Since the first NFT, Quantum, was issued in 2014, much has changed. Several initiatives have emerged since then, including CryptoKitties, Rare Pepes, and CryptoPunks. The sales of non-fungible tokens have surged, and several of the most expensive NFTs have generated millions of dollars. However, how high can the numbers go when it comes to the most expensive NFTs?
It is difficult to say because the NFT ecosystem is continually developing and changing. And as time passes, an increasing number of new artists become millionaires, and an increasing number of celebrities spend seven figures on Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs (and others!). Even though it’s impossible to anticipate how quickly sales will increase, we can identify the most popular NFTs to date.
We’ve prepared a list of the most expensive NFTs items ever sold to document all of the historic milestones. Notably, even though there have been sets and multi-NFT auctions that raked in thousands upon millions of dollars, such as Pak’s legendary NFT, the $91.8 million Merge open edition, these transactions are the greatest single NFT sales that have ever taken place.
The Most Expensive NFTs Ever Sold
As previously said, it is not out of the ordinary for certain NFTs to sell for hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars, given their meteoric ascent to notoriety. The key reason for this is the project’s reputation and community.
The majority of companies begin by establishing a community on social media and Discord before enabling investors to acquire a restricted number of their tokens. When a project generates a great deal of interest, the fundamental dynamics of supply and demand take action, causing the price to rise. Often, projects that can execute this procedure correctly generate enormous returns on investment, hence garnering enormous sums from early investors.
In this post, we will examine some of the most expensive NFTs that have been sold. However, the value of some of the one-of-a-kind works we will examine is more dependent on the quality of the art, similar to a more conventional art auction.
1. The Merge
The most expensive NFT ever sold was ‘The Merge’ by Pak. The price tag of $91.8 million was a record for a work of art sold publicly by a living artist. The NFT was sold through Nifty Gateway to 28,893 collectors who acquired 312,686 pieces of mass (which were single NFTs). Starting at $575, the price of these devices rose by $25 every six hours.
On a black backdrop, the NFT consists of three huge white masses (dots). The greater the number of mass purchasers, the larger their bulk. The NFT incorporates a scarcity mechanism that guarantees the token supply will decrease over time. Every Merge token that is transferred merges with the token of the recipient’s wallet, resulting in a single token with a larger mass value. Eventually, this may culminate in a single ultimate mass.
There is a built-in leaderboard for NFT holders, allowing them to track the amount of mass amassed by other collectors. Different style classes will be awarded to the top 100 and top 5 players on the leaderboard. Alpha class, which is granted to the most accomplished collectors, is the largest class that may be obtained.
This dynamic arrangement of the NFT truly distinguishes it from other collections and is likely a significant factor in why it was sold for such a high price. However, there is considerable debate as to whether this is the most expensive NFTs ever sold, given that the money was obtained from around 30,000 investors as opposed to a single individual. In any case, we’ve chosen to feature it as the priciest NFT ever sold.
2. The First 5000 Days
The First 5000 Days is another high-grossing NFT effort by Beeple. Beeples made a collage of 5,000 unique NFTs for his Everyday series. In 2021, it sold for a staggering $69 million (42.329 ETH) at Christie’s Auction House.
The NFT was sold to Vignesh Sundaresan, a Singapore-based programmer who has amassed the majority of his wealth through crypto market investments. He is also the creator of the Metapurse NFT project and is better known online by his alias MetaKovan. This is the priciest NFT ever offered for sale to private investors.
Currently, the artwork is on show at a virtual gallery in the metaverse. If you wish to see this, you may do so using a web browser.
The genesis of the third-most costly NFT ever sold is somewhat unorthodox. It was established to generate cash for Julian Assange’s defense after his dubious May 2019 imprisonment. Assange is now incarcerated on allegations of espionage against the United States government, primarily in connection with the website he established, WikiLeaks. The NFT is only a clock that displays the number of days Assange has been detained.
