There is an ongoing debate around NFTs regarding whether they have value and how much they should cost. But while the disputes are ongoing, the total volume of the NFT market is already $22-26 billion and can grow 10 times over the next 10 years, according to analysts.
Obviously, the point is no longer why NFTs are so expensive but how expensive they can be. To determine the price ceiling, we created a ranking of the most expensive NFTs ever sold. Let’s get started!
1. THE MERGE | $91.8M
To date, the most expensive NFT ever sold, and art in general, is The Merge, a project by anonymous digital artist Pak. For two days, on the Nifty Gateway platform, users could buy an unlimited number of NFT mass, i.e., individual elements of work.
The minimum unit price was $299 and increased by another $25 every six hours. In total, 28,893 collectors took part in the auction and purchased 312,686 units of mass.
2. THE FIRST 5000 DAYS | $69M
The work of digital artist Beeple (real name Mike Winkelmann) has long been one of the most expensive NFTs. This is a collage of 5,000 images that Beeple has been creating for the Everyday series, posting a new image every day since May 1, 2007.
In 2021, the work was auctioned at Christie’s with a starting price of $100. Two weeks later, a programmer from Singapore, Vignesh Sundaresan, better known under the pseudonym MetaKovan, bought the work for $69 million (42,329 ETH).
3. CLOCK | $52.7M
It’s another work by the anonymous artist Pak, which was created to raise funds for the protection of Julian Assange after his imprisonment in May 2019. The work is an image of a timer that counts the number of days Assange spent in prison.
The token was bought by AssangeDAO, an organization of over 10,000 Assange supporters who want to free Julian Assange at any cost.
4. HUMAN ONE | $28,9M
The most remarkable thing about the work of HUMAN ONE is that it tends to change over time, and also exists in physical space. Its author is Beeple, who sold the NFT for $28.9 million at a Christie’s auction at the end of 2021.
The NFT depicts an astronaut wandering across shifting environments. Although the author no longer owns the work, Beeple keeps it remotely accessible and can continually update it.
5. CRYPTOPUNK #5822 | $23.7M
CryptoPunk #5822 is the most expensive NFT project by Larva Labs, with a price tag of $23.7 million. There was a lot of activity around the work during the auction. Throughout the token’s existence, several applications were submitted for the purchase amount of more than $3 million (~1000 ETH), but all of them were rejected by the NFT owner under the pseudonym deepak.eth.
It is worth noting that in the ranking of the most expensive NFTs sold, CryptoPunk ranks from 5th to 9th. Among them are CryptoPunk #7523 — $11.75 million, CryptoPunk #4156 — $10.26 million, CryptoPunk #3100 — $7.67 million and CryptoPunk #7804 — $7.6 million.
Selling NFTs has great potential to transform the entire creative industry. Thus, young artists join the sector daily, intending to sell their artworks. Many of them really succeeded, and their name became known to the whole world.
What other expensive NFTs do you know? Feel free to share your knowledge in the comments below!
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