By now, you should be familiar with NFTs if you’re following the crypto space. NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are taking the crypto and art world by storm. Every week, collectors spend millions to buy the latest digital art. Some have criticized this massive spending because they perceive that digital art is something easily copied and reproduced. However, blockchain technology allows digital artists to protect their work and offer a certificate of authenticity for each one.
Top 12 Notable NFT GIFs to Inspire You
- 1. Nyan Cat by Chris Torres
- 2. Finite by Pak
- 3. War Haul by Jake
- 4. Lova Park by OSF
- 5. Welcome Home by Coldie
- 6. Life and Death by DeeKay
- 7. Right Click and Save As Guy by XCopy
- 8. Crossroads by Beeple
- 9. A Coin for the Ferryman by XCopy
- 10. Metarift by Pak
- 11. All-Time High in the City by XCopy
- 12. Neon Village by Seerlight
- Frequently Asked Questions
Before NFTs were invented, digital artists had no way to protect their creations from online piracy. They were at the mercy of exploitative individuals who robbed their artistic creations. With the development of blockchain technology, NFTs were born. These give artists a way to mark the authenticity of their art and be able to demand the right price for it.
NFTs rely on smart contracts that contain the unique identifying mark of each token. They are non-exchangeable, and no two NFTs are alike. Every time an NFT changes ownership, it is recorded in the blockchain. In some instances, artists earn royalties for each sale.
If you’re a digital creator, creating NFTs should be the next step in your career. They are easy to do and promise great rewards. With NFTs, you can sell your art directly to customers through various NFT marketplaces. Most NFTs are built in the Ethereum blockchain, and basic knowledge of cryptocurrency is required.
In theory, almost anything in the real world can become an NFT. Although they are most commonly digital artwork in the form of images, GIFs, and videos. Game items are another common application of NFTs. Their popularity has paved the way for NFT games—avenues for players to earn cryptocurrencies.
Top 12 Notable NFT GIFs
GIFs predate the Internet. They’ve been around since 1987 and were used as a way to show animated images without using very large files. They’re popular, especially in marketing, because they’re easy to make and widely supported by most internet browsers. Despite attempts to replace the GIF format, very little have succeeded.
Today, animators are using GIFs to create NFT art. Here’s a list of the most notable ones with some selling for millions of dollars.
1. Nyan Cat by Chris Torres
Sold for: 300 ETH ($583,464) | Marketplace: Foundation
On this day in 2011, the original Nyan Cat video was born. With its various remixes and worldwide spread it’s estimated to have surpassed 1 billion worldwide views and become a staple on Internet culture and memes. Happy birthday, Nyan Cat! 🐈⬛🌈✨https://t.co/gZqKUG0J5c pic.twitter.com/nkEzd0yqLX
— NyanCat.eth (@NyanCat) April 5, 2022
Nyan Cat became an Internal viral sensation when it was originally uploaded on April 2, 2011. The design was inspired by Marty, the owner’s cat. It was his way of immortalizing his beloved pet. For the 10th anniversary of the GIF sensation, Chris remastered the GIF and sold it as an NFT for a whopping $583,464.
Chris Torres is an artist and meme creator. Aside from Nyan Cat, he has created several other cat-inspired GIFs also sold in Foundation, one of the leading NFT marketplace.
2. Finite by Pak
Sold for: 444 ETH ($864,507) | Marketplace: Foundation
Bidding at 444 $ETH (~$840,000 USD) by z10n
— Foundation (@foundation) March 13, 2021
Just a month after Nyan Cat’s sale, another GIF sold for nearly twice the amount. Finite, a GIF masterpiece by the artist Pak, was sold via Foundation for 444 ETH. At the time of sale, it was valued at $864,507. The image is a coil that spirals back and forth in a seemingly endless loop. It’s mesmerizing and calming to watch.
The artist is as mysterious as the looping GIF he created. No one knows Pak’s identity, but the NFT art world considers his work stimulating, striking, and at the forefront of digital innovation.
3. War Haul by Jake
Sold for: 69 ETH ($223,627) | Marketplace: SuperRare
“WAR HAUL” pic.twitter.com/V4LsKQ8a5P
— JAKE (@jakethedegen) March 12, 2022
War Haul is one of the most recent NFT GIFs that sold for a quarter of a million dollars. It was created by visual artist Jake who describes himself as a boy with a dream. The GIF depicts barrels of oils set on fire with the deeper meaning left to the public to ponder.
