Coins: 14,911
Exchanges: 1,152
Market Cap: $2.301T 2.3%
24h Vol: $52.577B
Gas: 5 GWEI
Go Ad-free
NFTs & Games
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Most Expensive NFT Art

5.0
| by
Lim Yu Qian
-

What is the Most Expensive NFT Art in the World?

The most expensive NFT art ever sold so far is Beeple’s Everydays: The First 5000 Days (2021), which was auctioned off for the highest bid of $69.34 million on March 11, 2021. Beeple’s Everydays NFT broke his own previous record for the most expensive NFT art, Crossroads (2020), which sold for $6.60 million in the previous year. 

Pak’s Clock (2022) is the second most expensive NFT art at $52.70 million. The sale of Clock on February 9, 2022 edged out Mad Dog Jones’ REPLICATOR (2021), formerly the 10th most expensive NFT art. Clock also outranked the $28.98 million video sculpture, HUMAN ONE (2021) by Beeple.

However, there is a significant price gap even among the most expensive NFT art, with the top three NFT art pieces surpassing the rest by more than 4 times the price. This points to possible inefficiencies in NFT art valuation, given that the NFT art market is still nascent. In other words, NFT artworks may potentially experience price corrections, as NFT art buyers and valuation methods become more sophisticated.

Aside from the pricing outliers, the other top 10 most expensive NFT art were sold at prices between $5.59 million to $7.09 million each.

When was NFT Art Most Expensive?

NFT art sold in 2021 currently accounts for 7 of the 10 most expensive NFT artworks. The 7 most expensive pieces of NFT art sold in 2021 have an average price of $18.50 million: Beeple’s Everydays, HUMAN ONE and Ocean Front (2019), XCOPY’s Right-click and Save As Guy (2018) and A Coin For the Ferryman (2018), Ross Ulbricht’s Perspective (2020), and Edward Snowden’s Stay Free (2021).

NFT fine art prices rose in 2021 after Beeple’s Everydays success brought mainstream attention to the niche. Demand for NFT art was further fueled by the broader NFTs and crypto bull market. 

Notably, two of the most expensive NFT art pieces were sold when overall NFT trading volume peaked and began to fall. Clock and XCOPY’s All Time High in the City (2018) were sold in early 2022, and since then, no NFT art sales have made it into the top 10 most expensive rankings.

Artists Who Created the Most Expensive NFT Art

Beeple and XCOPY dominate the rankings for the most expensive NFT art, accounting for 7 of the 10 most expensive NFT artworks ever sold.

Beeple, real name Mike Winkelmann, created 4 of the 10 most expensive NFT art. The high demand for Beeple’s art is a testament to his status as a pioneer in the space, and as arguably the most famous NFT artist in the world. 

XCOPY is also a best-selling NFT artist, having created 3 out of the 10 most expensive NFT art pieces. As compared to Beeple’s more mainstream popularity, the anonymous artist is more crypto native – XCOPY’s highest priced works were sold through NFT art marketplace SuperRare, whereas Beeple’s most expensive artworks were auctioned at Christie’s. This might help explain the relatively lower or more accessible prices of XCOPY’s top NFT art.

Another top NFT artist is Pak, who created the second most expensive NFT art. Pak is also known for the highly successful Merge (2021) NFT art project that generated $91.80 million in sales to 28,983 buyers. 

Top 10 Most Expensive NFT Art Ever Sold

Rank NFT Artwork Sale Price (US$) NFT Artist Year Sold
1 Everydays: The First 5000 Days (2021) $69,346,250 Beeple 2021
2 Clock (2022) $52,700,000 Pak 2022
3 HUMAN ONE (2021) $28,985,000 Beeple 2021
4 Right-click and Save As Guy (2018) $7,090,464 XCOPY 2021
5 Crossroads (2020) $6,600,000 Beeple 2020
6 Perspective (2020) $6,408,007 Ross Ulbricht 2021
7 All Time High in the City (2018) $6,161,922 XCOPY 2022
8 A Coin For the Ferryman (2018) $6,128,241 XCOPY 2021
9 Ocean Front (2019) $6,000,000 Beeple 2021
10 Stay Free (2021) $5,591,514 Edward Snowden 2021

What is NFT Art?

