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$8.2 Million Worth Of Crypto Artwork Sold In December 2020

The non-fungible token-based art scene ended the 2020 year with a bang, as the monthly trading volume more than tripled in December.

IN BREIF:

  • Token-based artworks exceeded $8.2 million in total trading volume for the month of December.
  • The December increase is three times more than the November trading volume.
  • The crypto art scene also had its largest number of monthly active collectors.

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A $8.2 million non-fungible token-based (NFT) trading volume record was set in December of 2020. According to analytics platform CryptoArt.io this was a new record for the blockchain-based art market. CryptoArt tracks various metrics across major NFT art marketplaces such as Nifty Gateway, SuperRare, MakersPlace, Async Art, and KnownOrigin. Among them, Nifty Gateway leads the pack, with roughly $6.67 million worth of crypto artworks sold in December. It is followed by SuperRare, which saw a trading volume of around $1.12 million last month. Notably, December’s figures represent a sharp surge compared to November—when “only” around $2.6 million worth of artworks were traded. This can be partly explained by the ongoing price rally across all crypto markets. Since NFTs are usually bought with Ethereum, the higher the price of ETH gets, the bigger the dollar value is in total. Likewise, December saw the highest number of monthly active collectors so far—414 compared to 258 in November.

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The Rise Of NFT Art

Unlike “common” crypto tokens, NFTs contain identifying information recorded in their smart contracts. This data makes each NFT different and unique as well as not interchangeable and scarce. Therefore, if an artist “embeds” his work into an NFT, it will remain one-of-a-kind as such.

Crypto art based around non-fungible tokens has exploded in 2020—along with its prices. In July 2020, “Picasso’s Bull,” a crypto artwork by Trevor Jones, sold for a then-record-breaking $55,555 on the crypto art marketplace Nifty Gateway. In December, one investor paid $777,777 for a collection of digital art by Mike “Beeple” Winkelmann—with one second on the clock. In total, Beeple’s art sale raised $3.5 million; at one point selling $582,000 worth of art in just five
minutes. Other sales in 2020 saw a piece of a virtual F1 race track auctioned off for $223,000 while another collector paid $65,000 for a Kylian Mbappé trading card in a blockchain-based fantasy football game.

“The NFT space has been on a meteoric rise over the last year and we viewed a sale like this as inevitable. It may have been one of the firsts of its kind, but it certainly won’t be the last,” Tommy Kimmelman, head of artist relations at Nifty Gateway, told Decrypt at the time. As the market matures, new innovations are cropping up; for example, Singapore-based platform NIFTEX enables users to create ERC-20 tokens representing fractions of NFTs, which can then be traded on decentralized exchanges such as Uniswap.

With NFTs booming in 2020, it looks like they have a bright future ahead of them in 2021.

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