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In short:

  • Prime NFTs are projects that are expected to be stable in value and profitable over the long term.
  • Prime NFTs have several characteristics in common: a relatively high floor price, brand power, celebrity endorsements, project team commitment, and real-world usefulness.
  • Top notch NFTs include Bored Ape Yacht Club, Mutant Ape Yacht Club, Crypto Punks, and ENS: Ethereum Name Service.

Before we can look at what a prime NFT is, we should look at what NFTs are and how they are valued.

Non-fungible tokens, NFT, are cryptographically unique tokens tied to digital and physical content, providing proof of ownership, authenticity, or group membership. In games, NFTs allow players to truly own the unique digital assets they purchase, such as pet monsters or spaceships, and they are free to trade or sell these NFTs as they please.

In October 2022, the global NFT market saw over $333 million in sales, according to data from tracking site NFT, CryptoSlam. Another popular site for tracking NFT data, DappRadar tracks Blue Chip NFTs and the broader economy of NFTs and decentralized applications.

What is a blue chip NFT?

In traditional finance, a blue chip is a nationally recognized, well-established and financially sound company. According to Investopedia, blue chip companies are known to weather downturns and operate profitably in the face of adverse economic conditions.

Blue chip stocks are considered relatively safe investments with a proven track record of success and steady growth. Although blue chips are reliably stable, they are unlikely to generate the same high returns as potentially riskier investments. This is also true of top-notch, regular to average NFTs.


CryptoPunks, considered one of the first NFT collections, was created by the development studio Larva Labs. CryptoPunks are 10,000 tokenized images as NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. Owning a CryptoPunks NFT means you are the sole owner of a one-of-a-kind pixel avatar. CryptoPunks are the OG Ethereum NFTs, created in 2017, long before anyone outside of crypto die-hards knew or cared about rare digital collectibles. Believe it or not, CryptoPunks was released for free in 2017. Ethereum’s ERC-721 non-fungible token standard wasn’t even a thing back then, and the two-person team at Larva Labs got them. published on an experimental basis. Ethereum wallet owners scooped up the 9,000 CryptoPunks released to the public, while Larva Labs kept the rest.

The volume of NFT gradually increased over the next three years, but in late 2020 and especially early 2021, demand skyrocketed for these digital collectibles of proven rarity. The secondary market value of CryptoPunks has exploded, resulting in multi-million dollar NFT sales, auctions at Christie’s and Sotheby’s, and a slew of CryptoPunks being used as Twitter profile pictures.

But while CryptoPunks was one of the first NFT collections, there’s none bigger than Bored Ape Yacht Club.

Did you know?

The most expensive CryptoPunk sold to date was sold for $11.8 million worth of ETH in June 2021 at a Sotheby’s auction to Shalom Meckenzie, the largest shareholder of DraftKings.

Bored Ape Yacht Club

Developed by Yuga Labs, the Bored Ape Yacht Club is a collection of 10,000 profile pictures minted as NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. Bored Ape collectors own an illustration of a disinterested looking ape with randomly generated features and accessories. There are no two identical images.

Purchasing a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT grants access to the titular “club” of sorts, and there are benefits to membership. In January 2022, Bored Ape NFTs generated over $750 million in trading volume, including subsequent variant sets, according to data from CryptoSlam. Bored Apes has become the NFT Twitter avatar of choice for athletes, musicians, and more.

Did you know?

At the time of publication, the record sale of a single Bored Ape NFT is 740 ETH, or just over $2.9 million, in September 2021. It was purchased by the developer of the upcoming Ethereum game, The Sandbox.


Launched in October 2021, Doodles is an NFT series featuring artwork by Burnt Toast. Doodles come in a cheerful array of colors, strokes, and sizes, with a collection size of 10,000. Each Doodle allows its owner to vote for experiments and activations paid for by the Doodles Community Treasury.

In September, Doodles revealed that musician and producer Pharrell Williams had joined doodles as brand manager, with plans to become executive producer of a music album inspired by the project. In the same month, sales of Doodles NFT jumped 1,200% and were then valued at $704 million.


Launched in January, Azuki has become one of the hottest NFT projects released in 2022 in terms of total transaction volume and has just reached a new milestone. The Ethereum-based profile picture project debuted in January and saw its first secondary sale surpass $1 million by March 2022.

Azuki #9605 sold for 420.69 ETH or $1.42 million at the time, more than doubling the previous record sale for Azuki #4666’s project for 204 ETH on Feb. 13, around $586,000 at the time. era.

The anime-inspired Ethereum collection has become one of the top NFT projects in 2022.

twin flames

Launched in February 2021, Twin Flames was conceived as a tribute to the artist’s twin brother Justin Aversano, who died in utero. Twin Flames is a collection of 100 photos, each of a different set of twins. The photos, taken around the world between 2017 and 2018, feature a wide range of subjects in their respective chosen location and attire, all united by the common attribute of being twins.

Minted as Ethereum-based NFTs in February, Twin Flames are coveted by collectors. Snoop Dogg and Gary Vaynerchuk own NFT Twin Flames, and the portrait collection has generated nearly $13 million in trading volume by October 2021, per OpenSea. That year, one NFT from the collection sold for 506 ETH, or nearly $1.9 million.


Created by Dapper Labs, CryptoKitties are non-fungible tokens, originally built on the Ethereum blockchain using the ERC721 token standard. Before the existence of ERC721, tokens on blockchains were fungible or interchangeable; any Bitcoin or Ethereum token is the same as any other. ERC721 enabled the creation of unique, non-fungible tokens.

Each CryptoKitty is unique and its digital genome is stored in a smart contract. The immutable genotype stored in the smart contract determines its visual appearance or phenotype. Two CryptoKitties can be bred using a genetic algorithm, and an offspring is produced with their unique traits (or “cattributes”).

The popularity of CryptoKitties quickly became a problem for the Ethereum network, which could only process a limited number of transactions simultaneously, causing a queue to build up. CryptoKitties breeding has become so popular that it has prevented other companies working on the platform from being able to quickly verify their transactions.

In May 2020, CryptoKitties announced that it was moving to a dedicated blockchain, Flow.

Did you know?

The most expensive CryptoKitty, Genesis, was valued at $114,481.59 at one point. That’s more than the most expensive “real” cat on record, which costs just $41,435.

Like stocks, NFTs with Blue Chip status come and go. The once unstoppable Bored Ape Yacht Club saw its value plummet as the crypto bear market took hold earlier this year. In January, popular singer justin bieber bought a monkey for $1.3 million; in November 2022, this JPEG was worth $69,000.

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