NFTs are the newest trend in the crypto market today with trading volume soaring to $10.7B. In a report by Nasdaq, the NFT collectibles market which includes physical trading cards, games, toys, cars has ballooned to a $370B market.

The emergence of NFT as a strong market in the industry has also provided an opportunity for artists around the world to be recognized and paid for their work. One of them was Muralist Pascal Boyart, a street artist with works inspired by French artist Eugene Delacroix. One of his digital paintings, the “Contemplations of the Red Jester” was sold for 75 ETH or US$112,000 at the time. With the current value of ETH (ethereum) at US$3,807, it is now valued at more than US$285K.

NFT collectibles have become the newest craze in the crypto space with Axie Infinity ranked as #1 in terms of sales volume. In this article, we will be presenting the list of the top NFT projects of 2021 according to the sales volume. Let’s begin our roundup.

Axie Infinity

Axie Infinity

The Ethereum built Pokemon-inspired blockchain gaming platform tops our list which has now sold a total of more than US$3 billion from its launching in March 2018. AXS (Axie Infinity), the native token of the platform has already reached a market cap of US$6,408,990,428 in data by Crypto.co.

The rise of Axie Infinity also provided jobs for a large number of people who were displaced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has contributed to its further adoption resulting in the spike in the price of its native token, AXS (Axie Infinity). From only 23 unique buyers, the number has now surged to more than 300,000. Aleksander Leonard Larsen, the co-founder of Axie Infinity has revealed during the Token2049 that the platform’s active users have jumped to 2 million from only 1 million in August.

In October 2021, the total sales volume reached more than US$500 million and it’s expected that the sales for the succeeding months will surpass this record.

CryptoPunks

CryptoPunks

A collection of 10,000 unique A 24×24 pixel, 8-bit-style avatars in the form of NFTs. Cryptopunks is one of the earliest collections of NFT built on Ethereum blockchain in 2017 by John Watkinson & Matt Hall. Initially, they were designed as a collection of “non-conformists and misfits inspired by the 1970s London punk movement. Later on, they began to gain traction as their prices began to soar on the open market and then made their way to auction houses like Christie’s. In August, the sales of the NFT collectibles jumped to $1B in data by CryptoSlam.io. 1,000 of these NFT collectibles were owned by its creators and the remaining 9,000 NFTs were given to the community as an airdrop.

In August 2021, it has momentarily surpassed Axie Infinity after generating $1.6 billion in sales.

In October, CryptoPunk #9998 was sold for 124,457 ETH (ethereum) or US$532M at that time, and the most expensive part of the CryptoPunk collection ever sold. Punks cheapest one sells to a whopping US$445,000.

Bored Ape Yacht Club

Bored Ape Yacht Club

According to RollingStone, the project name represents a club for people who got rich quickly by “aping in” — crypto slang for investing big in something uncertain. Bored Ape Yacht Club is a collection of 10,000 unique Bored Ape NFTs— unique digital collectibles living on the Ethereum network. It was founded by Yuga Labs in April 2021 and to date, has now become one of the most successful NFT projects with more than  US$1B in trading in more than six months after its launching.

Gordon Goner, Gargamel, No Sass, and Emperor Tomato Ketchup were the creators behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club. The idea of the project was to create a place for bored billionaires, who after ‘aping in’ went on to talk numbers and make memes. Owners of the NFT collectible will be given the opportunity to become a member and get special privileges like access to an exclusive Discord server and ‘The Bathroom’, a digital collaborative graffiti wall where members can paint 1 pixel every 15 minutes. They are also rewarded with free NFTs from the same stables which they sell.

Each digital NFT primate was initially sold at US$200 during its launching in April. In July, the cheapest Bored Ape avatar was already priced at US$14,000. In October, Ape #8817, the most expensive Bored Ape avatar was sold at a Christie’s auction at US$3.4 million

Farming Tales

Farming Tales

If you are a big fan of Farmville, this is definitely for you. Farming Tales is a crypto farm where NFTs represent real products from real farms in Italy built on the Wax blockchain with a play-to-earn model. launched in October. The NFTs of this collection represent the tools that, every day, accompany the farmers in their hard work. By putting these tools together it is possible to generate new NFTs that are linked to real goods and products from our farms. Owning these NFTs guarantees ownership of these products. These real farms are currently producing their own honey, saffron, fruit, vegetables, etc. The platform gives you the opportunity to earn through a video game.

According to a report in October, Farming Tales made US$18.7M in sales with a total of 4,463 buyers.

NBA Top Shot

NBA Top Shot

An online platform for trading virtual basketball cards where fans can buy and sell video clips of their favorite players, called “moments,” from recent NBA seasons built on the Ethereum blockchain. The project was launched under the partnership of NBA and Dapper Labs, the blockchain company behind CryptoKitties.

With only 35 unique buyers in July 2020, the NFT platform recorded a peak number in March 2021 with more than 184,000 unique buyers and a total sales of over US$208,000

The most expensive Top Shot moment was a LeBron James “Cosmic” Dunk with serial number 12 of 59 sold at US$210,000 to Jesse Schwarz in February. The NBA Top Shot collectible has now reached a market cap of more than US$1 billion.

With the rising popularity of NFTs, newly launched projects became a success overnight. One of these is the cute “Pudgy Penguins”, a collection of 8,888 penguins created by Antoine Mingo. In an interview with Unbanked co-founder and co-CEO Ian Kane, the artist revealed that he is both a traditional and a digital artist. He started his career as a digital artist in 2015 through Upwork before he was tapped for the “Pudgy Penguins”. The NFT collection was launched in July and was a huge success. The NFT penguin collection was sold out in less than 20minutes and generated over 30,753 ETH (Ethereum) or more than US$117M with ETH (ethereum) price at US$3,807 in data by Crypto.co.

And again, with a collaboration with Unbanked, Mingo created the “Bankers NFT”, a collection of 10,000 unique digital artworks built on the Ethereum blockchain. The project is depicted as a big hit this early given the artist’s reputation in his previous work the “Pudgy Penguins.” Pudgy Penguin #6873 was the most expensive of the NFT collection, selling at US$469,000. The cheapest “Pudgy Penguin” is sold at 2.3 ETH or US$8,756 with ETH (ethereum) current price at US$3,807.

The Bankers NFT rare collectible comes with a benefit within the ecosystem of Unbanked. As a Bankers NFT owner, you will have free lending/borrowing access on the UNBNK protocol for life and a privilege of shared IP rights. The Bankers was launched in mid-December.

On Dec. 29, Ian Kane, co-CEO and co-founder of Unbanked in a tweet revealed that the floor price of 3 ETH was up by almost 10 times its previous price of 0.3 ETH (ethereum) in OpenSea. 

On Dec. 31, Kane made another tweet of another Bankers NFT purchase made by a crypto whale believed to be Mark Cuban but there was no confirmation though. 

With crypto whales buying the Bankers NFT collectibles, it’s only a matter of time before the project joins the successful NFT projects. 

The NFT has now become a multi-billion market with a sales volume of US$10.7 in the Q3 of 2021 alone. With the emergence of profitable markets in the industry today like the DeFi and NFT, the flow of investors’ money in the industry has become an important metric of the level of trust and confidence in an industry still viewed by many as a bubble.