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20 Most Expensive NFTs Ever Sold

2021 has seen a major increase in interest in NFTs, and NFT marketplaces like Nifty Gateway and OpenSea showed big record trading volumes as everyone looks to get to take advantage of this emerging assets. Also, individual NFTs are selling for massive sums of money, with artists like Beeple making headlines for record-breaking sales. Here are the most expensive NFTs to the date.

1. The Merge

$91.8 Million

Merge is the next most expensive NFT ever sold, which was created by digital artist Pak. Pak is another big name in the NFT space. he has created some of the most iconic artworks in the NFT market. The artist’s actual identity remains a total mystery, however they are having a massive presence in the digital art space.

2. The Most Expensive NFT Art Sold: Everyday: The First 5000 Days

$69.3 Million

The record for the most expensive NFTs ever sold (and one of the most expensive artworks ever sold) goes to EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS. Created by famous digital artist Mike “Beeple” Winkelmann, this artwork sold for $69.3 million at Christie’s—the first time that a purely digital artwork was sold at the auction house.

The NFT represents a collage of 5,000 of Beeple’s earlier artworks, which showed his development as an artist during his career. Vignesh “Metakovan” Sundaresan purchased the artwork.  However, there was a second-highest bidder on the piece, Tron CEO and its founder Justin Sun, who bid $60.2 million, which was an unsuccessful try.

3. Clock NFT

$52.7 million (16953 ETH)

In February of 2022, Julian Assange and Pak’s Clock NFT sold as one of the most expensive single NFT ever sold. The NFT shows a timer that counts the number of days Assange has spent in prison. It was introduced as part of Pak and Assange’s Censored collection, which also featured a dynamic open edition.

Being anonymous throughout their entire career, Pak simultaneously becomes one of the highest-grossing living artists. They took to Twitter shortly after the auction closed, labeling their effort “a drop with no creator, developer, platform, middlemen share,” that is “from people, for the people.” The piece was purchased by AssangeDAO, an organization whose primary mission is to fight for the freedom of the WikiLeaks founder.

4. CryptoPunk #5822

$23.7 million (8000 ETH)

Punk #5822 is the most expensive CryptoPunk ever sold. The alien-style punk featuring a blue bandana sold for $23 million on February 12. The buyer is the CEO of Chain, Deepak Thapliyal. He tweeted an image of his punk after the purchase.

Punk#5822 is valuable since it is one of only nine aliens in the collection, it was bound to sell at a high price.

5. Human One

$28.9 Million

Human One is a dynamic, life-generative sculpture created by Beeple. It consists of an astronaut wandering across shifting environments and can change depending on the artist. Beeple has already promised to “update” the Human One during his lifetime so the art will never remain static.

The concept attracted numerous investors at Christie’s, but it was crypto billionaire Ryan Zurrer who snapped it up for $29.9 million on December 9, 2021.

6. CryptoPunk #7523

$11.8 Million

These pixelated faces, CryptoPunks, make up some of the most expensive NFT sales. These randomly generated set of 10,000 unique digital characters are some of the first examples of non-fungible tokens released on the Ethereum blockchain which were developed by Matt Hall and John Watkinson from American game studio Larva Labs.

Although some of the CryptoPunks were sold for significant sums, CryptoPunk #7523 was auctioned for $11.8 million by DraftKing’s largest shareholder, Shalom Meckenzie. Since this CryptoPunk is the only alien among nine to wear mask, it had a unique topicality in COVID influenced time.

7. Tpunk #3442

$10.5 million (120 million TRX)

The “Joker” Tpunk#3442 was purchased by TRON founder Justin Sun in August 2021. Sun was an active bidder on Beeple’s Everydays: the First 5,000 Days, but he was outbid by $250,000 at the last minute.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery in the NFT space. There is no surprise that the Tpunks NFT collection was inspired by the famous NFT collection known as CryptoPunks. Consisting of 10,000 avatars on the Tron blockchain, as far as derivatives go, Tpunks is definitely in the top tier.

8. CryptoPunk #4156

$10.2 million (2500 ETH)

On December 9, 2021, CryptoPunk #4156 sold for $10.2 million. CryptoPunk #4156 has undoubtedly been the most famous NFT trade for a Punk in 2021. The bandana ape #4156 had become synonymous with the personality of prominent NFT influencer and builder Punk4156. Therefore, the sales felt like the end of an era.

