Growth of NFTs, Smart Contracts and Blockchain Technology

Blockchain Technology

When you hear the term NFT, thoughts of the extreme rich might spring to mind. Whereas in reality, they’re digital art forms which can be a collectors item or just something nice to bid for online. A few years ago, the term NFT was alien to most people. Right now, it’s the hottest thing on the internet. Here’s a brief explanation of how the NFT market and Blockchain technology has exploded in use over the last few years.

The NFT market tripled in size last year, with the total value of all transactions increasing by 299% year on year to $250m, following a study by NonFungible.com. The report conducted by NonFungible.com was developed with support from foresight business L’Atelier BNP Paribas and it found that NFTs are becoming an emerging asset in the Virtual Economy.

NFTs are digital that, unlike Cryptocurrencies, are completely unique and not interchangeable with any other asset. The number of active wallets transacting NFTs also took a sharp increase of 97% from 2019’s 112,731 to 222,179 last year. Furthermore, the numbers of buyers and sellers also increased last year by 66% and 24% respectively.

In the midst of this exponential market growth, huge brands are cashing in on the NFT scene and are encouraging fans to embrace the NFT scene as the next digital art renaissance. These include fashion and luxury brands like Nike, Louis Vuitton and Breitling that are creating virtual fashion products. Sports brands like NBA, Formula One, and PSG are also taking advantage of the masses of sports fans that would love a collectible item relating to their favorite sport. Entertainment firms like Warner Music, BBC, and Paramount have also created virtual collectibles.

“As the boundaries between virtual and physical worlds become ever more blurred, we are seeing the rapid growth of virtual economies online, each offering a diversity of employment, investment and commercial opportunities,” explained Nadya Ivanova, COO and & foresight lead at L’Atelier BNP Paribas.

“For all the hype around , it is non-fungible tokens that are driving and enabling much of the economic activity and use cases within virtual platforms, and they are likely to become both an important asset class and a foundation for the virtual economy in the next decade. Investors and brands that want to capitalise on the shift to virtual activity should start by paying close attention to the NFT market as it continues to mature and grow.”

Visual art currently seems to be the most successful type of NFT, making up 24% of the market. Gaming follows next at 23% of the total market, providing the most sales than any other categories.

In 2018, the global art market grew by 6%, reaching an estimated worth of $67.4 billion.The United States extended its position as the largest market and the United Kingdom, where Artistique Group is based, regained its place as the second-largest market ahead of China.These three countries also make up 84% of total sales by value.

With market values advancing 9% over the decade from 2008 to 2018 gives an assurance of an imminent market growth on a global scale for Artistique Group.

A few NFT platforms are doing pretty well at the moment. CryptoPunks is the leading NFT platform in terms of volumes, yet others can also boast strong growth recently. SuperRare, a marketplace specifically for digital artwork, has seen go from around $1 million and $1.4 million in November and December, to $2.7 million in January and already $906,000 in the first week or so of February.

There are many reasons why such NFTs are becoming more popular and valuable. The first, and most obvious, is that they’re simply growing in parallel with the growth of the wider cryptocurrency market. In other words, platforms such as OpenSea, CryptoPunks and SuperRare are turning over greater volumes largely because the price of ethereum — in which most NFTs are denominated — is rising. This would indicate that the recent growth in NFTs isn’t quite as spectacular as some would have you believe.

However, as healthy as the NFT sector’s current growth is, it remains a trivial amount compared to the wider cryptocurrency market. This is best illustrated by the fact that the total volume to date for CryptoPunks is only , which works out at only 0.033% of bitcoin’s 24-hour volume as of February 8 which is around $50 billion.

COVID-19 has been the biggest thing to impact the e-commerce industry we’ve ever seen. Last year, Amazon reported a $24 billion growth which has been down to the sheer increase in mobile shopping. With this on the rise, it’s only a matter of time before NFTs turn into a staple household item.

So it’s clear from this brief analysis of the growth of the NFT market that this is an industry that you definitely need to get invested in. The online revolution started with simple ways of making everyday life simple for us but now, the introduction of NFTs symbolises a new era for art and its consumption.

Should you wish to be get more information on what Artistique are doing to help spread awareness about up-and-coming NFT artists, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us using () — alternatively, you can follow our socials

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