Nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, are turning out to be a treasure store with prices striding into the millions of dollars. Instances of an NFT garnering more than $69 million or a tweet fetching $2.9 million are not a fantasy, but an incredible reality.
In 2021, an NFT by digital artist Beeple, or Mike Winkelmann, sold for a whopping $69 million, making NFTs a media hotshot and opening the floodgates for a string of other NFT sales, many of these in millions of dollars. Prompted by the plentiful talk about NFTs, stars like Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Eminem, Grimes and many more have hopped onto the NFT bandwagon.
In 2022, NFTs have been garnering attention from investors, artists and collectors alike. Let’s take a glance at the 10 most expensive NFTs sold to date:
Beeple’s Crossroads — $6.6 million
Sold via Nifty Gateway, Beeple’s NFT Crossroads came as a response to the 2020 United States presidential election. The piece shows a despondent figure, supposedly Trump, lying on the ground and symbolizing the former president after losing the election.
Crossroads also featured two videos, one with a triumphant Trump and the other a solemn one. What would eventually play depended on the outcome of the election.
Ocean Front — $6 Million
Aimed at the climate crisis, the Ocean Front depicts a tree atop trailers and shipping containers stationed on a platform. Captioned “together we can solve this,” the NFT was auctioned for charity and the beneficiary was the Open Earth Foundation, a nonprofit organization.
One of the most valuable NFTs of the time, the Ocean Front, started bidding at $2.77 million. The winner of the bid was Justin Sun, the founder of the Tron Foundation.
Right-click and Save As Guy — $7.08 million
Snoop Dogg bought XCOPY’s NFT Right-click and Save As Guy, created as a satire of people who don’t recognize the worth of crypto art.
Right-click and Save As Guy serves as a reminder that it is the receipts associated with the art that cannot be copied, thanks to blockchain technology and not the image itself.
CryptoPunk #7804 — $7.57 million
CryptoPunks are an assemblage of 10,000 unique characters hosted on the Ethereum blockchain, and no two CryptoPunks exactly resemble each other, making them highly valuable. CryptoPunk #7804 stands out for having some rare traits across the whole collection.
These traits include Alien skin, possessed only by 0.09% of the collection. A pipe is another feature, present with only 3% of the collection. The small shades are yet another feature that only 4% of the collection has. There is the “cap forward” trait as well, which is on just 3% of the NFTs. These attributes make CryptoPunk #7804 such a rarity, making it one of the highest-selling NFTs.
CryptoPunk #3100 — $7.58 million
As one of the nine Alien Punks, CryptoPunk #3100 features the Alien skin as well, which is a major factor pushing the token’s value up. The NFT with bluish-green skin also gets a unique look with a white-and-blue headband. The fact that only 406 out of 10,000 in the collection wear a headband underlines its rarity.
First released in 2017, CryptoPunk #3100 gained prominence with a $2 million bid in March 2021 and was eventually bought at $7.58 million in the same month.
CryptoPunk #7523 — $11.7 million
Like other expensive NFTs in the series, CryptoPunk #7523 has a gamut of rare features as well. It is a component of the Alien sub-collection. CryptoPunk #7523 stands out with three attributes possessed by 24% of the collection and an earring, which is only in 25% of the collection.
Other rare features include a knitted cap, while the medical mask is shared by only 2% of the collection. But, even with these rarities taken into account, the price of $11.7 million that it fetched is mind-boggling.
Human One — $28.9 million
Designed by Beeple, Human one is a digital and physical hybrid piece of artwork. A peculiar fact about Human One is that its artwork keeps changing over time. Beeple retains remote access to the artwork and updates it periodically.
The NFT showcases an astronaut ambling through the different backgrounds that change over time. Experiments fusing various TVs into different shapes and patterns influence the appearance of the NFT.
Clocks — $52.74 million
Clocks was meant to raise funds to defend Julian Assange after his controversial imprisonment in May 2019. He was facing charges of espionage due to his association with WikiLeaks, a website he founded. The clock showcases the number of days Assange had been behind bars.
Over 10,000 supporters own a share of the NFT that carries a price tag of $56 million. The beneficiary of the NFT was the Wau Holland Foundation, which has been supporting Assange’s cause.
Everydays: the First 5,000 Days — $69.3 million
Another creation of Beeple, the First 5,000 Days, is a colossal compilation of 5,000 pieces of artwork that differs in terms of content, medium and style that Beeple made every day starting in 2007. Often relying on dystopian or satirical settings, these art pieces have been highly appreciated by aficionados.
To date, it has been the most expensive collage of NFT art pieces ever sold to one sole owner.
The Merge — $91.8 million
Created by artist Pak, The Merge occupies the top position as the most expensive NFT ever sold. Though the artist has never revealed their actual identity, they have a huge presence in the digital art space.
The Merge isn’t a static art piece, but a mash-up of “masses” that anyone interested could buy. When starting, the NFT consisted of three large dots against a black background. The size of the dots increased as the number of buyers went up.
The way ahead
A few months into 2022, NFTs are still going strong. With no caps on how high NFT prices might go, this domain within crypto presents a lucrative opportunity for anyone, who could manage to mint into the right projects and exhibit some patience.