Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), which are unique digital assets like cryptocurrency recorded on a blockchain, are becoming extremely popular. The focus of this article of TechTrends revolves around the top 10 most expensive NFTs ever sold.
NFTs, Non-Fungible Tokens, are unique and non-interchangeable digital assets, unlike standard cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum. Also, they are stored on a blockchain. Despite being entirely digital, NFTs hold great value for investment. They have wildly grown in popularity since the ascent of Cryptocurrency. Many collectors and investors are keen on getting involved in digital artwork’s craze, with million-dollar art collections being sold as digital jpegs. Besides, the prices paid for some of these NFTs are mind-blowing, and in this article, you will see the list of the most expensive Non-Fungible Tokens ever sold.
Here is the list of top 10 most expensive NFTs ever sold:
Recently, there has been significant interest in NFTs, with sales for many of the top 10 most expensive NFTs sold so far being conducted in the last six months. They are at the forefront of the crypto space. Here are the most significant sales to date.
10. CryptoPunk #5217 by Larva Labs
The tenth in the list of the top 10 most expensive NFTs ever sold is CryptoPunk #5217. Moreover, it forms part of the Ape punks collection, with a knitted cap and a gold chain that are desirable traits even when it comes to CryptoPunk standards.
Larva Labs were the first to develop and release “uniquely generated” pixel art characters called CryptoPunks, 24×24 pixel art images made algorithmically. At first, they were free for anyone to get with an ETH wallet. However, that turned around as they became part of a thriving resale market and demanded high prices.
#5217 is among the rarest CryptoPunk on the market, being 34th in the ranking list and increasing rapidly over time.
In July 2021, it was sold for $5.45 million, and the owner does not plan to sell it now.
9. Ocean Front by Beeple
Among the most famous and highly-respected digital artists in the space is Mike Winkelmann, Beeple. His artwork’s price tags clearly proves that fact.
Many of his works are ranked in the top 10 most expensive NFTs ever sold. This inspiring piece of art, Ocean Front, represents a combination of enormous shipping containers, a caravan, and a tree, standing tall in the ocean.
Ocean Front depicts the matter of climate change we are facing, and some of Beeple’s other pieces in this price range also reveal an exclusive message. The money received for this artwork is expected to be donated to a non-profit infrastructure management organization called Open Earth Foundation.
“Together we can solve this” was the caption of this piece of art auctioned on the Nifty Gateway marketplace. Three distinctive bidders, including Twitter users @3fmusic, @BabyBelugaNFT, and Justin Sun, CEO and founder of a cryptocurrency platform, Tron Foundation, made successive offers. The winning bid was thrown in by Justin Sun at $6m. This helped Ocean Front find its way to the list of the most expensive Non-Fungible Tokens ever sold.
8. A Coin for the Ferryman by XCopy
‘A Coin for the Ferryman,’ which is one the earliest pieces created by XCopy, was made in 2018, but on November 4, 2021, it made it to the list of the top 10 most expensive NFTs ever sold, for more than $6m.
This one-of-a-kind piece is the combination of a scribbled face on top of a colorful background. It has the form of a GIF, making it significantly unique for XCopy to boast about as there may not be another piece like this one ever again.
The SuperRare user @0xclipse had bought this piece of art directly from the artist in 2018 for about $139. Then, it changed hands in 2021.
However, XCopy’s legacy stretches back to 2017, and he is regarded as a pioneer in the crypto art space. Since interest in NFTs started to surge, their work has gained more fame.
7. Crossroad by Beeple
Another NFT created by Beeple that was sold for millions of dollars on Nifty Gateway is Crossroad. An anonymous buyer bought one of the most valuable NFTs for $6.6 million.
Beeple’s works, as mentioned earlier, hold great value. They have propelled him to the top of the digital art world as they offer something different from the regular NFTs.
Crossroad is a 10-second video file representing a response to the 2020 presidential election. Donald Trump, the ex-US president, is flat on his stomach with disparaging words written on his body following his defeat in the election and people walking past him.
The fascinating fact about this NFT is that Beeple intended for it to change depending on how the election would go, one featuring Trump victorious and the other discouraged.
6. CryptoPunk #7804 by Larva Labs
Another CryptoPunk on the list of the top 10 most expensive NFTs sold so far is #7804, one of just nine ‘Alien CryptoPunks’ that is teal-colored and has a pipe in his mouth, wearing a cool cap facing forward and small shades. Although these pixelated faces may look the same, their unique attributes and a myriad of associated rarities distinguish them from one another, resulting in their fame, and more of them have made it to the most valuable NFTs ever sold list.
The first time it was sold dates back to January 2018 for just $14,988; however, in March 2021, it changed hands and was resold for a jaw-dropping price of $7.5 million.
5. CryptoPunk #3100 by Larva Labs
Only a day after the sale of #7804, on March 11, 2021, CryptoPunk #3100 was sold for even more.
