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Dynamic Shifts in the NFT Market: The Fate of Inactive NFTs

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In the dynamic world of cryptocurrencies, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) rose to stardom in recent years. Their peak came during the 2021/22 bull run, where a staggering $2.8 billion in monthly trading volume was recorded in August 2021. NFTs captured global attention with headline-making million-dollar deals.


However, the NFT landscape has transformed significantly since then. Fast forward to today, and the NFT market has dwindled, with weekly trading values hovering around $80 million in July 2023, a mere 3% of its 2021 peak. So, what led to this decline?

NFTs experienced a meteoric rise followed by a dramatic crash, plunging us into a bear market where many projects struggle to find buyers amid pessimism about their future value.

Unveiling the Current State of the NFT Market: A Unique Perspective
In the realm of NFTs, a seismic shift has occurred, ushering in an era of subdued fervor. The echo of this slowdown resonates widely, but just how profound is the impact?

Embarking on an investigative journey, the dappGambl team has delved into the heart of this phenomenon, poised to lay bare the details for your discerning eye.

Leveraging the wealth of data from the NFT scan, we meticulously dissected a staggering 73,257 NFT collections. This deep dive aimed to unearth pivotal trends, gauge the market’s vitality, decipher the elements underpinning prosperous ventures, and offer a glimpse into the potential trajectory of the NFT ecosystem.

The findings, to put it mildly, left us astonished.

The Value Dilemma: The Majority of NFTs Are Worthless
Within the expansive realm of NFTs, a staggering revelation comes to the forefront. Among the 73,257 NFT collections we scrutinized, a staggering 69,795 of them bear the weight of a desolate market cap—0 Ether (ETH).

This disheartening statistic paints a stark picture: a resounding 95% of NFT collectors find themselves clutching tokens with no tangible value. This translates to over 23 million individuals whose investments have plunged into worthlessness.

This stark revelation underscores the high-stakes nature of the NFT arena, sounding a clarion call for meticulous due diligence before embarking on any acquisitions, particularly those of substantial worth.

It is imperative to acknowledge this sobering reality as a counterpoint to the exuberance that often envelopes the NFT sphere. Amidst tales of digital artworks commanding millions and meteoric success narratives, it’s vital to remain cognizant of the potential pitfalls and financial risks lurking within the market’s intricate web.

Businessman using a computer for NFT non fungible token for crypto art blockchain technology concept.

Another Problem: Demand Not Able to Meet Up With Supply
Among the catalog of collections under scrutiny, a mere 21% stand as complete, with full ownership exceeding 100%. This glaring statistic unveils the stark reality that nearly 4 out of every 5 NFT collections languish unsold, a telling tale.

This unfolding scenario reflects a glaring mismatch between the burgeoning creation of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and the authentic demand for these digital treasures within the contemporary market canvas.

The surplus of supply vis-à-vis demand constructs an environment favoring buyers, where potential investors exercise discernment, meticulously evaluating the aesthetic, uniqueness, and prospective value of NFTs prior to making acquisitions.

This has initiated a challenging landscape for projects lacking clear utility, captivating narratives, or genuine artistic merit as they grapple to capture elusive attention and secure sales.

It serves as a stark reminder that while the NFT realm has ushered in a pioneering paradigm for digital asset ownership and monetization, it remains a terrain rife with speculation and volatility.

In this landscape, both creators and investors should tread with judicious caution, armed with a well-defined strategy and a comprehensive understanding of the inherent risks.

Environmental Implications of NFTs: A Closer Look
When it comes to the intersection of NFTs and the environment, a well-rounded perspective is paramount. Much like preceding digital innovations, NFT creation consumes energy.

The minting process, which validates a digital asset’s uniqueness via a blockchain transaction, carries an energy cost. However, the energy expended during the minting of NFTs with limited or nonexistent utility raises concerns.

To grasp the scale of the issue, our research pinpointed 195,699 NFT collections lacking discernible ownership or market presence. The energy expended in minting these NFTs equates to a staggering 27,789,258 kWh, resulting in an emission of approximately 16,243 metric tons of CO2.

These numbers are formidable, prompting us to contextualize the environmental impact. The 16,243 metric tons of CO2 emissions are equivalent to:

  1. The annual emissions of 2,048 homes average 7.93 tons per home, according to the EPA.
  2. The yearly emissions of 3,531 cars are at an average of 4.6 tons per car, according to the EPA.
  3. The carbon footprint of 4,061 passengers flying from London (England) to Wellington (New Zealand) is estimated at 4 tons of CO2 per person by Air New Zealand.

It’s imperative to place the energy consumption of NFTs within the broader framework of our overall energy use and carbon footprint. Daily activities, industries, and urban lighting all contribute to our collective energy consumption.

Yet, the onus falls on NFT creators to ensure meaningful and authentic contributions to the NFT ecosystem. Those solely seeking rapid gains without adding substantial value may inadvertently impose avoidable environmental costs in pursuit of quick profits.

As with any industry, thoughtful and responsible creation and consumption are essential to strike a balance between reaping benefits and mitigating potential drawbacks.

Assessing the Leading NFT Assets
While scrutinizing the entire NFT market might seem exhaustive, a more focused approach provides a clearer picture. Much like the S&P 500 serves as a barometer for the overall health of the US stock market, analyzing top-tier NFT collections offers valuable insights into the NFT market’s status.

By filtering out the noise generated by lower-value and less impactful projects, we can discern essential trends and patterns within this dynamic digital landscape.

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