Aside from War Haul, Jake lists his other NFT creations at SuperRare and OpenSea, two leading NFT marketplaces. He’s an American artist, photographer, and director who has worked with various brands. He recently decided to release his creations as NFTs and War Haul was his first major NFT sale.
4. Lova Park by OSF
Sold for: 82 ETH ($267,878) | Marketplace: Superrare
But the question is, what else do you get with THIS piece? pic.twitter.com/cPj0Buy485
— OSF (@osf_nft) March 16, 2022
Warning: Photosensitive artwork ahead. This is the disclaimer that meets every user who stumbles upon OSF’s website and art collections. However, this didn’t prevent him from hitting the jackpot when his NFT art Lova Park sold for 82 ETH, equivalent to almost $270,000. The neon-hued GIF was originally acquired for 11 ETH by another user before being acquired for 82 ETH. It shows a surreal scene in an amusement park where a roller coaster passes through a Ferris wheel.
OSF is an NFT artist and collector known for neon-etched creations that are hypnotic to watch. He’s also an avid Web3 investor and co-founder of several NFT resource agencies. His works can be found on SuperRare, OpenSea, and Foundation. He is mostly associated with rektguy, a popular NFT collection featuring a hooded figure drinking from a bottle.
Rektguy #919 needs some hopium to go with that wagmi pic.twitter.com/7iX4vExkYZ
— Zee_German (@Crypto_Gren) June 4, 2022
5. Welcome Home by Coldie
Sold for: 75 ETH ($242,385) | Marketplace: SuperRare
💎 Welcome Home 💎
— SuperRare Bot 💎 (@SuperRareBot) April 9, 2022
Another recent SuperRare sale for almost a quarter of a million dollars was Welcome Home by Coldie. It was a secondary sale of 75 ETH from the original listed sale of 6 ETH 3 years ago. The GIF shows a silhouette of a man moving toward a place marked Welcome as he passes a road with changing colors.
Coldie’s art creations often use stereoscopic 3D effects that he sometimes combines into a GIF animation loop. Similar to influencers making influencer merch, he also creates physical products like shirts and art pieces to hang on walls based on his crypto art.
6. Life and Death by DeeKay
Sold for: 310 ETH ($1,000,000) | Marketplace: SuperRare
'Life and Death' pic.twitter.com/UqAeNly7Uq
— DeeKay (@deekaymotion) April 3, 2022
Unlike the other GIFs in this list, Life and Death by DeeKay is more of a short animation video than a GIF. Although only 30-seconds, the art is polished like a standard cartoon, and there’s background music that loops with the video. Apart from the $1M sale price, the buyer's identity and his Twitter thread, where he shared his reasons for buying the NFT, make this GIF stand out. It was also the artist’s first NFT million sale.
The buyer is Cozomo de’ Medici, more popularly known as the famous rapper Snoop Dog, a well-known patron of digital arts. He hailed DeeKay’s NFT as a “defining work of this era.” DeeKay’s animations are mostly positive and uplifting with a nod to the realities of life. His works are available in SuperRare, Foundation, and OpenSea.
7. Right Click and Save As Guy by XCopy
Sold for: 1600 ETH ($7,000,000) | Marketplace: SuperRare
Right-click and Save As guyhttps://t.co/4KbjnmAPPe circa 2018
— XCOPY 🏴 (@XCOPYART) August 19, 2020
By far, this is one of the most expensive NFT GIFs sold. The buyer is no other than Snoop Dog. The GIF was created as a joke to NFT detractors who believe owning NFTs is superfluous because you can always right-click and save a copy of the digital art on your own PC. Of course, this is inaccurate since NFTs are proof of authenticity. It’s similar to owning the certified original Mona Lisa despite having thousands of copies.
The artist, XCopy, is known for using the same flashing imagery in his other creations. He is no stranger to million-dollar NFTs, having sold several others.
8. Crossroads by Beeple
Sold for: $66,000,000 | Marketplace: Nifty Gateway
The #1/1 from beeple's first NG drop has just resold on the secondary market for $6.6 million.
History has just been made.
— Nifty Gateway (@niftygateway) February 25, 2021
Crossroads is a political art piece created to show a different version depending on the outcome of the US election. It was originally sold for $66,666 but ballooned to 100x more after a year. It was eventually bought for $6,600,000. The short animation showed a heavy-set man, depicted to be Trump, lying in the background as people pass through.
