In the cryptocurrency industry, 2021 will be remembered as the year of the NFTs. Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, have racked up total sales of $12 billion so far this year. December is off to a booming start too, with sales in the first week of the month alone hitting nearly $300 million. Momentum is clearly on the side of NFTs as the new year approaches. To get a sense of which NFTs are experiencing the most demand, we've compiled a list of some of the best-selling digital collectibles of late.
NFTs: What They Are and What They're Not
Like cryptocurrencies, NFTs exist on the blockchain, a public ledger made up of blocks on which transaction data is verified and recorded. The non-fungible nature of NFTs, however, makes it so they cannot be exchanged like a banknote for another one of the same kind. Anatoly Yakovenko, co-founder of Solana, a popular blockchain for NFTs, is quoted by Markets Insider as likening NFTs to social networks only without the need for ads to monetize or big tech to exist in the first place.
Ethereum remains the most popular blockchain for NFTs. Ether, or ETH, is the native cryptocurrency to the Ethereum blockchain. It is both traded and used to pay transaction fees on Ethereum. Some of the biggest NFT sales have been paid for in ether, including the “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” NFT, which sold for $69.3 million and thrust digital collectibles into the mainstream this year. According to NonFungible.com, the NFT collections that top the Leader Board over the past week include CryptoPunks, Bored Apes and more. Let's take a look at the top six.
— FTX NFTs (@Ftx_Nfts) December 11, 2021
No. 6: Decentraland
Decentraland rounds out the top 6 with sales volume of $9.9 million across 480 transactions in the last seven days. The top sale in this set over the past week went for over $1 million and it was paid for with 300,000 MANA tokens. Decentraland is an Ethereum-based virtual world in which the metaverse becomes a reality. Users own the LAND (token divided into parcels) where they can use tools to create their own world with social games and apps.
No. 5: Art Blocks
Art Blocks takes the No. 5 spot with sales of just under $15 million across 5,723 transactions over the past seven days. Art Blocks is described as a “home for creative coding,” and it happens on the Ethereum blockchain. Art Blocks are created randomly via an artist-defined algorithm, giving users the opportunity to select their own styles and create new tokens. The priciest Art Blocks in the past week sold for more than $335,000. Here's an example of an Art Blocks NFT, which sold for just under $40,000.
— NFTevening (@NFTevening) December 12, 2021
No. 4: The Sandbox
The Sandbox project takes the No. 4 spot, with $17 million in sales across 1,209 transactions over the past seven days. The highest price paid in this period was close to $44,000, which was paid for in ETH. The next highest NFT sale in this period was for $35,466, which was paid for in the SAND token. The Sandbox is a “virtual gaming world where players can build, own and monetize their gaming experiences,” according to the project's Twitter account. It is another play on the metaverse and has partnered with the likes of Atari, Care Bears, The Smurfs and others.
No. 3: SuperRare
SuperRare comes in at No. 3, with $20.2 million in NFT volume over the past seven days across 139 transactions. The top one in the period accounted for $7 million of the total, which was paid for in ETH. SuperRare is a marketplace for NFTs where tokens are minted and sold. For some context, one of SuperRare's claims to fame is that Beavis and Butt-Head-creator, Mike Judge, will launch an NFT on this marketplace on Dec. 14, including a trio of signed sketches.
Excited to announce @MikeJudge will release his first NFT on @SuperRare Tues, Dec. 14th! Mike is the creator of Beavis & Butt-Head, King of the Hill, Office Space, Idiocracy, Silicon Valley, & Tales from the Tour Bus. The original collector will receive 3 physical signed sketches pic.twitter.com/XwdnQO2GYJ
— SuperRare 💎 (@SuperRare) December 10, 2021
No. 2: Bored Ape Yacht Club
The Bored Ape Yacht Club, which counts Jimmy Fallon among its fans, generated NFT sales volume of $41.5 million across 579 transactions in the last seven days. The top sale in the period was for $745,197, which was paid for in ETH. This project boasts a total of 10,000 bored ape NFTs on Ethereum, and the token grants holders access to a “swamp club for apes.” Here's a peek at a recently purchased Bored Ape.
Bored Ape #9440 was purchased for 99.0 ETH
— boredapebot (@boredapebot) December 11, 2021
No. 1: CryptoPunks
CryptoPunks is atop the NFT leaderboard with $46.3 million in total sales across just shy of 100 transactions in the last seven days. The top punk in the period sold for $10.2 million, or 2,500 ETH. CryptoPunks are a set of 10,000 digital characters made by Larva Labs. The proof of ownership of these NFTs is stored on the Ethereum network. According to Larva Labs, CryptoPunks were the inspiration for Ethereum's ERC-721 token standard that's used for most NFTs as well as for the “modern CryptoArt movement.”
— Mike Novogratz (@novogratz) November 5, 2021
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Featured Image Credit: The Sandbox Press Kit