nft non-fungible tokens illustrated

20 NFT Statistics for the Real CryptoPunks

If you haven’t heard about NFTs yet, you’re in for a wild ride!

From CryptoKitties to CryptoPunks, the average Joe has no idea what to make of it all, yet these ‘non-fungible tokens’ are fetching millions of dollars and being traded at high volumes daily.

The best and worst way to describe the NFT industry is through the sale of a clip art of a rock, known as EtherRock, which somebody bought for 400 ether, or about $1.3 million USD.

That’s right, a JPEG of a cartoon rock, sold for $1.3 million. And that’s not even half the story. Keep reading to discover similar NFT statistics that will either leave you scratching your head or pulling out your wallet.

Note on price: We’ll be presenting most of these NFT stats in terms of USD. Just be aware that for the most part, they weren’t purchased with USD fiat money, but rather with cryptocurrencies.

Sneak-peek of the NFT facts ahead:

  • Axie Infinity is the top NFT collection of all time.
  • Most expensive NFT ever sold is the EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS.
  • NFT market surpassed $2.5 billion in sales in 2021.
  • Visa bought a CryptoPunk NFT for $150,000.
  • NBA has their own officially licensed digital collectibles.

The best way to describe an NFT is to think of it as validating ownership of a digital file. Whether that be JPEGs, GIFs, MP3s, etc. If you own the NFT, you’re the holder of something unique.

What are NFTs?

Now, you’re probably like the rest of the (current) majority of people and have no clue what NFT even stands for, let alone where to buy or sell one. Good, let’s start with that.

What does NFT stand for?

An NFT stands for non-fungible token. I know, I know, a non-funga-what?!

Think of NFTs as something unique and non-replaceable. Or better yet, let’s compare it to trading a crypto coin, Ethereum let’s say. You trade one for another, and you have the same thing. That’s a fungible asset. Not necessarily unique, trade a coin for a coin and you’ll have the same thing.

On the other hand, an NFT is like a one-of-a-kind trading card (let’s say a rare Michael Jordan one). If you sold it and bought a unique Kobe Bryant (rest-in-peace) card, you’re now in possession of something totally different and unique in it’s own right. This is what it means to be non-fungible.

How do NFTs work?

As this is a post on crypto art statistics and not on the in-depth mechanics of NFTs, we’ll do a quick high level overview. Most NFTs belong to the Ethereum blockchain, though there are other blockchains, such as Tron, EOS, and Solana that have their own non-fungible tokens.

Now, as you’ll learn in our cryptocurrency statistics worth HODL-ing post, Ethereum is a cryptocurrency. But it’s also a blockchain, and it supports these non-fungible tokens. These NFTs store extra information, which in turn makes them work differently from an Ethereum coin.

Think of the NFTs as ‘data’ that’s minted as tradable intellectual property on the blockchain. And this ‘data’ can be all sorts of digital things like art, virtual goods, reputation scores, and even access to private networks, among other things.

What are some examples of NFTs?

Sometimes the best way to understand something weird is by seeing it in action. So let’s go over some NFT use-cases in a few different categories, shall we?

Gaming: Axie Infinity is a insanely popular NFT-based online video game. It’s essentially a digital collectible trading card game. Boasting over a quarter million daily active players, and over 1.8 million Axies NFT sales in just the past 30 days (as of September 2021).

Collectibles: These Axies mentioned above are just one of dozens of NFT collections. They’re also the most popular collection, clocking in over $119 million in trading volume in just seven days. Other popular NFT collections include CryptoPunks, CrypToadz, Cool Cats, CyberKongz and Mutant Ape Yacht Club.

Domain Names: Decentralized domain name services are now allowing users to present a much more memorable address to the world. Similar to how website domain names server instead of the actual IP address with numbers. Except you don’t go to GoDaddy or Namecheap to transfer the domain, but rather they are traded on an NFT marketplace.

Metaverses: What’s a metaverse you say? Think of it as a digital overlay of our reality. Like a collective virtual shared space in which online shopping is a given. A digital mall, if you will, that we’re always just a glance away from. Right now this is mostly concentrated to the video gaming industry, which account for 8-10% of overall NFT sales. But what if one day this metaverse takes over everything, and not just gaming? How would business models, and the world look then?

