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The 14 Most Expensive NFTs Ever Sold

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Enormous </span><a href="https://wizardia.io/blog/what-is-an-nft-and-how-does-it-work"><span style="font-weight: 400;">NFT sales</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> have been shaking the digital art scene for the last two years. Crypto collectors are now willing to pay millions of dollars for a chance to own a 24x24 pixel art avatar or a glitching GIF. You could say that we live in times of a </span><a href="https://wizardia.io/blog/how-you-can-earn-with-wizard-nfts"><span style="font-weight: 400;">virtual gold rush</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">! And it looks like the situation won't change anytime soon.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">To help you make sense of what's happening, we've compiled a list of the 14 most expensive NFTs sold to date with all the most essential information. Our list is sorted by dollar price at the time of sale. Interestingly, the famous Bored Ape Yacht Club is not on the list. Let's see what is!</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2 id="14-all-time-high-in-the-city-619-million">#14. “All Time High in the City” &ndash; $6.19 million</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">XCopy's “All Time High in the City” was sold for 1,630 ETH (about $6.2 million at the time of purchase) in January 2022. It was created by NFT artist XCOPY-a renowned name in the NFT art scene.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><picture><source srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/1-xcopy-all-time-high-in-the-city-nft-sales-price.webp 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/1-xcopy-all-time-high-in-the-city-nft-sales-price.webp " type="image/webp"></source><source srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/1-xcopy-all-time-high-in-the-city-nft-sales-price.jpg 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/1-xcopy-all-time-high-in-the-city-nft-sales-price.jpg " type="image/jpg"></source><img srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/1-xcopy-all-time-high-in-the-city-nft-sales-price.jpg 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/1-xcopy-all-time-high-in-the-city-nft-sales-price.jpg " alt="An image of XCOPY's NFT &quot;All Time High in the City&quot; showing a ferryman taking a newly dead man across the river Styx. Created in red, black, and white." loading="lazy" width="600" height="376"></picture></p> <p class="image_source_wrapper" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image source: </span><a href="https://xcopy.art/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">XCOPY</span></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Minted in 2018, the GIF shows the underworld ferryman taking a man across the river Styx.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">XCOPY is a London-based digital artist who created SuperRare and has been an early crypto adopter. He uses motion, glitching, or flickering effects to explore “</span><a href="https://cryptoart.io/artist/xcopy"><span style="font-weight: 400;">death, dystopia and apathy through distorted visual loops</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.” His animated NFTs are highly sought after by serious collectors.&nbsp;</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2 id="13-crossroad-66-million">#13. “Crossroad” &ndash; $6.6 million</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Created by graphic designer and motion artist Mike Winkelman, better known as Beeple, “Crossroad” sold for 4,400 ETH (about $6.6 million at the time of purchase).&nbsp;</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><picture><source srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/2-beeple-crossroad-nft-sales-price.webp 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/2-beeple-crossroad-nft-sales-price.webp " type="image/webp"></source><source srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/2-beeple-crossroad-nft-sales-price.jpg 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/2-beeple-crossroad-nft-sales-price.jpg " type="image/jpg"></source><img srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/2-beeple-crossroad-nft-sales-price.jpg 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/2-beeple-crossroad-nft-sales-price.jpg " alt="An image of Beeple's &quot;Crossroad&quot; showing an oversized, naked Donald Trump lying on the grass with trash around him and slogans all over his body as people walk by ignoring him." loading="lazy" width="780" height="438"></picture></p> <p class="image_source_wrapper" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image source: </span><a href="https://twitter.com/niftygateway/status/1364745727889530883"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Nifty Gateway</span></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Beeple is a renowned name in the NFT industry (as we will see later on in this list). “Crossroad” is one of his earlier NFT artworks that made him millions of dollars.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The artist created it just before the 2020 US election, and the piece was supposed to change depending on the election's results. Beeple created two versions: one with a triumphant Donald Trump and the other&hellip; well, you've just seen it. Naked, seemingly dead, and ignored, Trump lies next to the pavement. This image was permanently locked as the final version.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Beeple himself has also become a sensation thanks to his input in the digital art scene. He amassed over 1.8 million followers on Instagram and is one of the three most expensive artists alive, alongside David Hockney and Jeff Koons.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2 id="12-cryptopunk-8857-664-million">#12. CryptoPunk #8857 &ndash; $6.64 million</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you've already read a thing or two about NFTs, you've probably seen an image like this one:</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><picture><source srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/3-larva-labs-cryptopunk-8857-nft-sales-price.webp 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/3-larva-labs-cryptopunk-8857-nft-sales-price.webp " type="image/webp"></source><source srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/3-larva-labs-cryptopunk-8857-nft-sales-price.jpg 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/3-larva-labs-cryptopunk-8857-nft-sales-price.jpg " type="image/jpg"></source><img srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/3-larva-labs-cryptopunk-8857-nft-sales-price.jpg 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/3-larva-labs-cryptopunk-8857-nft-sales-price.jpg " alt="An image of CryptoPunk #8857, a zombie NFT with green skin, black hair, and 3D glasses." loading="lazy" width="1600" height="889"></picture></span></p> <p class="image_source_wrapper" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image source: </span><a href="https://larvalabs.com/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Larva Labs</span></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It's CryptoPunk #8857, which comes from the famous CryptoPunks collection created by Larva Labs. This highly pixelated NFT was sold for 2,000 ETH in May 2018 ($6.64 million at the time of purchase).</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This won't be the only punk among the biggest NFT sales, so it's a good idea to learn more about this collection to understand what's hot in the NFT industry.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>About CryptoPunks</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">CryptoPunks are uniquely generated 24x24 pixel art images. There are precisely 10,000 CryptoPunks in the famous NFT collection. Even though CryptoPunks share some traits, there are no two alike NFTs.