Asian NFT collectors rely on Hong Kong after Chinese ban

By Raffaele Redi

Non-fungible-tokens (NFTs) are still maintaining their momentum on the market despite China’s crypto ban

Although most of the major collectors of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are from the Asia-Pacific area, data on trading volumes and numbers of sales showed that NFTs are still maintaining their sales momentum after the Chinese central bank banned all cryptocurrencies as Asian collectors seem to have moved from mainland China to Hong Kong.

“For the time being, we still witness strong bidding interest from Asia, particularly from Hong Kong,” a Christie’s spokesperson, whose Asia-Pacific clients had reportedly contributed 77% by value in NFT sales in the first half 2021, told Currency.com.

The London-based auction house is planning to release ‘No Time Like Present’ post-sale results announcement on 29 September. The auction features, among others NFT artworks for sale, a Crypto Punk NFT by Larva Lab worth around $1m (HKD7.8m).

Market figures

As NFTs are priced in Ether (ETH), but mostly sold in fiat currencies – mostly US or Hong Kong dollars – the collector market has showed concerns about the recent downtrend of the price of ETH, as the price of the digital silver has fallen by 8.38% in the past seven days.

According to nonfungible.com data, the number of NFT daily sales recorded on the first working day after the ban fell slightly from the 107,000 peak witnessed during the past week to around 88,000, which is still above the September average of 50,000 daily purchases recorded.

On the other hand, the daily sales volume remained steady at around $230m throughout the past seven days.

The ether (ETH) price level witnessed a $3,100 peak last week, coinciding with the peak of NFT sales, before retracing to around 3,000 with NFT sales witnessing almost the same pattern.

NFT auctions in Hong Kong this autumn

As 'No Time Like Present’ is about to record its last bids, other online auctions are ready to go live in Hong Kong, which will also serve to keep the NFT momentum alive in Asia.

On 30 September, Sotheby’s will auction off Machine Hallucinations – Space: Metaverse, a collection by digital media artist Refik Anadol. It includes richly diverse artworks inspired by his studio’s collaboration with NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which began in early 2018, and his long-term research into the photographic history of space exploration.

A few days later, on 9 October, Sotheby’s will auction off an NFT of never-before-seen, behind-the-scene footage from day one of shooting In the Mood For Love by director Wong Kar Wai, featuring award-winning actors Tony Leung Chiu-wai and Maggie Cheung Man-yuk.

Further reading: British Museum to sell its first NFTs of Hokusai works

Further reading: ’In the Mood for Love’ NFT to be auctioned by Sotheby’s

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