#3100 is another Alien punk out of nine that was sold for a staggering price. It became one of the top 10 most expensive NFTs ever sold so far. However, this time, the accessories are minimal as he is just wearing a headband, making it the seventh rarest of its kind. The blue and white headband was unique enough to sell for $7.67m on March 11, 2021, on Opensea. In addition, this CryptoPunk is the only one listed for sale by the owner for an astronomical price of $132.96 million.
4. CryptoPunk #7523 by Larva Labs
Pushing aside all of its other CryptoPunk brethren, #7523 is the collection’s third rarest NFT. Moreover, its price-tag was hard to match.
This digital artwork that sold for $11.75m on June 10, 2021, was developed by Larva Labs’ John Watkinson and Matt Hall. It was auctioned at Sotheby’s “Natively Digital”. The current owner, Shalom Meckenzie, is Draftkings’ biggest shareholder and an Israeli entrepreneur. Notwithstanding there being 10,000 other collectible characters like this one, #7523 is part of nine Alien Punks. It is the only one with a medical mask and a surgeon’s cap, contributing to its distinctive identity.
This mask-wearing alien represents the ubiquitous symbol of NFTs rise to the mainstream in the Covid-19 age. After purchasing #7523, Meckenzie said, “I thought it was symbolic of COVID and the popularization of NFTs.”
3. HUMAN ONE by Beeple
Mike Winkelmann, otherwise known as Beeple, has become the regulars among the top 10 most expensive NFTs ever sold. HUMAN ONE is a life-sized 3D NFT sculpture that was sold on November 9, 2021, at Christie’s 21st Century Evening Sale for almost $30m. The most exciting thing about it is that the artist plans to update this piece of art for the remainder of his life on earth.
Beeple referred to this NFT art as “the first portrait of a human born in the metaverse.” With the artist aiming to change HUMAN ONE over the course of his existence on earth and creating an innovative dynamic between owner and artist, the current owner, Ryan Zurrer, and any other ones in the future should expect this digital art to change to whatever Beeple sees fit. However, it displays a person wearing an astronaut-like, silver-colored space suit with boots, a helmet, and a backpack in a seven-foot-tall box created by LED screens. The viewers are shown different angels as it has a rotating base.
2. Everydays: The First 5000 Days by Beeple
Price: $69.3 million
The second on the list of the top 10 most expensive NFTs ever sold is the digital art called Everydays: The First 5000 Days, also created by well-known Beeple.
This first purely digital NFT was sold for a record-breaking price of $69,346,250. It made Beeple one of the three most valuable artists living. With his impressive artworks, he has become a high-tier and a highly-respected artist within the community. His most valuable art piece is a collage created of 5000 pieces of his work that dates back to 2007. It was the year he embarked upon a mission to make one piece of art on a daily basis. The result blows minds as there are 5,000 digital pictures created in the space of 13 and a half years.
Beeple created an authentic whole by stitching recurring themes and color schemes together. The art is presented in loose chronological order. Should you zoom on each piece, it shows abstract, strange, and absurd pictures as well as current events, personal moments, and sentiments. It portrays the fear of technology, the desire for and resentment of wealth, and the political turbulence of America in recent years.
There is also a remarkable difference between Beeple’s pictures created on May 1, 2007, and January 7, 2021, as he evolved immensely as an artist. Furthermore, Everydays consists of basic drawings and abstract themes, color, and form since Beeple began working in 3D.
Vignesh Sundaresan, also known as MetaKovan, bought Everydays at Christie’s auction house and admitted that he was willing to offer even more because NFTs are the beginning of a new era in art.
1. The Merge by Pak
Among the top 10 most expensive NFTs ever sold, The Merge became the raid boss on December 2, 2021, as about 30,000 collectors pitched together to spend a total of $91.8m to buy 312,686 total units of mass for this digital artwork in 48 hours.
The only Non-Fungible Token in the list of the most valuable NFTs to have many owners is The Merge, and its hefty price tag speaks for itself.
This digital artwork was fetched in an open edition. Buyers could auction as many mass tokens as they desired, starting with a unit price of $575; however, it went up to $25 every six hours, making their mass bigger with more buyers accumulating.
The Merge collection also represents the highest sales value by a living artist in a public sale.
For more than 20 years, Pak, an artist collective, has been at the forefront of crypto media and digital art. He is well-known for making Archillect, an Al built for visual media.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, NFTs have skyrocketed in popularity since 2020, with many claiming that it is just the beginning of the revolution. At the start of the year 2021, NFTs was just an obscure term, but by the year, the Collins dictionary even named NFTs its word of the year for 2021. People are spending astronomical prices to own some of these digital artifacts. However, a big question may arise about how high the NFT prices will go?
This article focused on the top 10 most expensive NFTs ever sold and why they are so expensive. If you have any NFTs, chances are you could be sitting on quite a sizeable fortune. However, always test the water before jumping in. Although the market is at a nascent stage now, the numbers are not the only thing you should look at. Investors and collectors should check the fundamentals, history, and utility irrespective of the goal they are in it for.