Kyros Research’s Quarterly Report – Q3 2021

The third quarter of 2021 marks a number of significant changes compared to previous ones. Not just with global regulation over Bitcoin or Ethereum upgrades, but many trends have become new use cases, improving market dynamics and as catalysts for future sustainable growth. Let’s rewind the time capsule to understand how far the crypto market has grown in the last three months in this Kyros Ventures Q3 2021 report.

Bitcoin overview

Q3 Price Outlook

After a 3-month long bearish market in Q2, Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market bounced back during the third quarter in correlation with the many pieces of exciting news regarding cryptocurrency legislation around the globe.

According to Coinbase, after the 55% sharp decline from all-time highs at $64,800 USD in the second quarter, Bitcoin price in July sustained the bearish trend until it reached a $28,800 low and began a trend reversal. From there, Bitcoin price recovered strongly by 81.11% and closed 8 consecutive weekly candlesticks in a row before correcting from a local high of 53,000 USD in September. Ending Q3, Bitcoin stabilized at above 43,000 USD, which is an increase of 25.03% this quarter.

Historical Milestones in Q3

Quarter 3 remarked significant milestones in the development history of Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market

  • July – The U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) continues to constantly call for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency regulation.
  • Aug 2 – Germany’s new law changes now allow “Spezialfonds” to store crypto assets
  • Aug 8 – Infrastructure Bill Amendment regarding unclear definition of “Broker”  is shutdown 
  • Sep 7 – Bitcoin officially becomes legal tender in El Salvador
  • Sep 8 – El Salvador Government buys “the dip” is now holding 350 bitcoins
  • Sep 24 – China’s regulators release a blanket ban on all crypto transactions and mining

Institutional Bitcoin Adoption

Large capital allocators continue to show interest towards Bitcoin and Bitcoin products.

No new Bitcoin was added to the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust during the third quarter and this entity is still holding 654,855 bitcoins, accounting for 3.12% of max supply.

MicroStrategy and its CEO, Michael Saylor continue to bet big on Bitcoin and added 8,957 Bitcoins (5,050 Bitcoins recorded in September and 3,907 Bitcoins recorded in August) to their balance sheet. At the end of quarter 3, MicroStrategy held a total of 114,041 Bitcoins.

No new Bitcoin was purchased by CoinShares, Tesla and Square during the third quarter.

Moreover, many major service providers and institutions caught up quickly to the rising demand of cryptocurrency products and have been adapting lately.

  • Vast Bank became the first chartered US bank to offer Bitcoin services
  • JPMorgan Chase submitted a Bitcoin ETF application with the SEC; Bank of America approved Futures Trading; Wells Fargo unveiled a private Bitcoin Fund
  • Twitter added Bitcoin integration to the new Tip Jar feature on IOS.
  • PayPal launched a cryptocurrency service, allowing British customers to buy, hold, and sell digital currencies.
  • U.S. Global Investors bought 566,389 USD worth of GBTC

Bitcoin Supply Squeeze

On-chain metrics at the end of the third quarter suggest that a bitcoin supply squeeze is under way.

Over-three-month HODL waves reached an all time high of 84.87%, meaning only 15.13% of Bitcoin circulating supply was moved in the last quarter.

Total Bitcoin balance on exchanges also confirmed this phenomenon, where total supply on exchanges witnessed a trend reversal around March, 2020 and until September 29, 2021 has reached the lowest amount of Bitcoin available in over three years with 2,457,417 Bitcoin.

Additionally, Bitcoin illiquid and non-exchange supply percentages increased sharply during the last three months. As observed from the figure above, these two metrics have shown a striking correlation with Bitcoin price for the last 18 months.

Ethereum Overview in Quarter 3

Hard fork London and EIP-1559

Q3 marked an important milestone in Ethereum’s evolution with the London Hard-Fork and numerous proposed updates. Among them, EIP-1559 is the most notable update with a proposal to improve transaction savings based on the network density and another proposal to burn a portion of Ethereum’s transaction to mitigate the impact of inflation on ETH price. As of October 1st, the record has witnessed a total of 409,669 ETH being burnt.

Ethereum price has had a strong recovery right before the London Hard Fork event and quickly rebounded to the 4,000 USD level. In addition, various indexes of the Ethereum network also experienced significant changes in Q3 such as Total Locked Value, Number of Individual Wallets, Amount of ETH 2.0 Staked and Average Gas Fees.

