How to Get Free NFTs That May Gain in Value

It’s June 2017. CryptoPunks — digital art pieces from what will become one of the most revered and valuable NFT collections that have just been launched and are being claimed for free by Ethereum users. 

Fast forward to 2022 and CryptoPunk #5822, a light blue alien punk with a bandana tied onto its head, is sold for $23.7M.

 It would be a dream come true for most people to ‌travel back in time to ’17 and claim one of those Punks for free. Claiming potentially valuable NFTs for free is a widespread online practice, but is it all it’s cracked up to be?

Can you actually get free NFTs that may gain value?

Let’s explore four good ways to get one online.

Get Free NFTs Via Play-To-Earn Games:

NFT gaming revolves around players earning NFTs that have actual value while having fun. Play-To-Earn (P2E) games help encourage people to buy and trade blockchain assets. Many P2E games run on the WAX blockchain and projects give users free NFTs to promote activity. 

If you’re not opposed to a bit of competition, you can earn free NFTs by playing games like Splinterlands and The Sandbox. These games allow players to win in-game items that can be sold for cryptocurrency by participating in daily quests or tournaments. 

Most NFT games have a booming marketplace where other players buy or trade in-game items. A game NFT may not be the next CryptoPunk, but it could grow to be of actual worth. 

There are several great NFT games to choose from, so it should be reasonably easy to find an NFT game that interests you. Besides free NFTs, NFT gamers can also earn cryptocurrency.

NFT Giveaways: 

Several NFT projects use giveaways to boost engagement or awareness for their project or express gratitude for their community’s support. These giveaways are most common on Twitter and Discord servers.

Following a project or an NFT influencer on Twitter is a good idea if you want to be aware of giveaways. You may be asked to retweet a post, share your ETH address, or follow specific accounts to win a giveaway. The winners are often chosen using a Twitter picker tool at random.

The downside to Twitter giveaways is that you may come across giveaway scams, where the Twitter user or project is using their giveaway post to gain followers without actually intending to gift an NFT. Do proper research on the user or project, so you don’t waste time and effort on these scam tweets. 

Another great way to get free NFTs is through giveaways in Discord communities. Projects trying to support their community may gift an NFT to a lucky member or have a process through which members can gain an NFT. To have access to these sorts of giveaways, you’ll have to be a member of the project’s Discord server. 

Just like on Twitter, some giveaways on Discord groups choose winners randomly. Projects may also make their Discord giveaways exclusive to members who already own their NFTs. 

NFT Airdrops 

Fractal, a popular NFT project based on Solana, recently airdropped 100,000 NFTs to members who registered. Several other projects are airdropping free NFTs, as airdrops are a common way projects raise awareness of their coin or NFT. 

All you have to do after finding an NFT airdrop is follow the process to register for the drop. Once it occurs, you’ll receive a token in your wallet. Enjin, a popular blockchain platform, sends free NFT airdrops randomly for users to claim. Free to Mint 

NFT projects also create free to mint tokens or free mints to boost interest in their projects. 

Free mints are NFTs you can claim without paying a minting fee to get the NFT. You’d still have to pay gas fees, which may be cheap or expensive depending on the project’s network. For example, Ethereum gas fees are costly compared to Near or Solana gas fees.

Security Tips

NFT airdrops, P2E games, giveaways, or free mints are all great ways to get a free NFT that may gain in value, but you should stay aware of possible scam projects or phishing attacks. 

Projects with free mints sometimes get hacked right before mint and there have been situations where user’s wallets were drained of funds after connecting their wallets to malicious links. If you’re interested in getting free NFTs, you should:

  • Always do your research. 
  • Avoid clicking on any link sent by a stranger to your DMs on Discord.
  • Do not rush to connect your wallets to mint an NFT until after a reasonable time. Some free mints last for hours or days, so you can usually wait to ensure  other collectors are claiming their free mints successfully. 
  • Keep in mind that no project admin would DM you to participate in a giveaway or free mint . 
  • Never give your seed phrase to anyone. 
  • Be part of an Alpha community. Alpha communities are the perfect place to get information on upcoming NFT Projects. 

Final Thoughts: Getting NFTs That May Gain In Value

Free NFTs are not hard to come by, but what sort of NFT you claim matters. If you want to get a free NFT that may gain exponentially in value, you  need to do your research.

You can learn about an NFT project from its whitepaper, Discord community and social posts. Most projects also publish updates on their timeline, growth or plans on a blog. It’s a good sign when a project offering giveaways or airdrops has:

  • A strong team. You should be able to find the person or people who are building the NFT project.
  • A clear vision or roadmap.
  • A growing community.

