What is an NFT?
A non-fungible token (NFT) is a unit of data kept within a digital ledger or blockchain (mostly held on Ethereum blockchain) that identifies a digital asset as unique and not interchangeable. This digital asset can be a painting, a video, an audio snippet, a video game collectible item, a GIF, and so on.
Whilst NFTs function like cryptographic tokens, they are not mutually interchangeable like cryptocurrencies are. This means that each NFT can represent a completely different asset and have starkly alternate values.
NFTs are technologically advanced and the opportunity to integrate them across use cases such as real estate, collectibles, music revolutions and gaming is being discussed regularly. However when producing a single NFT within the Ethereum platform uses 48.14 kilowatt-hours – is it worth it?
Why are NFTs so expensive?
In 2021, interest in NFT’s has increased, with celebrities and artists getting on the bandwagon causing the cost of them to skyrocket. This year the most expensive NFTs of all time were sold, demonstrating serious investor appetite.
Some of the famous memes that sold this year include ‘Disaster Girl’ meme sold for $473,000 and ‘Nyan Cat’ sold for $590,000.
NFTs are expensive because they are one of a kind. Traditionally artwork is valuable because they were the only version available whereas digital art can be copied and reproduced with much more ease. NFTs tokenize the art so that the owner has a certificate of ownership that can be sold which confirms the asset as original.
According to Google Trends data, the most expensive NFTs aren’t necessarily the most talked about.
The most expensive NFTs of 2021
TRG Datacenters has analysed Google Trends data to see which NFT’s – of the ones that have sold for the most this year – have been searched for the most online worldwide.
According to Google Trends, the most to least searched for NFT art pieces (from Jan – Sept 2021) were as follows:
- The first tweet, sold for $2.9 million
- Hashmasks, sold for $16 million
- Doge NFT, sold for $4 million
- Grimes NFT, sold for $6 million
- Everydays: the First 5000 Days, sold for $69 million
- Rick and Morty NFT, sold for $1.6 million
- Crossroads NFT, sold for $6.6 million
- CryptoPunks #7804, sold for $7.5 million
- Genesis estate NFT, sold for $1.5 million
- World Wide Web Source Code NFT, sold for $5.4 million
The first tweet
Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s first tweet published in March 2006 read “just setting up my twttr”. Dorsey auctioned the tweet for charity earning an impressive $2.9 million. The tweet was purchased by Sina Estavi, a Malaysian based buyer who bought the tweet using the ether cryptocurrency.
Hashmasks is a living art collectible put together by more than 70 artists worldwide. It is made up of 16,384 unique digital portraits. One of the pieces sold with a 100,000% profit over a period of 3 days.
The original ‘Doge’ meme from 2010 is the infamous shiba inu dog called Kabosu which triggered the creation of the cryptocurrency dogecoin. PleasrDAO is the collective that purchased the NFT and now sells fractional ownership of it which means that anyone can own a piece of the NFT for a dollar.
Grimes sold a series of 10 pieces with the highest selling piece being a unique video called ‘Death of the Old’ that included cherubs, a cross, a sword and glowing light set to an original Grimes soundtrack. Two further pieces called ‘Earth’ and ‘Mars’ both with thousands of copies fetched $7,500 per copy with nearly 700 copies sold before sales closed.
Everydays: the First 5000 Days
A digital piece of art created by Mike Winkelmann (Beeple). Everdays: the First 5000 Days is a collage of 5000 images purchased by Vignesh Sundaresan (pseudonym of MetaKovan), a programmer based in Singapore. The artwork is displayed in full resolution in a digital museum within Metaverse.