Global NFT market sales have failed to attain the standards it was once known for in 2021 and the first five months of 2022. Sales generated from NFT collections across the first quarter of 2023 totaled approximately $2.8 billion, a figure deemed by many NFT stakeholders as too low for a 90-day period.
Global non-fungible token (NFT) market sales play an integral role in the measurement of the worldwide activities related to NFTs such as business strategy formulation, NFT creation, and NFT marketplaces.
A rise in demand for digital collectibles during the first quarter of 2021 created a buzz around NFTs and led to the pouring of millions of dollars into digital art.
Despite picking up the slack during the first two months of 2023 to make up for above-average monthly volumes generated during the second half of 2022, sales reached a three-month low in March 2023, and the cumulative figure from the first quarter of this year has seen the NFT community turning heads.
Global NFT market sales plunge below $3 billion in Q1 2023
In the blockchain-powered economy, the NFT sector has been known to show resilience during times of bearishness. Although the sector continues to bring gains to holders of several collections, its recent metric in the form of generating about $736 million in sales from the activities of 833,683 unique buyers involved in more than 6.7 million transactions in March 2023 has not been inspiring.
In the 31 days of March, the average sale value dropped to a five (5)-month-low of $109.81. Many industry experts believe this is a cause for concern since monthly sales had stayed above the $1 billion mark in January and February.
To many analysts, falling below $800 million could be a sign of a downward spiral that could see global NFT market sales end up in the range of statistics from June to December 2022.
Globally, NFTs had their best period in sales during January ($1.034 billion) while a peak in the number of unique buyers came through in February (a month which also saw sales of $1 billion) with more than 1 million new traders adding NFTs to their crypto wallets. Altogether, global NFT market sales during Q1 2023 were $2.8 billion.
Global NFT market sales for Q1 2023 were $10 billion below Q1 2022
To a lot of newbies to the digital art market, $2.8 billion in sales in just 90 days is a lot of money thrown into virtual properties. Unfortunately, this number is dwarfed by the $13.8 billion in sales generated globally within the same period in 2022.
What led to this significant increase in sales was down to the increasing number of unique buyers. After beginning with a paltry 33 unique buyers in June 2017, new buyers reached a peak of 1.2 million and stayed within this region throughout 2021.
The peak was broken and a new milestone was created when the total number of unique buyers reached a new high of 1.43 million in January 2023 which was followed by impressive numbers of 1.27 million and 929,713 respectively.
Comparing cumulative average sale values, Q1 2022’s figure of $469.42 was three and a half times (3.5) higher than Q1 2023’s $132.72.
Overall, January 2022 remains the pinnacle of global NFT market sales with around $6.47 billion in sales. Although there was a plummet in this figure by 39% to $3.9 billion in February and 48% to $3.38 billion in March, trader demand was so strong to make the first three months of 2022 the best period in the history of the NFT sector. Overall, global NFT market sales in Q1 2023 were 79% short of Q1 2022.
Global NFT market sales for Q1 2023 were far above figures from the beginning of NFT mania
Despite the 79% plunge quarter-on-quarter, sales were a 212% increase quarter-on-quarter from 2021 – the year the NFT mania began.
Within that period, many of the current projects such as the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), and sister projects the Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC), Bored Ape Kennel Club (BAKC), and Otherdeed from the Otherside metaverse in addition to other collections like Moonbirds were not present.
Despite this, the market was still able to bring in around $897 million within the first 90 days of the biggest year in the history of the crypto economy.
Fall in BAYC, CryptoPunks, Otherdeeds, and others to be blamed for the sales decline
For a vibrant project like BAYC which is used to seeing at least $100 million in monthly sales, about $37 million was recorded as volume for March 2023, and this was the highest for all projects.
Such statistics demonstrate the lack of interest in NFTs and explain why global market sales have nosedived in recent times.
As of the first week of April, the market is recovering, as global sales had crossed $30 million.