What is an NFT and why they are so expensive?
In ancient times, the artwork was handmade and it took countless days to complete to perfection for artists. There was also no technology in past times to copy or reproduce the art exactly and therefore only one version was available. Today, NFTs are a form of tokens for art that is held by only one owner at a time in the blockchain owning the certificate of ownership. In this article, we will learn about NFTs and look at the top 10 most searched NFT collections in 2021 as per Google search data.
A non-fungible token (NFT) is a digital asset that is uniquely possessed by one owner. It is stored in the blockchain, mostly on Ethereum blockchain in the form of a unit of data. These digital assets can be anything such as video, gif, audio, game collectible, a painting, a meme, and many more.
Such kinds of NFTs are like cryptographic tokens that can be traded from one owner to another at a time. Recently, NFTs have become technologically advanced and dominate many areas providing high profits. For example, real estate, collectibles, metaverse, gaming zones are becoming the hotspots to integrate NFTs in large volumes.
In 2021, the craze for NFTs increased dramatically as many renowned artists, fashion labels, and celebrities showed their interest in the new technology. Countless personalities and superstars bought unique NFTs causing a rapid shoot-up of prices abruptly. Last year, many NFTs were sold in millions of dollars not just by eminent personalities but by common people also. For instance, The first Tweet, Hashmasks, CryptoPunks #7804, Grimes NFT, are sold for $2.9 million, $16 million, $7.5 million, and $6 million respectively.
The top 10 most searched NFT collections in 2021
1. Axie Infinity
Axie Infinity is an NFT based cute monster battling game where monsters called Axies are very much identical to Pokemon battle against each other. The monster-battling game curate cute monsters called Axies and battle against each other resulting in developing a team. The game is based on a play-to-earn model where the collectibles are in the form of NFTs. Such collectible items are cryptographically unique tokens that populate the game.
Firstly, the users are required to buy three Axies NFT via its marketplace to create the team. Secondly, the users should have a funded digital wallet like Ronin Wallet which runs on Axie Infinity. Unlike any other traditional game, the owners can trade Axies NFTs on the game’s marketplace platform for fiat currency.
The popular Axie Infinity game stands first in the list of most searched NFT collections with 3,860,000 in 2021. Till now the gaming zone has recognized $3.6 billion in-platform trade and attracts 2,800,000 users daily. Also, the gaming platform’s most expensive Axie was sold at $820,000 last year.
2. The Sandbox
The Sandbox revolutionized the gaming experience through its launch of the User Generated Content Gaming IP in 2018. Earlier in 2011 and 2016, the gaming platform was already a hit among 40 million players through its Android and iOS app download. The publishers made a successful paradigm shift for creators from mobile to the blockchain ecosystem. Also, the developers realized the vast world of blockchain and the numerous amount of opportunities it can bring to them and the players.
Just like Axie Infinity, The Sandbox is developed on a play-to-earn model. The gaming platform consists of three major integrated products that all together provide extensive experience for user-generated content (UGC). The important game-changing products are Voxel Editor, Sandbox Marketplace, The Sandbox 3D game maker. It provides the ability to the players to create and own their non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and participate through them in their own game.
Further, the combination of three products helps the users to secure copyright ownership for their UGC through blockchain and smart contracts. The platform’s very own marketplace allows the players to upload, publish, sell their NFT creations. The NFTs are stored in the blockchain storage and become the assets that can be further sold to potential buyers.
In 2021, The Sandbox stood second in place with 553,000 Google monthly average searches after Axie Infinity. Further, the platform collected an all-time revenue of more than $369 million.
3. NBA Top Shot
In 2020, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Dapper Labs made a joint venture to establish an NFT marketplace based on Flow-Blockchain. The project was opened for the public in late October of 2020 after it finished its beta testing phase. The National Basketball Association of Players (Retired basketball Players) established their officially licensed product called ‘Top Shot’.
The product is said to have curated ‘moments‘ of the series of games as individual NFTs minted on the Flow blockchain. Each Moment is minted in ‘Packs‘ on the blockchain and displays the highlights of major game series in NBA history. The packs are minted in parallel when the NBA season is running a series of matches. The packs are available to NFT noob collectors and hard-core game-obsessed collectors.
The Top Shot essentially is a marketplace where Moments are individual NFTs of the ecosystem. The users are recognized for making some extreme amount of money by flipping Top Shot Moments. Some of the famous retirees associated with NBA Top Shot are Chris Bosh, Dirk Nowitzki, Tim Duncan, Chris Dudley, and Kobe Bryant. The costliest NFT Moment was Derrick Rose’s layup moment sold at $1,000,000.
The NFT-based crazy platform stood third on the google search engine with 477,000 times globally searched.
Blockchain technology is penetrating hard into gaming sensation is reviving some of the intriguing features out of it. Sorare has developed its own football fantasy gaming world for football-obsessed people. It is a real-time competition where people can create their team from the provided list of players and compete in the leagues with other teams.
The game uses Ethereum Blockchain Technology and was developed by Nicolas Julia and Adrien Montfort in 2018. The co-founders managed to develop a mix of card trading games and fantasy soccer games through which players can earn as well. The players are allowed to own digital assets such as NFTs stored on the Ethereum Blockchain that can also be traded for real money. Likewise, the participants having a passion for football can easily buy and trade the NFTs in the competition and can stand a chance to earn rewards.
Moreover, the exciting gaming platform has 200+ officially licensed clubs including Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool FC, Adana Demir Spor Kulübü, Colorado, and many more. In 2021, Sorare recognized 417,000 times global searches on the google search engine and ranks fourth in the most searched NFT collection.
