Everydays: the First 5000 Days_Beeple

NFTs are transforming the art world. Not only work from Beeple, CryptoPunk, Pak or BAYC, we now have Melania Trump’s eyes in watercolour pieces, Wikipedia’s first edit, Tony Hawk’s Last Ollie video and even more. Price matters, together with Preface, take a look at the most expensive NFT art sold around the world in 2021.

Rank of the top 30 most expensive NFTs sold in 2021

What is NFT (Non-fungible Token)? A very direct description of the works themselves would be digital assets, including video clips and jpegs. Some say it is a unique digital representation of a good for our purposes. Others describe them as a bubble poised to pop.

Dated back to 2013, when NFT was first created, there was not much attention ( at least not until the creation of CryptoKitties and CryptoPunks). After the NFT art boom, it never lost its vibe as the new art trend and projects even reached record-breaking sales.

Nevertheless, here you go the top 30 most expensive NFTs sold in 2021:

1. The Merge

The Merge_Pak

The most expensive NFT sold in 2021 is “The Merge” by Pak that sold for US$91.8 million on Nifty Gateway on December 2nd. With 28,983 collectors snapping up 312,686 total units of mass, the price of the newest experimental Ethereum NFT by the digital artist was a record for an artwork sold publicly by a living artist, according to Nifty Gateway, a leading NFT marketplace. And even more importantly, the results established Pak as the most expensive living artist.

Source: Barron’s, Decrypt, Hypebeast

2. Everydays: the First 5000 Days

Everydays: the First 5000 Days_Beeple

The latest buyer of the artwork, Vignesh Sundaresan, also known as MetaKovan, spent $69.3 million on a Beeple’s NFT earlier this year. Despite the fact that the Indian cryptocurrency entrepreneur and investor said in an interview that he’d be happy if everyone downloaded a copy of “Everydays: the First 5000 Days.”, the NFT art was the first piece of purely NFT artwork to be offered by a major auction house.

Source: Bloomberg

3. HUMAN ONE

HUMAN ONE_Beeple

HUMAN ONE is a kinetic video sculpture, with four video screens (16k resolution), polished aluminium metal, mahogany wood frame, dual media servers; endless video with corresponding dynamic non-fungible token.” The artist itself described his word as “the first portrait of a human born in the metaverse.” and aimed to change it over the course of his lifetime. HUMAN ONE was auctioned at Christie’s 21st Century Evening Sale for $28,958,000.

Source: Bitcoin.com

4. CryptoPunk #7523

CryptoPunk #7523

Originally Released by Larva Labs. Sold for $11,754,000 by Sotheby’s.

Source: Sotheby’s

5. CryptoPunk #3100

CryptoPunk #3100

Originally Released by Larva Labs. Sold for 4,200 ETH, one day after another 4,200 ETH sale.

Source: ONE37PM

6. CryptoPunk #7804

CryptoPunk #7804

One of nine Aliens on offer. Originally Released by Larva Labs. Sold for 4200 ETH.

Source: ONE37PM

7. CROSSROAD

CROSSROAD_Beeple

The work that sold via Nifty Gateway and resold from the original price of $66666.60 a few months earlier in October 2020, was designed as a response to the 2020 presidential election. Depending on the election’s outcome, one of two videos—one featuring a victorious Trump, the other featuring a despondent one—would play.

Source: ARTnews, Reuters

8. A Coin for the Ferryman

A Coin for the Ferryman_XCOPY

XCOPY, who is a renowned crypto artist, sold his work on SuperRare and broke his own record. Setting back the new owner 1,330 ETH, roughly $6.03 million at the day’s prices, the unique piece, named “A Coin For the Ferryman,” is regarded as one of the earliest creations of XCOPY.

Source: Crypto Briefing

9. OCEAN FRONT

OCEAN FRONT_Beeple

The artwork aims to speak to the current earth’s climate change challenge, and it features a tree sitting on an image of trailers and shipping containers sitting atop a platform on an ocean floor. The NFT art was auctioned on the Nifty Gateway platform.

Source: Coinspeaker, artnet news, Coindesk

10. CryptoPunk #5217

CryptoPunk #5217

Originally Released by Larva Labs in 2017. 

