NFTs (non-fungible tokens) were first introduced in 2012 with the introduction of colored coins built on the Bitcoin network. In 2014, digital artist Kevin McCoy minted “Quantum”, the first-known NFT. Nine years later after its first introduction, NFT has taken the crypto industry by storm. In a report by Reuters, despite a recorded decline before the year ends, NFT sales volume surged up to $25B in 2021.
From CryptoPunks’ rare collectibles to digital artwork pieces by known artists like Beeple, NFTs were selling like hotcakes. With the overwhelming interest in NFTs, even the world’s top brands Coca-Cola and Gucci have also joined the bandwagon. In March 2021, Beeple’s digital artwork “Everydays: The First 5,000 Days” made headlines after being sold at $69.3M at Christie’s auction. With so much interest in NFTs with everyone wanting to have a piece of the cake, it is still surprising that even Silk Road 1 founder Ross Ulbricht launched “Genesis Collection”, his own collection of NFT in the Ethereum network.
In this article, we will be presenting to you the most expensive NFTs ever sold in the crypto market.
The Merge – $91.8M
The most expensive NFT digital artwork to date as per the record. Created by digital artist Murat Pak, “The Merge” is a collective piece of digital artwork. On Dec. 2, 2021, the NFT artwork was sold at a whopping $$91,806,519. According to reports, 28,000 collectors purchased 266,434 total units of what Pak referred to as ‘mass’.
Everydays: The First 5,000 Days – $69.3M
One of the creations of digital artist Mike Winkelmann (a.k.a. Beeple) and formerly the most expensive NFT. Sold during Christie’s auction in March 2021, the NFT artwork was purchased by Metapurse founder Vignesh Sundaresan at a massive amount of $69.3 million. Sundaresan won against Tron founder Justin Sun in the last few minutes of the bidding.
Human One – $29M
Another Beeple creation, he described “Human One” as “the first portrait of a human born in the metaverse.” He also added that he plans to change remotely over the course of his lifetime. The NFT artwork was sold on Nov. 8, 2021, during Christie’s 21st Century Evening Sale for $28,985,000. The item was bought by Ryan Zurrer, founder and Managing Director at Vine Ventures.
CryptoPunk #7523 — $11.75M
CryptoPunks NFT collectibles were one of the most expensive collectibles to date. Mask Alien #7523 is one of the nine aliens It is also dubbed as “Covid Alien” and is considered a rare NFT. The rare collectible was sold at Sotheby’s for $11.75M. The buyer was Shalom Meckenzie, the largest shareholder of American daily fantasy sports contest and sports betting company DraftKings.
CryptoPunk #3100 — $7.67M
One of the nine aliens with a headband. It was sold for 4,200 ETH or $7,584,485.82 on Mar. 11, 2021. With ETH (ethereum) current price of $ 2,576, the purchase was worth a whopping $10,819,200 million. The CryptoPunk collectible is currently owned by address 0x7b8961 and is up for sale in the amount of $90.5 million.
CryptoPunk #7804 — $7.56M
A teal-colored, pipe-smoking alien wearing a hat and sunglasses CryptoPunk collectible. One of the nine aliens and dubbed as the “digital Mona Lisa”. On Mar. 10, 2021, Dylan Field, the CEO of Figma sold it for 4,200 ETH or $7,566,173.88.
Punk 7804 bought for 4,200 ETH ($7,566,173.88 USD) by 0xf4b4a5 from 0x03911f. https://t.co/0aatHjfooI #cryptopunks #ethereum pic.twitter.com/TrMgPUK0Hn
— CryptoPunks Bot (@cryptopunksbot) March 11, 2021
Right-click and Save As guy – $7.09M
A work by digital artist XCOPY which he created in 2018. It was sold to Snoop Dog a.k.a. Cozomo de’ Medici for 1,600 ETH or $7,088,229 and his most expensive purchase so far.
.@CozomoMedici and @AnonaMovement just purchased “Right-click and Save As guy” by @XCOPYART from @2Yeahyeah for 1600 ETH ($7,088,229) 👀 pic.twitter.com/MCwg8PZzxk
— nft now (@nftnow) December 9, 2021
Ringers 109 – $6.9M
The most expensive NFT of the ART Blocks Curated project was created by Dmitri Cherniak. It was sold to an unknown NFT collector for 2,100 ETH or $6,922,88 on the OpenSea platform. AKIRA, NarcissusGLRY co-founder revealed on Twitter as the seller of the NFT previously bought for only $230 in March 2021.
So I sold today an @artblocks_io I bought for 550USD in March for 1.25m% return, an all time sale for an Art Blocks. Still prob nothing anon? Congrats to everyone involved and good to see it goes to a good house and surely a very hard to match collection!https://t.co/tZc5dROpST
— Akira 💯🦩 (@AkiraReloaded) October 2, 2021
From $230 to $6.9M, that is definitely an insane profit, don’t you think?
Crossroad – $6.6M
Another work by digital artist Beeple, CROSSROADS was sold for $6.6 million at Nifty Gateway in February 2021.
The #1/1 from beeple's first NG drop has just resold on the secondary market for $6.6 million.
History has just been made.
Congrats to beeple and of course to @pablorfraile for the sale. pic.twitter.com/mTYG4VABSw
— Nifty Gateway 🌐 (@niftygateway) February 25, 2021
The NFT artwork was designed as a response to the U.S. presidential election in 2020 which would change depending on the outcome of the event. It was initially minted in October 2020 and sold to influential collector Pablo Fraile for $66,666.
CryptoPunk #8857 – $6.6M
The NFT collectible is one of the 88 Zombie Punks with wild hair that is only available on 447 punks and 3D glasses available on only 286 punks. In September 2021, the CryptoPunk was sold for 2,000 ETH or $6,629,279 to an anonymous buyer. With its price, it is now the fourth most expensive Punk to date.
Perspective – $6.2M
The first NFT sold from “Genesis Collection”, Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht NFT digital artworks. It was sold for 1,446 ETH or $6.2 million during the Art Basel Miami via the SuperRare platform in December 2021. “Perspective” was drawn in prison using graphite pencil and included in a 10-piece collection of writings and artworks. The NFT digital artwork was purchased by FreeRossDAO, a decentralized autonomous organization that aims to help free the Silk Road founder from prison.
The rising popularity of NFTs has created a job opportunity even for underrated artists around the globe. It has also paved the way for the creation of new NFT marketplaces for a wider array of platforms for artists to showcase their works to buyers. And with the introduction of Web 3 in 2022, expect more creators to join the bandwagon.
Before 2021 ended, new NFT projects were launched and one of them was Unbanked “Bankers NFT”, a collaboration with “Pudgy Penguins” creator Antione Mingo. The official drop will be happening on January 31 so better get yours before the price skyrockets. Who knows you might become another NFT buyer to gain handsome profit in a short span of time.