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NFT sales fall 40% since January, amid sploits and possible regulations

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Sales in the NFT markets fall 33% in the last 30 days and 40% since the beginning of the year. With the current sales volume, the NFT market has returned to the figures recorded at the end of the previous year. Between October and December 2021, a sales volume of 2,710 million dollars per month was registered. Last February, it reached 2,600 million dollars, with a fall of approximately 4%. To date, the highest monthly sales volume recorded in the NFT market took place in August, with a total of 4,509 million dollars.

According to data from the CryptoSlam platform, almost 6 million non-fungible token transactions were recorded in the last month. More than 796,000 unique buyers and investors participated in these sales.

Global NFT Sales Volume Index

Global NFT Sales Volume Index. Source: CryptoSlam

 

The largest volume of NFT transactions takes place on the Ethereum blockchain, the second most capitalized network in the industry. The main crypto collections currently dominating the NFT market are AzukiKarafuru, Bored Ape Yacht ClubCloneX, and CryptoPunks. All of these NFT collections are built on the Ethereum blockchain and record a total turnover of $526 million in the last 30 days.

Ethereum is followed by the Solana and Avalanche scalability networks. Also, the Ronin Network side blockchain, built by game developer Sky Mavis, to support its popular blockchain game Axie Infinity. Flow blockchains, purpose-built for NFTs, and the Polygon Network, Ethereum’s leading second-layer solution, are also among the most widely used by merchants to interact with NFTs.

Most used blockchains by monthly NFT sales volume

The most used blockchains by monthly NFT sales volume. Source: CryptoSlam

New crypto collections are consolidated

 

Despite the drop in overall NFT market sales volume this year, new crypto collections such as Azuki , Cool Pets , NFT Worlds and Hero are gaining in popularity and adoption. According to CryptoSlam data, in the last month, the sales volume of these NFT collections increased between 190% and 770%, moving between 44 and 66 million dollars a month each. The minimum sales price of non-fungible tokens from these digital collections also increased. For example, NFT Worlds non-fungible tokens sell for a minimum of 10 ethers, at press time.

For the most popular NFT collections like the CryptoPunks , Bored Apes Yatch Club, and Axie Infinity, sales volume is down 36% on average in the last month. However, these collections continue to be the ones that move the highest volume of sales in the market.

Exploiting TreasureDAO and phishing at Opensea

 

February was full of tension for users of the crypto industry’s largest NFT marketplace, Opensea. A phishing attack targeting those who use this platform to trade NFTs resulted in the theft of digital assets from various collections. In total, the NFTs stolen from users were valued at more than $1.7 million. Although Opensea acknowledged the phishing attack, it clarified that the platform itself was not hacked. Some analysts pointed to a possible data leak in the past, which could have allowed hackers to access the emails of registered users.

At the end of January, NFT holders on Opensea also suffered the loss of valuable assets. A bug in the platform allowed several NFTs to be sold on the platform for rock-bottom prices. By that time, losses amounted to $1.1 million.

Arbitrum’s largest NFT marketplace, TreasureDAO, was also a recent victim of an exploit, which enabled assets valued at $1.7 million to be stolen. The hackers managed to sell, in an unauthorized way, NFTs from the Smol Brains project. Some of these tokens were sold for $0. Currently, Smol Brains is the most popular crypto collection within the Arbitrum network, with some assets exceeding $500,000 in value. TreasureDAO’s MAGIC token has started to recover in the market, following the return of some of the stolen NFTs, as reported by developers on Twitter.

 

Mintable retrieves NFTs from Azuki

 

Zach Burks, founder and CEO of Mintable, reported on Twitter that he had managed to recover 3 Azuki NFTs stolen during the phishing attack on Opensea users. Burks asked for support through the social network to find the original owners and return the NFTs. The CEO of Mintable indicated that since Opensea had not commented on how it would help its affected users, he made the decision to collaborate on his behalf.

 

Plagiarism and spam in NFT markets

 

In addition to phishing and exploits, plagiarism and spam are also affecting the NFT markets. In mid-February, the Cent platform halted its operations to deal with the rampant wave of counterfeits that was occurring within its marketplace.

Cameron Hejazi, founder of Cent, denounced that many people were using his platform to create thousands of copies of other users’ NFTs and sell them without any authorization. Cent was the platform used by Jack Dorsey to sell his first Twitter message as a non-fungible token.

Regulations 

 

Ever since NFTs exploded in popularity last year, regulators have been looking more keenly into this market. Expressing concern that these assets may be used for money laundering and other crimes. Recently, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced a series of investigations focused on NFTs. The CEC wanted to know if some of these digital assets, such as digital artwork and sports collectibles, are securities under US law. In addition, the regulator wants to determine whether NFTs are being used to raise money or to conduct transactions illegally, analysts at Bloomberg reported.

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