NFTs already on the decline in 2022?

After a wild year in 2021, trading volumes are leveling off in the NFT market.

After exploding in 2021, is the NFT market already declining? In the first quarter of this year, the total amount of trade in so-called “qualified” NFTs* represented $7.8 billion, compared to $8.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2021. That is a drop of 6% between the two periods, according to a study by, a site specializing in data on the NFT market, which was presented this Tuesday at the Paris NFT Day show.

As a reminder, NFTs (or non-fungible tokens) are digital titles of ownership, issued by a blockchain (mainly Ethereum), and associated with a digital asset (photo, video, etc.). Each NFT is unique and cannot be reproduced. NFTs are used in art, the luxury sector, video games or for trading cards in sports.

The number of transactions in this market is falling even faster than the amounts. We have thus gone from 14.04 million sales in the fourth quarter of 2021 to a transaction volume of only 7.44 million in the first three months of 2022. A drop of 46.8%. The same observation can be made on the number of active “wallets” (or portfolios that host NFTs), down 25% over a quarter to 14.04 million.

“We are facing a massive drop in NFT trading volume: a lot of people are disappointed with NFTs. If you don’t know what you’re investing in, you’re going to lose money,” warns Gauthier Zuppinger, COO ( COO) of

“No market crash”

It therefore seems that the NFT market is catching its breath after its spectacular surge last year. A year ago, in the first quarter of 2021, qualified NFT exchanges weighed barely 550 million dollars for 470,000 sales and 93,000 active portfolios. The market is therefore still growing very strongly over one year, whether in terms of total amount of trade (+1318%), number of sales (+1483%) or number of active wallets (+1463%). .

“There is no market crash in the NFT industry. There is a stabilization and the average price of an NFT is rising again. However the total volume is falling, mainly due to of the conflict in Ukraine”, analyzes Gauthier Zuppinger. “We are at the start of a new era,” he said.

Moreover, the volumes on the secondary market (the second-hand market, once the NFTs have already been sold for the first time, for example) are more and more important than on the primary market (when the NFTs are created and sold for the first time). “It’s a very good signal. People are trading this asset more and more,” said Gauthier Zuppinger. The COO of estimates that the NFT market should weigh 100 billion dollars this year. On the other hand, the flip side of this democratization of NFTs, according to him, we will see more and more hacks in NFTs this year.

*The so-called “qualified” NFT exchanges correspond to transactions that are qualified or verified. has removed all dubious trades (such as wash-trading, where a trader buys and sells the same NFT from multiple accounts to imply high demand) or made by bots or as part of testing.

By Pauline Armandet, with Jean-Louis Dell’Oro

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