NFT Marketplace OpenSea Sees $3.4B Transaction Volume in August

NFT, Sotheby's, Visa, sales

The nonfungible token marketplace OpenSea recorded a $3.4 billion transaction volume on Ethereum last month, a tenfold increase from July.  

That’s according to MarketWatch, which reported Monday (Sept. 6) that the data shows “unprecedented interest” in nonfungible tokens (NFT).  

Read more: The ‘Next Chapter’ In Art History? Digital-Only Work Sells For Close To $70 Million

With increased demand and attention driving up the prices of high-profile NFT collections, prices are also on the rise for Ether, Solana and other smart contract blockchains used to create NFTs. Solana hit its highest trading price ever last week, with Ether on the road to a similar record.

“With most NFTs being minted on the Ethereum blockchain, the demand for Ether is higher,” Petr Kozyakov, co-founder and CEO of the global payment network Mercuryo, said in an email to MarketWatch.  

OpenSea’s most popular NFT collection is CryptoPunks, which consists of 10,000 unique characters. Visa recently purchased a cryptopunk NFT at an auction — “CryptoPunk 7610” — for roughly $150,000.  

As we noted last week, Visa’s sheer presence at an auction gave the NFT marketplace an immediate shot of extra credibility — 90 CryptoPunks were sold within an hour of the announcement of Visa’s purchase. 

“We want to have a seat at the table as the crypto economy evolves,” Cuy Sheffield, Visa’s head of crypto, said.  

Read it here: Visa Jumps From Payment Rails to a Ride on the Red Hot NFT Train

Over the last 30 days, CryptoPunks on OpenSea recorded transaction volumes of 202,321 ETH, which translates to about $800 million based on ether’s recent price.  

Last week, Sotheby’s launched an auction — which runs until Sept. 9 — of more than 200 NFTs of Bored Ape Yacht Club, a monkey-themed collection, which could fetch between $13.5 million and $20 million in total. 

As PYMNTS noted last week, the notion of paying large amounts of cash for something that can’t be physically held might be tough to grasp, but the eCommerce art dealer 1st Dibs says that’s where the artistic space is going. 

Learn more: What 1st Dibs Sees in NFTs and Why Digital Art Curators Are the Next Big Thing 

“Digital art is really a natural expansion of what we’ve been offering,” said 1st Dibs Chief Revenue Officer Sarah Liebel in an interview with PYMNTS’ Karen Webster. “But the way we’re approaching it is very different from other platforms.”