NFTs have become incredibly popular everywhere we look on the internet. There are millions to purchase, and hundreds more projects launching on what’s practically a daily basis.
NFT games, arts and projects continue to take the blockchain community by storm – and they’re not going anywhere any time soon. NFT sales are expected to reach $80 billion by 2025.
So this article is for all NFT traders, enthusiasts and budding project leaders out there. We’ve put together a list of the 10 most successful NFT projects of all time, and the key takeaways we can learn from each of them.
What is an NFT project?
NFT projects are groups of NFTs (or non-fungible tokens). They are produced on a larger scale than regular NFT art (which is typically made on a small scale by individuals).
NFT projects are normally made by organizations, which you are then able to trade on a platform that they also manage.
Most successful NFT projects to date
Here is a list of 10 of the most successful NFT projects to date, in no particular order, with comments on what we can learn from them.
- Bored Ape Yacht Club
When the word NFT comes to mind, many imagine images of Apes. The reason why is because of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC).
BAYC is arguably the most successful NFT project in the world. As of 2022, sales of BAYC have produced more than $2 billion in trading volume. Members of the Bored Ape Yacht Club include a-star celebrities like Snoop Dogg, KSI, Post Malone, Jimmy Fallon, Mark Cuban, KSI, DJ Khaled, Shaquille O’Neal, Justin Beiber, Serena Williams, Future, the list goes on!
Interestingly, the floor price, started at 0.08 ETH, but has now skyrocketed to 146 ETH being the price floor as of April 2022.
There are many benefits to owning a Bored Ape. First, you get the commercial usage right. Second, you can use the token behind the jpeg as an ID number to enter an exclusive online club house as well as real-life events. Additionally, you can adopt a dog and mix your ape using a mutant serum, which would give you 2 additional NFTs with phenomenal resale value.
It’s safe to say that the success of Bored Ape Club is exceptional and perhaps irreplicable for a really long time.
Key takeaway: Offer perks, exclusivity, and NFT gifts. View and treat your NFT holders as VIP members rather than low-end customers. Create a memorable and intriguing theme for your NFTs that sticks.
CryptoPunks, launched in 2017, is one of the most popular NFT projects on the market. It’s also one of the oldest, and so will forever have socio-cultural significance in the history of NFTs.
Featuring 10,000 8-bit characters each with their own odd twist, one of these guys was sold for 124,457 ETH, being 532 million USD. This is a record for NFTs – making Crypto Punk the most expensive NFT project we’ve ever seen.
Key takeaway: Uniqueness in avatars means a great deal in the NFT world. If you’re launching an NFT project, maintain a consistent theme for all your characters (for CryptoPunks, that’s the 8-bit characteristic), with each having their own twist.
Image source: https://www.larvalabs.com/cryptopunks
- Mutant Ape Yacht Club
The Mutant Ape Yacht Club is a hilarious (yet freakishly scary) spinoff to the classic Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT project. Mutant Ape features 20,000 collections, while Bored Ape has 10,000.
This project operates as a ‘thank you’ to the collectors of Bored Ape. Users are given some kind of mutant serum which they can use to mutate their Bored Ape monkeys into Mutant Ape monkeys. One of these serums sold in 2021 for 888.88 ETH ($3.6 Million USD).
Owning a mutant ape also grants full rights to the owner, so they can actually sell items and create other projects piggybacking off the Ape brand’s fame – another key to the project’s success.
Key takeaway: Dropping a ‘key’ into your project to transform your NFT avatar – like a ‘serum’ – can be a wildly effective way to make an NFT project succeed. (Especially if your avatar becomes a scary looking monster.) Giving full rights to owners can also be a feature with a great payoff.
- Cool Cats
Cool Cats is another one of the most successful NFT projects on the market. Its floor price at one stage boasted 10.9 ETH, with its first generation consisting of 10,000 cats.
It immediately attracted investors due to its quirky designs and funny looking characteristics. It was dubbed the ‘biggest launch of the summer’ in 2021. Interestingly, the Cool Cats’ mint price was dropped from 0.06 ETH to 0.02 when it wasn’t selling – while this was a risky move, success ultimately followed.
It helped that celebrities like Mike Tyson started using Cool Cats NFTs as their profile picture on Twitter. This was a major factor behind its popularity.
Key takeaway: Having NFT avatars that are also awesome profile pictures can certainly do wonders for an NFT project. Cool Cats also shows that lowering a price when NFTs are struggling to sell is not always a doomed move.
Image source: https://www.coolcatsnft.com/about
- Art Blocks
Art Blocks is an NFT project where you can purchase customizable and one-of-a-kind NFT art. You can use blockchain to put together digital elements and create truly incredible NFT artworks.
Practically, you would mint NFTs in a scenario where you actually don’t know the kind of art you’ll get. It became hugely successful in mid-2021, jumping up to a $587 million secondary market trading volume in August.
Part of the reason the NFT enjoyed such success was speculation. Many NFT traders caught onto a trend, which led to what was effectively an explosion.
Key takeaways: Creating an air of mystery of not knowing what you’re going to get when minting an NFT can have surprisingly profitable results, as we’ve seen with the Art Blocks NFTs.
- Adidas: Into the Metaverse
Global corporate behemoth Adidas entered into the NFT scene with Adidas Into the Metaverse. They started by introducing a 3D version of their logo.
It was a colossal success, leading the international shoe and sports company to make $24 million on their NFTs public sale. The company introduced 30,000 NFTs, with 20,000 being sold pre-sale for $15 million.
Key takeaway: Large corporate organizations that we’re all familiar with are starting to make their entrance into this industry. This takes NFTs to a whole new stage of their lifecycle.
