The definition of an art collector is now all-inclusive. Here’s a comprehensive look at non-fungible tokens and their market value today.
The world of Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) is rapidly emerging as a new way to acquire art in the digital world. By April 2021, collectors and speculators had spent over US$2 billion in the sale and purchase of NFTs.
NFTs are cryptographically generated tokens. They use blockchain technology to establish a unique digital asset. NFTs are “non-fungible,” meaning that they cannot be interchanged with each other like money. The authenticity of an NFT can be verified by the historical ownership data stored on the blockchain, which allows any digital artwork to be traced back to its original creator. Thus, the artist’s signature is baked into the NFT.
NFTs can be anything from GIFs, memes, images, videos, or even a tweet. Factors like the NFTs’ age, its hedonic value (enjoyment that its consumers get out of it), its popularity and its scarcity make it a collectible. Now that we know what makes an NFT valuable, here’s a look at the top five most expensive NFTs ever sold.
1. EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS by Mike Winkelmann sold for: US$69.3 million
This piece has been auctioned at Christie’s auction house. It documents the everyday life of the artist, who goes by the name Beeple. The piece was bought by Vignesh Sundaresan, also known as “MetaKovan”, on March 11, 2021. Sundaresan had no qualms about spending over US$69 million on the art piece. He believes that, “this NFT is a significant piece of art history.”
The pixel artwork consists of 5000 individual images and sums up about 13 years of his life. The artwork features recurring themes and color palettes. It is made up of various art styles from abstract to naturalistic.
2. CryptoPunk #7523 COVID Alien by Larva Labs- sold for US$11.7 million
Crypto Punk #7523 is a part of a series of 10,000, 24×24 pixelated avatars launched in mid-2017. It is one of the earliest NFT projects in the world. Each of them has their own unique combination of randomly generated distinguishable features.
COVID Alien is a part of the crypto punk sub-category “alien punks”. Out of the 9 alien punks, he is the only one featured in a mask. COVID Alien is featured wearing earrings which only 2459 other punks have, a knitted cap worn by only 419 other punks and a medical mask worn by 175 other punks. The punk was bought by Shalom Meckenzie, one of the largest share holders of the sports betting company, Draft Kings.
3. CryptoPunk #3100 by Larva Labs – sold for US$7.58 million
CryptoPunk#3100 is also one of the nine alien punks. It features a headband that only 406 punks have. The piece is currently owned by address 0x7b8961, according to Larva Labs’ website. The punk has been sold twice. It was first sold on July 6, 2017 for US$2,127 before being sold for US$7.58 million on March 12, 2021.
4. CryptoPunk #7804 by Larva Labs– sold for US$7.57 million
CryptoPunk#7804 is a part of the previously mentioned crypto alien series. It used to belong to the CEO of Figma, Dylan Fields, who bought it the same year that the CryptoPunks first launched in 2017. It is a part of the alien series as well and features a forward-facing cap, which is present in 254 punks, black shades, present in 317 punks and a pipe, present in 378 punks.
Fields sold CryptoPunk 7804 to a Twitter user named Peruggia. Peruggia goes on to explain their reason for buying the punk in a detailed Twitter thread discussing the ideas of scarcity and their faith in innovation.
5. CrossRoads- sold for US$6.6 million
CrossRoads is another entry on this list by the digital artist Beeple. The art piece features a ten-second clip of former US President Donald Trump covered in slogans, with a bird resembling Twitter’s icon on his back, as people calmly pass by him. This piece marks the 2020 US presidential election, and the central figure in the clip was meant to be changed to the candidate that lost.
It was sold by Christie’s auction house on Nifty Gateway this year and is currently owned by Delphina Lucas, who goes by Babybeluga on Twitter.
Header Image Courtesy of Unsplash