The 15 most expensive NFTs in history

Do you understand what determines the value of an NFT? With the rise of non-fungible tokens, the sale records of NFTs are constantly being surpassed to amazing levels. Come with us to take a tour of the top 15 most expensive NFTs in the world.


What is the most expensive NFT?

Have you ever wondered what the most expensive NFT in history is? It sounds very far away when that word is used: history; especially if you consider that the boom around non-fungible tokens began just a few years ago, in 2017.

But the truth is that the world is moving faster and faster, as digitalization and dematerialization also advance and everything moves to virtuality.

Today, assets are bought and sold within the metaverse, that digital reality that we access through certain special devices and that is in full evolution.

These digital asset transactions have reached scales that very few could imagine. Do you want to understand the whole phenomenon?

Let’s take a tour of the basic notions about NFTs to understand the value they hold and discover with us the list of the most expensive NFTs in history. Join us!

What is an NFT?

An NFT or non-fungible token is a collectible, encrypted digital asset that is therefore unique.

This means that it is not replaceable by another NFT, even if it is very similar. A fungible good, for example, a dollar, can be exchanged for another, while NFTs cannot, since they are incomparable.

The technology behind NFTs is blockchain or blockchains. This is a database of distributed records that allows a group of developers to work together, create a decentralized network, and by block.

Team members can communicate, share information and exchange data, thanks to the intervention of a consensus algorithm.

Within the universe of non-fungible tokens, this is the technology that gives it the character of originality, and stores all the information about the creator of the NFT, its value, the succession in the sales history and the different owners.

All NFT data is contained in its own DNA, which in addition to making it a digital asset that can be traded, also provides security since it cannot be modified or vulnerable.

What gives value to NFTs?

What gives value to NFTs is generally determined by the relationship between supply and demand. As in any traditional market, a scarce but coveted good will always have greater value.

In general, it is much easier to establish the value of an NFT when it is created from a physical asset; however, it is not an essential condition. A good number of tokens only exist within the digital universe.

There are also some determining factors for value within the characteristics of an NFT or collection itself; for example, size, rarity, or variations, as well as the author or community behind the tokens.

In short, the value of a non-fungible token will depend on the interests of the market, its creator, and also its usefulness, as is the case for example with play-to-earn games.

What is the most expensive NFT collection?

The most expensive NFT collection is BAYC, short for Bored Ape Yacht Club (The Bored Monkeys of the Yacht Club), created by the company Yuga Labs.

Bored Ape Yacht Club, often called the Bored Monkeys, is a collection of unique NFTs that also serves as a membership that gives access to its community to The Bathroom, a collaborative graffiti board.

As reflected on CoinMarketCap, the site specialized in updated information and tools about cryptocurrencies and NFTs, the BAYC collection has a value of more than 800 thousand ETH (Ether, the native currency of Ethereum), about 1.3 billion dollars.

The BAYC #8817 token is the most expensive in the collection: it was sold in the last quarter of 2021 for a value of 3.4 million dollars. Its value lies in the rarity of its golden coat, available in less than 1% of the collection’s tokens.

Even so, this sad monkey is very far from the top of the list of the most expensive in history despite its million-dollar value. Let’s see below the NFTs that head the table of the 15 most expensive tokens.

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The most expensive NFTs ever sold

The most expensive NFTs ever sold are part of the boom around the universe of non-fungible tokens, which could be considered as a logical evolution of cryptocurrencies, also thanks to the advancement of blockchain technology.

Players and collectors see in these unique assets a singular opportunity to make money; so beyond the desire to be the owners of some NFT, they are also outlined as an investment opportunity for the future.

Let’s take a quick tour of the 15 most expensive NFTs that have been sold:

  1. The Merge
  2. Everydays: The First 5000 Days
  3. Clock
  4. Human One
  5. CryptoPunk #5822
  6. CryptoPunk #7523
  7. TPunk #3442
  8. CryptoPunk #4156
  9. CryptoPunk #5577
  10. CryptoPunk #3100
  11. CryptoPunk #7804
  12. Crossroad
  13. A Coin for the Ferryman
  14. Ocean Front
  15. World Wide Web source code

Next, let’s review some of the highlights about these tokens, the 15 most expensive in history, so far.

The Merge

The Merge is an NFT made by the artist Pak and heads this list. It was sold for a record amount close to $92 million. It is the only NFT in this count that has multiple owners; each one owns a part of the token.

Another peculiar feature of this transaction is that it was not sold in exchange for Ethereum or any other virtual currency, but rather the buyers invested with tokens, which were then combined to form dynamic NFTs.

The mix between the artist’s well-known profile and the innovative nature of this proposal is what made The Merge a success, and placed it first on this list as the most valuable NFT sold.

Everydays: The First 5000 Days

Everydays: The First 5000 Days is a work by American graphic designer Mike Winkelmann, better known by his pseudonym Beeple.

