NFT sales hit record highs in July as the broader crypto market recovered from a slump earlier in the month

NFT art
  • Sales volumes for non-fungible tokens hit record highs in July, according to
  • The last week of the month noted the largest ever sales volume in dollars, according to the data.
  • The NFT market had cooled down in recent months after surging in popularity and prices earlier this year.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Sales of non-fungible tokens soared to record highs in July, as buyers flocked once more to the digital collectibles market in line with a broad recovery in cryptocurrency prices last month, according to data on Monday from nonfungible com.

In the thirty days to August 1, a record $US363.8 ($AU496) million was spent on 157,801 NFT sales, compared with a total of just under $US60 ($AU82) million, or 111,030 sales, in the 30 days to July 1, the data showed.

The cryptocurrency market came under intense pressure early on in July, knocking bitcoin below $US30,000 ($AU40,862) for the first time a month. But a late rush of buying saw the digital token close out the month above $US40,000 ($AU54,482) and a gain of over 18%.

In the week ending August 1, total sales of NFTs reached $US208.01 ($AU283) million – the highest ever, according to the data. The money was spent on a total of 40,097 NFTs and purchases were made by 15,840 unique wallets, the data showed.

NFTs, short for non-fungible tokens, are digital assets such as videos, audio or images that are built on blockchain technology. They are unique, not exchangeable and often anyone online can view them – however, only one person can ever own them, making them especially appealing to collectors.

Eight of the ten biggest sales of the week to August 1 were part of the CryptoPunks collection – a series of 10,000 24×24 pixel, 8-bit virtual characters inspired by London’s punk scene. They were launched by Larva Labs in 2017 as some of the first digital art NFTs. The top sale netted over $US5.5 ($AU7) million.

Earlier in the year, Christie’s – the world’s largest auction house – sold a set of nine CryptoPunks for $US17 ($AU23) million. Rare CryptoPunks are especially valuable – in June, luxury auction house Sotheby’s sold a single figure called ‘Covid Alien’ for $US11.8 ($AU16) million.

NFT markets gained significant traction and attention in January this year, and were booming in March, when digital artist Beeple sold one of his pieces as an NFT for a record-breaking $US69 ($AU94) million. A series of high-profile celebrities and organisations have since auctioned off NFTs – from Katy Perry, to Twitter creator Jack Dorsey and the US Space Force.