NFT art is defined here as fine art that is represented as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). While ‘NFT art’ tends to be used interchangeably with ‘NFTs’, this can be confusing. Instead, NFT art should be considered as a subset of NFTs. NFT art differentiates itself from other types of NFTs, which primarily serve as profile pictures (PFPs), membership passes etc. For example, CryptoPunks were excluded from the most expensive NFT art rankings, since it is a collection focused on building community and digital identity.

NFT art is also a subset of fine art. Fine art refers to art created primarily for aesthetic or creative expression and is appreciated for those qualities, as well as for its intellectual content. While the criteria for fine art has always been contentious, NFT art typically means unique or 1/1 NFTs, or NFTs sold on art-focused marketplaces or auction houses.

Interestingly, 3 of the 10 most expensive NFT art are explicitly about high-profile controversies. The controversies share a common theme around censorship and Internet freedom: Clock was created for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s legal case, Perspective was created by the imprisoned founder of darknet market Silk Road, and Stay Free was a collaborative piece with government whistleblower Edward Snowden. This highlights that NFT art, like in traditional fine art, plays an important role in enabling social commentary.

Is NFT Art a Good Investment?

NFT art has the potential to become much more expensive in the long term, considering the significant price difference between the most expensive paintings and the most expensive NFT art. The most expensive painting ever sold is worth 6.8 times the price of the most expensive NFT art, with Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi (1500) valued at $475 million, an order of magnitude more expensive than Beeple’s Everydays. Pak’s Clock is similarly comparable to Interchange (1955) by Willem de Kooning, with the painting valued at 6.2 times of the NFT art.

The price gap subsequently widens when comparing the remaining most expensive paintings and NFT art. Paul Cézanne’s The Card Players (1892) sits at $288 million, or 9.9 times the price of Beeple’s HUMAN ONE. Meanwhile, Paul Gauguin’s When Will You Marry? (1892) is worth an even higher 32.3 times of XCOPY’s Right-click and Save As Guy, and Jackson Pollock’s Number 17A (1948) worth 33.0 times of Beeple’s Crossroads.

That said, NFT art’s potential for growth does not necessarily make it a good investment. 

Most Expensive Paintings vs Most Expensive NFT Art

Rank Painting Sale Price (US$) NFT Art Sale Price (US$)
1 Salvator Mundi (1500) $475 million Everydays: The First 5000 Days (2021) $69 million
2 Interchange (1955) $328 million Clock (2022) $52 million
3 The Card Players (1892) $288 million HUMAN ONE (2021) $28 million
4 When Will You Marry? (1892) $229 million Right-click and Save As Guy (2018) $7 million
5 Number 17A (1948) $218 million Crossroads (2020) $6 million

Methodology

The study examined NFT artworks based on Cryptoart.io data and public coverage of sales, as of June 8, 2023. For the NFT artworks that were sold in ETH, sale prices were converted to USD according to CoinGecko price data on the date sold.

Data for the most expensive paintings was based on an April 5, 2023 study by artincontext.org, which stated prices adjusted for inflation.

This study is for illustrative and informational purposes only, and is not financial advice. Always do your own research and be careful when putting your money into any crypto or financial asset.


If you use these insights, we would appreciate a link credit to this article on CoinGecko. A link credit allows us to keep supplying you with future data-led content that you may find useful.

Curious to find out more about our previous research studies? Check out this one we did on move-to-earn profits.

