As 2021 comes to a close, it marks the end of what could be considered the year of the NFT. The massive expansion of non-fungible tokens could continue in 2022.
While NFTs have been around for several years, sales volume and valuations soared in 2021. Here is a look at the top ten NFTs by sales volume of all-time as of Dec. 27, ranked by CryptoSlam.
Axie Infinity ($3.78 billion): The popular play-to-earn NFT game Axie Infinity ranked first by sales volume for much of 2021 as it features a large amount of NFTs and transactions. Axie uses its own platform and marketplace to buy and sell NFTs, and players utilize tokens, such as Small Love Potion (CRYPTO: SLP) and Axie Infinity (CRYPTO: AXS), in the game.
The price of AXS soared in 2021, hitting a high of $165.37 in November, compared to a price of around 61 cents to start the year. Axie Infinity hit sales volume of $2 billion in September and then passed the $3 billion level a couple of months later.
CryptoPunks ($1.84 billion): Launched in 2017 by Larva Labs, CryptoPunks are acknowledged as one of the earliest NFT collections and considered one of the “blue chip” NFT projects using Ethereum (CRYPTO: ETH). The collection of 10,000 NFTs include different traits, with a total of 9 aliens and 24 apes among the rarest traits.
CryptoPunks have been popular among celebrities and athletes, who rank among the high profile holders of Punks. Top sales for CrytoPunks in 2021 include a collection of nine Punks selling for $17 million at auction, an alien CryptoPunk selling for $11.8 million via a Sotheby’s auction and a sale of another rare CryptoPunk on Dec. 9 for $10.3 million.
Related Link: Top 10 CryptoPunks Sales Of All Time
Art Blocks ($1.14 billion): Generative art NFT project Art Blocks was launched by Erick Calderon in early 2021 and has become one of the staples among the non-fungible token community. Art Blocks is the home for many artists to launch their art-based NFT collections to the community. Art Blocks is unique because it generates one-of-a-kind artwork for each mint.
“I think what makes Art Blocks special is that the curation is out the window. That curation has to be done all on the front end and the artist has to really tweak and massage their … algorithm to where every single piece that comes out of the minter represents them as an artist,” Calderon told Benzinga.
Bored Ape Yacht Club ($930.1 million): Perhaps the biggest story for NFTs in 2021 was the launch and rise of Bored Ape Yacht Club, a collection of 10,000 Apes that launched in late April. Originally minted at a cost of 0.08 Ethereum each, Apes now have a floor price of 59 ETH at the time of writing, recently passing CryptoPunks.
Celebrities and athletes bought Apes and put them on their NFL cleats and NBA sneakers. Bored Ape Yacht Club threw parties and partnered with Adidas (OTC:ADDYY) in 2021. More could be coming in 2022 with a mobile game and a coin tied to the Apes.
NBA Top Shot ($821.3 million): Dapper Labs launched NBA Top Shot in late 2020 as a collection of video highlights from NBA games as non-fungible tokens on the Flow blockchain. Top Shot saw a surge in demand in early 2021 with a limited supply available. Throughout 2021, Top Shot experienced a drop in value as the supply of its “moments” NFTs increased.
Dapper Labs launched WNBA moments, in-person summer league games and vintage moments from previous years. Dapper also announced a partnership with the NFL to bring football moments to collectors in the future.
Mutant Ape Yacht Club ($541.2 million): Bored Ape Yacht Club launched a spinoff project called Mutant Ape Yacht Club in August. Each Bored Ape holder got a serum that could create a new Mutant Ape version of their original NFT. The minting price for the Mutant Apes started at three ETH and gradually reduced to 0.01 ETH, bringing the total collection maximum of Mutant Apes to 20,000. At the time of writing, the floor price on Mutant Apes is 10.4 ETH.
Loot ($268.5 million): Vine co-funder Dom Hofmann launched text-based NFT project Loot (for Explorers) on Aug. 27, 2021. The project was free to mint minus the cost of gas since it’s based on the Ethereum platform.
Each NFT contains a list of eight items that could become part of a yet-to-be-built game similar to Dungeons & Dragons. Loot owners also got 10,000 Adventure Gold (CRYPTO: AGLD) tokens for free, a cryptocurrency claimable with the cost of gas. The floor price of Loot is 2.4 ETH at the time of writing.
The Sandbox ($268.4 million): A surge in interest and demand for virtual land properties has made The Sandbox NFTs and its associated The Sandbox coin (CRYPTO: SAND) two of the hottest assets in 2021. The changing of Facebook’s name to Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ:FB) helped spur increased demand for metaverse assets, with The Sandbox ending 2021 on a streak of many weeks in the top ten NFTs by sales volume.
Meebits ($249.2 million): Larva Labs, the creators of CryptoPunks, launched a new NFT project called Meebits in May as a collection of 20,000 3D avatar based collectibles. One free Meebit was available for the owners of each of the 10,000 Punks, with an additional 10,000 sold via a Dutch auction. Larva Labs partnered with a talent agency in 2021 and Meebits could be benefitting from the potential monetization efforts.
Cool Cats ($208.3 million): One of the big stories for NFTs in 2021 was the acceptance by some big brands in partnering with NFT collections or launching their own. Cool Cats announced a partnership with TIME magazine in August. The partnership came thanks to Time magazine President Keith Grossman being a vocal supporter of NFTs and liking the 9,999 blue cat collection called Cool Cats.
Launched with a mint price of 0.02 ETH, Cool Cats have had one of the most impressive runs of 2021 going from 0.02 to 1.6 ETH, at the time of the TIME announcement, to a current floor of 9 ETH at the time of writing. The NFT project has more in store in 2022 with a token and breeding coming.
Photo: Courtesy of Scott Beale on Flickr