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11 Most Expensive NFTs Ever Sold

The non-fungible tokens (NFTs) craze has seen some of these unique works of art being sold for millions of dollars. This is a top list of the most expensive NFTs ever sold - giving new investors, traders and artists wanting to make their own NFTs an idea of the profit potential.
most expensive nfts ever sold
most expensive nfts ever sold

Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong.

Since last year, the NFT ecosystem has seen the entry of newer players, ranging from celebrities to eager investors and artists. This is why the market has generated amazing numbers in the last two years. In the third quarter of 2021, according to DappRadar, the NFT sales surged to around $10.7 billion. That is an astonishing 704% increase from the preceding quarter.

But with all those numbers in place, we come to a question- what is the most expensive NFT ever sold? Let’s find out 11 of the most expensive NFT artworks ever sold in ascending order.

What Are The Most Expensive NFTs Ever Sold?

  1. CryptoPunk #2338
  2. Stay Free
  3. Save Thousands of Lives
  4. World Wide Web Source Code
  5. CryptoPunk #5217
  6. Ocean Front
  7. Crossroads
  8. CryptoPunk #3100
  9. CryptoPunk #7804
  10. CryptoPunk #7523
  11. Everydays: The first 5000 days

The rising popularity of NFTs has certainly made them speak for themselves. The last year saw a phenomenal awareness around them, giving rise to some of the most valuable NFTs.

While we look at some of the most popular and expensive ones, let’s understand the factors behind any NFTs value out there. The primary reasons that determine the price for any of these are a rarity, tangibility, and the utility of any art that’s sold as an NFT. Say, something like the first Tweet ever is rare and can amass a high value out there.

Let’s look at some of the most expensive and popular forms of art and collectibles ever sold as an NFT.

11. CryptoPunk #2338 – $4.4 Million

CryptoPunk #2338

The first NFT on our list is from CryptoPunk, known as CryptoPunk #2338. In order to give you a context, the first CryptoPunk was made in the year 2017 by the Larva Labs Studio.

Cryptopunks are based on the culture and scenes around the London punk culture. There are 10,000 unique CryptoPunks (6,039 male and 3,840 female) with all of them being rare in their own sense, which makes them some of the NFTs with the highest price.

It was sold in August 2021 by its owner for $4.4 million with a return on investment of an astonishing 1,000,000%.

10. Stay Free – $5.27 Million

Edward Snowden's Stay Free

Stay Free can be titled as one of the rarest and real-world NFTs ever sold.

The Stay Free NFT came into existence when NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, entered the NFT bandwagon in April 2021. The Stay Free NFT covers the entirety of the 2015 Second Circuit Court of Appeals decision in ACLU v. Clapper, which ruled that the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities violated the laws.

“Emerging applications of cryptography can play an important role in supporting our rights,” Snowden had mentioned during the announcement of his own NFT. He further went on to add that the funds from the auction will allow the Foundation to develop privacy-protecting encryption, ensuring press freedom.

It was bought by PleasrDAO, a decentralized autonomous organization.

Stay Free portrays Snowden against the text of the hearing with his signature on the bottom right, which is a one-of-its-kind artwork. Snowden went on to sell the artwork for $5.27 million and donated the proceeds to the Freedom of the Press Foundation, which is a non-profit that advocates for free speech and press freedom around the world. It is produced using open-source software.

9. Save Thousands of Lives – $5.23 Million

Save Thousands of Lives

Save Thousands of Lives is an NFT artwork launched by a non-profit called Noora Health that was sold on May 8.2021.

This artwork was sold to programmer Paul Graham at a charity auction. This artwork aims to help fund Noora Health’s efforts with new mothers in South Asia by teaching them how to take care of their babies once they get home from hospitals.

Noora Health has been working with more than 165 hospitals in the region and works with the families of the new mothers, by educating them on how to keep the mother and the baby healthy and safe.

This artwork was sold for $5.1 million or 1,337 ETH, saving lives at a cost of $1,235 for every life saved.

8. World Wide Web Source Code – $5.4 Million

WWW Source Code NFT

Sir Tim Berners Lee, the founder of the World Wide Web decided to explore the NFT ecosystem when he decided to sell an NFT that consisted of the original source code for the web. It’s an artistic representation of the web source code, bundled together as an NFT.

The artwork which was titled “This Changes Everything” went on sale at Sotheby’s with critics complaining about the same. Many said that this went against the web’s decentralized nature.

However, the sale went on ahead and garnered $5.4 million. Interestingly, days after the artwork was sold, someone pointed out a coding error in the artwork sold.

7. CryptoPunk #5217 – $5.59 Million

CryptoPunk #5217

The CryptoPunk #5217 is one of the 24 ape punks wearing a knitted hat and a gold chain. Features on the #5217, our second CryptoPunk on the list, are considered to be quite rare and unique by the Punk enthusiasts as well.

The CryptoPunk #5217 is currently owned by the address 0xe30161 and isn’t up for sale.

6. Ocean Front – $6 Million

Ocean Front NFT

The Ocean Front is an artwork by graphic designer NFT artist Mike Winkelmann, popularly known as Beeple.