CoinGecko's Content Editorial Guidelines
CoinGecko’s content aims to demystify the crypto industry. While certain posts you see may be sponsored, we strive to uphold the highest standards of editorial quality and integrity, and do not publish any content that has not been vetted by our editors.
Learn more
Want to be the first to know about upcoming airdrops?
Subscribe to the CoinGecko Daily Newsletter!
Join 600,000+ crypto enthusiasts, traders, and degens in getting the latest crypto news, articles, videos, and reports by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.
Tell us how much you like this article!
Vote count: 8
Lim Yu Qian
Lim Yu Qian
Yuqian is a crypto research analyst at CoinGecko, covering a range of topics from NFTs to ETFs, crypto adoption and interest, and beyond. She's especially fascinated by the philosophical and socioeconomic aspects of crypto. She holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honors from the National University of Singapore. Follow the author on Twitter @solosbrqt

More Articles

Select Currency
Suggested Currencies
USD
US Dollar
IDR
Indonesian Rupiah
TWD
New Taiwan Dollar
EUR
Euro
KRW
South Korean Won
JPY
Japanese Yen
RUB
Russian Ruble
CNY
Chinese Yuan
Fiat Currencies
AED
United Arab Emirates Dirham
ARS
Argentine Peso
AUD
Australian Dollar
BDT
Bangladeshi Taka
BHD
Bahraini Dinar
BMD
Bermudian Dollar
BRL
Brazil Real
CAD
Canadian Dollar
CHF
Swiss Franc
CLP
Chilean Peso
CZK
Czech Koruna
DKK
Danish Krone
GBP
British Pound Sterling
GEL
Georgian Lari
HKD
Hong Kong Dollar
HUF
Hungarian Forint
ILS
Israeli New Shekel
INR
Indian Rupee
KWD
Kuwaiti Dinar
LKR
Sri Lankan Rupee
MMK
Burmese Kyat
MXN
Mexican Peso
MYR
Malaysian Ringgit
NGN
Nigerian Naira
NOK
Norwegian Krone
NZD
New Zealand Dollar
PHP
Philippine Peso
PKR
Pakistani Rupee
PLN
Polish Zloty
SAR
Saudi Riyal
SEK
Swedish Krona
SGD
Singapore Dollar
THB
Thai Baht
TRY
Turkish Lira
UAH
Ukrainian hryvnia
VEF
Venezuelan bolívar fuerte
VND
Vietnamese đồng
ZAR
South African Rand
XDR
IMF Special Drawing Rights
Cryptocurrencies
BTC
Bitcoin
ETH
Ether
LTC
Litecoin
BCH
Bitcoin Cash
BNB
Binance Coin
EOS
EOS
XRP
XRP
XLM
Lumens
LINK
Chainlink
DOT
Polkadot
YFI
Yearn.finance
Bitcoin Units
BITS
Bits
SATS
Satoshi
Commodities
XAG
Silver - Troy Ounce
XAU
Gold - Troy Ounce
Select Language
Popular Languages
EN
English
RU
Русский
DE
Deutsch
PL
język polski
ES
Español
VI
Tiếng việt
FR
Français
PT
Português
All Languages
AR
العربية
BG
български
CS
čeština
DA
dansk
EL
Ελληνικά
FI
suomen kieli
HE
עִבְרִית
HI
हिंदी
HR
hrvatski
HU
Magyar nyelv
ID
Bahasa Indonesia
IT
Italiano
JA
日本語
KO
한국어
LT
lietuvių kalba
NL
Nederlands
NO
norsk
RO
Limba română
SK
slovenský jazyk
SL
slovenski jezik
SV
Svenska
TH
ภาษาไทย
TR
Türkçe
UK
украї́нська мо́ва
ZH
简体中文
ZH-TW
繁體中文
Login to track your favorite coin easily 🚀
By continuing, you agree to CoinGecko Terms of Service and acknowledge you’ve read our Privacy Policy
or
Forgot your password?
Didn't receive confirmation instructions?
Resend confirmation instructions
IT'S FREE! Track your favorite coin easily with CoinGecko 🚀
By continuing, you agree to CoinGecko Terms of Service and acknowledge you’ve read our Privacy Policy
or
Password must contain at least 8 characters including 1 uppercase letter, 1 lowercase letter, 1 number, and 1 special character
Didn't receive confirmation instructions?
Resend confirmation instructions
Forgot your password?
You will receive an email with instructions on how to reset your password in a few minutes.
Resend confirmation instructions
You will receive an email with instructions for how to confirm your email address in a few minutes.
Get the CoinGecko app.
Scan this QR code to download the app now App QR Code Or check it out in the app stores
coingecko
Continue in app
Track prices in real-time
Open App