NFT Statistics

NFT Statistics

Robert McDougall 

October 3, 2022


NFT stands for non-fungible token. Put simply, this is a digital asset that is distinctive from others out there—in other words, it is the only one of its kind and you cannot duplicate it. More specifically, an NFT is a code that’s associated with a particular file, and the person who buys an NFT gets a certificate of authenticity, making it easy to figure out which files are originals versus which ones are copies.1,2

NFTs are commonly utilized to show ownership of file formats that include JPEGs, GIFs, and MP3s.2 When you own an NFT, the information will be stored in a blockchain so everyone knows that only you own the original, even if there are copies on the internet. You can trade it with someone who wants the asset from you, or you can list your NFT for sale on one of many auction sites, such as OpenSea.1,6 

Although they’re now mainstream, it’s believed that NFTs have been around since 2012.3 Just as the crypto market has been growing rapidly, so has the NFT market, with people both buying and selling these non-fungible tokens. And, with the steady and rapid rise in popularity and purchases of cryptocurrencies, it should come as no surprise that NFTs, which can be purchased with crypto, have also grown substantially. More and more people are now opting to purchase these one-of-a-kind digital files.

Below are some helpful stats that can be used to understand NFTs and their impact a bit better.

Top Statistics

  1. In 2021, an NFT called "Everydays: The First 5,000 Days" by an artist named Beeple was auctioned off for about $69 million.1,9 (see image below)
  2. The market cap for global transactions of NFTs was $40.96 million in 2018, $141.56 million in 2019, and $338.04 million in 2020.1
  3. One well-known NFT is Jack Dorsey’s (the founder of Twitter) first tweet, which sold for nearly $3 million.1,4 
  4. In December of 2021, a digital artist known as Pak sold 266,445 shares of an NFT collection titled “Merge” for $98.1 million on Nifty Gateway.11,12 
  5. NFTs aren’t always ultra-expensive. Around 53% of the NFTs sold in March of 2021 on OpenSea were purchased for under $200.15

2021: A Year of Growth for NFTs

In 2021, there was a rapid rise in the popularity of NFTs. They became more common than ever before, with more NFTs being created, bought, and sold. And people became more willing to spend top dollar on a digital asset that they really wanted to claim as their own.

  • Big name brands, such as Taco Bell, started offering NFTs of their own by creating digital collectibles for sale.4
  • By March 2021, trading volumes for NFTs on Ethereum totaled more than $400 million.7
  • There were 39,000 NFT buyers in March of 2021.15 
  • The trading volume for NFTs increased by 704% from quarter 2 to quarter 3 of 2021. It reached $10.67 billion in the year’s third quarter.17
  • August 2021 set records. Trading volume reached $5.2 billion.17
  • While NFT sales in the first half of 2020 were around $13.7 million, sales were nearly $2.5 billion in the first half of 2021.18 
  • In February 2021, monthly sales on OpenSea were over $95 million.7
  • In August of 2021, OpenSea hit $3.4 billion in transactions.20

A Look at Some of the Most Expensive NFTs

When you look at the price of some NFTs, it can be hard to believe that they sold for as much as they did. Here are a few of the top-selling NFTs so far.

  • NBA’s Top Shots, a trading card system, has already made more than $230 million.8
  • Hairy, an NFT by Steve Aoki and Antoni Tudisco, sold for $888,888.88.8
  • The Nyan Cat GIF sold for $590,000.8
  • CryptoPunk #6965 sold for $1.54 million.
  • In 2021, the most expensive meme NFT was Doge, which sold for $4 million.16

The Popularity of NFTs in Gaming and Art

When looking for NFTs, buyers can become owners of pieces of artwork, tweets, sound effects, and clips from sporting events, as a few examples.3 In fact, there are various categories of NFTs, but two of the most popular ones are gaming and art. In the same way that someone would collect fine art that can be hung on a wall, they can now buy artwork in the form of an NFT that might increase in value over time as well. Artists can take advantage of NFTs to sell their artwork to the highest bidder. And, if a piece of art is resold, the artists might even be able to get royalties.3  

