Non-Fungible Tokens, or NFTs, enjoyed an astronomical rise in 2021. As people invested more in cryptocurrencies, so did NFTs increase in price and popularity. As a result, several NFT collections emerged, many of which have led the market to date.
The crypto market, however, experienced a negative run in 2022. Several cryptocurrencies lost the profits they accumulated last year, and billions of dollars were wiped off the market. Similarly, NFTs and NFT collections saw a decrease in price as people started holding onto their money.
Despite all the chaos of 2022, some NFT collections still managed to perform positively this year. While many of these collections represent legacy assets, some only recently arrived in the Web3 space.
In this article, we will go through a list of the top NFT collections of 2022. Let’s get started.
What are NFT Collections?
It is important to clarify what NFT collections are, especially for users new to the NFT ecosystem. NFTs are a class of digital assets stored on the blockchain. Due to the nature of blockchain technology, they enjoy specific characteristics such as immutability and permanence.
As the meaning suggests, NFTs are unique and cannot be replicated. Only one piece can exist at the same time. This doesn’t mean only the owner can use it. In the case of NFT pictures, people can still share the replicas of the picture online, but at the end of the day, the ownership of the picture still vests in one person.
NFT collections can be described as a collection of several NFTs. In most instances, NFTs within the same collection share certain traits which link them together. Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFTs, for example, are all Apes with distinctive attributes. As a result, anyone who comes across any of the BAYC NFTs can easily identify it.
There are no set numbers of NFTs that can be in a collection. BAYC, for instance, contains 10,000 NFTs. Some NFT collections include fewer, and some have more. Ultimately, what the creators decide to do determines the number of NFTs in a collection.
Now, let’s look at the top NFT collections in 2022.
Bored Ape Yacht Club – $1.57 billion
Bored Ape Yacht Club is already an established project in the NFT space and larger Web3 ecosystem. As a result, the project has emerged as arguably the most popular NFT collection in the industry. While the collection offers its holders exclusive benefits, its adoption amongst celebrities is one of the reasons why it has garnered so much hype.
Like several other NFT collections, BAYC started 2022 strongly, coming off the back of a good run in 2021. The collection became the first to pass the $1 billion trade volume mark and became popular amongst brands for product launches and promotions.
However, the crypto winter eventually caught up with the collection, which led to a reduction in the price of its NFTs. Nonetheless, the hype around the project and the exclusive benefits its holders enjoy helped sustain it through the darkest periods of 2022.
According to data from CryptoSlam, BAYC recorded over $1.5 billion worth of trades in 2022. Also, the successful releases of ApeCoin and Otherside by Yuga Labs, the maker of BAYC, helped increase the trade volume and price of BAYC NFTs.
The collection remains a top blue chip collection and is a popular choice amongst celebrities. Despite the troubles of 2022, the NFT collection finished strongly as it heads into 2023.
Mutant Ape Yacht Club – $1.14 billion
Yuga Labs, the makers of BAYC, released Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC) NFT collection as an extension to the BAYC NFT collection. There are many similarities between the two collections, but the major difference is that MAYC NFTs are mutated versions of the BAYC.
For many, MAYC was a cheaper way to enter the Yugaverse and access the exclusive offers their holders enjoy. It is no surprise that MAYC quickly rose to stardom and crossed the $1 billion mark in trade volume.
Due to its reduced cost, MAYC NFTs are traded and exchanged more often than their BAYC counterparts. This year, the collection recorded over $1.1 billion in sales, $400 million short of BAYC trade volumes. MAYC enjoyed increased trade volume during the ApeCoin and Otherside launch and increased mainstream adoption.
In addition, holders of the NFT were airdropped ApeCoin tokens during its launch in March and free Otherdeed tokens in April. These benefits show why there is so much buzz around the collection and why it had a good 2022.
Otherside – $1.1 billion
The third entry on this list proves why Yuga Labs sits at the cutting edge of the Web3 industry. Otherside is another project from the forward thinking company, and represents the NFT collection with the third-highest trade volume in 2022.
Unlike BAYC and MAYC, Otherside is a metaverse, which are virtual worlds where people can own virtual lands, bring their NFT avatars to life, or even replicate real-life infrastructure. In the case of Otherside, NFTs within the collection are plots of land referred to as Otherdeeds. Users who successfully mint the NFTs will have access to plots of land within Otherside, which Yuga Labs has touted as its upcoming gaming world.
Otherside launched this year in one of the biggest entries seen in the NFT ecosystem. Due to the anticipation and hype around the metaverse, the launch generated over $561 million within 24 hours and crashed the Ethereum network.
The trading frenzy further spilled over to secondary NFT marketplaces like OpenSea, where users who were able to mint the NFT quickly resold to buyers. The Otherside launch is still responsible for the biggest single-day secondary market trading volume ever recorded on OpenSea.
Otherside continued to generate buzz in the crypto space months after its launch. In August, Yuga Labs conducted the first interactive demo for the metaverse. During the demo, users could bring their NFTs to life and have a feel of what the future has in store.
Azuki – $849.9 million
Azuki is one of the biggest NFT collections in the world, and many will struggle to believe that it dropped earlier this year. It is the first NFT collection that is not from Yuga Labs and without ties to an already established NFT collection. Exciting, that is the word.
The anime-inspired NFT collection, which dropped earlier in January, managed to sustain a positive performance throughout 2022. The collection has racked up over $850 million in trade volume and cemented itself as a significant player in the ecosystem.
Moonbirds – $613.4 million
Last on the list is Moonbirds, a utility-based NFT collection that launched in 2022. The NFT collection is built on the Ethereum blockchain and sits at the cusp of blue-chip status. The collection recorded a positive performance in 2022, despite the steep decline in trade volumes and activities in the NFT ecosystem.
One of the perks of owning Moonbirds is access to an exclusive discord community where information on upcoming airdrops, community events, and so on. Added to this is a private club membership, and other benefits accrue the longer a user holds the NFT.
The collapse of several crypto institutions made the public look at NFTs with more sentiment. While that reduced trading volumes, it helped filter good projects with solid cases from NFT projects offering holders nothing. In a way, 2022 is a year of correction and standardization of the NFT space.
Compared to 2021, when people jumped on NFTs based on hype, people are more conscious of their decisions regarding the NFTs they buy and invest in. This attitude is expected to continue into 2022. As more NFT projects with good use cases are introduced into the market, so will the trade volumes rise too.
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*All investment/financial opinions expressed by NFT Plazas are from the personal research and experience of our site moderators and are intended as educational material only. Individuals are required to fully research any product prior to making any kind of investment.
A blockchain maximalist who believes that technology is necessary for the future we are heading to. An ardent researcher and writer who uses his writings to inform about the prospects in the blockchain space.