How to buy an NFT?

So you wanna get in on the NFT trend, eh?! Well, the easiest way to get your hands on some non-fungible tokens is by visiting one of the many marketplaces specially built for NFTs. These websites allow digital creators to store, display, and trade NFTs. Some even allow creators to mint (create) their own unique blockchain-based assets (NFTs).

What do you need to have in order to buy an NFT?

You need a crypto wallet with enough crypto coins inside, and a user account on a marketplace. Specifically, you’ll need a wallet that is compatible with the blockchain network the NFTs you want to buy exist on. For example Ethereum and Solana are two different blockchain platforms. Thus, if you’re looking for an NFT sold on Solana, you need a Solana friendly wallet service, and vice versa.

What do you need to keep in mind before buying NFTs?

Some blockchain systems are not interoperable, meaning they’re self-enclosed. If you’re looking to buy the super popular an NBA Topshot NFT for instance, you won’t be able to purchase it with Binance Coin or Ether. You’ll need the Flow crypto token instead. So take note ahead of time.

Top 10 NFT marketplaces

You’ve done your preliminary research, you’re ready to rumble! Here are the top non-fungible token marketplaces of all time ranked by volume, as found on DappRadar.

OpenSea (ETH)606,761$6.34B
AxieInfinity (ETH)624,516$2.08B
CryptoPunks (ETH)4,905$1.31B
NBA Top Shot (FLOW)443,561$681.46M
Rarible (ETH)74,794$207.87M (ETH)4,773$119.72M
AtomicMarket (WAX)693,676$86.48M
Foundation (ETH)16,916$78.69M
Decentraland (ETH)6,183$39.7M
Aavegotchi (Polygon)6,192$39.27M

Notably, this list doesn’t include another worthy and super popular one, Nifty Gateway.

Well, all that’s left to do now is sign up and buy an NFT! Or sell, or mint, depending on your interest. But wait, keep reading to discover some fascinating NFT statistics you should know before buying.

Finally, the good stuff! Here are some noteworthy non-fungible token stats that will have you discussing digital cats, NBA NFT moments, digital punks, and digital gorillas with random strangers.

1. End of August’s NFT last 7-day sales tapped all-time high at $1 billion.

(Source: NFT-Stats, NonFungible)

On August 27th, 2021 alone, the daily trading volume was over $370 million and 80,608 NFTs were sold. The daily volume has since come down to between $70 and $100 million in the first half of September 2021. And the number of daily NFTs sold has been in the 40 to 50 thousand range.

2. CryptoPunks is the 2nd top collection by volume as of September 2021.

(Source: NFT-Stats, DappRadar)

CryptoPunks are a popular bunch, trailing only Axie Infinity’s NFT collection in the top NFT collection of all time race. In fact, CryptoPunks clocked in 1,702 trades and a volume of $598 million in just the last 30 days (as of September 17, 2021).

3. Top 10 selling NFTs in the last 30 days as of September 2021.

(Source: NFT-Stats, DappRadar)

NFTCollectionPrice (millions)
CryptoPunk #8857CryptoPunks$6.68
Ringers #879Art Blocks Curated$5.68
CryptoPunk #7252 CryptoPunks $5.34
CryptoPunk #6275 CryptoPunks $5.12
CryptoPunk #6275 CryptoPunks $3.89
Fidenza #313 Art Blocks Curated $3.34
Bored Ape Yacht Club Bored Ape Yacht Club $2.92
CryptoPunk #8888 CryptoPunks $2.88
Fidenza #772 Art Blocks Curated $2.47
Bored Ape Yacht Club Bored Ape Yacht Club $2.27

Below are the NFTs that fetched the highest price in the past 30 days, as of September 17, 2021. You’ll notice the abundance and popularity of the CryptoPunks on the list, taking up half the spots. Indeed, they’re pretty popular. They’ve also been around before there was even a standard for NFTs.

The CryptoPunk collection launched in 2017 as a set of 10,000 randomly generated unique digital charactes, or ‘punks’. Among other reasons, they’re special because they were some of the first examples of NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain and were used as an inspiration for the industry.

But they’re not all that’s selling, have a look at the best selling NFTs of the last 30 days below.

