There are around 360,000 people globally who own NFTs.
Despite this small number of owners, some NFTs have become incredibly valuable in recent years. Even though it’s a new technology, the world of NFTs is growing rapidly, and many people have made very successful investments.
For a rundown of some of the most valuable NFTs ever, keep reading.
What Are NFTs?
An NFT (non-fungible token) is generally a digital asset that people can buy and trade using blockchain technology, although it can also be a physical piece. The term “non-fungible” means that it’s unique and can’t be replicated or replaced.
A dollar, for example, is fungible – if you trade one dollar for another, you’re getting the same thing. A one-of-a-kind trading card, however, is non-fungible.
There are various types of NFTs, but they’re currently primarily seen in digital art. Some are works from famous artists, and others are part of NFT projects.
The Most Valuable NFTs
The most significant NFT sales are for the people who want the most. Projects like CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club have become very popular among celebrities, so their value of these has skyrocketed. NFTs are often seen as art investments – many people buy them intending to sell them later on for a profit.
1. Pak’s “The Merge” – $91.8 Million
Standing at the top as the most expensive NFT ever sold, almost 30,000 individuals grouped to purchase this piece collectively. It’s one of the only NFTs owned by multiple people.
This purchase was on December 2, 2021, taking the top spot from number 2 on the list.
2. Beeple’s “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” – $69.3 Million
Beeple (real name Mike Winklemann) is an artist who recently entered the world of NFTs and has quickly sold some of the most expensive pieces ever. He’s highly respected in the community, and this piece is actually made up of 5,000 separate works.
He started making one piece a day in 2007, and 5,000 pieces later, he was able to make this collage. When it sold for almost $70 million, it was the single most expensive NFT ever.
3. Clock – $52.7 Million
Pak and Julian Assange collaborated on this piece. It functions as a clock, but rather than tracking the current time, it counts the days that Jullian Assange has been imprisoned.
The purpose of “Clock” was to raise funds to help fight Assange’s legal case. Like “The Merge,” it was bought by multiple people – more than 10,000 individuals in a group known as “AssangeDAO.” They pooled all their money together in support of Assange.
4. Beeple’s “HUMAN ONE” – $28.99 Million
Another piece by Beeple, this NFT, is his first-ever physical piece. Beeple made a digital NFT alongside it and sold both together at an auction. This auction was at Christie’s 21st Century Evening Sale.
There was some speculation around how much this would sell for after his “Everydays” went for such a high price. It managed to do well enough to solidify itself as the second most expensive NFT in the world at the time.
5. CryptoPunk #5822 – $23.7 Million
When it comes to NFT projects, CryptoPunks are some of the most expensive NFTs on the market. CryptoPunk #5822 stands as the most expensive piece ever sold in the collection.
CryptoPunks are made up of different traits, and this is one of just 9 alien-style punks. That makes it one of the rarest in the collection, hence why it sold for so much. The buyer is Deepak Thapliyal, the CEO of Chain.
6. CryptoPunk #7523 – $11.75 Million
This CryptoPunk was sold at auction in June 2021 and was the largest punk sale of the year. This one also had the rare alien trait, as well as a facemask, so it came to be known as the “COVID Alien.”
Both the original minter and the second buyer of this punk are prominent members of the NFT Community. The transaction between the two was considered to be a massive benefit to the NFT ecosystem, helping to push NFTs into the mainstream.
7. Tpunk #3443 – $10.5 Million
In the NFT space, countless projects mimic the most successful ones. Tpunks is one such project, with its NFTs looking very similar to CryptoPunks. Tpunks is on the Tron blockchain, whereas CryptoPunks is on Ethereum.
The founder of TRON, Justin Sun, bought this “Joker” Tpunk in August 2021. He’s a big name in the NFT world, having also been a bidder on Beeple’s “Everydays” piece.
8. CryptoPunk #4156 – $10.26 Million
This CryptoPunk has the ‘ape’ trait, making it another very rare one from the collection. On top of that, it was owned by Punk4156, and this punk had become synonymous with its owner.
It’s believed that he may have sold the NFT due to certain copyright issues that the project developers (Larva Labs) had. Despite not being the most expensive CryptoPunk sale ever, it may well be the most prominent.
9. CryptoPunk #5577 – $7.7 Million
This is another ‘ape’ Crypto punk and also has a cowboy hat trait that’s only present on 142 of the NFTs. This is a very recent sale from February 2022.
While it’s not been confirmed, many believe it was bought by Robert Leshner (the CEO of Compound Finance). After the sale, he simply tweeted, “Yeehaw.”
10. CryptoPunk #3100 – $7.67 Million
Sold in March 2021, this was the last on-chain CryptoPunk sale of that year. This is another Alien punk, so one of the rarest available. Many people use their punks on social media to establish a sort of identity for it, but whoever the owner is never opted to do that with this punk.
Read also: Investing in Art: Everything You Need to Know
The Future of NFTs
The growth in popularity of NFTs in the past couple of years has been tremendous, and it’s not likely to slow down any time soon. More people are taking an interest in NFTs every day, and the most valuable NFTs in the future will likely be worth even more than the ones on this list.
If you think these NFTs are expensive, you should check out this guide on the most expensive things in the world.
Featured image source: Midjourney.com