80+ Global NFT Trading and Popularity Statistics in 2022
If you’re on any form of social media, you may have already heard of NFTs. NFT stands for “non-fungible token,” a tradeable digital asset that cannot be replicated or replaced with something identical. NFTs are images or other assets that can be bought and sold on a crypto blockchain.
The crypto boom of 2021 drew NFTs into the limelight, although the concept of an NFT has existed on blockchains since the first NFT — Quantum — was minted in 2014. So how popular have NFTs become in 2022? How many people are buying, selling, and trading them, and how many people plan to?
To find out, we used Google Surveys to ask 2,002 adults across the U.S. whether they’ve ever bought or sold an NFT, whether they intend to do so, and if they know what NFTs are. Alongside this, we conducted an analysis of millions of Google searches conducted worldwide in order to determine which NFTs are most highly sought and which countries are most interested in them.
Top NFT Stats (Editor’s Picks)
Digging into NFTs showed us that:
Just under 10 million adults in the U.S. have traded NFTs in the past (3.8%).
Adults between the ages of 18 and 24 are more likely to have traded NFTs than any other age group (8.6%).
The most likely age group to want to trade NFTs in the future is 25- to 34-year-olds (11.8%)
This age group is also the most likely to be familiar with what NFTs are (44.3%), more so than 18- to 24-year-olds (39.70%).
Men are twice as likely as women to buy and sell NFTs (5.6% vs. 2.2%).
They are also more likely to understand what NFTs are (46.6% compared to 33.9%).
People in Singapore are more interested in NFTs than in any other country, searching Google for “What is an NFT” 197.4 times per 100,000 people per month.
Doodles is the most popular NFT game worldwide, accumulating an average of 2 million searches every month in 2022 (2,103,333).
Our Survey Questions: What We Asked
To find out more about the population’s engagement with NFTs, we used Google Surveys to ask 2,002 adults across the U.S. about their experience using, trading or understanding NFTs. We then divided our survey respondents into demographic groups, such as age and gender, to better understand the demographic influences on NFTs.
Which of the following statements most applies to you?
I have never even heard of NFTs
I've never bought/sold NFTs & do not plan to
I have heard of NFTs & don't understand them
I've never bought or sold NFTs but I plan to
I have bought or sold at least one NFT
Demographic NFT Statistics
NFTs have waxed and waned in popularity over the years, even before their mainstream boost in 2021. While their main platform is currently the Ethereum blockchain, the first NFT¹ was actually minted on the Namecoin blockchain in 2014. In 2016, NFTs began to migrate from other platforms to Ethereum with collection games such as CryptoKitties, an asset adoption, and breeding game. Then, NFTs caught the attention of mainstream media and crypto enthusiasts in 2021. So how many people have jumped on the bandwagon and started trading NFTs in 2022?
- Nearly 10 million adults in the U.S. have bought or sold NFTs in the past (3.8%)*.
- One in 12 U.S. adults plans to trade NFTs in the future (8%).
- Despite this, almost 9 in 10 adults in the U.S. have never traded NFTs and don’t currently plan to (88.2%).
*Our survey found that 3.8% of people in the US have bought or sold NFTs in the past. 3.8% of 258.3 million (the adult population of the US) equals 9.8 million, which we’ve rounded up to 10 million in this statistic.
Which Age Groups Are Most Likely to Trade NFTs?
With every trend that hits mainstream social media, there are target audiences. The similarity of NFTs to trading cards and collection games makes their target market anyone who may have enjoyed these games in the past. We wanted to know if this reflects the age of the population involved in buying and selling NFTs. To find out, we divided our survey respondents into age groups from 18–24 up to 65+.
4. Adults between the ages of 18 and 24 are most likely to have traded NFTs, with 8.6% answering that they have bought or sold NFTs in the past.
5. A mere 0.8% of Americans over the age of 65 have bought or sold NFTs previously, making them the least likely age group either to have traded or to want to trade NFTs (6.3%).
6. One in 8 U.S. adults between the ages of 25 and 34 are planning to buy and sell NFTs in the future, making them the most likely age group to do so (11.8%).
7. 6.4% of adults over the age of 55 want to buy or sell NFTs in the future, despite only 1.1% having traded them in the past.
Who’s More Likely to Trade NFTs — Men or Women?
Anyone can start an NFT collection. However, where there are target audiences, there are differences in demographics. Does gender affect how many people are trading NFTs? To find out, we separated our survey respondents into men and women.