Layer 2 Overview and Arbitrum’s hype

The Layer 2 Scaling Solution on the Ethereum network in Phase 3 experienced a tremendous explosion of Arbitrum when the Arbitrum mainnet was completed and officially launched in early September. During this quarter, Arbitrum raised a total amount of 120M USD from a list of many well-known Cryptocurrency Venture Capitalists and the Total Value Locked on Arbitrum has reached 1.8B USD just 4 days after the mainnet.

Prominent Market Trends in Quarter 3

The GameFi Boom

GameFi (abbreviation of Game Finance which is a combination of Gaming and DeFi) has recently become one of the most prominent trends in the crypto market in Q3 and has risen to be a new craze that’s making games built on the blockchain to become popular. These games have attracted a lot of investors and players from even the traditional gaming market.

Axie Infinity has been the project to trigger this boom – the most popular crypto-based game and blockchain-using metaverse project. In July alone, Axie Infinity recorded nearly 200M USD in revenue, 16 times higher than the revenue in June thus pushing the cumulative revenue to grow 1,050%. Other than that, Axie’s capitalization also witnessed an increase from 315M USD to nearly 2.4B USD in just one month. The rise of Axie has helped a series of other blockchain games in the market to surge in capitalization during the July period.

According to the leading explorer Token Terminal, the total protocol revenue of Axie Infinity in Q3 had reached 800M USD marking an increase of nearly 5,000% compared to the second quarter of 16M USD, and therefore became the first game or dapp with the largest revenue in the world. Axie Infinity’s NFT assets recorded 1.8B USD in trading volume in Q3, up more than 1,400% compared with Q2 with only 118M USD (data from DappRadar). With the success of Axie Infinity (AXS), gamers have now had a whole new look in the blockchain gaming industry, especially towards play-to-earn games.

At the initial stage, most P2E games were developed on the Ethereum blockchain. There are many successful projects that have attracted a huge amount of players such as Axie Infinity, Decentraland, The Sandbox, and Sorare.

However, in Q3, Binance Smart Chain (BSC) has had a strong performance as there are more and more gaming projects that continue to flourish on the chain. Names such as CryptoBlades, MyDefiPet, Faraland or Mobox have recently gained a lot of attention in the gaming community.

The end of July marked a typical event as daily trading volume in Binance Smart Chain had tripled the amount of the previous period. This was mainly triggered by the craze of GameFi projects, especially CryptoBlades. CryptoBlades had ranked on the top of all games with the highest 7-day transaction as it reached 9.23M transactions around mid-August. In addition, CryptoBlades was also ranked #2 in terms of 30-day users of all games that have released tokens according to Dapp.

Apart from Ethereum and BSC, Polygon is also a name that has been in the spotlight in the GameFi world after launching Polygon Studios to develop its own Game & NFT ecosystem in Q2. Many NFT gaming projects are deployed on the Polygon network. Additionally, WAX, Enjin or Flow are also the top blockchains that are attracting many gaming projects.

The NFT craze

NFTs have been widely predicted by the community to become a major trend in the crypto market, and it came to fruition in Q3. August reported a record NFT trading volume of 5.2B USD, followed by September, also reaching an impressive figure of 4B USD. As a result, the Q3 NFT trading volume reached over 10.6B USD, up 704% compared to the previous quarter (DappRadar).

Among the NFT trading platforms, Opensea is the most popular with 7.4B USD in Q3 trading volume, accounting for more than 70% of the total market share. The runner-up was Rarible, which recorded 73.3M USD, while SuperRare came in third with 66.6M USD.

GameFi Trends has contributed significantly to the overall growth of the NFT market, NFT in-game assets recorded a trading volume of 2.3B USD in Q3. 

Another major contributor is digital collections or NFT avatars, the most prominent names CryptoPunks. In Q3, CryptoPunsk’s trading volume reached approximately 360,000 ETH (equivalent to 1.3B USD), up nearly 400% from Q2’s 75,000 ETH. On peak days in early September, the floor price for an NFT CryptoPunk was almost half a million USD (Dune Analytics statistical data). We have also witnessed many Punks traded for millions USD in Q3.

