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NFTs
TABLE OF CONTENTS

What is a Blue Chip NFT and 9 Blue Chip NFT Projects

4.6 | by Josiah Makori

Key Takeaways

  • Blue chip NFTs are projects expected to maintain their value stability and profitability in the long term. 

  • Common traits shared by blue chip NFTs include historical value, brand power, an experienced team, a strong project roadmap, and an active community. 

  • Bored Ape Yacht Club, CryptoPunks, Azuki, Doodles, PudgyPenguins, CloneX, VeeFriends, Meebits and Cool Cats are some NFT projects to keep an eye on. 


What are Blue Chip NFTs and Blue Chip NFT projects

A non-fungible token (NFT) is a unique, verifiable, and authentic blockchain token representing digital and physical assets. As a testament to the popularity of NFTs, the Collins dictionary recognized NFT as the word of the year in 2021. While the NFT bubble has deflated to some degree, we’re still seeing demand for established NFTs with utility beyond mere profile pictures.    

The NFT market has penetrated multiple areas by reinventing added value to digital assets. In 2022, the NFT market recorded more than $56.5 billion in sales with over 3 million unique buyers, according to Footprint Analytics, an NFT data platform. According to a Q2 2022 report by Dapp, an NFT tracking platform, blue chip NFTs are starting to emerge as a safer asset class than cryptocurrencies. 

This article delves into blue chip NFTs, their traits, and nine popular blue chip NFT projects you should consider. 

What are Blue Chip NFTs?

A blue chip NFT, like a blue chip stock, is a digital asset considered high value and low risk. The term "blue chip" originated from the stock market, where it was used to describe large market capitalization stocks that are thought to be the backbone of the stock market. Blue chip stocks are shares of an established corporation, known for their stability, reliability, and ability to generate consistent returns over time. Even in the face of market downturns, these blue chip investments have a history of surviving these storms. 

Similarly, blue chip NFTs are NFTs considered high value and low risk, with a track record of price stability and growth. They are NFTs that have established themselves as leaders in their respective categories and have gained widespread recognition and popularity among collectors and investors.

What Are Some Characteristics of a Blue Chip Project?

While projects with these traits aren't necessarily blue chip projects, the projects on this list all share the following traits: 

Historical Value (Floor Price and Sales Volume) 

One of the key traits of blue chip NFTs is their historical value. This refers to the floor price of the NFT and its sales volume. For an NFT to attain a blue chip status, it must have a proven track record of consistent value appreciation. Additionally, its sales volume must be substantial, showing high demand for it. These projects also usually have a high market capitalization, which showcases the value of the project. 

Brand Power (Big Names / Celebrity Endorsements) 

The second trait of blue chip NFTs is brand power. Blue chip NFTs are often associated with big names or celebrity endorsements, which enhances their perceived value. For example, an NFT from a series that counts a well-known artist or musician like Justin Bieber among its holders is more likely to be considered a blue chip NFT than one held by an average person. The association with a big name adds prestige and legitimacy to the NFT, attracting more buyers and investors.

The Team (Who They Are / Their Reputation) 

The team behind an NFT also plays a crucial role in determining its status. The people behind a blue chip NFT, including the creators, developers, and advisors, often have a strong reputation in the industry and a proven track record. This indicates that the NFT is backed by a team of experts with the experience and expertise to ensure its success.

Roadmap (Utility) 

The roadmap of a blue chip NFT is another important trait to consider. The NFT must have a clear and practical utility, such as the ability to unlock exclusive content, access special events, or participate in exclusive communities. The NFT must also have a solid use case and demonstrate a clear path to success with concrete plans on how to get there, indicating a bright future ahead.

Community (How Strong is the Community?) 

Finally, the strength of the community surrounding a blue chip NFT is also a defining trait. A blue chip NFT must have a large and engaged community of collectors, fans, and investors who support it and help drive its growth. The community acts as a network of advocates who willingly promote it to ensure its success.

Bored Ape Yacht Club: $1.2 Billion Market Cap

BAYC $1.2 billion market cap

Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) is an NFT collection of 10,000 profile images minted by Yuga Labs on the Ethereum blockchain. BAYC collectors own artworks of disinterested apes with randomly generated traits and decorations. Besides, the apes have unique characters, distinguishing them from each other. 

Purchasing a BAYC NFT gives you access to the BAYC club that comes with membership benefits, from access to a member-only graffiti board to exclusive staking pools and the right to other NFTs that are part of the BAYC ecosystem, like Bored Ape Kennel Club and Mutant Ape Yacht Club, both of which are also in the top ten NFT collections by market capitalization. BAYC was the best-selling NFT collection in 2022, recording almost $1.57B in volume sales. Owners of Bored Apes include musicians like Madonna and Eminem, alongside other celebrities like Shaquille O’Neal.