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One CryptoPunk can be owned by one person on the Ethereum blockchain. All 10,000 CryptoPunks were quickly claimed after their launch in 2017. Now, if you want to have one, you must buy it from someone via the NFT marketplace that's also </span><a href="https://wizardia.io/blog/what-is-blockchain"><span style="font-weight: 400;">embedded in the blockchain</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Attributes of CryptoPunks</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Most of the Punks are humans, but you can also find some rarer types. For instance, there are 88 Zombie Punks, 24 Ape Punks, and 9 Alien Punks. A punk's value depends on how rare its attributes are: the rarer the attributes, the more valuable (and expensive) the NFT.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Each CryptoPunk has its profile page, where you can see the attributes that determine its value. For example, CryptoPunk #8857, which we saw above, has these traits listed on its </span><a href="https://cryptopunks.app/cryptopunks/details/8857"><span style="font-weight: 400;">profile page</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">:</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wild hair: 447 punks have this</span></p> </li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">3D Glasses: 286 punks have this</span></p> </li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Larva Labs created one of the most important NFT collections in history</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When Larva Labs created the CryptoPunks collection in 2017, they were claimed quickly (for free) but weren't a big thing yet. However, with the rise of NFTs in the last few years, CryptoPunks has become one of the most important NFT projects.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Today, owning a CryptoPunk is a thing of status-crypto enthusiasts pay millions of dollars to have a 24x24 pixelated human smoking a pipe.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">CryptoPunks are highly valuable assets written in Internet history. They also inspired the ERC-721 standard, an interface that now powers most Ethereum-based non-fungible tokens</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2 id="11-ringers-109-693-million">#11. “Ringers #109” &ndash; $6.93 million</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"Ringers #109" was purchased for 2,100 ETH (around $6.93 million at the time of sale). Created by Dmitri Cherniak, a NYC based creator, this NFT is one of the most valuable projects from Art Blocks, the prestigious Ethereum generative art project.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><picture><source srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/4-dmitri-cherniak-ringers-nft-sales-price.webp 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/4-dmitri-cherniak-ringers-nft-sales-price.webp " type="image/webp"></source><source srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/4-dmitri-cherniak-ringers-nft-sales-price.jpg 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/4-dmitri-cherniak-ringers-nft-sales-price.jpg " type="image/jpg"></source><img srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/4-dmitri-cherniak-ringers-nft-sales-price.jpg 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/4-dmitri-cherniak-ringers-nft-sales-price.jpg " alt="An image of Dmitri Cherniak's &quot;Ringers #109&quot; NFT, showing one combination of an endless amount of ways to run string around round pegs." loading="lazy" width="503" height="502"></picture></p> <p class="text-center" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image Source: </span><a href="https://www.artblocks.io/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Art Blocks</span></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>A part of the famous Art Blocks collection</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Art Blocks is another popular NFT project among big names like CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club. However, unlike the latter two, which are focused on avatar collections, Art Blocks are abstract paintings generated via an algorithm, ranging from flat images to interactive 3D compositions.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The Ringers” collection consists of 1,000 items with a total trade volume of 25.8K ETH ($44,198496,00 at the time of writing). It's one of the most popular collections to emerge from Art Blocks.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2 id="10-right-click-and-save-as-guy-709-million">#10. “Right-click and Save As guy” &ndash; $7.09 million</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">XCOPY's "Right-click and Save As guy" was sold for 1,600 ETH ($7.09 million at the time of purchase) in December 2021.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><picture><source srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/5-xcopy-right-click-and-save-as-guy-nft-sales-price.webp 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/5-xcopy-right-click-and-save-as-guy-nft-sales-price.webp " type="image/webp"></source><source srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/5-xcopy-right-click-and-save-as-guy-nft-sales-price.jpg 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/5-xcopy-right-click-and-save-as-guy-nft-sales-price.jpg " type="image/jpg"></source><img srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/5-xcopy-right-click-and-save-as-guy-nft-sales-price.jpg 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/5-xcopy-right-click-and-save-as-guy-nft-sales-price.jpg " alt="An image of XCOPY's &quot;Right-Click and Save As guy&quot; NFT, showing a person in glasses. The person and background are a mix of shades of purple, black, and green, and the glasses are pink." loading="lazy" width="1000" height="1000"></picture></span></p> <p class="image_source_wrapper" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image source: </span><a href="https://superrare.com/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">SupeRare</span></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">XCOPY created this GIF in 2018, before the NFT boom. The piece openly mocks those skeptical about NFTs: “Why would I buy it when I can right click and save as?” reads its description on Superare, the digital art market on Ethereum. Ironically, it sold for millions of dollars, proving its message.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Shortly after Beeple's historic Everydays' auction, XCOPY's "Right-click and Save As guy" person appeared on </span><a href="https://twitter.com/XCOPYART/status/1370689173766692868?s=20"><span style="font-weight: 400;">BBC World News</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, which helped to change the public's opinion of NFTs.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2 id="9-cryptopunk-3100-751-million">#9. CryptoPunk #3100 &ndash; $7.51 million</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As I've said, we will have more punks on our list. The following five most expensive NFTs come from the CryptoPunks collection. Let's start with the one below!</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><picture><source srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/6-larva-labs-cryptopunk-3100-nft-sales-price.webp 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/6-larva-labs-cryptopunk-3100-nft-sales-price.webp " type="image/webp"></source><source srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/6-larva-labs-cryptopunk-3100-nft-sales-price.jpg 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/6-larva-labs-cryptopunk-3100-nft-sales-price.jpg " type="image/jpg"></source><img srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/6-larva-labs-cryptopunk-3100-nft-sales-price.jpg 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/6-larva-labs-cryptopunk-3100-nft-sales-price.jpg " alt="An image of CryptoPunk #3100, an alien punk NFT with a blue face and white and blue sweatband." loading="lazy" width="1600" height="887"></picture></p> <p class="image_source_wrapper" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image source: </span><a href="https://larvalabs.com/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Larva Labs</span></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This is CryptoPunk #3100, which was sold for 4,200 ETH (over $7.5 million at the time of purchase). The CryptoPunk #3100 has only one attribute-a headband-and belongs to the Alien Punks, making it super rare and super expensive.