Consumers spent a whopping $41 billion on non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in 2021. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are novel crypto assets bringing items like artwork, video games, and other intellectual and cultural values (both real and digital) onto a blockchain. The non-fungible token market continues to heat up with strong sales volume on OpenSea, an NFT priority marketplace for buying and selling these items. It’s hard to say at this point whether the NFT universe will evolve into something essential akin to the internet itself, substituting many conventional spheres of entertainment and culture, but at least one NFT’s feature attracts many artists and their fans – a guarantee of authenticity and lifetime ownership right.

As of now, the waitlist for the highly anticipated Coinbase Global (NASDAQ:COIN) NFT marketplace has more than 2.5 million people signed up, defining the tremendous success of this digital era innovation, which could increase the valuation and demand for NFT projects.

Similarly, the metaverse promises to be the next big technology platform, a network of immersive virtual worlds that will blend elements of entertainment, gaming, and commerce, allowing users to engage each other and the environment. And NFTs fit perfectly into that technology. They make it possible to prove ownership and the authenticity of assets, which will be critical in the metaverse economy.

Many celebrities have been active in this market lately. Thus, Justin Bieber bought NFTs from the hugely popular Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) collection for 500 ETH – over $1.3 million at the exchange rate. The deal was executed on the OpenSea marketplace. BAYC #3001 has acquired the JustinBieberNFTS account, which is believed to belong to the Canadian singer. Reportedly, he has 750 NFTs in his wallet, including inBetweeners #3777, pictured in the artist’s Twitter profile photo. According to Rarity.Tools, the NFT bought by Bieber has a number of rare attributes. A black T-shirt is found in only 3.3% of BAYC collection tokens, “sad” eyes — in 5.5%.

Previously, NFT from the BAYC collection was purchased by American rapper Eminem. He paid 123.45 ETH for the token (over $450,000 at the exchange rate at that time). Recall that in December 2021, Adidas earned 5924 ETH (about $23.5 million) on the sale of NFTs in collaboration with BAYC, GMoney and PunksComic.

Jesus Calderon is another person of interest in this relation. The 29-year-old Chicagoan is a crypto enthusiast and a motion graphics designer. In recent years, Calderon has converged those two spheres to establish a burgeoning horological NFT market, where he designs and sells virtual watches under the banner of Generative Watches.

Calderon’s Gen Watches exist as digitally rendered spoofs on the timepieces we know and love – refer to his Rødex Daitona and Rødex Bitmariner. He designs the 3D animations with the help of an algorithm and uploads the finished product (a JPG or GIF) to his store, where enthusiasts pay lavishly for them in an abstracted form of currency. Today, a watch made from pixels that you store on your hard drive and show off on social media can command as much as a Rolex Submariner. Welcome to the future.

Now let’s review currently the most prominent tokens related to NFT:

1. Decentraland

Decentraland (CRYPTO:MANA) is a decentralized application (dApp) on the Ethereum blockchain. It features a virtual world inhabited by gamers and powered by the MANA token. Players can buy and sell chunks of digital land across the marketplace, each with unique coordinates, and wearable items like clothing, accessories, and body features for their avatars. In all cases, transactions are funded with MANA, and ownership of any item is represented as an NFT.

Players can also develop and monetize their digital land with 3D content, games, and other applications, and they can interact with other avatars across the virtual world. In short, Decentraland is a sort of precursor to what the metaverse could be – it’s easy to imagine the platform as part of a larger network of virtual worlds in the future. But there is plenty to be excited about now. Decentraland currently ranks as the third-most-popular NFT collection in terms of transaction volume on OpenSea, which itself is the world’s most popular NFT marketplace by a wide margin.

As users become increasingly attracted to Decentraland – which seems likely given the enthusiasm surrounding NFTs and the metaverse – demand for MANA should rise. With a fixed supply of 2.6 billion tokens, rising demand should drive the price higher. That’s why this cryptocurrency could be a good long-term investment, especially now that it’s fallen more than 60% from its high.

2. The Sandbox

The Sandbox (CRYPTO:SAND) is another Ethereum-based metaverse game featuring NFTs. The platform is powered by the SAND token, and it comprises three distinct services that allow players to build and monetize in-game assets and experiences.

Specifically, VoxEdit is a modeling tool that allows users to create and animate 3D objects like people, animals, and scenery. Those objects are represented as NFTs on Ethereum. Next, the NFT marketplace allows users to buy and sell those 3D objects using the SAND token. Each block of land is also represented as an NFT, and those tokens can be used for transactions in the marketplace. Finally, the Game Maker product enables users to build monetizable games and experiences on their land without using computer code. More specifically, it’s a suite of drag-and-drop tools used to position 3D objects and implement gameplay mechanics.

Just like Decentraland, The Sandbox has generated significant interest in the crypto community, and it ranks as the eighth-most-popular NFT collection on OpenSea in the past month. And given the easy-to-use interface, not to mention the tailwinds behind NFTs and the metaverse, The Sandbox is well-positioned to attract more players down the road. As that happens, demand for SAND – which has a finite supply of 3 billion tokens – should rise, pushing its price higher. With the price of SAND down roughly 60% from its high, now looks like a good time to add this digital asset to your portfolio.