CryptoPunks: $1 Billion Market Cap

CryptoPunks: $1 billion market cap

CryptoPunks (PUNK) was developed by Larva Labs and ranks among the oldest NFT collections. PUNK is a collection of 10,000 images minted on Ethereum, inspired by the London punk scene. They consist of 6,039 male punks and 3,840 female punks. Six hundred ninety-six punks wear hot lipstick, 303 have muttonchops, and 286 have 3-D glasses. Owning a PUNK NFT gives you exclusive rights to a unique pixel avatar. Larva Labs freely minted 9,000 CryptoPunks to the public in 2017 as a trial and held the remaining 1,000. CryptoPunks holders include DJ Steve Aoki, who is collaborating with fellow PUNK holder 3LAU on a CryptoPunk-inspired conceptual music/art project.

CryptoPunks' sales volume steadily ascended over the next few years, and in the last quarter of 2022 and the first quarter of 2021, their demand rose steeply. In 2022, they recorded a sales volume of 575.2M, with CryptoPunks' trading value on its own native marketplace making up a consistent 3% market share of NFT marketplaces. Although CryptoPunks is one of the oldest NFT collections, it's not bigger than BAYC in market capitalization.

Azuki: $256.5 Million Market Cap

Azuki: $256.5 billion market cap

Azuki (AZUKI) NFT is a collection of 10,000 generative anime-like avatar NFTs. The collection ranked among the most popular blue chip NFT collections and was minted using the ERC-721 standard. Unique traits, such as hair, clothes, background, abilities, and tools like swords and skateboards, distinguish the 10,000 Azuki NFTs. The most valuable Azuki NFTs are the "Spirit" type, which consists of 0.97% of the entire collection. It was launched in early 2022 by Chiru Labs, a group of Los Angeles-based artists and developers, and has been increasing in popularity. By buying an Azuki NFT, you gain access to "The Garden" – which is a closed group of the Azuki collectors community.

Even in the face of controversy surrounding one of its founders around his role in some dubious NFT projects, some of which were considered rug pulls by the NFT community, Azuki survived the storm and is in the top five NFTs by all time trading volume on OpenSea. In 2022, Azuki recorded a sales volume of approximately $850M. 

CloneX: $182.5 Million Market Cap

CloneX: $182.5 million market cap

CloneX (CLONEX) presents the first NFT avatar readily portable set, offering holders access to 3D files that can be used across platforms. The collection is designed by digital sneaker manufacturer RTFKT and Japanese creator Takashi Murakami. Apart from being equipped for the metaverse and featuring high-end avatars, CloneX marks the start of a community-based space focused on quality. 

The primary feature of these avatars is their inclusivity. They comprise multiple clothing styles, accessories, and exclusive hairstyles. The clones are meant to epitomize various races and skin colors with undefined genders. Besides, they feature real-life conditions like vitiligo. The creators made the CloneX NFTs very rare and valuable, causing them sell out quickly. CloneX hit $600.5M in sales volume in 2022. 

Meebits: $111.2 Million Market Cap

Meebits $111.2M Market cap

Meebits (⚇) is an NFT collection of 20,000 3-D voxel characters created via a custom generative algorithm. Unlike other blue chip NFTs in this list, Meebits are full-body 3D characters. The characters have distinct traits like tattoos, clothing, hairstyle, and more. A keen analysis of the Meebits NFTs reveals that they are voxels – 3D illustrations of the pixel. Their design shows the potential of NFT art evolution on the blockchain.

Meebits NFTs were developed by Larva Labs and launched in May 2021. Since then, they have gained popularity to emerge as a popular blue chip NFTs in the crypto space. There are multiple applications for Meebits: they can be used as metaverse avatars (with interoperability established with The Sandbox), profile pictures on social media, and even 3D printed into physical collectibles. You can also trade your Meebits within the platform’s no fee trading terminal. Meebits recorded a sales volume of over $164M in 2022. 

Doodles: $98.6 Million Market Cap

Doodles (DOODLE) is a series of 10,000 NFTs developed by Evan Keast, Scott Martin, and Jordan Castro. Before launching Doodles, Keast and Castro were part of the team that launched CryptoKitties in 2017, while Martin had been creating how-to-own artworks and developing his creative brand in the blockchain space. Acquiring a Doodle NFT allows you to vote for experiences and activities sponsored by the Doodles Community Treasury.

Like most other blue chip NFT collections, Doodles NFTs have distinct rarity degrees, defined by their traits. One month after launch, Doodles announced Pharrell Williams, an artist and producer, as Doodles Chief Brand Officer. The announcement caused a 1,200% spike in sales in that month. In 2022, Doodles reached $391.6M in sales volume. Moving forward, additional areas of focus for Doodles include music and gaming NFTs. 

