Works of art in the digital world are now worth millions of dollars, all thanks to the NFT market explosion. These digital tokens prove ownership of things like digital art, something you cannot even touch. So how come something so intangible is so expensive? The idea is so wild yet appealing that even Christie’s auction house couldn’t help but get on the bandwagon. Is the NFT market as lucrative as it seems?
Beeple, one of the first digital artists who made millions in the world of NFT by selling one of the most expensive NFTs, attempts to make sense of this. He said that people value things when everyone wants them. Take the Louis Vuitton bag, for instance. What is the big deal? It’s just a brown leather purse, right? Not really. For most people, it’s not something you can easily have.
Why is an NFT so expensive? NFT is basically the same, as it offers the idea of scarcity. To better understand what we are talking about, we will go through the top 10 most expensive NFT art pieces sold.
Here’s the top 10 list of the most expensive NFT art as of 2021. Please bear in mind that the number of pieces involved in the sale affects non-fungible token art and collectible sales for both individual works and limited collections. Thus, impacting their ranking. Preference is primarily given to unique one-of-a-kind items, and values fluctuate; therefore, the list continuously shifts. Which NFT has made the most revenue? We’re about to find out.
Hashmask #6718 ($603,000)
When you’re fortunate enough to have the proper collection in NFT, there’s no such thing as a “ceiling” price because the sky is the limit. Hashmask is a great example. This is a series of digital artworks that were created by over 70 artists across the globe. Overall the Hashmasks collection has an impressive 16,384 portraits.
The cost of each portrait varies widely, but if more of them sell them at increasingly high prices, the entire collection could benefit greatly. Keeping track of Hashmasks, especially if you’re a beginner, can be challenging since their names can be changed. Hashmask #6718 is known as The God of War and was sold for 300 Ethers. In early 2021 this had an equivalent of $603,012.
This collaboration is between a well-established artist in the physical and digital realms, Trevor Jones, and the legendary comic artist behind The Transformers and Wonder Woman, Jose Delbo. Genesis became part of a collection featuring five animated PNG files of Batman. The sale took place in October 2020 before the NFT buying frenzy that set off in early 2021.
The sale of 302.5 Ether at that time was only around $200,000. But at that time, it was seen as one of the most lucrative sales in NFT history because its value had risen to over $550,000. The entire collection sold for 530 Ether. Genesis starts with a fantastic pencil sketch of Batman by Jose Delbo, then transforms into an elaborate painting before your very eyes. This is an excellent example of a moving digital art piece.
Hashmask #9939 ($844,000)
Before the Hashmasks had this potential for big money, Hashmask #9939 shows a portrait of a figure with a demon mask and a halo. The piece was known simply as “Sex” and was sold for 420 Ethers on February 3, 2021. This was the equivalent of around $844,000.
This is one of the most expensive NFT sold on OpenSea. Both “Sex” and the “God of War” Hashmasks are owned by an account on the OpenSea marketplace named DANNYSECURE. This huge investment proves how much faith this user has in the future value of Hashmasks. Are you tempted to explore the world of NFT as well? Why not get help from a social media management app powered by an AI system to help your brand grow its online presence easily? Learn more from our Postoplan review.
Jack Dorsey’s First Tweet ($2.9 Million)
Does $2.9 million for one tweet sound unbelievable? You better believe it because it’s true. Almost $3 million for a tweet sounds insane, $2,915,835.47, to be exact. And it’s not even a lengthy tweet; it’s merely 24 characters long. It read, “just setting up my twttr.” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey posted this on March 21, 2006.
The winning bidder was Sina Estavi, CEO of a blockchain startup that was based in Malaysia. In an interview, Estavi compared this tweet to classic artworks saying this wasn’t just a tweet. Years later, people will realize the true value of Dorsey’s tweet and liken it to the Mona Lisa painting. Because this tweet started it all, Estavi believes this is an incredible opportunity for people who want to associate themselves with this genuinely transformative piece of history. Jack Dorsey has since donated this bid to a non-profit organization, Give Directly, for its African response program.
Earth & Mars ($5.18 Million)
While one-of-a-kind NFT artworks had hit the jackpot with insanely enormous amounts when they were sold, some artists were able to find even greater success with their NFT collections and limited runs. Grimes was catapulted to stardom because of her music, but she was also one of the first and most prominent names to hit the headlines because of the limited edition NFT works of art she sold in February 2021.
Her selection comprised NFT art for sale, including two short videos titled Earth & Mars. There were a few thousand copies of each that were made that sold for $7,500 each. This is a bit steep for something that’s not exactly one of a kind, but apparently, Grimes sold hundreds of each. This reached a net worth of around $5.18 million for Earth & Mars.
