Business / Collectibles

Top 5 Most Expensive NFTs in 2021

From CryptoPunk to Beeple, here are the top 5 most expensive NFTs in 2021.

Dec 28, 2021 | By Joseph Low
cryptopunks collage

2021 has proved to be the year for NFTs (non-fungible tokens). From being an obscure term at the start of the year, NFTs is now the word of the year according to Collins Dictionary. This new phenomenon is part of the blockchain craze that has gained prominence over the past few years thanks to Bitcoin and other altcoins like DogeCoin and Shiba Inu.

What was supposed to be a niche field has now been democratised to include top influencers to celebrities and laymen. People are paying astronomical prices in order to be the owner of the digital artifact. The most famous would perhaps be the artwork by Beeple, which had been sold for US$69.3 million.

Come 2022, it would be expected that NFTs will continue to be the buzzword and according to a report by Business Insider, analysts at JPMorgan said the total market capitalisation of the NFT universe is worth to be US$7 billion. This figure could potentially grow further but the bank caveat saying: “The growth of the NFT market would be conditional on NFT market participants and regulators addressing the legal issues facing the industry.”

Ahead are the top 5 most expensive NFTs in 2021 in US dollars

  • CyptoPunk #3100 — $7.67 million
  • CyptoPunk #7523 — $11.75 million
  • Beeple’s Human One — $28.9 million
  • Everydays: the First 5000 Days — $69.3 million
  • Pak’s “The Merge” — $91.8 million

CryptoPunk #3100

cryptopunk 3100
Image: CryptoPunks

The CryptoPunk #3100 was purchased on March 11, 2021, for 4,200 ETH which is approximately US$7.67 million. The CryptoPunks is one of the earliest NFT collections made, way before the NFT collections saw their boom in the market. The CryptoPunks was released in 2017 on the Ethereum Blockchain.

CryptoPunk #7523

cryptopunk 7523
Image: CryptoPunks

The CryptoPunk #7523, much like the earlier CryptoPunk, is of the alien variety with blue-green skin and is wearing a medical mask. It was sold for US$11.7 million by Sotheby’s online auction, “Natively Digital: A Curated NFT Sale”. The NFT was bought by Israeli entrepreneur Shalom Meckenzie.

Beeple’s Human One

beeple human one
Image: Beeple
beeple human one nft
Image: Beeple

Beeple’s Human One NFT is a hybrid digital and physical artwork by Beeple, which sold for US$28.9 million, auctioned off as part of Christie’s “21’st Century Evening Sale” on November 9. The work is a kinetic video sculpture with a corresponding dynamic NFT and is designed to continuously display artwork that will evolve over time.

Everydays: The First 5000 Days

beeples everydays the first 5000 days
Image: Christie’s/Beeples

Christie’s first-ever NFT auction was Beeple’s “Everydays: The First 5000 Days”. The NFT sold for a record-breaking US$69.3 million. The work is a collage of 5,000 digital images created by Beeple and was purchased by Vignesh Sundaresan, a Singaporean cryptocurrency investor. He paid 42,329 ETH for the artwork.

Pak “The Merge”

pak the merge
Image: Nifty Gateway

Digital artist Pak’s “The Merge” fetched US$91.8 million on Nifty Gateway, a leading NFT marketplace. The price was a record for an artwork sold publicly by a living artist, according to Nifty Gateway. The auction record for a single artwork sold publicly by a living artist is US$91.1 million, set by Jeff Koons’s 1986 sculpture Rabbit in 2019. 

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