Besides CryptoPunks, the BAYC “ape” collection has also become very popular in the NFT market. Peaking on August 28, BAYC’s daily trading volume reached 53M USD. In addition, many NFT collections also contributed to the craze of Q3, namely a few: Meebits, Pudgy Penguin, CyberKongz, Loot, etc. with daily trading volume of up to millions of USD. 

The explosion of new ecosystems

Regarding the development of top blockchain platforms besides Ethereum, Q1 witnessed the strong growth of Binance Smart Chain followed by Polygon in Q2. By Q3, many new ecosystems recorded outstanding performance and became the spotlight in the market.

During Q3, the price of blockchain platform tokens surged significantly such as LUNA, AVAX, FTM, SOL, NEAR and these tokens continuously reached new all-time highs.

After a long period of infrastructure building, new blockchain platforms are ready to receive the inflow of money. In Q3, the Defi space experienced the releasing of many incentive programs to support the development of the ecosystem from building better infrastructure to encouraging projects and users participating in. Celo started with 100M USD, after that Avalanche, Algorand, Harmony, Fantom, Hedera, Kava and Cardano also launched their own incentive programs to attract liquidity with great value of money.

Due to the incentive program, the total value locked also changed significantly, money continuously poured into new ecosystems in Q3.

Notable among these new ecosystems are Avalanche, Solana and Fantom with steady growth in both market capitalization as well as TVL. All of them have already completed their core products in the ecosystem:

  • Bridge
  • Exchange (AMM/DEX)
  • Lending protocol
  • Yield farming products

With the more mature ecosystems reinforced by incentive programs; Solana, Avalanche and Fantom had witnessed a great movement in Q3.

Solana (SOL)

The Solana ecosystem experienced an impressive quarter thanks to the “Solana Season” Hackathon which took place during May and June. After the Hackathon, a series of new projects gradually appeared on Solana and achieved a huge growth, typically Saber (SBR) and Sunny (SUNNY). Although both of them are newbies in the ecosystem, they rapidly achieved the highest total value locked on the Solana ecosystem.

At the peak in Q3, Saber achieved a record in TVL with over 4.15B USD. Sunny’s TVL also surpassed 3.4B USD from zero within 2 weeks. The TVL of the entire Solana ecosystem reached a record on September 12th with 12.2B USD, nearly 20 times higher than on July 1st, making Solana the 3rd largest blockchain platform by TVL, just behind Ethereum and BSC.

Additionally, the game sector on Solana also made a mark with the token launch of Star Atlas, a space war game. After listing, 2 tokens of this game which are ATLAS and POLIS, they achieved a ROI, at all-time high, of 194 times and 134 times, respectively.

Avalanche (AVAX)

The Avalanche ecosystem recorded a breakthrough when the Avalanche Foundation announced Avalanche Rush, a liquidity mining program to introduce more applications and assets to its growing DeFi ecosystem. Soon after that, the TVL on Avalanche ecosystem quickly reached more than 2B USD in just 10 days, which was an increase of 570% (data from DefiLlama).

Moreover, in September, the Avalanche ecosystem has gained outstanding growth momentum, when it successfully called for 230M USD in  investment, which included participation from many famous venture funds: Polychain Capital, Three Arrow Capital, R/Crypto Fund, Dragonfly, CMS Holdings, Collab+Currency and Lvna Capital. The TVL of Avalanche continuously grew and reached a height of nearly 4B USD at the end of Q3.

Many tokens on the Avalanche ecosystem made a record growth during Q3, notably TraderJoe (JOE) and Teddy Cash (TEDDY).

Fantom (FTM)

Fantom Foundation also launched an incentive program valued at 370 FTM to promote DeFi and GameFi development in the Fantom ecosystem. Due to the incentive program, TVL on Fantom witnessed huge growth reaching 2.07B USD at the end of Q3, increasing 984% since July 1st (data from DefiLlama).

Besides, projects in the Fantom ecosystems also had an outstanding surge in capitalization in Q3.

Furthermore, Fantom’s game and NFT sector also had a bright spot in Q3 when Andre Cronje, founder of Yearn Finance, was actively building 2 products: RarityGame (Game) and Artion (NFT marketplace) at Fantom and promises about NFT bridge between Fantom and Ethereum.

Vietnam solidifies its position in the crypto market

Vietnam became the brightest name in the global market in Q3. Many studies reflect that Vietnam is leading in the crypto and DeFi adoption. These impressive numbers are shown in the video below.

