In addition to new tokens, the cryptocurrency boom in 2021 gave birth to several new markets, such as digital collectibles and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Having these unique digital items sell for millions of dollars apiece has been a breakthrough year for the industry.
NFTs are essentially digital signatures that use blockchain technology to prove ownership. They are unique by design, unlike the cryptocurrency of Bitcoin, which is all the same. There is an element of scarcity in what NFTs offer for sale. NFTs can be bought for physical assets like art, but they can also purchase digital assets such as images or tweets.
Sales of NFTs grew exponentially in 2021 compared to previous years. The most successful projects behind the curtain included collections of thousands of NFTs and the avatar-generating CryptoPunks, the metaverse Decentraland, and the play-to-earn blockchain game Axie Infinity.
The total volume traded on OpenSea, the biggest market for NFTs globally, is now $13.25 billion, compared with just $24 million in all of 2020. A typical NFT sold on the platform sells for the equivalent of $933 USD. The platform has over 1.25 million traders, and the average price of an NFT sold on it all time is nearly $700.
Now that you know more about NFTs we can share the Top 5 NFT Projects of 2021!
Here are the top 5 NFT collections in 2021, from pixelated avatars to Ape-themed pets:
CryptoPunks served as an inspiration for developing NFT as an early project on the Ethereum blockchain. Each pixel-art character in the collection is distinguishable, with its own features and accessories. The collection contains human, zombie, ape, and alien ‘punks.’
As collectible art, they are valued for their rarity and the buyer’s taste. As an example, CryptoPunk #3100 depicts a blue-green alien. It was purchased for $7.58 million, only to be listed for sale once more at $149.2 million. Some items in this collection have been auctioned in London at Christie’s, and over 3000 owners are currently holding them in their collections.
Bored Ape Yacht Club
As a cartoon-themed collection, the Bored Ape Yacht Club collection comprises 10,000 unique ‘Bored Ape’ NFTs that exist on the Ethereum blockchain. The attributes of each ‘ape’ are unique, including their facial expressions, fur color, and accessories. The Bored Ape Yacht Club is one example of NFT endeavors that drew inspiration from the CryptoPunks project.
The attributes of each ‘ape’ determine its rarity and thus its value, just like with CryptoPunks.
They are often used online as avatars and as digital collectibles, putting their value squarely in ‘perceived value’ territory, which has appreciated rapidly, with recent auctions of rare apes fetching over $1 million. In October, Sotheby’s sold Bored Ape #8817 with gold fur for a whopping $3.4 million.
As part of the project, the NFT will be used as a Yacht Club card to allow each Bored Ape owner access to an online club with exclusive benefits such as a collaborative graffiti board, exclusive private concerts, and other perks in the future.
The most expensive digital artwork in history was sold by Beeple, a.k.a. Mike Winkelmann, for a whopping $69 million. This is part of the NFT explosion of 2021, which can be used to prove ownership of things like Beeple’s image, which you cannot touch.
The art he sold in December was worth $3.5 million. A secondary NFT market resold Crossroads on February 26 for $6.6 million, of which Beeple received a 10% cut. Later in March, Christie’s sold a montage of 5,000 images by Beeple for $69.3 million.
Many artists have submitted their original artworks to Art Blocks, ranging from 2D images to 3D interactives. The curation board selects the most innovative work and uploads it to a ‘curated’ collection.
So far, 41 of these NFTs have sold for million-dollar prices, with the most significant selling for $6.9 million. Currently, no other metaverse utility exists for the items from this collection, so they are sold for their art value only.
Played by players as a community, this metaverse game is currently in testing until the end of 2021. It combines 3D (voxels), blockchain, metaverse, and player-created virtual worlds.
The game allows players to purchase virtual land, develop it, share it with other players, and sell it for a profit. The vast majority of assets in the game are NFTs, whether it’s land, structures built by players, or movable assets. NFTs are likely to gain value along the way, and new players are expected to enter the metaverse, increasing trade opportunities.
Snoop Dogg recently hosted a virtual VIP concert in Sandbox after revealing that he was the face of famous Twitter influencer CozomoMedici.
Looking to get in on the NFT space but not sure where to start? I hope this article was at least a helpful starting point in learning about the Top 5 NFT Projects of 2021.
If you want to purchase non-fungible tokens, OpenSea is the best place to do so. On this NFT marketplace, you can buy all of the previously listed non-fungible tokens (except CryptoPunks, which you can buy on Larva Lab’s website).
You will need two things to use OpenSea: an Ethereum wallet and Ether tokens. To use OpenSea with Ethereum, MetaMask is your best option. You can easily connect to websites through the Chrome browser, and it’s easy to set up. Also, a cryptocurrency exchange account is required to buy Ethereum if you do not already have one.
There you have it for Top 5 NFT Projects of 2021. The Top 10 NFT Projects to Follow list will continue to be updated in 2022 as we monitor the NFT space.
If you are looking to launch a NFT project for your brand we can help!