NFT trading grew 21,000% in 2021 to $17 billion

NFT sales reached $17 billion in 2021, according to a report by and BNP Paribas’ L’Atelier. This represents a growth of 21,000% compared to 2020. But will the future be as bright?

The NFT are trending, and everyone can see that. These assets offering ownership of digital elements based on the Blockchain are snapping up at exorbitant prices and multiplying on exchange platforms.

Recently, a token depicting a collage by digital artist Beeple sold for $69 million at auction. Likewise, collections like the Bored Ape Yacht Club are unleashing the lust of world stars like Justin Bieber, Eminem or Snoop Dogg.

Nevertheless, the success of this phenomenon can be difficult to measure and quantify. Today, a report by in collaboration with L’Atelier de BNP Paribas reveals that token sales reached a volume of $17.6 billion in 2021. This represents a rise of 21,000% compared to $82 million generated in 2020.

In total, counted 2.5 million crypto wallets owned by people holding or trading NFTs in 2021. There were only 89,000 in 2020. The number of buyers fell from 75,000 to 2.3 million.

Also, investors have been more successful in getting rich from NFTs. They generated a total of $5.4 billion in profits in 2021, and more than 470 portfolios exceeded $1 million in profits.

The most popular NFT category is that of collectibles, representing 8.4 billion dollars in sales. The second hottest category is NFT games, like Axie Infinity or the disastrous Pixelmon, which garnered $5.2 billion in sales.

Metaverse fashion exploded at the end of 2021

According to Gauthier Zuppinger, co-founder of, the past year has been marked by exponential growth. Some experts even estimate a much higher volume of transactions. Thereby, Chainalysis advances a sum exceeding 40 billion of dollars.

This difference is related to the methodology employee. For its part, does not take into account transactions involving robots or “wash trading”: a practice of simultaneously buying and selling an asset to artificially increase market activity.

At the same time, the end of the year was marked by a transition to the metaverse. The digital land sales and other projects related to the virtual world reached $514 million. The hype came to a head when Facebook rebranded to Meta, and when Nike bought virtual shoe designer RTFKT.

Despite this massive growth, NFTs are also subject to criticism. In the eyes of some, this market arouses predatory behavior. Investors are often encouraged to speculate on prices, and the money raised is often used for money laundering or other dishonest activity.

What about the future? Nonfungible does not expect the overall value NFT transactions increase massively in 2022. Volumes averaged around $687 million per week, up from $620 million in Q4 2021.

According to Zuppinger, we now observe fewer people, fewer buyers and less sales. The global community may have shrunk due to speculation and a loss of interest in collectibles. Nevertheless, the overall market is still very high and the value of certain assets has continued to rise.

More large companies and of financial institutions should start in the market, while the most speculative assets will begin to disappear…

Is it the right time to get into NFTs?

Investing in NFT is not for the risk averse. Moreover, market volatility and speculation by some investors lead to reluctance among others. Without forgetting the opinions of major players of the middle on the difficulty when choosing the NFT in which one wishes to invest. Gary Vée, for example, said in his tweet that “99% of NFTs will not be good investments”.

Although we observe the abandonment of many NFT projects soon after their launch, we cannot deny the bright future of these virtual assets. In addition, getting into trading with Flowbank or other brokers means that one also wants to invest in NFTs. But the events that are jostling and the different criteria to be seen lead one to wonder if this is the good time to start. Here are the main points to see:

The strike price

A16z made a recent discovery about the role NFT mint price plays in expected returns. Indeed, it is the mint of NFT that allows to obtain 10x returns in such an investment. But these 10x returns are also possible with strike price ranging from 0.05 to 0.10 ETH. Also, when the exchange price goes beyond 0.10 ETH, one can expect less juicy returns.

However, two collections of NFTs still yielded significantly higher returns, with higher strike prices. These are Azuki Zen and Invisible Friends. So, investors who bet in these collections are now getting more than 20x returns.

Other points to remember

Another point to highlight in investing in NFTs is the performance of collections. Those that are more efficient have generally made it possible to release between 5 to 10 mints per address. These include Meebits, Doodles and Cool Cats in particular.

With this in mind, it can be argued that returns are lower for NFT collections with fewer mints per address. Such a reality seems to disprove claims that returns are higher when NFT projects register fewer mints per address.

Finally, it is especially necessary to take a look at the different factors that influence the development of an NFT project. The events social, political or economic can quickly drive up or down the value of NFTs. But it is also essential to ensure the transparency of the team within the project.

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