Top NFT Projects in 2022
Summary: NFTs are a specialized niche of crypto; they’re only appropriate if you really love collecting. Even then, they should not compose more than 1% of your portfolio. For those who want to invest, here are the top NFT projects.
With the NFT market down 97% from its highs, it can feel like the fad is over. But if you really believe in these digital collectibles as a long-term investment, it can be a great time to buy.
As we said in our Investor’s Guide to NFTs, think of them like collecting any other exotic investment: rare wines, classic cars, or even vintage baseball cards.
To help you discover the NFT collections with the most traction, we’ve compiled some of the top NFT projects of 2022. Read on.
|Network||Number of NFTs||Total Sales ($)||Total Transactions||Floor Price ($)||Members Only (Y/N)|
|Okay Bears||Solana||10K||$126M||24.1K||67.9 SOL/|
|Nina’s Super Cool World||Ethereum||5.1K||Not available||Not available||0.39 ETH/$517||No|
|Bored Ape Yacht Club||Ethereum||10K||$2.3B||31.7K||79 ETH/|
|Mutant Ape Yacht Club||Ethereum||19.4K||$1.5B||49.5K||15.29 ETH/|
|Crypto Punks||Ethereum||10K||$2.3B||21.9K||Not available||No|
|Tableland Rigs||Ethereum||3K||Not available||Not available||0.23 ETH/|
|Otherdeed for Otherside||Ethereum||100K||$1B||52K||1.69 ETH/|
|Factura||Ethereum||1K||Not available||Not available||.8 ETH/|
|Primates||Solana||10K||Not available||Not available||17.35 SOL/|
Okay Bears is an algorithmically-generated NFT collection released on the Solana blockchain in April 2022. Initially, 10,000 bears were released, each priced at 1.5 SOL.
The team behind the Okay Bears tokens wanted to cultivate a relaxed and vibrant community focused on acceptance, good vibes, and progress. An algorithm created each Okay Bears NFT character, and each NFT comes with utility, meaning it can be used for a variety of practical applications, such as exclusive access to events and experiences.
The Okay Bears NFTs sold out in one day, helping the Solana blockchain reach over $2 billion in total sales. Okay Bears has been able to separate itself from other NFT competitors by creating a unique hype around its brand. For example, some people were able to earn membership into the community by simply following a set of instructions, such as creating a poem, changing their social media profile picture, or sharing a post with a specific hashtag.
Additionally, Okay Bears strongly emphasizes creating a culture of kindness for its community members. Members can gather at The Park, an exclusive Discord channel where everyone is equal and encouraged to spread positivity.
Nina’s Super Cool World
Nina’s Super Cool World is a bold new NFT collection created by Nina Chanel Abney, a contemporary artist and painter who explores gender, race, and politics in her work. Nina’s collection features ten unique artworks, each with different color schemes, meaning there are 100 NFTs total.
Each piece contains a number ranging from 0-99, and some randomly chosen numbers will receive bonus physical items and airdrops. However, all 100 NFTs are considered to be rare. In addition to exclusive access to Nina’s artistic expression, NFT holders will also get access to the artist’s upcoming merch shop, exclusive air drops, event invitations, and real-life exhibition invitations.
Nina’s Super Cool World is available on GODA, a platform with a powerful team of NFT experts, advisors, and designers.
Bored Ape Yacht Club
Most people with a passing knowledge of NFTs are familiar with the Bored Ape Yacht Club, a collection of 10,000 unique NFTs built on Ethereum. Each Bored Ape contains different characteristics, with some being rarer than others. For example, only 3% of Bored Apes have biker vests, and only 5% have red fur.
The rarer the trait, the more expensive the Bored Ape will likely be. All the Bored Ape NFTs were initially available on a first-come, first-serve basis, and they sold out quickly. Now, they are available on OpenSea, a secondary market that acts as an eBay for NFTs.
As the name suggests, the Bored Ape Yacht Club brands itself as an exclusive social organization. NFT holders get access to an exclusive Discord channel, where fellow members (including some high-profile celebrities) hang out and chat. Additionally, owning a Bored Ape NFT grants you access to more NFT collectibles, which can be resold at a higher value.
Mutant Ape Yacht Club
Launched in August 2021, the Mutant Ape Yacht Club is an offshoot of the Bored Ape Yacht Club. The Mutant Ape NFT collection was created to reward Bored Ape NFT holders with secondary NFTs that spawned or “mutated” from their original Bored Apes. While the Mutant Ape NFTs differ from the Bored Ape NFTs, they hold similar characteristics.
The Mutant Ape Yacht Club was also created to expand access and allow new members to join the Bored Ape Yacht Club. To become a member of Bored Ape, you need to own a Bored Ape NFT, Mutant Ape NFT, or another related NFT.
There are 20,000 Mutant Ape NFTs, half of which were auctioned off for ETH, Ethereum’s native token. Through the auction, users were allowed to mint a Mutant Ape NFT after making a successful bid. The remaining 10,000 NFTs were allocated to Bored Ape holders. Mutant Ape NFTs were auctioned off for around $10,000 and sold out in about an hour.
Azuki is an anime-themed NFT collection that had one of the most successful drops in the history of NFTs. The collection of 10,000 NFTs, which were released on January 12, 2022, sold out within three minutes for over $30 million in total.
In the following weeks, as word began to spread about the successful launch, the Azuki collection reached almost $300 million in transaction volume across the market. Azuki NFTs can now mostly be found on secondary marketplaces, like OpenSea and Rarible.
