Just a few months ago, the same artists who were selling their prints for a few hundred dollars are now playing in millions. Did the art connoisseurs suddenly start valuing their art more, or did something else happen? You might have guessed it, NFT art changed the landscape of digital artwork. Non-Fungible Tokens are files generated on a blockchain, such as Ethereum, against a digital asset. These files or tokens authenticate the ownership of that asset. However, if you are still not sure what NFTs are, you should check out our guide on them. We have seen NFTs explode into popularity and make millions for single artworks. Also, you might have heard that Beeple sold the most expensive NFT ever. Let us see if this claim still holds.
Before we move on to Beeple, you should know that NFT sales can either be for single artworks or collections.
In this article, we will discuss the most popular and expensive NFTs. The sale price of these NFTs was in cryptocurrency, such as Ether (Eth). Bitcoin is a top currency, but Eth is common in these transactions. However, since the cryptocurrency market is volatile, for instance, the value of Eth changes so rapidly, we have listed the prices in U.S dollars.
As mentioned, this list contains the most expensive NFT as well as the collections. Also, this list is in no particular order; however, the CryptoPunks collection holds a chief role in the explosion of digital art in this crypto realm. CryptoPunks collection is the OG NFT Collection created by Larva Labs. There are about 10,000 pixelated punks with different attires and styles. And the fascinating thing about this collection is that the purchase price of each of these Punks is in millions.
And an even more jaw-dropping fact is that one of the CryptoPunks, called CryptoPunk #9998, sold for $532 million. Moreover, the CryptoPunk collection piece called Pipe Smoking Alien Punk NFT made $7.5 million in March 2021.
Mike Winkelman, otherwise known as Beeple, made history on March 11, 2021. His digital art NFT ‘Everydays: the First 5000 Days’ made $69 million at Christie’s auction house. Officially, this is still the most expensive NFT ever. The numbers might differ between the CryptoPunk and this one. However, there is one little caveat. The CryptoPunk NFT was listed for sale and purchased by the same person. Sounds crazy, right? We could not agree more. But the transaction occurred, so it must be on the list.
Recently, another digital art of Beeple, called HUMAN ONE, broke the internet by selling for $29 million. This NFT also has a kinetic video sculpture beside it. Apart from these sales, he has a few others as well. The Non-Fungible Token market has made him the most valuable artist alive.
Similar to Larva Labs’ collection, Bored Ape Yacht Club is also a collection of 10,000 NFTs. It was launched in April 2021, and since the launch, the NFTs have sold for millions. The most expensive NFT of this collection is BAYC #8817. The purchase price of this Bored Ape Yacht was $3.4 million.
Noora Health created this NFT artwork and sold it in a charity auction to a programmer named Paul Graham. Even though crypto has been bashed by some people, it is evident that it can go a long way in helping people as well. This money, $5.2 million, was donated in South Asia to help new mothers and for the training of patients’ families to take care of them.
This is probably the most unique of all the Non-Fungible Tokens. Sandbox metaverse is a virtual world on the Ethereum blockchain. Until recently, only virtual land was sold on the platform. However, the most expensive NFT deal, for $650,000, on Sandbox came after the sale of Metaflower Super Mega Yacht.
Edward Snowden is the most widely known whistle-blower of the National Security Agency of the U.S. Stay Free is the first NFT sold by Snowden, but he did not keep the money for himself. Instead, the $5.4 million went to the Freedom of the Press Foundation.
Sir Tim Berners Lee is the creator of the world wide web. In June 2021, he sold a Non-Fungible Token of the web source code at Sotheby’s auction house. The winning bid on this auction was $5.4 million. However, Tim Berners Lee clarified that he was not selling the actual code – the web code is still royalty-free.
Officially, Beeple’s Everydays can still be counted as the most expensive NFT ever sold. However, if we see technically, we might have a new winner that we have already discussed. But this list only mentions a fraction of all NFT sales. For instance, Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, sold his first tweet as a Non-Fungible Token for $2.9 million on March 22, 2021. But the money was given to a charity, GiveDirectly.
Just imagine, if simple words on Twitter can sell of this much, how much of a potential this market would have. Truly, if you are a digital artist, this is a treasure trove for you. However, it is not easy to reach the top in the current time. You need to produce unique content as an artist, or at least, have a rare digital asset to share. The best way is to learn about cryptocurrency and NFTs before stepping into it. Stay tuned if you want more insights into the NFT realm.
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