Most expensive NFT

03.11.2021 15 4472
Most expensive NFT

What is an NFT?

The 24 Most Expensive NFTs

Frequently asked questions— FAQ


If recently you have not been living under a rock or without the internet, you must have heard something about non-fungible tokens (or NFT). Because they have made a lot of noise, and someone even compares this NFT craze to the gold rush of the XIX century. Even fancy auction houses started to sell NFTs on their platforms. And there is a good reason for it, which is money; people really like to buy NFT art from different digital artists, sometimes, for an enormous amount of money.


A whole new industry was created around these tokens, and a lot of expensive NFTs were sold. NFTs, due to the technology on which they are constructed, have an unbreakable connection with cryptocurrencies, so a lot of people who invest in crypto also buy NFTs. As a result, in February, there were more than 300 million dollars of sales on the NFTs market. Also, the process of buying of NFTs was facilitated by the huge amount of new marketplaces, which make a lot of money as mediators between artists and investors.


Hearing all this news about the new market that has skyrocketed in a very short time, and about the people who make a lot of money on some funny pictures on the internet, one may wonder what the most expensive NFTs are? And we will answer this question in this article.


What is an NFT?

But before we jump into the list of the most expensive NFTs, we have to look at the basics and understand what those NFTs are and how they work.


I have to start this explanation by pointing out the fact that NFT is a digital token that can appear in different forms, such as the following:


  • Image
  • Video
  • GIF file
  • A tweet
  • Audio


Moreover, these tokens are created on the basis of blockchain technology. And this is the most important fact about NFTs that they are unique because this fact differentiates them from usual cryptocurrencies. For example, all Bitcoins are the same and interchangeable, a bitcoin in my digital wallet is identical to a bitcoin in someone's wallet, and if we exchange them, nobody will lose money.


However, with NFTs, such logic does not work because every piece of art is unique collectible and has its own price, and this creates most of the value of a token. But of course, such uniqueness brings to the market an element of subjectivity, because not every work could be sold for a high price, for it, an artist has to be well-known, possess a good reputation and some experience. Also, an artist can even be a newbie on the market, but in this case, he has to be a star like Paris Hilton or Elon Musk, who only by adding the name to the simple internet picture add to it thousand dollars of value. 


Point to consider

Also, it is important to mention the technical side that enabled the development of this market. And this technical side can be described by a one-word blockchain. Blockchain solved the main problem of digital artworks, which is copyright, because many people, when hearing about NFTs, are saying that they just can copy, download, or at least screenshot the above mentioned works, so why do they have to pay millions of dollars for them. Furthermore, there were no means of establishing and proving ownership over a digital image.


Nevertheless, blockchain solved all these problems because, firstly, blockchain records all owners of an NFT and all the transactions which were made with it in a very safe manner that can't be hacked. So, there is no problem in proving who is a creator or owner of an NFT. Secondly, blockchain permits the safe storage of NFTs so an investor can not be afraid that they can be stolen from him.


Concerning the possibility of copying an NFT, especially in the case when NFT is in the form of an image, we can say that blockchain does not eliminate such a possibility; however, all these copies would not have any market value if the original is clearly established, just like it happens in the world of real artworks.  


The 24 Most Expensive NFTs


1. Everydays: the First 5000 Days

So, let us start the list of the most expensive NFT from the most expensive NFT ever sold, which is Everydays: the first 5000 Days. This work by Beeple was sold on Christie's auction house, which already says a lot about it.


The work was sold for an astonishing 69 million dollars. As a result, this auction in a very fast way made Beeple one of the most rich artists alive. He entered this exclusive club because this work is not only the most expensive NFT but also one of the most expensive pieces of art ever created. Another interesting fact about this work is that the bidding for this non-fungible token started from a mere 100$, and the situation, when a price for a lot skyrocketed from the original price of 100$ to 69.3 million does not happen very frequently.


From the creative point of view, this work is a collection of 5000 smaller works of Beeple which he started to create in 2007! Long before any talk about NFTs has started. In fact, in 2007, Beeple decided to draw a new digital picture every day, and he indeed did not miss even one day; as a result, we have a collection of 5000 pictures. The collection has various styles, mediums, and contexts. Also, through the years, the quality of pictures increased, which is very interesting to observe.


The man who bought this work during an auction at the Christie's auction house is called Vignesh Sundaresan, and during his interview, which took place after the auction, he said that he was willing to spend even more money on this piece of art because he believes that the NFT is the future of arts and he wanted to be in the start of this movement.


Also, considering the fact that the price for this piece is truly astonishing, it is hard to expect that in the near future, some other digital artwork will take the place of the most expensive NFTs ever sold.