Source: Larva Labs

11. Stay Free

Stay Free by Edward Snowden

Sold for about US$5.4 million, the NFT work by Edward Snowden is called “Stay Free”. It is an image of Snowden’s face made from pages of a US appeals court decision that ruled the mass surveillance program Snowden exposed had violated US law. It is believed that the freedom of the Press Foundation will be benefited.

Source: The Verge

12. Save Thousands of Lives

Save Thousands of Lives_Noora Health

The work is created by a public health nonprofit organisation called Noora Health, to support their work with underserved communities in South Asia. This NFT is different in that it is not tied to a digital file or work of art. Instead, the final bidder, Paul Graham, owns the knowledge that the money they spent to buy it saved lives, and proof that they were the one who paid for this project. The project was sold for 1,337 ETH in a charity auction.

Source: Paul Graham, Opensea

13. Doge (meme)

Doge (meme)

In case it is under your radar, this smirking Shiba Inu has become popular on internet forums like Reddit and Tumblr since early 2010, but reached new highs as the face of cryptocurrency Dogecoin. The money goes to Japanese kindergarten teacher Atsuko Sato, the owner of the actual Shiba Inu pictured in the meme. Her sale of the “doge” meme took place on digital auction website Zora, where it sold for 1,696.69 ETH in just three days. And it is still the most expensive meme to sell as a NFT.

Source: New York Post

14. CryptoPunk #2338

CryptoPunk #2338

Published in 2017 by Larva Labs, as one of 88 Zombie Cryptopunks, #2338 has somehow turned out to be an iconic CryptoPunk among all the dominant ones. 

Source: Twitter

15. REPLICATOR

REPLICATOR_Mad Dog Jones

REPLICATOR, Phillips’ first NFT sold for US$4.1 millon. According to what Mad Dog Jones (Michah Dowbak) told the auction house, “REPLICATOR is the story of a machine through time. It is a reflection on forms of past groundbreaking innovation and serves as a metaphor for modern technology’s continuum. I’m interested to see how collectors will respond as the work evolves and the NFTs in their possession continue to create new generations.”

Source: Arte Aldia

16. Once Upon a Time in Shaolin

Wu-Tang Clan’s Once Upon a Time in Shaolin

PleasrDAO, a cryptocurrency collective led by Jamis Johnson, has purchased the lone copy of Wu-Tang Clan’s album as an NFT for the equivalent of US$ 4million in USDC —— cryptocurrency. The American hip hop group’s album, as an NFT, was previously owned by former hedge fund manager and convicted felon Martin Shkreli. It is by far the most expensive music NFT ever sold.

Source: The New York Times, NME

17. Some Asshole

Some Asshole_XCOPY

Another artwork from XCOPY, which also is the first character released by the artist, “Some Asshole” depicts a blurry face with a flashing black and red background. FYI, NFT enthusiasts, it was purchased by Snoop Dogg for 1,300 ETH on SuperRare. 

Source: SuperRare, DappRadar

18. EtherRock #55

EtherRock #55

Basic information: EtherRock also called EthRock is an early Ethereum based non-fungible token project from 2017 that depicts various coloured rocks. The highest sale among the series is EtherRock #55, which received a bid for Ξ 900 Ether (US$3,590,712). The auction ended in only 2 days and 20 hours via fractional.art.

Source: Wikipedia, Twitter

19. PEPENOPOULOS, 2016

Most expensive NFTs sold in 2021_PEPENOPOULOS, 2016

This unique Rare Pepe, is the internet’s most famous and recognisable meme – Pepe the Frog.  The character first appeared in 2005 in the on-line cartoon Boy’s Club. In that appearance, the character also first used its catchphrase, “feels good, man.” This particular cartoon frog, dubbed ‘PEPENOPOULOS, 2016’, was sold by Sotheby’s during the first auction on their “Metaverse”, a platform dedicated to NFT collectors.

Source: Yahoo Finance, ADL

20. BAYC #8817

BAYC #8817

BAYC, The Bored Ape Yacht Club, is a collection of 10,000 unique Bored Ape NFTs— unique digital collectibles living on the Ethereum blockchain. Brandon Buchanan, a.k.a. rhincodon, founder and managing partner of Meta4 Capital, spent US$3.4 Million USD for this Bored Ape NFT. Sotheby’s explained that “less than 1% of all Bored Apes have the gold fur trait, making it an NFT with historical significance.” #8817 is the most expensive ape sold so far.

