Non Fungible tokens or NFS are digital assets that cannot be interchanged with any other commodity in the real world. NFTs first came to the fore in 2017, however, in late 2020 they gained widespread traction among the crypto community shortly after the DeFi (Decentralized Finance) boom. We have done a review of some of the best NFT Crypto projects that are leading the NFT wave in these interesting times.
In the first half of 2021 alone, over $240 Million USD has already been transferred into the NFT ecosystem. Digital Art, gaming collectibles, songs, etc are just some of the examples of NFTs that are up for sale in some of the best NFT marketplaces. We delve deep into the top nine NFT protocols across niches such as gaming, art, music, domains, and collectibles and analyze them based on factors such as total sales and volume of transactions, etc. Without further ado, let’s get started.
Table of Contents
9 of the Best NFT Crypto Projects 2021
One of the earliest NFTs around, CryptoPunks comprises 10,000 unique generated digital characters, or “punks.” Each punk is rare based on its typical attribute and can be owned by one person only. The proof of ownership is recorded on the Ethereum blockchain. Each punk comes with unique accessories such as hats, glasses, you name it.
The value of a CryptoPunk is also determined by the number of accessories. Typically, two or more accessories are very commonplace while the rarest cryptopunks have either zero or seven accessories. Crypto Punks are currently some of the top NFT crypto projects.
Interestingly, CryptoPunks were available for free during their initial release, however now all of them are highly valued and traded on several NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea. To buy or sell a punk, you will need to install MetaMask and connect your Ethereum wallet.
2) NBA Top Shot
Officially licensed by the National Basketball Association, NBA Top Shot is a blockchain application which was created in partnership with Dapper Labs and developed on the Flow blockchain. An NFT collectible in NBA Top Shot is a Short video of an in-game highlight (buzzer-beater, dunk, etc) that is replete with info about the highlight, the game the highlight is from, player’s stats and the collectible’s rarity.
These in-game highlights are sold as NFTs in limited edition packs per week. These NFTs are categorized and priced based on their rarity: Common, Rare and Legendary, with the last category fetching the most.
With a staggering $427 million in sales, NBA Top Shot’s NFTs or digital collectibles are owned by over 333,000 collectors.
Global fantasy soccer game Sorare was launched in 2019 where gamers can buy, sell and manage a virtual soccer team with digital player cards. These digital cards are Non fungible tokens based on the ERC-721 standard and powered by blockchain technology.
One of the best NFT crypto projects for gamers, Sorare enables card owners to verify ownership of their cards and transfer them freely within the game. Each card displays stats such as average score, rarity and experience points. These digital player cards or NFTs are classified into three categories: Rare, Super Rare and Unique with incremental values.
Interestingly, Sorare has gained legitimacy by securing official licenses of football clubs such as Liverpool, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, and PSG Eindhoven for the sale of these digital cards.
Offering digital art collectibles created by over 70 artists from around the world, Hashmasks was launched in Switzerland by Suum Cuique Labs. The Hashmasks protocol offers 16,384 unique digital artwork or Hashmasks or NFTs. Each artwork is unique in terms of character, skin color, eye color, mask, etc.
Only one user can own a Hashmask NFT at a time and the user has full discretion to name the Hashmask. The name of a Hashmask can be changed via Name Changing Token, which is the native token of the platform. Interestingly, what separates Hashmasks from other NFT projects is the gamification aspect wherein users are given incentives to claim tokens which are used to name Hashmasks/NFTs on the blockchain.
Massively popular Ethereum-based game, Crypto Kitties enables players to collect and breed virtual cats. It offers non-fungible tokens as in-game purchases wherein each NFT represents a unique digital cat on the blockchain. These NFTs cannot be replicated, or destroyed.
Each digital cat is distinguished based on their appearance and unique traits known as cattributes. For advancement further into the game by breeding digital cats, players need to deposit some Ether (ETH) in the Crypto Kitties’ official wallet, Dapper.
To buy your first kitty, you need to either make a purchase in the marketplace or bid for a kitty in the game’s Offers system. Players vie for the top spot by collecting as many valuable digital cats as possible. Each Crypto Kitty’s value is determined by its generation and rarity. All together, Crypto Kitties is one of the most exciting NFT crypto projects around.
Founded in 2020, Rarible is a Moscow-based NFT marketplace where users can mint, buy or sell their rare and unique digital collectibles or NFTs. Rarible supports a plethora of digital collectibles and NFT products that run the gamut from domain names, metaverses digital artworks, to songs, memes, and DeFi insurance policies.
Rarible was the first NFT protocol that launched its native governance token, RARI much before the recent DeFi boom that spawned dozens of governance tokens. Through RARI, Rarible aims to create a fully decentralized autonomous organization.
Developed on the Ethereum blockchain, Decentraland is a decentralized virtual world platform where players can trade digital collectibles, customize avatars, and participate in the governance process via MANA, which is Decentraland’s marketplace’s native token. It is considered one of the best NFT crypto projects of its kind.
To navigate in Decentraland, you will need to connect to a web browser with your crypto wallet. Next, choose and customize an avatar that is to be used as a virtual passport in Decentraland. With this initial setup complete, players can buy unique digital assets and build their own neighbourhood. You can interchange each EACH token with another MANA token.
Ethereum Name Services is an open-source, distributed and extensible naming system that was founded by the Ethereum Foundation in 2017. As the name implies, the ENS protocol is based on the Ethereum blockchain.
With over 190,000 registered names and integrations with over 100 wallets and decentralized applications (DApps), Ethereum Name Services is a promising NFT crypto project.
The native top-level domains (TLD) on ENS are “.ETH” domains which are unique and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), represented by ERC-721 tokens. You can buy or trade these .ETH domains as NFTs on NFT marketplaces such as Rarible and OpenSea.
Rounding off our list of the top NFT crypto projects is SuperRare, a digital art marketplace where artists can tokenize and sell original, single-edition artwork as digital collectibles or NFTs. Each digital collectible on SuperRare is secured by cryptography, represented by an ERC-721 token, and can be traced on the blockchain. Ether is the main currency for transactions and buyers/art collectors need to pay a transaction fee of 3%.
As soon as Artists issue original digital artwork on SuperRare, the artwork gets certified on the Ethereum blockchain to protect against forgery and provide historical provenance to the artwork. Then, the artwork is displayed using virtual reality galleries on SuperRare. Once digital Art collectors visit these galleries to buy artworks, they can resell these NFTs on secondary markets, such as OpenSea.
SuperRare gives artists 85% of the revenue for each primary sale. For secondary sales, the artists are entitled to receive 10% of the revenue as royalty.