The Decentraland Foundation is software founded by Esteban Ordino and Ariel Meilich in the year 2015. The software runs on the Ethereum blockchain with a mission to incentivize the global network of users. The users are authorized to buy and sell digital real estate, explore, interact and play games in the virtual world. The platforms seek to implement give and take apps with real payment systems and peer-to-peer communication ability for users.
The software leading to the virtual world operates via its two native tokens namely: LAND and MANA. Mainly, the LAND is the non-fungible token (NFT) for the users to own a definite size of plot in the virtual world, and MANA is the cryptocurrency through which the LAND is purchased in the Decentraland. Also, MANA can be used to leverage other goods and services in the virtual land. It is through MANA, that people can attend different varieties of events in the virtual world, create artwork and build tools, trade the Avatar wearables and digital goods.
When any user owns MANA, he opens the doors of opportunities to interact with other users, customize their avatars, trade the NFTs, and explore other parts of the metaverse. The Ethereum Blockchain-based metaverse stands fifth with 201,000 google searches in 2021.
In early 2020, Alex Salnikov and Alexei Falin started a platform called ‘Rarible‘ on Ethereum Blockchain. Organically, Rarible is a digital NFT marketplace that puts its focus on artwork digital assets. Similar to OpenSea, Rarible allows users to trade a variety of non-fungible tokens on its platforms and help creators to showcase their state of the artwork.
Whereas Rarible claims to be the world’s ‘first community-owned NFT marketplace’. Further, it has its native token called RARI which is the world’s first governance token in the NFT marketplace. It means, the community members and users use the RARI token to govern the page accordingly.
In addition, the platform provides the artist to effectively offer a preview, trailer, or a snippet of the NFT before purchase. But, the full content of the NFT will only be released to the owner once the payment procedures are complete on the marketplace. The Moscow-based platform allows artists from around the world to sell movies, NFTs, music albums, and even books to buyers.
The one-of-a-kind marketplace ranked sixth place for most search NFT collections in 2021 with 192,000 google monthly average searches.
Just like Axie Infinity or The Sandbox, Cryptokitties is also a play-to-earn GameFi model built using ERC721 token standard on Ethereum blockchain. Cryptokitties ranks seventh on the most searched NFT collection on google with 111,000 monthly average searches. Developed by Dapper Labs in November 2017, Cryptokitties allows users to own, sell, trade, breed virtual cats.
Furthermore, Each cryptokitty is a unique NFT are mint on blockchain that has its own genotype, appearance, phenotype. The players usually breed two cryptokitties using a genetic algorithm to produce offspring with some unique traits and attributes.
In May 2020, the complete game was migrated on the parent blockchain called FLOW. The move was made to encourage more user attraction, 3D designing and animation, free-to-play gaming models, and using cryptokitties on other games built on FLOW. The most expensive cryptokitty sold till now was for a whooping 600ETH ($1,638,042).
8. Gods Unchained
Gods Unchained is another string in the array of GameFi and play-to-earn model. It is an online strategic NFT card trading game having a real-world value through GODS tokens. Based on the free-to-play gaming model, the video game also provides its players an opportunity to earn real money with entertainment.
It was founded by two brothers James and Robbie Ferguson in 2015 involving the Ethereum blockchain consensus. The organization is said to have raised $15 million in Series A funding when they launched the first season of card games in 2018. Earlier, they also built the first ZK Rollup for NFTs on Ethereum called Immutable X and attracted Coinbase, Galaxy Digital-like investors towards them.
On Gods Unchained, NFTs are minted on the layer-2 solution of the Ethereum network. It possesses one of the highest ranks for the largest crypto and blockchain projects. The users can use an ERC-20 based GODS token to purchase, sell, and trade cards in the marketplace. The game stands in the eighth position with 111,000 mean monthly searches on google in 2021.
Cryptopunks, the 8-bit style pixel art was the first-ever crypto art created by New York-based Larva Labs. It was founded by Matt Hall and John Watkinson in 2017 as a form of experiment built on ERC-20. Sooner with the release just months before cryptokitties, it became the first-ever NFT collection on Ethereum Blockchain. Each NFT cryptopunk has a variety of attributes different from one another and holds a special value in the market.
The collection consists of 10,000 algorithmically generated portraits of persons persisting in unique styles and features. Due to the rarity of digital portraits, there has been a surge in demands for NFTs resulting in a huge price increase. Currently, Cryptopunks have an overall sale of $2.01 billion, and the lowest cost of cryptopunk NFT is 66.3 ETH which equals $181,366.30. The biggest marketplace OpenSea is the trading platform for Cryptopunks.
Also, the unique NFT collection is the inspiration for the development of the ERC-721 token on Ethereum. It gave creativity to the origin of many game projects holding gamified experiences. However, despite so much popularity, it ranked ninth in position with 96,000 global searches in 2021.
10. The Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC)
The Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) is a popular collection of portraits of Apes, where each Ape is unique from another. These portraits are in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the Ethereum blockchain. The collection consists of 10,000 NFTs of strong attributes and characteristics apes. BAYC got the most less global searches of all time with just 59,000 monthly average searches and came last on the list holding the tenth position for most searched NFT collections in 2021.
The project was launched in April 2021 by Yuga Labs and has crossed over a $1 billion sale record. The Yuga Labs have also established similar clubs known as Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC) and Bored Ape Kennel Club. Many eminent personalities are the owners of the Bored Ape NFT collection.
Every Ape avatar is built on ERC-721 NFT on the Ethereum blockchain. Each Ape consists of specially curated 7 attributes like background, clothes, earing, eyes, fur, hat, and mouth. The ape NFT owners do not just own the NFT but they also stand a chance to hold special membership of the club with extensive offerings and benefits. The club provides the ownership and commercial usage rights to the consumer for their NFT.