The Nouns NFT project works in a pretty interesting way. The project mints NFTs that look like images, and then auctions them. And for each NFT you purchase, you’re given a vote in decisions about the project.
Nouns NFTs are expensive (its floor price at one stage was 79 Ether, being around 250,000 USD), and the project has been so successful for several reasons. The project is building resources which can be used to build metaverse, Web3 and DeFi apps. Creating amazing apps will lead to the involvement of higher-quality members.
For example, a Nouns NFT owned by Bud Light was shown in a Super Bowl commercial, with the Noun character designed for one of the famous beers.
Key takeaway: Using the funds you generate from an NFT project to give back to the community (such as through creating apps that people can use) can be a great way to raise funds for an NFT project.
The MekaVerse is an NFT project containing 8,888 Meka characters inspired by the Mecha universes coming out of Japan. The project is the brainchild of creators and artists Mattey and Matt B.
When the project launched, the collection held a ‘raffle’, requiring their users to create a wallet and ‘register’ a wish to buy NFTs. 172,876 wallets were enrolled, and 661,737 individuals visited the website to participate in the lottery. Soon enough, prices per NFT rose from 5 ETH up to 50 ETH. One of them was sold at auction for 125 ETH!
The project was ultimately a controversial one. Some have alleged that, despite the raffle, some buyers got early access to the certain metadata of the NFT picture which allowed them to buy unusual NFTs – giving them an unfair advantage.
Key takeaway: NFT ‘raffles’ can be a great way to spike interest in an NFT project (and lead to huge success). It can also ensure ‘fair minting’. However, such a raffle must be handled very carefully so that it remains genuinely fair.
- Vee Friends
When Gary Vaynerchuk hand-drew 10,255 characters for his NFT project Vee Friends, he probably didn’t expect it to become one of the most influential projects out there. The collection has generated at least 49,000 ETH (around $160 million) in sales volume on Open Sea.
The project features a bunch of cool elements differing the project from others. This includes the well-known “Book Games”, encouraging members to buy Vaynerchuk’s book in return for NFT rewards. He also announced “Mini Drops”, a small collection of VeeFriends like ‘Spooky Vees’ dropped on Halloween and ‘Gift Goat’ NFTs.
Key takeaway: NFT projects must engage with their users in creative ways to stand out from the crowd. This doesn’t just mean producing unique artwork, but also engaging with a community in ways that keep momentum high and make them want more.
The SandBox is a game built on NFTs. Boasting cool Minecraft style voxel-based graphics, it allows users to build their own voxel creations, build on land and develop interactive experiences within the game.
You can buy, sell and trade creations with other sand members and earn $SAND. The game is now one of the best-selling projects on OpenSea, with the cheapest LAND you can buy at one stage going at a price of $11,000.
Key takeaway: Combining video games and NFTs can be a powerful way to keep your users engaged and committed to the success of your project.
Bonus: Apocalyptic Ape
One of the most successful Ape projects in the NFT world is the ‘Apocalyptic Ape’ NFT project. Boasting a market value of 5,700 ETH, with 8,800 post-apocalyptic themed monkeys, it sold out in literally minutes.
One of the key reasons underlying the success of this project was the community underneath it. It is considered an elite project – with celebrities like Paris Hilton even being members.
Key takeaway: The success of NFT projects is rooted in its exclusive community building. The ape’s ‘elite’ club status had people practically begging for a piece of the apocalyptic chimps. It also pays to consider the leader behind an NFT project.
Image source: https://opensea.io/collection/apocalyptic-apes
Key Insights on What Makes an NFT Project Successful
So there you have it – the 10 most successful NFT projects of all time. These case studies provide valuable insights into what makes an NFT project successful, and we hope you’ll find them useful as you continue to build your own projects.
Summing up the key takeaways:
- Offer perks, exclusivity, and NFT gifts
- View and treat your NFT holders as VIP members rather than low-end customers.
- Create a memorable and intriguing theme for your NFTs that stick.
- Uniqueness in avatars means a great deal in the NFT world. If you’re launching an NFT project, maintain a consistent theme for all your characters, with each having their own twist.
- Dropping a ‘key’ into your project to transform your NFT avatar – like a ‘serum’ – can be a wildly effective way to make an NFT project succeed. (Especially if your avatar becomes a scary looking monster.)
- Having NFT avatars that are also awesome profile pictures can certainly do wonders for an NFT project.
- Just because the price floor dropped, doesn’t mean the project is doomed
- Large organizations entering this space take this industry to a new stage.
- Use the funds you generate from an NFT project to give back to the community
- NFT ‘raffles’ can be a great way to spike interest in an NFT project (and lead to huge success). It can also ensure ‘fair minting’. However, such a raffle must be handled very carefully so that it remains genuinely fair
- Your projects must engage with their users in creative ways to stand out from the crowd. This doesn’t just mean producing unique artwork, but also engaging with a community in ways that keep momentum high and make them want more.
- Combining video games and NFTs can be a powerful way to keep your users engaged and committed to the success of your project.
- The success of NFT projects is rooted in its exclusive community building.
- It also pays to consider the leader behind an NFT project.
- Above all, enjoy the experience! NFTs are an exciting technology that have just started to make noise in the past year!
Stay tuned for more exciting content from us here at Peerplays, and don’t forget to follow us on social media so you don’t miss out!
Peerplays is an open-source blockchain that provides the fastest, most decentralized network consensus model available today. Peerplays is built with Graphene technology and Gamified Proof of Stake (GPoS), bringing a new paradigm of fairness, trust, speed, and security.
We provide you with decentralized systems and tools to help you regain control, power, and freedom. We call for an empathetic approach that mirrors human interactions, rather than machine-like approaches. We’re getting the world of blockchain connected through SONs.
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