A recent report from DappRadar has revealed a surge in NFT trading within the Metaverse during the first quarter of this year, with record-breaking volumes hitting an all-time high. This significant uptick is a clear indication of the growing interest in virtual worlds. The report shows that there were 147,000 trades across various Metaverses, resulting in a cumulative trading volume of over $311 million.

DappRadar discovered that several factors contributed to the spike in trading in virtual universes, and various incentives from Yuga Labs, Blur, and Decentraland played a crucial role in motivating traders to engage in different Metaverses and trade virtual lands and other products.

In particular, NFTs that are linked to the Otherside Metaverse led the pack, accumulating a trading volume of $222 million within the first three months of this year, which is a 237% increase from the previous quarter. Otherdeed NFTs have been in high demand since Yuga Labs announced a “Second Trip” to the Otherside was on the way. One NFT from this highly sought-after collection sold for 186 ETH (approximately $2.85 million) at the time, making it the most expensive piece sold in the first quarter.

Blur has also contributed to the increase in trading volumes for Metaverse NFTs, as the upstart NFT marketplace has launched an aggressive campaign to attract users. According to Sara Gherghelas, a blockchain analyst at DappRadar, the platform’s airdrop seasons and farming have prompted NFT whales to “farm virtual land, particularly the MG land project, which is an NFT collection.”

MG Land, which launched in Q1 of 2023, is in the second position with a trading volume of $59 million, while Createra Genesis Land, a new protocol allowing users to experiment with the Metaverse, follows in third with a trading volume of $14 million, outperforming Axie Infinity, The Sandbox, and Decentraland.

While Decentraland experienced a 33% decrease in volumes compared to the previous quarter, the number of unique active wallets has shot up in anticipation of the upcoming Metaverse Fashion Week. Only time and data from the second quarter will tell if this event had a positive impact on volumes.