NFT sales in August surge past US$1.8 billion as researcher calls them ‘bubblicious stupidity’

“What we have seen are a few NFT collections popping up in the last few weeks that have been very successful at launch and sold out. That activity has then filtered over to OpenSea where buyers look to flip their NFTs for a higher price,” said Ian Kane, a spokesman for DappRadar, which tracks the market.

Earlier this week an anonymous user paid US$1.27 million worth of ethereum cryptocurrency for an image of a rock just weeks after the seller had bought it for the equivalent of US$5400 in the same cryptocoin.

Another NFT of an abstract digital artwork sold for 1000 ETH (US$3,322,710) earlier this week having been sold for 0.58 ETH (US$1366) in June.

NFT market data varies depending on providers’ methodology, but DappRadar recorded 32 known NFT sales above $1 million in the past 30 days.

MichaelK, a 30-year-old NFT buyer who asked not to give his full name, said he has spent about US$250,000 on NFTs since September. He said he keeps 90 percent of his wealth in cryptocurrencies and NFTs.

Earlier this month, he bought an NFT of a cartoon penguin for around US$139 worth of ether, then sold it on four days later for around US$3956, according to Etherscan.

Other instances of high-return “flips” are visible on his OpenSea account, including a cartoon squiggle NFT bought for 0.01 ETH (US$33), then sold for 1.5 ETH (US$4,900) within seven hours.

MichaelK said the US Federal Reserve’s ability to control the money supply played a role in his decision to speculate on largely unregulated crypto assets.

“When people hear these statistics they might think that I’m completely crazy… I look back at them and I say, you’re holding a currency that’s printed daily, to me you’re crazy.”