A Mintable Future – NFT market growth, trends and predictions
It seems that only until very recently, cryptocurrency and the blockchain were generally foreign concepts. Now, these topics – along with digital assets, NFTs, and the metaverse – are dominating the internet. How exactly did this happen, and what does it mean for the future?
Can we predict a trend of stable growth for the NFT market, or is the hype likely to fizzle out? This article will discuss what we’ve gleaned from the past, what is going on in the world of NFTs today, and what we can expect the coming years to look like.
Click to see vidalgo NFT example
Before 2017, the concept of owning digital property was not widely discussed or understood. “Colored Coins” (a denomination of cryptocurrency) started in 2013, which garnered some fringe interest. A few years later, a handful of games – such as Spells of Genesis and Force of Wills – began utilizing the blockchain for in-game assets and trading cards.
But NFTs started picking up major steam in 2017 after the roaring success of a game called Cryptokitties. The game, which allowed players to adopt and trade virtual cats, grew to be so popular that it lagged the Ethereum blockchain and began attracting hordes of investors. This ultimately led to the first NFT boom.
Since then, minting and selling digital art has become one of the hottest NFT trends. Countless artists have cashed in on this new business model, and billions of dollars’ worth of NFT art has sold since the first-ever NFT was minted in 2014 by Kevin McCoy (who, by the way, is currently being sued for the $1.5 million transaction due to questions of rights and ownership).
Fast-forward to 2021 when Beeple made history with his NFT art piece, “Everydays: The First 5000 Days.” His mind-blowing $69 million sale marked the first time an auction house sold a fully digital asset in exchange for cryptocurrency.
It’s important to mention that NFT trends are influencing a number of different industries and aspects of life. Making note of these impacts may help us make more accurate NFT predictions in general. For instance, some musical artists have started releasing entire albums directly to fans via NFTs. Just last year, Kings of Leon became the first band to mint their music on the Ethereum blockchain.
The gaming industry is also making strides. GameStop plans to launch its own NFT marketplace later this year for the trading of in-game items such as weapons, armor, and other content. Even the world of philanthropy is benefiting from a growing number of charitable NFT projects – just take a look at these examples. It’s easy to see how NFT trends could potentially disrupt, transform, and even define the future of nearly every industry.
So what does the future hold for the NFT market? Plenty of experts believe we will continue to see massive growth in the coming years, and these NFT predictions are not unfounded.
Consider just the past few years – in 2018, NFT sales hit about $41 million. Compare this to 2021, which saw a staggering leap to $25 billion in NFT sales. Jefferies Group LLC, one of many staunch proponents of the NFT market, predicts an $80 billion market by 2025. If the NFT trends of recent years persist, these numbers will easily be met.
To top it off, take into account the expanding utility of digital assets. With the introduction of so many new types of NFTs – such as sports paraphernalia autographed by famous athletes – we could even be vastly underestimating just how enormous this beast may grow.
Despite growth in 2021 from previous years, the newness of the NFT market makes it relatively unpredictable. Reuters has noted wide market fluctuations in 2021, which appear to be unrelated to cryptocurrency prices, with sales peaking in August before a steep 69% decline in September.
NFT sales continued to slow through October and November, before picking up again in December. According to CNBC, some researchers believe, “it may be a bad time to enter the market, which has grown too big, too fast under immense hype and speculation.”
Additionally, NFT predictions are bringing environmental questions into the mix. The average NFT carries a carbon footprint of over 200 kilos, due to the large volumes of energy required by data mining. It stands to reason that sustainability concerns may play a role in determining what the NFT market of the future will look like.
So should you cash in on the craze while it’s still hot, or get out before it’s too late? Well, if our NFT predictions have taught us anything, it’s that no one can be completely certain what the future holds. (Especially for brand-new landscapes such as the NFT market.) This means that how much time and money you decide to devote to minting and buying NFTs will come down to how much you’re willing to gamble.
If you’re already comfortable investing in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, you may find it rewarding to purchase some other types of digital assets too – just don’t pour in your life’s savings. If you’re into minting your own NFTs, it’s probably safer to keep it as a side hustle, rather than put all your eggs in one basket. In other words, we recommend cautious optimism moving forward. However, whether you decide to dip your toes in or cannon-ball into these new waters, one thing is certain: you’ll want to keep your ears open and your eyes peeled for news on this ever-evolving hot topic.
Vidalgo NFT Music Cards collection at opensea