NFTs vs. Cryptocurrencies
The idea of digital tokens or cryptocurrency is one part of the digital transformation taking place in today’s economic landscape. Now we have NFTs as well. NFTs are non-fungible versions of digital tokens, meaning that they are one-of-a-kind assets, generally representing ownership rights to digital art, but not always the original work from which the NFT is derived.
It’s easy to confuse cryptocurrencies and NFTs. Both are “tokens” and both are viewed as assets that may appreciate. NFTs are cryptographically unique digital assets, meaning, each of them is uniquely identified in the blockchain. They can be traded, but each NFT will have its own value, based on supply and demand. NFTs frequently represent art or collectibles, which can range from graphics of bored apes to sports collectibles.
Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that are often used to purchase NFTs. They are fungible meaning that they can be exchanged with each other and that one token will equal the value of an identical token. Similar to money in the physical world, which can exist in different currencies, the digital world has different crypto tokens. In general, NFTs are available from certain marketplaces where it is required to use a blockchain-specific token. Therefore, buying an NFT on OpenSea (a member of the Ethereum network) requires Ethereum’s fungible WETH token, whereas buying NFTs on Decentraland requires its native fungible token MANA.
WETH and MANA are crypto tokens used to purchase NFTs. Both NFTs and NFT tokens have the potential to appreciate, so both may hold interest for investors, but they are very different.
Top 10 NFTs By Value
Here are the top 10 NFTs by value, based on sales through December 18, 2021. Bear in mind that the list changes frequently.
1. The Merge ($91.8 mil)
“The Merge”, by an artist called Pak, was purchased by a syndicate of nearly 30,000 collectors on December 2, 2021. These collectors cobbled together an investment of $91.8 million. It is the only one of the top sellers to be purchased by a group rather than an individual.
2. Everydays: The First 5000 Days ($69.3 mil)
“Everydays – The First 5000 Days” is the product of Mike Winklemann, an artist also known as “Beeple”. This JPG file represents a collage of images created by the artist one day at a time since 2007 and is often credited with starting the craze for NFTs. The “Everydays” NFT was purchased on March 11, 2021, at a Christie’s auction house by a Singapore-based cryptocurrency investor who paid for the artwork in Ether (ETH-USD). The buyer received only a digital artifact, nothing physical to accompany it. The sale catapulted Winklemann, a Florida-based graphic designer, into global recognition and made him one of the top-selling living artists in the world.
3. Human One ($28.9 mil)
“Human One” is both a physical and digital artwork. It was described as a “kinetic video sculpture” and consists of four video screens on polished aluminum metal, a mahogany wood frame and dual media servers. The physical exhibit included a digital token. It was sold for $28.9 million at auction in November 2021.
4. CryptoPunk #7523 ($11.75 mil)
“CryptoPunks” occupy several spots on the Top-10 list of most expensive NFTs. This stems partly from the fact that there were initially 10,000 of them created (all slightly different and computer-generated). They were free at first but have since gained enormous value through resales. Nine of the original creations are referred to as ‘COVID aliens’ due to their appearance and are the most sought after and expensive.
5. CryptoPunk #3100 ($7.67 mil)
Another of the alien CryptoPunk series made it into the top-10 list after being purchased by the leading shareholder of DraftKings, a sports betting company that now offers sports memorabilia NFTs.
6. CryptoPunk #7804 ($7.57 mil)
“CryptoPunk #7804” is another ‘alien’ that has a cap, wears dark glasses, and smokes a pipe.
7. Crossroads ($6.6 mil)
“Crossroads” is another Beeple work, this one sold just days before Everydays. The artwork is related to the presidential election in 2020. The artist originally created two versions: one if Donald Trump won and the other if he lost.
8. A Coin for the Ferryman ($6.03 mil)
One of ‘s earliest pieces, “A Coin for the Ferryman” was created in 2018 by an artist that goes by the name of XCopy. It rocketed to fame when it sold for over $6m in November 2021. Its GIF format is somewhat unique, even among NFTs.
9. Ocean Front ($6 mil)
“Ocean Front” is yet another Beeple work on the Top-10 list. It exhibits a climate change theme.
10. CryptoPunk #5217 ($5.59 mil)
“CryptoPunk #5217” is an ape with a hat and gold chain, which are apparently high-value attributes by CryptoPunk fans.
Top 5 Cryptocurrencies Used In NFT Markets
Below are the top 5 tokens used in NFT marketplaces as of Jan 26, 2022.
Token Price in $US Market Cap Decentraland MANA $2.10 $3.8 bil Theta Network THETA $2.92 $2.92 bil Axie Infinity AXS $52.12 $2.89 bil The Sandbox SAND $3.05 $2.8 bil Tezos XTZ $2.83 $2.46 bil
Choosing The Best Approach For You
Investors interested in purchasing NFTs or cryptocurrencies as investments should understand the difference between the two and recognize that both are still very new to the world of investment assets. For both, there is limited price history, no guarantee that there will continue to be a market for them, and no proven underlying fundamental value. Therefore, they should be viewed as speculative assets whose value will depend largely upon their appeal to other investors over time.
NFTs themselves are offered through a variety of web platforms, with new ones popping up all the time. Some, like OpenSea.io and Rarible.com, have a general assortment of NFTs available on their sites. Others may specialize in certain products. LarvaLabs.com, for example, specializes in CryptoPunk NFTS and the Marketplace at DraftKings.com specializes in sports-related NFTs.
Warning: Keep in mind that NFTs can be created and sold by almost anyone and there is no regulated market for them. Once you own one, you will need to secure it in a safe place and there is no guarantee you will be able to sell it later.