THE MOST EXPENSIVE DIGITAL ART EVER PAID

Are you curious about the most expensive digital art? Find out here!

Although they have been around for several years now, non-fungible tokens have been the talk of the town since the beginning of 2021, when historic sales were recorded on this market and made headlines in the media. 

This craze is mainly concentrated on the art market, due to the unique contribution of NFT technology: each non-fungible token issued on a blockchain can be linked to a digital work of art, thus proving in a secure and unfalsifiable way who is the one and only owner of the work. 

This is how NFT sales reached 2.5 billion dollars in the first half of 2021, and exceeded the historic threshold of 40 billion dollars for the whole year, a growth of +21,350%! With record sales, which have attracted more and more interest from investors, we’ll detail it in this post.

Find out which 10 NFTs have been sold at the highest price so far, to get to know this new growing market and its main players.

#1 The Merge, $91.8 million: the record for the most expensive NFT art

Sold on December 4, 2021, for almost $92 million, The Merge by the anonymous artist Pak became the most expensive NFT work ever sold, making its author the most expensive living artist in history!

It’s an atypical work since it’s broken down into 266,445 different units which, when put together, form the final work. No less than 28,983 different buyers have acquired the pieces of this work, sold at auction on the Nifty Gateway platform. The Merge wasn’t bought by a single buyer, which raises the question of the legitimacy of its record…

The Merge, $91.8 million

Credit Image: Pak

#2 Everydays: The First 5000 Days, $69.3 million

Without a doubt, the work that has attracted the most attention from collectors and investors on the NFT market! Sold in March 2021 for nearly $70 million, Beeple’s Everydays: The First 5000 Days is a digital collage of 5,000 works by artist Michael Winkelmann, better known by the pseudonym Beeple.

When it was sold at auction to Vignesh Sundaresan by Christie’s, it immediately became the most expensive NFT work ever sold, only to be dethroned a few months later by… Pak’s The Merge!

#3 Clock, $52.7 million

A digital work created by artist Pak in collaboration with whistleblower Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, Clock is a clock counting the days Assange has been imprisoned for his revelations since his arrest.

This work was created to raise funds for Julian Assange’s legal defense, and it was acquired by AssangeDAO, a collective of more than 10,000 people fighting for his release, for nearly 53 million dollars. While the work itself is a simple clock counting down the days, its record-breaking sale has put the spotlight back on the case.

#4 Human One, $29 million

We find the artist Beeple with a new digital work whose purchase price has again reached new heights since it sold for nearly $ 29 million at Christie’s online auction house, a few months after Everydays: The First 5000 Days.

Human One has the particularity of being an evolving work, on the model of the very changing NFT market: it’s a 3D sculpture representing (for the moment) a life-size silver cosmonaut, but it will evolve according to Beeple’s inspiration, who keeps the creative control of his work at a distance, and this, forever! The suspense on its evolution is total!

#5 CryptoPunk 7523, $11.8 million

You probably already know them: the CryptoPunks represent one of the most expensive NFT collections in the world today. Created by Маtt Наll еt Јоhn Wаtkіnѕоn of the ѕtudіо dе јеu аmérісаіn Lаrvа Lаbѕ, these pixelated faces were originally offered free of charge, but as collectors’ reflexes have taken over, some are now worth a fortune.

This is particularly the case with CryptoPunk 7523, which is part of the Alien collection (which has only 9 pieces) and is the only one with a face mask, very symbolic due to the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic. This last one sold at auction for almost 12 million dollars!

#5 CryptoPunk 7523, $11.8 million

You probably already know them: the CryptoPunks represent one of the most expensive NFT collections in the world today. Created by Маtt Наll еt Јоhn Wаtkіnѕоn of the ѕtudіо dе јеu аmérісаіn Lаrvа Lаbѕ, these pixelated faces were originally offered free of charge, but as collectors’ reflexes have taken over, some are now worth a fortune.

This is particularly the case with CryptoPunk 7523, which is part of the Alien collection (which has only 9 pieces) and is the only one with a face mask, very symbolic due to the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic. This last one sold at auction for almost 12 million dollars!

#6 CryptoPunk 3100, $7.7 million

Proof, if any were needed, that the CryptoPunks collection is one of the most valued on the NFT market today: we find a new pixelated character in the top position of our ranking!

In sixth place is the CryptoPunk 3100, which stands out for the white and blue headband it wears around its skull; a unique feature within the famous collection. This piece was sold for almost $8 million to a collector in March 2021. This punk from the Alien collection is also the seventh-rarest in the entire collection.

#7 CryptoPunk 7804, $7.6 million

As they say: no two without three! In seventh place in our ranking is another CryptoPunk from the Alien collection. This is CryptoPunk 7804, which is characterized by its somewhat retro look, consisting of a gray cap, black glasses, and a wooden pipe. Particularities that make all its rarity, and its value in the eyes of collectors.

Dylan Field, CEO of Figma, a company specializing in design software, acquired this piece for the cool sum of $7.56 million in March 2021.

 

#8 Right-click and Save As Guy, $7.1 million

Created by artist Xcopy, the digital work Right-click and save as guy was designed to thumb its nose at the namesake movement (called “Right click, save as”), which appeared in 2021. This movement consisted in copying and distributing for free NFTs sold at a high price on the market.

In the end, this movement contributed more to reinforcing the value of certain works than to denouncing their prices, since this one sold for more than 7 million dollars in December 2021!

#9 Crossroad, $6.6 million

We find (once again) a work of the artist Beeple among the most expensive NFTs at the moment! Crossroad is again a particularly original and evolving digital work: it represents a caricature of Donald Trump, lying naked on the ground, with many anti-Trump messages on his body.

This work was supposed to evolve according to the result of the 2020 presidential elections in the United States: in case of victory of the former president Trump, it was supposed to represent him crowned and crossing flames. Regardless, it was sold for over $6 million to an anonymous buyer.

#10 Ocean Front, $6 million

And in tenth place in our ranking is… A work by Beeple (definitely the most popular Crypto Art artist on the market)! Ocean Front was purchased for $6 million by Justin Sun, founder of the cryptocurrency platform TRON.

This work evokes the ecological challenges facing humanity, particularly the consequences of rising sea levels due to global warming. It wasn’t acquired for profit, by the way, as all the funds used for its purchase were donated to the Open Earth Foundation, which acts against global warming as part of the 2015 Paris Accords.

Now you know which are the 10 most expensive NFTs in history, at least so far! No doubt in a volatile and growing market like the non-fungible token market, new sales records will be set very soon. In any case, you now have a better understanding of the industry’s star digital works, as well as the top-rated artists to keep an eye on.

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