The staggering $56 million price tag was funded by over 10,000 donors, each of whom holds an NFT share. The revenues were donated in full to the Wau Holland Foundation, which supports Assange’s defense.
Pak is the name of the mysterious artist who created the NFT. The artist’s refusal to divulge their name in interviews fits nicely with the purpose for which they are raising money. It has caused many people to reconsider the contentious situation of Julian Assange, as well as freedom and access to knowledge.
4. HUMAN ONE
Human one is a hybrid digital/physical work of art created by Beeple. On November 9, 2021, it was auctioned off at Christie’s 21st Century Evening Sale for a record-breaking $28.9 million.
The unique feature of this NFT is that its artwork evolves. Although Beeple does not own the artwork, he retains a remote connection to it and can regularly update it. As previously said, the NFT displays an astronaut traversing a variety of settings that vary throughout time.
People said that the artwork was motivated by experiments in which a large number of televisions were arranged in a variety of configurations and patterns. The uniqueness of the final product has resulted in one of the most costly NFTs ever!
5. CryptoPunk #5822
CryptoPunk #5822 is the most expensive CryptoPunk ever sold, for a staggering $23 million. On the NFT, there has also been significant bidding and listing activity. Throughout the token’s lifetime, there have been many offers of over 1000 ETH (about $3 million). All of these, however, have been disputed by the owner. In addition, the owner 0xDeepak has advertised it several times for tens of thousands of ETH.
Nonetheless, none of these listings have materialized. Since transferring the NFT to an unnamed wallet with the number 7DDFFB 19 days ago, the owner has not listed it. Considering the NFT’s rarity, it has only one characteristic. Only 2% of the collection has a single characteristic, making it extremely unusual. In addition, it is a bandana that only 5% of the collection possesses.
Lastly, #5822 is part of the Alien skin, which, as stated several times, is the rarest skin imaginable to possess (0.09 percent chance). This CryptoPunk’s absurdly high price is unquestionably a result of its abundance of uncommon characteristics.
6. CryptoPunk #7523
The CryptoPunk #7523 non-fungible token is the second most expensive CryptoPunk NFT ever sold. It sold for a staggering $11.75 million! In addition, a wallet offered 20,400 ETH for it over four months ago, which we estimate to be equivalent to over $65 million. However, the proposal was withdrawn before being approved. Other significant bids include Pranksy’s 800 ETH offer, which totaled around $1.5 million. However, this offer was also canceled. These enormous bids demonstrate how highly valued the CryptoPunk collection is.
Considering the NFT’s rarity, it possesses several unusual characteristics. First, it is part of the Alien sub-collection, a distinction shared by just 0.09 percent of other CryptoPunks. It possesses three characteristics, which 24 percent of the collection possesses, and an earring, which 25 percent of the collection possesses. The relatively uncommon characteristics include a knitted cap, which only 4% of the collection possesses, and a medical mask, which only 2% of the collection possesses. This plethora of uncommon characteristics emphasizes the rarity of the NFT.
7. CryptoPunk #4156
The sixth most expensive non-fungible token ever sold was included in the CryptoPunk collection. Four months ago, number 4156 was sold for 2500 ETH, which was equivalent to $10.26m at the time. Unlike the last two CryptoPunks on our list, #4156 has been sold several times during its existence. A little over a year ago, it was sold for 650 ETH, but the seller probably regrets selling it at this price. Before this, it was sold for 3.29 ETH a few months after its creation over four years ago for a price of 3.29 ETH.
When examining the characteristics of the NFT’s rarity, it becomes clear why this CryptoPunk has produced such high value. Its attributes consist of a Bandana and Ape skin. Only 5% of the collection has a bandana, while 0.24 % of the collection has Ape Skin. This makes the Ape skin the second-rarest behind the Alien skin. Additionally, it has only one characteristic, which only 2% of the collection possesses. Theoretically, this NFT is less uncommon than its extraterrestrial equivalents. However, once the value exceeds a certain threshold, it appears that investors care more about the aesthetic appeal of the artwork than its rarity.
