NFT sales dipped below US$2.2 billion in March, according to NFT data aggregator CryptoSlam. The last time that happened was in July 2021 when sales were at US$1.20 billion, data showed.
The drop comes as the cryptocurrency market bounced back to close the month north of US$2 trillion dollars in market capitalization. The wider market was trading below that for most of March.
CryptoSlam strategist Yehuda Petscher has come to believe an inverse correlation between the two asset classes. As NFTs are often denominated in cryptocurrencies, investors are more likely to buy NFTs when the absolute value of crypto is lower, he opined.
“The buyers are still there — I think they’re just being a little more discerning with what they put their funds into,” Petscher told Forkast. “People are just kind of waiting and holding and seeing if the scene’s changing a little.”
The NFT community was still among the hottest headlines in the month of March, as Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) creator Yuga Labs teased its own metaverse Otherside featuring popular NFT avatars. NFT avatars represent their owners in the virtual world.
The World of Women Galaxy collection was launched on March 26, and topped US$70 million in sales in less than a week.
NFT trading activity may not stay dormant for long, as up-and-coming blockchains are set to shake up the pecking order in April. World’s largest NFT marketplace OpenSea has confirmed its long-rumored integration of the Solana blockchain, the third-largest chain in sales volume. The integration has now been announced for April.
“It’s really great for Solana,” said Petscher, who expects OpenSea’s adoption to open the flood gates to NFT collections previously siloed in Solana’s decentralized ecosystem.
Ronin, the world’s second-largest blockchain, suffered a hack worth over US$600 million — one of the highest valued exploits in the history of the industry. The Ethereum sidechain delayed its highly anticipated upgrade for blockchain game Axie Infinity, the world’s top NFT collection in sales volume.
Axie developer Sky Mavis announced that it will be delaying its Origin upgrade to April, which is intended to onboard more players to its GameFi economy by offering free starting Axies, which currently requires as much as US$300 in crypto.
“If this is a bear market, I’m really excited for what the bull will look like,” Petscher said. “It is pretty exciting even in the slower times.”