If you’ve developed an interest in non-fungible tokens (NFTs), it’s an odd world indeed. Who would have ever thought it would be possible to sell a piece of digital art to Christie’s for $69.3 million?
Whether you’re seeking out trends for your own NFTs, are interested in owning a digital asset, or are just a curious crypto art onlooker, it’s interesting to see what’s most popular. What NFTs are selling the most? Read on to find out.
10 Best-Selling NFTs of All Time
It can be difficult to guess an NFT’s value immediately, with iconic tweets, memes, and digital art sometimes becoming surprise overnight successes.
However, several qualities can influence digital artwork popularity, including tier, rarity, type, age, and trends.
Here’s a list of the most expensive NFTs ever sold.
1. Everydays: The First 5000 Days by Beeple ($69.3 Million)
Everydays: The First 5000 Days is a compilation of 5000 hand-drawn and computer-produced images from pop culture. The artist, Mike Winkelmann (Beeple) arranged them in chronological order to produce the final NFT.
This NFT famously sold at Christie’s auction house for $59.3 million in 2021. Not only did it break records for NFTs, but it is also the most expensive work by a living artist.
2. Cryptopunk #7523 by Larva Labs ($11.75 Million)
Cryptopunk #7523 is part of a collection of nine pixel art alien punks that have been around since 2017. #7523 is an aqua-colored alien in a red knitted cap and gold earring. It’s the only alien in the collection with a medical mask, which fueled its popularity during the pandemic.
In June of 2021, a billionaire buyer purchased Larva this “Covid Alien” at a Sotheby’s auction for $11.75 million.
3. CryptoPunk #3100 by Larva Labs ($7.67 Million)
CryptoPunk #3100 features a pixelated aqua-colored alien punk wearing a blue and white headband.
The last sale price for this alien punk was $7.67 million. However, it’s currently for sale for $139.98 million with a current high bid of $201 million, which could soon make it the highest-selling NFT of all time.
4. CryptoPunk #7804 by Larva Labs ($7.56 Million)
CryptoPunk #7804 is another alien punk piece of NFT artwork from the CryptoPunk collection. This particular aqua-colored alien is wearing small shades and a black hat while smoking a pipe.
In March of 2021, another of Larva Labs’ alien punks sold for $7.56 million. A former owner, Dylan Field, calls it the “digital Mona Lisa.”
5. Crossroads by Beeple ($6.6 Million)
At first glance, Beeple’s Crossroads appears to be a picture of three people walking on a littered path past a graffiti-covered rock formation. Upon second glance, the viewer realizes that the rock formation is a naked and tattooed super-sized Donald Trump. A Twitter bluebird is perched upon his shoulder, Tweeting about clowns.
In February of 2021, this dynamic NFT sold for $6.6 million at Nifty Gateway, an online marketplace for digital art.
6. Ocean Front by Beeple ($6 Million)
Beeple struck again with his futuristic dystopian image of a Waterworld-like home, complete with stacks of defunct vehicles and shipping containers. It’s topped with a tree, enormous mushrooms, a wind turbine, a satellite dish, and a clothesline.
In March of 2021, Ocean Front sold at Nifty Gateways to BitTorrent CEO Justin Sun for $6 million. All the proceeds from this NFT sale went to the non-profit Open Earth Foundation, which works to combat climate change effects.
7. Ringers 879 ($5.8 Million)
Artist Dmitri Cherniak’s NFT Ringers 879 is an abstract piece of digital art that includes an abstract shape, circles, and dots in black, white, and gold.
Ringers 879 sold to Three Arrow Capital on OpenSea for $5.8 million in August of 2021, making it the most expensive Art Blocks deal ever.
8. CryptoPunk #5217 by Larva Labs ($5.59 Million)
Apes are also trending in the NFT world, which helped this Larva Labs ape punk skyrocket to $5.59 million in July of 2021.
CryptoPunk 5217 is a shifty-eyed pixelated ape with a gold chain and red knit hat.
9. Stay Free by Edward Snowden ($5.4 Million)
The Stay Free NFT includes signed miniature versions of all the pages from the landmark case in which Edward Snowden leaked highly classified information from the National Security Administration. His iconic portrait by Platon is superimposed over the pages.
This piece is the only NFT Snowden has sold, and the $5.4 million in proceeds went to the Freedom of the Press Foundation to promote free speech.
10. World Wide Web Source Code NFT ($5.4 Million)
Tim Berners-Lee is another NFT artist using his own story for his art piece. Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web Source Code represents 9,555 lines of original source code he used when inventing the World Wide Web in 1989. It also includes a 30-minute animation, digital poster, and letter.
This representative piece of art sold at Sotheby’s in June of 2021 for $5.4 million.
Top NFT Collections
Some artists are making more money selling individual pieces in their collections than some of the individual top-selling NFT pieces. While the average person may not be able to buy expensive NTFs, they can buy a small piece of a collection.
Since NFT popularity is about trends, here’s a list of digital artists and their collections which have become popular sellers in 2021:
- CryptoPunks: Cryptopunks include over 10,000 collectible characters on the Ethereum blockchain. They represent everything from humans to aliens, zombies, apes, and other animals.
- Meebits: Larva Labs has created another sensation in Meebits, which are 3D characters which include a special asset pack for buyers.
- Bored Ape Yacht Club: Apes are all the rage, and Bored Ape Yacht Club has a variety of apes with various styles, accessories, and traits.
- ON1 Force: These anime-like characters are popular with NFT games fans. Each NFT has characters with different traits on a different background.
- Pudgy Penguins: These adorable chunky penguins all come with different costumes, which makes them highly collectible.
- Grimes: Grimes sold a series of NFTs for $6 million in February of 2021. Her pieces are music videos that all feature cherubs in post-apocalyptic scenes.
- Hashmasks: Each Hashmasks character wears a different mask and has a different background, paying tribute to something different. A collection of 16,000 Hashmasks sold for $9 million in March of 2021.
- EtherRocks: EtherRocks are literally images of royalty-free cartoon rocks. Their popularity is similar to the Pet Rock craze of the 1970s.
It’s a strange year indeed when NFTs have skyrocketed in value to tens of millions of dollars. In a world where digital pet rocks, well-dressed digital apes, and pixelated aliens are trending, anything could happen next week.
Ultimately, NFT sales depend on what strikes people’s fancy, what’s trendy, and what people are willing to pay.