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Only 3% of punks have one attribute, and only 4% have a headband.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2 id="8-cryptopunk-7804-756-million">#8. CryptoPunk #7804 &ndash; $7.56 million</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Aliens are some of the rarest on the Larva Lab's collection-no wonder we have a second blue-faced character on our list. It's CryptoPunk #7804, and it was sold in March 2021 for 4,200 ETH ($7.56 million at the time).</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><picture><source srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/7-larva-labs-cryptopunk-7804-nft-sales-price.webp 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/7-larva-labs-cryptopunk-7804-nft-sales-price.webp " type="image/webp"></source><source srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/7-larva-labs-cryptopunk-7804-nft-sales-price.jpg 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/7-larva-labs-cryptopunk-7804-nft-sales-price.jpg " type="image/jpg"></source><img srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/7-larva-labs-cryptopunk-7804-nft-sales-price.jpg 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/7-larva-labs-cryptopunk-7804-nft-sales-price.jpg " alt="An image of CryptoPunk #7804, an alien NFT with a blue face, a black forward cap, black sunglasses, and a brown pipe." loading="lazy" width="1600" height="889"></picture></p> <p class="image_source_wrapper" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image source: </span><a href="https://larvalabs.com/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Larva Labs</span></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">CryptoPunk #7804 has three attributes, one of 4501 Punks with that many.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Other attributes include:</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cap Forward: 254 punks have this.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Pipe: 317 punks have this.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Small shades: 378 punks have this.</span></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you want to show off a pipe-smoking Alien on your Twitter account, it's currently for sale for 13.34K ETH ($21.66 M).</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2 id="7-cryptopunk-4156-1035-million">#7. CryptoPunk #4156 &ndash; $10.35 million</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Moving on, here's an example of a punk from the Ape collection-a CryptoPunk #4156. It was sold in December 2021 for 2,500 ETH ($10.35 million at the time).</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><picture><source srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/8-larva-labs-cryptopunk-4156-nft-sales-price.webp 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/8-larva-labs-cryptopunk-4156-nft-sales-price.webp " type="image/webp"></source><source srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/8-larva-labs-cryptopunk-4156-nft-sales-price.jpg 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/8-larva-labs-cryptopunk-4156-nft-sales-price.jpg " type="image/jpg"></source><img srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/8-larva-labs-cryptopunk-4156-nft-sales-price.jpg 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/8-larva-labs-cryptopunk-4156-nft-sales-price.jpg " alt="An image of CryptoPunk #4156, an ape NFT with a brown face and fur and a blue bandana." loading="lazy" width="1600" height="889"></picture></span></p> <p class="image_source_wrapper" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image source: </span><a href="https://larvalabs.com/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Larva Labs</span></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This is one of the 24 Ape punks. CryptoPunk #4156 has only one attribute, one of 333 punks with that many, making it especially rare.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Attributes:</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Bandana: 481 punks have this.</span></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This CryptoPunk is currently not for sale.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2 id="6-cryptopunk-7523-118-million">#6. CryptoPunk #7523 &ndash; $11.8 million</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Here's one more Alien punk with a twist-CryptoPunk #7523. Dubbed “Covid Alien,” it was sold for $11.8 million in June 2021.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><picture><source srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/9-larva-labs-cryptopunk-7523-nft-sales-price.webp 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/9-larva-labs-cryptopunk-7523-nft-sales-price.webp " type="image/webp"></source><source srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/9-larva-labs-cryptopunk-7523-nft-sales-price.jpg 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/9-larva-labs-cryptopunk-7523-nft-sales-price.jpg " type="image/jpg"></source><img srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/9-larva-labs-cryptopunk-7523-nft-sales-price.jpg 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/9-larva-labs-cryptopunk-7523-nft-sales-price.jpg " alt='An image of CryptoPunk #7523, an alien NFT with a blue face, an orange knitted cap, a gold earring, and a grey medical mask. Also called "Covid Alien".' loading="lazy" width="1600" height="889"></picture></span></p> <p class="image_source_wrapper" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image source: </span><a href="https://larvalabs.com/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Larva Labs</span></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Covid Alien” is the only one of nine Alien punks who wears a mask. It has three attributes like 4501 other punks.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Attributes:</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Earring: 2459 punks have this.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Knitted Cap: 419 punks have this.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Medical Mask: 175 punks have this.</span></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">CryptoPunk #7523 is currently not listed for sale by its owner.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2 id="5-cryptopunk-5822-2358-million">#5. CryptoPunk #5822 &ndash; $23.58 million</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">#5822 is the most expensive CryptoPunk sold so far (and the last one on this list, really). It was bought by the CEO of Chain, Deepak Thapliyal, for 8,000 ETH ($23.58 million at the time) in February 2022.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><picture><source srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/10-larva-labs-cryptopunk-5822-nft-sales-price.webp 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/10-larva-labs-cryptopunk-5822-nft-sales-price.webp " type="image/webp"></source><source srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/10-larva-labs-cryptopunk-5822-nft-sales-price.jpg 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/10-larva-labs-cryptopunk-5822-nft-sales-price.jpg " type="image/jpg"></source><img srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/10-larva-labs-cryptopunk-5822-nft-sales-price.jpg 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/10-larva-labs-cryptopunk-5822-nft-sales-price.jpg " alt="An image of CryptoPunk #5822, an alien NFT with blue skin and a dark blue bandana." loading="lazy" width="1600" height="889"></picture></span></p> <p class="image_source_wrapper" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image source: </span><a href="https://larvalabs.com/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Larva Labs</span></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This punk boasts such an expensive price tag because a) it belongs to the super rare Alien collection, and b) it has only one attribute-a bandana.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There are only 333 punks that have one attribute and 481 punks with a bandana.