The demand for NFTs is continuing to surge and the NFT market is showing no signs of slowing down.
Year-to-date, within less than three months, the combined market cap of major NFT projects has increased by 1,785%.
Most of Beeple’s NFTs are selling out instantly, with the most high profile NFT being sold for nearly $70 million, and celebrities are jumping into the NFT hype by releasing their own flagship NFTs.
This explosive trend involving NFTs have led the sales volume of NFT marketplaces to skyrocket, alongside the valuations of NFT-related tokens.
Theta Network’s THETA, Enjin’s ENJ, Sandbox’s SAND, and Axie Infinity’s AXS are some of many major NFT or blockchain gaming-focused projects that have seen a rerating in recent months.
Consequently, major NFT marketplaces, like Rarible and Opensea, saw their sales rise by anywhere between 50-fold to 100-fold in the past three months.
Opensea, as an example, barely saw $5 million in cumulative sales in the first week of January 2021.
Since then, within merely three months, Opensea saw its cumulative sales spike to over $100 million.
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Mira Christanto, a researcher at Messari, a professional grade crypto data, tools, and research firm, wrote:
“Opensea supported CryptoPunks & HashMasks. The protocol provides issuance capabilities and facilitates transactions on Ethereum. Cumulative sales has surpassed $100 million across >50,000 users.”
As a result, high-profile NFT projects and companies have started to emerge across various blockchain ecosystems.
The NFT market is seeing large investments coming from companies, funds, exchanges, and traditional VC firms from both crypto and the tech sector.
Opensea raised $23 million in a round led by Andreessen Horowitz, showing the major venture capital firm’s confidence in the long-term trajectory of the NFT market.
Recur raised $5 million from the largest crypto funds and individual investors, such as Hashed, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Delphi Digital to build branded NFT Fan Experiences.
Blind Boxes, an NFT platform on Binance Smart Chain which recently completed a strategic sale followed by a public sale on a launchpad, reached a $590 million fully diluted valuation within days after launching.
In the upcoming month, there are several high profile NFT platforms that are launching.
Moonrock Capital, one of the largest incubators and early-stage investors in the Polkadot ecosystem, incubated Polkamon, an animated digital collectibles game and platform, alongside Morningstar Ventures.
Polkamon, for instance, ran a campaign called #ClaimYourEgg, which encouraged the public to claim eggs on the platform using the Ethereum blockchain. Since the average transaction cost on Ethereum hovered at around $15 at the time, over $1.5 million were possibly spent by users on gas.
The Crypto Prophecies raised funding from top DeFi funds and Polygon, one of the largest second-layer scaling solutions, to build an NFT game.
Refinable received direct investments from Binance and Mr. Beast, the famed Youtuber, to build one of Binance Smart Chain’s first NFT marketplaces.
NFT insurance and fractionalization platforms are also seeing big investments from DeFi-focused funds, which would likely allow the entire NFT infrastructure to improve in the coming months.
NFT marketplaces, insurance, fractionalization, trading, and indices are considered to be the most heavily invested areas in the market.
If this trend continues, two NFT sectors would likely benefit the most from it: NFT marketplaces, blockchain gaming studios, and layer one blockchains targeting NFTs.
Enjin’s Efinity is the latest layer one blockchain to target blockchain games and NFTs. Sandbox, Axie Infinity, and other gaming-focused blockchain projects have also seen their valuations soar in the first quarter of 2021.