Art, Blue-chip NFTs Drive Q2 NFT Market Growth

Nansen’s index of art NFTs saw decreased volatility over the quarter, but blue-chip and metaverse NFT indexes were more volatile than in Q1


Blockworks exclusive art by axel rangel


key takeaways

  • Art Blocks’ Chromie Squiggle is among the top 10 blue-chip collections
  • Gaming NFTs are down more than 59% year to date

Consumers are continuing to show interest in NFTs in the face of agitated markets, with art and blue-chip collections among the highest performing sectors of the market, a new report from Nansen shows.

The blockchain analytics platform’s quarterly report on the state of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) analyzes Nansen’s six NFT indexes: Nansen NFT-500, Nansen Blue Chip-10, Nansen Social-100, Nansen Gaming-50, Nansen Art-20 and Nansen Metaverse-20. The indexes are weighted by market capitalization and denominated in ether (ETH).

Nansen’s NFT-500 index, which aggregates the performance of the leading 500 NFT collections on Ethereum, was up 49.9% on the year as of March 31. However, the index gave up most of those gains in Q2, clocking an 8.5% year-to-date change by the end of the quarter.

All NFT sectors recorded a bounce in terms of ETH-denominated sales in June, except for gaming NFTs, which are down more than 59% year to date. 

Nansen NFT Indexes Performance; Source: Nansen

Blue-chips led the way in the larger NFT market’s upward movement at the beginning of June — the top 10 collections reported a 23.6% increase in market capitalization at the end of the quarter and a 17.9% increase in June alone.

Yuga Labs’ Meebits reclaimed its spot in Nansen’s Blue Chip-10 index, and Chromie Squiggle from Art Blocks also joined the leaderboard, replacing the NFT Worlds and World of Women collections.

There is little evidence to support a continued uptrend due to limited liquidity, the report suggests — the inflows into blue chips still mark “risk off” sentiment by NFT market participants.

However, an analysis of NFT buyers on Ethereum shows a strong recovery in returning buyers in June and a slight recovery for first-time buyers. 

Nansen NFT Trends: NFT Returning vs. First-time Buyers (Monthly); Source: Nansen

The active buyer count indicates the continued growth of the market and the development of NFTs as a sector, according to Nansen. 

Recent free mint events, such as those of GoblinTown and Moonrunners, could be a possible explanation for the recovery in buyers, the report suggested.

Nansen analysts also found that art NFTs demonstrated the biggest increase of the month, with a 33.1% boost. This sector encapsulates physical and digital art, plus generative art NFTs, which accounted for 92% of market capitalization in the Art-20 index.

In addition to consistent transaction volume and significant buy-in for Chromie Squiggle, an art NFT collection that performed consistently in Q2 was The Currency by Damien Hirst, a collection of 10,000 NFTs, each corresponding to a piece of physical artwork.

While the Art-20 index saw a decrease in volatility, Blue Chip-10, Social-100, Game-50 and Metaverse-20 indexes showed an increase in volatility, in line with the broad market. The metaverse NFT sector remains the most volatile, a conclusion Nansen also reported in its previous quarterly analysis.

Don’t miss the next big story – join our free daily newsletter.


Upcoming Events

Hilton Metropole | 225 Edgware Rd, London

Mon - Wed, March 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience: Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts.


TUES, OCT. 8, 2024

Guided by the expertise of Blockworks Research Analysts team, this one day event will feature senior leaders, entrepreneurs, and developers from across the crypto industry. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in an immersive experience to explore the latest trends, […]

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Research report cover graphics (1).jpg


Wormhole is a suite of open-source, permissionless protocols used to move assets and queries across blockchains.  Despite being a common misconception, Wormhole is not just a token bridge. Nevertheless, protocols can build token bridges on top of Wormhole by leveraging the cross-chain messaging provided.


Ether is a commodity just up until the point it is not, or, ether is not a commodity just up until the point it is — whichever you prefer


The bull-market conference was filled with good feelings but little clarity on where the crypto industry is headed next


The Friday ruling was issued as a default judgment because Sameer Ramani “appears to have fled the country”


Bitcoin’s previous record high against the Euro was set in September 2021


As bitcoin ETFs grow larger and more liquid, due diligence teams at wirehouses and other investment firms are more likely to clear them, Bitwise researcher says



The TRON DAO team attended ETH Denver, one of the leading events in the blockchain space