The creations of artist Beeple and the Cryptopunks dominated the NFT scene.
The most expensive in history so far sold for USD 69.3 million.
During 2021, the phenomenon of non-fungible tokens or NFT exploded like never before. Since March, when one of these digital assets was sold for a totally unthinkable amount until then, they have been on the front pages of the media throughout the year.
Before starting with the list of the most expensive Ethereum NFTs that were sold in 2021, it is worth making a fundamental clarification. What exactly is a non-fungible token?
As the CriptoNoticias Criptopedia explains, it is a cryptographic token that is unique, unrepeatable and limited. This means that no two NFTs can be the same. Beyond the fact that they are identical in appearance, are worth the same and are even from the same “breed” produced by an artist, each of these digital works occupies a specific place in the blockchain on which it is developed. Usually this is Ethereum.
All kinds of objects have been converted to NFT. This includes images, videos, audio files, certificates, tickets or tickets for events, internet domains, collectible cards, among other alternatives. As they are unique objects, many of them are highly valued by collectors. Next, we will see the outlandish figures that have been paid to obtain them.
How much are the most expensive NFTs of 2021 worth?
As mentioned before, in March the Ethereum NFTs jumped into popularity thanks to the sale of one of them for an almost laughable amount at the time. Similar sales occurred over time, and we will review them in the following listing.
1. Everydays: The First 5000 Days
So far this is the most expensive sale in all the history of non-fungible tokens. The digital work Everydays: The First 5000 Days sold for 42,329.453 ETH ($ 69.3 million) on the Christie’s platform; it was the first digital file that the auction house marketed in its existence.
The author of this work is Mike “Beeple” Winkelmann, who reflected in a collage the digital works that he made for 5,000 days in a row, which can be seen on his Instagram profile.
As the media reports Decrypt, the buyer was Vignesh “Metakovan” Sundaresan. While at first the auction winner did not reveal his identity, he later admitted to keeping the token. He snatched it up in the closing seconds of the auction from Tron CEO Justin Sun, who had bid $ 60.2 million.
2. Human One
In motorsport jargon, it would be said that Beeple has achieved “1-2”, in reference to a team that takes the top two places in a competition. Leaving the field of motoring, we can also affirm other things, such as that the American is very talented, his art is appreciated and, of course, that his 2021 has been very fruitful.
The piece Human One It consists of a kind of rectangular box with a screen on each of its sides. In them, an astronaut is observed walking in what appears to be a hostile environment. If you analyze Beeple’s previous works, you can see that they all mix that futuristic and quasi-apocalyptic tone.
This piece, composed of the box itself in physical format and its respective token, It was sold in November for $ 28.985 million also at Christie’s, according Investopedia reported.
3. CryptoPunk #7523
In this third place, the Cryptopunks make their stellar appearance. These are some facial portraits of pixelated characters with different accessories according to the “personality” they reflect: caps, glasses, cigarettes, among others.
There are 10,000 cryptopunks digital pieces, but the one we highlight here is number 7523. The portrait shows a punk alien (of which there are only 9) with a cap, a ring in his right ear and a mask covering his nose and mouth. Only 175 Cryptopunks contain this last detail, according to the publication of Larva Labs in which it is described.
This NFT, also registered on the Ethereum blockchain, was sold for $ 11.8 million at Sotheby’s. The buyer was Shalom Meckenzie, a major shareholder in DraftKings, an online sports betting company.
The authors of this piece are Matt Hall and John Watkinson, both members of the team at Larva Labs, an American company that is dedicated to the development of video games.
It should be noted that they did not earn money with these creations, since Cryptopunks were originally distributed for free to anyone with an Ethereum wallet. Although it sounds incredible, this means that only users made a profit from the subsequent sales of these tokens.
4. Cryptopunk #3100
The fourth place on the list goes to a “brother” of the Cryptopunk mentioned above. The number 3100 of this collection sold for 4,200 ETH (USD 7.58 million in March 2021), on Opensea, the marketplace for non-fungible tokens of the world’s largest Ethereum network. It is currently for sale for 35,000 ETH ($ 131 million).
This Ethereum NFT shows an alien punk, but a lot “simpler” than the others on this list. It is about a bald man, with a headband on his head, which he shares with 332 other subjects of his species. He has no glasses, earrings, hair, or beard.
5. Cryptopunk #7804
Finally, another Cryptopunk to close the top 5. Number 7804 in this collection sold for about 4,200 ETH ($ 7.57 million), exactly the same day as its predecessor on this list. In October 2021, an offer to sell this NFT for a whopping $ 87.64 million was rejected. The reasons why this sale did not materialize are not known.
Cryptopunk number 7804 shows an alien in glasses and a hat smoking a pipe. Although these elements are shared by many other Cryptopunks, the fact that it is an alien – with its characteristic light blue skin tone – makes it much more curious and expensive than the others.
6. CROSSROAD: $6.66 Million
To balance the scales again, Beeple reappears in the rankings. In this case, you do it with Crossroad, a political NFT with several possible interpretations.
In the animation from Beeple you can see a group of people crossing a sidewalk walking in different directions. Behind them appears the body of a person – presumed to be Donald Trump – apparently lifeless, with aggressive captions written all over his body. At one point, a blue canary similar to the one on Twitter lands on him and emits a sound that, in onomatopoeia, translates to the face of a clown.
Criticism of the former US president or call for attention about our use of social networks?
7. Obras de Ross Ulbricht
Ross Ulbricht it el creator of Silk Road, the most important black market of the dark web. In 2015, he was convicted of money laundering, computer hacking and other charges, and is currently in a New York prison.
As CriptoNoticias reported, several writings and 10 works by Ulbricht digitized all together in NFT format were auctioned and sold at the beginning of December for 1,500 ETH, which in fiat money amounted to approximately USD 6 million.
The money was donated in its entirety to “reduce the suffering of the prisoners” and to the cause for the freedom of Ulbricht, sentenced to life imprisonment without the right to parole.
NFTs and the outlook for the future
With all of the above, it is clear that NFTs have revolutionized the world of digital art and entertainment. In a way, they have reshaped the offering for collectors of distinguished works and avatars. What you pay for them confirms this trend: the average price of an NFT in early 2020 was $ 24.98. By the end of November 2021, this figure amounted to USD 913.48.
But its use can go much further. According to a study carried out by the consulting firm Deloitte, in a short time all sports fans will have the option of saving their favorite moments in video or image format in NFT. For this and many other possibilities in the future, Big companies like Instagram and Nike are doing their best to get involved in this fledgling market.
All of this potential will only boost the development and market for these tokens. 2021, for now, was the birth of a movement that, apparently, still has a long way to go.
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The 7 most expensive Ethereum NFTs of 2021