The sale also marked a significant turning point in the CryptoPunk ecosystem. The legendary Larva Labs project has been one of the most important NFT collections in existence; however, there have been issues surrounding Larva Labs’ copyright policies, which Punk4156 has taken big issue with, which caused this significant trade and declining Punk prices towards the end of the year.

9. CryptoPunk #5577

$7.7 million (2501 ETH)

In February 2022, the cowboy-hat-wearing punk#5577 sold for 2,500 ETH. It was purchased by Robert Leshner, CEO of Compound Finance.

Punk#5577 is one of 24 Ape punks, and one of 142 with cowboy hats. As Ape Punks have continued to rise in popularity among the Bored Ape-dominated NFT market, trades like #5577 are less likely to happen in high prices.

10. CryptoPunk #7804

$7.56 Million

The sale for this CryptoPunk, as the third most expensive NFTs, was planned by Dylan Field, the CEO of design software company Figma. The NFT sold for 4,200 ETH in March 2021, worth $7.5 million at the time.

CryptoPunk #7804 is one of the nine aliens with forward cap and a pipe which make the character unique.

4. CryptoPunk #3100

$7.51 Million

Here comes the third most expensive CryptoPunk, another alien punk. It was sold for 4,200 ETH, $7.5 million in March 2021.

13. Ringers #109

$7.1 million (2100 ETH)

Ringers #109 is one of the highest sales to come from Dmitri Cherniak’s Ringers project. Ringers #109 is known as a piece of generative art and sold for more than $7 million in October 2021. It further solidified the importance of the Art Blocks project.

Ringers was one of the first projects to launch in 2021. As well as its historic significance in the NFT space, it’s also one of the most popular Art Blocks Curated collections. Although there was some controversy about the original inspiration of the project, the sale of this specific intricate ringer helped proliferate the conversation surrounding plagiarism on the blockchain and general crypto-artistic integrity.

14. Xcopy: Right-Click and Save As Guy

$ 7.09 Million

Right-click and Save As Guy is an NFT image which was on auction on the decentralized marketplace SupeRare, it sold for 1,600 ETH worth 7.09 Million on December 10, 2021 to Comozo de Medici.

What makes it more interesting is that the buyer’s alias belongs to no other than hip hop legend and world-class celebrity, Snoop Dogg.

15. XCOPY, All Time High in the City

$6.2 million

The next expensive NFT goes to XCOPY’s All Time High in the City that sold for 1,630 ETH in January 2022 to rarecollector3000 just a few months after initially selling for 1,000 ETH. It is an animated artwork, which was minted in 2018, that depicts the ferryman of the underworld transporting a man across the river Styx.

XCOPY is known for dark, abstract, and dystopian illustrations. It often uses motion, flickering effects in his pieces. His style has become a staple of the NFT ecosystem, with countless artists and projects imitating his animated pieces in creations of their own.

16. “Ross Ulbricht Genesis Collection”

$6.2 Million

Ross Ulbricht “Ross Ulbricht Genesis Collection” is a pencil-drawn eye with multiple eyes within the iris. Making use of “Perspective,” it was hand-drawn by Ross Ulbricht in pencil while in prison. It’s a part of the artist’s 10-piece series, the “Genesis Collection,” which was sold as a single NFT using the KSPEC protocol.

The decentralized autonomous organization called FreeRossDAO bought the collection for 1,446 ETH ($6.2 million at the time). The foundation originally raised 2,836 ETH from over 4,000 members across the globe.

More than half of that money was subsequently used to secure the landmark NFT.

18. CROSSROAD

$6.66 Million

Created by acclaimed digital artist Beeple, CrossRoad features anti-Trump messiging, and an enlarged Donald Trump-like figure laying in a defeated heap with profanities written across his naked body. The artwork was designed based on the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

Nifty Gateway, a popular marketplace for digital collectibles, brokered the $6.66 million sale of the NFT between Twitter user Pablorfraile, the original owner and a buyer for roughly 10 times more than its original price.

19. Ocean Front

$6 million

Ocean Front, a Beeple NFT, was sold to Justin Sun in March 2021 for $6 million. Although you may think that NFTs are merely expensive hobbies to crypto millionaires, the profits for this auction went to the Open Earth Foundation, to track global progress to combat climate change.

20. CryptoPunk #5217

$5.44 Million

The list continuous with another CryptoPunk, one of the 24 Ape punks in a knitted cap and a gold chain. It sold for $5.44 million in July 2021.

About Nicolle

She is an Indian Freelance writer. She loves thinking, learning, and writing about all things Web3.

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