4. Axie Infinity is the top NFT collection of all time by volume, traders, and sales as of September 2021.

(Source: DappRadar)

What are axies you say? Why they’re fierce ‘creatures’ that love to build, battle, and hunt for treasure! Axie Infinity is a game, in which players own cute little creatures called Axies. Each of them is an NFT, and these creatures can be bred, sent on quests, farmed and best of all, battled!

But this is an NFT stats post, so let’s get to the stats. Roughly $2.08 billion in volume, over 625,000 traders, and almost 5 million sales! Axie NFTs are in a league of their own in all-time stats.

5. Rarible NFT collection has the greatest amount of owners at 185,400 on OpenSea marketplace.

(Source: OpenSea)

Followed by CryptoKitties at 107.3 thousand owners and the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) at 88.1 thousand owners, which as we explained earlier in the post serves as the equivalent of a domain name service. Decentralized wearable and Axie Infinity came in fourth and fifth respectively.

6. The most expensive NFT ever sold is the EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS.

(Source: Decrypt, CNBC)

If you had $70 million dollars to spare, would you spend it on a digital work of art? Maybe you wouldn’t, but that’s exactly what Vignesh Sundaresan, aka MetaKovan, did in March of 2021. In the process he set the record for the most expensive NFT ever purchased.

You would think being as bullish as MetaKovan was in making this purchase, that he would be urging everyone else to leap headfirst into the space. But you’d be wrong. Though he is very supportive of NFTs, he cautioned would-be investors that NFTs are ‘not primarily an investment.’

Here are the highest priced NFTs of all time (price reflects the price at time of selling):

  1. $69,346,250.00 (19,569.435 ETH), beeple, March 2021, Beeple’s EVERYDAYS
  2. $11.8 million, CryptoPunks, CryptoPunk #7523
  3. $7.56 million, CryptoPunks, CryptoPunk #7804
  4. $7.51 million, CryptoPunks, CryptoPunk #3100
  5. $6,600,000.00, beeple, CROSSROAD (most expensive video NFT)
  6. $6,000,000.00, beeple, OCEAN FRONT
  7. $5.44 million, CryptoPunks, CryptoPunk #5127
  8. $5.43 million, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, World Wide Web Source Code
  9. $5.3 million, CryptoPunks, CryptoPunk #7252
  10. $5.27 million, snowden, STAY FREE (Edward Snowden, 2021)
  11. $5.1 million, Noora Health, “Save Thousands of Lives”
  12. $4.4 million, CryptoPunks, CryptoPunk #2338
  13. $4.40 million, Atsuko Sato, Doge (meme)
  14. $4,144,000.00 maddogjones, REPLICATOR
  15. $3.3 million, Tyler Hobbs, Fidenza
  16. $2.9 million, Jack Dorsey, The First Tweet

7. Total NFT market surpassed $2.5 billion in sales in first 3 quarters of 2021.

(Source: DappRadar, NonFungible)

Push it to the limit! That was the motto for NFTs in early 2021. During which the non-fungible tokens market rocketed to new highs, taking in $2.5 billion in sales and setting a $1.24 billion quarterly sales record in Q2 2021. In contrast, the first half of 2020 saw just $13.7 million NFT sales.

8. Google Search Volume for ‘NFT’ reached an all-time high in March 2021.

(Source: Google Trends)

While ‘nft art’ saw the same spike during the same period, the trends for ‘what is an nft’ spiked a month later in the April-May period.

Corresponding with the record setting sales in Q2 2021, the data shows just how popular NFTs were on Google during this timeframe, with ‘nft art’ reaching peak popularity (100 out of 100 on the scale). Other related terms that saw peak in popularity were ‘buy nft’ ‘nft marketplace’ and ‘nft stock’.

9. For Aug 15-Sep 15, 2020, 41,377 unique NFTs sold on the five largest NFT platforms versus 351,600 for the same period in 2021.

(Source: Consensys, NonFungible,

Google trends may tell us the popularity score, but here are some actual sales figures to get a better sense of what it all looks like in action.

The 2020-21 year-over-year transactions increase for the same time period is 795%! Furthermore, as of Q3 2021 the total artworks sold within 30 days was 356,907 according to NonFungible.

