Ethereum’s NFT market underwent a considerable expansion during the first quarter of 2023, with trading volumes more than doubling compared to the last quarter of 2022. A key factor in this surge was the launch of Blur, an NFT marketplace and aggregator, and the subsequent airdrop of its native BLUR token.
Blur’s Emergence as a Key Player in the NFT Space
Launched in October 2022, Blur quickly gained traction within the NFT community. The platform scheduled a massive airdrop of its native BLUR token for February 14, 2023, which attracted numerous airdrop hunters during Q1. NFT trading volumes on Ethereum skyrocketed as a result, reaching $4.5 billion in Q1 2023, compared to the $1.9 billion recorded in Q4 2022.
A Closer Examination of Ethereum’s NFT Trading Volumes
Crypto analytics firm Nansen revealed that the growth in trading volumes was accompanied by a 24.5% increase in unique wallets trading NFTs. This suggests that the higher volume stemmed primarily from existing users trading more, rather than from an influx of new users. This activity can be directly linked to the BLUR token airdrop.
A Slump in NFT Trading Activity in Spring 2023
Despite the overall upward trend, the NFT market faced a downturn during the spring of 2023. Trading volumes on various marketplaces dropped by 30% in April compared to March. May saw the continuation of this downward trend, with Nansen reporting the lowest number of sales and users for the year. Weekly NFT sales fell to approximately 370,000.
Ethereum’s NFT Market Reverts to 2022 Bearish Levels
By May, the trading volumes of Ethereum’s NFT market regressed to the bearish levels witnessed in 2022, with around 90,000 ETH traded weekly. However, trading volumes in terms of USD remained strong due to Ethereum’s positive performance at the beginning of the year.