David - Cryptocurrency Enthusiast
In recent times, the usage of Ethereum gas by Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs) has been experiencing a noticeable downward trend, indicating a potential transformation in the NFT market. Despite the surge in Ether gas prices back in May, NFT marketplaces now account for a mere 3% of the overall Ethereum gas consumption.
Previously, NFT marketplaces and projects dominated the gas consumption charts, holding top positions in 2021. However, these projects have witnessed a sharp decline in gas usage over the past two years. Glassnode, the on-chain analytics platform, reports that NFT marketplaces' gas usage is currently on a continuous decline. This could suggest a shift in NFT usage patterns, with more users opting to hold onto their NFT crypto assets rather than actively trading them on marketplaces.
A notable example of the change is seen in Axie Infinity, a popular NFT gaming project that previously ranked second in gas usage due to its Ronin bridge, facilitating asset transfers between Ethereum and the Ronin blockchain. Similarly, OpenSea, a prominent NFT marketplace, was once in the top four spots on the gas consumption list. However, in the current context, Nansen, a crypto analytics platform, reveals that NFT marketplaces accounted for only slightly over 3% of the total gas consumption in a weekly period in May.
The decline in NFT gas consumption has raised intriguing theories. Some experts believe that the NFT frenzy during the peak was influenced by excess liquidity resulting from money printing during the pandemic, and as the situation stabilized, the NFT market experienced a slowdown.
Presently, gas consumption by NFTs continues its decline, with notable NFT marketplaces like Blur, OpenSea, SuperRare, LooksRare, and Rarible collectively accounting for approximately 1.85% of the Ethereum network's gas consumption. Surprisingly, projects that were once leading gas users, such as OpenSea and Axie Infinity, have disappeared from the top 50 list of gas consumers.
However, amidst the changing landscape, NFT marketplace Blur still maintains its position within Etherscan's top 30 spots for gas consumption, indicating that it continues to be a relevant player in the current NFT coins ecosystem.
The decrease in NFT gas usage and the shift in the top gas-consuming projects point towards a maturing NFT market. While the NFT hype might have been partly fuelled by abundant liquidity during uncertain times, it appears that the NFT market is now settling into a more sustainable phase, with users demonstrating a preference for long-term NFT holdings over frequent trading.