No NFT collection minted on the Ethereum blockchain after May 2022 made it to the top 20 in terms of transaction volume.
Yuga Labs maintained its status as the most popular NFT project in 2022 with its own collections topping the sales charts after garnering more than $3.75 billion. This figure does not include sales from Meebits and Cryptopunks, which it acquired from Larva Labs in March.
According to data provided by Crypto analytics and data platform Cryptoslam.io, the Bored Ape Yacht Club oversaw 611,734 ETH approximately $1.42 billion in transaction volume, despite registering just 6,320 transactions.
In 2021, the BAYC NFT collection generated just over $1 billion in sales following its launch in April.
Mutant Ape Yacht Club also crossed the 10-figure mark coming in second with $1.067 billion, while the Otherdeed NFTs raked in $1.047 billion following an oversubscribed auction in April.
The data shows that no other collection sold more than $1 billion in NFTs, with Chiru Labs’ Azuki and Moonbirds by Kevin Rose taking the fourth and fifth positions respectively with $828 million and $599 million, respectively.
Nike’s CloneX (by RTFKT) with $574 million, Doodles— $360M, Beanz— $229M, Bored Ape Kennel Club— $219M and Meebits— with $164M wrapped up the top ten list, the latter two being a part of Yuga Labs’ NFT family.
NFT Worlds, which suffered a major blow in July after Minecraft banned all NFTs and crypto integrations from its platform made the top 20 list with its total volume of 46,161 ETH ~$129.6 million placing it 15th. Cool Cats, Cool Pets and World-of-Women also registered hundreds of millions of sales putting them in the top 20 list.
Otherdeed, Azuki and Moonbirds Dominated Mint Volume
Riding the 2021 bull trend, 2022 began with a bang with Azuki’s Jan 12, 2022 mint selling out in four minutes for a whopping $30 million.
This gave the collection the big start it needed for a journey that would see it reach a transaction volume of $828 million in 2022, placing it second among the top collections minted during the calendar year.
Out in front of course was Otherside metaverse’s Otherdeed NFT by Yuga Labs, which raked in $1.047 billion overall. The collection sold 55,000 Otherdeed NFTs raising nearly $320 million from primary sales.
Kevin Rose’s Proof raised nearly $66 million after selling out the Moonbirds NFT collection. By the end of 2022, the collection reached $599 million, making it the third-highest transaction volume among collections minted during the calendar year.
Beanz and Hape-Prime warped up the top five list with $229.6 million and $160.6 million, respectively, while Karafuru, a collab project between Indonesia’s Toy Museum and the pseudonymous NFT artist WD. Willy minted on February 4, raked in $133 million, the top ten list was completed by Projectpxn with $125.7 million, Invisible Friends— with $123.9M, Pixelmon— with $119.8M, and Cool Pets with $106.5M.
Other notable projects minted during 2022 that made the top 20 included, World-of-Women Galaxy with just under $100 million, Goblintown with $93.9 million, and VeeFriends 2, which oversaw a transaction volume of $78.8 million.
No NFT Collection Minted After May Made the Top 20 List
With the impact of the crypto winter already visible in May, no NFT collection minted after May 2022 generated enough sales to feature on the list of top 20 collections by transaction volume.
Although January was not the biggest in terms of sales volume, it had the highest number of collections in the top 20 list— perhaps because they had more time to generate sales over the 12-month period.
Azuki topped the charts in January, followed by Hape-Prime, while v1-Cryptopunks— later deemed inauthentic by the original Cryptopunks creator, Larva Labs also made the list with $80.6 million.
Overall NFT collections minted in January 2022 realised a total transaction volume of more than $1.38 billion.
However, that was not enough to topple April, which despite just three NFT collections making the top 20 list, saw projects minted during the month generate a staggering $1.725 billion in transaction volume for the calendar year.
The three projects minted in April included Otherdeed, Moonbirds and VeeFriends Series 2, with the first two also making the top 5 list in overall ETH volume.
February and March were relatively average months with $471.8 million and $512.7 million respectively, while the two projects minted in May (during the beginning of the crypto winter) raked in just under $220 million.
Otherdeed NFT Registered Over 77k Transactions
With the Otherdeed NFT minted before the Ethereum merge, the auction reportedly cost investors over $100 million in gas fees. According to reports, the collection was substantially oversubscribed which pushed the cost of completing transactions on the Ethereum blockchain higher.
Overall, the collection has registered 77,102 transactions, followed a distance second by the anonymous Goblintown NFT collection with 35,529 transactions. Chiru Labs’ Azuki NFTs made it third with 34,140, while Cool Pets and VeeFriends Series 2 wrapped up the top five list.
NFT projects minted in January had the time to garner enough transactions to top the list overall, while Otherdeeds and VeeFreinds Series 2 generated enough volume to ensure collections minted in April took the second spot with 125,853 transactions in 2022.
NFTs minted in February and March were again closer together with 81,931 and 89,095, respectively, while those minted in May registered just over 60k transactions.
Was Polygon Late to the Party?
Although the crypto winter dampened the NFT market during the second half of the year, a few projects stood out.
Reddit NFTs sold out for $2.5 million, before galloping to a total volume of $10.4 million by the end of the year. The collection has also registered more than 48k transactions, but could not make it to the top 20 list due to the low sales volume.
Notably, Reddit is minted on the Ethereum Layer 2 scaling blockchain Polygon, which has rapidly grown to become one of the biggest blockchains for mainstream brands looking to offer NFTs.
Global restaurant chain Starbucks also launched its NFT loyalty program on Polygon, with the beta version already in testing.
More recently, Solana’s biggest NFT collections y00ts and DeGods said they were migrating to Polygon and Ethereum, respectively in 2023, also ditching the SOL as their ecosystem currency.
Polygon saw the number of first-time NFT buyers on its platform rise from a mere 1,858 on October 5, to a whopping 43,761 in December. The platform had a cumulative NFT sales volume of 338 million MATIC, worth $305 million as of December according to blockchain data analytics platform Nansen.
Polygon has benefitted from its collaborations with top global brands like Reddit, Starbucks and Nike. However, while this accelerated adoption, it has not necessarily led to a rise in transaction volume. Nansen crypto analyst tweeted on December 9.
5/ Weekly active projects based on number of sales show an impressive spike up as well
However, most of the momentum seems to be within smaller projects – 10 to 1K sales per week pic.twitter.com/IFnZId1Jae
— Martin Lee | Nansen 🧭 (@themlpx) December 9, 2022
Overall, the NFT market was en route to smashing last year’s sales statistics in April, after delivering a series of better-than-projected sales volumes.
In January, the market set a new all-time high for monthly transaction volume with nearly $5 billion compared to $4.6 billion set in August 2021 as per Cryptoslam data.
However, the market slowed from June through December, with the top 20 NFT collections by transaction volume only managing $7.8 billion in transaction volume, according to Cryptoslam data. Overall, the industry amassed a global total of just under $22 billion in 2022.
In comparison, the market generated over $25 billion in sales in 2021 according to a report published by Reuters. Bloomberg estimated the figure to be about $40 billion, while Cointelegraph reported $17 billion.