In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 NFT boom was the talk of town during the summer. However, has winter turned its bang into a whimper? A quick look at some numbers suggests this might not be the case.
Turn up the volume to HIGH
According to Dune Analytics, OpenSea’s monthly volume reached its second highest peak since August. December’s volume came up to $3,047,073,775.3 or above $3 billion. With regards to Polygon, monthly OpenSea volume was above $70 million, marking a six-month high.
However, when looking at the number of NFTs sold, OpenSea Polygon NFTs crossed 1.5 million this month, while OpenSea NFTs [Ethereum] were below 1.5 million, but above 1 million.
According to Dune Analytics data, OpenSea's transaction volume has exceeded $3 billion this month, second only to its peak month in August. In addition, OpenSea has more than 345,000 active trading users this month, a record high.
— Wu Blockchain (@WuBlockchain) December 30, 2021
Time for an Antacid?
In its 2021 summary, Arcane Research noted,
“OpenSea reached unicorn status through a capital raise and has an estimated valuation of $10 billion. The extreme NFT growth has contributed to Ethereum’s growing fee problems, creating opportunities for other layer-1s with higher throughput to prosper…”
OpenSea’s appetite for gas is a well-known fact amongst NFT traders and Ethereum users. However, one factor contributing to the high number of users this month might have been the relatively low gas fees. While November frequently saw values above 100 and 150 gwei, December saw more days in the two digit zone.
Another possible culprit could be OpenDAO – a project that promised to airdrop 50% of its 100 trillion SOS tokens to users who had bought on OpenSea. As of press time, 80.10% of this had reportedly been claimed. According to Dune Analytics, OpenSea’s highest daily volume [Ethereum] since October was recorded around this time.
Spare our feelings
Analytics are well and good, but sentiments and press are important too. OpenSea has been on the receiving end of flak from the traditional art community, which believes the NFT giant isn’t doing enough to combat art theft on its platform.
2022 will reveal how OpenSea addresses this question. Adding to that, the coming year will show whether it can amp up its momentum to stay ahead of rivals, including the planned CoinbaseNFT marketplace.