NFT Sales Total $2.5B in 2021 as Adoption Spreads

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In Brief
  • Reports show that NFT sales totaled $2.5 billion in the first half of 2021.

  • NFT marketplace OpenSea reported its best month in June.

  • Sports and Art fans have been the driving force of NFTs.

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The Trust Project is an international consortium of news organizations building standards of transparency.

The non-fungible token (NFT) market continues to defy odds and see significant growth despite some deeming it a passing fad.



The NFT market proved its resilience once again by setting a new high with $2.5 billion in sales so far in 2020, according to Reuters. The number is impressive when you stop to consider the same market netted less than $15 million during the first half of 2020. After the market took off earlier this year, many looked at NFTs with suspicion and doubt the intangible items would continue to sell for millions.

Meanwhile, supporters of NFTs continue to drive prices and interest up as we head into the third quarter. Fans of NFTs see them as the next step in the evolution of art, music, collectibles, and more. Some are in it for the history while others for the investment opportunities and, together they have sent NFT interest sky-high. 



NFTs are changing the way we invest in art

The art world has become a natural home for NFTs over the last year or so. It has become almost hard to keep track of the number of significant NFT digital art sales that have occurred just in the last couple of months. The biggest being a work sold by Beeple entitled “Everydays: The First 500 Days” and went for an astonishing $69 million dollars in March. The auction was housed at Christie’s and not only broke the record for a piece of digital art but also was the first such work sold at such a reputable and historic venue. 

Since Beeples sale, no NFT has come within tens of millions of the final sale price, but that doesn’t mean others are going for cheap. Not long after, an NFT CryptoPunk was sold for $11.8 million at Sotheby’s, and another two NFT projects sold for $18 million from artists Fewocious and Trevor Jones. 

Sports focused NFTs are the most widespread

According to research done by, non-fungible token sales in the sports world more than doubled those of art. Nearly 300,000 sports-related tokens have been sold in the first half of 2021 while the number of artworks is around 125,000. One of the biggest drivers of these sales comes from NBA Top Shot and Sorare. Each site offers users the ability to purchase digital packs of cards that contain NFTs of their favorite teams and players.

These digital cards can be collected, traded, or sold on the blockchain. While NBA Top Shot numbers took a bit of a hit as sales went from around 400,000 in March to 250,000 in June, it remains a popular destination for basketball fans who want to invest in unique collectibles found nowhere else. 

Sorare takes the idea of digital trading cards up a notch and allows players to use their cards to compete in weekly fantasy football tournaments. The company has signed licensing deals with football teams across the globe and has become a staple of the burdening NFT market in Europe.


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Matthew De Saro is a journalist and media personality specializing in sports, gambling, and statistics. Before joining BeInCrypto, his work was featured on Fansided, Forbes, and OutKick. With a background in statistical analysis and a love of writing, he takes an outside-the-box approach to reporting news.

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