The best NFT crypto projects in 2022

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What are the best NFT projects in 2022? We look at five that could dominate the market

Best NFT crypto projects in 2022                                 
NFTs entered the mainstream last year. What are the top NFT crypto projects to watch in 2022? – Photo: Shutterstock
                                

Contents

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) exploded into the mainstream in 2021, with celebrities like Grimes selling artwork for millions. They have even become part of our daily vocabulary, as Collins Dictionary named NFT its ‘Word Of The Year’ for 2021 after its usage rose by 11,000%.

In addition to becoming word of the year, NFTs also broke numerous records during 2021. For example, the artist Beeple sold the most valuable NFT in March, a collage called Everydays: The First 5000 Days, which went for a whopping $69.3m (€61.4m, £51.3m).

But this trend of expensive, record-breaking NFTs has continued into 2022. In February this year, Julian Assange and Pak’s NFT that counts down the number of days Assange spent in prison became the second most valuable token. It was sold for $52.7m.   

What are the next hottest NFT crypto projects?

It already looks as if 2022 is shaping up to be even more eventful, as there is no shortage of NFT crypto projects to look forward to. With metaverses taking centre stage and a new trend of generative art (art that has been created, in whole or in part, via the use of an autonomous system), crypto enthusiasts are in for a treat.

In no particular order, here are the best NFT crypto projects for 2022.

Decentraland’s total NFT sales have almost doubled since October 2021
Decentraland’s total NFT sales have almost doubled since October 2021 – Photo: Shutterstock


Decentraland

Decentraland saw its native token (MANA) skyrocket in 2021 and the platform soared in popularity, making it one of the hottest NFT crypto projects.

Decentraland is a blockchain-based virtual reality (VR) environment that is powered by NFTs and its user community. Decentraland users can customise avatars to operate in the VR world, where they can create, trade and game.

Decentraland has its own marketplace, which is where NFTs come into play. Players can purchase NFTs from the marketplace using the NFT crypto coin (MANA).

The metaverse’s store mainly consists of clothes for the virtual avatars, but users can also buy land using MANA. The Decentraland world is split into 90,601 parcels of land. Each parcel can be bought as an NFT and decorated.

Originally, Decentraland was just a flat, pixelated grid, but it has now evolved into a three-dimensional VR experience. Since Facebook and other technology giants have announced plans to invest in the metaverse, Decentraland has become the centre of attention in the crypto sphere.

As a result, MANA surged from $0.75 on 1 October 2021 to $5.90 on 25 November 2021. Total NFT sales have also been on a dramatic rise, according to Nonfungible.com, from $80m on 29 October 2021 to almost $250m in late June 2022.

However, MANA has proven vulnerable to the crypto crash with the token depreciating. At the time of writing, on 27 June, it is priced at $0.93 and is down 84% from its November high. 

As metaverses become increasingly popular, Decentraland could still flourish in 2022. MANA still holds 32nd place when ranking all cryptocurrecies by market capitalisation. Stiff competition may halt some of its progress, but dethroning one of the top NFT crypto projects won’t be easy.

Meebits will eventually be usable as avatars in virtual worlds
Meebits will eventually be usable as avatars in virtual worlds – Photo: Shutterstock


Meebits

Larva Labs – the same company that made the hugely successful and beloved CryptoPunks – released a new collection of quirky characters in May 2021 called ‘Meebits’.

Meebits are three-dimensional voxel characters (the equivalent of a pixel, but in 3D) that are registered as ERC-721 tokens on the Ethereum blockchain. There are 20,000 unique Meebits in existence, twice as many as CryptoPunks.

According to TechCrunch, the founders had hoped their new project was more accessible as it would be less rare compared to CryptoPunks. However, some Meebits are still going for hundreds of ETH – which makes it one of the top NFT crypto projects, despite being an expensive one.

Data from NonFungible shows that Meebits are being resold for a lot more than their original price. Sales from the primary market totalled $118m, whereas secondary sales are more than double that amount at $300m.

According to NFT Evening, NFT holders can import and utilise their Meebits in a range of metaverses, including Decentraland, The Sandbox and CryptoVoxels

In a blog post, Larva Labs said: “We are bullish about the metaverse future, and we look forward to seeing how the Meebits are used in such environments.”

Recently, the intellectual property (IP) rights to Meebits and CryptoPunks were acquired by Yuga Labs, the creator of the successful Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection.

Matt Hall and John Watkinson, the co-founders of Meebits, said in a post: “They are the ideal stewards of the CrytoPunks and Meebits. In their hands, we are confident that they will continue to be vital, thriving projects in the emerging decentralised web.”

NFTs made using Enjin can be melted into ENJ at any time
NFTs made using Enjin can be melted into ENJ at any time – Photo: Shutterstock


Enjin

Play-to-earn games are having a big moment, with the top three crypto games acquiring a combined total of almost eight million monthly active users, according to DappRadar. Enjin is providing a platform that will enable more expansion in the space.

The magic of crypto games is that they enable users to own their items and characters, and progress these through NFT technology. Enjin allows developers to create these assets using its native currency, ENJ. This gives it real worth, as items can always be melted back down into the original ENJ.

