Skip to main content

Last Updated on 3 months by Web3 Studio

NFTs, once a niche term whispered in crypto circles, have exploded onto the global stage, disrupting the art world, captivating collectors, and leaving a trail of digital art pixels worth millions in their wake. This nascent market, fueled by Ethereum and blockchain technology, has birthed a new breed of digital assets – the “famous” NFT. But what makes these digital art so coveted, their names echoing across the internet?

Behind every record-breaking NFT sale lies a potent cocktail of artistic vision, cutting-edge technology, and savvy marketing. Some, like the iconic Bored Ape Yacht Club, offer exclusive membership to a digital club, while others, like Beeple’s Everydays, rewrite the art world’s boundaries with their sheer scale and artistic mastery. But the question remains: why are these NFTs, mere lines of code on a blockchain, commanding prices that rival traditional masterpieces?

This article delves into the fascinating world of the most popular NFTs, dissecting their unique characteristics, the stories behind their creation, and the factors that propel them to dizzying heights in the NFT market. We’ll meet the creative minds and marketing gurus who orchestrate these digital phenomena, explore the intricacies of generative art, and uncover the secrets that turn pixels into expensive NFT art pieces.

Get ready to unlock the vault of the NFT space, where pixels dazzle as prestige and digital assets redefine the art world.


Decrypting the Da Vinci’s of the Digital Age: What Makes the Most Famous NFTs Tick?

Imagine owning a piece of art that exists solely in the digital realm, a unique token on the Ethereum blockchain that grants you exclusive ownership and bragging rights. That’s the essence of NFT art, a revolutionary concept that’s blurring the lines between traditional art and digital NFT collections.

But what makes certain NFTs popular, achieving astronomical tens of millions of price tags and becoming cultural icons? Let’s unlock the secrets behind these digital Mona Lisas of non-fungible tokens.

Beyond Pixels: The Magic of NFT Art

At its core, an NFT art piece is a digital asset, like a painting or animation, stored on a blockchain. This decentralized ledger ensures its authenticity and scarcity, making each NFT one-of-a-kind. Imagine owning a unique, numbered edition of a Van Gogh masterpiece, but instead of a canvas, it’s a digital file.

The Midas Touch: Factors Fueling NFT Fame

Several factors contribute to an NFT’s ascent to fame:

  • Artistic Merit: Groundbreaking visuals, innovative techniques, and a captivating story behind the art can elevate an NFT to masterpiece status. Beeple’s “Everydays,” a 5,000-day collage of digital art, is a prime example.
  • Community and Utility: A digital artwork can unlock exclusive access to online communities, events, and even metaverse experiences. Owning a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT grants you membership to a vibrant community and access to real-world events.
  • Historical Significance: Pioneering NFT projects like Cryptopunks, the first-ever NFT collection, hold historical significance, making them valuable collector’s items.
  • Celebrity Endorsement: When celebrities like Justin Bieber or Paris Hilton join the NFT bandwagon, it sparks mainstream culture attention and drives up prices.

The Allure of the Top NFTs

The most famous NFTs are like the Mona Lisas of the digital age, captivating millions and fetching astronomical sums. They represent the pinnacle of creativity, community, and cultural relevance within the NFT space. Owning one of the most expensive NFTs ever sold is not just about the art; it’s about owning a piece of the future, a symbol of belonging to a cutting-edge NFT ecosystem.

So, the next time you hear about an NFT sold for millions, remember, it’s not just about great NFT marketing. It’s a testament to the power of human creativity, community building, NFT culture, and the ever-evolving digital landscape. The most popular NFTs are not just art for some hefty price; they’re a glimpse into the future of how we create, own, and experience the world around us.


The most popular NFTs at NFT auctions

Now that we have the answer to why are NFT valuable, let’s look at, the most popular nfts projects.

Some of the most well-known and valuable NFT projects right now include CryptoPunk NFT project, Art Blocks, Everydays: The First 5000 Days, and The Bored Ape Yacht Club. However, the NFT space is constantly evolving with new emerging projects and ideas that capture the public's imagination and demand. This list just scratches the surface of the innovation happening in the world of digital collectables and blockchain-based art.

