Your browser does not support JavaScript!

The Rise of NFTs: From Virtual Kittens to Mutant Apes

Shafin Rizvi

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have been making headlines for months. Even Visa recently purchased a Crypto Punk for $150K in ETH. The likes of the NBA, CNN, and countless celebrities have hopped onto the NFT wave. NFTs are changing the way we own things forever.

But where did it all begin and, where will this new technology take us? Read on to find out.

NFTs: The Early Years

Although earlier versions first appeared on Bitcoin, Ethereum now runs the NFT show.

The first example of mainstream NFTs launched on Ethereum in 2017, none other than the famous Crypto Punks. Some refer to these punks as the cause of the NFT art explosion which, is hard to argue against considering their total sale volume is $1.22 billion.

Shortly after the punks, Ethereum unveiled CryptoKitties, an NFT collectibles gaming platform that clogged up the entire Ethereum network for quite some time in 2017. People went crazy over these digital cats and their breedable rarities. Unlike the punks, these furry friends offered a lot more than just collecting.

Offering More than Collectivity

Besides trading and breeding your virtual cats with other cats, you could also step into the Kittyverse and enjoy anything from dating, social media, or even racing for your meowing friends.

Currently, you can buy a CryptoKitty for as little as $15 worth of ETH, or on the opposite extreme, millions of dollars for the most sought out cats.

Since the debut of CryptoKitties, many NFT projects have launched, trying to take advantage of the growing NFT space. The industry has featured projects ranging from trading card games to art of any kind and even in-game assets.

But as the NFT space grows, two trends have emerged:

  1. An increasing interest in rarity, with some collectors even seeking out original NFTs over newer ones.

  2. The emergence of NFTs with more use cases beyond collecting and trading.

NFTs: The Roaring 20s

In the first half of 2021, NFTs reached a total transaction volume of $2.5 billion and achieved numerous headlines in the process.

The current trajectory of the space could easily exceed that figure since the current daily trading volume of $137 million would translate to a half-year volume of $24.7 billion!

Fast growth means the industry is in its infancy, with plenty of room for more early adopters.

Whether you like apes, penguins, whales, abstract art, racehorses, memes, cards, games, or even lists or any other odd category, NFTs have it all.

Daily trading volumes for the top NFT collections are well above millions of dollars. Meanwhile, individual NFTs alone can beat that figure in a single sale.

Dive into some of the new and most popular collections below.

Crypto Punks

First on this list are the beloved Crypto Punks. Although much older than other NFTs mentioned here, the punks still manage to be the top sold NFT collection for the past 30 days boasting, a sale volume of $632 million for that period. Only 10000 of these punks exist and, the cheapest sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Fortunately, many emerging blockchains such as Polygon have released their own 10,000 crypto punks available at much lower prices like the original Crypto Punks once were as well.

Art Block Curated

If abstract art is your thing, check out these head-tilting artworks with a current daily trade volume above $400 million. With some created by individual artists and developers, others are generated by algorithms alone.

The collection includes sub-categories featuring artwork such as rainbow-coloured squiggles, 3D textures, coloured clouds, bubbles, bit artwork, various works revolving around blocks, and much more.

Bored Ape Yacht Club & Mutant Ape Yacht Club

The Yacht Club succeeds in living up to the symbol of craziness apes have always had in society. The collection of chimps feature everything from bubble gum to knives in their mouths, various hairstyles, hats, lucrative clothing, and an explosion of colours.

Bored Apes are fun to look at but, even crazier are the mutant apes taking things much further regarding creativity.

The floor price for a Bored Ape is a whopping $147,000, while the Mutant Apes can sell for as low as $21,000. The Mutant Serum M2, also an NFT, can convert a Bored Ape into a Mutant Ape.

Check these apes out on OpenSea, where individual apes have sold for as much as millions.

Ether Rock — Pet Rocks on the Blockchain

Have you ever wanted a pet rock? Unlike other pets, you do not need to wash, feed, or walk a rock, just like Ether Rock NFTs. Snag one of these not from your backyard but with millions of dollars worth of ETH.

Alongside Crypto Punks, these rocks are one of the original NFT projects from the genesis year of 2017. For that exact reason, a buyer paid $1.3 million in ETH for rock #42. Although the rocks are identical aside from a variance in colour, only 100 of them exist resulting, in a strong sense of scarcity.

Pudgy Penguins

Are you looking for something more adorable? Pudgy Penguins are the cutest addition to the Ethereum blockchain featuring 8888 unique penguins up for you to grab. It’s easy to find one that matches your style when these penguins come with so many different hairstyles, hats, necklaces, bowties, jackets, accessories and more.

Each penguin also comes with a claimable present, only to be revealed in the upcoming holiday season. Take a look on OpenSea, where you can snag one for the current equivalent of $8446 in ETH at the least.

The Future of Collectible NFTs

NFTs are getting more creative with their usability.

Examples are the gifts accompanying Pudgy Penguins or the M2 Mutant Serum which, converts your Bored Ape into a Mutant Ape. This trend is likely to continue and, it may involve increased interoperability with NFTs being compatible with each other across different collections.

Buy, Collect & Store NFTs with Trust Wallet

Regardless of the future, one thing is for sure, NFTs are here to stay. Whether you are a collector, an artist, or a trader, NFTs are an infant industry filled with ripe opportunities.

A one-stop place to access those opportunities is Trust Wallet.

With a dedicated section to showcase all your OpenSea NFTs and a built-in DApp browser to access all the collections right where you store your crypto, Trust Wallet is the most convenient way to get your piece of NFT glory.

Download Trust Wallet today to explore the brave new world of DeFi.

Get the Trust Wallet app now!

The most trusted & secure crypto wallet