The market for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has seen a relief rally in the sales volume over the past 24 hours, while blockchain analysis firm Elliptic found that over USD 100m in NFTs have been stolen over the past year.
The overall trading volume of blue-chip NFTs has seen an uptick over the past day. At 7:00 UTC on Thursday morning, Yuga Lab‘s Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) recorded USD 2m in sales, up by around 35% compared to the prior day, according to NFT data aggregator CryptoSlam.
Likewise, other blue-chip collections like Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC), Azuki, and CryptoPunks saw their sales volume increase by around 56%, 311%, and 11%, over the past 24 hours, respectively.
The floor price of top collections like BAYC, MAYC, and Otherdeed also increased slightly over the past 24 hours, rising by around 9%, 8%, and 6%, respectively.
The jump in the NFT market comes just as the date for the first upgrade leading to the Ethereum Merge has been confirmed for September 6, while the Merge is expected to be fully completed between September 10 and 20.
However, it is worth noting that the NFT market is still near the early 2021 lows. According to data by CryptoSlam, NFT sales volume in terms of USD across the Ethereum blockchain have dropped to around USD 12m in recent days, down by more than 98% compared to the all-time high of USD 628m recorded on May 1, 2022.
Meanwhile, a recent report by Elliptic has revealed that over USD 100m in NFTs have been stolen during the period between July 2021 and July 2022.
The report, titled “NFTs and Financial Crime,” also found that over USD 8m of illicit funds has been laundered through NFT-based platforms since 2017, which accounts for 0.02% of trading activity originating from known sources.
“Over [USD] 100 million worth of NFTs were publicly reported as stolen through scams between July 2021 and July 2022, netting perpetrators [USD] 300,000 per scam on average,” the report said. “July 2022 saw over 4,600 NFTs stolen – the highest month on record – indicating that scams have not abated despite the crypto bear market.”
Elliptic added that Tornado Cash, the mixer service that has been sanctioned by the US government, was the “laundering tool of choice for 52% of NFT scam proceeds.”
Along with a substantial increase in the amount of decentralized finance (DeFi) hacks this summer, there has also been an uptick in the number of attacks targeting top NFT collections and the members of the NFT community.