Three Most Expensive NFTs Of All Time (Plus A Surprise)

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NFTs have sold for ridiculous amounts of money. But what are the most expensive NFTs?

The non-fungies (slang for NFTs) have turned out to be quite a lot of fun for savvy investors and artists unafraid of changing tech. Sometimes it’s fun to take a look at the extremes and see what the most expensive NFTs ever are.

Here’s a brief overview of what digital art sold for such large sums with some thoughts on the art itself that warrants such valuation.

All three of the top NFT sales of all-time are similar in that they represent something different in a new way and through a new technology. These exclude the “total value” of collections and instead focus on my cohesive pieces.

The Merge

most expensive nfts

The Merge takes the cake and the #1 spot of the most expensive NFTs sold yet. Well, in theory. That’s because of the nature of this piece of art, created by the art collective or individual known as Pak (they prefer to remain anonymous).

The Merge is made up of 266,445 pieces of “mass” which were auctioned off over the course of three days. Having a piece of Pak art in their wallet gave buyers an advantage, as well as buying in larger increments. At the end of the auction, there were 28,000 buyers of “mass”.

There’s one more important thing to note: this art piece isn’t stagnant: it’s meant to be dynamic and eventually become one piece of art. As collectors buy mass from each other, they merge into a new piece of NFT art. Eventually, one collector may acquire all the mass into one wallet and create a super-NFT, but we’ll see. Hence, this piece was included on the “top 3” list of most expensive NFTs because it may eventually become a single piece.

The final sale price of all the mass, to all 28,000 holders, was $91.8 million. Does this count, due to an anonymous creator and a fragmented art piece? You decide because if not, then our next singular compilation piece definitely will.

Everydays: the First 5000 Days

most expensive nfts

There once was a very talented artist named Michael Winkelmann, who later became known as Beeple. Beeple wasn’t always this talented, but in May 2007 he decided to undertake a task that would eventually lead him to become the creator of one of the most valuable artworks sold by a living artist in our era (the third most expensive, actually).

He decided to create a digital piece of artwork, from start to finish, every single day for 5000 days in a row (he might not have stopped there… but this particular art piece includes his journey up to day 5000).

This piece was significant in a couple of ways. A, it’s impressive the literal amount of time that went into it. In fact, the purchaser, Metakoven, had this to say about his record-setting buy:

“…it represents 13 years of everyday work. Techniques are replicable and skill is surpassable, but the only thing you can’t hack digitally is time. This is the crown jewel, the most valuable piece of art for this generation. It is worth $1 billion.” – per Christie’s Website.

In addition to selling for a whopping sum of $69 million and Matatoken’s thoughtful valuation, the “Everydays” piece made history as the first fully digital NFT to be auctioned by a major auction house like Christie’s, essentially creating a historic milestone for NFT technology and setting the stage that NFTs are, in fact, art. And expensive art at that.

The Human One

most expensive nfts

And the title for third most expensive NFT piece goes, again, to Beeple. “The Human One”  is a 1/1 NFT paired with a 4-screen physical display, depicting a futuristic man in a spacesuit, trudging through various terrains. The unique style of this four-sided digital box is one piece of the puzzle, but the other interesting part about it is how dynamic the piece really is.

This is not a “one and done” piece. In fact, Beeple promises to update the piece as time goes by, making it an almost living and breathing work of art, even beyond just the movement of the avatar on the screen.

It’s also visually very stimulating and combines the futuristic perception of NFTs with an NFT itself. It’s a finished work of art that will never actually be finished, until Beeple dies. It’s an extraordinary exercise in trust, as Beeple touched on in this piece by Christies. The purchaser has to assume that they’ll like what Beeple does to the piece as it ages. Quite the leap of faith.

Human One sold for just under $30 million.

BONUS: The One You Didn’t Buy – Possibly The Most Expensive NFTs

We’ve all heard the stories from old fishermen about the biggest fish they’d ever seen, the whopper, the “King of the Lake” that, according to them, was on their line and nearly in the boat.

There never seems to be any pictures of these mystery fish that never quite make it to the bank and these old men will always tell stories to the young bucks about the one that got away.

As is always the case with assets like art being traded for money, there are hundreds of different opportunities. So many shoulda, coulda, wouldas. These missed opportunities create a sense of FOMO that leads to bad investments and loss of time. You’ll never get that time you spend on wishing and regretting back.

Either pull the trigger on the investment you’re looking at or don’t, but make a choice and stop looking backwards. It messes with your neck.


The most expensive NFT is the one you spend your time worrying about or wishing about. Research takes time and we get that. But don’t waste your time on regret: no one has a crystal ball. Be grateful to be playing the game and may the odds be ever in your favor.


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