NFTs, the acronym for non-fungible tokens, have exploded in popularity since making mainstream headlines in late 2020. And judging by the sales values achieved in 2021 so far, they aren’t set to slow down any time soon.

Not familiar with NFTs? Read our post, What is an NFT? And 5 Other Questions about NFTs - Answered!

According to data released by DappRadar, which tracks sales across multiple blockchains, proceeds from NFT sales hit slightly shy of the $2.5 billion mark by the end of the second quarter of 2021, comprising $1.23 billion in Q1 and $1.24 billion in Q2. This is a vast increase on the $13.73 million achieved in the first half of 2020 and even the $81.13 million sold in the second half.

NFT Sales Values for 2020 and 2021

Source: Reuters

Record-Breaking Values for NFTs 

So, where’s all this money come from, you may ask? Which NFTs are bringing in the big bucks?  

The 10 Most Expensive NFTs sold in 2021 So Far 

  1. Everydays: The First 5000 Days - a digital artwork by creator, Mike Winkelmann, also known as Beeple, sold by Christie’s in March 2021 for a record-breaking $69 million 
  2. CryptoPunk #7523, known as “Covid Alien” is one of nine digital alien punks available, is the only one that sports a face mask and topped the list of most expensive cryptopunks after being sold in June 2021 for $11.7 million in a Sotheby’s auction 
  3. CryptoPunk #3100 - one of the nine digital alien 24 x 24 pixelated avatars, sold for a whopping $7.58 million in March 2021, just a day after ...
  4. CryptoPunk #7804 - sold on Larvalabs in March 2021 for $7.57 million 
  5. Crossroads - a 10-second video artwork by Beeple, sold on the secondary market for a staggering $6.6 million in February 2021, after being bought for a hundredth of the price ($66k) the year before 
  6. Another Beeple piece called Ocean Front, which is included within the Everydays collection, was bought for $6 million in March 2021 by Justin Sun, a notable NFT collector, and interestingly the bidder who lost out on the Everydays collection in the last moments of the auction, being outbid by a mere $250K 
  7. Tim Berners-Lee sold an NFT of an image and other assets related to his original world wide web source code in June 2021 for $5.4m through an online auction hosted by Sotheby’s
  8. In March 2021, Twitter founder, Jack Dorsey, sold his first tweet to the social network as an NFT via Valuables, with the proceeds of $2.9 million being donated to the East African charity Give Directly
  9. CryptoPunk #3011, a surprisingly less rare punk, being one of 6,039 male punks available, featuring a pipe, an earring, vampire hair and a frown amongst others, sold in February 2021 for an impressive $1.76 million
  10. Another CryptoPunk, this time CryptoPunk #6965, one of 24 ‘ape’ avatars created, sold for $1.54 million in February 2021 and is currently available for sale with an asking price of $3.79 million 

While falling just outside of the top 10, a landmark NFT sale (if you’ll forgive the pun) was for a virtual piece of land called “Genesis” estate in the blockchain-based game Axie Infinity. This digital land comprising eight adjoining ether blocks was bought by the gamer only known as “Flying Falcon” for $1.5 million in February 2021. At the time, this sale topped the records as the highest valued NFT before a flurry of record-breaking NFT sale values pushed it down the list. 

The list above was curated and checked to be accurate as of 9 July 2021 based on publicly available information. Any errors or omissions are not intentional.

It’s exciting to see the appetite for NFTs growing, with significant value being placed in the market. NFTs offer people an opportunity to own something unique in the digital space. And while collectibles, art, and videos make headlines more often than others, there’s a vast range of assets we anticipate harnessing this technology in due course. A move we intend to be a part of too! 

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