How 2021 and 2022 opened the door for NFT's in the art market

How 2021 and 2022 opened the door for NFT's in the art market
Beeple (b. 1981) EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS Source - Christie's

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) have radically transformed the art landscape, spearheading a global digital art and collectibles movement. With an astonishing sales volume of USD 23 billion in 2021, and landmark sales such as Beeple's "Everydays: The first 5000 days" fetching USD 69 million, the digital art market is in the limelight. Using insights from a joint Deloitte and Credit Suisse report, this article dissects the NFT market's multi-faceted nature, from its remarkable growth to inherent challenges.

Key Highlights of the NFT Market:

Explosive Growth:

  • Sales volume hit USD 23 billion in 2021.
  • Art-related NFTs surged to USD 2.6 billion, a growth of over a hundred times.
  • Standout sales, such as Beeple's art piece, garnered global attention.

Auction Houses Dive In:

  • Leading houses like Sotheby's have capitalized on the NFT trend, with sales reaching up to USD 100 million since April 2021.

Crypto Collectibles Trend:

  • Beyond individual artists, there's a surge in crypto collectibles like Crypto Punks and Bored Ape Yacht Club, emphasizing community-building and code-generated art.

NFTs' Ascending Importance:

  • Intellectual property acquisitions, such as that by Yuga Labs, underscore NFTs' potential and lasting influence.

Museum Interaction with NFTs:

  • While museums like Uffizi and the Hermitage Museum have begun dabbling in NFTs, widespread adoption remains to be seen.

Market Concentration:

  • The market sees a significant concentration, with the top 5% of artists on platforms like Nifty Gateway accounting for 55% of total sales.

Challenges and Concerns:

Market Trust and Legalities:

  • With NFTs rooted in the nascent world of cryptocurrency, trust and legal clarity are crucial yet challenging areas.

Issues of Scams, IP Thefts, and More:

  • The market grapples with concerns like wash trading, IP theft, and scams.


NFTs have undeniably etched a significant mark on the art world, forging a new paradigm in digital art and collectibles. As auction houses jump onto this bandwagon and artists attain unprecedented values for digital art, challenges loom in the backdrop. From legal ambiguities to concentrated market values, the future of NFTs remains both promising and uncertain. The art world stands on the cusp of a digital revolution, awaiting wider museum adoption and clearer regulations. As the narrative unfolds, the art community watches with bated breath.


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