Sales of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) have declined 92% since their peak last year.
The number of active wallets in the NFT market also fell significantly, the data shows: down from 88% to about 14,000 last week from a high of 119,000 in November.
Interest in NFTs also seems to have declined significantly, it’s claimed. According to Google Trends, searches for the term peaked in January and have fallen around 80% since.
NFTs are unique non-interchangeable units of data stored on a blockchain (a form of digital ledger), which effectively allow users to own, buy and sell digital items such as in-game items or artwork.
Mention of the tech surged last year when many major companies and celebrities launched their own initiatives, including Nike and McDonald’s.
Numerous game companies have also started selling digital items as NFTs, including Konami and Atari, though this has attracted criticism from some due to the format’s high carbon footprint and what many perceive to be cynical implementation.
However, WSJ reports that many NFT owners are now finding their investments are worth a lot less than what they purchased them for.
An NFT of the first tweet from Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, which was purchased in March 2021 for $2.9 million by Sina Estavi, the CEO of Malaysia-based blockchain company Bridge Oracle, was put up for auction earlier this year and didn’t receive any bids above $14,000.
Estavi reportedly claimed the failure of the auction wasn’t a sign that the NFT market flatlining, but “a normal fluctuation that could occur in any market”.
Another NFT based on rapper Snoop Dog, which was sold in early April for about $32,000, is reportedly now up for auction with an asking price of $25.5 million – but the highest current bid is about $210.
According to the Game Developers Conference’s annual State of the Game Industry Report, which asked over 2700 game developers about their work, the majority of those surveyed have no interest in NFTs.