The NFT does not represent a quirk of modern art as much as a digital revolution. Its immutability, blockchain certification and the near impossibility of counterfeit make it highly dependable. Below are the most expensive NFTs to have ever been acquired:
5. CryptoPunk #5822 — US$23.7 million
The CryptoPunks collection is coveted for its nostalgia factor — resembling the pixelated, pop punk video games of the 1980s. This particular piece shows an alien in a blue bandana — one of nine in a collection where aliens, zombies and monkeys are highly prized. Double the price of the next most expensive CryptoPunk, #5822’s sale has further enhanced the entire collection’s value.
4. Human One — US$28.985 million
Auctioned via Christie’s, Human One is famed NFT artist Beeple’s second most expensive artwork, and the first to feature both an NFT and an electronic sculpture. This unique, life-size NFT is remarkable for an ability to change colour, and the artist himself has stated he will upgrade the work regularly to keep it dynamic — a marked departure from traditional works of art.
3. Clock — US$52.74 million
The second most expensive single NFT ever sold at the time, Clock quite literally represents a clock. Created by celebrated yet anonymous artist Pak, as well as Julian Assange, it is part of their Censored collection, which also features a dynamic open edition.
2. Everydays: the First 5000 Days — US$69.3 million
Though sold at auction by Christie’s, the value of this Beeple piece is priceless — it brought the term NFT into the wider public consciousness (and also Saturday Night Live). Indeed, before Christie’s decided to take a punt, the NFT sector was up-and-coming yet still niche. This definitive piece brings together 5000 pieces of the artist’s work drawn over 5000 consecutive days.
1. The Merge — US$91.8 million
Another piece by the pathbreaking Pak, The Merge is unique not only for its historic value, but also for the fact that it isn’t owned by one person. Almost 30,000 individuals pitched in to make this the most expensive NFT ever sold, with 312,686 coins yielded per buyer — appropriately speaking to the idea of the NFT landscape being accessible to all.