2021 NFT Trends and the Global Art Market as a whole

NFT Culture staff has taken a deep dive into the Global Art Market, and created an analysis of future trends for NFT art sales.

Traditional Art Galleries are suffering.

From 2019 to present, global art sales are rapidly shifting to online mediums. Physical art galleries suffered a significant impact from the Covid Pandemic in 2020, with many galleries posting 40+% losses in sales. Art buyers remain hungry for avenues to acquire art and continue to shift their purchasing power to avenues that function well.

Key Takeaways

  • Digital Art Sales have been increasing for multiple years, even prior to 2020 and the Covid 19 pandemic.
  • Art Sales in general were significantly impacted in 2020, with year over year declines of as much as 40%.
  • The events of 2020 have created an additional catalyst for art purchasing dollars to move to the internet.
  • While Art Fair sales have been tremendously ravaged, the new NFT Marketplaces are exploding in popularity.
  • Rapidly increasing values of digital currencies has contributed to escalating Digital Art Sales.

To consider some specific numbers, the Global Art Market is somewhere in the $50 Billion to $100 Billion range. Digital Art Sales make up between $5 Billion and $10 Billion of this total.

In comparison, the top 10 NFTs have lifetime volume of approximately 300,000 ETH (㆔), which at today’s valuation equates to about $500,000,000 lifetime volume. Considering some of these NFTs have been around for as long as 3 years, this number most likely represents less than <5% of the overall Digital Art Sales market (Est <1% Global Art market share).

NFT Art will grow like crazy in 2021 but will not fully swap value with non-digital art…yet.

Global Art sales are motivated by financial factors as well as the intrinsic value of works that are sold.

NFTs will never replace the intrinsic value of special, historical art pieces. Despite this, over the coming years, NFTs will almost certainly become the defacto medium for the production of new art. We won’t go into our specifics on why we feel this way just yet (future article incoming!).

Additionally, NFTs are a superior form of financial instrument relative to legacy art, and will rapidly capture market share in this domain.

We expect NFT to continue capturing online market share at a rate of at least 10% / year, and global market share at a rate of at least 1% a year over the next 5 years.


Special thanks to the OpenSea API and TheArtMarket.com for research incorporated in this article.