This NFT is a milestone because it was the first one offered by a prestigious auction house. This token, made up of 5000 previous Beeple works from 2007 to 2020, was auctioned at Christie’s for almost $70 million.

Everydays is considered a representation of Beeple’s evolution as a digital artist.


Clock is also an NFT developed by Pak and by Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. It counts the number of days Assange has been in jail, using a dynamic timer.

Pak and Assange were not only the creators of Clock, but they also allowed people to create their own NFTs, they offered the opportunity to tokenize a message that had been censored and sell it for the price they wanted.

This token in the top three of the list of the 15 most expensive NFTs was sold for the record amount of almost $53 million.

Human One

Human One is another NFT created by Beeple. It is the first physical work of art created by this artist.

It is a three-dimensional mobile sculpture, with four screens that project an infinite video of an astronaut who travels to different places at different times of the day.

This particular work reveals Beeple’s passion and his artistic ambition, which goes much further than the digital world. It was auctioned at Christie’s for $28.9 million at the end of 2021.

CryptoPunk #5822

CryptoPunk #5822 is one of the tokens of a wide collection of 10,000 pixelated characters. It was sold for a value of $23.7 million.

This particular NFT belongs to the alien edition, the rarest of the collection; there are only nine like this and 332 others that have a bandana.

CryptoPunk #7523

CryptoPunk #7523 was sold for almost half the value of token #5822. It was auctioned for $11.75 million at Sotheby’s, an auction house especially dedicated to works of art and other collectibles.

In addition to being part of the exclusive alien edition, which is already quite rare, it is the only token of this small group of extraterrestrials that has a mask.

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TPunk #3442

TPunk #3442 are considered the Tron version of CryptoPunk (a blockchain project oriented to the development of the infrastructure necessary for the Internet to be truly decentralized). It was sold for $10.5 million.

This NFT is the most expensive sold within the Tron universe, and shortly after its acquisition it was donated to APENFT, a digital asset with a market capitalization of around $177 million.

CryptoPunk #4156

Yes, indeed, it is another character from the family of pixelated characters. This one in particular wears a blue bandana.

As a curious fact, its first owner bought it for $1.25 million, but then managed to sell it for the astronomical figure of $10.26 million.

CryptoPunk #5577

CryptoPunk #5577 wears a cowboy hat and is the first token on this list to be sold for less than $10 million. This NFT was bought for $7.7 million.

CryptoPunk #3100

CryptoPunk #3100 was sold for $7.58 million. It is also one of the nine aliens. It is currently on sale for 35 ETH (over $53 million). If the transaction is completed, it would climb several places on this list.

CryptoPunk #7804

CryptoPunk #7804 is the last pixelated character on this list. It is another alien; this one is a smoker, carries a pipe and dark glasses. It was sold for $7.57 million.


Crossroad is an NFT created by artist Beeple. It is a dynamic piece with a 10-second duration, sold for $6.6 million.

It was designed with two alternate endings, depending on the result of the presidential elections in the United States in 2020.

If Donald Trump were reelected, he would be shown victorious to the mandatary; while, as it happened, if he lost the elections, he would be shown naked on the ground, humiliated and with insults covering his whole body.

A Coin for the Ferryman

A Coin for the Ferryman is an XCopy token, the popular digital artist. It was made in 2018 and is the first of the artist’s series, which undoubtedly determined its value. It was bought for 6 million dollars.

Ocean Fund

Ocean Fund is another NFT created by the artist Beeple. It raised 6 million dollars during its auction and the money was donated to the Open Earth Foundation, whose goal is to follow the Paris Agreement against climate change.

World Wide Web

World Wide Web source code is the last NFT on the list of the 15 most expensive tokens in history. From the creator of the Triple W, Tim Berners Lee, it was sold for 5.43 million dollars. It is the representation of the original source code of the web.

Why are NFTs worth so much?

NFTs have increased in value because their surge generated a scarcity of digital assets and, in parallel, awakened the interest of a large number of collectors. As in all markets, a scarce and coveted good is more expensive.

Non-fungible tokens are unique crypto-assets, generally associated with art; and which also cannot be reproduced, duplicated or altered, nor exchanged, since there is no other NFT that is the same or has the same value.

The answer to the million-dollar question (literally) about why NFTs are worth so much has to do with that imbalance between supply and demand: a token is worth what the market is willing to pay for it.

There is no doubt that NFTs are gaining more and more popularity. They constantly break sales records. It is still too early to draw conclusions and so far NFTs are primarily a collectible digital asset.

But it is possible that in the near future, the technology behind NFTs will allow them to incorporate other functions, and with it, reach much higher sales prices.

It is only a matter of time to conclude whether this is a passing trend, a contemporary boom or a technology that has come to stay and evolve.