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Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are one of the most disruptive developments in cryptocurrency. Though they have only been around for a few years, they've ignited mainstream fervor, and for a good reason.
NFTs fundamentally transform what digital ownership means. For the first time, we can give digital property a distinguishable identity, creating something we can own, transfer, and sell.
Blockchain enables NFT sales, and NFTs leverage this power to create digital, tangible property. NFTs are all the rage, but knowing the big market movers and shakers and why they're so important is challenging even for early NFT collectors.
Here's a list of the top five best-selling NFT collections — we'll follow with a brief explanation of each and why they're so popular.
Created by Larva Labs, owners of CryptoPunks, Meebits are a collection of 20,000 3D-animated characters on the Ethereum blockchain. Meebits closely resemble characters in Minecraft and Roblox, and they're one of the most highly sought-after NFTs in the market.
There are seven core Meebit categories:
Each Meebit has a unique set of physical characteristics, and the Meebits algorithm generates combinations of tattoos, faces, hair color, clothing, and more. In addition, owners can use Meebits profile pictures across any social media site that supports NFT functionality. CryptoPunks' success generated excitement around Meebits, and they quickly became one of the most popular NFTs in the market.
Meebits' popularity is mainly due to their aesthetic appeal and the fact that they have the backing of a major NFT company in the space.
One of the more curated and artistically stunning forms of digital artwork on the NFT market, Art Blocks are a collection of "generative art," or art that autonomous systems exclusively create.
To create art, creators deploy a script on the Ethereum blockchain, toying with different parameters that affect the outcome. Finally, the script's code is hashed, and a corresponding image is rendered. This process creates an NFT that's impossible to replicate, and each Art Block is one-of-a-kind.
As artificial intelligence grows more sophisticated, generative art will become more popular. Art Blocks represents a symbolic union of art and tech; the collection is as varied as it is beautiful. You can find Art Blocks on SuperRare, a popular NFT marketplace.
A collection of 10,000 generative images, Doodles are similar to Art Blocks in that they're created through code. Unlike Art Blocks, Doodles use a neural network to generate their images.
Their popularity stems partly from their association with Evan Keast, Scott Martin, and Jordan Castro, the creators of Crypto Kitties, the most iconic NFT project of crypto past (only 2017, but that's a lifetime in crypto years).
Doodles aims to become a crypto entertainment company in the web3 space, bringing immerse, experiential marketing, in-person events, merchandise, and more to the blockchain world.
Launched in 2017 by Larva Labs, CryptoPunks takes the cake as one of the most valuable NFT projects ever to grace the space.
With CryptoPunk #5833 selling for 8000 ETH ($23.7 million at the time) in February of 2022, it's clear that CryptoPunks have cemented their place in the NFT market. While the recent market downturn has impacted prices, the overall value of CryptoPunks has stabilized at a floor price of about 70 ETH.
Like many other NFTs, each punk is a unique, pixellated image on the Ethereum blockchain, and each bears an immutable set of characteristics, including hairstyle, clothing, and skin color.
Many credit CryptoPunks as kindling the flames of the NFT mania. The project was one of the first to launch on Ethereum's mainnet and rode the early wave of hype around the technology.
Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) is another one of the most popular and valuable NFT projects, with sales from high-profile celebrities like Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Jimmy Fallon, and more.
Demonstrative of that star power is the value of any piece in the BAYC collection. In October 2021, Bored Ape Yacht Club #8817 sold for over $3.4 million, one of the top-selling NFTs of all time, right alongside Bored Ape #1837, which was said to be purchased by Elon Musk via Moonpay for a sale price of roughly $1.5 million. The popularity of expensive BAYC NFTs and “affordable” ones alike are unimpeachable, and despite the broad market’s downturn, they’re likely to remain a big player in the space.
BAYC sees the project as a leader in commercializing NFTs and broadening its appeal to a mainstream audience. BAYC wants owners to use their Apes with rare traits for all forms of entertainment, not just for digital art, whether TV, film, music, or social media. But, like other high-profile NFT projects, Bored Apes may just be getting started.
From robots to pixelated punks and apes, how can you discern which NFT's are worth your time and money? And considering some NFTs cost tens of thousands (sometimes hundreds of thousands) of dollars, popular NFTs aren't cheap. If you can't afford a Bored Ape, you can invest in a piece of one through Ember Fund's top NFT Portfolio — all with just $10.
Ember Fund fractionalizes NFTs with their NFT Index, so you can own a part of an NFT without paying thousands of dollars for them, making it more affordable to get involved in the NFT space. Download Ember Fund today to get started.
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