Monday, June 27, 2022
HomeNFT NewsBiggest NFT drops and sales in 2021

Biggest NFT drops and sales in 2021

Nonfungible token, or NFT, became such a tech buzzword in 2021 that even Collins Dictionary declared the abbreviation its word of the year and Google searches for NFTs spiked to record levels.

Behind the term is a market that approaches $17 billion, according to Cointelegraph Research. And the NFT marketplace OpenSea is responsible for processing most of these transactions, with a trading volume that recently surpassed $10 billion.

NFTs have a wide range of potential. They can be used to create music, video games and sports collectibles. However, their utility includes ownership and exclusive access to special functions and features. From CryptoPunks to Beeple’s collage, RTFKT and NBA Top Shot, these collections stand out for their growing communities and numbers. As we wrap up 2021, let’s take a look at the top 10 collections and sales in NFTs this year.

CryptoPunks, Larva Labs

CryptoPunks are the OG of NFTs, according to DappRadar. The collection launched back in 2017 before the ERC-721 NFT standard existed. Larva Labs released all 10,000 punks for free to Ethereum users and since then, CryptoPunks’ popularity and value on the secondary market have boomed.

Source: Larva Labs

In June 2021, an alien punk sold at Sotheby’s for $11. 75 million. In August, Visa acquired a $150,000 CryptoPunk for its corporate collection and Hollywood agency UTA inked a deal to use CryptoPunks in mainstream media. August 2021 saw a record $400 million spent on CryptoPunks in a single month. In September, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian attended the Met Gala sporting a CryptoPunk badge.

CryptoPunks has seen the highest trading volume on OpenSea with 756,984 Ether (ETH) ($3. 03 billion). Its historical relevance and increasing value make it the most valuable NFT collection.

Bored Ape Yacht Club, Yuga Labs

The collection with the second highest historical trading volume is Bored Ape Yacht Club, or BAYC, with 266,843 ETH ($1. 07 billion). The core team behind Yuga Labs consists of four friends who “to make some dope-apes, try our skills, and build something ridiculous”, according to their website. All Seeing Seneca is the lead artist behind BAYC. As an owner of one of the 10,000 Bored Apes, an NFT can double as a Yacht Club membership card and grant members-only access to THE BATHROOM, the Bored Ape Kennel Club and Mutant Ape Yacht Club, or MAYC.

In September, Sotheby’s sold a collection of 107 BAYC NFTs, made up of 101 Bored Apes and six Mutant Apes, for $24.4 million. This was the third highest-ever off-chain NFT art auction sale, behind Beeple’s pieces. In November, a surge in OpenSea sales appeared to be connected with a more than 900% uptick in the sale volume of BAYC and MAYC NFTs, likely due to celebrity buyers like Jimmy Fallon, Post Malone who featured BAYC NFTs in a music video and Rolling Stone magazine Bored Ape and Mutant Ape covers. Most recently, BAYC was part of a four-way collaboration between PUNKS Comic, Gmoney and Adidas Originals for the launch of Adidas’ “Into the Metaverse” NFT project.

— Bored Ape Yacht Club (@BoredApeYC) November 13, 2021

On Tuesday, Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs surpassed the floor price of CryptoPunks for the first time indicating bullish public sentiment toward the future of BAYC.


NFT artist Mike Winkelmann, better known as Beeple and self-described as a “dude who makes crap,” holds the record for first and second-most expensive digital art pieces sold at public auction and off-chain as of November 2021, according to Art Market Research.

Following British auction house Christie’s $69.3 million sale of Beeple’s “Everdays: The First 5000 Days” in March 2021, Beeple’s “HUMAN ONE” piece sold for $28.9 million in November. “HUMAN ONE” is a seven-foot tall rotating box made from LED screens. It can be displayed in person, unlike many NFTs that reside in digital wallets. The footage on the screens will be periodically edited and updated using blockchain by Winkelmann in response to current events, according to Christie’s statement.