Crossroads was made by Beeple, a leading crypto artist famous for selling some of the most expensive NFTs. His creation, Everydays – The First 5000 Days once held the record for the most expensive NFT sold at $69 million.
9. A Coin for the Ferryman by XCopy
Sold for: 1330 ETH ($6,017,292) | Marketplace: SuperRare
A Coin for the Ferryman sold for 1330.0Ξhttps://t.co/8eGyaK6xc2
— 🤖 (@xcopybot) November 4, 2021
XCopy has been hailed as a pioneer in the NFT crypto art space resulting in the explosion of the value of his earlier works. One of these is A Coin for the Ferryman, originally sold for 0.5ETH ($139) 4 years ago. About seven months ago, user @jpeggy offered to buy the artwork for 1330ETH or $6 million. The artwork depicts a scribbled man in a suit set against strobing colors.
XCopy is proof that digital artists can make significant sums from their NFTs when the time is right.
10. Metarift by Pak
Sold for: 489 ETH ($904,413) | Marketplace: Makersplace
— Pak (@muratpak) March 14, 2021
Pak is known for creating geometric NFT art and is often believed to be a team of artists. Metarift is another mesmerizing NFT GIF that sold for close to a million dollars in the NFT marketplace MakersPlace. It’s a metallic geometric loop consisting of an infinity symbol and spherical balls reminiscent of flowers.
Pak, formerly Murak Pak, is also the creator of Merge, the most expensive NFT currently sold to date. Merge is a collective NFT that sold for $91.8M to 30,000 buyers. Together with Beeple, they make the topmost paid NFT creators of all time.
11. All-Time High in the City by XCopy
Sold for: 1630 ETH ($6,189,469) | Marketplace: SuperRare
💎 All Time High in the City 💎
— SuperRare Bot 💎 (@SuperRareBot) September 25, 2021
We don’t want this list to be monopolized by XCopy, but we can’t deny that he has the most expensive GIFs that sell for millions of dollars. While other NFT artists create different NFTs, like still images and digital sketches, XCopy focuses solely on static-saturated sketches flashing frantically. The images are mostly dystopia and death-themed, which strikes a chord with collectors. Currently, All-Time high in the City is already listed at 33,666 ETH (roughly $66M).
XCopy is an anonymous London-based crypto artist who has been in the crypto art space since SuperRare launched. He has over 100 NFTs listed on the platform, and many of his earlier works that sold for less than 1 ETH four years ago are now selling for millions.
12. Neon Village by Seerlight
Sold for: 100 ETH ($348k) | Marketplace: SuperRare
'Village Hidden in Neon' 🌃 a naruto piece I did last year.
How is it hidden? The lights blind you! 👨🦯 pic.twitter.com/3mOK6cDMNM
— SeerLight 💊🌙 (@seerlight) June 19, 2021
Neon Village may not be the most expensive NFT GIF on the list, but it certainly deserves a spot. The GIF is anime-inspired and features clean lines and bright colors typical to most anime series. It was originally sold for 7 ETH when it was listed but has increased to more than 10x the original value two months later. The new owner bought the art piece for 100 ETH ($348,000). This shows how NFTs can be rewarding for creators.
Neon Village was created by Seerlight, a crypto artist whose artworks mostly feature anime characters. He’s an illustrator and artist based in LA who has sold several artworks for hundreds of dollars.
The NFT Creator Economy
As the popularity of NFTs grows, more artists are encouraged to produce great art and mint them as NFTs. It allows them to reward their audience with additional ways to enjoy and own their content. It also helps them reach new audiences interested in art collections and relate to their vision. As our list of notable NFT GIFs show, there’s no limit to anyone’s creativity in producing great artwork.
You can create simple GIF animations like Nyan Cat or deep political pieces like Crossroads. You can sketch dystopian-themed GIFs like XCopy or clean-cut animations like Deekay and Seerlight. Whatever mode of artistic expression you pursue, you will find people willing to pay hundreds of dollars – sometimes millions – for your work.
Thanks to blockchain technology, digital art creators now have a way to be properly compensated for their masterpieces. NFTs have enabled digital artists to be at par with other types of artists who can make a comfortable living with their work. It has even allowed the art community to recognize the contributions of digital artists to the art world. Pak’s $91.8M sale of Merge is recognized as surpassing the current auction record for the most expensive single artwork sold by a living artist.
Who purchases NFT art?
