According to a Sept. 16 report from crypto asset data website Messari, Rarible, an NFT marketplace, has passed $5 million in sales so far this month—more than quadrupling sales numbers from August. The report also noted that $1.5 million of this new volume came on a single day, on Sept. 14.
Rarible is a place where you can create, buy, and sell digital collectibles and, as such, is the beneficiary of surging NFT popularity, driven mostly by digital art. On Sept. 21, the news of a record-breaking digital art NFT sale was announced, with a piece called “Right Place & Right Time” selling for more than $100,000.
Rarible’s numbers, and the general buzz surrounding digital art, have caught the attention of a few big names in crypto. Morgan Creek Digital co-founders Anthony Pompliano and Jason Williams have reportedly made a “big bet” on digital art.
As outlined in Pompliano’s daily newsletter, the bet is based on the idea that digital art will become bigger than traditional art, a market that has had a cap of “$65 billion for the last few years.” By comparison, digital art’s current market cap is around $10 million.
Never one to shy away from a controversial stance, Pompliano went on to state, “my confidence level that we see a future 6,000x increase in the digital art market cap is fairly high.” Because of this, “we [Pompliano and Williams] plan to invest heavily in the space over the coming months and years” he said.
Others, however, were slightly less bullish. The CEO of crypto derivatives exchange FTX and Alameda Research, Sam Bankman-Fried, tweeted a more skeptical take.
The tweet prompted a debate over the value of art, the ease with which “unique” digital art can be copied, and the future NFTs may or may not have.
Adam Back, the well-known cryptographer and founder of Hashcash, chimed in, encouraging Bankman-Fried to consider buying digital art NFTs as art patronage, “you could photocopy it, but then you’re not a patron.”
Digital art is, of course, just one piece of the NFT pie. The fantasy soccer game Sorare, which allows players to collect “limited edition digital collectibles” while also managing a team, has also seen an increase—recording sales of around $750,000 this month, almost half its all-time total.