2021 in NFT Land: The Year NFTs Broke

chart with squiggly lines going up and to the right throughout 2021

screengrab: cryptoslam – sales in blue, unique buyers in black

An NFT Entrepreneur Newsletter by Clyde F. Smith


Well, my ‘return to NFT Entrepreneur‘ post was a bit lackluster and incomplete but now I’m back and have lost most of my stage fright.

So let’s see what other people have to say about NFT Land in 2021.

2021: The Year NFTs Broke

Coming Soon

NonFungible’s Yearly NFT Market Report is always well worth a look whether you order the free version or the $299 Pro edition. Created in partnership with L’Atelier for a stylish product. Due in late February.

Released in 2022

The CoinDesk 2021 Annual Crypto Review scatters a few comments on NFTs across 5 pages of the report, but on page 39, the mostly disregarded looms large:

“NFTs were arguably responsible for the bulk of Ethereum adoption during 2021 as artists, athletes and celebrities piled into the space.”

1confirmation’s 2021 NFT Year in Review is a solid overview of NFTs and cryptoart with some references to previous years.

Republic Realm’s 2021 Metaverse Real Estate Report is a great overview of the year. NFTs power many of the capabilities of the decentralized metaverse vision, so the full report is relevant. I also appreciate the focus on the “Pioneer Metaverses,” Decentraland, The Sandbox, Cryptovoxels, and Somnium Space.

Nansen’s State of The Crypto Industry Report 2021 has a nice section on NFT traders and trading with each chart linking back to a Nansen feature. There’s also an NFT gaming section focused on Play To Earn that doesn’t do that. Honestly, this is the most blatant promo report I’ve seen but it actually makes me want to check out what they’re doing in more detail.

Released in 2021

If you are quoting or relying on any stats for the full year, keep in mind that many reports came out in December so, if they say anything about full year stats, they actually don’t have them.

DappRadar’s 2021 Dapp Industry Report is a solid overview of NFTs in the context of the 2021 Web3 explosion. It does have a focused NFT section but NFTs are mentioned throughout.

Coin Metrics’ The Rise of NFTs is both an introduction to NFTs and an overview of market activity involving cryptoart and NFT collectibles.

The Block Research’s 2022 Digital Asset Outlook has NFT factoids scattered throughout including a section on NFTs & Blockchain-based Gaming that begins on page 42. Don’t miss the eight NFT/Gaming unicorns on page 33.

Most of the Chainalysis 2021 NFT Market Report‘s data appears to be from January through October. Nevertheless, there are a lot of interesting points to consider in the report such as NFT marketplace traffic by region, success in NFT flipping and the impact of failed minting transactions on NFT gains.

Consensys’ Web 3 Report covers the 3rd quarter of 2021. Worth a look for its design as a one-pager and the NFT section which discusses sales volume, PFPs and the intersection of DeFi and NFTs.

Visa released a white paper titled NFT: Engaging Today’s Fans in Crypto and Commerce back in August. It’s actually a really nice corporate introduction to NFTs. And it’s a reminder that Visa is serious about the space. They see that a lot of money is moving via crypto/NFT channels and they want some of it.

Honestly, I think Visa embracing NFTs is bigger news for the space than anything Facebook is doing. Cutting off access to financial services is a well-honed technique for destroying innovation. Plus, every step deeper by major financial services corporations such as Visa supports the survival of crypto and NFTs. Let’s hope their financial and political power helps keep regulators in check.

Up Next

I’ve been researching DAOs a bit more and thinking of looking at them in terms of competition for traditional business forms. I had planned on doing that piece next, which I mentioned in the previous newsletter, but I want to get a bit deeper before I examine the topic of competing with DAOs.

So I’ll surprise you!

Are You A Subscriber? If Not, Join Us!