In order to have an overview about the Vietnamese cryptocurrency market, let’s take a look at the Vietnam Blockchain & Crypto map in the infographic below.

Epilogue

The third quarter ended with strong growth of the entire market and opened up huge potential for GameFi, NFT, and new ecosystems. The crypto market was more refreshing and ready than ever for further growth in the last quarter of the year and beyond. Let’s embrace all challenges and opportunities ahead with Kyros Ventures.

Research Team

Blockchain Gaming Landscape

After two months of correction, the cryptocurrency market has been bouncing back and more active recently, led by the blockchain gaming trend. After DeFi, blockchain gaming is on its way to be the next big cryptocurrency market trend in the future. 

Let’s dive deeper into the blockchain gaming landscape with Kyros in this article.

A signal from the Vietnamese investor community:

According to The Vietnam crypto market report H1.2021 made by Kyros Ventures at the beginning of July 2021, there are three main trends expected by the Vietnamese community:

  • Blockchain platform
  • Ethereum and Layer 2
  • NFT and Blockchain gaming

Many investors expect NFT and Blockchain gaming to be one of the key trends in the second half of 2021. In addition, the most expected NFT tokens to rise are game or game-related such as AXS, ALICE, ENJ, SAND, MANA, CHR, FLOW,…

Undoubtedly, the performance of the above tokens is far from the rest of the NFT market in particular and the cryptocurrency market in general.

Axie Infinity is the leading project of the NFT-gaming trend. Let’s take a look at the rising of Axie Infinity in the below video produced by Kyros Ventures:

Besides Axie Infinity, many games have received much awareness from the community, such as:

  • Alien World
  • Crypto Blade
  • My DeFi Pet
  • X World Game

Blockchain gaming ecosystems:

There are many projects on the gaming segment, which are built on various blockchain protocols. However, most of the popular games are built on widespread blockchain such as:

  • Ethereum
  • Binance Smart Chain
  • Polygon
  • WAX

Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain:

Ethereum is the leading ecosystem from the number of products and capitalization perspective. Some of the most popular blockchain games have been built on Ethereum like:

  • Axie Infinity
  • Decentraland
  • The Sandbox

Nonetheless, Binance Smart Chain also shows that it is a robust gaming ecosystem that has the ability to compete with Ethereum. Games on BSC are mainly brand new projects, but they have acquired more users compared to Ethereum.

Crypto Blades has had approximately 700,000 users in the past 30 days (July 9th – August 9th), nearly three times more than the top game on Ethereum, Axie Infinity (according to the data provided by DappRadar).

Polygon and WAX:

Polygon and WAX also have a diversified gaming ecosystem. On top of that, the two’s advantage is very low on-chain fees:

  • Fee on WAX: 0$
  • Fee on Polygon: 0.0001$

At the moment, Polygon hosts as many NFT gaming projects like Ethereum and BSC, yet its user base couldn’t compete with the two juggernauts.

Unlike Ethereum, BSC, and Polygon, WAX is a blockchain protocol focusing on NFT and games with zero blockchain fees. Alien World, built on WAX, owns the most significant number of players in the blockchain gaming space, with nearly 1 million users in the past 30 days.

Enjin:

The ecosystem of Enjin is worth taking a look at because it is a pioneer in the blockchain gaming sector. Completely different from the above ecosystems, Enjin isn’t a blockchain protocol having a smart contract but providing a solution to simplify the NFT application for game products instead.

At present, there are a lot of games powered by Enjin.

In addition to the large ecosystems above, several ecosystems in the process of development are also worth noting, such as:

  • Solana
  • Flow
  • ThunderCore
  • Chromia

Blockchain gaming studios:

Many gaming studios are focusing on blockchain right now, some familiar names such as:

  • Animoca Brands
  • Dapper
  • Lucid Sight
  • Sky Mavis
  • Antler Interactive
  • Everdream Soft
  • Horizon

Types of games:

Although it has been developed for a short time, blockchain gaming also has diversified types of games:

  • Sport
  • Card
  • Battle Royale
  • Building
  • Tower Defense
  • Action
  • Turn-based

If you are a blockchain enthusiastic and interested in games, why not try some games below:

Kyros Ventures Team

Highlights from The Vietnam Cryptocurrency Report H1 2021

After comprehensive research conducted by the Coin68 and Kyros Ventures Team, the Vietnam Cryptocurrency Report H1 2021 is now published.

