Despite some ups and downs, the market for non-fungible tokens has exploded this year, drawing more and more attention from investors on a global scale.
According to data presented by BlockArabia, NFT’s 30-day sales volume hit an all-time high of $3.75bn in September. Although this figure halved since then, reaching $1.7bn last week, the NFT craze is far from over.
Q3 Trading Volume Fuelled by Blockchain-Based Games
NFT’s trading volume exploded in the last year. According to Statista and NonFungible data, between November 2020 and March 2021, the total monthly value spent on completed NFT sales surged from $9.7 million to over $311 million and continued rising.
After a slowdown between April and June, trading volume exploded in August, fuelled by the growth of popular blockchain-based games that use NFT collectibles, led by titles like Axie Infinity and Splinterlands. On average, these games attracted 754,000 unique active wallets each day during a three-month period, or 140% more compared to Q2 figures.
Digital art was the second major driver of NFT trading volume, with one Ethereum-based image reportedly bought by Snoop Dogg for $3.9 million in September. However, the biggest NFT collection purchase in Q3 2021 was “Ringers 879,” a collection of abstract, geometric digital art that sold for a combined $5.7 million.
Statistics show NFTs registered a total of $10.7bn in third-quarter trading volume, a 700% increase from the previous quarter.
In October, the total value spent on the NFT sales dropped to around $2bn and then slipped to $1.7bn as of last week. Although far below an all-time high from September, this figure still represents a massive 18,000% increase year-over-year.
The Number of Unique NFT Wallets Soared by 1,400% YTD
Besides reaching impressive monthly sales volume, the NFT market is also witnessing a surge in the number of unique wallets that bought or sold an NFT in the last month.
In January, there were around 15,000 active wallets worldwide. Over the next two months, this figure tripled and hit nearly 50,000 after media reporting the largest NFT sales to date. That month, the digital artist Mike Winkelmann, known as Beeple, sold an NFT of his work for a staggering $69 million at Christie’s. According to the auction house, the sale positioned him among the top three most valuable living artists.
Statistics show that NFT trading activity more than doubled between July and September, with almost 116,000 active wallets worldwide, fuelled by sales in Axie Infinity, an NFT game that got immensely popular in Southeast Asia.
According to NonFungible data, there were over 232,000 unique wallets as of last week, showing a massive 1,400% increase year-to-date.
Newegg to Start Accepting Shiba Inu (SHIB) for Payments in December
More wins for the Shiba Inu community as Newegg Commerce, a leading tech-focused North American e-retailer, announced it will start accepting Shiba Inu (SHIB) cryptocurrency as a form of payment and NOWPayments announced it has burnt over 43 million Shiba Inu coins.
Newegg announced the acceptance of Shiba Inu coin as payment just in time for the end of the year holiday. The official announcement was made on a grand scale with a massive digital out-of-home (DOOH) campaign which was displayed on The Reef, North America’s largest DOOH billboard.
Newegg commerce was part of the early adopters of Bitcoin when it partnered BitPay in 2014. The trend continued with the acceptance of Dogecoin as a payment method in the first quarter of 2021.
To further cement its position as one of the early adopters of digital assets in the crypto space, Newegg added SHIB to its growing list of cryptocurrencies accepted for payment.
“We are always looking for ways to innovate the shopping experience on Newegg.com, and something our customers want is greater flexibility and options, including the ability to pay with a wide range of cryptocurrencies, through our partnership with BitPay, we have the ability to move quickly and lead the market with flexible cryptocurrency payment options. To that end, we’re excited to offer SHIB as a payment option on Newegg.com”, said Andrew Choi, Director of Brand Marketing at Newegg.
The new month ushered in more excitement for the Shiba Inu Community with NOWPayments burning 43,445,695 SHIB coins. The burnt coins were sent to a dead wallet removing over $2000 worth of Shiba Inu from circulation.
The initial goal of the company was to burn only 3 percent of profits generated from SHIB transactions, which would have summed up to only $12 worth of SHIB. However, the Shiba Inu community has been very active on platforms that announced they will burn a certain percentage of their profits. Some of the businesses burning SHIB were Bigger Entertainment, Bricks Buster mobile game and Shiba Coffee Company.
NOWPayment decision to increase total Shiba Inu coin burn was to “stay true to the SHIB ecosystem principles”, the company stated in one of its press releases. The company said it has now burnt a total of $2,059 worth of SHIB, mostly from its own fund and not only SHIB payments.
According to NOWPayments “This figure will rise with new upcoming burns – as more merchants sign up, and the ETH fees go down”. The company also said that the next Shiba Inu burn will happen at the end of the month.