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">CryptoPunk #5822 was listed for sale in March 2022 with the highest offer of 10,000 ETH, which was later withdrawn. The punk remains with the original buyer at the time of writing and is currently not listed for sale.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2 id="4-human-one-289-million">#4. “Human One” &ndash; $28.9 million</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Human One” is another NFT created by Beeple. In November 2021, it sold for $28.9 million at Christie's, a world-leading auction house founded in 1766. Human One stands out from other NFTs in this list as it includes a physical object-a video sculpture.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe style="width: 789px; height: 442px;" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/fIx4D3WSeHY" width="903" height="506" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The physical sculpture accompanying Beeple's Human One consists of four video screens and built-in computers that display a video in a constant loop that changes over time. The video shows a person walking through multiple different backgrounds.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"We had a bunch of TVs on rollers in our studio and were rolling them around in different shapes and patterns," Beeple told Christie's when talking about the inspiration for this powerful NFT artwork.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Beeple will update “Human One” throughout his life</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Even though Beeple does not own the NFT, he retains the rights and access to update it throughout his life. “Over the course of his lifetime, Beeple intends to seamlessly add to and evolve the pool of imagery in &lsquo;HUMAN ONE' in response to current events - creating an eternally contemporary work of art,” </span><a href="https://twitter.com/ChristiesInc/status/1458246851593912326"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Christie's wrote on Twitter</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2 id="3-clock-527-million">#3. “Clock” &ndash; $52.7 million</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Created by an anonymous artist Pak (more on them later) and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, “Clock”</span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> </span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">was sold for $52.7 million in February 2022. The piece is a part of a collection by Pak and Assange called “</span><a href="https://censored.art/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Censored</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.”</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><picture><source srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/11-pak-julian-assange-nft-clock-sales-price.webp 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/11-pak-julian-assange-nft-clock-sales-price.webp " type="image/webp"></source><source srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/11-pak-julian-assange-nft-clock-sales-price.jpg 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/11-pak-julian-assange-nft-clock-sales-price.jpg " type="image/jpg"></source><img srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/11-pak-julian-assange-nft-clock-sales-price.jpg 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/11-pak-julian-assange-nft-clock-sales-price.jpg " alt='A static image of the Julian Assange "Clock" NFT with the words "One Thousand Thirty Five" on a black background.' loading="lazy" width="780" height="438"></picture></span></p> <p class="text-center" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image Source: </span><a href="https://censored.art/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Censored</span></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Clock” was created to collect funds for Julian Assange's defense, who was imprisoned in May 2019 because of his work with WikiLeaks. He is currently behind bars for suspicion of espionage against the US Government. The NFT is a clock that shows the number of days the WikiLeaks founder has been detained.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Over 10,000 Assange's supporters raised the money</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Over 10,000 people from AssangeDAO, a </span><a href="https://wizardia.io/blog/what-is-dao"><span style="font-weight: 400;">decentralized autonomous organization</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, collectively bought the unconventional NFT. Each supporter now owns a share of this non-fungible token.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2 id="2-everydays-the-first-5000-days-693-million">#2. “Everydays: the First 5000 Days” &ndash; $69.3 million</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In 2007, Beeple set out to draw a picture from start to finish every single day. The creator kept his promise for 5,000 days straight and posted his artwork daily from May 1st, 2007, until January 7th, 2021!</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Today, these 5000 pictures form “EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS”, the most expensive single NFT ever sold.&nbsp;</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><picture><source srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/12-beeple-everydays-first-5000-days-nft-sales-price.webp 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/12-beeple-everydays-first-5000-days-nft-sales-price.webp " type="image/webp"></source><source srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/12-beeple-everydays-first-5000-days-nft-sales-price.jpg 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/12-beeple-everydays-first-5000-days-nft-sales-price.jpg " type="image/jpg"></source><img srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/12-beeple-everydays-first-5000-days-nft-sales-price.jpg 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/12-beeple-everydays-first-5000-days-nft-sales-price.jpg " alt="An image of Beeple's &quot;Everyday: the First 5000 Days&quot; NFT showing a collage of 5,000 individual photos that become a single image." loading="lazy" width="789" height="789"></picture></p> <p class="image_source_wrapper" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image source: </span><a href="https://onlineonly.christies.com/s/beeple-first-5000-days/beeple-b-1981-1/112924"><span style="font-weight: 400;">christies.com</span></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The NFT artwork made headlines in 2021 when it was auctioned at Christie's for an enormous price tag. The piece was bought for over $69.3 million by crypto billionaire MetaKovan.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">MetaKovan didn't reveal his identity at first. However, later on, he went public. “The point was to show Indians and people of color that they, too, could be patrons, that crypto was an equalizing power between the West and the Rest, and that the global south was rising,” MetaKovan told </span><a href="https://decrypt.co/62019/anonymous-buyer-of-69-million-beeple-nft-has-been-unmasked"><span style="font-weight: 400;">decrypt</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>What's revealed by zoomed-in individual pieces</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In “Everydays: the First 5000 Days”, Beeple created an aesthetic collage by putting together 5,000 pictures in loose chronological order. If you zoom in on the digital artwork, you can see anything from basic drawings and deeply personal moments to abstract and absurd images, and 3D takes on current events.