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We looked at thousands of NFTs — here are the best. Plus how you can buy your very own.

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With the massive rise in NFT popularity, the gambling industry and even Twitter have taken note. Evolution, one of the leading casino game developers, has recently purchased four CryptoPunk digital artworks to give away as part of their new slot game, NFT Megaways. CryptoPunks are among the earliest and most sought-after NFTs. As the buzz continues to grow, we decided to check out some of the most notable NFTs and rank our favorites in a variety of categories. To make things easier for those looking to get in on the craze, we’ve also included some useful information on how to buy an NFT, along with our choice for the best NFT marketplace.

Best sports NFT

Winner: Kobe Bryant KB24

The sudden passing of NBA legend Kobe Bryant took the world by surprise in early 2020. The 5x NBA champion and 18x All-Star is remembered as one of the best to ever play the game and the inspiration for the next generation of players.

Recently launched and limited to 10,000 unique NFTs, the Kobe Bryant KB24 NFT collection will, “combine different attributes that represent Kobe’s achievements, moments in his career, or personality.” This NFT launch is intended to give the Black Mamba’s biggest fans a chance to contribute to his legacy. All proceeds from the sale and future trades will be donated to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation. Initial sales are expected to generate $2.5 million, with lifetime proceeds anticipated to generate $50 million through royalties from future sales.

Kobe Bryant Kb24 Nft

Runner-up: LeBron James dunk


Our runner-up in the best sports NFT category is a highlight from November 2019 featuring Los Angeles Laker LeBron James putting Sacramento’s Nemanja Bjelica on a poster. Part of NBA Top Shot’s Cosmic Series 1 collection, the clip sold for a then-record $208,000.

In celebration of his purchase, entrepreneur Jesse Schwarz posted on Twitter, “Long live the king!!!!” — alluding to the 17x NBA All-Star’s moniker, King James. The CEO of Dapper Labs, which produces NBA Top Shot said of the NFT, “It’s one of the rarest moments that will ever exist on Top Shot.” Since the record-setting sale, another Top Shot NFT featuring James was sold for an eye-watering $387,600.

Best music NFT

Winner: Eminem’s $100,000 ‘Stan’s Revenge’

In collaboration with Nifty Gateway, Eminem released his first NFT collection in April 2021. Shady Con, the Detroit rapper’s very first NFT collection raised a total of $1.78 million through sales of a variety of Eminem-approved collectibles. 

Along with the hundreds of trading cards and NFT action figures was a one-of-a-kind beat produced by Eminem himself. ‘Stan’s Revenge’ sold for a record $100,000 and included a pair of ultra-rare Eminem x Carhartt x Air Jordan IV sneakers. If you missed out on this release, don’t fret. The success of this drop tells us that Stans may have more than one shot to seize themselves a piece of Eminem’s non-fungible universe. 

Eminem

Runner-up: Kings of Leon’s $2 million NFT album

It seemed as if the days of musicians getting rich on album sales alone were long gone. But Kings of Leon may have found the key to turning the trend around. NFT sales of the Nashville band’s latest album ‘When You See Yourself’ have totaled over $2 million, including $500,000 donated by the band to support live music crews during the pandemic downturn. Priced at $50 and available for only two weeks, the token included a digital download of the album, along with a vinyl edition. Fans who didn’t get a chance to pick up the release during the two-week sale period are out of luck. Kings of Leon have said no more tokens will be made. 

Best art NFT

Winner: Everydays: The First 5000 Days

How could we pick anything other than Beeple’s record-breaking ‘Everydays: The First 5000 Days’ as our best art NFT? The collage featuring the first 5000 daily digital images created by artist Beeple aka Mike Winkelmann sold to early crypto investor Vignesh Sundaresan for an astronomical $69.3 million. The sale took place at the famous Christie’s auction house on March 12, 2021. 

Beeple’s work is not only the most expensive NFT ever sold, it’s also the fourth-most expensive piece sold by a living artist. The sale added another line in the record books as the first transaction at an established auction house to be transacted with cryptocurrency. 

Image: Christie’s/Beeple

Beeple Everydays The First 5000 Days

Runner-up: CryptoPunks

Our runner-up pick isn’t a single NFT, but an entire project that dubs itself the first non-fungible token. CryptoPunks began in 2017 as an experiment by two software developers who wanted to know if the feeling of meaningful ownership could be gained with just a few lines of code. Four years later, the answer is a resounding yes. 

The collection of 10,000-pixel art characters, each with its own distinctive look, has produced some of the biggest sales in the NFT world. Cryptopunk #7523 sold in June 2021 for $11.75 million. Numerous other CryptoPunks have fetched over $1 million. The high prices have attracted attention from notable investors; high-profile celebrities like Jay-Z and Serena Williams proudly call themselves CryptoPunk owners. 

Best fashion NFT

Winner: Overpriced hoodie

Some might describe all NFTs as overpriced. But in the case of this $26,000 hoodie, Overpriced is printed right on the label. The high-end clothing label auctioned off this one-of-a-kind sweatshirt which features a “patent-pending scannable V-code,” which lets the owner “wear, authenticate, and show off their unique NFT in public.”