Pudgy Penguins: $87.1 Million Market Cap

PudgyPenguins $87.1 million market cap

Pudgy Penguins (PPG) is a series of 8,888 unique Penguins minted on Ethereum. Each Penguin is unique and randomly created from almost 150 hand-drawn characteristics. The five rarest Penguins wear a banana suit, a shark costume, a pineapple suit, and a ghost costume, and one of them faces the opposite direction of all other Penguins. The collection was developed by Cole Villemain and Clayton Patterson and launched in July 2021. However, Pudgy Penguins has suffered its fair share of turmoil: from an underwhelming egg NFT that hatched to reveal fishing rods, to the founders draining the treasury and withdrawing nearly 4,000 ETH to their personal Coinbase accounts. 

Pudgy Penguins has recovered since the collection and rights were sold to a group led by Los Angeles entrepreneur Luca Schnetzler, a longtime fan of the project, and the brand is growing beyond its profile picture images that gave it its start. The Pudgy Penguin brand is starting to include physical products, like plush toys to children books, offering its community members IP licensing opportunities. At its peak, the NFTs reached a floor price of 7.1 ETH, with their weekly transaction volume exceeding that of BAYC and CryptoPunks. 

VeeFriends: $85.9 Million Market Cap

VeeFriends: $85.9 million market cap

Developed as a means to typify his determination to establish a community around his creative and entrepreneurial passions through NFTs, Gary Vaynerchuk's VeeFriends (V.F.T.) has continued to grow, offering one of the most practical NFT membership applications in existence. Gary is a serial businessperson and media mogul – he heads a New York-based media company, VaynerX.

In the Series 1 collection, an exclusive set of tokens is known as G.O.O. (Gary Originally Owned). These 1,242 tokens were set aside by Gary for his collection, implying only 9,013 tokens were originally available during the "Series 1" launch. By owning VeeFriends NFTs from the Series 1 collection, collectors gain access to VeeCon, a multi-day conference organized by Vaynerchuk. 

In addition to the "Series 1" collection, VeeFriends NFTs comprise Mini Drops, Book Games, and a Series 2 collection featuring an additional 55,555 NFTs. These NFTs are allocated to whitelisted Book Games NFT holders, VeeFriends Series 1 NFT holders, and 10,000 Series 2 NFTs available for the public sale. VeeFriends recorded almost $300M in sales volume through OpenSea in 2022.  

Cool Cats: $43 Million Market Cap

Cool Cats $43 Million market cap

Cool Cats (COOL) is a series of 9,999 randomly minted NFTs. Like generative NFTs, each Cool Cat NFT consists of unique characteristics. Generally, there are almost 300 combinations across bodies, faces, hair, hats, clothing, etc. Over 50% of Cool Cat NFTs have a basic status of 'cool," implying their worth is 3-4 points. As a Cool Cat collector, you can participate in exclusive activities, like NFT claims, raffles, giveaways, and more. 

Cool Cats collection was developed by Tom Williamson, Rob Mehew, Evan Luza, and Colin Egan. The team derived Cool Cats from the "Blue Cat '' character and launched them in July 2021. Eight days after launch, Mike Tyson – a boxing legend – endorsed the project by changing his Twitter profile picture to a Cool Cat, and the rest is history. The floor price of Cool Cats has dropped from its high of 15.1 ETH to 2.6 ETH, although the team is looking to introduce new engagement opportunites for Cool Cats holders with Journeys, an interactive, gamified story-telling experience, where users will be rewarded with new character traits, trait raterities and eligibility for rewards ranging from merch, IRL experiences, and NFTs. 

Conclusion

Blue chip NFTs are a highly valuable and sought-after type of NFTs, defined by their historical value, brand power, the strength of the team behind them, practical utility, and a strong community of collectors and fans. These unique digital assets are highly prized for their rarity, collectibility, and ability to provide access to exclusive communities and events. If you're looking to invest in NFTs, blue chip projects like the ones listed above are a great place to start. With their strong track records, high sales volume, and passionate communities, blue chip NFTs will continue to be among the most valuable and sought-after digital assets.

Do note that this article is written for informational purposes and should not be taken as financial advice. Always do your own research before investing in any NFT and/or cryptocurrency. 

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Josiah Makori
Josiah Makori

Josiah is a tech evangelist passionate about helping the world understand Blockchain, Crypto, NFT, DeFi, Tokenization, Fintech, and Web3 concepts. His hobbies are listening to music and playing football. Follow the author on Twitter @TechWriting001

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