2. Cryptopunk #3100

The next digital art object on our list of expensive NFTs is called Cryptopunk #3100, created by larva labs, and, interestingly, cryptopunks were one of the pioneers on the NFTs market, and now with time, they have become extremely rare and expensive.


And the most expensive of them is Cryptopunk #3100, which was sold for seven million USD. Here we have to add a bit of context so that you understand why it costs such a big sum of money. In general, Cryptopunks is a digital artwork that was created by Matt Hall at the Larva labs company, and it consists of 1000 Cryptopunks, most of these cryptopunks are humans with pixelated faces, and on the contrary, to the zombie and alien punks they do not cost such a large amount of money, yet still, they are pretty expensive. However, exactly nine crypto punks are aliens, which means that they are extremely rare, therefore expensive. And exactly one of those nine aliens has managed to become the second most expensive NFTs ever sold.


From a technical point of view, Cryptopunk #3100 is a human-like figure with a pixelated face and blue-greenish skin, which is sold with some accessories such as bags, small shades, or crazy hair. In the case of Cryptopunk #3100, this accessory is a headband which is also pretty rare in the world of Cryptopunks.


Also, this cryptopunk is one of the few cryptopunks which have only one additional object, which makes him even rarer. Which pretty much explains the high price for it.


3. Cryptopunk #7523

Now, as we move ahead on our list of most expensive NFTs, let's look at Cryptopunk #7523 by larva labs who managed to surpass the Cryptopunk 3100 and became the second most expensive NFTs ever sold. There is not much new to say about this digital artwork, and it is also one of the nine aliens of the original Cryptopunks stack. The only thing that differentiates Cryptopunk #7523 from Cryptopunk #3100 is the fact that the first one got a surgical mask on its face.


It is also interesting that this Cryptopunk was bought not on some NFT marketplace but at the Sotheby's auction house for almost 12 million USD by an Israeli entrepreneur.


4. Cryptopunk #7804

And another cryptopunk on our list of the most expensive NFTS. Despite the fact that Cryptopunk #7804 did not manage to become the second most expensive NFTs ever sold, it is still with our attention because it definitely has its place in the top ten most expensive NFT.


This Cryptopunk is also an alien, but unlike the previous ones, he has three accessories forward cap, pipe, and shades; these objects are not rare in the Cryptopunks world, but when coming all three together and on an alien, they make a very rare composition which explains the price which was 7.5 million dollars.


5. Crossroads

So, we so far have finished with Cryptopunks, and the next object on our list of the most expensive NFTs is the digital artwork called Crossroads, which was created by the abovementioned digital artist Beeple. This work earned more than six million dollars for its creator, which is nowhere near his most popular creation but is still pretty good. It is also interesting that this is the most expensive digital artwork called through a popular platform called Nifty Gateway.


The interesting fact about crossroads is that the buyer of the work did not know what exact image he was buying because there were two possibilities, and the result depended on the final outcome of the last Presidential election. The final result showed that Biden had won the picture that the buyer received, which contained the naked body of Donald Trump lying on the sidewalks and covered with graffiti.


We can only imagine that in case the result of the election was different, we would see the naked body of Joe Biden in the picture. After some time, the original buyers have sold this work for a price that is ten times bigger than the original.


6. Ocean Front

Another digital art object made by Beeple is on our list of the most expensive NFTs. This work was sold for another six million dollars and only strengthened the positions of Beeple as the most influential digital artist of our time. This work is one of the drawings which was made for the everyday series. ANd what is interesting is that it was bought by the CEO of TORN Justin Sun, who desperately wanted to buy the above-mentioned series but ended up with only one artwork but saved a lot of money because Ocean Fron costs ten times less.


The sale was also made through Nifty Gateway, which is very good because the platform promised that all the profit from the auction would be relocated to the Open Earth Foundation, an organization whose main aim is to fight climate change.


The work itself has a very strong ecological context because it depicts a tree that is mounted on the shipping containers that sit on the platform. It comments on all the grave ecological problems that we are currently facing.


7. The first tweet

The next most expensive NFT on our list is an object that can hardly be named as an object of digital art, but some people consider it to be. This issue was raised because this NFT is a tweet but not a usual tweet. This is, in fact, the first tweet ever, which was written by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.


He wrote it a long time ago, in 2006, and the tweet is not a complex text; in fact, there were just a few words "just setting up my Twitter". And in 2021, he sold this tweet for almost three million USD. The price may seem to be over the top, especially for the tweet; however, if we consider the huge popularity of this platform, it would not be a shocker to see such a price for the first tweet ever.


