In the past two years, the world of NFTs have recorded remarkable growth. This is due to the massive entry of more investors into the industry. According to DappRader, the market spiked from its initial record to a whopping $1.7 billion in terms of sales about two years ago. This alone represents more than a 650% increase. No doubt, the sector is still new, but its level of mainstream popularity has considerably grown over the years.
Although, during the crypto bear market that plummeted prices of cryptocurrencies, the NFT market was not spared. Following the bear market majorly caused by the crash of the Terra Luna project in mid-2022, the NFT market recorded its lowest since 2021. Against all odds, it is not in doubt that the future of NFTs is more promising. This article seeks to look at the various NFTs in the market, thereby analyzing the most expensive ones ever sold since inception. However, before doing this, it is imperative to first do a brief about NFTs.
What are NFTs?
NFTs, known as Non-Fungible Tokens are unique digital assets that are usually recorded and purchased using blockchain technology. The significance of blockchain technology in the success of NFTs is not in doubt. Through the technology, the ownership of the token is recorded, and can be transferred to another person. Although, this in most cases happens when the token is being sold.
Generally, NFTs represent real-world items, art, sports cards, video games and many more. All the mentioned items become minted to form the tokens and then traded. According to findings, each collection comes with a unique identity, thereby making it easy to sell. It is worthy of note that the NFT sphere has grown in mainstream adoption and popularity over the years. Amid this development, some collections, regarded as blue chips, have traded for mouthwatering prices, thereby contributing to the sales value of the general NFT market. Certainly, this article will analyze the top ten among these collections in line with their expensiveness.
Everyday NFTs – $69.3 million
Till today, the Everyday NFT collection remains the most expensive NFT ever sold. Otherwise known as “the First 5000 Days,” the collection was developed by Beeple. According to our findings, it comes with 5000 artworks designed by its creator for his Everyday series. In one of his interviews, Beeple explained the inspiration behind the artworks. According to him, he was inspired by Tom Judd, a renowned British artist. Worthy of note that he commenced the project as far back as 2007.
The collection broke the record for the highest NFTs ever sold after it was purchased by Vignesh “MetaKovan Sundaresan. The buyer purchased it at a big amount of $69.3 million. When it was auctioned, many bidders came for the token, including Justin Sun, the founder of Tron. He emerged as the second-highest bidder with $60.2 million.
CryptoPunk #7523 – $11.8 million
CryptoPunk #7523 ranks second in our list of most expensive NFTs ever sold. Similarly, the collection is also one of the nine alien “punks.” It features a face mask to complement the trend caused by the implication of coronavirus which ravaged the world a few years ago.
Worthy of note that the token remains the most expensive alien “punks” in this list. Its creator, Sotheby sold the token in 2021 for $11.8 million after numerous bids. Our findings identified the buyer as Israeli entrepreneur Shalom Meckenzie, known as the largest shareholder of digital sports company DraftKings.
CryptoPunk #7804 – $7.56 million
Notably, CryptoPunk #7804 ranks third in our list of most expensive NFTs ever sold. Findings show that the collection is also one of the nine alien “punks.” It was developed by Dylan Field, CEO of Figma. The theme of the collection, according to Field, is his “digital Mona Lisa.” It is enveloped with three attributes. They include a forward cap, shades and a pipe.
In 2021, Field sold the token for $7.55 million. Unlike CryptoPunks #3100, this collection has not been auctioned for sale by its new owner as of the time of filing this report.
CryptoPunks #3100 – $7.5 million
CryptoPunks #3100 has also made it to the list of the most expensive NFT collections ever sold. According to findings, the collection is one of the nine Alien “punks” running on the Ethereum blockchain. As a rare cryptopunk, it is enveloped with bluish-green skin and a white-and-blue headband.
In 2021, the collection made the headlines after it was sold for 4,200 ETH or $7.51 million in March 2021. When it was sold, it emerged as the most-priced “punk” collection. It is worthy of note that the ERC-721 token is currently owned by address 0x7b8961. Findings show that the owner wants to sell the collection as of the time of writing. Although there is no official bid for the token at the moment, the owner plans to sell at $13.4 million. If this becomes actualized, the rank of the collection in the list of the most expensive NFTs ever sold is expected to come up.
CrossRoad -$6.66 million
Notably, CrossRoad also ranks well in the list of most expensive NFT collections ever sold. According to findings, the collection was launched on the Ethereum blockchain by Beeple. The collection illustrates the former President of the U.S.A, Donald Trump lying in a heap after losing the 2020 elections to Joe Biden. Although, findings indicate that the theme of CrossRoad would have been different if Trump had won the election. He would have been showcased as one wearing a crown had he won the election.
After Biden won the election, the collection was purchased on Nifty Gateway for $6.66 million. Earlier, its owner, Beeple had sold it at a very less price of about $500 thousand. However, when it was resold in 2021 by its new owner, it brought huge gains. According to our findings, the amount in which this collection was sold is 10 times its original price. This thus makes the NFT qualify for the list of top ten collections ever sold.
Ocean Front NFT – $6 million
On March 23, 2021, Graphics Designer and NFT Artist, Mike Winkelmann popular known as Beeple announced the sale of the “Ocean Front.” for $6 million. According to the post, Beeple announced the Founder and CEO of TRON Foundation, Justin Sun as the winner of the bid for the artwork. Initially, the auction attracted three bids starting at $2.77 million. At the end of the auction, Justin Sun emerged as the highest bidder with $6 million.