If the hoodie is ever lost, stolen, or damaged, Overpriced can invalidate the V-code and create a new hoodie for the rightful owner. The inaugural Overpriced hoodie is just the first of many planned by the fashion house. Their Season 1 collection will comprise 25 physical pieces, each tied to an NFT. 

Image: Overpriced

Overpriced Hoodie Nft

Runner-up: FEWOCiOUS x RTFKT Sneakers

What happens when the white-hot NFT market meets the bonkers world of sneakerheads? RTFKT sells 600 pairs of sneakers for $3.1 million in seven minutes. A collaboration with the prodigious 18-year old crypto-artist FEWOCiOUS, the first of its kind project allowed hopeful buyers to try on their virtual sneakers via Snapchat prior to the sale. Lucky winners received both a digital version of their sneakers and a corresponding physical pair. Although RTFKT says the value of the sneakers lies entirely with the NFT, at the time of this post, physical pairs from the collab are listed on StockX starting at around $3,500. 

Best meme NFT

Winner: Doge

Everyone’s favorite internet pup smashed records when its NFT sold for $4 million in June 2021, making Doge the most expensive meme NFT ever sold.  The iconic meme was put up for auction by Atsuko Sato, the owner of the dog known in real life as Kabosu. The now-famous Shiba Inu was rescued by Sato in 2008 after her puppy mill was shut down. 

Since rising to fame, Doge has crossed over to mainstream pop culture. The legendary meme was the inspiration for Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency that’s gone from parody, to what some now consider a legitimate investment. The meme coin has even been touted by internet favorite Elon Musk. 

Dogecoin Doge Cryptocurrency

Runner-up: Charlie Bit My Finger

“Charlie! That really hurts.” We’ve all seen it, some of us more than others, which makes Charlie Bit My Finger one of the most recognizable memes in internet history. Although the original upload of the video is now unlisted, this favorite racked up over 880 million views before being sold as an NFT in the summer of 2021. 

After its 14-year run on YouTube, the family who owned the viral sensation decided to put it up for auction as an NFT. When the bidding ended, the meme was sold for $760,999.

How we rated our best NFT picks

We doubt you’ll be buying any of our best NFT picks with your first purchase. But that doesn’t mean we don’t want to help you get the most for your money when picking up your first token. Unlike other lists on our site, like our best casino no deposit bonuses, best mobile casinos USA, or NJ casino lists, the methodology behind ranking is not necessarily quantifiable. The ranking in this list is based on NFTs that we think are culturally significant. Sure, many of their sales were record-breaking, but that was just part of the equation. 

  • planet-earth

    Cultural significance

    Some of the most valuable NFTs are, not surprisingly, those with the most cultural relevance. Among our top picks are tokens featuring Kobe Bryant, Eminem, and Beeple; each of which is among the biggest names in their respective fields. As top celebrities, artists, and athletes continue to release NFTs, we expect them to be among the most sought after.

  • Cryptocurrency

    NFT market influence

    Just like in the world of physical art, we can’t really predict what the sale of one piece will do to the market until the hammer has dropped. What we can do is look at historical sales of collections like CryptoPunks to see how they’ve driven the market to historic levels. Successful projects like these encourage imitators and even scammers who try to get a piece of the action.

  • Proceso

    Innovation

    The world of non-fungible tokens and cryptocurrency is at the forefront of innovation. We like NFTs that add a new layer of innovation to this ever-growing technology. NFTs that offer more than just a digital image scored highly in this category. We like NFTs that include a physical component or something the owner can use in real life. 

How to buy an NFT

Now that you’ve seen our picks for the best NFTs and you think you might be ready to take the plunge of buying your first digital artwork or collectible, we think it’s important that you fully understand the process of how to buy an NFT. Unfortunately, it’s not as straightforward as buying a cup of coffee or shopping online, but we’ve got you covered with these helpful tips.

Open a crypto wallet

Unlike most purchases you make online, you can’t just enter your credit card number to buy an NFT. You need to sign up for a digital wallet and add funds to it. Top choices for digital wallets include Metamask wallet, Coinbase wallet, or Trust wallet. Once you have a digital wallet, it’s time to choose a marketplace. 

Choose a marketplace

Before you fund your wallet, you’ll need to want to choose a marketplace. It might seem like we’re putting the cart before the horse here, but we’re not. Just as countries have different currencies, not every marketplace uses the same cryptocurrency; but some do. The marketplace you choose will likely depend on exactly what you would like to buy. If you’re interested in buying NFTs directly from the creator, you’ll have to do so on their preferred marketplace. For example, purchasing directly from NBA Top Shots can only be done on their official marketplace. 