Let’s put this NFT statistic into perspective, as of Q3 2021 the total market cap of crypto art was at $855,010,821.86 (or 282,185.515 ETH). Now, in terms of traditional art, the 2020 global art market figure was at $50 billion, a $14 billion year-over-year decrease from 2019 . Which means crypto art is worth roughly 17% of the world’s art market sales!

10. NFT Collectibles category leads the way in sales with 40% of the market.

(Source: Consensys, Google Trends)

NFT Sales By Category

  • Collectibles NFTs – 39.7%
  • Sports NFTs – 31.4%
  • Art NFTs – 10.8%
  • Games NFTs – 10.2%
  • Utility NFTs – 4.5%
  • Metaverse NFTs – 3.3%

As the media began launching reports on the decline of popularity in the term NFT on Google Trends from May to July 2021, people still kept buying up and trading NFTs.

The term NFT itself saw a significant rebound in August 2021 on Google Trends, going from 22 to 85 on their popularity scale. But, it’s also worth mentioning that in the grand scheme of things, NFTs are only about 11% of the overall market distribution of non-fungibles.

11. Visa (the company) bought an NFT called CyberPunk #7610.

(Source: Visa Twitter, LarvaLabs)

Did you think the big boys like Visa were out of touch boomers!? Not in this case, because the financial services giant recently dished out $150,000 (or 49.5 ETH) and scooped up the NFT CryptoPunk #7610.

Visa viewed the purchase as an addition to a 60 year collection of historic commerce artifacts, ranging from early paper credit cards to the zip-zap machine. With the CryptoPunk portfolio addition symbolizing an entrance into a new era of NFT-commerce.

12. All-time high of $613,091,120 worth of ‘Punks’ sold in August 2021.

(Source: CryptoSlam)

Some smoke pipes, others cigarettes, some have mohawks and some rock shades, but there’s one thing they all have in common, they’re all CryptoPunks! A collection of 10,000 unique 8-bit-style pixel art avatars that inspired the rise of the modern crypto art industry. Each punk is verifiably authentic and comes with it’s own unique traits and features.

But CryptoPunks aren’t the only collection that has seen a rise in transactions in the last 30 days (August 2021). For example:

  • Parallel Alpha sales rocketed 15,643%
  • Art Block collection sales went up more than 1,000%
  • Bored Apes Yacht Club collection went up 517%

As we mentioned earlier in the post, the Axie Infinity collection continues to remain the leader.

13. There were over 118,550 active wallets trading NFTs in the last 30 days.

(Source: NonFungible)

According to NonFungible, as of September 20th, there were 118,664 active wallets, meaning unique wallets which participated in buying or selling an NFT. With the number of sales reaching over 348,000 and their value clearing $317 million.

14. The NBA and WBNA have their own officially licensed digital collectibles.

(Source: NBA Top Shot)

Growing up we had NBA trading cards, now we have NBA NFTs! You can now own an officially licensed Nikola Jokic ‘behind-the-back’ pass. A person who goes by the name of Pranksy claims to have spend $1 million on these Top Shot NFTs. Which seems like a lot on the surface, until you hear that he claims to have made around $4.7 million by reselling his purchases!

NFT markets have been on the rise, the total market cap is currently at $719,673,480.

15. Lebron James’ “cosmic dunk” short clip NFT sold for $208,000.

(Source: Reuters, NBA Top Shot)

Would you pay six-figures for a video clip of a LeBron James dunking a basketball? If so, someone beat you to it! On February 22, 2021, the number 29 card of the 49 cards in the NBA Top Shot’s Cosmic Series 1 set, which was the LeBron James “cosmic dunk” sold for $208,000.

Similarly, at present the most expensive NBA Top Shot digital card is the LeBron James dunk on a Sacramento Kings defender. More specifically, the Holo MMXX (Series 1) card, which has the rarity category of ‘legendary’, as there are only 32 cards in existence.

16. A piece of virtual land NFT on the Axie Infinity gaming platform sold for $1.5 million (888 Ethereum).

(Source: Danny)

If you thought real estate was expensive in your neighborhood, you can just skip over this NFT statistic as it may trigger a headache. Still reading? Don’t say I didn’t warn ya!