&nbsp;</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Here are some zoomed-in pieces of the artwork:</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><picture><source srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/13-beeple-everydays-nft-mike-pence-flies.webp 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/13-beeple-everydays-nft-mike-pence-flies.webp " type="image/webp"></source><source srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/13-beeple-everydays-nft-mike-pence-flies.jpg 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/13-beeple-everydays-nft-mike-pence-flies.jpg " type="image/jpg"></source><img srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/13-beeple-everydays-nft-mike-pence-flies.jpg 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/13-beeple-everydays-nft-mike-pence-flies.jpg " alt="A closeup of one of the images in Beeple's &quot;Everyday: the First 5,000 Days&quot; NFT. The image is of Mike Pence with a giant fly on his head atop the White House, which is on fire." loading="lazy" width="631" height="789"></picture></span></p> <p class="image_source_wrapper" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image source: </span><a href="https://onlineonly.christies.com/s/beeple-first-5000-days/beeple-b-1981-1/112924"><span style="font-weight: 400;">christies.com</span></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><picture><source srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/14-beeple-everydays-nft-ocean-spray-cranberry.webp 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/14-beeple-everydays-nft-ocean-spray-cranberry.webp " type="image/webp"></source><source srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/14-beeple-everydays-nft-ocean-spray-cranberry.jpg 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/14-beeple-everydays-nft-ocean-spray-cranberry.jpg " type="image/jpg"></source><img srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/14-beeple-everydays-nft-ocean-spray-cranberry.jpg 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/14-beeple-everydays-nft-ocean-spray-cranberry.jpg " alt="A closeup of one of the images in Beeple's &quot;Everyday: the First 5,000 Days&quot; showing giant Ocean Spray Cranberry bottles. People are skateboarding in the foreground with bottles of Ocean Spray in their hands." loading="lazy" width="632" height="789"></picture></span></p> <p class="image_source_wrapper" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image source: </span><a href="https://onlineonly.christies.com/s/beeple-first-5000-days/beeple-b-1981-1/112924"><span style="font-weight: 400;">christies.com</span></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After the record sale of “Everydays: the First 5000 Days,” the NFT market was no longer a niche interest among crypto enthusiasts-it seemed that everyone was buzzing about it! It was a defining moment in art history where the value of NFTs became evident.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2 id="1-the-merge-918-million">#1. The Merge &ndash; $91.8 million</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Finally, we've come to the biggest NFT sale on the list-Pak's </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Merge</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">-three white masses against a black background. This NFT was sold for a whopping $91.8 million on Nifty Gateway, a leading NFT marketplace, in December 2021. The platform called the event the “largest ever art sale by a living creator.”</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><picture><source srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/15-pak-the-merge-nft-sales-price.webp 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/15-pak-the-merge-nft-sales-price.webp " type="image/webp"></source><source srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/15-pak-the-merge-nft-sales-price.jpg 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/15-pak-the-merge-nft-sales-price.jpg " type="image/jpg"></source><img srcset="https://wizardia.io/images/blog/thumb/15-pak-the-merge-nft-sales-price.jpg 576w, https://wizardia.io/images/blog/inner/15-pak-the-merge-nft-sales-price.jpg " alt="Alt text: An image of Pak's &quot;The Merge&quot; NFT showing three white to black gradient spheres on a black background." loading="lazy" width="700" height="467"></picture></span></p> <p class="image_source_wrapper" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image source: </span><a href="https://www.barrons.com/articles/paks-nft-artwork-the-merge-sells-for-91-8-million-01638918205"><span style="font-weight: 400;">barrons.com</span></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The identity of the creator remains anonymous</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This is the same Pak who worked with Julian Assange's </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Clock</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, the #4 on this list. Pak is a digital artist and a cryptocurrency investor. Or they could be a group of artists-no one knows as Pak remains anonymous and uses the pronouns they/them.&nbsp;</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Nevertheless, Pak is an early adopter of the NFT technology whose non-fungible tokens have been sold on prominent platforms, including Sotheby's, Nifty Gateway, SuperRare, and more. Pak is also known for creating Archillect, an AI built to discover and share stimulating visual media.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The debate surrounding the most expensive NFT ever sold</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Some people aren't sure whether </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Merge </span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">should be on this list because it's not technically a single NFT. </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Merge</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> went on auction as a collection of 312,686 units of mass. So, technically, it's a collection of 312,686 NFTs that form a single artwork combined.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Plus, this collection of tokens wasn't bought by a single person but by 28,983 collectors. They could buy any amount of non-fungible tokens they wanted, with the price for one token starting at $575 and gradually increasing by $25 every six hours.&nbsp;</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">What's interesting about this NFT artwork is that each token was created to combine with other pieces in an owner's crypto wallet. The more NFTs one accumulated, the larger their final mass would become. Each NFT merges with the token in one's wallet, forming a single token with a unique mass value.&nbsp;</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Right now, the collective piece consists of three white masses, but who knows, The Merge could end up being one final mass over time.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2 id="wrapping-up">Wrapping Up</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Our list of most expensive NFTs ever sold was dominated by three leading creators: Larva Labs, Beeple, and Pak. These names are some of the most sought-after in the NFT industry, so if you want to keep up with what's hot in the crypto art scene, we recommend following them closely on social media.&nbsp;</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">And, if you want to invest in non-fungible tokens but don't have millions to spend, check out Wizardia's </span><a href="https://wizardia.io/nft-sale"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Arena Genesis NFTs</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. NFTs are at the very core of Wizardia's realm, making generating revenue for players and investors easy. You could earn potentially endless royalties from all battles that will take place once the game's battle arena is out.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2 id="faqs">FAQs</h2> <p><strong>What is the most expensive NFT sold to date?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The most expensive NFT ever sold to date is “The Merge.” Created by Pak, an anonymous digital artist and crypto investor (or a group of artists), “The Merge” was sold for a record $91.8 million in December 2021 on Nifty Gateway.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Who owns the most expensive NFT?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"The Merge” by Pak is the most expensive NFT, and 28,983 collectors own it. The piece was auctioned as a collection of 312,686 units of mass, and people could buy as many masses as they wanted. These units now form a single artwork when combined. The most expensive NFT owned by a single NFT collector is Beeple's “Everydays: the First 5000 Days,” sold for $69.3 million to crypto billionaire MetaKovan.</span></p>

