 
The NFT space generated $10.67bn in trading volume during Q3 2021 – Photo: Shutterstock

The total number of sales involving a non-fungible token (NFT) in the art sector worldwide declined by around 20,000 units over the 30 days from 15 September to October 15 2021, as the number of purchases on the secondary market dropped, according to Statista.

While the number of primary sales related to art NFTs was almost stable at around 39,000 pieces purchased over the period, sales on the secondary market declined drastically – from around 54,000 pieces exchanged to around 34,000.

The total number of worldwide sales, both primary and secondary, using art NFTs fell down from 94,523 to 73,059.

In addition, the current overall average daily NFTs trade volume for October 2021 is around $38m, according to NonFungible, while overall NFTs sales increased from around 6,500 to 10,900 with rising purchase numbers of Games NFTs.

Art NFTs dominating the market

According to a recent study from City, University of London, covering NFT sales in the period between 23 June 2017 and 27 April 2021, starting from mid-July, 2020, in terms of total volume spent, the market has been largely dominated by NFTs categorised as Art, which, since then, has contributed 71% of the total transaction volume. Collectibles are in second place, accounting for 12% of trade.

“Overall, we observe that the share of volume spent in Art has been growing since 2020, while the share of transactions has been decreasing,” said researchers of the project, called ‘Mapping the NFT revolution: market trends, trade networks and visual features’.

Importantly, findings showed that pieces from larger collections have more chance to be resold, while unique NFTs got fewer chances of purchases on the secondary market.

However, the price of the pieces resold in the immediate two weeks following the original drop was higher when compared to pieces resold within one year of their launch on the market.

“The discrepancy between volume and transactions reveals that prices of items categorised as Art are higher, on average, compared to other categories,” researchers affirmed.

The overall NFT market

According to DappRadar, the NFT space generated $10.67bn (£7.77bn) in trading volume during Q3 2021, a seven-fold increase from the previous quarter, with Ethereum and Ronin accounting for 77.73% and 19.53% respectively of the record numbers.

“Following an initial rapid growth in late 2017, when CryptoKitties gained worldwide popularity, the size of the NFT market has remained substantially stable until mid-2020, with an average of around $60,000 traded daily,” said DappRadar researchers.

“Starting from July 2020, the market has experienced a dramatic growth, with the total volume exchanged daily surpassing around $10 million in March 2021, when it was 150 times larger compared to 8 months before,” they added.

The industry report also showed that the average sale price of NFTs is lower than $10 for 75% of the assets, and higher than $1,594 for 1% of assets.

Interestingly, according to the City, University of London research, on average only 20% of NFTs on the market are sold for a second time.

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