The team has collected a lot of interesting information and would like to share it with all of you in this report. Before going into the finer details, let’s take a look at some of the key points in the report!

Opinions on Vietnam market

Vietnam is on its way to becoming one of the biggest crypto markets in the world with favorable economics and environments, outstanding developers, and great innovators in technology.

Vietnam investors

The cryptocurrency market went through a major bull run in early 2021, bringing waves of newcomers into the market. Nearly 40% of survey respondents said that they have just entered the market in 2021. Yet this group of people expect very high returns from crypto, mostly to double/triple their initial investments or even higher.

Trading behavior

Long-term trading or “HODL” has become more and more popular among the Vietnamese crypto investor communities over time. 

The Vietnam Cryptocurrency Market Report 2020 showed that HODLing was the least chosen trading style, accounting for only 25%. The majority was for the short-term or mid-term. The latest data, however, shows that 50% of respondents are long-term investors.

Download the full report on the banner link below.

Perspective on Bitcoin

This is probably the part that many people are looking forward to. At the time of writing, Bitcoin keeps moving sideways around the 30,000 USD area. Many investors fear that the market will fall into a long-term downtrend. 

According to the report, the majority of respondents have had a positive view towards the Bitcoin price especially in the long term. Some even expect that the Bitcoin price would surpass 100,000 USD in the near future.

Future market trends

Most investors expect the Altcoins season would arrive in H2 2021.

The most promising trends voted by our community are Blockchain platforms, Ethereum and Layer 2, NFT and Blockchain games. Blockchain platform coins are expected to bring high profits to investors in H2 2021.

Perspectives on NFTs

NFTs, especially the blockchain gaming segment, are flourishing in just a short period of time. The survey demonstrates that more than half of the respondents are hesitant about participating in the NFT market because they don’t understand the value of NFT or how it works and the initial investment is just high. However, when being asked which segment of NFT to invest in, the majority chose Blockchain games.

Blockchain gaming platform tokens are also the most bullish NFT tokens in the report.

This is just an overview of the report, there are still many other interesting insights waiting for you to discover. Download theVietnam Cryptocurrency Market Report H1.2021now for more high quality information!

Kyros Ventures Team

Kyros Report: NFT Market in 2021

The record was set

On March 11, 2021, a digital artwork named “Everydays – The First 5000 days” was sold for $69 million and made Beeple, the painting’s creator, own one of the top 3 most expensive auctioned artworks of any artist currently alive.

Within the past few months, the emerging world of NFTs has accelerated rapidly to reach new heights of success due to the increased uptake from the blockchain community, talented artists, celebrities, and athletes worldwide all hoping to make their mark on this digital frontier. Recently, the two most prominent crypto exchanges – Binance and FTX, have announced the launch of their NFT marketplaces. 

These findings show that NFTs are becoming widely acknowledged and are constantly growing. However, it must also be questioned whether NFTs are a  “here to stay” trend and will it become the breakthrough technology that brings crypto and blockchain to the masses? Let’s delve into the big picture of the current NFT ecosystem to get a better understanding as we enter a new era in NFT Blockchain Technology.

NFT market overview 

Figure 1: NFT Ecosystem

An NFT (Non-Fungible Token) is a unit of data held on certain blockchains like other tokens but is individually unique and not interchangeable. The original concept for NFTs dates back to 2015, but it wasn’t until 2017 when the first projects began to appear on the Ethereum blockchain under the ERC-721 standard. Over the next two years, more NFT standards were accepted and utilized. 

NFT can represent various physical assets such as photos, videos, audio, paintings, or any kind of digital data. Thus, NFTs help to transform data into verifiable assets that are easy to trade on the blockchain.

An NFT is dynamic as it is made up of various segments, as displayed in Figure 1.

  • Infrastructure: blockchain protocols used to restore and transfer NFTs
  • Gaming: Games using the NFT standard. These include role-playing strategy games, trading card games, or any fun-based gaming experience incorporating NFTs
  • Metaverse: Parallel digital universes which offer a set of unique experiences to users
  • Arts & music: Projects featuring famous artists or musicians to generate digital masterpieces
  • Sports: This features personalities from the world of sport most often connected with real-world players and teams such as Formula 1 teams, football clubs, basketball teams, etc.
  • Collectibles: Project whose primary function is to issue collectible items intended to be collected
  • Marketplace: Platforms to buy, sell and auction NFT
  • Domains: It consists of unique domain names created on the blockchain
  • Others: NFT Wallet, NFT Defi, NFT-focused fund, and NFT News and Analytics.

