15 Most Expensive NFTs, Ranked
NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are unique digital assets that exist on a blockchain and are the newest way to invest in digital art.
While the market for NFTs has seen a recent devaluation, these are the most expensive NFTs purchased to date — we're talking in the millions for NFT art.
15. XCOPY, All Time High in the City
Value: $6.2 million
Bottom line: Created in 2018 but purchased in 2022, this animated gif by UK-based artist XCopy features the ferryman (Death) taking a man in a suit across the river Styx.
The image flashes red and black to add to the discomfort of viewing. The buyer for this piece is anonymous.
14. Beeple, Crossroad
Value: $6.6 million
Bottom line: If that looks like Donald Trump lying on grass, that's because it is.
Beeple designed this gif as a response to the 2020 presidential election. If Trump won, the animation would show him victorious, but as you can see above, that's not what happened.
This 10-second art piece comes complete with sound effects.
13. CryptoPunk #8857
Value: $6.63 million
Bottom line: CryptoPunks are some of the most well-known and some of the earliest NFTs, dating back to 2017.
There are only 88 zombie CryptoPunks, and many went for big money (as you'll see later on this list). This punk in 3D glasses sold on Sept. 11, 2021.
12. XCOPY, Right-Click and Save As Guy
Value: $7 million
Bottom line: "Right Click" was minted in late 2018 and had changed hands twice before the record NFT artwork sale.
It was bought by someone who revealed himself to be Snoop Dogg, but that doesn't appear to be the case. The jury is still out on de’ Medici’s real identity.
11. Dmitri Cherniak, Ringers #109
Value: $7.1 million
Bottom line: Cherniak is a New York City-based Canadian artist and coder. "Ringers" generated 1,000 separate and unique pieces of algorithmically generated images on Art Blocks.
Even the least expensive "Ringer" doesn't come cheap — it costs about $88,000 if you want to add one to your NFT collection.
10. CryptoPunk #7804
Value: $7.56 million
Bottom line: This algorithmically generated art of a blue alien smoking a pipe isn't exactly a Renaissance painting, but CryptoPunk #7804 had tongues wagging in 2021 when Figma CEO Dylan Field claimed he owned the "digital Mona Lisa."
#7804 is one of just nine existing alien punks. Field sold it to an NFT collector known as Peruggia, who some people believe is investor and Compound Labs CEO Robert Leshner.
9. CryptoPunk #3100
Value: $7.57 million
Bottom line: This crudely drawn Alien CryptoPunk is only distinguishable by a headband.
Of all the CryptoPunks, there are only 333 that feature just one attribute like this one does.
8. CryptoPunk #5577
Value: $7.7 million
Bottom line: This particular CryptoPunk is a cowboy with a 10-gallon hat.
It is believed that Robert Leshner, founder and CEO of Compound Labs, purchased #5577, but he's never publicly verified the sale of the crypto art.
7. CryptoPunk #4156
Value: $10.2 million
Bottom line: CryptoPunk #4156 is the most famous Punk, due to its being identifiable with an NFT influencer and builder of the same name, Punk4156.
Punk4156 bought it for $1.25 million and held onto it for just nine months before selling it at a massive profit.
6. Tpunk #3442
Value: $10.5 million
Bottom line: Tpunks are clearly artistically influenced by CryptoPunks and consist of 10,000 avatars on the Tron blockchain.
They are not typically big sellers, but Justin Sun, the co-founder of Tron, paid top dollar for this Joker-influenced art, then donated it to APENFT, a company dedicated to tokenizing art on the blockchain.
5. CryptoPunk #7523
Value: $11.7 million
Bottom line: Because this CryptoPunk has a face mask, representing the reality of COVID, DraftKings' shareholder Shalom Meckenzie couldn't resist the purchase.
Aside from his mask, #7523 has earrings (he's one of 2,559 punks with pierced ears) and a knitted cap (he's one of only 419 with a penchant for caps).
4. CryptoPunk #5822
Value: $23.7 million
Bottom line: CryptoPunk #5822 is an alien with a blue bandana, and he's the most expensive punk ever.
Deepak Thapliyal, the CEO of Chain, revealed he purchased the punk on Twitter in February 2022.
3. Beeple, Human One
Value: $28.9 million
Bottom line: Beeple's art is a bit more elaborate than what we've seen on this list so far. "Human One" is a combination of digital and physical elements and is a moving video sculpture with a corresponding NFT that will evolve over time, as Beeple has remote access to it.
Swiss entrepreneur Ryan Zurrer is the buyer who will see the artwork change over his (or rather, Beeple's) lifetime.
2. Julian Assange and Pak, Clock
Value: $52.7 million
Bottom line: "Clock" is an NFT depicting a timer counting the days Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has not been a free man. Crypto artist Pak and Assange teamed up on the auction of this piece, as he faces a lifetime in prison.
The proceeds from the auction will fund Assange’s legal defense.
1. Beeple, Everydays: The First 5000 Days
Value: $69.3 million
Bottom line: Beeple created a picture every day for the past 13 years to make this digital artwork, and it is the highest-selling NFT to date.
The buyer? Singapore-based crypto investor Vignesh Sundaresan, also known as MetaKovan. He founded the Metapurse NFT project.