The boom in cryptocurrencies in recent months has attracted new investors looking for other digital assets that have perceived value to invest their capital and increase gains on invested capital.
The best NFT projects and NFT coins in 2021 are more connected in selling unique and limited edition digital items, including digital art, digital collectibles, trading cards, digital cards, gaming items, music, and other collectibles, attracting impressive price tags.
New NFT projects are being designed and presented not only as the future of digital collectibles sales, but also a safer way for musicians to transparently monetize their work in the age of streaming and digital file sharing, and for online game developers and startups to profit from creating in-game economies.
Brief notes on NFT (Non-Fungible Token)
Non-fungible token, or NFT, works as a digital certificate of authenticity for a specific digital item. By essence, NFTs are units of data held in a decentralized digital ledger known as a blockchain that guarantees and certifies a digital asset as unique with real money value.
Although NFTs are built on the same blockchain technology that powers cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (Ether), NFTs are not cryptocurrencies. NFT infrastructure goes far beyond the simple cryptocurrency concept, as they can be used for digital representations of physical assets of modern financial systems, including complex trading, lending, and insurance systems for a variety of asset categories, including real estate, insurance, loan agreements, alternative investments, and artwork.
What are the top NFT coins?
These are the 5 best NFT coins in terms of market value, sales volume and strong community:
- Worldwide Asset eXchange (WAX)
WAX is a decentralized peer-to-peer (P2P) blockchain ecosystem for creating and trading NFTs. This decentralized protocol provides a more secure and convenient way to create, buy, hold, store, sell, exchange and trade virtual and physical items. Developers can also use this blockchain and its smart contracts to create decentralized applications, games, and decentralized marketplaces.
The WAX token (WAXP) is based on the Ethereum blockchain and users, gamblers or investors can earn rewards for staking their tokens to provide liquidity and keep the blockchain safe. The WAXP token can also be traded in pairs with other cryptocurrencies such as WAXP/BTC, WAXP/BNB, WAXP/BUSD, WAXP/USDT on various crypto exchanges including Huobi, Binance and Bittrex. The WAX token can be stored in Ethereum-based digital wallets.
- THETA (THETA)
Theta is a blockchain or decentralized protocol that allows decentralized applications (DApps) or platforms to be created on top of the blockchain to enable peer-to-peer (P2P) streaming of sports, music, TV/movies, corporate conferencing, and more. The video streaming services of this protocol are powered by a decentralized network from various points around the world, where users who voluntarily donate their bandwidth or computing resources receive Theta Tfuel tokens as a reward.
- Chiliz (CHZ)
Chiliz (CHZ) is a blockchain behind the sports, entertainment, rewards, and fan interaction platform, Socios.com. Sports fans and investors can buy and sell or trade fan tokens from sports brands and clubs, as well as participate and vote in polls and surveys related to the platform’s partners and benefit from token liquidity.
- Decentraland (MANA)
Decentraland is a virtual reality platform or ecosystem based on the Ethereum blockchain that allows users to create, explore, experience and monetise content.
On Decentraland you can buy virtual land for investment objectives, to build homes, casinos, amusement parks and museums, and monetize your virtual real estate. You can also experience or explore a variety of interactive experiences on your virtual land lots, including interactive games, 3D scenes and objects, and other interactive virtual reality activities, as well as create and customize avatars, participate in platform governance, and trade in rare digital items.
Users need fungible tokens such as the MANA token, as well as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), to participate in Decentraland. To participate in this virtual ecosystem, you need to connect to an encrypted wallet like Metamask, via a web browser, to subsequently set up your avatar, and receive a virtual passport that can represent your virtual identity. The MANA token is available on various cryptocurrency exchanges such as Binance, OKEx and Coinbase Pro, and is precisely designed to buy digital land and in-game assets.
- Enjin Coin (ENJ)
Enjin Coin is a cryptocurrency from the Enjin network, a corporation that offers interconnected blockchain-based digital products/services. Enjin allows digital game developers to use the Ethereum blockchain to tokenize in-game assets and other virtual items. Digital assets created on this platform are backed with Enjin Coin tokens, a token of the ERC-20 standard. Enjin Coin tokens can be bought, sold, and traded with real-world money on various cryptocurrency exchanges.
What is the most popular NFT?
Everdays: The First 5000 Days sold for $69 million and is the most popular NFT digital artwork. Created by Mike Winkelmann or Beeple, Everdays: the First 5000 Days is a collage of 5000 digital images, drawings or paintings purchased by Metakovan real name Vignesh Sundaresan, a computer programmer based in Singapore.
