Over the course of the past year, nonfungible tokens (NFTs) have served as the key element in the burgeoning Web3 ecosystem. Rather than focusing on fleeting hype-driven airdrops, NFTs catalyzed a transition to projects rooted in longer-term value and utility.
According to a recent DappRadar report, the number of NFT sales in 2022 was an impressive 101 million – up 67.57% compared with the previous year. With this kind of growth rate, blockchain and dApp adoption are likely to reach unprecedented heights over the next few years.
The Ethereum ecosystem has the highest market share with 21%, that’s over 21.2 million transactions processed, according to a recent report. Then comes Wax with 14.5 million transactions, followed by Polygon (13.3 million) and Solana (12.9 million). Last year, both the Solana and Immutable X communities experienced tremendous growth in terms of transactions – with a whopping 440% and 315% increase respectively.
Defi dApps Go the Other Way
DeFi has historically been the leading category of dApps on blockchains, but based on the data from 2022, it appears that this dominance is starting to decline. DappRadar analysis of the dApp categories on the top chains in 2022 compared to 2021 reveals that DeFi dApps are becoming less prevalent, while categories such as NFTs and gaming are gaining popularity.
It’s no surprise there is a move away from DeFi dapps, as that market has grown increasingly competitive in recent years. What’s more, as new projects enter the market, it is likely that dApp categories will continue to diversify across different blockchains.
The emergence of NFTs and gaming dApps is a clear indication of this trend and it will be intriguing to observe how these categories develop in the coming years.
One of the main reasons for this change has been the increasing popularity of NFTs. In 2021, NFTs were the dominant category on Ethereum, accounting for 56% of all dApps. This trend has continued in 2022, with NFTs still being the most prevalent category with 35%.
NFTs Quickly Becoming the dApp of Choice
In the past year, a new trend in dApps has emerged across pretty much all the main blockchains. DeFi dApps were the most dominant in 2021 but this is changing fast as witnessed by the dramatic shift to high-risk gaming and NFT dApps.
Last year, the significance of NFTs in the Web3 space spread to popular culture. Established institutions launched NFT collections, including the NBA. And if you missed it, eCommerce shopping giant Amazon produced a documentary series about NFTs.
And if this is not enough to convince you of NFTs’ growth in popularity, even China announced its first NFT marketplace to allow its citizens to trade NFTs on the secondary market.