13 min read
Aug 02, 2022
Julija Paškevičienė
Read this article

Enormous NFT sales have been shaking the digital art scene for the last two years. Crypto collectors are now willing to pay millions of dollars for a chance to own a 24x24 pixel art avatar or a glitching GIF. You could say that we live in times of a virtual gold rush! And it looks like the situation won’t change anytime soon.

 

To help you make sense of what’s happening, we’ve compiled a list of the 14 most expensive NFTs sold to date with all the most essential information. Our list is sorted by dollar price at the time of sale. Interestingly, the famous Bored Ape Yacht Club is not on the list. Let’s see what is!

 

#14. “All Time High in the City” – $6.19 million

XCopy’s “All Time High in the City” was sold for 1,630 ETH (about $6.2 million at the time of purchase) in January 2022. It was created by NFT artist XCOPY—a renowned name in the NFT art scene.

 

An image of XCOPY's NFT "All Time High in the City" showing a ferryman taking a newly dead man across the river Styx. Created in red, black, and white.

Image source: XCOPY

 

Minted in 2018, the GIF shows the underworld ferryman taking a man across the river Styx.

 

XCOPY is a London-based digital artist who created SuperRare and has been an early crypto adopter. He uses motion, glitching, or flickering effects to explore “death, dystopia and apathy through distorted visual loops.” His animated NFTs are highly sought after by serious collectors. 

 

#13. “Crossroad” – $6.6 million

Created by graphic designer and motion artist Mike Winkelman, better known as Beeple, “Crossroad” sold for 4,400 ETH (about $6.6 million at the time of purchase). 

 

An image of Beeple's "Crossroad" showing an oversized, naked Donald Trump lying on the grass with trash around him and slogans all over his body as people walk by ignoring him.

Image source: Nifty Gateway

 

Beeple is a renowned name in the NFT industry (as we will see later on in this list). “Crossroad” is one of his earlier NFT artworks that made him millions of dollars.

 

The artist created it just before the 2020 US election, and the piece was supposed to change depending on the election’s results. Beeple created two versions: one with a triumphant Donald Trump and the other… well, you’ve just seen it. Naked, seemingly dead, and ignored, Trump lies next to the pavement. This image was permanently locked as the final version.

 

Beeple himself has also become a sensation thanks to his input in the digital art scene. He amassed over 1.8 million followers on Instagram and is one of the three most expensive artists alive, alongside David Hockney and Jeff Koons.

 

#12. CryptoPunk #8857 – $6.64 million

If you’ve already read a thing or two about NFTs, you’ve probably seen an image like this one:

 

An image of CryptoPunk #8857, a zombie NFT with green skin, black hair, and 3D glasses.

Image source: Larva Labs

 

It’s CryptoPunk #8857, which comes from the famous CryptoPunks collection created by Larva Labs. This highly pixelated NFT was sold for 2,000 ETH in May 2018 ($6.64 million at the time of purchase).

 

This won’t be the only punk among the biggest NFT sales, so it’s a good idea to learn more about this collection to understand what’s hot in the NFT industry.

 

About CryptoPunks

CryptoPunks are uniquely generated 24x24 pixel art images. There are precisely 10,000 CryptoPunks in the famous NFT collection. Even though CryptoPunks share some traits, there are no two alike NFTs.

 

One CryptoPunk can be owned by one person on the Ethereum blockchain. All 10,000 CryptoPunks were quickly claimed after their launch in 2017. Now, if you want to have one, you must buy it from someone via the NFT marketplace that's also embedded in the blockchain.

 

Attributes of CryptoPunks

Most of the Punks are humans, but you can also find some rarer types. For instance, there are 88 Zombie Punks, 24 Ape Punks, and 9 Alien Punks. A punk's value depends on how rare its attributes are: the rarer the attributes, the more valuable (and expensive) the NFT.

 

Each CryptoPunk has its profile page, where you can see the attributes that determine its value. For example, CryptoPunk #8857, which we saw above, has these traits listed on its profile page:

  • Wild hair: 447 punks have this

  • 3D Glasses: 286 punks have this

 

Larva Labs created one of the most important NFT collections in history

When Larva Labs created the CryptoPunks collection in 2017, they were claimed quickly (for free) but weren’t a big thing yet. However, with the rise of NFTs in the last few years, CryptoPunks has become one of the most important NFT projects.

 

Today, owning a CryptoPunk is a thing of status—crypto enthusiasts pay millions of dollars to have a 24x24 pixelated human smoking a pipe.

 

CryptoPunks are highly valuable assets written in Internet history. They also inspired the ERC-721 standard, an interface that now powers most Ethereum-based non-fungible tokens

 

#11. “Ringers #109” – $6.93 million

"Ringers #109" was purchased for 2,100 ETH (around $6.93 million at the time of sale). Created by Dmitri Cherniak, a NYC based creator, this NFT is one of the most valuable projects from Art Blocks, the prestigious Ethereum generative art project.

 

An image of Dmitri Cherniak's "Ringers #109" NFT, showing one combination of an endless amount of ways to run string around round pegs.

Image Source: Art Blocks

 

A part of the famous Art Blocks collection

Art Blocks is another popular NFT project among big names like CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club. However, unlike the latter two, which are focused on avatar collections, Art Blocks are abstract paintings generated via an algorithm, ranging from flat images to interactive 3D compositions.

