25 NFT examples: See the variety and history
From music and memes to avatars and sports, NFTs come in many forms.
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NFT transactions are tracked on the blockchain and can never be altered. It's a type of digital certificate that proves ownership and allows creators to receive royalties through smart contracts.
Each NFT is unique and, when traded, can mean a loss or gain in value. Most NFTs are on the Ethereum blockchain as ERC-20 tokens, which are typically purchased with Ether (ETH), Ethereum's native asset.
An NFT can be anything, but all NFTs are the same thing: a digital file on a blockchain.
1. Beeple's "Everydays: The First 5000 Days"
Image source: New York Times
Mike Winkelmann — or Beeple — is an artist now known as one of the top-selling artists of all time, thanks to this NFT that sold for over US$69M at auction at Christie's.
Beeple is a big name in the NFT game, with multiple NFTs selling for millions of dollars. Another NFT called "HUMAN ONE" sold for nearly US$30M.
2. CryptoPunk collection: the trailblazer
Image source: Larva Labs
This is one of 10,000 unique, randomly generated pixel-punk NFT avatars, named CryptoPunk 4548, created by LarvaLabs. Each CryptoPunk has unique attributes, changing their value based on attribute rarities.
At the time of writing, the most expensive CryptoPunk was sold for 8K ETH, or US$23.7 million. CryptoPunks is known as one of the first collections that pushed NFTs into the public eye.
3. Jack Dorsey's first tweet
just setting up my twttr
— jack⚡️ (@jack) March 21, 2006
Jack Dorsey, Twitter's cofounder and former CEO, sold his first tweet as an NFT for over US$2.9 million.
4. Pak: "The Fungible"
Image source: Nifty Gateway
"The Fungible," by artist Pak, is a collection of MP4s NFTs that sold for a grand total of US$16,825,999 USD. The one above is called "The Switch," an MP4 that's 20 seconds long that sold for a whopping US$1,444,444 as listed on Nifty Gateway.
5. "Clock" by Pak and Julian Assange
Image source: censored.art "Clock"
This NFT was created by Pak and Julian Assange — the founder of WikiLeaks – which counts down the number of days Assange has been imprisoned. It last sold for 16,593.05878 ETH at auction, which is over US$46 million at the time of writing, making it one of the most expensive NFTs sold to date.
6. "Bored Ape #2087"
Image source: OpenSea
Bored Ape Yacht Club, or BAYC, is a renowned NFT collection of 10,000 varied ape avatars. The "Bored Ape #2087" has been sold for 769 ETH, which is US$2.1M at the time of writing.
Right now, it's listed on OpenSea with a current bid of 6.64 ETH, which is around US$18K.
7. Kings of Leon album: "NFT Yourself"
Image source: OpenSea
NFTs aren't only limited to static art pieces — they can also be music files or even audiovisual pieces with real-life perks attached to them.
Kings of Leon created a project named "NFT Yourself" in collaboration with the marketplace Yellowheart, making them one of the first bands to release an album as an NFT. This collection features the album art and songs, plus the real-life perk of entry in a raffle where buyers could win front-row Kings of Leon concert tickets for life.
8. CryptoKitties: "Founder Cat #40"
Image source: CryptoKitties
CryptoKitties is a play-to-earn collectible card game built on the Ethereum blockchain. Players can buy, sell and breed virtual cats.
In 2017, the creators of CryptoKitties hatched the first Kitties, known as Gen 0, and cats in this first batch are also called Founder Cats. Founder Cat #40 has an estimated value of over US$1,064,022.75, according to NFT Street.
9. Grimes: "Death of the Old"
Image source: OpenSea
Grimes releases a lot of NFTs, and music is no exception. One of the audiovisual NFTs is called "Death of the Old," featuring her original music, and it sold for over US$300,000.
10. Eminem: "Shady Con"
Image source: Nifty Gateway
Eminem released an action figure NFT collection called "Shady Con," featuring characters from his music videos and his original music. Some of the NFTs also came with physical items, like a rare pair of Eminem's Carhartt Air Jordan trainer collaboration, according to NME. The "EMINEM" action figure sold for US$313 on Nifty Gateway at auction.