Ocean Front tries to create awareness around climate change and showcases a tree sitting atop cargo containers in the middle of the ocean. What makes Ocean Front one of the most popular NFTs is the way it highlights a real-world social problem.

Justin Sun, Founder and CEO of the Tron Foundation won the winning bid for the artwork at around $6 million. The proceeds from the Ocean Front sale are going to benefit the Open Earth Foundation, a nonprofit organization working to avoid the existential risk of climate change.

The Open Earth Foundation is working on “raising assets to foster an imaginative open advanced framework for further developed administration of planet Earth helping track straightforwardly the worldwide advancement on the Paris Agreement to keep away from the existential danger of environmental change.”

The artwork was sold on Nifty Gateway.

5. Crossroad – $6.66 Million

Crossroads by Beeple - NFT Artwork

Another one from the drawing board of Beeple is Crossroads. Back when it was sold in February 2021, it remained the most expensive piece of digital art ever sold for a brief amount of time.

Crossroad is an artwork focused on the US elections, and supposedly showcases a defeated Donald trump lying in the background after the 2020 results. However, it was supposed to showcase him wearing a crown, had he won.

The NFT was sold for $6.66 million by Nifty Gateway, which brokered the deal between the original owner of the artwork and an anonymous buyer. It was sold at 10x of its original price within four months of its initial purchase.

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4. CryptoPunk #3100 – $7.51 Million

CryptoPunk #3100

Yet another CryptoPunk on the list is CryptoPunk #3100, which was sold for $7.51 million. The #3100 is one of the rarest CryptoPunks, known as the alien punks, and sports a headband. It was sold for 4,200 ETH or $7.51 million in March 2021.

Out of the 10,000 Cryptopunks out there, there are 9 alien aliens, that make them enviable amongst the NFT enthusiasts.

3. CryptoPunk #7804 – $7.56 Million

CryptoPunk #7814

At $7.56 million, CryptoPunk #7804 is one of the 9 aliens, similar to the one mentioned above. The person behind the sale of this NFT was Dylan Field, the CEO of design software Figma.

Sold in March 2021, the #7804 sports three accessories- a forward cap, shades, and a pipe. The pipe adds to the rarity of this NFT.

2. CryptoPunk #7523 – $11.8 Million

CryptoPunk #7523

The #7523 is undoubtedly the most expensive CryptoPunk on this list.

It sports a face mask that provides it a sense of relevance during COVID-19. Moreover, it comes from the group of 9 Alien CryptoPunks. The face mask adds to the uniqueness, making it the only Alien Punk with a mask.

1. Everydays: The First 5000 Days – $69.3 Million

Most Expensive NFTs

Finally, we come to the winner of the most expensive NFTs ever sold list. The artwork, called Everyday: The First 5000 Days is made by Mike Winkelmann was sold at Christie’s.

Everydays is an artwork that represents a collage of 5,000 of Beeple’s earlier artworks he made every day in the last 5,000 days. Mike Winkelmann stated that he was inspired by British artist Tom Judd and began with the Everydays project on 1t May 2007.  The artwork consists of images ordered chronologically with some of the images actually being hand-drawn. It was purchased by Vignesh “MetaKovan Sundaresan.

Interestingly, the second-highest bidder for Everydays was Justin Sun, the founder of Tron, who was snipped at $60.2 million by Sundaresan.

What Are The Highest Priced NFTs Right Now?

The craze around NFTs doesn’t seem to die off anytime soon. With the entry of celebrities, actors, famous personalities alike, NFT arts are matching and surpassing real-world artworks as well.

Moreover, with the bids touching all-time highs consistently and the popularity of cryptocurrencies complimenting the overall ecosystem, there is a new player in the most expensive NFTs list every day.

So, what are the current highest-priced NFTs? Let’s find out from this list of the latest listings on Nifty Gateway.

Iris/{ – $69 Billion

Iris FVCKRENDER Nifty Gateway

The Iris/{ is a part of the LOYAL/{ Pack by Fvckrender x Victor Mosquera collection. This was released on July 14th, 2021 at an original listing price of $1,000. This specific artwork from the collection was last sold for $8,500. According to Nifty Gateway, its latest floor price stands at a staggering $69 billion.

Iris/{ is designed and listed as a collaboration between two artists- FVCKRENDER and Victor Mosquera. Both artists are based out of Vancouver, Canada, and have come together with an NFT collection. Fvckrender has an inclination towards sharp-edged architectural geometry shapes, futuristic landscapes, with a dark touch.

He has worked with brands like Supreme, Columbia Records, Lil Nas X, Hypebeast Dior, Puma, Spotify, Instagram, and a lot more brands and artists.

On the other hand, Victor Mosquera is an artist inspired by psychedelia and an intersection of conscious and subliminal. His unique art style has made him work with the likes of Kid Cudi, on games like Watchdogs Legion, FarCry 5 and Starlink.

Practice Just Practice – $6.9 Billion

Practice Just Practice

Another one on our list is called Practice Just Practice by an artist called Mankind.  The artwork has been listed with the lowest ask of $6.9 Billion on Nifty Gateway.

