In February 2023, the top six nonfungible token (NFT) marketplaces experienced a significant surge in NFT wash trading, with a total volume of $580 million, up 126% from the previous month. The six marketplaces included in the report were Magic Eden, OpenSea, Blur, X2Y2, CryptoPunks, and LooksRare. Of these, X2Y2, Blur, and LooksRare played the largest roles in February’s volume for NFT wash trading, with $280 million (49.7%), $150 million (27.7%), and $80 million (15.1%), respectively.
NFT wash trading is the manipulation of trade volume or price through repeated transactions. While this practice is illegal in traditional financial markets, the lack of clear regulations in the crypto space has allowed it to occur in both the broader crypto market and with NFTs.
The CoinGecko report revealed that NFT wash trading made up a combined 23.4% of “unadjusted trading volume” across the industry’s six largest marketplaces. The report also noted that some of these marketplaces have incentivized users to increase trading volume via transaction rewards.
It’s worth noting that NFTs have become increasingly popular in recent years as a new form of digital asset ownership. They can represent anything from artwork to music and even tweets. The unique characteristics of NFTs, such as their limited availability and authenticity, have contributed to their popularity.
However, NFT wash trading has become a major concern for the industry, with many experts warning of its potential impact on the market. Back in January 2023, crypto investor Mark Cuban said that wash trading would cause the next “implosion” in the crypto market. In response to this issue, new artificial intelligence-based technology has surfaced, which aims to troubleshoot issues in the NFT market, including wash trading.
In addition to the rise of NFT wash trading, a recent scam has also surfaced in the NFT market. On March 16, 2023, fake Blur token airdrop websites were discovered, from which $300k was successfully stolen. The incident highlights the need for better regulation and security measures in the NFT market.
In conclusion, while the rise in NFT wash trading volume may be a sign of the market’s recovery, it also highlights the need for increased regulation and security measures to protect investors and prevent fraudulent activities.