NFT Artworks. Photo: KnowInsiders
NFT Artworks. Photo: KnowInsiders

NFT artworks share some attributes with physical artworks in terms of creativity and aesthetics. However, the key difference is that being NFTs, they are simply a code — digital art that exists only on the internet.

Some of these are creatively futuristic and take the artists to record major feats. For example, the REPLICATOR by Canadian artist Mad Dog Jones, whose real name is Michah Dowbak, replicates itself and produces a new NFT every 28 days.

NFT artworks share some attributes with physical artworks in terms of creativity and aesthetics. However, the key difference is that being NFTs, they are simply a code — digital art that exists only on the internet.

Why do people buy NFTs?

Well, people buy NFTs for the same reason they buy physical art or antiques. Aesthetics, a passion for artists, trends, and art-world validations are among the major factors that drive collectors to purchase artworks.

Collecting digital items is very similar to collecting physical items — they can be viewed as both a hobby and an investment.

Non-fungible tokens have unique attributes and are usually tied to a specific asset. They can be used to prove ownership of digital items such as gaming skins, as well as ownership of physical assets. NFTs can represent anything — from virtual real estate to works of art, to deeds, and even insurance policies.

However, you can’t trade NFTs on regular crypto exchanges. Instead, there are special digital markets like Openbazaar or LAND from Decentraland.

Which are the 10 Most Expensive NFT Art Pieces Ever Sold In the world?

1. The Merge: USD 91.8 million

2. Everydays – The First 5000 Days: USD 69.3 million.

3. Clock — $52.7m

4. Human One: USD 28.9 million

5. CryptoPunk #5822: USD 23.7 million

6. CryptoPunk #7523 — $11.75m

7. CryptoPunk #3100: USD 7.58 million

8. CryptoPunk #7804: USD 7.57 million

9. Right-click and Save As guy: USD 7.09 million

10. Ringers 109: USD 6.9 million

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Top 10 Most Expensive NFT Art Pieces Ever Sold In the world

1. The Merge: USD 91.8 million

Photo: Barron's
Photo: Barron's

The Merge is a unique digital artwork in the world of NFTs because, instead of being a single piece of work, The Merge is, what can be called, fragmented art.

Created by the renowned artist who goes by the pseudonym Pak, The Merge was sold on NFT marketplace Nifty Gateway between 2 and 4 December 2021. It fetched a record sum of USD 91.8 million — the most expensive NFT ever sold that is an artwork.

Instead of a single owner, The Merge is held by 28,983 collectors. This is because the artwork was sold in units known as ‘mass’. Thus, the collectors together bought a total of 266,445 masses by the time the sale ended on 4 December.

Each ‘mass’ cost USD 575 when the sale began. The price of the tokens went up by USD 25 every six hours.

2. Everydays – The First 5000 Days: USD 69.3 million.

Photo: Gotham Magazine
Photo: Gotham Magazine

Acclaimed digital artist Mike Winklemann, better known as Beeple, created a record when his single piece artwork titled Everydays – The First 5000 Days sold for USD 69.3 million at a Christie’s auction on 11 March 2021. Therefore, it is the most expensive NFT sale recorded for an artwork by Beeple.

Beeple’s artwork is so high-tier and highly respected within the community, and this piece is essentially a collage of 5000 pieces of his work. Starting from 2007, he pledged to create one piece of art every day, and this is the result. Needless to say, it was worth the effort.

Facts About 'Everydays: The First 5000 Days' - World's Most Expensive NFT

3. Clock — $52.7m

Photo: Dexerto
Photo: Dexerto

‘Clock’ is a piece created by Pak and Julian Assange, and almost acts literally as a clock, counting the days that WikiLeaks founder Assange has been imprisoned.

The goal of the NFT was to raise funds for Assange’s legal defense, and was ultimately purchased by AssangeDAO — a collection of over 10,000 people pooling their money to purchase the NFT and support Assange.

4. Human One: USD 28.9 million

Photo: Artmajeur
Photo: Artmajeur

Beeple is a regular among the most expensive NFTs ever sold, actually occupying the top three spots in this list.

Another one of Beeple’s works, Human One is a generative sculpture that mixes physical and digital art. This piece features an astronaut suit walking continuously forward, enduring different weather and biomes. Beeple maintains remote access to the piece and plans to evolve its content for the rest of his life. Human One sold on Nov. 10, 2021 via another Christie’s auction.

According to Christie’s, the kinetic video sculpture came with dual media servers and had a polished aluminium metal, mahogany wood frame.

Speaking to Christie’s head of digital sales Noah Davis, Beeple said, “We had a bunch of TVs on rollers in our studio and were rolling them around in different shapes and patterns. Then I was like: ‘We should roll them into a little box unit.’…We immediately realised that this configuration of screens was a powerful canvas — anything we put on it looked awesome.”

