NFT Winter Isn’t Getting Any Warmer: Sales Down Another 25% in October
Monday’s buzzy Art Gobblers NFT launch might have made a big splash, but data from October shows that it ultimately capped off a weak month for the overall market. Total trading volume and the number of NFTs sold both fell over the course of October, per DappRadar, with Solana trading falling by 50% and Ethereum losing steam as well.
Overall Solana NFT trading volume fell by 50% from $134 million in September to $67 million in October, according to the analytics platform’s data. Solana saw surging trading in September due in part to the launch of y00ts NFT mint passes and momentum around the creator’s previous DeGods project, DappRadar Senior Blockchain Analyst Pedro Herrera told Decrypt.
However, there may be other reasons for Solana’s declining trading activity in October. Moves by Magic Eden and other marketplaces to no longer require traders to pay creator royalties had an impact on enthusiasm in the Solana community. Meanwhile, the rise of NFTs on rival new platform Aptos appeared to draw some liquidity from the Solana market.
DappRadar’s data removes suspected wash trades—that is, when someone sells an NFT between their own controlled wallets at greatly elevated prices to try and game a token rewards model, or help an NFT project gain increased visibility. Magic Eden experienced a rush of wash trading after making creator royalties optional and removing its own marketplace fee as well.
Herrera said that Solana’s October trading volume tally suggests another market “consolidation phase” for NFTs on the platform, and is “more or less in line” with July and August trading figures ahead of September’s pop in activity.
Ethereum trading volume also sank in October, although not nearly to the same degree as Solana. DappRadar’s data points to about $518 million worth of total Ethereum NFT trading across marketplaces—down from just over $687 million in September.
However, there’s a notable gap in the data, as DappRadar has yet to start tracking trading data from Blur, a new Paradigm-backed marketplace that launched in September. A dashboard on data platform Dune points to about 24,765 ETH worth of October trading on Blur, which amounts to nearly $39.3 million based on the end-of-month ETH price from CoinGecko.
In other words, some Ethereum trading from OpenSea and other marketplaces may be slipping away to Blur, but not nearly enough to close the trading volume gap that DappRadar recorded in October. Still, momentum may be building ahead: Blur has beaten OpenSea in trading volume since Monday’s Art Gobblers launch, per data from a Dune dashboard.
Adding the Blur figure to DappRadar’s total from the rest of the NFT market in October yields a total of approximately $702 million worth of NFT trades for the month—down almost 25% from DappRadar’s updated overall market tally of $931 million in September.
Both figures are down dramatically from earlier this year, when the market produced $5.36 billion worth of organic trading volume in January, and continued to reach multi-billion tallies through May. However, after the cryptocurrency market crashed in May, the NFT space followed suit with falling prices for assets along with diminishing trading volume.
While Ethereum NFT trading on top marketplace OpenSea dipped about 12% in October, from nearly $356 million to just over $313 million, organic trading on X2Y2—that is, with wash trades removed—dropped 39% from $297 million to just under $182 million.
More from October
Elsewhere in the NFT ecosystem, trading volume on Ethereum scaling network Polygon rose 46% in October to $10.8 million on the back of Reddit’s Collectible Avatars, which caught steam late in the month. However, trading on Flow dropped saw a sharp drop of 60% in part due to slowing activity on Dapper Labs’ NFL All Day and NBA Top Shot collectibles platforms.
The number of NFTs transacted in October also fell sharply from September, with DappRadar tracking about 6.14 million sales in October versus 8.5 million the month prior.
Blur added about 175,000 NFT sales in October on top of that tally, per Dune, but that combined total is still a far cry from the number of sales registered in September—it’s a nearly 26% drop. By DappRadar’s count, that makes October the lowest month in 2022 so far for number of NFT sales, trailing August with 7.3 million sales.
The top NFT projects in October, based on data from analytics platform CryptoSlam, include “blue chip” Ethereum mainstays like the Bored Ape Yacht Club, Sorare, and CryptoPunks. Long-running NFT game Gods Unchained—which runs on Ethereum scaling network Immutable X—also saw a surge in trading activity in October amid a promotion with retailer GameStop.
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