Layer-1 vs. Layer-2 Blockchains: What You Must Know

Bitcoin did the heavy lifting of creating a peer-to-peer decentralized and tokenized financial network. One person can send another person halfway around the world $1,000,000 in BTC for a paltry $20, sometimes even as low as a dollar and change. 

The problem is that microtransactions, such as sending a friend $4 for a cup of coffee, cost the same. 

Similarly, Ethereum created an entire galaxy of possibilities for DeFi, NFTs, and other decentralized applications. However, the breadth of its value has also been one of its detractions– as network gas fees skyrocket in times of extremely high traffic, making using the network ludicrously expensive for users and developers alike. 

CryptoKitties, an early sensational NFT game, nearly ground Ethereum’s network activity to a halt in 2018 due to the throng of transactions. Even today, gas fees can be hundreds or thousands of dollars to mint a new Ethereum-based NFT. 

However, problems are usually followed by problem solvers. Hundreds of developers have dedicated their professional lives of late to either building decentralized apps to help scale projects like Bitcoin or Ethereum or creating more scalable networks from the ground up. 

Layer-1: The underlying blockchain architecture. For example, Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Layer-2: A network that sits on top of Layer-1, which facilities network activity. For example, the Lightning Network and Raiden Network.

The following Layer-1 vs. Layer-2 blockchain guide explores both approaches and how they contrast. 

Layer-1 vs. Layer-2 Blockchains: The Basics

Layer-1 updates usually involve consensus protocol changes or sharding

As you may know, Bitcoin and Ethereum use a gawky but effective consensus protocol called Proof-of-Work (PoW). It’s good at what it does because it works. However, as network activity grows, its limitations become unbearable for many. 

PoW requires miners to solve cryptographically-difficult equations via computational power– hence Bitcoin mining facilities that are just warehouses with specifically designed computers running 24/7/365

At times, transactions can take way too long for convenience’s sake and become very expensive. Bitcoin can manage about seven transactions per second, whereas Ethereum can do 15-20. 

Proof-of-Stake (PoS) is a relatively newer protocol; rather than computation power, it relies on people (validators) staking a certain quantity of holdings to validate transactions.

Changing consensus algorithms can be a divisive ordeal, and switching from PoW to PoS on a network as large as that of Bitcoin or Ethereum would require achieving agreement among the majority of participants, which can be extremely difficult. 

Sharding is another Layer-1 scaling strategy. Sharding breaks transaction sets into smaller chunks called shards, which the network can process at a much faster rate. Think of cutting a PBJ sandwich into small pieces (shards) versus eating it bite by bite. Each small piece you eat is a finalized transaction, whereas the latter approach would require the whole sandwich to be eaten before the transactions are final. 

Attempting to implement scalability measures on a Layer-1 blockchain would require a full or partial network update, which is a slow and contentious process; if things go sideways, the entire network could face enormous damages. 

Many projects have been launched to provide users the scalability that the more legacy cryptocurrency projects have struggled to do. 

For example, chains like Solana, Cosmos, and Cardano (yet to launch anything) have emerged in attempts to unseat Ethereum as the most popular blockchain network for dApps, primarily targeting its scalability issues and low-hanging fruit. 

The user experience tends to be much faster and cheaper on the newer Layer-1s– transactions on Osmosis, a decentralized exchange built on Cosmos, cost around a penny. In contrast, the Ethereum DEX UniSwap can cost dozens or hundreds of dollars. 

However, the opportunity to scale the world’s most popular Layer-1s instead of launch new ones from the ground up is an admirable and lucrative challenge accepted by many. 

They do so through Layer-2 blockchain innovation

Layer-2: Attempts at Scalability

Layer-2s are essentially sandboxes for creativity with minimal or zero disruption to the underlying network.

There are two types of Layer-2 blockchains: state channels and nested blockchains.

A state channel allows for two participants who would otherwise interact on the blockchain to interact off the blockchain, limiting the congestion of the network. 

Imagine Bitcoin’s or Ethereum’s blockchain as a 10-lane superhighway with bumper-to-bumper traffic. A state channel would be the back-road approach you could take to avoid driving into a slow, expensive network and get to your end destination at a fraction of the time and cost. 

Here’s how state channels work: 

  1. A blockchain segment is sealed off through a smart contract or multi-signature means, where all participants agree on the conditions. Lightning Network and Raiden Network used Hashed Timelock Contracts (HTLCs) for their state channels. 
  2. The transaction participants can then directly interact without needing to submit their request to the miners on the Layer-1. 
  3. When all the transaction sets on the state channel are complete, the final state is added to the blockchain. 

So, while a transaction is technically not “final” until added to the blockchain, state channel projects like Bitcoin’s Lightning Network and Ethereum’s Raiden Network effectively carry out the role of policing and verifying transactions. 