Source: Opensea, Hypebeast

21. Fidenza #313

Fidenza #313_Tyler Hobbs

The “Fidenza” line was launched by an artist called Tyler Hobbs in June and has already become one of the most popular collections on Art Blocks. The Fidenza line up has 999 pieces, all of which are different from each other upon minting. “Fidenza #313” was sold for 1,000 ETH (Ethereum) which is roughly US$3.3 million in August. Shortly after being minted as an NFT the artwork was sold for 0.58 ETH (approximately US$1,400) two months ago.

Source: Opensea, India Times

22. All Time High in the City

All Time High in the City_XCOPY

The artwork was created in 2018 and sold by XCOPY for 0.5 ETH. One year later it sold for 10 ETH, only to now change hands for 1.000 ETH (around US$2.92 million) on SuperRare

Source: DappRadar

23. The first Tweet by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey

The first Tweet by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey

After spending just over two weeks on the market, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey had sold his first tweet (which was posted on March 21, 2006 at 4:50p.m.) as an NFT for the weirdly specific figure of $2,915,835.47. Sina Estavi, the winning bidder, eventually held the highest bid and the “work” was sold for 1,630.5 ETH on Valuables. Dorsey donated his proceeds to the charity GiveDirectly.

Source: The Verge

24. EtherRock #27

EtherRock #27

EtherRock is one of the very first NFT projects from 2017. 100 Etherrocks exist in total. Rock #27 was sold for 888 ETH. 

Source: Wikipedia, Etherscan

25. EtherRock #73

EtherRock #73

Rock #73 was sold for 790 ETH.

Source: Etherscan

26. BAYC #8585

BAYC #8585

If you want to pick an ape to Tomorrowland, Bored Ape #8585 is probably the best you could have in the collection. The trippy ape, with a king’s crown, heart sunglasses, and a psychedelic body. The work was sold for US$2.7 million on the OpenSea market.

Source: Business Insider India

27. Self Portrait #1, 2020

Self Portrait #1, 2020_Dmitri Cherniak

Dmitri Cherniak, a Canadian artist, made a splash with the launch of his “Ringers” project on ArtBlocks, a program that hosts generative content on the Ethereum blockchain. “Ringers” are a computer-generated algorithmic series, created from Javascript code, and each work has its own unique transaction hash. Minimal in their aesthetics, “Ringers” are valued for qualities such as peg count, sizing, layout, background, wrap orientation, wrap style, scaling, body color, peg style, and extra color. However, according to Sotheby’s “Metaverse” platform’s description, “This generative self portrait is the most important work in Cherniak’s career.”

Source: SuperRare, Artnet News

28. A slight lack of symmetry can cause so much pain

A slight lack of symmetry can cause so much pain_Dmitri Cherniak

Another popular work by Dmitri Cherniak. It is a four-part collection, which are all titled “A slight lack of symmetry can cause so much pain,” and include various conveyors and cogs all colored to aesthetic perfection. This particular 800-ETH-sold work is 1 of 4 algorithmic editions. The system to generate the piece was coded in Javascript and rendered as SVG in the browser. Created 3/4/2020.

Source: PVP Live, Gotham

29. TIME The Future of Business (Beeple Edition)

TIME The Future of Business (Beeple Edition)

Beeple created a special cover for TIME Magazines May 10th/17th 2021 issue. The cover image depicts Beeple’s actual computer interface mid design, complete with a wireframe render of a figure interacting on the left and a more complete version on right. As usual from Beeple, the artworkwork includes elements of dystopian and post-apocalyptic worlds featuring up-to-date events and political leaders. The piece was eventually sold for 675 ETH, approximately equivalent to US$ 2.4million, on SuperRare.

Source: TIME magazine, Hypebeast, SuperRare

30. Machine Hallucinations – Space:Metaverse

Machine Hallucinations – Space:Metaverse_Refik Anadol

The work is a collection by digital media artist Refik Anadol. It includes richly diverse artworks inspired by his studio’s collaboration with NASA JPL which began in early 2018, and his long-term research into the photographic history of space exploration. The entire collection was created by using over two million raw images captured and recorded by the International Space Station, the Hubble and MRO telescopes, providing a vast dataset to train a generative adversarial network. It was sold for 18,325,000 HKD at auction by Sotheby’s Hong Kong

Source: Sotheby’s

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