Here is also a look at the top 10 NFT projects from the past week, as reported by CryptoSlam

Meebits: $1.23 billion, +32,202.3%. The Meebits are 20,000 unique 3D voxel characters, created by a custom generative algorithm, then registered on the Ethereum blockchain. ERC-721.

Loot: $281.1 million, +39,447.9%. Loot is randomized adventurer gear generated and stored on-chain. Statistics, images, and other functionality are intentionally omitted for others to interpret.

CryptoPhunksV2: $143.5 million, N/A. This is a new collection of collectibles for the NFT generation only available on the Polygon Matic Blockchain. Each piece is a unique NFT, evolved from the original Crypto Punk collection – new attributes, new values and a whole new start for those who missed out on the originals!

The n project: $56.3 million, +156291.7%. 8.888 NFT’s of 8 randomized generated numbers between 0–14 on a black background. Anyone can use the numbers as a foundation to create any NFT project.

Bored Ape Yacht Club: $52.3 million, -26.4%. The Bored Ape Yacht Club is a collection of 10000 unique Bored Ape NFTs— unique digital collectibles living on the Ethereum blockchain.

CryptoSkulls: $42.3 million, +1,842,707.1%. CryptoSkulls are 10,000 collectible ERC-721 Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) stored on. Ethereum / Polygon blockchains. Since 2019.

World of Women: $36.5 million, +166.7%.

Azuki: $34.3 million, N/A. Azuki NFT with a collection of 10000 avatars that offers membership access to The Garden, a brand for the metaverse

Mutant Ape Yacht Club: $33.0 million, -50.3%. The Mutant Ape Yacht Club is a collection of up to 20,000 Mutant Apes that can only be created by exposing an existing Bored Ape to a vial of Mutant Serum or by minting a Mutant Ape in the public sale.

PhantaBear: $30.9 million, -30.6%. The PhantaBear project was jointly launched by Jay Chou’s Phantaci and Ezek. PhantaBear is a collection of 10,000 algorithmically generated digital collectibles that double as membership cards for the Ezek Club.

The 9 Most Expensive NFT Art of 2021

🔸9. Michah Dowbak, known as Mad Dog Jones – Replicator

$4.1 million, April 2021, Phillips

Following in the footsteps of the two largest auction houses, Christie’s and Sotheby’s, Phillips also ventured into the NFT world by selling Mad Dog Jones. The Replicatop artwork depicts a copier in the workplace, and like this piece of office equipment, the NFT itself is a duplicate.

🔸8. Edward Snowden

$5.4 million, April 2021

Edward Snowden issued the NFT with the 2020 U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruling that massive NSA surveillance is against the law. A portrait of Snowden is superimposed over the text. The work was sold to the Free Press Foundation.

🔸7. Freeross – Ross Ulbricht Genesis Collection

$5.93 million, SuperRare, December 2021

Ross Ulbricht founded and operated the Silk Road darknet market website. In 2013, he was arrested and sentenced to double life imprisonment on charges of money laundering, computer hacking and drug dealing.

Hoping to raise money to secure his release from prison and to support family members of prisoners, Ulbricht created the NFT based on his collection of writings. It includes both children’s drawings and works made during his imprisonment.

🔸6. XCOPY – A Coin for the Ferryman

$6 million, SuperRare, November 2021

One of the first works of XCOPY. SuperRare user 0xclipse purchased the piece shortly after its creation for only 0.5 ETH, or about $139, but it sold for $6 million in 2021.

🔸5. Beeple

$6 million, Nifty Gateway, March 2021

Beeple published this NFT just a few weeks after it debuted at Christies. The work is dedicated to the effects of climate change, so the proceeds went to the Open Earth Foundation.

🔸4. XCOPY – Right-click and Save As guy

$6.57M December 2021 SuperRare

NFT was sold for 1600 ETH. The project was purchased by rapper Snoop Dogg under the pseudonym Cozomo de Medici on SuperRare.

🔸3. Beeple-Crossroads

$6.6M Feb 2021 Nifty Gateway

The Crossroads NFT project is timed to coincide with the US presidential election. It was sold for $66,666.66, which was a record for the industry at the time. In February 2021 at Christie’s, the Beeple was resold for 100 times its original price for $6.6 million.

🔸2. Beeple-HUMAN ONE

$29.8 million, November 2021, Christie’s

HUMAN ONE was sold for $29.8 million at Christie’s Art of the 21st Century sale in November 2021 in New York. The sculpture of HUMAN ONE includes a rotating monolith made of polished aluminum with LED screens. Beeple retains the ability to remotely change or add to content at all times – by definition, the job is never finished.

 

🔸1.Beeple – Everydays:-The First 5000 Days

$69 million, March 2021, Christie’s

In March, Christie’s jumped at the chance when it agreed to sell its first digital artwork from Beeple, Everydays: The First 5000 Days, which was listed with a starting price of just $100.

Everydays celebrates the first 5,000 days of Beeple’s ongoing daily art project, launched May 1, 2007, with a collage of each drawing. Bidding at Christie’s soared to $1 million in less than an hour, and the end result, of course, propelled Beeple to the top spot among living artists.

Final Words

NFT is a totally new class inside the boundless DeFi universe cherishing musicians, artists and many more producers of various creative work, enabling them to get in the spotlight almost effortlessly, simply by using the power of decentralization. It’s up to us whether this new initiative will develop into something more than the countless club of enthusiasts.