Market capitalization

Market Capitalization represents the total value of assets present in a market. The NFT ecosystem has had an explosive development over the past year. The video below will show a visualization of this growth.

NFT in details

Infrastructures and Game studios

Currently, Ethereum is still the leading blockchain protocol for NFTs as it hosts the highest number of projects, with over 50 currently running on top of it. WAX, a fork from the EOS blockchain, ranks second with more than 35 projects. New blockchains entering the space are BSC, Polygon, and Flow. It worths mentioning Chiliz, which is fully dedicated to the sports fan token segment.

Despite its dominance, Ethereum’s transaction fees remain a persistent problem as it tends to skyrocket far too regularly. Today, performing any transaction on the network can prove rather costly. Users will have to pay approximately $21 for each transaction which is much higher than other blockchains such as Binance which costs approximately $0.45, Flow $0.02, Polygon $0.0001, and WAX which has no gas fee.

Figure 3 also displays major NFT gaming studios and their products. They have more potential than other kinds of segments within the NFT ecosystem to engage with your everyday normal people. Thanks to the solid base of many blockchain protocols, game creators now have more opportunities to leverage their products through this technology. Recently there have been some big blockchain-focused game studios that have entered the current market including Dapper, Animoca Brands, LucidSight, and EverdreamSoft (Figure 2)

Figure 2: Top NFT Infrastructure and Game Studios

Games and Metaverses

From the gaming market’s standpoint, this market reflects a mature segment that is well developed yet still looks favorable with a high probability for significant growth in the coming years. In addition, this segment has rapidly driven the growth of the NFT ecosystem and now has very compelling liquidity of its assets. 

Currently, the most played game on Ethereum, Axie Infinity, is continuously evolving by adding new features and game modes. Developed by Sky Mavis – a Vietnamese game studio, Axie has attracted thousands of newcomers to blockchain technology from developing countries with nearly 90,000 active wallets and about 22,000 daily users. However, it is God Unchained that currently holds the highest sale value of $22 million while the number of sales reached 569,561 in total (figure 3).

Besides the gaming industry, the more established Metaverses focuses on virtual world-buildings and in-game experiences. Decentraland is currently leading this segment as its sale values account for $62.2 million, making up 58% within its whole market. Despite its dominant position, Decentraland is confronted with challenges by other players like The Sandbox and CryptoVoxels. They offer a vast array of supporting assets to the market including names, wearables, and various objects in the form of ERC-1155 tokens.

Figure 3: Top NFT Projects in Games and Metaverses

As reported by Newzoo’s global games market research, by the end of 2021 there will be approximately 2.9 billion gamers worldwide. Blockchain technology, via NFT’s, gives property rights to gamers. For the first time, gamers can now take ownership of the digital assets they acquire in games. This is enormous as it represents the final stage in the evolution of free-to-play gaming. As gaming is the largest entertainment medium globally with a consumer audience almost as big as the global population, NFTs can leverage this fertile land to bring mass adoption into the blockchain space. A few names to watch: My Neighbo Alice, Derace, X World Games, My Defi Pet, and Ethermon.

Collectibles, Art, and Sports

NFTs peaked in sales on May 3 when $102 million worth was sold in a single day. And the crypto-collectibles market made up $100 million of those sales. Figure 4 illustrates this exciting upshoot in the NFT ecosystem and presents a compelling argument for a very fruitful future for NFT Arts, Collectibles, and Sports.

NFT collectibles like CryptoPunks, Meebits, and CryptoKitties have so far proven to be the most resilient assets and are still the largest of the seven markets ranked by NonFungible.com. Data collected in Figure 5 shows that CryptoPunks still reigns in sales with a value of nearly $400 million and $25,532 in average transaction volume which is far ahead of the other two competitors.

Figure 4: Top NFT Projects in Collectibles, Sports, and Arts

The Sports segment has all the hallmarks of a growing platform in its infancy whose development looks very promising over the next few years, with buyers showing increasing interest. The total sales value of assets traded is exploding having almost reached $600 million, which is surprisingly exceeding the Collectibles segment. The top three contenders of the Sports segment are NBA Top Shot, Sorare, and Topps MLB.

