Yuga Labs dominates most expensive NFT sales of 2022

Quick Take

  • Most of the top NFT sales this year are from Yuga Labs collections.
  • Sales of NFTs with rare traits have meant there are some outliers, but most purchases were made toward the beginning of the year.

It’s been a tough year for NFTs.

Things started well. January this year hit an all-time high in terms of sales on marketplaces. With the drop in the price of Ethereum and the onset of the bear market, sales have declined in terms of both number of transactions and sales volume.

But there are some upsides. NFTs have gained a wider audience through the rollout of collectible avatars by social media site Reddit — though the company has stopped short of calling the collectibles NFTs.

And some people were still willing to fork out millions for on-chain jpegs for blue-chip collections, particularly rare NFTs from the Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks collections.

Here are the biggest NFT sales on Ethereum this year:

12. Bored Ape Yacht Club #1837: $1.6 million

NFT service MoonPay bought this ape in February for 569 ETH, then just under $1.6 million. Formerly owned by NFT collector Pranksy (although he didn't sell it to them), it features golden fur, a trait shared by 0.46% of the BAYC collection. 

Earlier this year, MoonPay made several purchases of NFTs.  The item appears to be linked to their secretive but controversial concierge service that claims to purchase big-ticket NFTs on behalf of celebrities. However, the NFT has never been sold on and remains in the company's possession.

11. CryptoPunk #8865: $1.6 million

In April, this CryptoPunk was purchased for 450 ETH, then $1.6m. The current owner, SpyKid.eth, owns ten Punks, with a current combined value of 1,409 ETH ($1.7 million). 

10. Otherdeed #59906: $1.6 million

Otherdeed #59906 is considered one of the rarest land plots in Yuga Lab’s upcoming Otherside metaverse.

It sold in May for $1.57 million via NFT marketplace X2Y2 to n0b0dy.eth. The seller, brickandmorty.eth, spent around $6,000 to mint the NFT, netting a tidy profit.

Otherdeeds were minted on Apr. 30. The resulting rush to grab one caused gas prices to soar on Ethereum. There’s a total of 200,000 out there, half of which have been earmarked for people who contribute to the development of Otherside.

At today’s prices, the 625 ETH paid for it is worth $757,000.

9. CryptoPunk #4464: $2.6 million

On July 12, CryptoPunk #4464 sold for 2,500 ETH, just over $2.6 million at the time. The NFT was one of 24 ape-style NFTs in the entire 10,000-strong collection.

The account that bought it holds a total of 22 Punks.

8. CryptoPunk #2681: $3 million

This CryptoPunk is another one of MoonPay's purchases. The company spent 900 ETH — about $3 million back then — for a rare zombie Punk at the start of January.

7. Dragon - Blue VOX #2054: $5.3 million

The first non-Yuga Labs item on the list comes from Vox Collectibles: Mirandus, an NFT collection powered by Gala Games. It sold in February for a cool $5.3 million, or 10,854,000 GALA.

The gaming NFT is one of over 8,000 NFTs in the collection that can be used to play and earn rewards.

6. Bored Ape Chemistry Club Mega Mutant Serum #69: $5.9 million

In January, this mega mutant serum sold for 1542.069 ETH ($5.9 million).

The NFT was part of a collection rolled out by Yuga Labs last year. It airdropped 10,000 mutant serums to Bored Ape holders to be used to create Mutant Ape Yacht Club versions of their NFTs.

Once used, holders get a new mutant-inspired NFT based on their original ape without affecting the original NFT. The serum is destroyed.

Another mutant serum sold for 888.88 ETH, then 3.6 million in December 2021.

5. All Time High in the City: $6.2 million

Another buy from early 2022, "All The Time High In The City" by XCOPY sold for 1,630ETH ($6.2 million) in January to rarecollector3000.

An early NFT artist, XCOPY’s cryptoart typically features flashing graphics and dark themes. "All Time High In The City" is no exception. It depicts death ferrying a trader to hell. 

In 2021, another of XCOPY’s pieces called "Right-click and Save As guy" sold for about $7 million to Snoop Dogg.

4. Ukrainian Flag: $6.8 million

On March 2, an NFT of the Ukrainian flag sold for 2,258 ETH ($6.8 million). The proceeds went to Come Back Alive, which donates supplied to Ukrainian military and civilians. 

The sale was organized by UkraineDAO.

3. CryptoPunk #5577: $7.8 million

This cowboy hat-wearing Punk sold for an incredible 2,501 ETH, or $7.28 million, in February. Hats are a rare trait among Punks, with just 1% of the NFTs featuring a cowboy hat.

2. CryptoPunk #5822: $23.7 million

And finally, the most expensive NFT of 2022 was CryptoPunk #5822. CEO of Chain, Deepak Thapliyal bought the NFT for 8,000 ETH (then $23.7 million) in February.

It later became one of the NFTs turned into a pendant by Tiffany’s. 

1. Clock : $52.7 million


At the top of the list comes another NFT which, like the Ukraine flag, is supporting a cause. This time it’s that of Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, who is currently imprisoned in the UK facing extradition to the U.S. If he loses his battle against the extradition, he faces up to 175 years in jail.

A collaboration between Assange and NFT artist Pak, Clock was bought by AssangeDAO, a group fighting for Assange’s freedom. They crowdfunded $52.7 million in donations to make the winning bid of 16,953 ETH.

The NFT is a timer that counts the number of days Assange has spent in prison.

© 2023 The Block Crypto, Inc. 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.