NFT Insights

NFT Market Report – Q1 2023

NFT Market Report – Q1 2023

Content

Market Overview

  • Blue Chip Index
  • Volume
  • Traders
  • Top Collections

Marketplaces

  • Trading Size
  • Blur vs OpenSea
  • AirDrop Strategy
  • User Analysis
  • Royalty Fees
  • Marketplace Fees

NFT Market Overview

Blue Chip Index

(Blue Chip Index - Data Source: NFTGo.io)

The blue chip index has rebounded slightly after the extreme highs and lows of last year. Having reached a three-month high of 9,881 in early January, the index continued to decline over the subsequent two months until hitting a new low of 8,189 by the end of March. Overall, the NFT market has remained in a bear market for an extended period of time, which is reflected by reduced buyers’ interests and liquidity.

Volume

(Market Cap & Volume - Data Source: NFTGo.io)

Over the past quarter, trading volume was on a steady trend for the first half of the quarter until it reached a three-month trading peak in mid-February. The periodic high was associated with the new marketplace Blur’s token incentive, which catapulted NFT market trading volume to a new height. The volume of NFT transactions on Ethereum in the last quarter was about 2.56M ETH, up 126.19% from the previous quarter. Compared to the previous one and a half months, although the NFT market has picked up somewhat in the latter one and a half months, it will need other hype boosters and sustainable models to drive the market to the next all-time high as relying on incentives won’t always drive the market as wished.

Traders

(Holders & Traders - Data Source: NFTGo.io)

In the first half of the quarter, sellers significantly outnumbered buyers, thus creating a seller’s market. What’s more, the number of traders also gradually decreased as reflected by the data of NFTGo, which shows that as of March 22, 2023, the number of addresses that involved trading was 23,757 – 11,546 buyer addresses and 12,211 seller addresses. On the other hand, the number of NFT holders grew by 13.57% to 4.29 million compared to the previous quarter.

Top Collections

(Collection Distribution - Data Source: NFTGo.io)

It is worth noting that in Q1, MAYC ranked first in terms of trading volume over the past three months, accounting for about 7.8% of the overall market volume, followed closely by BAYC at about 6.61%. Sewer Pass contributed about 70K ETH of the total figures, making it one of the top-performing collections. Overall, NFTs in the Yuga Labs ecosystem accounted for a quarter of the overall trading volume in Q1, while blue chip projects accounted for half of the volume.

Marketplaces

Trading Size

(Trading Size & Traders - Data Source: NFTGo.io)

According to the comparison of transaction volume across major platforms, it was found that OpenSea was no longer at the top of the list this quarter, while Blur topped the list with a quarterly transaction volume of 1.8M ETH – almost twice the transaction volume of OpenSea. NFTGo’s wash trade filter revealed that about 270K transactions on Blur involved wash trading.

Blur vs OpenSea

The NFT Marketplace landscape has experienced intensified competition in 2023 as various platforms gathered the  attention of creators and collectors. Since its inception in December 2017, OpenSea has held its position as the leading NFT marketplace.

However, the emergence of Blur in October of 2022, which launched targeting NFT pro users, took the industry by storm and was able to gain a significant percentage of the volume market share (almost 80% at the ATH).

(Percentage of Volume by Fill Source - Data Source: @sealaunch_Dune)
(Volume (ETH) - Data Source: @sealaunch_Dune)

AirDrop Strategy

Blur’s remarkable entry into the market can be attributed to an aggressive multi-phase airdrop strategy, which created trading incentives for a wide range of users. By offering rewards in multiple phases, Blur not only captured the attention of potential traders but also fostered a sense of anticipation and excitement surrounding its platform. This approach led to increased engagement, higher trading volume, and an influx of new users.

The multi-phase airdrop strategy was designed to target specific user segments, including early adopters and pro high volume traders. As a result of this strategy, Blur was able to effectively compete with OpenSea, quickly gaining volume market share and generating significant interest within the NFT community.