8. Men in the U..S are more than twice as likely as women to buy or sell NFTs (5.6% vs. 2.2%).
9. They are also 3.8% more likely to plan to trade NFTs than women (9.9% vs. 6.1%).
10. Women are half as likely to be interested in trading NFTs as men are (8.3% vs. 15.5%).
How Mainstream Are NFTs in 2022?
When NFTs hit mainstream media, their popularity began to extend beyond crypto circles. It can be argued that NFTs have introduced plenty of people to blockchain networks and will continue to do so since they appeal to anyone who loves to collect. So, just how many people are familiar with NFTs in the U.S. in 2022?
11. 40.1% of adults in the U.S. have heard of NFTs and understand what they are. That’s 2 in every 5 adults!
12. One in 7 are aware of NFTs, but don’t know what they are or how they work (13.4%).
13. Nearly half (46.5%) of U.S. adults have never heard of NFTs.
Which Gender Is More Likely to Know What NFTs Are?
Since NFTs are more commonly traded by men, does this reflect which gender has a better understanding of them? And are men more familiar with the term “NFT”? We found that:
14. Surprisingly (given that more men than women trade them), more men than women know about NFTs but don’t understand what they are (14.7% vs. 12.1%).
15. Nearly half of men in the U.S. have heard of and understand NFTs (46.6%), compared to only a third of women (33.9%).
16. Consequently, over half of all women in the U.S. are entirely unaware of NFTs (54%).
At What Age Are Adults in the US More Likely to Understand NFTs?
Similar to gender, does age reflect the likelihood that someone will know about and understand NFTs? We found that:
17. One in 5 young adults have heard of NFTs, but don’t understand what they are, more than any other age group (21.2%).
18. Adults between 55 and 64 are the least likely to have heard of NFTs (58.30%).
19. They are also the most likely to have heard of, but not understand, NFTs (7.4%)
20. In contrast, nearly half of U.S. adults between the ages of 25 and 54 are familiar with NFTs, making them the most likely age group to know about them (44.3%).
So when did NFTs become so popular? How many people are really interested in them, and how much has this interest changed over time? To answer these questions, we used KWFinder to analyze global search volumes for the key phrase’ “What is an NFT?” and several variants. We repeated this process every month between November 2020 and June 2022 to view the trend over time.
21. Searches for “What is an NFT?” grew by over one million between October 2021 and January 2022 (1,094,989), at the same time as the crypto price boom² of late 2021.
22. Searches have steadily decreased since, dropping down to 200,448 searches in June 2022.
23. The biggest peak in interest was in January 2022, when people worldwide conducted an impressive 1,447,774 searches for “What is an NFT?”
24. Interest in NFTs started to rise rapidly in January 2021, experiencing its first peak in February 2021 with people searching 94,900 times, 87,000 more than in January.
Which Countries Have the Most Interest in NFTs?
In light of this, we wanted to find out which countries are more interested in learning about NFTs. To do this, we repeated our process with the same key phrases in KWFinder for each country around the world. We left out Iran, Sudan, and Russia, where no search data was available. We then divided the average monthly search volume by the country’s population³ and multiplied the figure by 100,000 to find out how many searches were carried out per 100,000 people.
Average Monthly Searches for ‘“What is an NFT?” per 100,000 People
Isle of Man
25. Singapore is more interested in NFTs than any other country in the world, with Singaporeans searching an average of 197.4 times per 100,000 people per month.
26. People from the Cayman Islands are up next, searching for “What is an NFT?” 182.6 times per 100,000 people per month.
27. Australia is the fifth most interesting country, searching more times per 100,000 people than any other English-speaking country in the world (164.7).
28. New Zealand isn’t far behind, with New Zealanders searching for “What is an NFT?” an average of 154.7 times per 100,000 people per month.
Types of NFTs: Which Are the Most Popular?
An NFT can be anything a seller wants them to be — an image, image sets, sound clips and even tweets⁴! An NFT is a statement of ownership recorded on a blockchain, meaning that the nature of the asset is less important than its uniqueness and consequent value. That’s why Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s 2006 set-up tweet sold for upward of $2.9 million in 2021. It’s irreplaceable and completely unique — perfect for an NFT!
Many creators have jumped on the bandwagon since the creation of the NFT in 2014. The inception of NFT collection games began with Etheria in October of 2015, in which users of the Ethereum blockchain could buy and collect pieces of digital “land.” The concept has been adopted by many creators and fans since, with game after game being added to the wide digital world of blockchains.
