It is no secret that the non-fungible token (NFT) industry is booming. Sales and revenue continue soaring, and a 202-page market report that Verified Market Research (VMR) released suggests the NFT market could be worth up to $231 billion by 2030. To put that into context, the movie industry is worth around $43 billion, and the music industry is worth approximately $26 billion!
The continued popularity of NFTs should not come as a surprise because trading cards remain popular today. In July 2021, Alt Fund II paid $5.9 million for a Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors card from 2009, a world record for a basketball card. The National Treasures Stephen Curry Rookie Logoman Autograph was #1/1, literally making it one of a kind. People love owning a piece of history, especially when they can link it to stars playing for the biggest teams listed in the best online betting apps.
The world record for a sports collectible card stands at $12.6 million. An unknown buyer paid the eye-watering sum for a Mickey Mantle card in August 2022. However, that $12.6 million pales into insignificance when you take a look at the most expensive NFTs ever sold on the open market.
The Merge by Pak
Do you care to hazard a guess as to how much artist Pak’s“The Merge” sold for on Nifty Gateway on December 2, 2021? $10 million? $20 million? $30 million? What if we told you that this NFT is the most expensive in the history of NFTs and sold for $91.8 million?
Some 28,983 collectors snapped up 312,686 units for a combined price of $91.8 million. Not only does that astronomical sum make The Merge the most expensive NFT ever, but it broke the auction record for a single artwork sold publicly by a living artist. Jeff Koons‘ 1986 sculpture Rabbit fetched $91.1 million in 2019.
Pak’s creation is extremely clever. Collectors that purchased multiple units of mass during the sale period unlocked access to an exclusive NFT that expanded in size as more people bought into it.
The Merge proved so popular that it surpassed the previous highest price for an NFT by more than $22 million!
Everydays: the First 5000 Days by Beeple
Mike Winkelmann, known as Beeple, completed the Everydays: the First 5000 Days digital art in February 2021. Little did he know then that NFT collectors would go crazy for his work. As the name of the piece suggests, the NFT comprises 5,000 images on a 21,069 x 21,069 pixels layout. Beeple pledged to create one piece of art every day from the day he started work on the piece in 2007.
Cryptocurrency investor Vignesh “MetaKovan” Sundaresan decided Beeple’s work was worth paying 42,329 Ether for, which equated to $69.3 million at the time Christie’s auction house sold it in 2021. Everydays: the First 5000 Days is the most expensive NFT owned by a single person or company.
Sundaresan does not own the artwork’s copyright, but he retains the right to display the image. He displays it in a digital museum within the metaverse.
Clock Pak and Julian Assange
Artist Pak created a legendary NFT known simply as Clock, which sold for an incredible 16,593 Ether ($52.7 million) in early 2022. Like Pak’s record-breaking Merge, Clock was sold to multiple investors.
Up to 10,000 investors who are part of the AssangeDAO pooled their money to purchase Clock, which is essentially an actual clock that updates daily with how many days Julian Assange has spent in jail. All the funds received were donated to the Wau Holland Foundation, which supports Julian Assange’s defense; he faces up to 175 years imprisonment.
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