(Percentage of Volume by Fill Source - Data Source: @sealaunch_Dune)

The airdrop strategy employed by Blur temporarily alters trading incentives, drawing a significant volume of transactions to its platform. As users are enticed by the short-term rewards offered through the airdrop, Blur experiences a surge in activity. However, it is essential to consider that this impact may be temporary, as the incentive-driven hype eventually wanes.

Once the airdrop incentives are no longer in effect, users reassess their trading preferences based on the overall trading experience. In such scenarios, OpenSea’s volume has seen a rebound, as it continues to leverage its established position in the NFT marketplace and strong user base. This highlights the importance of assessing the long-term sustainability and growth strategies of both platforms beyond the trading incentives.

The airdrop strategy proved successful for Blur, as it attracted high volume traders to the platform, subsequently boosting the overall trading volume. This increase in volume brought other users within the market to follow suit because they normally go after liquidity. However, it is important to note that despite gaining a significant share in trading volume, Blur’s user marketshare growth was not so high, with OpenSea continuing to maintain its dominant position in terms of total users.

(Percentage Unique Users by Fill Source - Data Source: @sealaunch_Dune)

User Analysis

In order to gain a deeper understanding of the user landscape of OpenSea vs Blur, we analyzed the distribution of volume, trades, and buyers taking into account user’s activity in the NFT market, namely according to the volume they trade on the NFT market.

OpenSea and Blur users according to their activity in the NFT market

Below, we compared the distribution of the volume and buyers (users) of OpenSea and Blur according to their activity in the NFT market.

(Data Source: @sealaunch_Dune)
(Data Source: @sealaunch_Dune)
(Data Source: @sealaunch_Dune)
(Data Source: @sealaunch_Dune)

The difference between the two marketplaces is clear: OpenSea’s volume is predominantly driven by normal users (~62%), while Blur’s volume comes primarily from the Top 1% NFT traders (~66%).

Top 1% NFT traders account for a higher percentage of sales on Blur (31,7%) than on OpenSea (9,4%).

A bigger percentage of OpenSea buyers are Normal users (88%) when compared to Blur (72%).

Top 1% NFT traders account for a higher percentage of buyers on Blur (12,9%) than on OpenSea (4%).

In summary, Blur’s platform sees a higher concentration of activity from the Top 1% NFT traders, while OpenSea’s volume and user base are primarily driven by normal users. The proportion of Top 1% NFT traders among users is also higher for Blur compared to OpenSea.

The data presented in this analysis highlights Blur’s focus on attracting high-volume NFT traders, who have significantly contributed to the platform’s impressive trading volume. Conversely, despite losing some of its volume dominance, OpenSea maintains a more balanced user distribution and continues to hold the largest user market share. The upcoming months will be crucial in determining the long-term effectiveness of Blur’s airdrop strategy, as well as whether users will remain loyal to the platform or return to OpenSea as their preferred NFT marketplace.

Royalty Fees

(Royalty Fees - Data Source: NFTGo.io)

In terms of royalty fee, OpenSea introduced optional creator royalties starting at 0.5% for collections without onchain royalty enforcement. According to the dashboard of hildobby, OpenSea has long occupied the top-achiever’s place, but the tables have turned since February 15 as Blur’s royalty fee volume surpassed OpenSea’s. Since then, Blur’s numbers as well as its trend have remained close to OpenSea’s. The battlefield of royalty fee is predominantly taken over by Blur and OpenSea.

Marketplace Fees

(Marketplaces Fees - Data Source: NFTGo.io)

Among all major marketplaces, an overall decline of marketplace fee volume was seen since mid-February. In response to competition from the popular low-fee platform Blur, OpenSea temporarily lowered its marketplace fee to 0%, a move aimed at attracting more users and boosting trading volumes. The total volume has dropped from a peak of over $600K seen in January to a low of around 50K in March. The plunge took place within 2 days on February 17 and 18 and has stayed consistently low since then. One of the most significant changes over the past 3 months is that OpenSea no longer takes the biggest slice of the pie when it comes to marketplace fees, as LooksRare is slowly gaining ground in the market. On the other hand, SuperRare has had multiple sudden upswings since the major dynamic change took place.

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