So which games and NFT game platforms are the most popular in 2022? And has the popularity of this asset adoption concept changed over time? To find out, we researched global search volumes for a variety of NFT adoption games and NFT platforms for each month from November 2020 to June 2022, and then added these figures and divided them by the number of months to find the monthly average. In the vast majority of cases, we’ve gone with the keywords that Google determines to be NFTs. However, it’s important to note that many of the searches for terms such as “Doodles” may be in reference to unrelated subjects.
29. Doodlesis the most popular NFT game, accumulating an average of over 2 million searches per month in 2022 (2,103,333).
30. Axie Infinity is the next most popular, with people searching a monthly average of 1.6 million times in 2022 (1,613,833).
31. The Sandbox is third, with people around the world searching just over a million times per month (1,043,167).
NFT games need platforms in order to be used. There are plenty of these platforms available for NFT artists to utilize — but which are the most popular?
Average Monthly Searches in 2022
NBA Top Shot
Has Interest in NFT Games Changed Over Time?
We also collected searches over time for a wide variety of NFT games and several of their variants over time. We then added up the totals for each month to find out how the popularity of NFT games has changed over time.
32. Interest in NFT collections peaked in July 2021, with over 13.6 million global searches (13,613,620).
33. This was after a sharp increase between June and July, where searches rose by an enormous 9 million in just one month (9,140,990).
34. Searches for NFT collections then dropped until rising again between October and November, reaching the second peak of 12.9 million in November 2021 (12,915,830).
In Which Countries Are Different NFT Games Most Popular?
Does interest in NFT games vary between countries? Which countries have the most interest in playing and learning about different NFT collections? To find out, we once more repeated our keyword research for each country. We then calculated each country’s average searches per 100,000 people per month to find out which countries are the most interested in each NFT type.
The table below shows some of the most popular NFTs worldwide, alongside the country in which they’re most searched online.
Country in Which Listed NFT Is Most Popular (based on online searches)
Bored Ape Yacht Club
35. People in Singapore search for “Bored Ape Yacht Club”75.2 times per 100,000 people per month, followed by the Cayman Islands (60.9), meaning the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT is more popular in Singapore than anywhere else in the world.
36. The Sandbox NFT is most favored by those in Hong Kong, as 98.7 searches are conducted per 100,000 people per month.
How Much is the Most Expensive NFT?
It’s no secret that NFTs have been incredibly successful in assigning monetary value to online assets. Sometimes this value exceeds expectations — highly collectible NFTs have sold for tens of thousands of dollars! The price of an NFT depends on the unique nature of the asset. This concept is behind both the nature and the name of NFTs: Non-fungible tokens. Returning to the meaning of “non-fungible,” these tokens are designed to be entirely unique, and can never be traded for the same thing. So just how expensive can NFTs get? To find out, we had a look at third-party facts and figures for historical sales of NFTs.
37. The most expensive NFT ever sold was a piece called The Merge by digital artist Pak, which sold on the Nifty Gateway platform for a massive $91.8 million⁵ in December 2021.
38. Previously, the record had been held by Beeple’s Everydays: the First 5000 Days, which sold for $69 million in March 2021⁶.
39. In June 2021, Quantum, the first NFT ever created, sold for $1.47 million⁷ on the Namecoin blockchain.
40. The top 5 most expensive NFTs sold to date are:
Pak's The Merge - December 2021
Beeple's Everyday: the First 5000 Days - March 2021
Pak's Clock - February 2022
Beeple's HUMAN ONE - November 2021
CryptoPunk #5822 - February 2022
41. The value of the NFT market rose sharply in March 2021, jumping from $0 to $15.6 million between March 4 and 6, 2021.
42. It proceeded to reach an all-time high of $29.9 million on March 16, 2021.
43. The market value remained high until dropping by $10 million between May 15 and May 24, 2021.
44. The market reached a 2022 low on July 1, 2021, dropping to $432,433 in total.
The prices of NFTs infamously spiked due to soaring popularity in 2021. But just how much are individual NFT collections making? To find out, we used CryptoSlam!⁹ to discover the total sales of some of the highest-grossing NFT collections of all time.
Bored Ape Yacht Club
Mutant Ape Yacht Club
NBA Top Shot
45. Axie Infinity has made more money than any other NFT collection, accruing $4 million in total sales, almost double those of its closest competitor.
46. CryptoPunks is the second highest-grossing NFT collection, with an all-time total of $2.3 million.
47. Bored and Mutant Ape Yacht Clubs are third and fourth, with $2.3 million and $1.7 million, respectively.
*These figures are accurate as of July 21, 2022.