The buyer of this art was the CEO of Oracle Sina Estav, and during an interview, which was taken after the auction, she said that buying the first tweet ever is as important as buying Mona Lisa. It is also interesting that the sale was made through the platform called Valuables, which cut 5% from every transaction which takes place on it. So, not only did Jack Dorsey make great money from the first tweet ever.


It is also interesting that despite the fact that the tweet has changed the owner, it can still be seen on the Twitter account of Jack Dorsey.


8. Cryptopunk #6965

So, another piece from Larva Labs is on our list of the most expensive NFT. As with any other cryptopanks from Larva Labs, this Cryptopunk comes with a unique set of special objects that give the most value to it. It is interesting that contrary to the previous cryptopunks from Larva Labs that we have mentioned above on our list, this is not an alien cryptopunk but an ape. Also, this specific ape has a fedora which made him worth more than 1.5 million USD.


9. Stay Free

This piece of art is definitely different from all the other digital assets on our list of the most expensive NFTs, not only because of the way it was made but because of the history behind it. The work was produced by the famous dissident Edward Snowden, and it has court documents that prove that massive surveillance after Americans by the national security agency was contrary to the law and Constitution.


Above these texts, we can see the face of Edward. All 5.4 million USD which the work cost to the buyer, was relocated to the Freedom of the Press Foundation, which cares about free speech and freedom of expression.


10. Cryptopunk #5217

Yet another Cryptopunk from Larva Labs is on our list, and again it is not an alien punk. This is another ape, but this time it has a gold chain and an orange knitted cap which makes it cost more than five million USD!


11. Replicator

Another interesting piece of digital art that was making headlines in the art world due to its original concept and millions of dollars that it earned. This war was done by the Canadian digital artist called Mad Dog Jones.


He sold this piece at the major auction house Phillips, and it was the first time when this auction house had dealt with NFT art. The work itself is very interesting because Mad Dog Jones came up with the idea of NFT that itself generates NFTs. The idea of Mad Dog Jones was that this NFT would produce a new NFT object every 28 days, and in the end, an owner will be able to obtain around 200 different NFTs, and each of them will have its own resale value.


This, in every sense, new digital artwork was sold for more than four million USD.


12. This changed everything

This is another work that is more interesting because of the message than because of artistic value. The work was done in cooperation with Sir Tim Berners Lee, and here we should not forget that Sir Tim Berners Lee is not just a random person but "the father of the internet".


And the work itself is an artistic representation of the source code of the internet, which makes the work important and original, therefore pretty expensive. The work also comes with a letter from Sir Tim Berners Lee and with the poster of the source code.


The work was auctioned at Sotheby's auction house and was sold with the final price of more than five million USD and took its place in the list of the most expensive artworks. It is interesting that in a matter of minutes after the auction, people found a mistake in the source code that somehow got in.


13. Death dip

NFT art piece called Death Dip was created by the experienced British digital artist called XCOPY, who has been selling NFTs on the platform called SuperRare since the launch of the marketplace in 2018 when non-fungible tokens just started their expansion on the market and in the digital world.


Death Dip became the only 14th piece of art that was sold through this platform but is still the most expensive NFT sold through this platform.


The buyer of the artwork told the audience on his Twitter that he is thinking that XCOPY is the most influential digital artist of our time and that he is planning to use this work and some other works of XCOPY in his future digital art museum. The work was sold for around 1.5 million dollars. Also, XCOPY will receive 10% from any reselling of the work due to the special policy of the platform, which wants to extend the rights of artists beyond one selling.


It is also interesting that XCOPY helped to create the first collaboration project between a major auction house and NFT marketplace when he became a participant in a project between SuperRare and Bonham's auction house.


14. Quantum

This work was created by Kevin McCoy and is worth our attention not only because of its price but also because, in fact, it was the first NFT created long back in 2014 when almost no one had heard anything about NFTs, set aside the idea of selling them for millions of dollars.


Kevin McCoy created this work when he heard the idea of Anil Dash to use blockchain technology with unique digital artworks. The whole work is made from the code and features the Quantum as a shapeshifter that generates new forms from time to time. The final price for this piece was around 1.5 million USD.


15. Axie Infinity Genesis Land

This work is a beautiful example of when markets of NFT and in-game assets merge. In this case, they were merged by the creators of Ethereum based video game, which is called Axie Infinity.


Genesis Land is an in-game object which is extremely rare to find inside the game. Therefore this object is very valuable, and all the players want to somehow obtain one of them. And one of those players decided to play big and bought nine of these objects for more than 1.5 million dollars.


16. CryptoPunk #7252

So, again let's come back to the CryptoPunks by larva labs because this is a time to talk about one more of these strange objects, which in this case is not one of the alien punks nor of the ape punks; it is the first zombie punk on our list. There are 88 zombie punks in the collection, contrary to just nine alien punks.


