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NFT sales hit $25bn in 2021, but growth shows signs of slowing

Lifestyle

NFT sales hit $25bn in 2021, but growth shows signs of slowing

Money spent on NFTs last year is about equal to that pledged at COP26 or World Bank funding for Covid vaccines

Elizabeth Howcroft

From cartoon apes to video clips, sales of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) reached about $25bn (about R387bn) in 2021 as the speculative crypto asset exploded in popularity, data from market tracker DappRadar show, though there were signs of growth slowing towards the end of the year.

Prices of some NFTs, crypto assets representing a digital item such as an image, video or even land in virtual worlds, rose so fast last year that speculators sometimes “flipped” them for a profit within days.

The art world has been quick to cash in, with auction houses selling NFTs representing simple cartoons for millions of dollars, with no physical objects changing hands. One NFT artwork fetched a record $69.3m (about R1bn) at a Christie’s sale in March...

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