The company is also working on the SHIB merchant directory, this will contain the list of all merchants that accept Shiba Inu as a payment method.
Explaining the company’s support for the meme coin, NOWPayments said “We share a global mission with the SHIB foundation, which is to bring cryptocurrencies into the world around us—mass adoption”.
Bitcoin is a Better Inflation Hedge Than Gold: deVere CEO
The Bitcoin rally stalled on heightening global worries about inflation, but, says the CEO of one of the world’s leading financial advisory, asset management and fintech firms, it remains “a better shield than gold.”
The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization ended three consecutive days of healthy gains, before stabilizing, after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said on Tuesday it may be time to stop using the term “transitory” as a way of describing the current wave of inflation.
Meanwhile, inflation in Europe has ballooned to the highest on record.
Mr Green says: “Bitcoin is perceived by many investors as a hedge against inflation due largely to its strict supply controls.
“As such, it would be assumed that its price would automatically rise when the U.S. central bank suggests that it would consider speeding up the reduction of its asset purchase policies that have boosted the stock markets.
“But for other investors, including some major institutional investors who have piled into Bitcoin in recent months, the cryptocurrency is still perceived as a risky asset.
“So when they sell-off riskier assets, despite the longer-term outlook and based on short-term hawkish policies from the world’s de facto central bank, Bitcoin, like equities, also becomes vulnerable.”
A long-term, high-profile crypto advocate, Mr Green remains confident that “Bitcoin is today a greater inflation shield than gold”, which has long been the standard go-to inflation hedge.
He says: “Gold has always been regarded as the ultimate inflation hedge – but the world is a much different place now. Our lives and the global economy is increasingly run on tech and digital solutions and this megatrend is only set to become more dominant.
“Gold is likely to be dethroned within a generation as millennials and younger investors, who are so-called ‘digital natives’, are going to be more comfortable with Bitcoin as a hedge than a physical metal.”
The deVere CEO goes on to say: “Bitcoin is often referred to as ‘digital gold’ because like the precious metal it is a medium of exchange, a unit of account, non-sovereign, decentralized, scarce, and a store of value.
“Yet, the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is superior to gold as a medium of exchange or form of payment.
“Unlike gold, it is a fixed unit of account and easily divisible and transportable. Gold is not easily immediately divisible, and there are potential issues with purity and verification. Whereas Bitcoin is easily traced on blockchain technology and this is going to be a considerable advantage, especially in cross-border transactions.”
Mr Green concludes: “Gold and Bitcoin can, and perhaps should, complement each other in a portfolio.
“But as the world continues to pick up momentum in its shift towards tech, and as millennials become a more dominant part of the world economy, we should expect Bitcoin to also take an increasingly influential role in financial markets, including in regards to being an inflation hedge.”
MicroStrategy Adds 7,002 Bitcoin to Portfolio
Yet again MicroStrategy, an Amereican business intelligence company has purchased an additional 7,002 Bitcoin worth $414.4 million to its digital asset portfolio, summing its total bitcoin asset to $3.57 billion.
The CEO of MicroStrategy, Michael Saylor made the purchase announcement on Monday via a Twitter post.
He tweeted, “MicroStrategy has purchased an additional 7,002 bitcoins for ~$414.4 million in cash at an average price of ~$59,187 per #bitcoin. As of 11/29/21 we #hodl ~121,044 bitcoins acquired for ~$3.57 billion at an average price of ~$29,534 per bitcoin”.
MicroStrategy currently owns 121,044 BTC valued at $3.57 billion that were acquired at an average price of $29,534 per bitcoin.
At the time of writing, data from Kucoin shows that Bitcoin is trading at $56,490 per coin. This implies that Microstrategy’s total bitcoin asset is worth over $6.8 billion.
On Friday, Saylor tweeted, “Bitcoin offers better inflation protection than gold and is growing faster than big tech.”
Saylor believed that Bitcoin (BTC) “is the only property you can truly own, as well as the first technology capable of granting property rights to everyone on earth and In time, we will come to understand that it is concentrated energy in digital form and critical to the progression of our civilization.”
Despite some countries showing little to no adoption to digital assets, Saylor believed that Bitcoin has a potential to become a $100 trillion asset class. He said “digital gold is going to replace gold this decade.”
The MicroStrategy CEO further said the company is not troubled with the ongoing discussion on crypto regulation, noting that it will affect security tokens, decentralized finance (defi) exchanges, crypto exchanges, and other use cases of cryptocurrency that are not bitcoin. In his opinion, “bitcoin is unstoppable as digital property.”
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