Beeple became a household name in 2021, especially after winning GQ’s Maddox Gallery Artist Of The Year in September and sitting down with Jimmy Fallon on the late-night TV talk show The Tonight Show.

Related: Why NFTs can be a riskier investment than cryptocurrencies — Report

Axie Infinity, Sky Mavis

Axie Infinity shattered records as the game became the first DApp to surpass $2 billion in NFT trading volume this year, according to a DappRadar Q3 industry report. Axie lags just behind CryptoPunks in trading volume. The game recently moved to the Ronin sidechain solution and generated over $776 million in revenue in Q3.

Source: Axie Infinity

Axies are creatures used to duel other players, battle enemies and complete daily quests. These NFTs are available to be bred, bought and sold. They are valued based on their rarity or in-game benefits. In November, a land plot within the monster-battle NFT game sold for a lucrative 550 ETH ($2.3 million). Jeff Zirlin, AxieInfinity co-founder, spoke earlier this month on a panel about his belief that “we’re in a fight for the future internet” and that “grassroot communities like Axie are having an effect against large corporations,” referring specifically to companies such as Apple and Facebook.

Axie Infinity was first created in 2018 and currently leads the gaming sector as a pioneer of the play-to-earn, or P2E, movement. The trading game is becoming more popular since the launch of a staking program which allows players to hold Axie Infinity Shards(AXS) governance tokens.

NBA Top Shot, Dapper Labs

NBA Top Shot is a popular fantasy basketball NFT game that first launched in late 2020. Users can trade, collect and sell digital tokens of their favorite NBA moments and players. This is the first-of its-kind collectible sports game. Highlights can be used for challenges and to display your achievements to the community.

Source: NBA Top Shot

This summer, Top Shot collectors who were in person at the NBA Summer League games in Las Vegas were able to purchase live in-arena moments. It welcomed the WNBA to Top Shot, and also introduced its first WNBA pack.

Officially licensed by the National Basketball Association, NBA Top Shot was created by Dapper Labs and built on the Flow blockchain. The historical trading volume, according to DappRadar, is $750.4 million. The three highest-selling NFTs were LeBron James NFTs from the Los Angeles Lakers’ 2019-2020 season.

VeeFriends, Gary Vaynerchuk

Behind VeeFriends is entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk, also known as Gary Vee, as both the artist and the project founder. His hand-drawn animal doodles sold out in May for $51 million at auction in the first week, which Vaynerchuk said in one of his podcast episodes, he pocketed. After 90 days, VeeFriends’ revenue totaled $91 million. For the additional $40 million, Vaynerchuk received a 10% royalty on every secondary transaction. In October, Christie’s auctioned five VeeFriend characters for over $1.2 million.

The VeeFriends collection is made up of 10,255 character NFTs and each represents intellectual property. The benefit of being a VeeFriend includes a three year admission token to the multiday VeeCon. Vaynerchuk offers mentoring sessions and one NFT, “Hangout Hawk”. One collector, YouTuber Dan Markham, exchanged his Tesla Roadster for graphic novelist Eli Burton’s “Positive Porcupine” NFT. VeeFriends shares its latest collaborations, from the card game producer Uno to Nordstrom’s department store Nordstrom in the following thread on Twitter.

[5-min read] What’s been going on in VeeFriends this week!

— VeeFriends (@veefriends) December 21, 2021

Related: Blockchains vie for NFT market, but Ethereum still dominates — Report

FLUF World

FLUF World is a collection of metaverse-ready 3D avatars called FLUFs living as NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. FLUFs can be described as programmatically generated rabbit avatars. Cointelegraph spoke with the founders of FLUF World, a New Zealand-based company. They shared their method for entering the metaverse. “We had this strong belief that Web 3.0 metaverse is this community-led creative vision,” they said, adding:

“When you start with stories and weave them into characters, then people fall in love with those characters. We’ve tried to make them engaging and dynamic. This is not a piece of static art. They can be named, changed backgrounds, or added new music depending on your mood. All data is saved on-chain. And the users are part of the co-creation journey with us.”