Beeple’s Billion-Dollar Beep

Before NFTs, Mike Winkelmann, aka Beeple, was a graphic designer known for his vibrant visuals. In 2021, he entered the NFT scene with a bang, leaving an indelible mark on digital art history with “Everydays The First 5000 Days.”

illustration svg+xml;charset=utf

This wasn’t just an entire collection or an expensive artwork; it was a daily odyssey, a 5,000-day testament to artistic dedication. Each piece, a blend of 3D animation, collage, and satire, tackled contemporary issues with punchy social commentary. Beyond the sheer scale, it was this storytelling depth that resonated, propelling “Everydays” to one of the highest-selling NFT $69.3 million Christie’s auction.

But Beeple didn’t stop there. “Human One,” a hybrid electronic sculpture, an animated artwork with ever-changing LED displays, and blurred lines between mediums.

illustration svg+xml;charset=utf

Beeple’s artwork success wasn’t just about visuals or tech; it was about zeitgeist mastery, community engagement, and using NFT crypto art as powerful storytelling tools. He didn’t just create the coolest NFTs; he crafted art that spoke to a generation navigating a digital world.

So, remember Beeple’s original artwork, not just for the billion-dollar Beep, but as the one who challenged boundaries, embraced communities, and used digital crypto art to tell the stories of our time. His journey is far from over, and the NFT landscape will be richer for it.

Cryptopunks: Pioneering Pixelated Punks

Cryptopunks NFT

Created by Larva Labs in 2017, Cryptopunks were among the first successful NFT projects built on Web3 design principles and Ethereum’s blockchain. These collectable digital artworks consist of 10,000 unique 24×24 pixelated characters with algorithmically generated attributes. The iconic 8-bit punk aesthetics tapped into the cypherpunk ethos of early cryptocurrency culture.

Cryptopunks were initially free to claim; now the most expensive NFT sell for millions. The most expensive cryptopunk ever sold was Cryptopunk #7523, an Alien-style punk that fetched $11.8 million at a Sotheby’s auction. There are only nine Aliens among the Cryptopunks, making every alien punk
exceptionally rare and valuable as non-fungible tokens on crypto markets.

Beyond their artistic appeal, Cryptopunks hold cultural significance as being the blueprint for the modern NFT space. By demonstrating provable digital scarcity and ownership on the blockchain, they pioneered web3 design patterns that paved the way for crypto art and modern NFT mania. Larva Labs and Larva Labs’s directors Matt Hall and John Watkinson demonstrated the full potential of NFTs for unlocking new cryptographic models of value and ownership.

Apes Infiltrate the Club: The Bored Ape Yacht Club Concept

illustration svg+xml;charset=utf

Among the most buzzworthy and expensive NFTs sold is the Bored Ape Yacht Club, from Yuga Labs created by friends Gargamel, Gordon Goner, and Emperor Tomato Ketchup. This collection of 10,000 unique Bored Ape NFTs with quirky attributes struck a chord thanks to its exclusive club premise and highly sought-after blockchain memberships.

Community and Exclusivity: The BAYC Approach

The Bored Ape Yacht Club prioritized building an NFT ecosystem and an engaged community and online and offline experiences. NFT holders got access to an exclusive Discord server for chatting and member benefits. The roadmap promised future events, merch, and more – provided virtually and in real life. This blend of digital ownership and physical experiences promoted tight-knit community bonding.

From Pixelated Apes to Cultural Icons

While starting as niche blockchain collectables, Bored Apes became cultural sensations thanks to celebrity connections. Steph Curry, Paris Hilton, Jimmy Fallon and more adopted apes, sparking mainstream buzz. Top brands like Adidas even partnered with the BAYC for new Web3 marketing and product initiatives centred around the Bored Ape IP. These collaborations elevated NFT monkey price and made pixelated JPEGs into globally recognised symbols of internet culture. The BAYC demonstrated the expansive potential of community-driven NFT brands.

Bored Apes went ape-wild: From pixelated primates to pop icons, see how community and Web3 marketing fueled their meteoric rise.


Pixels with a Mind of Their Own: Generative Art

Generative art utilizes algorithms and code to create unique pieces with varying patterns and attributes. Instead of manually creating each NFT, artists write programs that randomly generate endless permutations. Each generation is unique, introducing an exciting unpredictability.

Art Blocks: A Platform for the Unpredictable

Founded by programmer and artist Erick Calderon, Art Blocks is a leading generative NFT PR platform. Artists submit curated algorithmic processes which randomly mint new NFTs when purchased by collectors. This granting of creative autonomy to the program opens new artistic possibilities.

