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What you need to know about non-fungible tokens

NFTs or non-fungible tokens have been picking up steam in the crypto market lately. These tokens have been around for years with the first one being made back on May 3rd, 2014. However, they only became mainstream this 2021, thanks to it giving various artists the ability to monetize their artworks.

To give you a scope of how fast it surged into popularity, the OpenSea marketplace data showed in 2020 that it had $13.7 million in sales. Just over a year later during the first half of 2021, it has already grown to $2.5 billion in value.

But what exactly are NFTs? Why are they popular today? Learn more about it here at Cryptoshimbun!

What are non-fungible tokens?

Non-Fungible Tokens are digital assets tied to real-world items such as artworks, photos or video clips. It’s non-fungible nature means it can’t be exchanged with anything unlike regular cryptocurrencies. 

Unlike regular tokens, NFTs don’t hold the same value which means they can’t be exchanged. They’re the complete opposite of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin that can be traded to another. This means they can’t be used to purchase goods and services online and in any participating merchants. 

What it does have in common with cryptocurrencies is its use of blockchain. This is a decentralized public ledger that records all transactions and it represents the proof of ownership of the specific NFT sold. This technology makes it impossible to alter information and manipulate data because every transaction is recorded like a timestamp.

Why are NFTs popular today?

Non-Fungible Tokens saw a massive surge among users, especially in the art and gaming industry. Through NFTs, artists and gamers can monetize their original artworks and in-game items online. 

This reason along with the growing trend of collecting items and big-name celebrities mentioning them helped skyrocket its popularity. These days, you’ll even see stars like The Weeknd and Paris Hilton talk about NFTs. It’s become so mainstream that it was also featured in the world-famous comedy sketch show, SNL (Saturday Night Live).

How are NFTs used?

NFTs can be likened to collector’s items where people would collect rare items that aren’t owned by anyone else in the world such as pictures, videos, music, etc. Non-Fungible Tokens are sold in NFT Markets such as Mintable, Rarible, and SuperRare using Ethereum (ETH). This can then be converted to cash using one of the available exchanges, including:

  • Coinbase
  • Kraken
  • Gemini.

Most expensive NFTs sold

People have been introduced to different NFTs. These range from video clips to images that each feature a style unique to that specific artist. Today, you can find a lot of unique NFTs in the market with some worth thousands or even millions of dollars. Here are some of the most valuable NFTs ever sold you should know about ranked from highest to lowest:

1. Everydays: The First 5000 Days – $69,000,000

When it comes to determining the most expensive NFT sold, there is no competition since the top spot is worth $69.3 million. The art, called Everydays: The First 5000 Days is another work from the world-famous net artist, Beeple.

The purchase was made at the first auction that Christie’s held. This art was a compilation of the artist’s work for 5 straight years without missing a single day since May of 2007. As of now, no other NFT has ever come close to the price that this artwork sold for.

2. Cryptopunk#3100 – $7,580,00

Cryptopunk#3100 belongs to the collection of pixel art images released by Larva in 2017. A total of 10,000 Cryptopunks were made from randomly generated characters.

CryptoPunk is considered one of the most expensive NFTs in the market. It features a blue Alien Punk character that sold for over 7 and a half million dollars on March 11, 2021.

3. CROSSROAD – $6,600,000

One of the biggest net artists in the NFT market is Mike Winkelmann who goes by the name, ‘Beeple’. On February 22nd 2021, he sold a short 10-second clip called CROSSROADS for $6.6 million. 

The purchase was made on an auction platform called Nifty Gateway but the buyer wouldn’t know which artwork he/she was going to get since Beeple made two versions of this NFT. One for when Trump would win the presidential election and one where Biden would be the victor with the latter being the one released.

4. Doge – $4,000,000

One of the most iconic and beloved memes to grace the internet, Doge, was sold as an NFT in July for $4,000,000. The picture featured the now iconic Shiba Inu dog named Kabosu who is making a face which the internet immediately fell in love with. It’s been featured in various pop culture images such as memes and even the cryptocurrency, Dogecoin.

Doge NFT was put up for auction in July by the owner of the iconic dog, Atsuko Sato. The image now belongs to PleasrDAO who paid 1,696.9 in ETH to acquire it.

5. Jack Dorsey’s first tweet – $2,900,000

Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter, sold the first tweet in history as an NFT back on March 22nd, 2021 for $2.9 million. He made it over 15 years ago and it simply read ‘just setting up my twttr

This historical significance added to its value, helping it reach the price it was sold for. Dorsey then proceeded to donate all his earnings from this NFT to a charity called GiveDirectly, an organization that aims to help the needy.

6. The Best I Could Do – $1,650,000

Co-creator of the world-famous animated series Rick and Morty, Justin Roiland, has dipped his toes in the world of NFT with The Best I Could Do. This artwork features a charming doodle of the characters from another iconic animated series, The Simpsons.

Roiland’s distinguishable style can be seen in this rough sketch where the characters have alien-like features. It was sold for over one and a half million dollars to Nifty Gateway back on January 18th, 2021.

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