Within the constantly evolving landscape of digital innovation and blockchain technology, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) have risen to redefine the perception and exchange of digital assets. Since the inception of the first NFT in 2014, these digital marvels have not only captured buyers’ interests but have also commanded astonishing prices.
This article delves into the realm of the most expensive NFTs ever sold, shedding light on the stories behind these groundbreaking sales and the staggering values attached to them.
- The Merge – $91.8 Million Crafted by anonymous artist(s) Pak and sold on Nifty Gateway, The Merge witnessed the collaboration of 28,983 collectors who pooled resources to acquire 312,686 total mass units on December 2, 2021. This staggering $91.8 million price tag crowned The Merge not only as the most expensive NFT ever sold but also the most expensive privately sold artwork by a living artist, depending on one’s interpretation of the NFT’s nature.
- Everydays: the First 5000 Days – $69.3 Million Digital artist Mike Winkleman, known as Beeple, invested 13 years to create this NFT, showcasing a collage of 5,000 images. Auctioned at Christie’s in March 2021, the artwork attracted bids from over 350 potential buyers before being acquired by an anonymous individual, later revealed to be Indian-born programmer Vignesh Sundaresan. He intended to demonstrate that individuals of color, like himself, could also be patrons of such digital creations.
- Clock – $52.7 Million Collaboratively crafted by Pak and Wikileaks’ founder Julian Assange, “Clock” aimed to raise funds for Assange’s legal defense fund. It depicted the number of days Assange had spent in prison, symbolizing a cause. Purchased for $52.7 million by AssangeDAO, a conglomerate dedicated to advocating for Assange’s freedom, it sold for 16,593 ETH.
- HUMAN ONE – $28.9 Million Another creation by Beeple, HUMAN ONE, portrayed a 3D sculpture of an astronaut navigating diverse backdrops. Auctioned as part of Christie’s 21 Century Evening Sale, it was obtained by an anonymous online buyer based in Switzerland.
- CryptoPunk #5822 – $23.7 Million Among the earliest NFTs, CryptoPunks comprised 10,000 unique collectible characters on the Ethereum blockchain. The 5,822nd CryptoPunk became the most expensive of its kind, purchased for $23.7 million by Deepak Thapliyal, CEO of blockchain technology company Chain, during a Sotheby’s auction.
The staggering prices these NFTs fetched underscore the growing influence and value within the realm of digital art and assets.