Fund your crypto wallet

Once you have a crypto wallet established, it’s time to add funds. You can fund your wallet using crypto exchanges like Coinbase, MetaMask, or Binance. Most, but not all, of the top NFT marketplaces require trades to be made with Ether. To help make sense of this, let’s pretend you walk into an arcade and want to play some games. In this scenario, the arcade is our marketplace. In order to play a game at the arcade, you need tokens. Ether are the tokens you need to make transactions on marketplaces like OpenSea, Rarible, and Larva Labs.   

Make your purchase

Now that you’ve opened and funded your wallet, it’s time to buy your first NFT. The biggest piece of advice we can give you is don’t buy an NFT expecting to get rich. NFTs do go up and down in value, but those that explode in value are incredibly rare. Just like playing the stock market, no one can reliably predict which NFTs will go up in value. We suggest choosing an NFT that’s related to your other interests. Whether you like sports, art, video games, movies, or just about anything else, there’s probably an NFT for you. One thing to note when buying an NFT with Ether; you’ll have to pay a ‘gas fee’. A gas fee is a payment made by users for the computing power required to complete transactions on the Etherium blockchain. 

Best NFT marketplaces

Winner: OpenSea

New York-based OpenSea is synonymous with the world of NFTs. It’s the original marketplace for peer-to-peer NFT trading. It’s home to NFTs ranging from artwork, collectibles, music, memes, sports, and more. The pioneering platform allows sellers to choose between a fixed-price sale or auction when listing their digital collectibles. According to analytics platform DappRadar, OpenSea has amassed $8.32 billion in trading volume as of October 2021. 

The OpenSea platform also allows creators to mint their own NFTs free of charge. Creators can earn royalties from future sales of the creations by attaching a royalty fee of up to 10% to their tokens. OpenSea is backed by some of the biggest names in startup funding including Mark Cuban and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. 

 

Opensea Marketplace Logo

Runner-up: Rarible

Jumping to the other coast, LA’s Rarible is similar to OpenSea in that it allows users to trade all types of collectible tokens. We like that the interface is one of the most user-friendly in the wide world of NFT marketplaces. Adding to Rarible’s user-friendly reputation is the ability for users to log in using a number of different crypto wallets like Conibase Wallet and MetaMask. 

Rarible’s homepage is designed to give users insight into the marketplace’s recent activity by showcasing top collections, hot bids, live auctions, and more. Like OpenSea, users can mint their own NFTs on Rarible before offering them for sale. As of October 2021, Rarible has a total trading volume of $225.53 million. 

Rarible Marketplace Logo

Up-and-comer to watch: Niftify  

Niftify hopes to bring NFTs to the masses. They’re building an all-inclusive platform to make buying, selling, and trading NFTs a user-friendly experience. Unlike on other exchanges which require external wallets and different cryptocurrencies, Niftify’s users will be able to make their purchases using Apple Pay or a credit card. 

The platform operates with a unique, creator-first approach. Unlike other marketplaces, you must be nominated to mint on Niftify. In order to mint an NFT, artists must be selected and invited by their peers who are already on the site. 

Nifty’s platform is also a trailblazer in the area of physical non-fungible tokens, or pNFTs. pNFTs are tokens whose value is tied to a tangible item, such as a collectible car or piece of sports memorabilia. The idea is that without the physical transfer of goods, these collectibles can be traded multiples times over a short period. 

Niftify Logo

NFT basics guide

What is an NFT?

An NFT, or non-fungible token, is a digital token used to prove ownership of a digital asset. Non-fungible means the token is unique and that there can only be one in existence. NFTs allow digital works to share the same scarcity attributed to physical works of art. All NFTs are part of a blockchain, which is a digital ledger of transactions. Most NFTs exist on the Etherium blockchain.

How do I buy an NFT?

To buy an NFT, you’ll need to do a few things. First, you need to open a digital wallet and choose an NFT marketplace. Next, you need to add cryptocurrency to your wallet based on the marketplace you’ve chosen. Finally, it’s time to make your purchase. We suggest choosing an NFT that’s within your budget and that represents something or someone you’re a fan of, such as an athlete or artist.

What keeps someone from copying my NFT?

Just like there are copies or prints of real artworks, there are copies of NFTs. For example, you can go to YouTube and watch NBA clips that have sold for thousands of dollars as NFTs. But only one person owns the non-fungible token (NFT) on the blockchain, thus proving they own the original

Can I re-sell my NFT?

Of course you can. You can sell your NFT on the marketplace from which you bought it or on a different marketplace. Before choosing a marketplace to sell your NFT, make sure you understand how the marketplace operates. 

Can I create and sell my own NFT?

Yes! Most NFT marketplaces allow you to mint your very own NFT and sell it for a profit. You can also attach a royalty to your NFT in order to secure a percentage of any future sales.

Are NFTs a good investment?

No one can answer that honestly. Sure, people have made money off of NFTs — some of them have even made millions. But those cases are the exception, not the rule. Just like there are lottery jackpot winners, there are NFT lottery winners. Before gambling, it makes sense to look at online gambling statistics. We think it’s important to look at statistics before buying an NFT. If you want to buy and sell NFTs, we suggest adhering to a budget and doing it for fun, not as a way to make a quick buck.

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