Maybe they’re not as popular as they were a year ago, but Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are still here and selling millions every day. Of course, some NFT collections are the most sold ones, and thus, more expensive than others. At the same time, they rarely offer only artworks, but also additional features like games and Metaverses.
We can say that virtual collectibles are here to stay, and these big sales are proving it. Let’s explore the most popular NFT collections to date (with data from CryptoSlam), and what they have for us.
As the name may suggest, Azuki started as an NFT collection of 10,000 anime avatars with unique traits. It was launched in January 2022 by Chiru Labs, a group of American artists and developers. Anime hasn’t been commonplace for NFTs, so, Azuki filled this void and gained a lot of popularity for it. The NFT collection was built on Ethereum and became one of the most sold after its full supply at 1 ETH per unit found owners in barely three minutes.
Now, the lowest price per NFT is over 9 ETH ($10,900) on OpenSea, while the most expensive units surpass 420 ETH ($511,000). In April 2022, the Azuki team launched an additional collection dubbed “Beanz”. With a supply of 19,950 NFTs, these are like the “bean-version” of the original anime avatars. Their floor price is currently at 0.7 ETH ($850), while its highest sale was at 90 ETH ($109,500).
Beyond the artworks themselves, Azuki is promising to build its own Metaverse. We can already find sneak peeks of their world on the official website. They feature “The Alley” (an entrance to The Garden, their Metaverse), and the Ruins, full of clues about airdrops and avatars’ usability. In October, they also announced their next “Physical Backed Token (PBT)”.
At the time of writing, Azuki has a sale volume of over $823 million, with 15,192 buyers and 13,509 sellers. It’s currently the Dapp #55 on Ethereum, and #16 in collectibles [DappRadar].
NBA Top Shot
This collection was specially designed for basketball fans. It features the best moments and players of the US National Basketball Association (NBA), similar to the old baseball cards. NBA Top Shot was launched in 2020 as an official association between the NBA itself and Dapper Labs, the creators of CryptoKitties and the blockchain Flow. The platform runs now on that chain, indeed.
The fans can find here unique moments on basketball, all of them as short videos transformed into exclusive NFTs. These pieces, of course, are categorized by level of rarity, from Common to Legendary. Common pieces are usually cheap and widely available (they’re 96.6% of the total). For example, Carmelo Anthony’s three-pointer has 40,000 units in circulation, and it’s listed at a price of around $2.
On the other hand, legendary pieces are the rarest (0.11% of the total) and more expensive. A legendary piece is a LeBron James dunk during the 2020 NBA Finals sold for $387,600 in April of 2021. Only 79 units of this moment are available. In addition to trading cards, users can also enjoy events, surprises, and airdrops on the website.
So far, NBA Top Shot has a sale volume of $1.037 billion, with 447,447 buyers and 436,826 sellers. According to DappRadar, this is the second Dapp by volume on Flow and the first and most-sold NFT collection on the same chain.
Considered the first collectibles on Ethereum, CryptoPunks arrived in 2017 by Larva Labs. These are 24×24 pixel-art images of punks algorithmically generated. Only 10,000 of them exist, and each one has unique traits. Even if they don’t fit the ERC-721 standard, specially designed for NFTs, the images and their code are stored on the blockchain and can be traded in a decentralized manner at any time.
Initially, Larva Labs gave away all CryptoPunks in existence. Anyone with an Ethereum walletA crypto wallet is a user-friendly software or hardware used to manage private keys. There are software wallets for desktop... More could claim any of them at no cost —and they were all claimed quickly. After that, the trading started, and now this is one of the most sold NFT collections. The lower cost per piece is 66.5 ETH (around $80.3k), while the most expensive CryptoPunk ever sold was the Alien #5822, at $23.7 million.
Last March, Yuga Labs (from BAYC), acquired the Intellectual Property of this collection and gave the commercial rights to their users. CryptoPunks NFTs can be used as avatars or pictures inside some Metaverses, like The Sandbox, Otherside, and Decentraland. This collection has sold over $2.4 billion, with 6,193 buyers and 4,160 sellers. Being so appreciated inside the NFT world, not all of them are for sale.
This brand was probably a big reason behind the NFTs going mainstream. Axie Infinity is a blockchain-based play-to-earn game, in which playable monsters or ‘axies’ are unique NFTs on Ethereum —and now on its own chain, Ronin. It was released in March 2018 by the Vietnamese studio Sky Mavis, and it’s available for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.
The game dynamic focuses on breeding and battling with axies. There are millions of these virtual creatures now, but only some batches are limited, like the Origin Axies (capped at 4,088 units). More common axies can be found on the Marketplace, starting at $1 per unit. So far, the most expensive axie ever sold was for $820,000.
Besides the creatures, it’s also possible to buy lands, items, charms, and runes. All of them can be used in the game. The virtual lands are the most expensive, with a floor price of 0.91 ETH (around $1,100). In total, Axie Infinity flaunts sales for over $4 billion, with 1,7 million buyers and 1,3 million sellers.
Most sold NFTs: Bored Apes and Otherdeeds
Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) was launched in April 2021 by Yuga Labs, and displays 10,000 figures of cartoon bored apes. Each ape is a unique NFT on Ethereum, but all of them combine 170 different traits, including fur, color, clothes, expression, and accessories. At first, every ape was sold for 0.08 ETH (around $200 at the time), but now it’s a very different story. The less expensive apes can cost over 62 ETH ($75,400) on OpenSea.
Very related to that collection, and also by Yuga Labs, we have the Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC). It was released in August 2021, featuring 20,000 unique mutants and monstrous apes. Available on OpenSea as well, the floor price starts at 11.35 ETH ($13,800), but the highest last sale was at 350 WETH ($425,000).
We can say that both of these collections are only ingredients for the Metaverse Otherside, by the same company. As they described:
“Otherside is a gamified, interoperable metaverse currently under development. The game blends mechanics from massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) and web3-enabled virtual worlds. Think of it as a metaRPG where the players own the world, your NFTs can become playable characters, and thousands can play together in real time.”
Beyond the avatars, there’s also available an NFT collection of 100,000 lands (Otherdeeds). The floor price for these virtual lands on Otherside is currently at 1.09 ETH ($2,300), but the highest sale was for 333.33 ETH ($405,000). If we combine the three collections, we can say that Yuga Labs has amassed around $5.3 billion in sales, reuniting thousands of buyers and sellers.
So far, they’re the leaders in the market with the most sold NFT collections. But who knows what may bring the future?
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