Is the NFT marketplace suffering?

Non-fungible token (NFT) trading in September has returned to pre-bubble levels, with monthly volume falling 97 percent from a January peak, according to published reports.

If nothing completely unexpected happens in the last minutes, September’s NFT trading volume will be around $500 million, which would be a 15-month low.

NFTs, as a reminder, are unique digital assets recorded on a blockchain.

It’s not all bad news for NFT owners. According to data from the analytics platform NFTGo, the majority of NFT sellers made a profit on their digital assets in the last 30 days. Many others are hanging on for dear life, hoping to survive the crash.

However, there are few indications that the sluggish demand for NFTs will ever reach the heights of early 2022. 

So, what is the future of the NFT ecosystem?

Following the collapse of NFT values, blockchain bulls are increasingly having to provide an answer to this question. And regrettably, for owners of NFT collectibles, which were a major driving force behind the current craze, the majority of responses emphasize commerce over art.

Take Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of the Ethereum blockchain said “I think the NFTs that are going to be sustainable are the NFTs that are going to be useful,” Buterin said. “In the beginning stages, there are tradable art and cat pictures, and a lot of that stuff really has cratered. For an NFT to have lasting value there needs to be some benefit to holding it other than just being able to say that you hold it.

Big-dollar investors, meanwhile, remain bullish on the long-term prospects of NFTs mixing well with business. 

Despite the collapse of NFT trading volume and cryptocurrency prices, venture capital funding for NFTs and NFT-driven gaming (in which players are rewarded with digital assets) hasn’t completely evaporated. In the three-month period ending in August, investors pumped a monthly average of roughly $625 million into NFT and gaming ventures, according to The Block Research. In the previous nine months, the average investment totaled just shy of $1 billion.