95% of NFTs are Now Worthless!

The Rise and Fall of NFTs: From Million-Dollar Dreams to a Worthless Wasteland

Toba Akande
3 min readSep 21, 2023
Broke Boys Club (Image by NFT Mint Radar)

In the not-so-distant past, the world went crazy for Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). These digital assets, touted as the future of collectables, sent shockwaves through the art world, gaming industry, and even mainstream media. Who could forget the headlines screaming about a single JPEG file selling for nearly $70 million? Artists, investors, and tech enthusiasts alike flocked to this digital gold rush, eagerly hoping to carve their own slice of the NFT pie.

Fast forward to today, and the once-thriving NFT market seems like a ghost town, a stark reminder that not everything that glitters is gold. A recent report by dappGambl paints a grim picture of the NFT landscape, claiming that a staggering 95% of NFTs are, in essence, worthless. The excitement that reached a fever pitch in the 2021/22 bull run, with monthly trading volumes touching $2.8 billion in August 2021, has now transformed into a cautionary tale.

Photographers like Bryan Minear rode the NFT wave, offering their works as NFTs with the hope of reaping financial rewards. In 2021, Minear’s NFT drop sold out within minutes, a testament to the hype surrounding NFTs at the time. Yet, what seemed like a promising future for digital creators has since dimmed.

The year 2022 proved to be a challenging one for cryptocurrencies, leaving many to ponder whether the digital realm’s allure had started to fade. Bitcoin, once the darling of crypto enthusiasts, currently hovers around $27,223, a far cry from its all-time high. Ethereum, often associated with NFTs, isn’t faring much better at $1,630.99.

But the most damning revelation from dappGambl’s report is that the overwhelming majority of NFTs have lost their value. More than 23 million people who invested in these digital collectibles now find themselves holding assets worth next to nothing.

DappGambl’s findings serve as a sobering reality check for those who once believed in the boundless potential of NFTs. The market’s collapse isn’t just about worthless assets; it’s about the dwindling interest in purchasing new NFTs, leaving artists and creators stranded in a sea of obscurity.

For artists like Bryan Minear, the days of selling out NFTs in mere minutes now feel like a distant memory. DappGambl’s research indicates that only 21% of identified NFT collections have full ownership, meaning that the vast majority languish, unloved and untouched, in the digital void.

It’s essential to acknowledge that not all NFTs are fraudulent, but some are downright ludicrous. Take Melania Trump’s “Man on the Moon” NFT, for instance. Not only does it infringe on NASA’s image usage guidelines, but it’s also a complete dud, attracting fewer than 70 buyers after two months on the market. The notion that this NFT will ever be worth its $75 price tag or appreciate in value seems utterly absurd.

In 2023, it’s evident that some latecomers are still clinging to the NFT trend. Canon USA’s announcement of Cadabra, a curated photography NFT marketplace, shows that the allure of NFTs persists despite the market’s tumultuous history. As of now, Cadabra remains unreleased, leaving us to wonder if it will ever see the light of day.

On the flip side, some companies have recognised the folly of their NFT pursuits. Meta, formerly known as Facebook, began winding down its NFT operations in March, following a hasty foray into the NFT world in 2022. NFTs were integral to Meta’s “metaverse” vision, a vision that ultimately crumbled in the face of reality.

For those who reaped the benefits of crypto’s meteoric rise and exited before its precipitous fall, fortune smiled. But for latecomers dipping their toes into the crypto and NFT waters now, they should brace themselves for a potential financial calamity.

NFTs experienced a meteoric rise, only to burst like a bubble, as bubbles often do. Yet, the financial fallout only scratches the surface of the environmental toll exacted by crypto. The majority of crypto and NFT owners have contributed to accelerating climate change, raising questions about the true cost of chasing digital dreams in a world grappling with real-world problems.

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Toba Akande

Master of sarcasm, keeping my profound thoughts safely contained in words. Serious issues? I address them with a twist