While these figures seem high, most NFTs are actually sold for much less than that. NFTs are being traded and sold every day at prices from just a few dollars to triple figures. Because of their varied prices, NFTs change hands all the time — so just how many NFTs are being sold every day? We used NonFungible.com¹⁰ to find out the number of NFTs sold each day since July 2021.
48. The most NFTs ever sold in one day on August 27, 2021 when 209,445 NFTs changed hands.
49. Daily sales exceeded 200,000 only twice more, on August 9 and November 5, 2021, when 203,000 and 204,119 NFTs were sold, respectively.
50. Daily sales of NFTs have decreased sporadically over time, dropping to a 2022 low of 21,717 on June 12, 2021.
NFT Sales in Game
NFT game popularity has skyrocketed over the last few years and still continues to do so. According to recent figures¹¹ from DappRadar’s finance director Modesta Massoit:
51. The number of daily unique wallets interacting with game-related smart contracts reached an impressive 1.3 million last year.
52. This means that 2021 saw a 46-fold surge in the number of daily users of gaming smart contracts since the end of 2020.
From characters to collectibles and various other digital assets, it’s clear that many users are happy to invest significant amounts of money into game NFTs. But as of 2022 - which are the most expensive game NFTs ever sold?
Blockchain Gamer’s most recent roundup¹² of the most expensive game NFTs ever sold found that:
53. The most expensive game NFT ever sold is Axie Infinity’s 9 Genesis Land plots which sold for an impressive $1.5 million.
54. The second most expensive game NFT sold is Australia Edition 2020, a digital race car used in the game F1 Delta Time which sold for $430,000.
55. The top 10 most expensive game NFTs sold to date are as follows:
Sale price (USD)
9 Genesis Land plots
Australia Edition 2020
Cristiano Ronaldo 2019-20
Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco 2020 1A
F1 Delta Time
1-1-1’ F1 car
Navination Season 1 Cup
NFTs and Social Media
While NFTs are bought, sold, and traded on a blockchain, social media is an invaluable middleman when it comes to communicating with artists and buyers in the crypto market. Platforms such as Twitter and Instagram have become invaluable tools for NFT trading - and they also offer the perfect place to show off NFT acquisitions. So what does the NFT scene look like on social media?
56. OpenSea is one of the most popular hashtags to pair with #NFT across Instagram, Twitter, Tiktok and Youtube in 2022¹³.
57. Artist Beeple¹⁴, the creator of the $69 million NFT Everydays: the First 5000 Days, has amassed over 697,000 followers on Twitter as of 2022.
58. The most searched-for NFT on Google, Doodles, has gained over 367,000 followers on Twitter¹⁵ since the account’s creation in June 2021.
59. Meanwhile, Axie Infinity has amassed nearly a million followers¹⁶ (940,000) since 2018.
NFT Sales in Sport
With the amount of variation there is in NFT types, you’re guaranteed to find one for pretty much any hobby or interest you might have. More common interests such as sports have gained popularity quickly in NFT marketplaces and on social media. One example is NBA Top Shot, an NFT trading platform where users can buy and sell clips of basketball games online. So how popular are sports NFTs, and how well are they selling in 2022?
60. The most expensive NBA Top Shot NFT sold was a clip of LeBron James¹⁷, which sold for $230,023 on August 26th, 2021.
61. Previously the title had been held by a different clip of LeBron James, which sold on March 20th, 2021 for $210,000¹⁸.
62. In fact, LeBron James features in 6 out of the top 10¹⁹ most expensive Top Shot NFTs of all time!
NFT Sales in Music
Music isn’t something you’ll immediately think about when it comes to NFTs, but music NFTs have become increasingly popular among both artists and their fans in recent years. So what does the NFT music industry look like?
63. The NFT music market was estimated to reach a massive $1,240.3 million in 2021!
64. The DJ 3LAU was the first artist to release a full album as an NFT in February 2021, making $11.7 million in total.
65. Several popular artists like Snoop Dogg, Kings of Leon and The Chainsmokers²⁰ have released their music as NFTs in recent years.
Crime and NFTs
Just by taking one look at recent news articles on the topic of NFTs, it quickly becomes clear that people are worried about the risks associated with NFTs, particularly when it comes to scams. But just how prevalent are NFT crimes in 2022?
To find out, we dove into Chainanalysis’ 2022 Crypto Crime Report²¹, which revealed that:
66. 262 wash trading scams have occurred in 2022, producing net criminal proceeds of approximately $8.4 million.
