The digital world has been widely influenced by the storm of NFTs, especially since the beginning of 2021. The unique characteristics of the non-fungible tokens have attracted almost all artists as well as all celebrities. Now a day, it is very common to see an NFT avatar as the profile of famous people on Twitter. Using NFTs from well-known and popular projects as a profile picture has created a new movement among almost all artists and famous people in the NFT world. Besides, a new generation of NFTs has been introduced to the market: PFP NFTs. This guide aims to provide a full explanation of the concept of PFP NFTs, why they are important, and if it is a good idea for some. Furthermore, we will introduce the most successful PFP NFT projects to date.
What are PFP NFTs?
PFP NFTs or Profile Picture Non-Fungible Tokens are valuable digital artworks that are mostly used as profile pictures on asocial media sites. These NFTs usually show shoulder-length generative or hand-drawn digital art pieces. PFP NFTs, just like regular NFTs, feature several random attributes that cause differences in characters, including sunglasses, fur, weapons, laser eyes, cigarettes, etc. There is no need for a PFP NFT to be minted to only be used as a profile picture. It can be a random image of an NFT from a collection.
PFP NFTs are widely used as profile pictures on Twitter as Twitter has provided the required facilities to connect NFTs through a crypto wallet and, therefore, show the PFP NFT as the user’s avatar. However, other social media platforms have not provided the facilities for using NFTs as profile pictures yet.
How did PFP NFTs start?
With the introduction of successful NFT projects, many famous people started buying and trading them. Some even chose to set their rarest NFT assets as their profile picture of their accounts on social media, like Twitter, or NFT secondary markets, like OpenSea. Undoubtedly, having an NFT as the profile picture can be so trendy that attracts more visitors and followers to personal pages and accounts. The trend soon became popular both to show off valuable assets and advertise and support NFT projects.
However, using NFTs as a profile picture did not become trendy all of a sudden. It all goes back to the production of the very first PFP NFT project, CryptoPunks. CryptoPunk is an NFT collection with 10,000 unique characters called Punks. It was first launched in 2017 but it turned to be popular in 2021 mostly as profile pictures on Twitter. Since then, CryptoPunks has been one of the most popular PFP NFTs in the NFT market and the price of a CryptoPunk skyrocketed during the last few months.
PFP NFTs trend also helped pave the way to introduce Ethereum tokens and create standardized NFTs or ERC-721 standard. This, in fact, was a milestone to make NFTs different from other crypto tokens.
The great amount of demand in the market for PFP NFTs caused NFT artists to follow CryptoPunk’s approach and create new projects, such as Meebits by LarvaLabs, to help improve the PFP NFT mania.
Are PFP NFTs popular?
Since the beginning of 2022, the NFT market has experienced great hype and, as the result, the interest in PFP NFTs also significantly increased. The high demand in the market caused an increase in the value of some of the digital tokens so that the prices have tripled from a few ETH to a hundred ETH or more for some projects. For example, the floor price of the CryptoPunks raised to 62 ETH in April 2022.
At the time being, PFP NFTs have become so popular that the most well-known crypto enthusiasts, NFT giants, and celebrities such as Snoop Dogg all use PFP NFTs as their profile pictures.
How are PFP NFTs created?
What differentiates PFP NFTs from regular NFTs is the number of items in a Collection. Mostly, PFP NFTs are created in large quantities, often 10,000 items. They are launched as a collection per project. Both CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club released about 10,000 characters in a collection. Like Many other NFT collections, PFP NFTs are also minted on the Ethereum Blockchain.
In most cases, there are two groups behind each PFP NFT collection: designers and developers. The project team first decides about the character of NFTs, such as cats, apes, humans, ducks or others. Then, the artists draw and paint the primary design of the characters. However, since PFP NFTs come in bulk, the artists or designers do not have to design all the NFT characters one by one. They first design samples of the NFTs and each sample NFT is broken down to provide thousands of traits such as body shape, facial, expression, accessories, background colors and body position. To do so, they create the character in layers so that it will be easier to assemble the traits and produce a larger number of digital pieces.
When the Layers are fully established, developers write a code that allows them to mix and match the layers or traits in order to create single NFTs. When the original NFTs are ready, high-level programs and code are used to subdivide the traits according to certain statistics and, as the result, thousands of characters are produced. The characters may differ in their color, facial expression, wearables and accessories and unique features. Note that, according to the definition of NFTs, each digital character in a collection is unique and non-identical, even though the difference is slight.
Benefits of PFP NFTs
PFP NFT projects include a defined roadmap that provides comprehensive knowledge of the future development and usage of a project, its community and the success of the investment. A good roadmap makes it clear if the project has the potential to perform well. Investors, therefore, learn that owning a PFP NFT may lead to profit gain.
