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NFTs most popular assets on Ethereum, but Wrapped Bitcoin growth stalls


Transfers of nonfungible tokens (NFT) on Ethereum have surpassed transfers of stablecoins and altcoins while the supply of wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) has remained relatively stagnant since late last year.

Those are two of the key findings in the latest State of the Network update from Coin Metrics. It details how ERC-721 transfers overtook stablecoins and altcoins on Ethereum starting last July and have continued to increase the margin between them ever since. ERC-721 is the token standard for NFTs on the Ethereum network.

NFT transfers topped 50,000 per day on average starting late July and have not dipped below that line since. Daily NFT transfers are now averaging an all-time high over 300,000, a 600% increase since July.

Conversely, ERC-20 tokens including altcoins and stablecoin transfers have steadily decreased since late July. Transfers of altcoins have fallen 39% from 42,000 per day to about 30,000. Stablecoin transfers are down from about 24,000 in July to 18,000 today, a 25% decrease.

The numbers make the message fairly clear: NFTs are more popular than they have ever been. Demand on marketplaces to transact NFTs has never been higher according to data from DappRadar.

OpenSea is currently the all-time leader in NFT trading volume with $21.85 billion in value traded, but the LooksRare marketplace threatens OpenSea dominance. Over the past 30 days, LooksRare has seen $11.6 billion in volume compared to OpenSea’s $4.13 billion.

Such popularity is aided by the expansion of pro sports and the music industry into NFTs and the growth of virtual real estate. NFL superstar Tom Brady raised $170 million on Jan. 19 to help scale his Autograph NFT marketplace. On Feb. 3, recording artist John Legend launched an NFT platform for musicians to tokenize their work.

WBTC supply plateaus

WBTC is an ERC-20 token that has al enjoyed an increase in total transactions since July. After hitting a low of 110,000 daily transfers on Jul. 9, transfers peaked on Nov. 3 with 557,700. There are currently about 232,000 daily transfers according to CoinMetrics.

WBTC acts like a stablecoin that is pegged 1:1 to the value of Bitcoin, and can be redeemed at any time for a real BTC.

Related: NFTs and social capital: How projects are collaborating to the mutual benefit of the entire sector

Although the total supply of WBTC on Ethereum is near its ATH of 271,000, equating to about 1.4% of the total BTC supply, CoinMetrics shows the rate of tokens being minted has flattened out since the beginning of February.

However, the total number of Ethereum addresses holding WBTC is currently at an ATH of 43,290 wallets according to CoinMetrics.