  • In 2020 alone, NFTs in gaming and art were worth millions of dollars.That year, gaming had the top sales volume, making up about 23% of total sales revenue.13
  • In 2021, the value of NFTs for gaming declined, but those for arts increased.1
  • In 2021, an artist known as Beeple used the auction house Christie’s to sell his art for over $69 million.3
  • Kings of Leon is a band that sold their album in the form of an NFT in 2021 and generated around $2 million.10
  • Popular marketplaces for NFT artwork include SuperRare, Zora, Rarible, Nifty Gateway, and MakersPlace.5
  • In August of 2021, a video game called Axie Infinity was the most valuable NFT collection in the world.13
  • In December of 2021, total sales value over 30 days was around $147 million in the art segment of NFTs.14

The Buyers of NFTs Around the World

Anyone can purchase NFTs, and you don't need to have thousands of dollars to do so. Since NFTs range in price from very affordable to ridiculously expensive, no matter what your budget is, you will be able to invest in NFTs. However, what is the demographic of people that are most interested in investing in or selling NFTs? conducted an online survey involving over 28,000 individuals in 20 countries, and has shed some light on this interesting topic. Here are some of the findings from that survey:

  • Despite their growth in popularity around the world, and the predictions that growth will continue in the NFT market, there are still a lot of people who aren’t familiar with NFTs and what they are. 90% of adults in Japan, 82.6% of people in Germany, and 78.8% of people in the United Kingdom stated that they don’t know what NFTs are. Also, 70.6% of people in the United States and 70.2% of people in Australia aren’t sure about what an NFT is.19  
  • People are most familiar with NFTs in the Philippines. There, 48.7% of people said they didn’t know what they are.19
  • Around 2.8% of 2,001 internet users in the United States said they already own NFTs. And 3.9% of the people surveyed stated that they’re planning on buying NFTs.19  
  • Nigeria tops the list when it comes to the number of people who are planning on buying NFTs even though they don’t currently own any (21.7%). On the other hand, only 2.4% of people in Japan who don’t own NFTs are planning on buying them.19
  • The Philippines topped the list as the country with the highest percentage of NFT owners (32%). Japan came in last of the 20 countries that were surveyed, with 2.2% of people owning an NFT.19
  • In the United States, 3.4% of those aged 25-34 own an NFT. On the other hand, 2.6% of those aged 18-24 own NFTs. Of those who are 55-64, as well as those 65 and older, 2.9% of them own NFTs. Also, 2.5% of those between the ages of 35-44, and 2.7% of those between 45-54 years of age, own NFTs.19  
  • In the U.S., while 4.6% of men said they own one or more NFTs, 1.2% of women stated the same. Therefore, men in the U.S. are more likely than women to own an NFT.19
  • The U.S. isn’t the only country with a gender gap when it comes to NFTs. Men are more likely to be NFT owners in 18 of the 20 countries that were surveyed and compared. However, in Thailand and Venezuela, women are more likely than men to own NFTs.19

The Negative Side of NFTs

Although a lot of positive things can be said about NFTs, and many people predict that their value will continue to grow over time, there are also critics who have made it a point to alert people to the potential drawbacks of these digital assets that come with such huge price tags. 

  • Some critics argue that NFTs are not going to be able to hold their value for the long run. And some even go so far as to say that NFTs aren’t worth anything at all.3
  • NFTs are sold on online marketplaces, which means scammers might begin taking advantage of unsuspecting buyers.3
  • Being able to verify that a seller is also the creator of an NFT can be difficult.3
  • When you buy an NFT, you’ll get a key or password that should be kept private and secure because it will be used to prove your ownership of the digital asset. The risk of losing this password is real, so buyers need to take steps to protect it. Otherwise, someone else might be able to steal the asset and trade it without the rightful owner knowing or permitting it.3

Overall, even though NFTs are essentially just a code that identifies a digital asset and its owner, they have quickly become collectors’ items, with people willing to spend hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars to stake their claim to a file.3 The fact that these digital assets are scarce helps them maintain their value, and that’s also one of the reasons why they cost so much money. Whether they will continue to grow in popularity and usage or eventually become a thing of the past is something that’s yet to be seen. 



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