Top 5 most valuable NFTs ever sold: Has the craze gone too far?
If you’ve been spending time on the internet, you’ve heard of NFTs, and you either think they’re a big scam made by “cryptobros” or you’re an NFT investor yourself, but whichever of these you are, you had to have heard just for how much some of these artworks sold.
Over 500k separate artworks were sold in March last year alone, and as the trend slowly crept into the mainstream, those numbers only grew, totaling billions of dollars in sales.
You may ask yourself then, how much can one NFT even go for?
And it’s a tricky question because they’re inherently tied to the crypto market, so their value is partially related to a certain cryptocurrency, while the other bit of value comes from the hype surrounding that one specific NFT, and if there’s enough hype, these screenshottable JPEGs can go for millions of dollars each.
Everyday: First 5000 days
Mike Winkelman, known online under his artist name Beeple, had begun a project all the way back in 2007, challenging himself to create a digital art piece every single day, and this NFT was the fruit of all his hard work.
On January 7th, 2021, he completed his 5000th image, finishing the self-imposed challenge, and to celebrate it, he compiled all of the images into a smoothly animated video that would go on to sell for nearly $70 million at a big-time auction event.
Coming in at spot #2 is another artwork by the aforementioned Beeple, who has, this time around, created a masterpiece that combined both physical and digital art and is currently providing only limited access to the „physical” part of the art piece.
It depicts a humanoid in a spacesuit, walking endlessly through infinite landscapes which are continuously shifting among each other, all animated with beautiful, crisp 3D graphics.
This NFT sold on November 10th last year at the same kind of auction event for $28,985,000.
This artwork was particularly interesting because it came from the world-renowned whistleblower, Edward Snowden, who is still taking refuge in Europe for releasing highly-classified info from the NSA back in 2013, which prompted the ruling against the NSA’s mass surveillance techniques.
The artwork is the court ruling itself, in its entirety, stylized to depict Snowden’s face in the style of famous British photographer Platon.
The artwork was sold at an auction held by the Freedom of the Press Foundation, and it fetched slightly over $6 million.
All-Time High in The City
This NFT was created by London-based artist, Xcopy, and much like his other artworks, it takes a much darker, grittier approach than those of Beeple or other similar NFT artists.
His works often depict death, and All-Time High in The City doesn’t stray far from the tried-and-tested formula of reds, blacks, and flashing lights.
The artwork itself depicts a somewhat abstract portrayal of Charon, the Underworld’s ferryman, carrying a sharp-dressed man across the river Styx.
Despite the dark imagery, his works are a massive hit with the community, and this specific artwork sold for almost $4.5 million in January 2021.
Finally, at spot #5 on the list is an art piece by Micah Dowback, better known by his artist persona MadDogJones, whose works often have a cyberpunk thematic and an overall dystopian feel to them.
Replicator is a 50-second looped video of an old Xerox machine sitting in an empty office room, gradually turning itself on, printing a few copies, and then slowly shutting down.
Micah claims the art piece was imagined as a metaphor for the constant evolution of technology, stating that something as common as a copier can feel outdated in the right setting. The animation sold for $4.1 million in April of 2021.
These five art pieces are the most expensive digital works of art ever sold and hopefully, serves as a reminder to all aspiring digital artists out there that their work can be valued by millions. With enough dedication and hard work, anything is achievable. Who knows what artist’s masterpiece will claim the top spot next? Only time will tell…