11. Elon Musk's NFT song about NFTs
I’m selling this song about NFTs as an NFT pic.twitter.com/B4EZLlesPx
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 15, 2021
Elon Musk created a music NFT that was a full two-minute song about NFTs. He didn't release it, though, later tweeting that selling it didn't feel quite right.
12. Splinterland trading cards
Image source: Splinterlands marketplace
Splinterlands is a collectible card game where players use NFT trading cards to battle other players. The cards can be sold on marketplaces, used to build powerful decks to win tournaments and earn cryptocurrency.
With over 300K users and 2.39 million transactions to date, according to DappRadar, Splinterlands is a top play-to-earn NFT game.
13. Axie Infinity: "Angel"
Image source: Axie Infinity
The Axie "Angel," a mystic type, is valued at 1,580 ETH — a whopping US$4.4M at the time of writing. It's one of the most expensive Axies to date.
Axie Infinity is one of the first crypto games, where players collect axolotl-type NFT characters called Axies. Axies can battle, breed and be sold on marketplaces. Other in-game NFTs include Smooth Love Potions (SLP) used to breed and NFT trading cards to boost an Axie's power in battle.
14. NBA Top Shot: "Derrick Rose Layup" clip
Image source: NBA Top Shot
NFTs aren't limited to trading cards or game characters — they can also be sport highlight clips. One of the highest valued clips is "Derrick Rose Layup," valued at around US$1,000,000 right now, listed on NBA Top Shot.
NBA Top Shot is a renowned marketplace that's officially licensed by the NBA. This marketplace sells NFT video clips, trading cards and other official NBA digital collectibles. In a way, sport NFTs carry the same spirit as baseball cards, and many holders are avid fans and collectors.
15. Lionel Messi: "The Golden One" trading card
Image source: ONE37pm
To date, one of the most expensive soccer trading cards is "The Golden One" from Lionel Messi's collection Messiverse. The card sold for over US$1.2 million.
Sorare is one NFT marketplace that sells NFT trading cards of soccer players from over 200 officially licensed teams. These cards can be used to create fantasy teams to play in tournaments. Many sport NFTs are officially verified by clubs or teams and allow fans of a team or club to buy official merch and video clips.
16. Virtual real estate: Upland
Image source: Upland.me
Upland is a real estate simulator game, where players can buy and sell NFT properties mapped according to the real world. With multiple cities up and running, including newly released Detroit, players roam the world to build property collections, build 3D structures on their land and hope to earn cryptocurrency.
There are many blockchain games based on virtual real estate — like Decentraland and Spatial.
17. Kyle Craven: "Bad Luck Brian" NFT
Image source: KnowYourMeme.com "Bad Luck Brian"
The famous meme's subject Kyle Craven, who dressed up as corny as possible for yearbook day, rubbed his face with the sweater to make his face red and put on a goofy smile. The original image was posted on Reddit in 2012, where the image was quickly turned into a meme format and coined "Bad Luck Brian" as a way to describe unlucky or unfortunate events.
Craven minted the image, and it sold for US$36,000, as reported by Business Insider.
18. Quentin Tarantino: "Royale with Cheese" screenplay
Image source: Tarantino NFTs
Infamous director Quentin Tarantino listed the handwritten screenplay of the "Royale with Cheese" scene from the movie Pulp Fiction as an NFT. It was sold to a fan for US$1.1M in January 2022.
Tarantino's NFTs are Secret NFTs, which means they have enhanced privacy and access features. This allows the NFTs to have hidden content in them. For example, the "Royale With Cheese" NFT's hidden content is the scene's original script.
The metadata, ownership history, access control and randomness are all secret with these special NFTs.
However, Miramax filed a suit against Tarantino, stating that the movie and script NFTs violate copyright laws, according to The Verge.
19. Louis Vuitton NFTs
Image source: Instagram @Highsnobiety
Louis Vuitton released a mobile game, "Louis the Game," to commemorate its 200th birthday. In the game, the player has to collect 200 birthday candles. There are 30 NFTs in the game designed by Beeple. However, they can only be collected, not sold.
20. Burberry NFTs
Image source: Burberry
Burberry partnered with Mythical Games to create an NFT collection and game, "Blankos Block Party." In the game are vinyl toys — Blankos — that have been minted on a blockchain.
When these NFTs went on sale, they were US$299.99 each in the 750 Blanko collection on the Blankos Block Party marketplace.
