The Leading NFT marketplace, OpenSea, has produced a combined total of $5 billion in revenue last month which was spread across both the Ethereum and Polygon blockchains. The January sales smashed the prior record of $3.4 billion set last August 2021.
These record-breaking results are based on publicly available blockchain data, gathered by Dune Analytics. According to Dune Analytics data, OpenSea had the vast majority of its January trading action – more than $4.95 billion – occur on Ethereum. The balance of the record-setting volume for last month was on the Polygon network.
The Dune Analytics numbers found that those revenue splits were single-month records for each respective network, and the data further showed that OpenSea had its best single day in months on January 31, with an eye-popping $233 million worth of NFT trading. That breaks down to nearly $10 million worth of NFT sales per hour.
The volume of OpenSea sales is important because it’s an excellent indicator of the strength and growth of the NFT marketplace, which doesn’t seem to be slowing down at all. While the initial NFT surge was infatuation with the novelty of NFTs, its continuing expansion has been driven by other use cases. Specifically, many users are buying low-tier NFTs and flipping them for higher prices on a daily basis, somewhat similar to the way that contractors flip refurbished real estate.
There’s also high demand among high earners who have moved funds from beaten cryptos to buy up blue-chip NFT assets. The thinking behind targeting high-end projects such as Doodles, CryptoPunks, and Bored Ape Yacht Club – to name a few – is that they are a store of value during these high-inflationary times we’re currently living. Top-tier NFTs are analogous to a Dali or Picasso piece of art in the real world.
However, OpenSea faced some choppy waters in January as well. The leading NFT bazaar refunded approximately 750 Ethereum (ETH) – roughly equivalent to $1.8 million U.S. – to users on its platform who mistakenly sold pricey NFTs at deep discounts. What happened was that traders of valuable NFTs, which were priced on OpenSea for tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of ETH – got snatched by some rogue shoppers using sleight of hand buys on inactive listings for the same NFTs. The sneaky shoppers made a steal by purchasing the old listings at beyond bargain prices. Prior to issuing the reimbursements, OpenSea co-founder, Alex Atallah posted this message to Twitter.
It’s difficult to tell if this trading debacle has been fully resolved, but don’t be surprised if some disgruntled sellers initiate some type of legal action regarding this open matter with OpenSea. But don’t feel too badly for the OpenSea team, they’ll be able to afford any potential legal bills after last month’s sales surge.