 

“The Ringers” collection consists of 1,000 items with a total trade volume of 25.8K ETH ($44,198496,00 at the time of writing). It’s one of the most popular collections to emerge from Art Blocks.

 

#10. “Right-click and Save As guy” – $7.09 million

XCOPY's "Right-click and Save As guy" was sold for 1,600 ETH ($7.09 million at the time of purchase) in December 2021.

 

An image of XCOPY's "Right-Click and Save As guy" NFT, showing a person in glasses. The person and background are a mix of shades of purple, black, and green, and the glasses are pink.

Image source: SupeRare

 

XCOPY created this GIF in 2018, before the NFT boom. The piece openly mocks those skeptical about NFTs: “Why would I buy it when I can right click and save as?” reads its description on Superare, the digital art market on Ethereum. Ironically, it sold for millions of dollars, proving its message.

 

Shortly after Beeple's historic Everydays’ auction, XCOPY's "Right-click and Save As guy" person appeared on BBC World News, which helped to change the public's opinion of NFTs.

 

#9. CryptoPunk #3100 – $7.51 million

As I’ve said, we will have more punks on our list. The following five most expensive NFTs come from the CryptoPunks collection. Let’s start with the one below!

 

An image of CryptoPunk #3100, an alien punk NFT with a blue face and white and blue sweatband.

Image source: Larva Labs

 

This is CryptoPunk #3100, which was sold for 4,200 ETH (over $7.5 million at the time of purchase). The CryptoPunk #3100 has only one attribute—a headband—and belongs to the Alien Punks, making it super rare and super expensive.

 

Only 3% of punks have one attribute, and only 4% have a headband.

 

#8. CryptoPunk #7804 – $7.56 million

Aliens are some of the rarest on the Larva Lab’s collection—no wonder we have a second blue-faced character on our list. It’s CryptoPunk #7804, and it was sold in March 2021 for 4,200 ETH ($7.56 million at the time).

 

An image of CryptoPunk #7804, an alien NFT with a blue face, a black forward cap, black sunglasses, and a brown pipe.

Image source: Larva Labs

 

CryptoPunk #7804 has three attributes, one of 4501 Punks with that many.

 

Other attributes include:

  • Cap Forward: 254 punks have this.
  • Pipe: 317 punks have this.
  • Small shades: 378 punks have this.

 

If you want to show off a pipe-smoking Alien on your Twitter account, it’s currently for sale for 13.34K ETH ($21.66 M).

 

#7. CryptoPunk #4156 – $10.35 million

Moving on, here’s an example of a punk from the Ape collection—a CryptoPunk #4156. It was sold in December 2021 for 2,500 ETH ($10.35 million at the time).

 

An image of CryptoPunk #4156, an ape NFT with a brown face and fur and a blue bandana.

Image source: Larva Labs

 

This is one of the 24 Ape punks. CryptoPunk #4156 has only one attribute, one of 333 punks with that many, making it especially rare.

 

Attributes:

  • Bandana: 481 punks have this.

 

This CryptoPunk is currently not for sale.

 

#6. CryptoPunk #7523 – $11.8 million

Here’s one more Alien punk with a twist—CryptoPunk #7523. Dubbed “Covid Alien,” it was sold for $11.8 million in June 2021.

 

An image of CryptoPunk #7523, an alien NFT with a blue face, an orange knitted cap, a gold earring, and a grey medical mask. Also called "Covid Alien".

Image source: Larva Labs

 

“Covid Alien” is the only one of nine Alien punks who wears a mask. It has three attributes like 4501 other punks.

 

Attributes:

  • Earring: 2459 punks have this.
  • Knitted Cap: 419 punks have this.
  • Medical Mask: 175 punks have this.

 

CryptoPunk #7523 is currently not listed for sale by its owner.

 

#5. CryptoPunk #5822 – $23.58 million

#5822 is the most expensive CryptoPunk sold so far (and the last one on this list, really). It was bought by the CEO of Chain, Deepak Thapliyal, for 8,000 ETH ($23.58 million at the time) in February 2022.

 

An image of CryptoPunk #5822, an alien NFT with blue skin and a dark blue bandana.

Image source: Larva Labs

 

This punk boasts such an expensive price tag because a) it belongs to the super rare Alien collection, and b) it has only one attribute—a bandana.

 

There are only 333 punks that have one attribute and 481 punks with a bandana.

 

CryptoPunk #5822 was listed for sale in March 2022 with the highest offer of 10,000 ETH, which was later withdrawn. The punk remains with the original buyer at the time of writing and is currently not listed for sale.

 

#4. “Human One” – $28.9 million

“Human One” is another NFT created by Beeple. In November 2021, it sold for $28.9 million at Christie’s, a world-leading auction house founded in 1766. Human One stands out from other NFTs in this list as it includes a physical object—a video sculpture.

 

 

The physical sculpture accompanying Beeple’s Human One consists of four video screens and built-in computers that display a video in a constant loop that changes over time. The video shows a person walking through multiple different backgrounds.

 

"We had a bunch of TVs on rollers in our studio and were rolling them around in different shapes and patterns," Beeple told Christie's when talking about the inspiration for this powerful NFT artwork.

 

Beeple will update “Human One” throughout his life

Even though Beeple does not own the NFT, he retains the rights and access to update it throughout his life. “Over the course of his lifetime, Beeple intends to seamlessly add to and evolve the pool of imagery in ‘HUMAN ONE’ in response to current events — creating an eternally contemporary work of art,” Christie’s wrote on Twitter.

 

#3. “Clock” – $52.7 million

Created by an anonymous artist Pak (more on them later) and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, “Clock” was sold for $52.7 million in February 2022. The piece is a part of a collection by Pak and Assange called “Censored.”

