It’s a digital world, and we’re just living in it.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs), the hot art and music trend linked to cryptocurrency that’s drawing in a rising number of boldface names, has already set record-breaking sales and trading in 2022 — and the year is barely a month old.
Two of the most popular collections, the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and Crypto Punks, raked in $13 million more in combined sales last month than the global movie industry at the box office for the same period, according to The Milk Road newsletter.
The tokenized collectibles are still relatively opaque to most people, even though most of the buzz is almost exclusively driven by highly engaged social media communities. And blockchain analytics firm Anchain.AI recently found some noteworthy trends.
Recently, the firm mapped out the hordes of NFT aficionados across Twitter, and found that the most influential voices in the subcategory are not major celebrities but heavily involved marketing pros, ex-bankers, shadowy super collectors — and, of course, artists.
Topping the list of influencers are portrait photographer turned NFT creator, Justin Aversano, at number one. Meanwhile, media entrepeneur Gary Vaynerchuk (#8), the crypto artist XCOPY (#6), the chief marketing officer of Jump Trading’s crypto division, Nathan Roth (#4), help round out the top 10.
While Aversano doesn’t have a verified Twitter account, the NFT version of his photograph – Twin Flames #49 – sold in November 2021 at a Christie’s auction for $3.7 million, making it the 5th most expensive photograph sold in public.
Based on those findings, here’s a visualization of which accounts ranked as the top 50 most influential on NFT Twitter.
Anchain.AI’s data differs from others like it, in that it showed most influential accounts aren’t necessarily celebrities, but well-connected people in the NFT space.
The ranking’s methodology weighed more than 1,500 digital asset-focused accounts, based on their affinity for NFTs using an algorithm similar to how Google’s search engine ranks page views.
According to an Anchain.AI spokesperson, the algorithm’s uses connections with other accounts (followers/following) to measure how well each account can distribute information within this tight-knit online network.
The report also found four smaller grouping within NFT Twitter: the firm classified those as NFT gaming and crypto art, NFT artists, and fans of the two most popular collections on Twitter: BAYC and Crypto Punks.
Of these smaller communities, more accounts within the NFT artist and Crypto Punk communities have overlapping connections. This might be because the community around Bored Ape established itself during the 2021 boom in NFTs, according to Mason Nystrom, a research analyst with Messari.
Aversano, who spoke to Yahoo Finance, said the community is the most important resource in today’s NFT scene, but it isn’t only found on social media.
“The NFT space at large, not only Twitter, has been very supportive of my career,” said Aversano, who was shocked by Anchain’s ranking but delighted to be recognized for his work.
Twitter is one of the most popular places for NFT fans to congregate online, but by no means is it the ultimate standard for NFT influence, the map’s authors acknowledged. An Anchain.AI representative told Yahoo Finance that it’s intended to help newcomers.
“Its easy to go down the wrong path if you aren’t already plugged into this space. This map can be useful for helping newcomers identify popular accounts to follow based on their own criteria,” the spokesperson added.
David Hollerith covers cryptocurrency for Yahoo Finance. Follow him @dshollers.
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