From the NFT Arts perspective, the market still remains very limited. At the moment a common pattern amongst buyers is to build a collection and they are here for the long run. The most prominent in this segment is Hashmasks with the highest sales value of $50.4 million, followed by Art Blocks and KnownOrigin with $20.5 million and $6.4 million respectively.

According to the annual Art Market Report from Art Basel and UBS, the traditional art market is worth about $50 billion in 2020 and has reached new heights in 2021. Although the NFT art market volume is still relatively small compared to this, it has a lot of room to grow in the future.

Marketplaces

The marketplace is the backbone of every ecosystem, and its development explicitly reflects the general landscape of NFT ecosystems and the particular segments in it.

Figure 5 points out that at this moment, Ethereum is still the top NFT blockchain. In particular, OpenSea outperforms the rest of the market, capturing $48.5 million in sales volume with more than 22,000 users in the last 30 days. However, Binance Smart Chain with its minimal transaction fees and speed of transactions has allowed BakerySwap, AirNFTs, and Treasureland to push the limits of the NFTs capabilities so much better. It is also an omission not to mention WAX which is labeled the “King of NFTs brand.” It is now working towards a fairer and more equitable NFT ecosystem that can allow the general public to collect affordable NFTs. The users of WAX are giant compared to any other blockchains in the marketplaces accounting for nearly 420,000.

Figure 5: Top NFT Marketplaces

Domains

This segment presents a great diversity of projects and uses cases; however, one should notice that the segment is mainly driven by the Ethereum Name Service, Unstoppable Domains, and Handshake. 

The context of these projects and their markets, with the sheer numbers and remarkable names, can explain their constant growth and expansion through all the NFT ecosystems. As demonstrated in Figure 6, millions of domain names are registered on these platforms with more than $10 million in sales value. ENS takes first place with $7.01 million calculated at the beginning of June 2021. Nonetheless, Handshake has acquired more names registered than the rest of the market, gaining around 53.7% overall. 

The ecosystem of these domains is highly diverse, ranging from wallets and browsers to exchanges and other kinds of applications. However, ENS once again proves its dominance and popularity with 231 integrations, quadrupling Unstoppable and being nearly twelve times bigger than Handshake.

In line with ReportLinker, the global domain names market is forecasted to reach 512.3 million domain names registered by 2027. This number is tremendous and if NFT domain names can take only 5% to 10% of the market share, the whole NFT domains market will grow more than twenty times compared to today.

Figure 6: Top NFT Domains

Binance NFT

The NFT sector on Binance Smart Chain is still in its infancy with consistently increasing growth and adoption which is closely followed by global companies around the world. And recently, Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, has launched its own NFT marketplace on the 24th of June 2021. As stated, this marketplace “will bring together artists, creators and crypto enthusiasts from around the world,” and it will then “ become the premier destination for NFTs and digital collectibles across mediums, from visual arts and gaming to music and sports.” 

We had a sneak peek at the first iteration of the Binance NFT marketplace on launch day, displayed in Figure 7.

Figure 7: Lineups at Binance NFT Marketplace on launching day 

With the weight it possesses in the space, Binance is predicted to form a new trend in the market. And one day, when unique and irreplaceable assets are issued as NFTs on the blockchain and globally adopted, these names in Figure 8, with their partnerships and developments on BSC, could make several remarkable achievements.

We are all waiting to see the long-term evolution of this new ecosystem after this exciting start.

Figure 8: NFT Projects on top of Binance ecosystem

Where will it go and What awaits us?

The Non-Fungible Token industry is an extremely young sector rapidly expanding in trading volume, liquidity of assets, and the number of new users over time. Yet we are only at the very dawn of starting to explore how many industries can utilize NFTs. 

The massive acceleration during the second half of 2020 with the adoption of many mature use cases and structured projects indicates that its development is about to speed up dramatically. 2021 is poised to be an eventful year as several major realizations about the NFT ecosystem have enabled it to move on to the next level. 

NFTs have opened a new opportunity for the digital economy where virtual assets can be verified and traded in just one click. It is no longer just a speculative industry; it is now a value generation industry. When compared to the traditional market, NFTs market share is still negligible. Yet with the inevitability of the digital revolution, there is little doubt the world of NFTs may soon become mainstream and disruptive to both new and established industries. What remarkable milestones are awaiting the NFT ecosystem in the future? Only time can tell.