NFTs, short for non-fungible tokens, made headlines when the work of American artist Beeple, Daily: first 5,000 days, was sold for US$69 million in March 2021. With such exorbitant sums on digital assets, the most popular NFT projects have enticed more people to invest in the metaverse.
Today, several NFT projects are launched every day. From world-famous singers to movie stars to public figures, everyone is investing in digital assets and flaunting them on social media, resulting in an exponential increase in NFT sales.
Here are the top 7 NFT projects you need to know about in 2022:
CryptoPunks was one of the first non-fungible token projects on Ethereum. Launched in 2017 by Larva Labs, they were algorithmically generated and feature a collection of 10,000 unique tokens to collect. The company collaborated with two Canadian software developers to create this collection.
The characters in this NFT project look like a pixelated version of punks who can be bought, sold or bid. The collection includes punks, which are the most common form. There are still 88 zombie punks, 24 monkey punks and nine alien punks in the collection.
These punks are available in special background colors that let buyers know the status of the digital asset. A red background indicates that it is for sale, while those with a purple background mean that there are offers for the character. However, if the background color is blue, the punk is not for sale.
The highest-selling CryptoPunk was an alien avatar worth $7.58 million.
American rappers Jay-Z and Snoop Dog, as well as tennis player Serena Williams, are among the famous CryptoPunk NFT holders.
Bored Ape Yacht Club
One of the most famous NFT collections today is the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC). Some well-known names who have invested in BAYC include talk show host Jimmy Fallon, musician Future, music producer DJ Khaled and YouTuber Logan Paul. The latest celebrity to join the movement is American rapper Eminem, who currently has digital art that looks like him. He also uses it as his Twitter profile picture.
Made by Yuga Labs, BAYC features animated monkeys that have varying characteristics and rarities and inhibit the Ethereum blockchain. The NFT Project has a collection of 10,000 unique Bored Apes.
Launched in April 2021, their prices skyrocketed within months, making this collection one of the most beloved collectibles in the industry. Those who own these NFTs receive a Yacht Club membership card, which offers many benefits, including invitations to private concerts in the digital world.
The highest price at which a BAYC NFT was auctioned was 769 ETH or 2.3 million US dollars.
Mutant Monkey Yacht Club
Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC) is a unique collection of apes created as a separate project by the creators of BAYC.
MAYC was released in August 2021. There were 10,000 mutant monkeys in the collection, which instantly sold for $96 million. But that’s not where the “mutation” stopped.
According to CoinGeko, MAYC could be created using a “vial of mutant serum or by knocking a mutant monkey into the public sale”.
This means that the creators of BAYC have added a unique system that has not only greatly benefited the owners of the original Bored Ape NFTs, but has also raised the popularity bar for the Mutant Apes.
They introduced a new NFT, known as “Serum”. Holders of Bored Ape cards could add the “Serum”, of which three types are available, including the mega mutant serum, to their “monkeys” and convert them into Mutant Apes.
This meant that all 10,000 Bored Apes could be converted into an equal number of Mutant Apes. In addition to the mutants already released, the total number of NFTs in the Mutant Apes collection thus reached 20,000.
MAYC NFTs are slightly affordable compared to Bored Apes which are currently being hoarded by celebrities and venture capitalists.
A mutant monkey can cost around US$32,600. Some celebrities who own the Mutant Ape Yacht Club NFTs include American rapper Lil Baby, actor Drake Bell, NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, and Ethereum co-founder Taylor Gerring, whose mutant ape was created after exposing a Bored Ape to a mega mutant serum.
Another top NFT project to know about in 2022 is the game Axie Infinity. It is a play-to-earn blockchain game. The game that resides in the metaverse was initially launched in May 2018 and has grown in popularity over the past year.
The official site explains the game as a “universe filled with fascinating creatures, called Axies, that players can collect as pets.”
He further states, “Players aim to fight, raise, collect, raise, and build kingdoms for their Axes. The universe has a player-owned economy where players can truly own, buy, sell, and trade the resources they earn in-game through skilled gameplay and ecosystem contributions.
The most expensive Axie ever sold cost US$820,000 and the game has 2,800,000 daily active players, the website says.
Another collection in the NFT space that has made headlines is Cool Cats, and it exists on the Ethereum blockchain. Launched in June 2021, it consists of 9,999 unique characters based on blue cat animation. But what makes each of these characters unique is the combination of the different facial expressions, features, and outfits.
One of the coolest things about this NFT is that the developer can replicate the characters for a future generation. So far, the highest bid that has been made is for a cool zombie cat that has been auctioned off for US$3.5 million. These NFTs can only be used as art so far, and their owners can be part of various community events and giveaways.
Mike Tyson is one of the few celebrities to own NFT Cool Cats.
Launched in July 2020, Decentraland is one of the newest projects among NFTs.
At the top of the Ethereum blockchain, Decentraland allows the user to enter the world of virtual reality where they can buy land, build houses and create avatars. Not only that, owners can even trade in the digital collectibles they craft.
Buying land here can cost you dearly. According to a report by Business Intern, parcels of land were sold for $15.53 million to Decentraland in November 2021.
Paris Hilton is among the celebrities associated with Decentraland.
Larva Labs created Meebits in May 2021. Following a similar vibe to CryptoPunks, Meebits is a pixelated 3D avatar that can be used in the virtual world. The NFT collection includes 20,000 unique characters that can be rendered. Their prices can go up to 100 ETH, depending on the rarity of the characters. The average price of an NFT, however, is around US$14,700.
Hong Kong actor and singer Shawn Yue Man-lok is a Meebits investor. Crypto Twitter influencer Soby is also among other celebrities who have quite a few Meebits in their possession.
(Main and featured images: The Lunacian/Axie Infinity/axie.substack.com)