2021 was an year of NFTs. Quite a lot of projects went to the moon, brands like Adidas, Nike jumped into the NFT business and holders of these NFTs generated massive wealth for themselves. While we may think that frenzy is about to mellow down, but numbers narrate a different story altogether. OpenSea (Largest NFT marketplace in the world) recently shared that they hit maximum trading volume of their life time in the month of February this year. Similarly, the number of web 2 brands jumping into NFTs increased multifold. And the biggest of them all? Instagram announced NFT integration on their platform. This is likely to pave the way for mass adoption of NFTs.
Whenever we discuss NFTs, we picture monkeys and pixelated GIFs. We also realize that there is a lot of money involved in purchasing these NFTs. But, in today’s post, we plan to put a number against them. Yes they are expensive, but how expensive? It is all about top 10 most expensive NFTs today. Apart from that, we would also try to infuse some sense of why these NFTs are so expensive. Let us watch this space from a buyer’s lens today.
Value of NFTs:
We recently charted out a framework of valuing NFTs. A similar framework could be applied here as well. For the uninitiated, here is a quick recap of what makes NFTs so valuable.
First of all, we need to decouple the NFT and the image that represents it. People are not paying for the monkey image. Rather, it is about the immutable record in the Blockchain that certifies that person XYZ is the owner of a given NFT. Because these records are maintained on a Blockchain, they are secured by code and hence cannot be tampered with.
Some of the reasons why NFTs could be valuable are as follows:
Human beings value ‘Firsts‘ a lot. Your first salary, first kiss, first time you walked, everything. Therefore any NFT that has a significant type of ‘first’ attached to it, is extremely valuable. Our list of top 10 most expensive NFTs would feature a lot of these.
B. Unique and Rare:
And yet again something related to human psychology. You buy into expensive and luxury stuff because you realize that it is going to be rare. Not everyone would be able to afford it. The perceived value jumps even more when the brands assure their customers that they are buying into a unique product. There is a significant ego boost involved in purchasing something that no one else could, would be able to.
Probably the most important value driver while selling NFTs. Any NFT which has physical world tangible benefits attached to it accrues more value. For example, there is an NFT project that is selling some degen turtles. Sure the turtles have a great back story and look amazing as profile pictures. On the other hand, there is a famous baker that is selling NFT for her most loved cake and the buyer would get free supply of cake for lifetime. Which one of these are you most likely to buy?
Well, if you chose the latter, you decided to equate your money with a real life product and hence used ‘utility‘ to value the NFTs.
D. Ownership History:
Also, the NFTs which are previously owned by a famous personality become valuable. This also applies on the real life products too. Or else, why would there be a secondary market for weapons, artifacts, clothes etc. being held by some famous rulers, movie starts in the past.
Top 10 Most Expensive NFTs Sold:
Now you have a fair idea of how someone goes about valuing NFTs. Let us dive deeper into the top 10 most expensive NFTs:
10. Save Thousands of Lives:
Sold for $5.1 million, ‘save thousand of lives’ is an NFT created by Noora Health. It is an organization that aims to save lives of at-risk patients in South Asia. This artwork was sold in May, 2021 for 1337 ETH. All the proceeds from the sale of this NFT went to funding the Noora Health’s program of saving the newborns.
If you observe closely, it is an NFT that has real life utility attached to it. This utility is in the form of philanthropy for the buyer of this art piece.
9. This Changed Everything:
An NFT of the source code of the earliest version of world wide web. This NFT was sold in June of 2021, for a whopping $5.4 million via an auction through Sotheby’s.
The NFT comes with several perks for the owner, like a letter written by Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee, an English computer scientist and the inventor of the internet, a digital poster of the code written by him, and time-stamped documents recording the history of the internet in its early days.
Yet again, an NFT that had real life tangible benefits attached to it. Apart from that, this also falls in unique and rare category. Anyone could copy paste this source code. But the one minted and shared by the inventor of the internet himself, is just ONE of its kind.
8. Beeple Crossroad:
Beeple is a famous digital artist who has managed to sell one of the most expensive NFTs in the world. While we would talk about that NFT in detail shortly, this one is Beeple’s third most expensive NFT.
Sold for $6.6 Million, this NFT features an image of Donald trump laying on the field. This NFT was released around US elections and had extreme hype backing it up when Joe Biden took charge of the presidentship of the country.
7. Art Blocks, Ringers #109
Ringers #109 is a generative art collectible from the Art Blocks collection. It consists of a total of 99,000 Art Block NFTs.
Ringers #109 was sold for 2,100 ETH worth $6.93 million in October 2021. Once again, the value is derived from that fact that generative art is kind of hot in the market right now. These are similar theme based artworks, which are given unique characteristics using code.
6. Right Click Save As Guy:
Again a unique story to back this purchase. By the way, this was purchased by Snoop Dogg back December 2021 for 7.09 million.
‘Right Click Save As‘ is a derogatory phrase used in the NFT industry to take a jab at the people who do not understand NFTs and simply suggest they could copy paste the images.
5. Cryptopunk #7804:
Cryptopunks are one of the most hyped and famous crypto projects out there. Developed by Larva labs, Cryptopunks were given away for free but hold enormous value now.
The reason Cryptopunks are so valuable because they were one of the first implementation of NFTs. Secondly, most NFTs are images stored on IPFS and records on blockchain. But cryptopunks are different. The entire punk is coded on to a Blockchain. This punk was sold for $7.6 million.
4. Crypto Punk #7523:
Sold for a staggering $11.75 Million, yet another crypto punk featuring in the list of top 10 most expensive NFTs ever sold.
3. Human One:
Yet another Beeple’s masterpiece. This one was sold for $29.8M at an auction powered by Christie’s. Human one features an astronaut who is wandering across shifting environments. Beeple also added an element of longevity to this art by promising to update the art form.
2. The First 5000 Days:
This one is yet again created by Beeple. Basically, he used to create a digital art everyday since 2008. First 5000 days is a collage of all those paintings. Beeple already had made ripples in this space. Therefore, immense popularity at an auction did not come as a surprise to the community.
What is surprising though is the price tag of $69 million attached to this art piece. It was purchased by MetaKovan who is the owner of Metapurse (an NFT investment fund).
1. The Merge:
The possibilities in the NFT realm are endless. The merge is a digital artwork created by a digital artist named Pak. The beauty of this artwork is that it could be fractionalized and the pieces could be sold further in the secondary market. With each piece called the ‘Masses‘, one could purchase multiple ‘masses’ to form a bigger mass.
This unique concept lead to inflating the value of this NFT to a staggering $91.8 million, making it the most expensive NFT ever sold.
Bewildered by the crazy price tags associated with these NFTs? Well, the hype is real. So it takes a wise judgment to separate noise from value. How to get there you ask? Simple. Keep on following us and that should make it.
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Until next time..
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