WSJ says 'the NFT market is collapsing' but the data says otherwise
An article in the Wall Street Journal has claimed sales of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are “flatlining” — in the same week that the top five collections alone accounted for more than $1 billion in primary and secondary sales.
The article cited data from NFT market analysis platform Nonfungible suggesting the number of NFT sales has fallen by 92% since an all-time high in September 2021. Wallets active in the Ethereum (ETH) NFT market were also said to have declined by 88% since a high in November 2021.
“The NFT market is collapsing,” the article concluded.
However, onchain data from Dune Analytics’ dashboard suggest that the NFT market is still robust, with information showing that NFT users and transactions are much higher than what’s reported by Nonfungible.
Analytics also show that volume per day in USD on Ethereum NFTs over the week is some of the highest seen since February with popular marketplace OpenSea seeing nearly $550 million in volume on May 1 alone.
Analysis from Tom Schmidt, partner at venture capital firm Dragonfly Capital shows a similar story when focused on OpenSea transactions and USD volume.
Sub-sectors within the NFT market are emerging and while some areas of the oversaturated market are in a downturn, others are seeing major gains.
Nansen’s analytics platform which indexes NFT collections by type show that “Blue Chip” NFTs — established and highly prized brands such as the Bored and Mutant Ape Yacht Club and Azuki tokens — are far outperforming art or gaming tokens.
The Nansen Blue Chip-10 Index tracking the top 10 NFT projects is up 81% year to date (YTD), while comparatively the indexes tracking the top art and gaming NFT collections are respectively down 39% and 49% YTD.
This phenomenon of NFT market capital consolidating into the top collections was pointed out in an analysis by NFTstatistics.eth who shared a chart in late April showing the top 5 collections are driving the Ethereum NFT market.
“There’s clearly a trend right now that five or six of the most successful projects are sharply outperforming while the rest are flat to down,” pseudonymous NFT market analyzer NFTstatistics.eth told Cointelegraph.
Related: OpenSea top-10 NFT projects soar as new liquidity enters the market
The data from Nonfungible shows a spike on May 1 with the number of sales and active wallets that day hitting numbers not seen in their data from November 8 2021 directly correlating with the record-breaking (and Ethereum breaking) Otherside metaverse land sale by Yuga Labs again contradicting the claim that NFT sales are “flatlining.”
It’s not clear why the Nonfungible data the WSJ relied on is misaligned with Dune’s data, however it could be due to the inclusion of sales volume from P2E gameAxie Infinity by Nonfungible.
Volume for the popular play-to-earn hit an all-time high of over $40 million on November 4 2021 before a gradual decline to its current levels of around $500,000 according to CryptoSlam data.
But the collapse in popularity of a P2E game as NFTstatistics.eth says “is an extremely different message from ‘NFTs are collapsing.’”
While the current debate focuses on Ethereum NFTs, Solana is fast becoming a popular blockchain for this type of asset and is the second-largest blockchain behind Ethereum for NFT sales volume.
Last week, the Solana NFT project Okay Bears topped OpenSea’s 24-hour sales tracker for the first time, and holds fourth place behind the Mutant Ape Yacht Club in 7 day sales volume on CryptoSlam with over $47 million worth transacted.
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