- The NFT craze is humming along with $US3 ($AU4) billion of digital collectibles selling on OpenSea last month.
- OpenSea, the largest NFT venue, saw over 300 million transactions on a single day.
- Some analysts see the NFT surge as evidence speculative retail investors are shifting out of bitcoin and meme stocks and into NFTs.
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The non-fungible token craze is humming along, with $US3 ($AU4) billion of collectibles and digital art of all shapes and sizes selling on just one marketplace last month, according to a new Bloomberg report.
OpenSea, the largest NFT venue, saw $US3 ($AU4) billion in sales in August, a marked leap from months prior. August also saw OpenSea’s highest-ever volume numbers, with over 300 million transactions on a single day and consistent purchasing activity throughout the month, according to Dune Analytics data cited by Bloomberg.
Some analysts see the NFT surge as evidence speculative retail investors are shifting out of bitcoin and meme stocks and into the digital collectibles. Though bitcoin and the two biggest meme stocks, GameStop and AMC, are still significantly above 2020 levels, their prices have tended to be steadier in recent months.
Bitcoin metrics have suggested that some of the froth is settling down. The number of active addresses and the cost of funding bullish bitcoin futures bets both have not fully recovered from April highs. At the same time, interest in altcoins like cardano is reaching all-time highs.
“A part of retail has migrated to NFTs,” Martha Reyes, head of research at crypto broker Bequant, told Bloomberg. “Let’s face it, it’s just more fun to collect JPEGs of primates and penguins.”
Reyes was referring to the Bored Ape Yacht Club and Pudgy Penguin NFTs, which have recently gone for an average of 41.4 and 2.6 ether, respectively. For context, that’s over $US150,000 ($AU203,591) for the monkey JPEG and nearly $US10,000 ($AU13,573) for the penguin.
In August, an NFT collection based on the 16th-century Dutch tulip mania sold a pixelated rose for more than $US50,000 ($AU67,864) – a speculative bet on art inspired by speculative bets.
“Take a moment to absorb this. This a bubble that is inspired by a more famous bubble,” one Redditor reacted. “At least the Dutch used actual tulips.”