17 Intriguing NFT Statistics (2021)

by Josh Howarth - August 6, 2021

This guide will feature 17+ non-fungible token (NFT) stats worth highlighting in 2021.

As interest and investment in cryptocurrency continues to grow, so does the more recent development of NFTs.

But how popular are NFTs, exactly? And how much are people willing to invest in them?

Read our list of up-to-date NFT stats to find out.

Click for a specific section:


NFT Sales Statistics

Global NFT transactions exceeded $300 million last year (NonFungible)

The rise in cryptocurrency use has been mirrored by the rise in NFT transactions.

NFT transaction totals have risen from $40.96 million in 2018 to $338.04 million in 2020. That’s an increase of over 8x in two years.

Compared to 2019’s total of $141.56 million, 2020 has seen an increase of approximately 82%.

The most expensive NFT sold for over $69 million (Statista)

NFT sales figures continue to push new limits. This is best exemplified by the most expensive NFT sale to date: Beeple's First 5000 Days digital artwork. This NFT sold for the equivalent of approximately $69.35 million.


This figure dwarfs the next most expensive NFT sale of approximately $7.82 million.

In total, nine different NFTs sold for upwards of $1 million worth of Ethereum between February 22nd and March 14th of 2021.

Rank NFT Approx Sale Price (Millions)
#1 Beeple Everyday: The First 5000 Days $69.35
#2 CryptoPunk 7804 $7.82
#3 CryptoPunk 3100 $7.57
#4 Beeple CROSSROADS $6.60
#5 CryptoPunk 6965 $1.55
#6 CryptoPunk 4156 $1.20
#7 CryptoPunk 2140 $1.07
#8 CryptoPunk 6487 $1.05
#9 Hairy #1 /1 $1.04
#10 CryptoPunk 3393 $0.88

CryptoPunk NFTs make up 14 of the top 20 largest NFT sales (Statista)

The series of NFTs known as CryptoPunk were created by Larvalabs on the Ethereum network. These NFTs have become incredibly valuable due to their rarity.

The second-highest NFT sale as of March 2021 was a CryptoPunk NFT that sold for the equivalent of approximately $7.8 million.

A further 13 of the top 20 all-time most valuable NFT sales are part of the CryptoPunk collection, including seven of the top 10.

NFT marketplace OpenSea has a market value of over $1 billion (Statista)

OpenSea is an NFT marketplace established in 2017. The marketplace is now considered a “unicorn” thanks to its $1 billion valuation.

Of 253 startups classed as “unicorns'' in 2021, 60 are part of the FinTech industry, including OpenSea.

NFT Markets and Demographic Statistics

29% of US adults are interested in getting involved with NFTs (Morning Consult)

A March 2021 survey found that 20% of US adults are “somewhat interested” in acquiring, investing in, or trading NFTs. And 9% of US adults claimed to be “very interested” in getting involved with NFTs.


The survey split respondents into various demographics. Of the four demographics included, Esport fans are the most receptive to NFT investment with 58% confirming at least some interest. Specifically, 35% of Esport fans answered “somewhat interested” and 23% replied “very interested” in response to NFT interest.

The second most interested demographic are physical collectors. Over half of these respondents claim to be interested in NFTs with one in five responding “very interested”.

Of the remaining stated demographics, 37% of gamers and 34% of sports fans reported at least some interest in NFTs.

Americans make up over half of NFT investors (Christie’s)

Christie's auction of Everydays: The First 5000 Days by Beeple featured the sale of an NFT fetching approximately $69 million.

The auction took place between February 25th and March 11th with 55% of bidders based in America.

The second-most active bidding region was Europe, responsible for 27% of all bids during the Beeple auction.

The other 18% of bidders in the Beeple auction were based in Asia.

Almost a quarter of Millennials collect NFTs (Morning Consult)

A survey conducted this year found that Millennials are the most likely generation to collect NFTs. 23% of Millennial respondents claim to collect NFTs as either a hobby or an investment.

The next most prevalent collectors of NFTs by generation are Gen Xers with 8% of respondents claiming to do so.

Gen Zers ranked third of four generations surveyed for the proportion of respondents collecting NFTs with 4%.

Lastly, only 2% of Baby Boomers claim to collect NFTs as either a hobby or investment.

Over 40% of Millenials collect physical items (Morning Consult)

The collection of physical items as a hobby or for investment follows a largely similar trend to NFT collections. Once again, Millennials are the most frequent collectors with 42% of Millenial respondents claiming to collect physical items.


The second-most likely collector of physical items is once again Gen Xers. However, there is a smaller disparity between generations in the collection of physical items compared to NFTs. This is highlighted by the fact that 37% of Gen Xers collect physical items.

One notable difference between NFT collection statistics and physical item collection statistics is that Baby Boomers outcollect Gen Zers in physical items. 29% of Baby Boomers collect physical items compared with 20% of Gen Zers.

Men are over 3x more likely to collect NFTs than women (Morning Consult)

A 2021 survey found that 15% of US males surveyed collect NFTs as either a hobby or investment.

By contrast, just 4% of US females surveyed claim to collect NFTs.

