NFT collection size and rarity explained


A non-fungible token collection refers to a curated set of unique digital assets that exist on a blockchain. Each NFT within a collection is distinct and has its own intrinsic value based on its rarity, history of ownership, utility and liquidity. The size of an NFT collection can vary, ranging from small sets of limited-edition tokens to larger series containing thousands of unique items. For instance, popular NFT collections — such as CryptoPunks and World of Women — consist of 10,000 uniquely designed NFTs, each with different traits, contributing to their individual rarity and value.

When it comes to NFT collections, the concept of rarity is at the forefront. Rarity refers to the scarcity or uniqueness of a token within a collection, often determined by distinctive features that set it apart from others in the same collection. The rarer the NFT, the higher its perceived value.

Additionally, the history of ownership plays a significant role in an NFT's value. If a token has been owned by a reputable artist or a notable figure in the community, it is often considered more valuable.

What does collection size mean for a NFT?

Collection size refers to the total number of distinct NFTs within a specific set or series. Larger collections often contain thousands of unique NFTs. A standard collection size is for 10,000 NFTs but this does vary widely. Each of these tokens will have its own set of distinct features, contributing to its individual rarity and value.

In the world of non-fungible tokens, the size of a collection has a significant impact on the perceived value and desirability of the individual tokens within it. If a collection has a larger supply than normal, collectors might be inclined to value each item less — potentially as the collection might not sell out fully in its initial token sale.

However, it's important to understand that a smaller collection size doesn't necessarily equate to higher value for each NFT. The value of an NFT is primarily determined by factors such as rarity, ownership history, utility and liquidity — as well as the brand of the collection or the project behind it. Tokens having unique features or attributes often priced higher. The history of ownership also plays a crucial role.


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Factors affecting NFT rarity

The concept of rarity in the NFT space is influenced by several factors. The first key component is the uniqueness of the token, which is derived from its individual attributes within a collection. These distinctive features could be visual properties like color schemes, or other specific traits that set the NFT apart. The more unique these attributes, the higher the rarity and, in turn, the potential value of the NFT.

Other factors could include the rarity of perceived traits. For instance, sometimes NFT collectors prefer the NFTs in a collection that have minimal traits — rather than the rarest features — and create a sort of perceived rarity. This is sometimes referred to as going for the cleanest NFTs.

Another element determining rarity is the NFT's ownership history. This notion stems from the exclusivity associated with owning an item once possessed by a prominent individual, thereby enhancing the NFT’s rarity.

It’s noteworthy that these factors of rarity are interconnected, and their combined effect determines the rarity, and consequently, the value of an NFT.

Disclaimer: This article was produced with the assistance of OpenAI’s ChatGPT 3.5/4 and reviewed and edited by our editorial team.

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Tim is the Editor-In-Chief of The Block. Prior to joining The Block, Tim was a news editor at Decrypt. He has earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy from the University of York and studied news journalism at Press Association Training. Follow him on X @Timccopeland.