What is the Most Valuable NFT – The $69m NFT Sale

We are now used to seeing high selling value NFTs, particularly of the cartoon variety, but some of the highest selling NFTs in the art space seem to go unnoticed.

Although some cartoon graphic NFTs are selling upwards of $3m, they are incredibly overshadowed by some of the eye watering monster NFT sales.

The most expensive NFT sold to date was in March 2021 at the respected auction house Christie’s nonetheless, and it has stood tall with only one potential competitor – which sold for more – but has a caveat attached.

The most valuable NFT is Everydays – The First 5000 Days, which sold for $69m in March 2021 at Christie’s after a starting bid of just $100. Mike Winkelmann aka ‘Beeple’ is the artist who created the NFT. The artwork represents Beeple’s ‘5000 days as an artist’, and all of his art pieces during this time in one NFT.

It could be argued that Pak’s The Merge is the most valuable NFT ever sold, after all it sold for a jaw dropping $91.8m.

The different with The Merge is that although it is one NFT, it was broken down into thousands of pieces and sold to almost 30,000 buyers. If you ‘merge’ all the pieces together it will create on NFT again, and if you add all the sales from the 30,000 buyers, it did make the artist $90m richer, but as this NFT was split I am counting Everydays to be the most valuable NFT today.

The Everydays NFT Story

Mike Winkelmann (who forever more will simply be referred to as Beeple) was, and still could be referred to, as a humble modest artist.

Originally selling artwork for around $100 a piece, he infamously struck rich with the astonishing sale of the ‘Everydays – The First 5000 Days’ NFT for $69m in a Christie’s online auction.

Every single day for 13 and a half years, Mike Winkelmann created and posted a piece of digital artwork he spent time creating.

This his first 5000 days into the digital art space.

After such time he decided to put all 5000 pieces together in a single NFT, al 13.5 years-worth of work, dedication, and perseverance – and auction his entire collection as a single image.

At the start of the auction a single bid came in for $100, probably from someone making a speculative purchase not really understanding the artist or what an NFT is.

It didn’t take long for the auction to launch into a frenzy, and the bids saw increments of not thousands of dollars, but millions of dollars.

The online auction closed with the winning bidder paying $69m for NFT made up of the digital artwork.

During an interview Beeple was asked whether creating an NFT ‘was easy’, to which Beeple humbly replied ‘Yes, it’s pretty easy’.

I think here the reporter missed the point.

On face value it looks like someone paid $69m for a piece of art that exists only digitally, and not in the real world.

Let’s look deeper.

The NFT, or digital image, is a composition of 5,000 individual digital pieces of artwork that took 5,000 days to put together.

Even if each piece took 4 hours to create, this is 20,000 hours of investment time and over a decade of continued perseverance in what to Beeple must have felt adversity.

How long is 20,000 hours?

It’s over 2 years and 2 months of continuous effort.

The NFT art sold for its value due to the story and the artist – not because an NFT is easy to put together.

If you want to put in to perspective this astounding story, the demand, popularity and inspiration Beeple gave to fans, the following video provides a very good insight:


Who is Beeple

Beeple is the name used by artist Mike Winkelmann.

He is the man whose life changed when he sold the most valuable NFT for $69m and made him one of the living highest three selling artists.

The inspirationally entitled NFT (Everydays – The First 5,000 Days) is really a testament to anyone’s dedication to their art, story, or goal.

Here is Beeple watching his own online auction as it took place in 2021:

Why is Everydays More Valuable than The Merge?

You may hear it being argued that The Merge by Pak is the highest selling NFT of all time, and by some considerable margin.

The Merge sold for a mind-blowing $91m!

So, why is this not classed as the highest selling NFT?

The Merge was broken down into small pieces. It is officially one NFT, if all pieces were put back together, but the split meant that each smaller piece was sold to almost 30,000 individual buyers.

This is one of the reasons The Merge reached the overall net selling price it achieved.

For the artist, I doubt they care whether it were one buyer or 30,000, but this split of the asset really means although this is an incredible and popular work of art, it is seen on a different level to Everydays.

Other Expensive NFT Sales

Beeple’s and Pak’s NFT creations aren’t the only multi-million-dollar NFT sales to hit the market in recent times.

There is a plethora of other NFTs selling from $100,000 to $10m or more.

For anyone paying this type of money for an NFT, there is a reason.

No one spends $1m on a digital piece of art from an unknown artist, without a story or popularity, that has been put together in 10mins – despite the gold rush of NFT creations looking for similar returns.

These sales include:

  • HUMAN ONE – $28.9m (also sold by Beeple)
  • Crypto Punk #5822 – $23m
  • Crypto Punk #7523 – $11.75m
  • Crypto Punk #3100 – $7.67m
  • Crypto Punk #7804 – $7.6m
  • Beeple’s Crossroad – $6.6m

These sales, including Everydays, represent $153m worth of NFT sales in just 7 NFTs!

With sales like these hitting the headlines almost daily it’s no wonder everybody is sitting up and taking notice of the unusual and often confusing industry that is NFTs!

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