NFTs (or Non-Fungible Tokens) have skyrocketed in value over the past year. It’s not uncommon for highly coveted pieces of digital artwork to be sold for millions of dollars at auction.
These digital assets or collectibles are changing the way investors are purchasing art. For example, in 2021 alone, sales or trading of NFTs surpassed $25 billion. So what are some of the most expensive NFTs in the ether right now? And how does an NFT have value as an asset or investment?
Read our guide to find out more.
NFTs as an Investment
NFTs are digital tokens that are purchased using an Ethereum or Bitcoin network. They are one-of-a-kind collectibles that can’t be replicated and often hold or increase their value through Bitcoin currency.
There are a number of different options for NFTs such as digital artwork by artists, sports collectibles like memorable video clips, or even music NFTs released by bands and recording artists. Here are some of the most expensive in history to date.
Everydays: The First 5,000 Days by Beeple
The record for the most expensive NFT ever sold (at the time of writing) is held by digital artist Mike Winkleman AKA ‘Beeple’. His piece of artwork entitled ‘EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5,000 DAYS’ sold for an eye-watering $69.3 million at Sotheby’s auction house.
It depicts a collage of Beeple’s earlier works and represents his growth and development as an artist. Initially, the artwork was purchased by an anonymous bidder, however, they later revealed themselves to be Vignesh Sundaresan, who wanted people of Indian heritage and people of color to be inspired by his investment in NFTs.
Clock by Pak
Following up close behind is digital artist Pak with his artwork ‘Clockwork’ that sold for $52.7 million, or 16,593 ETH. This politically inspired piece is a black background with the words ‘one thousand forty seven’ in the center in white text.
It represents the number of days Julian Assange had been detained in prison at the time Pak made the artwork. Pak used the money from the purchase of the NFT and donated it to the Wau Holland Stiftung Moral Courage Project who are assisting in Julian Assange’s defense trial.
Human One by Beeple
Not content with one record-breaking NFT, Beeple has been busy over the past year creating other NFTs such as ‘Human One’ that sold for $28.9 million at auction. It merges sculpture and digital aspects with an astronaut walking through a myriad of changing environments.
This reflective and immersive piece signifies the growth of Beeple as an NFT artist and how he is already pushing the boundaries of what an NFT can be to the art world and collectors alike.
Cryptopunk #5822 by Larva Labs
Originally given away for free by a pair of Canadian developers and minted in 2017, Cryptopunk pixelated avatars are extremely popular NFTs and highly collectible.
They started the movement for avatar-based NFTs and inspired many other artists and companies such as Bored Ape Yacht Club to start their own.
These kinds of avatar NFTs aren’t going away anytime soon and are expected to increase further in value as time goes on. Savvy investors have cottoned on to this fact and have bought these up in droves.
NFTs are an investment that’s taken the world by storm over the past year. The market is nowhere near saturated and these highly sought after and expensive NFTs certainly won’t be the last that go at auction for large sums of money.