67. Money laundering of NFTs is on the rise, and is primarily carried out by "off-chain" criminals seeking to exchange stolen money, or money made by selling drugs, into legal funds.
68. Reports have also stated that many malicious sellers add malware to NFTs in order to steal funds, collect buyers’ data, and even spy on them.
AI in NFT Market
A slightly more obscure type of NFT is Artificial intelligence NFTs, a type of NFT embedded with artificial intelligence capable of learning and other basic cognitive functions. While AI NFTs are rarer than the more traditional art NFTs, the ability to teach an AI, customize it, and help it grow is an opportunity difficult to pass up. So just how far has AI’s relationship with NFTs come up to now?
69. iNFTs²², or artificially intelligent NFTs are a merge between AI and NFTs that live on the blockchain and each has their own personalities, are able to learn, and even have conversations.
70. One of the most famous iNFTs, named Alice, sold²³ last year for almost $500,000.
71. As well as iNFTs, another concept that has rapidly gained popularity over the last few years is the sale of artwork created by AI. For instance, these four pieces of artwork²⁴ created by robots sold for over $977,000.
The Emergence of NFT Tickets
Another fast-emerging concept in the world of NFTs is that of NFT tickets. But what exactly are they? And just how popular are they in 2022?
72. NFT tickets enable the buyer to attend the concert or event they purchase the ticket for as well as receiving a digital asset in various forms, such as exclusive audiovisual art.
73. Kings of Leon were the first band to release an album as an NFT which came with a wide range of perks²⁵.
74. Many exclusive offers are available with NFT tickets, such as VIP access, and even guaranteed lifetime front-row seats at any future concerts.
NFT Environmental Impact
Much talk has come to light over the last few years on the topic of NFTs and the environment, with some artists avoiding them completely and taking a stand against them due to their environmental implications. But just how much impact do NFTs have on the environment?
75. Current estimates²⁶ predict that a single NFT transaction has a carbon footprint of approximately 48kg CO2.
76. The same source also found that the entire process, including minting, bids, cancellation bids, sale and transfer of ownerships produces a staggering 211kg ofCO2.
77. This means that a single NFT purchase is the equivalent of an EU resident’s electricity consumption for one month or driving 1,000km on petrol.
78. The above average carbon footprint of an NFT (211kg) was made up of:
Cancel Bid: 7kg
Transfer of ownership: 30kg
NFTs and the Metaverse Statistics
It’s impossible to talk about NFTs without talking about the Metaverse. But just how significant is the metaverse? Let’s take a look.
79. The Metaverse is a $1 trillion opportunity, according to a Grayscale Report²⁷
80. Meta (formerly Facebook) has invested $10 billion into the Metaverse
81. By 2023, it is expected that a quarter of the population will spend at least an hour every single day in the Metaverse²⁸
Related NFT Statistics Questions
Here we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions relating to NFTs:
How do you buy an NFT?
The process of purchasing an NFT varies depending on the platform you decide to use. But in general, you will first need to transfer enough Ethereum (ETH) to an Ethereum-compatible crypto wallet. Then you can simply use your ETH to purchase an NFT. It’s important to ensure that you also have enough to cover any fees which may be payable as part of the translation.
How do you check if an NFT is authentic?
There are many ways to verify the authenticity of NFT artwork. One of which being to use Google’s reverse search tool. This enables you to determine how many different variations of the image or photo exist and when it was first published online.
One of the benefits of NFTs is that they exist on the blockchain, which records and timestamps all data, providing another method in which to check an NFT’s authenticity.
Before you buy an NFT, check to see if the seller is verified and check the NFT’s unique properties. In general, fake NFTs do not have any properties listed.
On top of this, be sure to check the contract address of any NFTs you’re interested in purchasing to make sure they line up with the legitimate contract address on the creator’s official site.
What are blue-chip NFTs?
Blue chip NFTs are very well-established NFTs that are deemed as being the most stable and growing in the future or having the most ‘staying power’. These NFTs are generally considered to be safer bets as they have a clear track record of growth.
Can you split the cost of an NFT with someone else?
Yes you can. Splitting the cost of an NFT with another person is commonly referred to as fractionalization and allows individuals to get exposure to big-ticket items without having to fork out for the entire purchase themselves.
Methodology and Further Information
If you’d like further information about our study, please contact edwin.lau[at]bybit.com.
Please feel free to use these statistics in any way you wish. All we ask is that you kindly credit us in the form of a link.