NFTs, the non-fungible tokens stored on the blockchain that have popped up on the auction circuit frequently, have drawn both the scorn and admiration of the art world, but their sales have shown few signs of slowing down. After a gully earlier in the year that had some speculating that the whole NFT craze was nothing more than a novel bubble, new data from the NFT tracking site NonFungible indicates that $897 million in NFT sales took place in July and August during a 30 day period that ended on August 18th. Earlier in the year, NFT sales also spiked in the second quarter, but this new total is certainly striking on its own.
That being said, certain experts are also postulating that the current surge in sales is taking place because certain inexperienced buyers and creators are hopping on the bandwagon. “What is happening right now is the equivalent of me hearing that a major contemporary painter has sold something for millions of dollars and I, someone with no art skill or experience says, ‘Well I guess I better start painting because any paint on canvas is selling for millions,'” Stephane Ouellette, the chief executive and co-founder of FRNT Financial, told Bloomberg News.
“These were people too slow to capitalize the first time around,” Aaron Brown, a crypto investor added to Bloomberg in the same piece. “Since all of them seem driven by cynical calculation for money rather than any vision of NFTs, I suspect things will soon collapse.”
If NFTs are actually about to collapse as a commodity, the art world has already made major adjustments that it’ll have to reckon with. Christie’s, for example, recently offered NFT versions of groundbreaking digital art made by Andy Warhol in the 1980s, and Sotheby’s has launched a virtual gallery structured to function with the Ethereum blockchain so that it has a custom-designed platform for the sale of NFTs.