 

A static image of the Julian Assange "Clock" NFT with the words "One Thousand Thirty Five" on a black background.

Image Source: Censored

 

“Clock” was created to collect funds for Julian Assange’s defense, who was imprisoned in May 2019 because of his work with WikiLeaks. He is currently behind bars for suspicion of espionage against the US Government. The NFT is a clock that shows the number of days the WikiLeaks founder has been detained.

 

Over 10,000 Assange’s supporters raised the money

Over 10,000 people from AssangeDAO, a decentralized autonomous organization, collectively bought the unconventional NFT. Each supporter now owns a share of this non-fungible token.

 

#2. “Everydays: the First 5000 Days” – $69.3 million

In 2007, Beeple set out to draw a picture from start to finish every single day. The creator kept his promise for 5,000 days straight and posted his artwork daily from May 1st, 2007, until January 7th, 2021!

 

Today, these 5000 pictures form “EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS”, the most expensive single NFT ever sold. 

 

An image of Beeple's "Everyday: the First 5000 Days" NFT showing a collage of 5,000 individual photos that become a single image.

Image source: christies.com

 

The NFT artwork made headlines in 2021 when it was auctioned at Christie's for an enormous price tag. The piece was bought for over $69.3 million by crypto billionaire MetaKovan.

 

MetaKovan didn’t reveal his identity at first. However, later on, he went public. “The point was to show Indians and people of color that they, too, could be patrons, that crypto was an equalizing power between the West and the Rest, and that the global south was rising,” MetaKovan told decrypt.

 

What’s revealed by zoomed-in individual pieces

In “Everydays: the First 5000 Days”, Beeple created an aesthetic collage by putting together 5,000 pictures in loose chronological order. If you zoom in on the digital artwork, you can see anything from basic drawings and deeply personal moments to abstract and absurd images, and 3D takes on current events. 

 

Here are some zoomed-in pieces of the artwork:

 

A closeup of one of the images in Beeple's "Everyday: the First 5,000 Days" NFT. The image is of Mike Pence with a giant fly on his head atop the White House, which is on fire.

Image source: christies.com

 

A closeup of one of the images in Beeple's "Everyday: the First 5,000 Days" showing giant Ocean Spray Cranberry bottles. People are skateboarding in the foreground with bottles of Ocean Spray in their hands.

Image source: christies.com

 

After the record sale of “Everydays: the First 5000 Days,” the NFT market was no longer a niche interest among crypto enthusiasts—it seemed that everyone was buzzing about it! It was a defining moment in art history where the value of NFTs became evident.

 

#1. The Merge – $91.8 million

Finally, we’ve come to the biggest NFT sale on the list—Pak’s The Merge—three white masses against a black background. This NFT was sold for a whopping $91.8 million on Nifty Gateway, a leading NFT marketplace, in December 2021. The platform called the event the “largest ever art sale by a living creator.”

 

Alt text: An image of Pak's "The Merge" NFT showing three white to black gradient spheres on a black background.

Image source: barrons.com

 

The identity of the creator remains anonymous

This is the same Pak who worked with Julian Assange’s Clock, the #4 on this list. Pak is a digital artist and a cryptocurrency investor. Or they could be a group of artists—no one knows as Pak remains anonymous and uses the pronouns they/them. 

 

Nevertheless, Pak is an early adopter of the NFT technology whose non-fungible tokens have been sold on prominent platforms, including Sotheby's, Nifty Gateway, SuperRare, and more. Pak is also known for creating Archillect, an AI built to discover and share stimulating visual media.

 

The debate surrounding the most expensive NFT ever sold

Some people aren’t sure whether The Merge should be on this list because it’s not technically a single NFT. The Merge went on auction as a collection of 312,686 units of mass. So, technically, it’s a collection of 312,686 NFTs that form a single artwork combined.

 

Plus, this collection of tokens wasn’t bought by a single person but by 28,983 collectors. They could buy any amount of non-fungible tokens they wanted, with the price for one token starting at $575 and gradually increasing by $25 every six hours. 

 

What’s interesting about this NFT artwork is that each token was created to combine with other pieces in an owner’s crypto wallet. The more NFTs one accumulated, the larger their final mass would become. Each NFT merges with the token in one’s wallet, forming a single token with a unique mass value. 

 

Right now, the collective piece consists of three white masses, but who knows, The Merge could end up being one final mass over time.

 

Wrapping Up

Our list of most expensive NFTs ever sold was dominated by three leading creators: Larva Labs, Beeple, and Pak. These names are some of the most sought-after in the NFT industry, so if you want to keep up with what’s hot in the crypto art scene, we recommend following them closely on social media. 

 

And, if you want to invest in non-fungible tokens but don’t have millions to spend, check out Wizardia’s Arena Genesis NFTs. NFTs are at the very core of Wizardia’s realm, making generating revenue for players and investors easy. You could earn potentially endless royalties from all battles that will take place once the game’s battle arena is out.

 

FAQs

What is the most expensive NFT sold to date?

The most expensive NFT ever sold to date is “The Merge.” Created by Pak, an anonymous digital artist and crypto investor (or a group of artists), “The Merge” was sold for a record $91.8 million in December 2021 on Nifty Gateway.

 

Who owns the most expensive NFT?

"The Merge” by Pak is the most expensive NFT, and 28,983 collectors own it. The piece was auctioned as a collection of 312,686 units of mass, and people could buy as many masses as they wanted. These units now form a single artwork when combined. The most expensive NFT owned by a single NFT collector is Beeple’s “Everydays: the First 5000 Days,” sold for $69.3 million to crypto billionaire MetaKovan.

Julija Paškevičienė

Julija Paškevičienė

Julija is a freelance content marketer. Specialized in content writing, social media, and finding the best dog memes, she helps businesses get their message across and create content that sells.

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