Updated: Apr 7
NFTs, or Non-Fungible Tokens, are items people can own on the digital platform. NFTs are often mistaken for cryptocurrency, but they are different from cryptocurrency in many ways.
Unlike cryptocurrency, NFTs cannot be exchanged or traded for other commodities. NFTs are only representations of assets with monetary value, and therefore have no economic value.
The term ‘non-fungible’ itself refers to the unique nature of the asset, and therefore cannot be exchanged or traded as its equivalent in terms of quality or monetary value.
Over the past few years, NFTs have become synonymous with art collection as more and more people are becoming interested in not just being able to look at rare pieces of art but also owning these pieces.
The digital platform and use of NFTs have also provided a larger audience for emerging artists who can now showcase their art and prints as an NFT.
While the practice of bidding and winning ownership of art still exists, it has now shifted to the digital platform where a more significant number of people can witness and be a part of the process.
Here are some of the most expensive NFTs sold this year that speak volume about the growing popularity of Non-Fungible Tokens worldwide:
CryptoPunk was started in 2017 by two software professionals, John Watkinson and Matt Hall. It is considered to be one of the earliest art collections on the blockchain.
The unique nature of every CryptoPunk NFT has led to its massive demand and hence, higher price. CryptoPunk #7804 is not an exception.
The image consists of an alien smoking a pipe while wearing a pair of sunglasses and a hat. On March 10th, 2021, CryptoPunk #7804 was sold for 4,200 ETH or Ethereum. This value comes almost close to $7.5 million when converted to US dollars.
Currently, the amount paid for CryptoPunk #7804 is one of the highest that has been paid for a Cryptopunk ever. Some people even refer to this art piece as the 'digital Mona Lisa.'
On March 11, 2021 , another CryptoPunk was also sold for about $7.6 million. CryptoPunk #3100 consisted of an alien avatar wearing a headband on its forehead. It is ranked as one of the rare CryptoPunks. It is one of four hundred alien avatar Cryptopunks of the total 10,000 collection that CryptoPunk currently owns.
The base price of CryptoPunk #3100 when it was first released in March was estimated to be around 65 ETH. However, the sale price of this avatar was much larger than its estimated value, indicating the instability of NFTs and their worth on the digital platform.
CryptoPunk #7523 is currently the most expensive CryptoPunk that has been sold. CryptoPunk #7523 is referred to as the ‘Covid Alien’ due to the image it depicts.
It is considered a rare art piece because it is the only CryptoPunk alien avatar with a mask along with a knitted cap. On June 10th, 2021, CryptoPunk #7523 was sold at an online auction conducted by Sotherby’s (worldwide organization involved in art dealerships and auctions) for about 4520 ETH, whose value is approximately $11.7 million when converted to US dollars.
With the coronavirus infection on the rise with omicron variant and the pandemic not getting any better and more relevant than ever, this mask-wearing alien CryptoPunk gained massive attention and hence, was sold at a price higher than other previously sold CryptoPunks.
Beeple, Human One
American artist Mike Winkelmann, who is also a graphic designer, is also professionally known as Beeple. On November 9th, 2021, one of his art pieces was sold for approximately $29 million.
Human One is a 3-D life-size art installation that depicts a person wearing a spacesuit with a backpack walking. Beeple describes this art piece as 'the first portrait of a human born in the metaverse.'
Beeple has also stated that in the future, he will be making modifications to the art piece as and when required.
Most artists consider NFTs to be the future of art collection due to more freedom, wider acceptance, larger audience, and more enhanced ownership rights.
NFTs can also be used to represent the authenticity of the art piece. Although many copies of an art piece can make it difficult to prove which one is the original, NFTs allow easy identification of originals by securing its ownership rights with specific individuals.