According to a new Dapp Industry Report, NFT sales increased in Q2 of 2021, providing further evidence that the blockchain-adjacent tokens are going nowhere in terms of multi-industry relevance. In May, reports emerged that indicated NFT sales were trending downwards, but the market clearly appears to have recovered; according to the Dapp Industry research, sales of NFTs leapt 111.46% in comparison to Q1, and overall, NFT sales topped out at $2.4 billion in Q2 (the report indicates that Q1 saw $2.3 billion in sales). While art sales of NFTs have been found to be significant, research also shows that the digital tokens have been harnessed for a variety of other uses that are contributing to their market success.
NFTs are finding purchase in the sports and gaming worlds; they’re also used as keys in order to access unique platform experiences. In the art world in particular, there’s been an undeniable sea change that kicked off when Christie’s sold an NFT made by the longtime net artist Beeple for $69.3 million, a mind-boggling win which sent auction houses scrambling to cobble together auction rosters which highlighted the non-fungible tokens.
Christie’s, for example, recently offered NFT versions of groundbreaking digital art made by Andy Warhol in the 1980s; this managed to sell for $3,377,500. Meanwhile, Sotheby’s has launched an innovative virtual gallery structured to function with the Ethereum blockchain so that it has a custom-designed platform for the sale of NFTs. In March, a UBS and Art Basel Art Market indicated that in 2020, global sales of art and antiquities shrunk by 22%; this development was reportedly the biggest drop since the 2009 recession.
As everyone’s life increasingly creeps towards becoming fully online, NFTs could offer one solution to a physically-based art market that’s seeing customers increasingly lacking interest in objects. Where NFT sales head next could only make this gulf more stark.