An Axie Infinity gamer by the name “Flying Falcon” dished out 888.25 ETH (about $1.5 million at the time) for a virtual property! This gamer reportedly bought 9 Genesis plots on the blockchain powered gaming platform, making this the largest such deal to ever take place in the NFT space.

To quote the gamer, “What we’re witnessing is a historic moment; the rise of digital nations with their own system of clearly delineated, irrevocable property rights.” Brb, have to pay my mortgage!

17. November 24, 2017 marked the first day over 1,000 NFTs were sold.

(Source: NonFungible, NFT-Stats)

Non-fungible tokens have come a long way. In fact, there was a time in the not-too-distant past where less than a thousand were being traded on a daily basis at best. But that changed on November 24, 2017 which saw 3,093 NFTs exchange hands.

This marked the first time daily NFT sales broke the 1,000 mark. Not too long thereafter, the sales saw what up until then may have looked impossible, that is 52,000 transactions in a single day!

18. Kings of Leon sold their 2021 album in the form of an NFT, generating over $2 million in sales.

(Source: OpenSea, Billboard)

‘Your NFT is on fire!” Is what the popular band must have been saying as they raked in over $2 million in sales and becoming the biggest band thus far to do so by selling their album as an NFT.

The album in question, “When You See Yourself”, was released in the form of a $50 non-fungible token on the YellowHeart marketplace and the proceeds went to Crew Nation Fund. Though you could have bought the album on platforms like iTunes and Spotify, only the NFT version offered enhanced media benefits.

19. An NFT song was sold in March 2021 for $1,333,333.33 and the buyer was the one who chose the name Gunky’s Uprising.

(Source: Nifty Gateway)

Justin Blau, aka 3LAU is an electronic dance music star DJ who has cemented himself as the digital sound NFTs most coveted figure. Many NFT collectors see him as the though-leader and the gold-standard of the space.

In this particular auction, he teamed up with the prominent visual artist Slime Sunday to form a collab by the name of SSX3LAU. They created an NFT consisting of a song accompanied by mesmerizing visuals for the Iridescent collection. One of the coolest things about this NFT fact is that the buyer of the NFT got to name the song, which the buyer named Gunky’s Uprising.

20. A JPEG of a cartoon rock sold for $1.3 million at the end of August 2021.

(Source: CNBC, EtherRock)

Now, we’ve come full circle! At the beginning of the article we teased you with this incredible NFT stat, so here it is, we weren’t kidding. Someone actually did pay 400 ether, roughly $1.3 million USD at the time for a JPEG of a cartoon rock. There are only 100 of these rocks available, and they literally serve no purpose other than providing owners with pride in owning a rare digital rock.

What’s an Ether Rock you ask? Why it’s like a . . . pet rock on the blockchain. No really, that’s what it is. But it’s also one of the first crypto collectible NFT-type projects launched on the Ethereum blockchain, launching just shortly after CryptoPunks. All 100 of the original rocks were sold!

Note on the numbers used in the article: In an effort to paint a fuller picture, the figures in this article were aggregated from numerous credible sources, who reported the results of their surveys at various points in time.

Parting Words

Now you know what NFT stands for, how they work, what some of the rarest NFTs sold for, and most importantly, you now know what a CryptoPunk is. But believe it or not, all these NFT stats are just a taste of the colossal and still growing realm of non-fungible tokens!

NFT artists, buyers, and collectors are engaging each other everyday on the marketplaces and driving innovation at an incredible pace. Keep an eye on this exciting industry going forward!

Ok, I can’t resist, I will leave you with one bonus NFT statistic. Did you know that Nike has a patent on a method to verify a shoe’s authenticity using an NFT system? Yup, it’s called CryptoKicks!

Sources | | | DappRadar | NonFungible | | Consensys | Visa Twitter | Larva Labs | NBA Top Shot | Reuters | Danny | Nifty Gateway | CNBC | Billboard | EtherRock |

Finance grad turned digital entrepreneur. I've been investing in the stock market and real estate since 2010, but the learning never ends! Fan of buying and holding dividend stocks, monkeying around on the web, and offering data-driven actionable content for those looking to enjoy their golden years.

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