Men are over 2x more likely to collect physical items than women (Morning Consult)

A share of 45% of US men surveyed stated that they collect physical items as either a hobby or investment.

Comparatively, just 22% of women surveyed collect physical items. This same disparity was seen in NFT collections by gender.

NFT Category Stats

Total NFT sales equate to approximately $55.3 million per year (NonFungible)

Total NFT sales in art, gaming, and the metaverse each exceeded $10 million last year.

The gaming category was responsible for over $12.9 million worth of NFT art sales. And the sports category was responsible for over $7.1 million worth of NFT art sales. Neither category registered in sales in 2018 or 2019.

The art category also grew considerably, selling a combined estimated $3 million worth of NFTs in 2018 and 2019 compared to over $12.9 million in 2020.

However, not all categories experienced growth. The utility, collectibles, metaverses, trading card games, role-playing games, strategy, and miscellaneous categories all saw reduced sales in 2020 compared to 2018.

Most notably, the collectibles category fell from over $156 million worth of sales in 2018 to around $6.2 million last year. And the strategy category dropped from over $35 million worth of sales in 2018 to no sales in 2020.

The most expensive sale of a meme-turned-NFT sold for $500,000+ (Statista)

Memes are being turned into valuable NFTs and sold at increasingly high prices.

The largest fee a meme-turned-NFT sold for is equivalent to $573,136. The NFT art in question is called “Disaster Girl” and pictures a child seemingly smirking in front of a burning building. The person in the picture, Zoë Roth, sold the image taken in 2005 and will receive 10% of profits from future sales.

This follows the sale on the “Nyan Cat” meme as an NFT. The GIF first went viral in 2011 and features a cat in a pop tart. This NFT also sold for over $500 thousand.

The third most expensive sale of a meme-turned-NFT surpassed the $450 thousand mark. “Overly Attached Girlfriend” is a viral image from 2012 taken from a YouTube parody video about Justin Bieber’s single “boyfriend”.

Here’s the full breakdown of the most expensive meme-turned-NFT sales to date:


Art Sector NFT Statistics

NFT art sales peaked at almost 100 thousand sales per month (NonFungible)

NFT art sales have taken off in 2021.

From March 13 to July 15, 174,297 NFT art sales were made. Across those four months, the lowest total of NFT art sales was recorded as 12,085 between April 12 and May 11.

Between May 11 and June 15 this year, a total of 93,089 NFT art sales were made. Of those, over two-thirds (63,109) were classed as primary sales. The remaining sales (29,980) were classed as secondary sales.

The sales value of NFT art surpassed $150,000 between March and July 2021 (NonFungible)

Between March 13 and July 15, the total sales of NFT art reached $179,221.

The one-month period that generated the most NFT sales value fell between March 13th and April 12th with $63,881 worth of sales. Of this total, $29,815 worth was recorded as a primary sale. While $34,066 worth was recorded as a secondary NFT art sale.

All four months recorded surpassed at least $25 thousand worth of sales in NFT art.

Online sales of art more than doubled last year (UBS)

The art industry has been growing online. Since 2013, there has been year-over-year revenue growth from art sales online (with the exception of 0% growth between 2018 and 2019).

A total of $3.1 billion worth of art was sold online in 2013. That figure almost doubled to $6 billion in 2019.

Last year, online art sales totaled $12.4 billion. The pandemic can be attributed to much of this growth as auction houses were forced online. However, the emergence of NFT art sales also contributed to this total figure.

Nifty Gateway Statistics

NFT art sales on Nifty Gateway have surpassed a total value of $250 million (ArtTactic)

Nifty Gateway is an online digital art marketplace for NFT art. Since launching in 2018, Nifty Gateway has grown rapidly in terms of sales.

In May 2020, NFT art sold on Nifty Gateway totaled $0.3 million worth. This figure increased month-over-month, reaching $9.94 million worth in October 2020.

In December 2020, the total sales figure for NFT art on Nifty Gateway soared to $29.54 million worth.

This total increased by over 2.5x to $76.79 million worth in February 2021. And increased further to $105.71 million in March 2021.

All recorded figures since October 2020 have surpassed $5 million worth of monthly NFT art sales.

Almost 2000 NFTs were launched on Nifty Gateway in the first four months of 2021 (ArtTactic)

Given the increase in value of monthly sales, it isn’t surprising to discover an increase in both new NFT artists and the number of NFT launches.

In May 2020, 31 NFTs were launched on the Nifty Gateway platform. This number increased month-over-month for six months, reaching 166 NFT launches in October 2020.

The October 2020 total doubles to 332 in December 2020. And increased by over 2x to 688 in March 2021.

The number of new artists has also steadily grown from six in June 2020 to a recorded peak of 60 in March of this year.


That’s all for our list of statistics about the NFT space.

As you can see, even if the initial wave of interest has died down, the NFT space still has plenty of room for growth.

One thread that ties many of these stats together is the fact that NFTs largely appeal to the younger generation. Which also bodes well for future growth.

Written By
Josh Howarth
Co-founder of Exploding Topics.
548 Market St. Suite 95149
San Francisco, California
© 2021  Exploding Topics