The artwork belongs to artist Mankind’s Scarce Abundance Auctions. Mankind is a moniker for Art Director Rhett Dashwood who got into the NFT art creation space after a near-death experience. Mankind’s artworks have been inspired by a quote in ‘Confession’ by Leo Tolstoy, ‘Since death is inevitable, what is the meaning of life?’.

He went on to find answers around life, existence, and hope by creating art and sharing it with the world.

Mankind’s animations are extremely advanced with a large amount of attention given to each and every detail.

No Justice No Peace – $100 Million

No Justice No Peace NFT

Another hefty listing comes at $100 million, called No Justice No Peace by Alex Manrique. It was released on April 23, 2021, and listed at an original price of $1.00. Manrique, who goes by the name of Render Times is a 3D artist based out of Brooklyn, New York. He is a simulation enthusiast, which is clearly visible in the kind of work he produces.

How To Get Into NFT Trading?

eToroFor getting into NFTs, you need to simply buy an NFT for a price and sell it at a higher price. Similarly, if you are willing to sell NFTs, you can create your own and sell them on NFT marketplaces.

Primarily, many of the NFT wallets are Ethereum based. Hence, it might help you buy Ethereum as your crypto to trade NFTs. eToro is a preferred place for many NFT enthusiasts, due to its customized risk management, $100,000 in a virtual platform so that you can try out all the features of the platform in a risk-free manner, and lots more.

eToro is recommended because of its FCA, ASIC, CySEC and FSCS certifications that make it a secure and regulated exchange to get ETH for your NFTs.

In case you’re looking to buy an NFT or store it for the long run, you may also require an NFT digital wallet in place to help you.

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Buying NFTs

In order to buy NFTs, you need to have an NFT wallet in place, where you can store and transact your NFTs. Moreover, you can buy your NFTs on marketplaces like Foundation, Nifty Gateway, OpenSea, or Rarible.

Most marketplaces operate in an auction format. In order to buy an NFT, you first have to submit a bid for the same. Here’s a step-by-step process of buying an NFT.

Step 1: Select the NFT you want to invest in. This can be any piece of art, including music, an image, GIF, or a video.

Step 2: NFTs usually have a targeted cryptocurrency attached to them. Find out which cryptocurrency is attached to the NFT you want to go for. Every NFT marketplace has a crypto wallet requirement that you need to fulfill.

Step 3: Fund your crypto wallet with the required cryptocurrency on the marketplace. This will allow you to send, receive and store your artworks and other assets.

Step 4: There are two ways to buy an NFT. One is through a virtual auction or at a fixed price. In an auction, you can place a competitive bid with respect to the asking price and wait to see if you have won the NFT or not. Alternatively, in another way you can buy one at a fixed price by making the payment.

Creating And Selling NFTs

If you’re planning to create and sell your NFTs, you need to figure out the platform you will be using to create and sell NFTs.

Creating NFTs is easier than it might seem. Firstly, you need to create an account with a marketplace like OpenSea, Rarible, or MetaMask that allows you to create NFTs. All these marketplaces consist of a ‘Create’ button. After clicking on the button, it takes you to a window that asks you to connect your wallet.

After verifying the wallet, you need to upload the artwork, whether it’s a video, image, or GIF that you want to create as an NFT.  Upload it and add your name along with a description. You can also add special attributes or features within your NFTs that are visible only to the buyers of the artwork, in order to increase its demand.

Finally, after you’re done, your artwork appears on the marketplace, in your collection, up for sale. Marketplaces charge an amount called ‘gas fees’ that is the charge for computing your NFT. You can also choose if you want to sell it in an auction or at a fixed price. Once your asset is uploaded for sale after verification, the buyers can go through the same.

Marketplaces conduct the transaction and transfer the proceeds from the sale into your NFT wallet after subtracting the gas fees and any other charges involved.


The NFT market is only going to rise as the numbers suggest. With the numbers suggesting exorbitantly high digits of growth, it only seems wise to invest in these assets right away.

While we just saw a list of the most expensive NFTs, it’s always better to test the waters before going all in. With the market currently at a very nascent stage, the numbers might not be the only thing one should look at. Things like fundamentals, history, and utility are something that collectors and creators should look into, irrespective of the purpose they are in it for.

If you’re a creator, it might require you to invest a nominal amount and you can assess if the NFT marketplaces are something made for you or not. Similarly, for collectors, it’s always recommended to test, observe and learn.

In the near future, the versatility of non-fungible tokens cannot be denied. It can be used either as a collectible or a tool for transactions.

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Is it profitable to sell NFTs?

NFTs work like any other speculative asset you invest in, such as stocks. You can buy an NFT at a lower price, hold it for a few months or years and then put it up for sale, hoping its price changes.

How big is the NFT market?

According to a number by JPMorgan, the NFT market has recently been valued at $7.2 billion.

What are some popular types of NFTs?

Any art form can be classifed as an NFT. It can vary from something like an image to a GIF or even a music track.

Which NFT should I buy?

If you are starting out as a beginner, it's always better to go for the most popular NFTs out there. Moreover, investment an amount that you can afford to risk initially.