Chromie Squiggle: A Case Study in Algorithmic Beauty

One of Art Blocks’ standout pieces is the Chromie Squiggle collection by Tyler Hobbs. The algorithm creates striking squiggles of overlapping lines and hypnotic gradients. No two are exactly alike. Many sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars, including one of the highest sold NFT fetching $980,000 at auction due to its generative origins and visual brilliance.

The Future of AI-Powered Art

Generative art points to a fascinating future where algorithms collaborate with artists to create breathtaking NFTs. But it also poses questions about authorship and the role of AI in the creative process. Regardless, tools like Art Blocks have captivated the NFT community with their mesmerizing expressions of algorithmic beauty and design.

Exploring Other Notable NFTs

The NFT landscape is a vibrant tapestry, woven with threads of creativity, innovation, and cultural significance. While the likes of Cryptopunks, BAYC, and Beeple’s “Everydays” dominate the headlines, a wealth of other remarkable NFTs deserve a closer look of the best NFT marketing agencies.

Nyan Cat GIF: From Meme to NFT Icon

illustration названия

Remember the adorable pixelated cat flying through space with a rainbow trail? Nyan Cat, the viral internet meme born in 2011, made its grand entrance into the NFT world in 2021. The original GIF, painstakingly crafted by Chris Torres, fetched a cool $580,000, showcasing the power of nostalgia and the potential of established internet culture to translate into valuable digital assets. Nyan Cat’s success demonstrates that sometimes, the most beloved icons transcend their digital origins and find a new home in the NFT ecosystem.


illustration svg+xml;charset=utf

NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal launched a charitable NFT collection called SHAQ GIVES BACK in collaboration with the NFT platform The Notables. The collection featured over 10,000 unique animated images of O’Neal ranging from him dressed as Santa Claus to wearing old team jerseys. Within just 5 days, the full collection had sold out, raising $2 million.

All proceeds from initial sales and ongoing royalties will be donated to the Shaquille O’Neal Foundation, which supports underprivileged youth. O’Neal promoted the philanthropic NFT drop through an Instagram post showing an animated version of himself in a Santa outfit.

The SHAQ GIVES BACK collection demonstrates how NFTs can transform philanthropy and charitable initiatives. By leveraging blockchain providence and digital scarcity, personalized NFT artworks become unique digital collectables that fans are eager to purchase, especially when proceeds benefit good causes. This enables new fundraising opportunities.

While the initial SHAQ GIVES BACK drop sold out quickly, The Notables announced that the NFTs are still available on secondary markets like OpenSea. As the space evolves, charitable celebrity NFT drops like O’Neal’s hint at the technology’s potential to change how nonprofits raise awareness and funding. NFT integration also presents new possibilities for charities focused on causes like education access and game development for underprivileged youth.

“The Clock” by Assange and Pak: A Ticking Reminder of Freedom

illustration svg+xml;charset=utf

In a powerful collaboration, Julian Assange, the controversial founder of WikiLeaks, and digital artist Pak created “The Clock,” an NFT featuring a countdown clock perpetually ticking how long Julian Assange has been imprisoned This controversial yet thought-provoking piece, currently valued at over $70 million, raises crucial questions about freedom of information, government overreach, and the role of art in activism. “Clock” served to raise funds for Assange’s legal defense and this is a stark reminder that NFTs can be more than just digital collectibles; they can be potent tools for social commentary and raising awareness about important issues.


illustration svg+xml;charset=utf

While CryptoPunks reign supreme on the Ethereum blockchain, their punkish counterparts, TPunks, are making waves on the Tron blockchain. These pixelated rebels, inspired by the original Cryptopunks but with a distinct Tron blockchain twist, offer a unique alternative for collectors seeking a more decentralized and community-driven experience. TPunks’ lower entry point compared to their Ethereum counterparts also makes them an attractive option for newcomers to the NFT space.


illustration svg+xml;charset=utf

Whistleblower Edward Snowden took a bold step into the NFT world with “Stay Free,” created by the National Security Agency an artwork exploring themes of privacy, surveillance, and freedom. Proceeds from the sale support Snowden’s legal defense and advocacy work. This Edward Snowden NFT highlights the potential of NFTs to empower individuals and fuel social change.


