A new era of art market reports is beginning, and the first one is from consultancy ArtTactic, which publishes the NFT Art Market Report 2021.
The analysis focuses on the clamour and rise of sales between January 2020 and May 2021 – the hottest months of the crypto boom – taking into account the multi-million dollar auctions, most notably that of digital artist Mike Winkelmann aka Beeple‘s “Everydays: the first 5000 days” at Christie’s on 11 March for $69 million.
Many in the “traditional” art world have tried to understand the NFT phenomenon – for some a simple speculative bubble, for others a transitory phenomenon, whereas some others – such as blue-chip artists and auction houses – have approached it without too many qualms.
As Anders Petterson of ArtTactic anticipated at the beginning of the report:
“In the last four months the term NFT (Non-Fungible Token) has entered virtually every conversation”.
A disruptive force, which has given a jolt to an art market that has shrunk considerably – according to Art Market Report 2021 it stands at $50.1 billion of exchanges in 2020 with a loss of around 22% compared to 2019, but a significant increase in the volume of the online market which has reached $12.4 billion – shifting the focus to issues such as digitalization and certification of works with Blockchain technology.
Hence ArtTactic’s desire to provide valuable information and analysis on trading volumes – even though they are constantly changing even as we write – focusing on collectibles and NFT sales that took place on the Nifty Gateway platform, which accounted for 71% of the $437 million in NFT art sales during the first four months of 2021, according to Cryptoart.io data.
As reported by ArtTactic, between February 2020 and April 2021, Nifty Gateway launched 3,009 NFTs with over 145,600 editions minted for purchase, representing works by 272 artists. According to the report, NFT trades totalled around $305m, however within this market art only accounted for 11%, based on the number of sales.
Total sales in the primary market were just over 139,000 editions sold, representing an overall sales rate of 95.5% with an average price of $1,228.
Sales volume in the secondary market is almost half that of the primary market, but the average selling price is higher, $1,938 per NFT, according to the report.
In the first four months of 2021, Nifty Gateway launched 1,958 new NFTs, compared to just 49 NFTs in the same period in 2020.
The sharp increase in the availability of new NFTs is directly proportional to the growing number of artists presenting their work on the platforms, supported in the drops by a growing community of other artists, collectors and fans where social media such as Twitter first and foremost, Discord and Instagram play a key role.
Now the validation of auction houses such as Christie’s, Sotheby’s or Phillips brings NFT art to a new dimension and a new generation of collectors is ready.
As Anders Petterson confirmed in closing:
“It is time for the art world to get out of the fence and explore what this new technology can potentially offer in the future and how it can be shaped.”