The popularity of Azuki NFTs is partially due to their characteristics, as the artwork attracted many anime enthusiasts. The brand has also employed several clever marketing tactics, including collaborating with the Korean hip-hop trio Epik High.
Purchasing an Azuki NFT grants you access to The Garden, an exclusive online club that will include NFT drops, live events, streetwear collabs, and more.
CryptoPunks was one of the earliest NFT projects based on the Ethereum blockchain. CryptoPunks has 10,000 algorithmically generated NFT avatars that each contain unique attributes. The avatars were inspired by the 70s British punk scene, which reflected the blockchain community’s anti-establishment, rebellious nature.
While every avatar is unique, some contain rarer traits than others. For example, over 9,000 of the NFTs are human men and women, but a select few are designs of zombies, aliens, and apes. Therefore, the NFTs with unique attributes may be more valuable than the others.
CryptoPunks was created by John Watkinson and Matt Hall, the founders of Larva Labs, a New York-based software company. Originally, Watkinson and Hall created the characters as an experiment and thought they might turn them into a smartphone app or game. Instead, they ended up with a successful NFT collection, with a market cap of over $6 billion.
Tableland Rigs is a collection of 3,000 NFTs built from a collection of over 1,000 handcrafted works of vehicular art. The NFTs, known as Rigs, contain unique traits that can change over time based on on-chain, programmable rules.
Tableland has pledged its commitment to climate action. They compensate for NFT minting by retiring NCTs: carbon credits produced through nature-based methods. Over time, Tableland plans to onboard validators to its network and further calculate and compensate for emissions.
Otherdeed for Otherside
Otherdeed for Otherside is an NFT collection of metaverse land plots created by Yuga Labs, creators of Bored Ape Yacht Club. Otherdeed NFTs allow owners to claim Otherside land plots once the Otherside officially launches.
Each Otherdeed represents different sediments and environments within the Otherside universe. Each Otherdeed also contains different artifacts and resources that users can trade within Otherside by using Yuga Labs’ Apecoin. Bored and Mutant Ape Yacht Club Holders had the chance to claim one Otherdeed NFT for each BAYC or MAYC NFT they held.
Otherside plans to be an interoperable metaverse, where users can move between different metaverses. The metaverse intends to serve as an open-world game where NFT holders can own land and interact with different ecosystems and the unique beings that inhabit them.
Factura is an NFT project on the Ethereum blockchain created by Mathias Isaksen. Launched on July 16, 2022, the collection contains 999 NFTs launched on gm.studio, a generative art platform.
Isaksen’s entry into generative art began in July 2022, when he started dabbling in creative coding and learned how to cut shapes to produce smaller shapes. This led him to explore 3D rendering, which soon turned into creating the NFTs for Factura.
Most of the pieces contain unique, colorful depictions of cityscapes. Each NFT focuses on balancing the opposing qualities of minute and monolithic, and disorder and structure.
Primates is a collection of 10,000 ape avatar NFTs: it’s a Bored Apes knockoff for Solana. The collection was minted on June 14, 2022, with a starting price of 4 SOL.
Primates focuses its brand on community and streetwear fashion. It wants its NFT space to be primarily for those interested in collecting and reselling streetwear. Primate NFT holders will have exclusive access to streetwear pieces from the Primates collection, as well as early access to drops. It also plans to integrate Solana Pay into its digital storefront, so users can connect their wallets and directly purchase items from drops with SOL.
Moonbirds is a collection of 10,000 owl NFTs launched on April 16, 2022. American entrepreneur Kevin Rose created the NFTs as a part of the Proof Collective, Rose’s members-only NFT club.
Proof Collective members got access to the first 2,000 NFTs, and another 7,875 NFTs were released to the public through a whitelist, which refers to a group of users who are given early access to NFT collections. The remaining 125 Moonbirds remain with Proof Collective admins and plan to be used for future collaborations and marketing campaigns.
Moonbirds offers various incentives to its NFT holders. Perhaps the most significant incentive is that users can stake (or “nest”) their NFTs by locking them up. Staking will allow your Moonbirds to accrue additional benefits, such as achieving more tier levels and upgrading the nest to make it more profitable.
How do I choose an NFT project? If you believe that collecting NFTs is like collecting art, then first do your research on How to Collect Art.
Remember that uniqueness is critical for collecting art: even more so in collecting NFTs, since thousands can be generated from a single algorithm. The “first of something” is generally more valuable (e.g., CryptoPunks, the first NFT collection; the first in an NFT series; the first series from an artist).
Second, look at the NFT’s mission statement to understand the advantages of owning a specific NFT. Many NFTs now have utility beyond being a nice picture to look at, so look into what exclusive rights you’ll get by being an NFT holder: for example, exclusive access to Discord channels or IRL events.
What NFTs should I invest in? Any of the above NFTs could potentially make profitable long-term investments, but exercise caution. Before buying, be sure to look into the NFT’s liquidity and market volume, as well as the long-term price performance of the collection. As is always true when investing in volatile assets, but especially NFTs, don’t invest more than you’re willing to lose.
Why are NFTs so expensive? They’re scarce (even if the scarcity is artificial). Each collection contains a limited number of NFTs, and this perceived scarcity alone can drive up the price.
Additionally, many NFT collections also have utility, giving owners exclusive access to events, merch drops, and even licensing rights. NFTs are also inherently unique and non-interchangeable, meaning no one else has rights to the NFT you own, unless you decide to sell it.
Finally, NFTs may be expensive due to a hype-fueled bubble. If you’re uncertain about investing in NFTs, it’s probably better to sit them out.