95 percent of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are all but worthless now, according to a new study by crypto research group dappGambl. It’s no secret that the once-hyped crypto assets — pitched as viable revenue streams for artists and ways for fans to invest in the creators they loved — have lost ground after reaching a peak trading value of $17 billion in 2021. But, according to “Dead NFTs: The Evolving Landscape of the NFT Market,” the picture is grimmer than anyone imagined: 69,795 of the 73,257 collections they analyzed had a market cap of zero Ether (ETH), the cryptocurrency used to trade virtually all NFTs. Extrapolating from these numbers, dappGambl estimates that 23 million investors own tokens that have no monetary value whatsoever.
During the bullish crypto market of 2021, exorbitant NFTs were fashionable among the ultra-wealthy, with notable collections such as the Bored Ape Yacht Club fetching millions of dollars in ETH per token. Now, dappGambl reports, less than one percent of NFTs are worth more than $6,000, with even “top” collections selling most of their tokens for less than $100. Furthermore, nearly four-fifths of the collections reviewed by the study remain unsold. “Projects that lack clear use cases, compelling narratives, or genuine artistic value are finding it increasingly difficult to attract attention and sales,” the researchers concluded.
After Rolling Stone covered the results of “Dead NFTs” on Wednesday, some NFT holders took issue with the somewhat gleeful, doomsaying tone of the article. But even dedicated crypto publications like CoinTelegraph reported a mixed response from the online crypto community, admitting that Reddit commenters mostly agreed with the report.