5. CryptoPunk #5822: USD 23.7 million

Photo: Twitter
Photo: Twitter

CryptoPunks have long been one of the most sought-after tokens in the NFT space. One of the earliest NFT projects, CryptoPunks, was launched in 2017. A creation of Larva Labs, the acclaimed studio founded by Canadian developers Matt Hall and John Watkinson.

CryptoPunks is essentially a collection of 10,000 tokens called ‘punks’ by their creators and collectors. Often considered the OG NFT collection, each is a collectible character — much like a trading card. No two ‘punks’ are the same, which makes each CryptoPunk an exclusive item.

In a major sale on 13 February 2022, CryptoPunk #5822 was sold for 8000 ETH, which converts to roughly USD 23.7 million at the time of sale. This makes it the most expensive CryptoPunk sale ever.

The cryptopunk is part of the Alien series collection and has bluish-green skin with only one attribute — a blue bandana. Its buyer, reportedly, is the CEO of blockchain infrastructure company Chain, Deepak Thapliyal, who posted a tweet showing Punk #5822.

6. CryptoPunk #7523 — $11.75m

Photo: Wazup Naija
Photo: Wazup Naija

On 10 June 2021, CryptoPunk #7523 was sold for USD 11.75 million at a Sotheby’s auction, making it the second-most expensive ‘punk’ of all the collections. #7523 is one of the nine in the Alien series of the collection.

The bluish-green-skinned character wears a knitted cap and earrings, too. It is also the only Alien character and one of the 175 in the collection with a medical mask.

According to Reuters, Sotheby’s revealed the token was bought by Israeli entrepreneur Shalom Meckenzie — the largest shareholder of digital sports company DraftKings.

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7. CryptoPunk #3100: USD 7.58 million

Photo: Etsy
Photo: Etsy

On the same day Beeple created history, a crypto art, known as CryptoPunk #3100, was sold for USD 7.58 million. Like #7523, the #3100 is also one of the nine Alien ‘punks’. It has bluish-green skin and just one other feature — a white-and-blue headband. Only 406 out of 10,000 in the collection wear a headband and only 333 have just one attribute.

At the time of its sale, CryptoPunk #3100 was the highest-priced ‘punk’, beating the record set by #7804 a day before by just a whisker.

It has been in the news for some time because of its listed price. According to Larva Labs, it is currently up for sale for USD 114.54. If realised, it would become the highest-priced NFT in history.

8. CryptoPunk #7804: USD 7.57 million

Photo: Protocol
Photo: Protocol

The ‘punk’, which looks more like Sherlock Holmes with shades, is another of the nine Aliens among the 10,000. On 10 March 2021, it made news for fetching USD 7.57 million for its seller, Figma CEO Dylan Field, who had dubbed it his “digital Mona Lisa.”

The pipe-smoking character wears small shades and is one of the 254 who wears their cap forward. Unlike #3100, the #7804 is not up for sale.

9. Right-click and Save As guy: USD 7.09 million

Photo: OpenSea
Photo: OpenSea

Xcopy is the pseudonym of a London-based crypto artist whose works are one of the most in-demand across marketplaces. According to The Crypto Times, Xcopy, who is known for his dystopian- and death-themed works, has sold over 1,900 artworks.

The Right-click and Save As guy is the name of an NFT artwork created by the artist as a joke on those who think that NFTs are worthless because they can simply be right-clicked and downloaded.

The artwork shows a character wearing large shades and a hoodie. Its red-tinted lips are constantly moving, as if mumbling something.

Right-click and Save As guy was sold on the SuperRare marketplace for USD 7.08 million in early December 2021. It was bought by the user known online as ‘Cozomo de Medici’, who has a vast storehouse of NFT digital collectibles.

Some speculate that ‘Cozomo de Medici’ is the alias of rapper Snoop Dogg. Even though the American celebrity admitted that he is the man behind the identity, it has not been independently verified.

10. Ringers 109: USD 6.9 million

Photo: OpenSea
Photo: OpenSea

Ringers #109 is an artwork by Art Blocks, which is a project that creates loops around pegs using an algorithm. The artwork can be a 3D image, an interactive feature, or a static picture.

Ringers #109 is a static image of a series of loops around multiple pegs. The dominant colour is black on a white background. The balanced wrap orientation, the loop and the white background are three very rare attributes in Art Blocks’ creations. The rarest is, however, a red peg — the colour is present in just 0.3 percent of its tokens.

The NFT was sold for USD 6.9 million in October 2021 — a record price for Art Blocks. It is not clear who bought the NFT but according to The Crypto Times, the seller was AKIRA, co-founder of NarcissusGLRY, who revealed the sale on Twitter.

According to AKIRA, the NFT was bought by them for USD 550 in March 2021.

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