The final quarter of 2021 saw metaverse and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) blossom into popularity. But as the global economy copes with a difficult time, it seems like interest in both NFTs and metaverse projects are beginning to wane. Google Trends data reveals that while both the metaverse and NFTs were hot topics for people last year, search volumes March 2022 have dipped massively and metrics like trading volumes and crypto price charts are also pointing in the same direction.
As highlighted by CryptoPotato in a report, Google Trends charts are usually a reliable pointer for retail interest and search queries for the word ‘metaverse’ has fallen to levels seen in early October 2021, which is prior to Facebook’s decision to rebrand its name to Meta.
Similarly, NFT resource NonFungible shows that trades volume per week for NFTs have also been declining. The industry data tracker that the average selling price of a non-fungible token has declined to under $2,000 (roughly Rs. 1.5 lakh), compared with an all-time high of almost $6,900 (roughly Rs. 5.3 lakh) at the beginning of 2022.
OpenSea, the biggest NFT marketplace, recorded its best month ever in January. Since then, prices have steadily retreated as concern about an easing of pandemic era stimulus and geopolitical tensions weighed on the wider crypto market. The decline has only accelerated since Russia invaded Ukraine.
Another possible contributor to the decline is the likelihood of increased regulation. The US Securities and Exchange Commission is scrutinising creators of NFTs and the marketplaces where they trade to determine if some of the assets run afoul of the agency’s rules.
Sales of some of the most popular brands are falling fast. NBA Top Shot NFTs are down 26 percent from last week, while popular play-to-earn project Axie Infinity’s are down 15 percent, according to data tracker DappRadar. While those flagship NFT sales are off, the decline isn’t across the board. Sales of Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs are up 59 percent in the past seven days, while CryptoPunk sales are up 118 percent, DappRadar data show.
Despite trends suggesting a downward turn for some NFT and metaverse projects, it’s also worth noting that BTC trading volumes in Ukraine and Russia soared last week because of the ongoing war between the two countries. This has given many Bitcoin proponents the opportunity to emphasise that cryptocurrency is an uncorrelated asset.
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