During Miami Art Week, FLUF World hosted a FLUF Haus event to introduce FLUFs popstar, AngelBaby, who performed the first-ever live metaverse concert for both physical and virtual attendees. FLUF Haus is a way for FLUF World to stay connected to the real world by organizing events that involve real-world artists into metaverse.

Users can purchase virtual real estate called Burrows, which serve as meeting spaces for FLUFs and other avatars. The latest addition to FLUF World includes 9,669 Party Bears, which sold out within 10 minutes of being dropped to users who wanted new avatars to explore the metaverse alongside existing FLUFs and spider Thingies.

Jadu Hoverboards and Jetpacks, Jadu AR Inc.

What do Canadian musical sensation Grimes, seven-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton and legendary American rapper Snoop Dogg all have in common? Answer: Jadu AR Inc. and Grimes are behind an exclusive Jadu Hoverboards NFTs that allow players to fly through the metaverse. This collection of 6,666 hoverboard NFTs was the firm’s second NFT drop. The first, consisting of 1,111 Jadu Jetpacks, sold out in 20 seconds with a total volume of 2,632 ETH ($10.5 million) traded.

The Jadu Hoverboard collection has also been making waves with 1,873 ETH ($7.5 million) in cumulative volume traded since inception. Recently, Jadu raised $7 million in a seed round backed by prominent venture capital firms such as Coinbase Ventures to fund the development of the world-scale augmented reality game Mirrorverse, launching next year. Jadu has also partnered with The Sandbox in order to bring its NFT jetpacks to The Sandbox’s metaverse. Both jetpacks and hoverboards will be compatible with 40,000-plus avatars, including popular collections like FLUFs and CyberKongz.

— Jadu (@JaduHologram) October 21, 2021

RTFKT Studios

On Dec. 14, Nike entered the metaverse after acquiring RTFKT, with the goal of delivering next-generation collectibles to bridge the gap between culture and gaming. RTFKT is an acronym for “artifact” that describes a studio that fosters a new culture of digital sneakers for blockchain and video game enthusiasts. Chris Le, co-founder of the company, spoke casually to Cointelegraph. He said: “I manage a group of artists and design sneaker designs. If I feel like getting my hands dirty, I’ll model the 3D sneakers, do all the rendering and make the NFT’s out of them.” Although the collection consists of 13 sneaker NFTs, they’ve fetched an impressive 976 ETH ($3.9 million).

Aside from NFT footwear, RTFKT also minted a series of 20,000 three-dimensional avatars on the Ethereum blockchain called Clone X. These characters can be used together with other wearables in decentralized virtual reality realms such as Decentraland. RTFKT Studios’ second collection was trending at the time of publication in terms of trading volume. This is due to its Clone X collaboration.

RTFKT is now a part of the NIKE, Inc. family.

— RTFKT Studios (@RTFKTstudios) December 13, 2021

Related: Adidas Originals to launch debut NFT collection

Pak, Nifty Gateway

Pak, a pseudonym for a digital artist or anonymous entity, ranks as the top NFT artist with a total artwork value sold of $321 million across 66,319 pieces, according to data by CryptoArt. His works are known for their complex blend of futurism, spatial depth and geometry.

During an event earlier this month called Merge, interested buyers were required to purchase as many Merge tokens as they desired during a 48-hour sale. The new Merge token transfers were then combined with the original Merge token in the recipient’s pocket, creating a single entity and increasing the “mass” value. The auction ended and buyers received dynamically generated NFTs. These NFTs were based on the amount of “mass” they had accumulated.

Read More

Henry Hicks
Henry Hicks
NFT and Crypto Enthusiast. Loves Travelling and Exploring the Metaverse!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

Most Popular