There are many different games using Enjin’s platform. One of the more notable partnerships is with Microsoft, which used the platform to create Azure Heroes. Azure Heroes is a blockchain-based reward system, designed to inspire developers to build on Microsoft’s Azure system. Developers can be rewarded with a range of different badger NFTs.

The price of ENJ has surged this year following the wider growth in NFTs’ popularity. The token launched at $0.01 on 2 November 2017 and had only climbed to $0.13 by 1 January 2021. However, the NFT crypto coin began a bearish trend in March that continued throughout the year, peaking at $4.85 on 25 November. As of 27 June 2022, the price has plummeted to $0.58.

Enjin could see another successful year in 2022, as it has recently launched its metaverse platform, Efinity. Partnerships have already been announced for Efinity. For example, the NFT and virtual reality network MyMetaverse revealed it was migrating to Efinity.

Enjin and Efinity could see a bullish year, but only time will tell whether the new platform is a success and can compete with metaverse giants like Decentraland.

The Women Rise collection consists of 10,000 unique portraits – Photo: Maliha Abidi

Women Rise

Out of all the NFT crypto projects with the best prospects, Women Rise is one of the least known. However, it has also one of the most powerful missions.

Women Rise was created by Pakistani-American visual artist Maliha Abidi, who wanted to increase the visibility of women in the crypto space and thereby attract more into the community, to help empower them. So she created her own NFT art collection.

The collection comprises 10,000 different portraits of women, each instantly recognisable as Abidi’s vibrant and colourful style. Each portrait is also unique as they have different qualities based on 453 hand-drawn traits.

The Women Rise website states: “The collection represents women from around the world and the traits go beyond the diversity of just skin colours. Women activists, artists, scientists, coders and many others are rising to make the world a better place.”

All 10,000 of the portraits have already been minted and sold on the Women Rise website. A portion of the earnings went towards non-profits including the Malala Fund, Girl Effect, The Pad Project and SOLA Afghanistan.

Even though all the NFTs have been sold, it is still worth keeping an eye out for the Women Rise project in 2022. Abidi has revealed her plans to enter the metaverse space, where she will be creating a gallery for the art. She also wants to build the first metaverse school to ensure every girl has access to education.

Art Blocks

Art Blocks launched in November 2020, but it was not until 2021 that it started to make a name for itself as one of the best NFT crypto projects. The project is a collection of artwork that spans a variety of different artists and styles.

Each of these pieces is randomly generated via an algorithm deployed on Ethereum. Some of the artwork has started to sell for millions of dollars, with art sales from the collection begininning to rival some of the top NFT projects over 2021.

Art Blocks has a total of $1.2bn worth of sales, which ranks as the fifth highest sales among all other NFT projects, according to CryptoSlam. As the project is not showing any signs of slowing down, this high sales rate could easily be make it one of the best NFT crypto projects of 2022.

Jeff Davis, chief creative officer of Artblocks, wrote in a blog post: “Our plan is to continue to bring the next evolution of art into the world and have fun while we’re doing it.”

FAQs

NFT stands for non-fungible token, a special type of digital asset. 

Bitcoin and Ether are fungible (fungible means “replaceable by another identical item, or mutually interchangeable”). In practice, this means if you were to lend one Bitcoin (BTC) to a friend, they don’t need to give you that exact BTC coin back. Any Bitcoin will do.

A non-fungible asset, on the other hand, has unique attributes that make it distinctive. If you were to lend a rare trading card of a footballer to someone but received a non-rare card of an amateur player back, you’d probably be furious, as the value would not be equal.

Other examples of non-fungible assets in the real world can include plane tickets. Although they all look identical at first sight, they have unique attributes – for example, a first-class ticket to New York differs in value from an economy-class ticket to the same city.

The best NFT crypto coins and projects are those that make it easier than ever to snap up these assets. In some cases, you may have to take part in competitive auctions to get your hands on the NFTs you really desire. Other platforms allow you to buy these tokens with a single click.

Whereas paying with cryptocurrency tends to be most common – especially ether (ETH), given that most NFTs are based on the Ethereum blockchain – a growing number of marketplaces will also allow you to make purchases using debit and credit cards.

NFT crypto projects get their value from the fact they issue a scarce amount of tokens. Limited supply can help to make them more valuable. These tokens help consumers to know they are buying something authentic since the provenance of these digital assets can be traced through the blockchain.

In some cases, NFTs can also turn out to be exceedingly lucrative. They can be bought and sold through secondhand marketplaces, and some avid crypto enthusiasts have ended up making quite a handsome profit.

Whereas Bitcoin and Ether are divisible (meaning you can snap up 0.01 BTC without any issues), NFTs cannot normally be split up into smaller chunks – this means that, by and large, they need to be sold whole, which makes sense. After all, what on Earth could you do with half a trading card? Not very much!

The one real concern about NFT crypto projects currently is whether a bubble is forming in the market. The danger is that digital assets that are selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars could end up crashing in value.

Beeple, a graphic designer whose own artwork sold for $69.3m recently, told CNN he believes the NFT bubble will eventually burst, but he remains confident that the technology underpinning NFTs will become a dominant part of our lives in the future.

Further reading

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