With the value, Ocean Front became the 6th most expensive NFT ever sold. The piece aims to address the present climate change challenges on Earth. Expressing this illustration in a graphical presentation of a tree posing on trailers and shipping containers sitting atop a platform on an ocean floor.
According to reports, the piece belongs to Beeple’s “Everydays” series with the caption “Together we can solve this.” After the auctioning process, Beeple revealed that the proceeds will be donated to the Open Earth Foundation. The Open Earth Foundation is a nonprofit organization that champions raising awareness of climate change. The foundation is aiming to avoid the existential risk of climate change.
CryptoPunks #5217 – $5.59 million
The CryptoPunk #5217 is one of the few ape punks with a knitted hat and a gold chain. The piece is widely regarded as a rare punk majorly by NFT and CryptoPunk enthusiasts. The piece is presently owned by 0xe30161 and the owner hasn’t put it up for sale. The Crypto Punk #5217 is worth about $5.59 million.
CryptoPunks are widely regarded among crypto enthusiasts as the pioneer collection of NFTs. CrypoPunks is one of the earliest NFTs collection minted on the Ethereum blockchain. Larva Labs, a New York-based software firm designed the collection in 2017. Additionally, CryptoPunks is a collection of 10,000 algorithmically generated 24×24, 8-bit-style tokenized pixelated art images.
More so, the collection consists of numerous designs that featured humans, zombies, aliens, and apes. Their rareness is determined by the unique combination of distinctive features they possess. Each piece from this collection is randomly forged from various distinctive attributes, making them unique in their way. With that, two CryptoPunks cannot look the same.
Likewise, the collection contains 6,039 male punks, 3,840 females, 88 zombies, 24 apes, and 9 aliens. The project developers commonly referred to as Dev Punks own about 1,000 CryptoPunks. Worth mentioning that this collection consists of eight Punks with no distinctive features. These pieces are mostly referred to as Genesis Punk.
World Wide Web Source Code – $5.4 Million
Sir Tim Berners Lee sold the NFT piece themed “This Changes Everything” for $5.4 million. In 2021, Sir Tim Berners Lee, the founder of the World Wide Web attempted to explore the NFT ecosystem with the sale of this piece. The “This Changes Everything” NFT consists of the actual source code for the Web. Simply, the NFT is a graphical illustration of the web source code together as a virtual art.
Many crypto enthusiasts regarded the piece as rare due to its authentication by the blockchain which establishes that it has never been minted by the founder of the Web or someone else. Those present at the auction regarded it as a symbol of history.
However, the piece garnered a host of controversies. Critics bemoaned the move stating that it was against the decentralized posture of the Web. Also, a few days after the sale of the virtual artwork, an individual cited some coding errors in the piece. Despite the controversies, the digital artwork is highly regarded as a unique piece, placing it among the most expensive artworks.
Save Thousands of Lives NFTS – $5.23 Million
On May 8, 2021, the “Save Thousands of Lives NFT” was sold for $5.1 million, listed as one of the most expensive virtual artworks ever sold. Popular programmer, Paul Graham acquired the piece sold during a charity auction. More so, the NooraHealth designed the Save Thousands of Lives NFT to push its charitable course.
The organization aimed to donate the proceeds from the auction to new mothers and families in South Asia. Also, NooraHealth intended to educate the families of nursing mothers on how to look after them in accordance with medical stipulations after they leave the hospital.
Meanwhile, NooraHealth has collaborated with about 165 hospitals in South Asia alongside the families of numerous nursing mothers. The organization focuses on this segment of patients in an attempt to keep both the mother and baby healthy. Since its creation in 2014, the organization has moved beyond its original base of establishment; India and Bangladesh to equip more than 3 million mothers and caregivers. The organization leverages collaborative efforts from Public Health practitioners, doctors, nurses, and business leaders across the globe.
Stay Free NFTs – $5.27 Million
NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden sold the Stay Free NFT for $5.27 million and donated the returns to the Freedom of the Press Foundation. The Freedom of the Press Foundation is a non-profit organization that champions free speech and freedom of the press around the globe. The PleasrDAO, a decentralized autonomous organization acquired the virtual artwork.
The virtual artwork came to life when Edward Snowden ventured into NFTs in April 2021. The piece contains the whole of the 2015 Second Circuit Court of Appeals decision in ACLU vs Clapper. Then, the decision established that the National Security Agency’s surveillance actions violated the laws. Also, the piece contains the signature of Edward Snowden on the bottom right. With the signature, many regarded the collection as one-of-its-kind.
When unveiling his collection, Edward Snowden said “Emerging applications of cryptography can play an important role in supporting our rights.” Furthermore, he revealed that the proceeds from the auction will aid the Foundation to develop privacy-protecting encryption, ensuring press freedom.
Expensive NFTs ever sold – Conclusion
Most of these sales took place at the height of the NFT and crypto boom in 2021. Many believed that most of the records regarding these NFTs may stay for a long period. This is due to the shift in attention away from the NFTs space to fast-growing innovations like AI.
However, the industry is bound for greatness because it is still at a nascent stage. In the near future, the versatility of non-fungible tokens is undeniable as they can be utilized as either a collectible or an instrument for transactions. Therefore, collectors are urged to invest in NFTs with caution.