Just like any other art piece, digital art appreciation is subjective. Patrons purchase a piece of digital art because of the emotions it elicited from them. This is the reason Snoop Dog tweeted for purchasing DeeKay’s Life and Death animation for $1M. For others, they collect artworks when they believe the value of a certain piece will further increase. This is the case for XCopy’s works. His recognition as a pioneer crypto artist drove collectors to pay millions for his earlier artworks.
NFTs encourage art patrons and collectors to purchase digital art because they serve as seals of authenticity. This allows digital art to gain in value. It also protects owners from piracy—as every transaction involving an NFT is recorded in the blockchain and verifiable by anyone.
Cryptocurrencies are essential to NFT purchases, and their volatility affects NFT prices. Despite this, NFT artworks are seen to increase in value over time in the same way that traditional art does. Aside from art, NFTs are also used for games such as Axie Infinity and collectibles such as Cryptopunks. Other lesser uses are utility NFTs, music NFTs, and domain NFTs.
Buying NFT Art
The best place to buy an NFT art is through NFT marketplaces. These are dedicated sites that authenticate NFTs protecting both the digital artist and the patron. While there are hundreds of NFT marketplaces, only a few specialize in rare digital art. This is where talented artists like Beeple and Pak, along with emerging creators like DeeKay, exist.
Other ways to purchase NFT art are through traditional art auction houses like Christie’s, which sold Beeple’s Everydays: The First 5000 Days, and Philipps, which sold Mad Dog Jones’ Replicator. As the art world starts to recognize digital art, more of them are engaging with artists and selling NFTs.
When buying NFTs, you should always exercise caution. Purchase only from reputable marketplaces that are proven to be secure and authentic. There are plenty of scammers in the crypto world, sometimes even on legitimate platforms, and you should do your best to avoid them.
Marketplaces also vary in their transaction fees and commissions. Select one whose fees are reasonable and at par with their services. Finally, always consider your reasons for buying NFTs. It could be for investment, for supporting your favorite artist, or for pure adoration of a piece of digital artwork. Whatever your reasons are, choose NFTs that align with them.
It is never too late to get in the NFT game. Whether you’re coming in as a buyer or creator, there are plenty of opportunities to earn from NFTs. While the initial gold rush seems to taper, NFTs remain a popular investment choice, especially for those who are into art appreciation. As shown in the list above, seasoned and emerging digital creators can earn big from NFTs.
If you’re a digital art creator, you should explore minting your creations as NFTs. This will give your loyal followers a chance to own your works while you enjoy the fruits of your labor. There are plenty of resources in this blog that can help you on your way to becoming the next NFT artist superstar.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is NFT art?
NFTs stand for non-fungible tokens. They are attached to any digital or real-world objects to prove the authenticity of the item. NFTs are unique and non-exchangeable. Each NFT is recorded in the blockchain, a digital public ledger that anyone can view and access.
This allows people to check that a piece of digital art is truly authentic and belongs to the rightful owner. Since digital art is easily copied, using NFTs as a seal of authentication increases their value and allows them to be collectibles, just like real-world art pieces.
Is NFT art worth buying?
Buying NFT art is a personal decision. Different people have different reasons for wanting to purchase a piece of art. For some, it’s a form of investment. If this is your reason for buying, you should understand the inherent risks with cryptocurrencies and NFTs, such as their high volatility. Also, you should choose popular artists and popular art forms to guarantee that there will be sustained interest in the artwork.
Another reason for buying NFT art is because you relate to the artist or his work. This means that regardless of the current or future value, you are willing to purchase the art piece.
Why is NFT art so expensive?
NFT art becomes expensive when the artist is already popular, or has a proven track record of selling high-value pieces. Just like in other forms of artwork, the value is dependent on the reputation of the artist. If you scout NFT marketplaces, you will find artists who sell their works for much less than the popular ones.
Famous crypto artists like XCopy, who recently sold a $6M NFT GIF, began selling their NFT pieces for less than 1 ETH (about less than $2000 today). Other lesser-known artists who produce great pieces also sell NFT art for less than 1 ETH. Sometimes, famous NFT creators organize drops where they sell a collection of their works for lower prices so other art collectors can also purchase them.
The price of NFTs is also dependent on the current exchange rate of cryptocurrencies. Since crypto values are highly volatile, the prices of NFTs, when converted to fiat currencies, also fluctuate. Remember also that NFTs are unique and oftentimes single items. The creator awards you with a single original copy. For most 1/1 NFT art sales, there is scarcity involved, which further drives up the value of the NFT.