Non-fungible token (NFT) trading increased across virtual worlds in the first quarter of 2023, according to a DappRadar report published Thursday, totaling $311 million so far this year.
According to the report, virtual land trading reached an all-time high this past quarter with 147,000 trades, thanks to platforms such as Yuga Labs' Otherside and MG Land that dominated the space.
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Otherdeed NFTs, which are linked to land in the Otherside metaverse, registered $222 million in trading volume in the first quarter – a 237% increase from the previous quarter. According to the report, one Otherdeed NFT sold for 186 ETH (about $2.85 million at the time) – the highest recorded sale for virtual land last quarter. Earlier this month, Yuga Labs announced the official date of its "Second Trip" for holders of Otherdeed NFTs, which likely contributed to its uptick.
Another reason for the increase in trading volume is due to NFT marketplace Blur's "airdrop seasons and farming," according to Sara Gherghelas, blockchain analyst at DappRadar. "The NFT whales decided to farm [virtual] land, especially the MG Land project, which is an NFT collection."
The Sandbox, Axie Infinity and Decentraland also made the list of top virtual world decentralized apps (dapps) last quarter, though all were topped by lesser-known Createra Genesis Land with $14 million in trading volume. Createra Genesis Land raised a $10 million funding round in January 2023 led by A16z and focuses on enabling user-generated metaverse creations.
Decentraland's upcoming Metaverse Fashion Week has increased the number of unique active wallets on Decentraland over the last week, the report says, and also boosted trading volume on the platform by 63%. Meanwhile, 10KTF, a digital fashion shop launched in 2021 and acquired by Yuga Labs in November 2022, also experienced a major spike in trading volume last quarter across several of its collections.
"Everything related to 10KTF are the highest NFT collections traded this quarter," noted Gherghelas. "After they announced 10KTF was acquired by Yuga, we saw this massive increase."
According to DappRadar, $417.5 million was invested into blockchain gaming and metaverse projects in Q1 2023.
Increased interest in the metaverse and Web3 gaming has been observed across the crypto industry. From traditional tech giants such as Sony to blockchain ecosystems like Polygon, money continues to be poured into creating gamified experiences and virtual spaces.
See Also: Top Brands in Web3, NFTs and the Metaverse