An online marketplace for Crypto-based NFTs, OpenSea said in a statement, it is now worth $13.3bn (£9.8bn) after a new investment of $300m.
The platform allows users to exchange non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which are one-of-a-kind pieces of digital code that can be linked to a digital asset or work of digital art.
Huge amounts of money have been paid for various NFTs.
OpenSea said trades on the platform rose 600-times last year, but some skeptics state the valuation is too high.
“In 2021, we saw the world wake up to the idea that NFTs represent the standard building blocks for all new peer-to-peer economies,” wrote Devin Finzer, who co-founded the company in 2017,
But some argue the circling valuations of these crypto-businesses reflect a shortage of places for investors to put their money.
“There’s far too much money dashing around and far fewer places to put it,” stated author David Gerard. “Currently even the rich are buying lottery tickets.”
The valuation for OpenSea comes at a time when a rising number of businesses, sports facilities and celebrities are producing or buying NFTs.
Very recently the rapper Eminem spent some $450,000 on an image of a “Bored Ape” resembling him.
The Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) is a collection of hundreds and thousands of NFTs of smart illustrations of anthropomorphic apes.
Bored Apes are among the most famous NFTs – the total cost of trades just passed $1bn according to data from Cryptoslam – an NFT industry data assorted
Not all share the rapper’s appreciation of digital artworks. The Guardian’s art critic Jonathan Jones regarded them as a “very ordinary and derivative bit of comic book design”.
But BAYC states each ape image is “unique and programmatically generated from over 170 possible traits, including expression, headwear, clothing, and more”.
The market in digital art and collectibles is now coming close to that of the global art trade, according to the Financial Times.
The total value of trade for NFTs was calculated to be worth more than $40.9bn last year according to estimations by blockchain data firm Chain analysis, the paper reported.
The figure is possibly an underestimate because only NFTs using the Ethereum blockchain were considered.
Past year the global art market was worth $50.1bn, it said.