Hackernoon logoFuelling up the Year of NFTs: The Biggest Sales Yet This 2021 by@daniejjimenez

Fuelling up the Year of NFTs: The Biggest Sales Yet This 2021

Daniel Jimenez Hacker Noon profile picture

@daniejjimenezDaniel Jimenez

Blockchain technology lover

The Blockchain ecosystem is expanding by leaps and bounds, not to mention the market opportunities that its use cases are generating. The philosophy of empowering people and eliminating intermediaries through the transparency and immutability of the transactions that are recorded on the Blockchain, undoubtedly represent the most significant achievement of this new digital era.

And within this space, decentralized finance (DeFi) has become the great use case to follow, which locals and strangers are beginning to dabble in to become part of disruptive technology. While DeFi has been in the spotlight for most of 2020 and so far this year 2021, other sectors involved with this decentralized principle are beginning to emerge, gaining ground and attracting interest from investors of all sizes. 

Non-fungible tokens, popularly known as NFT for its acronym in English, are a perfect example of this. They were the big surprise in 2020, thanks to their millionaire sales that experienced a growth of 238% last year, according to the Non-Fungible Tokens Yearly Report 2020, carried out by the Nonfungible platform and L’Atelier BNP Paribas.

But what are NFTs?

When we talk about a non-fungible or NFT, we are talking about a cryptographic token that represents something unique, original, indivisible, non-exchangeable and non-fungible on the blockchain. Its design has been made to have unique and digitally verifiable properties.

Due to its implicit characteristics of the NFTs, its use has been extended to the creation of digital art, crypto collectibles and digital games that monetize the creativity of the users, as it happens in the Metaverses of Enjin, Axie Infinity, The Sandbox or Decentraland, for example.

And it is precisely in the field of games that NFTs obtained their first use cases with projects such as Age of Chains and Rare Pepes using the Counterparty protocol over the Bitcoin network. However, its popularity did not spread until 2017 with Cryptokitties on the Ethereum Blockchain, thanks to the emergence of the ERC-721 standard.

Currently the market for NFTs has spread to many sectors of people's daily lives, which, thanks to their indivisible, non-interoperable, verifiable and indestructible properties, allows increasingly innovative examples to appear, generating a market of millions of dollars that grows over time.

NFT: Million Dollar Sales

The NFT market is growing at a dizzying rate, which many already comparable to the DeFi boom or the crypto market in general of 2017, for the next few years to come.

According to the report referenced at the beginning of this post, between 2018 and 2020 the sales fose to 825%; going from $40.9 million to just over $338 million by the end of last year.

A large part of this market was covered by the crypto art, video games and Metaverse projects of Axie Infinity with more than $40.9 million dollars, Decentraland with $38.5 million and the CryptoPunks with sales in the order of $32.3 million.


The above shows us that the NFT market is a sector that, in addition to helping art creators such as musicians, filmmakers, artists and gamers in general to protect their designs from counterfeits and obtain fair profits for their work, is a market that it has a disruptive potential valued in billions of dollars for the next few years.

And precisely that trend continues to be marked in this upward cycle of cryptocurrencies. The NFTs industry does not rest and this is shown by the numbers in these scarce 50 days of the year 2021.

Recently the NBA Top Shot NFTs under the Dapper Labs, Flow blockchain reached a new milestone, with the sale of a crypto collectible of Lebron James, a star of the professional basketball league in the United States, for the value of 200 thousand dollars, the most expensive sale yet for an NFT in sports.


In the last 30 days, NBA Top Shot sales exceed 176 million dollars, as highlighted by CryptoSlam, positioning itself above platforms such as CryptoPunks, Hashmaks, Art Blocks or Axie Infinity.


Following the same sporting vibe, Sorare, a blockchain collectibles platform for soccer fans and stars, announced the sale of a digital card of Juventus crack, Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo for more than $100,000.

But the news of record-breaking and successful sales doesn't stop only at the star-studded sports world. In digital art, the news does not stop and the sale last Thursday, February 18 of the well-known Nyan Cat meme for 300 ETH or around $590,000 in an online auction, shows the power that NFTs have in art.

In addition, the crypto art will have an additional boost this Wednesday from one of the most recognized auction houses in the world. Christies will become the first house of its kind to sell an NFT artwork this Wednesday: "Every Day: The First 5000 Days" by digital artist Beeple.

As mentioned above, the field of gaming is another of the sectors that have promoted the use of NFTs. Used to transfer or exchange game items for money, without the need to trust third parties, it has been one of the properties that have expanded the use of non-fungible tokens in Metaverses based on Blockchain technology, such as Axie Infinity for example.

Virtual Land Sales Set Records

Sales of virtual land are booming and this is demonstrated by the figures compiled by the sales of almost $2 million reached by The Sandbox in its pre sale of LAND virtual spaces on February 11.

As highlighted by the platform on its official Twitter account, the Public Land Sale Wave 1 ended with 1,200 Premium LANDS sold for 5.6 million SAND ($1.1M) and 9 Estates auctions for ~ $386K.

It is expected that the second public sale of virtual spaces to be carried out this coming February 25 by The Sandbox, will exceed the record reached for the 1,024 regular LANDS offered, among other spaces.


At Metaverse such as The Sandbox, a non-fungible token “NFT“  represents digital parcels in which the owner can create, lease or sell to third parties to monetize their virtual real estate income.

Already in 2020, the platform based on Blockchain technology pointed the way to come for this 2021, when in the month of November it managed to sell in less than 20 minutes, $500,000 dollars in its final round 4 its LAND assets, an NFT where users they monetize their experiences within the Metaverse.


In addition to The Sandbox, the $ 1.5 million dollars reached on February 8 from an NFT of plots in the Metaverse Axie Infinity, show the bright future that this type of blockchain platforms has.


The sale took place during the "week-long anniversary" of the launch of Axie's Ronin Mainnet, the platform's sidechain built to relieve pressure from Ethereum network congestion and gas fees for gamers.

What happened in these Metaverse is signaling that a new ‘virtual’ real estate market is being generated more strongly in 2021 around NFTs. To put this data in context, it is enough to look at the price that an NFT can reach in the Metaverse such as Decentraland, Enjin or The Sandbox itself.

According to Opensea, a marketplace empowered by users to sell their NFT creations, The Sandbox platform has reached the milestone of selling 'Estate' on this marketplace for the order of $500,000 SAND, approximately one hundred thousand dollars.

Without a doubt, the figures that we find in these marketplaces such as Opensea, are sending a clear signal to investors of all sizes that NFTs are the next boom of the Blockchain ecosystem.

For now, popular platforms like Decentraland, Enjin, and The Sandbox, to name a few of the biggest Metaverses, continue to dominate the NFT sector, to the point that the world's leading crypto asset price indicator, CoinMarketCap, has generated an exclusive list to monitor this subsector of DeFi.



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