Besides, PFP NFTs include real-life and virtual utilities. It means that owning a PFP NFT owners get vouchers for real-life events and may use their digital assets in games and the Metaverse. PFP NFTs also promise new exclusive connections, such as Discord chat rooms, to PFP holders. On the other hand, once the Metaverse is fully developed by PFP NFT projects, owners of such digital art pieces are allowed to access more options to monetize their PFPs through commodities such as beanies, wearables and accessories. The feature is supported with the ability of PFP NFTs to make use of merchandize stores that allow for creative art monetization.
More importantly, the native role of PFP NFTs provides the possibility to access brand-building innovation. Brands can not only offer virtual experiences to the users but also ensure the development of communities. These communities empower the possibility to discover new revenue streams and, as the result, strengthen the future of the economy of PFP NFT projects. In fact, brands take the advantage of their presents in the NFT world by offering PFP NFT projects to capitalize on their traits. A good example can be Bored Ape Yacht Club project, which comes to be a unique successful brand known by all NFT enthusiasts.
Each PFP NFT project owns its exclusive community. The holders of PFP NFTs, an individual or a brand, can attract more followers and customers on social media while the connection point may only be a PFP NFT from a certain project. This way, owners of items from a certain PFP NFT project involve their community to improve their run in the digital market. The exclusive advantages of membership in an exclusive club, for example Yacht Club, drive the reputation of PFPs and form a critical factor in the future growth of the PFP NFT project.
5 most popular PFP NFT projects
This is a collection of 10,000 pixelated Punks launched by Larva Labs in 2017. The Punks are mainly used as profile pictures on sites such as Discord and Twitter and the project is the first original PFP NFT project developed. As the trend became the hottest on social media, CryptoPunk prices skyrocketed while they were free to mint at the first launch.
2. Bored Ape Yacht Club
BAYC was launched by Yuga Labs in 2021. It consists of 10,000 Bored Apes with a generative style. The collection provides as many as 170 different traits designed with eye-catching art. Bored Apes are the most popular PFP NFTs among famous, rich people, like Snoop Dogg and Logan Paul. It is the most valuable PFP NFT project at the time with %3.6 million capital. Bored Apes has its own community and even a crypto coin, ApeCoin (APE) which offers Bored Apes a brilliant future.
3. Cool Cats
Cool Cats is a collection of 9,999 randomly generated PFP NFTs. It was also launched in 2021. The collection breaks into four categories of rarity, including Cool, Wild, Classy and Exotic. The roadmap suggests the growth to a fully-fledged gaming Metaverse where cats can go on quests, battle, breed, and trade for the project’s native $MILK cryptocurrency token. The cats sold at launch for around $130, and some of the most exotic Cool Cats, such as the zombie-themed Cool Cat #1490, have sold for over $1 million.
This project comprises 6,969 Toadz and launched in September 2021 by Germplin. The simplicity of the project made it to be known as the purest PFP NFT project that perfectly matches its only mission to provide avatars for social media accounts. According to OpenSea, Crypto Toadz cost $10,000 to $50,000 in the secondary market.
This NFT collection consist of 10,000 playful line-drawn avatars. It was first launched in October 2021 and quickly became one of the most popular PFP NFT collections. The Doodles divide into various types, including apes, aliens, mascots, and skellys, and their different traits affect hair, head, and accessories of each piece. Doodles cost about ETH 0.123 at the launch time and they worth triple times more now on the secondary market.
A final word
PFP NFT projects have gotten lots of attention recently. The fundamentals of PFP non-fungible tokens seem to be the reason for garnering many users to buy them. The main reason for the success of PFP NFTs can be summarized as the following.
- The community-based nature of PFP NFTs is the main reason for their popularity. PFP NFTS not only can be profile pictures but also give their owners voting rights in the community. At the same time, PFP non-fungible tokens also facilitate active participation in decisions regarding the future of the project.
- The best PFP NFT projects provide a clearly-outlined roadmap. Therefore, investors have a clear idea about the expectations from the project and its future development.
- The utility benefits of PFP non-fungible tokens, especially in the Metaverse, also increase their popularity. Some PFP projects even introduce real-life utilities such as vouchers with games, meals, or physical toys.
- Merchandise stores are also provided to many PFP NFT projects to facilitate creative art monetization. As a result, NFT owners can discover easy prospects for monetizing their assets through merchandise such as beanies, shirts, and mugs.
If you are looking for a profitable investment in the world of NFTs, PFP NFTs can be a good choice.