Best NFT Projects and Protocols by Market Capitalization
Designed, developed and released in 2017 by American studio Larva Labs, Cryptopunks is one of the first NFT projects on the Ethereum blockchain. The project consists of 10,000 algorithmically generated 24×24 pixel digital images or collectibles. Although most Punks have human-like features, there are some rarer ones mixed in such as Monkeys, Zombies, and Aliens. Of the 10,000 CryptoPunks, only 9 are Alien Punks, and they are the most expensive punks.
- Axie Infinity
Axie Infinity is an NFT creature battle game based on the Ethereum network, which uses AXS and SLP (Smooth Love Potion) cryptocurrencies. Here to start playing, you need to purchase 3 Axies with Ether (ETH), so as the online gaming platform attracts more users and crypto enthusiasts, the price of Axies naturally increases in liquidity.
CryptoKitties is an Ethereum-based protocol designed by Dapper Labs, which brought NFTs (NonFungible Tokens) into the mainstream. This blockchain platform enables users to create, adopt, maintain and sell digital cats. CryptoKitties’ virtual cats tokens are non-fungible, and each NFT token represents a different digital cat.
- Bored Ape Yacht Club
Similar to CryptoPunks, Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) are limited edition collections of NFT-based online avatars, where the token itself functions as your membership to a swamp club for apes. The project was designed and launched by Yuga Labs, and features digital animated monkey designs that have unique attributes and rarities. Currently this project is one of the most prized NFT collectibles in the NFT market industry. Bored Ape Kennel Club (BAKC) and Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC) are also other projects developed by Yuga Labs.
Designed and launched by Larva Labs – the same company that made CryptoPunks, Meebits are 20,000 unique 3D characters created by a custom generative algorithm registered on the Ethereum blockchain under the ERC-721 standard. The project also has a free trading marketplace. Meebits were designed precisely for use in the metaverse, as they are three-dimensional characters with high-resolution renderings that can also be used in blockchain applications.
- Proof of Beauty
Proof of Beauty is an NFT project designed exclusively to document the history of the Ethereum blockchain. HASH, the project’s first NFT series, allows users to transform personal and historical blockchain transactions into beautiful NFT works of art. The Proof of Beauty algorithm has already connected metadata of celebrated transactions, from Vitalik Buterin’s first Ethereum transaction to Jay Z’s purchase of a Cryptopunk. LONDON, the other NFT series in this project, is a collection of 8,888 generative art pieces. One of the landmark events of this second NFT series was the hard fork, the first transaction that occurred on the Ethereum network after the EIP-1559 update.
Rarible is an NFT marketplace that is in the top 5 of the best and largest NFT marketplaces in terms of trading volumes, and has become a very popular online tool for creating NFTs and trading rare virtual collectible items. This platform became popular by launching its own governance token, and consequently the first in the NFT space. The RARI token is designed to be used in the DeFi space. The platform also offers direct minting support with an Ethereum wallet, and trading of a wide variety of digital assets, including art, photography, music, domain names, memes, DeFi and Punks.
- NBA Top Shot
Powered by the Flow blockchain instead of Ethereum, NBA Top Shot is officially licensed blockchain application by the National Basketball Association (NBA) together with Dapper Labs, and allows fans of America’s biggest basketball league to trade collectible items in the form of NFTs of video clips of memorable moments from the game.
Another NFT project that is also worth mentioning, is The WePlay Collectibles, which is an NFT project that aims to create a community and unite true eSports fans and talent, as well as artists and digital art enthusiasts.
WePlay Collecibles are for people who want to be part of eSports events and show that they like players and talent in a different way, beyond merchandising. Now, WePlay Collectibles has become part of a platform, where you can buy items with NFT technology – not only physical and digital eSports souvenir items related to a specific tournament, but also works related to contemporary art.
Which crypto is used for NFTs?
Most NFTs are part of the Ethereum network ecosystem, although other blockchains such as WAX and Flow also support NFTs. Ethereum or Ether (ETH) is the second largest cryptocurrency by market value, behind only Bitcoin (BTC). Ether is the cryptocurrency used to pay gas fees for using the Ethereum network (creating or minting NFTs, buying and selling, and transferring assets between Ethereum wallets).
The future of NFTs looks promising, and includes applications in various markets such as decentralized finance (DeFi), where they can be used for unprecedented things and in valuable assets such as fine art, digital collectibles, game economy or even real estate as collateral for loans, financial contracts for alternative investments, insurance, stock options as ETF and bonds.
Therefore, it is important to talk to a professional for investment advice before you go out there and buy NFTs, but most importantly, do your own research before investing in NFTs, understand and assume the risks. Assessing the true value of an NFT is a difficult task, and some are at risk of losing liquidity, which means you may sell your NFT cheaper for the purchase price or even have difficulty selling your NFT collectibles in the future.
It is likely that notable projects with high liquidity and a strong community will survive in the long term, but it is more than clear that there is a lot of hype surrounding the NFT industry at the moment. If you plan to invest in this emerging asset class, do your own research.