The NFT market is gaining steam again in 2023, as rising sales and trading volume data showed in January. Now there have been two more prominent signs of a rebound over the past 24 hours, as single Ethereum NFTs from the popular CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club projects each sold for more than $1 million worth of ETH.
Both sales came from prominent collectors and creators in the NFT world, and they also mark the two largest single NFT sales tracked by CryptoSlam over the past 30 days.
CryptoPunk #5066 was sold on Monday for 857 ETH, or $1.4 million worth at the time. It was sold by Kevin Rose, the co-founder of NFT startup Proof (Moonbirds) as well as a venture capitalist, serial entrepreneur, and noted NFT collector. The buyer is unknown, although the NFT was transferred into another wallet labeled bitshamed.eth shortly after the purchase.
Rose recently fell victim to a phishing attack that saw him unwittingly transfer 40 NFTs collectively valued at more than $1 million—including Art Blocks and Autoglyphs pieces—to an attacker. He said afterwards that he’s selling some assets in an effort to rebalance his portfolio and acquire more Art Blocks Squiggles NFTs after losing 25 of them in the attack.
Meanwhile, Bored Ape Yacht Club #7090 sold for 800 ETH today, or $1.3 million. Ranked the 62nd rarest NFT in the 10,000-piece collection by Rarity Tools, the NFT was sold by Web3 creator and collector Jimmy “j1mmy” McNelis to an unidentified buyer. McNelis owns the NFTs behind Universal Music Group’s Bored Ape virtual band, Kingship, and also created the early Avastars project.
An NFT is a blockchain token that can serve as a proof of ownership for an item, including digital goods like artwork, PFPs, collectibles, and video game items. The NFT market yielded about $25 billion worth of organic trading volume in 2021 and again in 2022.
The sales point to continuing momentum for the NFT industry following a significant rise in activity dating back to late 2022. The market started last year with record-breaking trading volume, but sales and prices fell sharply over the summer and into the fall as crypto prices tanked and industry contagion took hold.
However, total month-over-month organic NFT trading volume ticked up slightly in December, per data from DappRadar, and then surged in January. Sales volume surged 38% to nearly $947 million in January, according to the analytics firm, while the total number NFTs sold during the month rose 42% to 9.5 million.
The Bored Ape Yacht Club and associated collections drove a lot of the market-wide bump in January, due to the launch of Yuga Labs’ Dookey Dash web game and Sewer Pass NFTs.
According to CryptoSlam, NFT sales on Ethereum alone over the past seven days topped $209 million worth of ETH—a nearly 15% increase over the previous week.