21. Digital perfume
Image source: Fragrantica
Yes, it's an image of a perfume bottle titled "Cyber Eau de Parfum." No, you can't smell it. Created by German studio Look Labs, it's a unisex "fragrance" and was sold as an NFT for $18,000, as reported by Token Information.
22. Digital racehorses
Image source: OpenSea: "Burberry Blessings" NFT for ZED RUN
ZED RUN is a horse racing play-to-earn game built on a blockchain. Players can race digital horses, buy and sell them on the marketplace and even breed them.
Prices for these digital horses vary. The example above has a current offer of 0.0071 ETH (US$19.97) on OpenSea. However, special edition horses can run your pockets dry.
A limited collection in collaboration with The Preakness released 17 unique horses. The highest-value horse in that collection was sold for 47.25 ETH (US$132,199.36), as reported by DappRadar.
23. AI-generated NFTs
Image source: OpenSea: "AI Art House #0728"
Artificial intelligence (AI), can also take part in NFTs. You could buy an AI that's an NFT itself or buy an NFT that's AI-generated.
A notable mention is the verified collection "Artificial Intelligence Art" on OpenSea. It features 1,000 unique, collectible NFTs — all created by an AI.
24. Doda: 3D body part NFTs
Image source: DodaNFT.com
Polish singer Dorota Rabczewska — aka Doda — took a 3D scan of her entire body, divided 406 parts into NFTs and put them up for sale. You can buy them on Dodanft.com, which states: "You can now become an owner of part of my left foot, a chunk of my beautiful mind, unbanded index finger," and other body parts.
25. Oleksandra Oliynykova: Partial elbow NFT
Image source: TennisWorldUSA.org
Croatian tennis player Oleksandra Oliynykova sold an NFT that was a 15-centimeter section of her elbow on OpenSea for 3 ETH, which is over US$8,000 at the time of writing. If you're the owner of the NFT, you could place a tattoo on the NFT and Oliynykova would tattoo it on her body.
An NFT can be pretty much anything: as long as it's an accepted digital format so it can be minted on a blockchain. Our list is only the tip of the iceberg in describing what NFTs can be. To be frank, there's really no limit. Photography, avatars, memes, art, game characters, body parts — this is only the beginning.
NFTs have been around since 2014 but recently exploded in popularity. Most are speculating that the pandemic is responsible for the surge since many people were indoors and exploring more online spaces.
No matter the reason, it looks like NFTs are here to stay. However, it's a volatile market. The value of any given NFT is largely driven by consumer interest, historical significance and accessibility.
If you're interested in investing in or creating NFTs, remember it isn't a guaranteed gain: Only put in as much as you're willing to lose.
Compare NFT marketplaces
- New York Times 'Everydays: The First 5000 Days'
- Larva Labs
- Twitter @jack
- Nifty Gateway 'The Switch'
- Censored.art 'Clock'
- OpenSea 'Bored Ape 2087'
- OpenSea 'NFT Yourself'
- CryptoKitties 'Kitty 40'
- NFT Street 'Top 10 Most Expensive CryptoKitties Ever Sold in 2021', November 15 2021
- Nifty Gateway 'EMINEM by Marshall Mathers'
- Splinterlands Market
- Axie Infinity 'Axie #1046'
- NBA Top Shot 'DERRICK ROSE'
- ONE37pm 'The Top 25 Most Expensive Soccer NFTs Ever Sold', Nov 12 2021
- Upland me
- Know Your Meme 'Bad Luck Brian'
- Business Insider 'The guy in the famous 'Bad Luck Brian' meme sold it as crypto-art', Mar 11 2021
- Tarantino NFTs
- The Verge 'Miramax sues Quentin Tarantino over Pulp Fiction NFTs', Nov 17 2021
- Instagram @highsnnobiety
- Burberry 'Burberry drops NFT collection in mythical games' Blankos Block Party', Aug 4 2021
- Token Information 'The world's first list of the craziest and most expensive NFTs', Nov 02 2021
- OpenSea 'Burberry Blessings'
- DappRadar 'Zed Run x The Preakness NFTs Sell for $400,000', May 18 2021
- Tennis World 'Oleksandra Oliynykova sells body parts for advertising space!', April 5 2021
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