NFT sales have dropped to an average of $19,000 a day this week, down from $225,000 in September, according to NonFungible data compiled by the Wall Street Journal.
The number of active wallets in the NFT market has also dropped significantly, data shows, dropping 88% from a high of $119,000 in November to around $14,000 last week. Interest in NFT sales is said to have dropped 92% since its peak and has also declined significantly. According to Google Trends, searches for the term peaked in January and have since fallen by about 80%.
NFTs are unique, non-fungible units of data stored on a blockchain (a type of digital ledger) that allow users to own, buy, and sell digital items such as game items or artwork. Mentions of the technology skyrocketed last year, with many big companies and celebrities launching their own initiatives, including Nike and McDonald’s.
Many gaming companies, including Konami and Atari, have also begun selling digital items as NFTs, though this has drawn criticism from some due to its large carbon footprint and what many consider to be a cynical use of the format.
However, the WSJ reports that many NFT holders are now finding that their investment is worth far less than what they bought it for.
The NFT of the first tweet by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, which was bought in March 2021 for $2.9 million by Sina Estavi, CEO of Malaysian blockchain company Bridge Oracle, went up for auction earlier this year and has not received a single bid above $14,000.
Estavi reportedly said that the failure of the auction is not a sign that the NFT market is in a downturn, but “a normal fluctuation that can happen in any market.”
Another NFT based on rapper Snoop Dogg that sold in early April for around $32,000 is now up for auction with an asking price of $25.5 million – but the highest current bid is around $210.
According to the Game Developers Conference’s annual State of the Game Industry report, which polled more than 2,700 game developers about their work, most of those surveyed show no interest in NFTs.