8. CryptoPunk #3100
The sale of CryptoPunk #3100 for 4,200 ETH, equivalent to $7.67 million at the time, surpassed the previous record for the collection’s most expensive NFT. Again, this was the only occasion that #3100 has been sold in the five years since it was coined.
In addition, it has the Alien skin, which just 0.09 percent of the collection has. This is perhaps the most influential element of the token’s value. Additionally, it has a headband, which only 4% of the collection possesses. Lastly, it has only one attribute, which only 2% of the collection possesses. Again, the value of this NFT is so great due to the combination of its high-rarity attributes.
9. CryptoPunk #7804
The ninth most expensive non-fungible token ever sold is included in the CryptoPunk collection. The CryptoPunk project is a blockchain-based collection of 10,000 distinct characters. No two CryptoPunks are identical, making them extremely valuable. CryptoPunks were initially free to mint for anybody with an Ethereum wallet upon their debut.
CryptoPunk #7804 possesses some of the rarest qualities in the whole collection. It has ‘Alien’ Skin, which only 0.09 percent of the collection possesses. Additionally, it has a Pipe, which only 3% of the collection possesses. The Small Shades characteristic adds to the collection’s uniqueness since only 4% of the pieces have it. Lastly, just 3 percent of the collection has the Cap Forward feature. All of these characteristics make CryptoPunk #7804 exceedingly rare, and as a result, it has made the list of the ten most costly NFTs.
Since it was coined more than four years ago, #7804 has only been sold once, for $6,600,000. A free mint to over $6 million is, in our perspective, an excellent return on investment.
10. Beeple’s Crossroad
Crossroad by the renowned artist Beeple was the most expensive NFT ever sold at the time of its sale. It was sold on the NFT Exchange Nifty Gateway for $6,600,000. The artwork portrays a somber man laying on the ground, which is believed to represent Trump after he lost the 2020 presidential election to Joe Biden. What was great about the NFT was that it was sold before the election and changed depending on the outcome of the election.
Beeple is a talented artist who has won several awards and has over 1.8 million followers on Instagram. In addition, he has collaborated with prominent companies such as Nike, Louis Vuitton, and others. HUMAN ONE, the fourth most costly NFT, was also created by Beeple, demonstrating his prominence in the industry.
The NFT is a one-of-a-kind item. This distinguishes it from other prominent collections like Bored Ape Yacht Club, whose most expensive NFT sold for $2.3 million, and CryptoPunks. This item’s incredibly unusual characteristics certainly contributed to its exorbitant pricing. Currently, the floor price for Beeple’s pieces on Nifty Gateway is $63,000.
Who purchased the world’s most costly NFT?
Sundaresan purchased the world’s most expensive NFT and the third most costly item sold by a live artist almost precisely one year ago. His $69 million acquisition of “Everyday: The First 500 Days” by Beeple stunned the industry and was partially responsible for the public acceptance of non-fungible tokens.
Why are NFTs so costly?
Another reason why NFTs may be so pricey is their ability to connect with the metaverse. The metaverse is a virtual environment in which individuals are represented by avatars and possess digital space, similar to the digital land sold in the virtual world.
Are NFT shares a wise investment?
NFTs are digital currencies that serve as safe proof of ownership and might be an attractive investment opportunity for collectors.
How are NFTs marketed?
On NFT markets like OpenSea, Rarible, and Foundation, NFTs may be traded and purchased. Some are accessible to everyone, while others require an invitation. Some are for art, while others are for video games.
Generally, the NFT space has developed at a fast rate since 2020. In this post, we took a deeper look at some of the most expensive NFTs on the market. CryptoPunks led the list, potentially being the most anticipated project of all time. In addition to this, artists Pak and Beeple earned several entries in the top 10 list, indicating their importance in the industry.