Trading of NFT has increased across the virtual world during the first quarter of 2023 to reach a total of US $311 million, according to a report published by DappRadar. Moreover, roughly US $417.5 million was invested into blockchain gaming and metaverse projects in the first quarter of 2023.

Trading of virtual land has reached an all-time high during the quarter with as high as 147,000 trades. The latter is mainly owing to platforms such as Otherside from Yuga Labs and MG Land that dominate the space.

Otherdeed NFT, which are linked to land in the Otherside metaverse, registered US $222 million in trading volume in the first quarter, which is a 237 percent increase from the previous quarter.

One Otherdeed NFT was sold for 186 ETH which is equivalent to US $2.85 million approximately and that is the highest recorded sale for virtual land in the quarter.

Earlier this month, Yuga Labs announced the official date of its “Second Trip” for holders of Otherdeed NFT, which is most likely to have contributed to its surge.

According to the report, another reason behind the increase in trading volume is the NFT marketplace Blur’s ‘airdrop season and farming’. Industry experts believe NFT whales decided to farm virtual land, especially the MG Land project, which is an NFT collection.

The Sandbox, Axie Infinity and Decentraland also made it to the list of top Decentralized App (DApps) during the last quarter, although all were topped by lesser-known Createra Genesis Land with US $14 million in trading volume. Createra Genesis Land raised a US $10 million funding round in January 2023, led by a16z and focuses on enabling user-generated metaverse creations.

The upcoming Metaverse Fashion Week of Decentraland has increased the number of unique active crypto wallets on Decentraland. It also boosted the trading volume on the platform by a whopping 63 percent.

Meanwhile, digital fashion shop 10KTF also experienced a major spike in its trading volume during the quarter across several of its collections. Incidentally, 10KTF was launched in 2021 and acquired by Yuga Labs in November 2022.

As for fresh interest in the crypto space, there has been an increased interest in the metaverse and Web 3.0 gaming across the crypto industry. Money continued to flow into creating gamified experiences and virtual spaces. Some of the big names including tech giant Sony and blockchain ecosystems like Polygon have been quite active in this space during the period, thereby highlighting the future potential of the concept.

Meanwhile, in a separate development, Animoca Brands, a venture capital firm and Web 3.0 game developer, has denied reports that it had cut its Metaverse fund target from US $2 billion to US $800 million due to volatility in the crypto market and instability in the banking sector. Instead, it has stated that its original target of US $2 billion still stands, with no cuts or changes.

The firm has also denied assertions that its valuation has fallen from US $6 billion in July 2022 to roughly US $2 billion in March 2023.