Which are the Most Expensive NFTs Ever Sold?

By Terrain.art | Sep 30 2021 · 6 min read

From Beeple’s meticulous collage to Abosch’s evocative art, NFTs artworks are raking in millions.

If you are a crypto sceptic who is unsure about the new-fangled ways of how art markets work, this post may turn you into a convert. Ever since American artist Beeple sold his digital artwork at a whopping USD 69 million at Christie’s, the art world is agog with news of the magical returns that NFT artworks are fetching in auction seasons.

But what are the factors that are driving up the prices of NFTs? Is the NFT phenomenon a bubble that is waiting to burst? Here’s a list of the most expensive NFTs ever sold. You too can ride the NFT wave and invest in NFT art by simply logging in to Terrain. art, which offers a wide array of digital artworks, each of which comes with its own NFT, ensuring authenticity and hassle-free purchase.

 The Value of an Artwork

 The value of an artwork is derived from the fact that it is one of a kind. If one looks at the perennial auction earners, such as Pablo Picasso, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Andy Warhol, one can easily understand why these artists continue to be the highest grossers in the art market. These artists have made a lasting contribution to the field of art and have also left behind a rich legacy, spawning countless replicas and copies. Their art has entered the popular consciousness through representation in advertisements, cinema, and other popular visual forms.

But apart from the obvious artistic genius, market forces also play a critical role in driving up prices of artworks. The art market is a complex labyrinth of middlemen, art galleries and auction houses. Furthermore, buying and selling artworks can also attract a hefty tax in some countries. Nonetheless, it still leaves the artist an enviable sum. But quality artists take months to complete an art project and can only produce a few artworks per year. Therefore, given the labour and the amount of time that a work of art typically requires, the high prices they fetch do not seem too far-fetched.

 How Have NFTs Changed the Game

 Despite artworks being sold at astronomical prices, talented artists are often short-changed. An artwork typically gains value over time fetching a high price for the owner of the work. However, very rarely do artists get royalties or proceeds from the future sale of their artworks. Thankfully, NFTs or non-fungible tokens have changed the rules of the game.

An NFT is a non-fungible digital token that, when attached to a work of art, acts as a guarantee of authenticity, and helps to trace its provenance. But how does it help the artist? For one, it helps to counteract forgeries and art thefts. Since NFT artworks are transacted through an open, distributed ledger system called blockchain, it is impossible to forge records. Not just that, Smart Contracts enable artists to benefit from resale of their NFT Artworks through secondary sale royalties. Here are some of the most expensive NFTs ever sold.


Top 5 NFT Artworks Sold in Auction

 Beeple (Everydays – The First 5000 Days, 69 million USD)

When on February 16, 2021, Christie’s announced that it would offer its first-ever NFT-based digital artwork, little did it know that a modest bid of USD 100 would eventually skyrocket to settle at an astronomical USD 69 million. This sale made Beeple, also known as Mike Winkelmann, one of the highest-grossing living artists, along with Jeff Koons and David Hockney.

The artwork is a labour of love created over more than 10 years, starting in 2007. It is a collage of over 5,000 digital images created by Winkelmann that includes several prominent figures of pop culture, including Jeff Bezos and Donald Trump. The work is now on display in a digital museum on the metaverse. Art critic Ben Davis, who has seen the work, says that work allegedly contains several racial and sexual stereotypes.

 Beeple (Crossroads, 6.6 million USD)

 The second position is also claimed by Beeple, whose artwork Crosswords sold for USD 6.6 million on Nifty Gateway. The artwork takes a dig at Donald Trump’s defeat in the 2020 election. It shows a naked, graffitied corpse, lying on the roadside, as passers-by walk past him.

 Kevin Abosch (Forever Rose, 1 million USD)

 Kevin Abosch’s evocative yet simple digital artwork Forever Rose dropped in the NFT marketplace on Valentine’s Day way back in 2018. This was a time when terms like NFTs, cryptocurrencies, etc. had rarely been used in common parlance. Yet, it fetched a neat USD 1 million, making it the world’s most expensive NFT artwork at the time – a record that was only recently broken by Beeple.

 Pak (Metarift, 904,413.47 USD)

 Pak’s Metarift features a hypnotic animation video featuring metallic balls caught within the infinite loop. It fetched more than 900,000 dollars, but experts believe that future auctions of the NFT artwork would quite certainly break the million-mark.

 Steve Aoki and Antoni Tudisco (Hairy, 888,888 USD)

 Capitalizing on the NFT mania, DJ and producer Steve Aoki released an 11-piece digital art collection called Dreamcatcher with 3-D illustrator Antoni Tudisco. One of the animation works, entitled Hairy, features a pink and turquoise hairy beast. Each artwork, we are told, comes with its own video loop display.