And let’s not forget the other end of the spectrum. At the time of writing, the title of “cheapest NFT” belongs to “The Pixel,” a simple red pixel listed on the OpenSea marketplace for just 0.00001 ETH (approximately $0.03).

While it may not have the same artistic complexity or cultural impact as some of the NFTs mentioned above, “The Pixel” serves as a reminder that the NFT world is accessible to everyone, regardless of budget.

From viral memes to celebrity NFTs, from social commentary to artistic rebellion, and from the cheapest to the most expensive, the NFT landscape is brimming with diverse and captivating stories. So, the next time you venture into the world of NFTs, remember to look beyond the headlines and explore the hidden gems waiting to be discovered. You might just stumble upon the next cultural phenomenon or uncover a piece of art that resonates deeply with you.

What’s the most expensive NFT

The allure of NFTs, non-fungible tokens, lies in their ability to transform digital assets into verifiable, ownable entities. But amidst the hype, a curious disconnect emerges: popularity and price tag don’t always align. While Cryptopunks and Bored Apes dominate social media, their astronomical sale figures are often eclipsed by lesser-known pieces with deeper artistic merit. Take Pak’s “The Merge,” a dynamic, ever-evolving canvas that fetched a record-breaking $91.8 million. Its conceptual brilliance and interactive nature arguably hold more intrinsic value than a pixelated ape, yet it lacks the viral buzz.

Ultimately, the worth of an NFT, like any art form, transcends mere monetary value. It’s a tapestry woven from innovation, scarcity, community, and, most importantly, the emotional resonance it evokes. While the “Most Expensive NFTs” list is a fascinating glimpse into the digital art market’s peaks, it’s just one chapter in a much richer story. So, delve deeper, explore beyond the headlines, and discover the hidden gems that truly resonate with your artistic soul.


NFT NameCreatorCollectionDescriptionIllustration
The MergePakMergeA mesmerizing, ever-changing canvas composed of individual NFTs, each representing a collector.


illustration Screenshot 3

Everydays: The First 5000 DaysBeepleEverydaysA collage of 5,000 daily artworks spanning 13 years, documenting the artist’s life and the rise of the digital age.


illustration Everydays the First 5000 Days 1

Human OneBeepleHuman OneA hybrid physical and digital sculpture featuring a moving astronaut exploring a futuristic landscape.


illustration beeple human 1024x576 1

CryptoPunk #7523Larva LabsCryptoPunksA pixelated alien with rare traits like a surgical mask.


illustration Screenshot 4

Cryptopunk #7804Larva LabsCryptoPunksAnother rare alien CryptoPunk with a smoking pipe making it highly desirable among collectors.


illustration Screenshot 5

Ringers #879Dmitri CherniakRingersA mesmerizing, hypnotic animation of colourful forms reminding a goose.


illustration Screenshot 6

Free RossRoss UlbrichtFree RossNFTs were created by Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht, with proceeds supporting his legal defence.


illustration Screenshot 7

Beeple, Everyday Ocean Front #4344BeepleEverydaysApocalyptic coastal landscape sold for $6M at Christie’s auction in 2021.


illustration beeple 03 23 19

All-Time High in the CityXCOPYA hauntingly beautiful animation of the figures rowing a boat across a vast, starry expanse.


illustration Screenshot 8

CryptoPunk # 5217Larva LabsCryptoPunksAnother rare CryptoPunk with a coveted “gold chain” trait, adding to its allure among collectors.


illustration 37e52ed196ab52f95f71dcb0714612fd

Stay Free. Edward Snowden NFTNational Security AgencyA portrait of Snowden alongside classified documents.


illustration названия

The landscape of NFTs is a fascinating one, with popularity and price tags often taking divergent paths. While Cryptopunks and Bored Apes dominate social feeds, their fame doesn’t always translate to record-breaking sales. Like diamonds in the digital rough, hidden gems like “The Merge” and “Free Ross” shine with artistic merit and innovative concepts, captivating collectors beyond the hype. Studying these “case studies” in NFT success reveals that true value lies in more than just a viral meme – it’s about community, innovation, and the power of art to move hearts and minds. So, what are you waiting for? Dive into the world of NFTs, explore beyond the headlines, and discover the digital gems that resonate with your soul.