Nevertheless, CryptoPunk #7252, due to an interesting collection of accessories, managed to gain two million during the first NFT auction and what is more interesting is the fact that it doubled its price during resale, which took place just in 20 days.


17. Save Thousands of Lives

Like Beeple's Ocean front that promotes the Paris agreement or other works with strong social implications. Save Thousands of Lives is another digital artwork that gained popularity due to the message that can be found behind it. This piece was created by Noora Health, a non-profit organization that cares about families' decisions in healthcare.


This work was sold through a marketplace called OpenSea and gained five million USD, and all this money was relocated to Noora Health and would help them in their struggle in South Asia.


18. CryptoPunk #4156

Yes, I know that it seems to be boring, but it is another expensive Cryptopunk by Larva Labs on our list. Also, this is one more non-alien cryptopunk. To be more precise, this is another ape punk. But this time the ape is not wearing a hat but a bandana. This NFT was bought by an anonymous buyer for more than one million USD.


19. Not Forgotten, But Gone

The next object on our list of the most expensive NFT was sold through a Nifty Gateway platform for one million USD. The work itself is a video clip of a rotating gummy bear skeleton. The work was sold for one million dollars to an anonymous buyer on one of the NFT marketplaces.


20. Metarift

This work made its way to our list of the most expensive NFTs for a few reasons. The first reason would be the fact that we do not know who is the author of this art object; we only know his pseudonym "Pak".


And his mysterious artwork was sold for 900k dollars. The work features several spherical objects that are rotating at different speeds.


21. Cryptopunk #2338      

I promise this is the last time when you will hear about pixelated faces of Cryptopunks by Larva Labs. This punk is also a zombie, but this time with a different accessory, a mohawk thin. It is very interesting that at the first time, this punk was sold for the original sale price of mere 673 bucks, but after a few NFT sales, the price skyrocketed to four million USD.


22. Doge

Everyone who has been strolling the internet in the last years with almost 100% chance has seen the image of Shiba Inu, a popular breed of dogs in Japan. Which, for some reason, became a very popular internet meme that not only took place in the hearts of users but also in the list of the most expensive NFTs.


As a result of big popularity, this meme was sold for a quite big sum of four million dollars to an anonymous buyer. A big percentage of this money was relocated to a charity organization. Also, we have to mention that Doge paved the way for other internet memes to the market of the non-fungible tokens.


23. Forever Rose

The next work on our list of record-breaking sales of non-fungible tokens is one of the first NFT sales in history, and it was made by Kevin Abosch, who made a name for himself even before the NFT craze started. But this time, for the NFT sale, he came up with an image of a rose on Valentine's day. Also, we have to say that this was one of the first record-breaking sales of an NFT for millions of dollars that in a way shaped the whole industry because it was the first NFT which was sold for one million USD.


24. Iconic Crypto Queen

This work got on our list of the most expensive NFTs not only because it set a new benchmark in the field of NFT sales but also because it was one of the first examples when a celebrity entered the digital art world in order to make some NFT sale.


This work was made in a collaboration of Paris Hilton and Blake Kathryn, who is nowadays the best female digital artist. The work features Paris Hilton herself, in a beautiful dress and in the fog, which is painted in different colors. The result of this collaboration was pretty good because the work was sold through Nifty gateway for more than one million USD.


Frequently asked questions— FAQ


What Are Non-fungible Tokens?

Non-fungible tokens or NFT are digital tokens that are created on the basis of blockchain technology and that use a base of some cryptocurrency, most of the time Bitcoin or Ethereum. The main difference between an NFT from a cryptocurrency is the fact that NFT is a non-fungible token which means that it can not be replaced by another one, while a Bitcoin can be easily replaced with another Bitcoin.


What are some of the most common types of NFTs?

An NFT can be made in different forms. Therefore, there are a lot of different types of NFT. An NFT can come as an image, like the whole collection of images of the bored ape yacht club, alien punks from larva labs, or ocean front by Beeple. An NFT can also come in the form of text, such as stay free by Edward Snowden. Moreover, it can be a GIF file or a video.


Is it safe to invest in NFTs?

In general, it is hard to say whether it is safe or not to invest in NFTs, because this market is totally new, and we do not yet get to know all the rules that exist there. Market forecasts are also not as clear because of the same reason. However, it still can be relatively safe to buy NFTs not with the highest price but moderate ones.


How to store NFTs?

Answering this question, we can say that you do not need to worry a lot about the storage of NFTs, because unlike with objects of conventional art, NFTs can not be stalled because Blockchain makes it impossible to steal an NFT. The extreme safety of this technology was one of the reasons why NFTs got so popular, so everything you have to do is just to set up your digital wallet.

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