Navigating the NFT Market: Q1 2023 Trend Sets a Bullish Tone

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The NFT market is projected to reach a trading volume of $22.69 billion by the end of 2023, marking a 39% decrease compared to 2022, as reported in the latest Balthazar NFT Marketplace Update. The comprehensive analysis covers ten major NFT marketplaces, revealing that Blur maintains its dominance despite a recent slowdown in NFT trade volume in March.

Analyzing the March 2023 NFT Market Slowdown

In March 2023, the combined trade volume across the ten marketplaces studied reached $2.04 billion, representing a 9.8% decrease compared to February 2023 ($2.26 billion). 

The total trade volume for the first quarter of 2023 (January-March) amounted to $5.67 billion, 84.2% higher than the previous quarter ($3.08 billion). Notably, the market has returned to July 2022 levels for the past two months, following a continuous decline from its peak in Q1 2022.

John Stefanidis, Co-founder and CEO of Balthazar, expressed enthusiasm about the growing momentum in the NFT market. He highlighted the emergence of high-quality projects and the positive influence of Bitcoin’s recent performance on the overall market sentiment. 

Stefanidis pointed to the exciting possibilities presented by Ordinals, NFTs on the Bitcoin blockchain, and the upcoming launch of Babylon, a software development kit for Web3 game developers.

The Dominance of Blur and Axie Marketplace

Blur continued to lead NFT sales volume in March, with the highest trade volume for the month at $1.34 billion. Out of the ten top marketplaces, only Blur and Axie Marketplace experienced increased trade volumes in March compared to February. 

Axie Marketplace’s trade volume rose 36.6% to $88.45 million, a trend expected to continue following the recent announcement of staking and game partnerships on the Ronin Network.

Examining the Shifts in Trade Volumes and User Numbers

March 2023 saw a 38% decrease in trade volume compared to March 2022 across the ten marketplaces. Some marketplaces experienced significant declines, such as LooksRare, Axie Marketplace, and OpenSea, while others, like X2Y2 and JPG Store, recorded substantial increases. 

Regarding market share, Blur held 65.5%, followed by OpenSea at 14.4%, and X2Y2 at 8.8%.

In March 2023, the total number of users recorded across the ten marketplaces was 1.46 million, a 7.4% decrease compared to February 2023. However, Q1 2023 saw a 6.5% increase in users compared to Q4 2022, with 4.68 million users in Q1 2023 and 4.40 million users in Q4 2022.

The total number of trades in March 2023 across the ten marketplaces reached 3.78 million, a 24.4% decrease from the previous month. Blur was the only marketplace that saw increased trades, while X2Y2 experienced the most significant decline.

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