CryptoPunks #6965, #4156, #2890, & #6487
Like the Hashmasks, CryptoPUnk is another NFT collection that has taken the market by storm. This series of CryptoPunk NFT portraits consists of an 8-bit headshot of a CryptoPunk figure dressed up in various apparel. Each of these can go as high as one million dollars. These simplistic 24×24 pixels were made in 2017, and only 10,000 were made and handed initially out for free. However, some of these are trading for over $2 million.
CryptoPunks was among the very first NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain and were created by Matt Hall and John Watkinson of Larva Labs. These unique digital artwork characters can be zombie, human, ape, or aliens. From January to March 2021 CryptoPunks #6965, #4156, #2890, & #6487 sold for around 1.1- 1.6 million dollars each.
Crossroads ($6.6 Million)
Even before Mike Winkelmann, a.k.a. Beeple, had his out-of-this-world success at the Christie’s auction, he already had an impressive NFT sale on the Nifty Gateway. This is an online NFT marketplace that served as host to several big sales that included Grimes’s famous NFTs. However, Crossroads made NFT history when it sold for an equivalent of $6.6 million in February 2021. This was the single most expensive piece of digital artwork ever sold at an auction then. Crossroads takes inspiration from the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election, where Trump ran and invariably lost.
NBA Top Shot ($9.5 Million)
When Gary Vaynerchuk, a.k.a. Gary Vee was asked if he thinks NFT is merely a fad or is here for good, he said that he believes NFT will stay here in perpetuity and that the NBA is one of the world’s great IPs (intellectual property). If you’re hearing about it for the first time, NFT is full of weird names and confusing concepts that make it hard to wrap your head around. So it came as a surprise that one of NFT’s biggest winners in this craze was the NBA.
It got in early on the action and put together its own NFT marketplace. Here, fans can purchase their favorite collectible moments in the form of NFTs they have made with varying degrees of rarity. This lets collectors buy, sell, trade, or gift their moments, just like people do with trading cards. It sounds mind-boggling until you head over to their website and realize how easy it is.
NBA Top Shots offers NFTs for as cheap as $10-$15 for the most common ones. But there are moments when it goes for as high as $100,000 a pop. Sitting at the top of the scale is the 2019-2020 Lebron James which sold for $200,000. Overall, NBA Top Shots have already raked in around $10 million.
CryptoPunks #3100 and #7804 ($7.6 Million)
As mentioned, Larva Labs has 10,000 CryptoPunks in total, but their aliens are only 9, making them extremely rare. So it’s no wonder they raked in massive amounts of money when they were up for action. They’re valued at $7.6 million per piece. Number 3100 is an alien rocking a simple sweatband on his forehead, while Number 7804 sports a cap and a pair of shades and appears to be smoking a pipe.
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Everydays: the First 5000 Days ($69 Million)
What is the most expensive NFT drawing? Michael Joseph Winkelmann, more commonly known as Beeple, is an American graphic designer, digital artist, and animator. He is the man behind Everydays: the First 5000 days. His unique work of art sold for a whopping $69 million. This only proves that digital artists are here to stay, not to mention his art is the first of its kind to be auctioned at one of the most famous action houses in the world- Christie’s.
Beeple’s dedication to his craft truly drove his popularity. He drew one sketch daily and posted art from his Charleston, South Carolina home. This started on May 1, 2007, and every single day after. And year after year, he gave them away and started building an online audience. This is how it made his artwork more valuable, by sharing it and putting it out there.
The Secret Behind the World’s Most Expensive NFT
How much is an NFT worth? Who gets to decide its real value? Apparently, the people with money to burn, who can take risks, and those who understand the game. The NFT market is so volatile that even the bluest of all the blue chips, the most expensive NFT Bored Ape is not safe from crashing and burning in the future.
Another thing to remember is just like cryptocurrencies, environmental and climate concerns are highly significant. NFT transactions use massive amounts of electricity. In a month, one NFT marketplace went from 200 transactions a day and jumped to 5,000. So here’s to hoping that the digital art community will take these things seriously and truly find ways to address these issues.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t matter if you have the most expensive NFT 2022 and beyond. Plenty of buyers serve as speculators and investors in this NFT gold rush. The key is knowing when to push forward and when to pull back. And most importantly, not allowing greed to take over in its entirety.
For more tips and advice on how to start your NFT journey, check out our post, “NFT marketplace: Everything You Need to Know.”