Another record-breaking sale of a non-fungible token (NFT), CryptoPunk NFTs has been made, however, the sale of Beeple’s Everydays: The First 5000 days still tops the list of record-breaking NFT sales. The NFT hype swept through the cryptocurrency space last year and the whopping $69 million sale of Beeple’s NFT during an auction at the popular auction house, Christie’s left people gasping and wondering the prospects non-fungible tokens held. Non-fungible tokens are becoming mainstream, however, before the latest mindblowing sale, sales of NFTs declined by 60% which made doubts set in on the actual potentials of the space. Perhaps it was just a phase which was meant to pass away.
The Origin of Non-fungible Tokens: Crypto Punks, Crypto Kitties and Rare Pepes
Rare Pepes, CryptoKitties and CryptoPunks were pioneers of the non-fungible token space as far back as 2016. At the time, Rare Pepes were being distributed by the creators to random people who however did not recognise their value. A few of them lost their versions of the Rare Pepe collection, thereby making the collection scarce. In fact, a version of the Rare Pepe collection, Homer Pepe (regarded as the rarest of them all) had sold for 205 ETH ($302,000). CryptoKitties is a game built on Ethereum that allows users to acquire and exchange different breeds of virtual cats. All of these Pioneer NFTs paved the way for new NFTs like Axies, NBA Top shot, Puzzle NFTs.
The rarity and uniqueness of non-fungible tokens confer a great deal of value on them. NFTs have revolutionized the art industry with artists now looking to represent the physical artworks on the blockchain. Most NFTs are built on the ERC-721 standard. NFTs have really found use cases in various industries such as gaming, sports, finance, logistics, music and real estate.
CryptoPunk #7523: Most Expensive CryptoPunk NFT (Non-fungible Tokens)
CryptoPunks are 10,000 unique and pixelated digital collectibles with varying characteristics created according to the ERC-721 standard. They were the first non-fungible tokens timo built on the Ethereum blockchain. At the time when they were created, people with ethereum wallets could claim them, but all 10,000 were claimed in a short while. Now they can only be bought from somebody who already has one. A total of 9352 CryptoPunks collectibles have been sold in the past 12 months. The lowest priced Crypto Punk currently stands at 14 ETH ($35,289).
The recent sale of the CryptoPunk #7523 at Sotheby’s was done at 4,761 ETH ($12 million). This version of the CryptoPunk is the only alien punk which has a mask on, and that confers a ‘rarity’ value on it. The sale of CryptoPunk #7523 is the most expensive one till date. A CryptoPunk collection had been sold at Christie’s for a total of $16.9 million.
Despite the prospects of the NFT space, what has held most digital artists back is the expensive gas fees that are expended to tokenize their contents on NFT marketplaces. Perhaps as an alternative, Binance will be launching its NFT marketplace on June 24th on the Binance Smartchain Network, which offers low gas fees. There may be an influx of digital artists to Binance’s NFT marketplace after its launch.