The idea is that these “batched” transaction blocks can effectively internally settle; when they do, the entire batch is added to the blockchain. As such, Lightning Network enables fast microtransactions (low fees, fast settlement), and Raiden does the same thing for Ethereum’s broader functionality. 

However, state channels have some limitations. 

Nested blockchains aim to increase scalability exponentially, whereas state channels are more linear. 

Ethereum is a popular breeding ground for decentralized apps to solve scalability issues. OmiseGO, for example, is experimenting with a nested blockchain scaling solution called Plasma. 

In Plasma, multiple levels of specific-use blockchains sit on top of the leading blockchains in parent-child connections. The parent chain then dedicates specific work to child chains, such as a social network or decentralized exchange.

The root chain still calls all the shots and sets the ground rules, but nested blockchains relieve some load. 

Final Thoughts: What You Should Know About Blockchain Scalability

While the differences between Layer-1 and Layer-2 solutions might seem exclusively technical, it’s worth considering that by collecting NFTs, holding tokens, and using dApps, you’re the direct stakeholder in the whole ordeal. 

While Ethereum enjoys a considerable first-mover advantage for NFTs (and DeFi), boasting multi-billion-dollar dApps like OpenSea, competitors are gaining on its tail. 

As an NFT investor or creator, being aware of broader industry trends like scalability is an excellent way to keep your ear to the ground, whether that be for the purpose of finding the next BAYC (on another chain) or creating the next homerun NFT brand for a diehard layer-1 alternative. 

What is a Rug Pull in Cryptocurrency?

A rug pull is a type of scam where the team of a cryptocurrency project suddenly exits the project, running away with investors’ funds.

Rug pulls occur particularly often on decentralized exchanges (DEX) and in the NFT world.  

DEXs allow users to trade cryptocurrencies without intermediaries; well-known examples include Uniswap, Balancer, and PancakeSwap. There is no central authority on these decentralized exchanges and users can trade anonymously. They’re primarily used to swap one cryptocurrency for another.

A typical rug pull scenario unfolds as follows. Malicious developers launch a new token and list it on a DEX. Investors can easily exchange more established tokens like ETH for this new token. Once enough investors’ funds accumulate in the liquidity pool (LP) for this seemingly legitimate token offering a high APY, developers quickly dump their holdings and drain their funds, and the new token’s value plummets to zero.

The year 2021 didn’t fall short of such scams. According to a report by Chainanalysis, this type of maneuver was the most popular one among the whole crypto fraud varieties in 2021, accounting for 37% of all scam revenue.

Rug Pull Example #1: Fake Project Forks on OlympusDao

Imposters exploited the popularity of meme coins among crypto traders by using a dog-themed logo inspired by the Greek god of Anubis depicted with a dog’s head. Developers presented the fake project AnubisDAO as a fork of the decentralized reserve currency OlympusDAO and launched the project’s ANKH token on the Copper platform. 

The developers used pseudonyms, and the project had neither a website nor a whitepaper. Nevertheless, $60M was raised in WETH, which disappeared from the project’s liquidity pools just twenty hours after the launch.

Rug Pull Example #2: Binance Smart Chain Forks

The Binance Smart Chain (BSC) saw multiple headline-worthy rug pulls. Meerkat Finance, a fork of the Yearn Finance protocol, was supposed to be a yield farming pool. After the launch, $31M in Binance token, BNB, disappeared from the project’s LP. It’s still not clear if this was a real rug pull case. However, the projects’ Twitter accounts disappeared along with the investors’ money which is a strong indicator that the project team was involved with the scam.  

Another BSC rug pull case is the TurtleDex project, whose developers ran away with $2.5 million that had been raised as 9,000 BNB. The team drained the funds from the Binance native DEXs Pancake Swap and ApeSwap and sent them to multiple wallets to sell on the Binance Exchange.

Other projects rug pulled on the BSC DEXs are Defi100, Uranium Finance, and Stablemagnet. Defi100 marketed itself as a synthetic index token based on the total market cap of the DeFi sector. 

Rug Pull Example #3: Squid Game

When the Netflix series Squid Game soared in popularity, imposters came up with a Squid coin idea. It was supposedly a play-to-earn cryptocurrency project that promised investors to participate in online games inspired by the hit series. It was launched on Pancake Swap. 

There were many warning signs for the potential investors, like an unprofessionally written whitepaper and a recently registered website. Nevertheless, the team exit scammed with over $3M investors’ funds after the Squid currency peaked at $2,861.

Rug Pull Example #4: Fake Uniswap V2 Fork

Uranium Finance claimed to be an automated market maker (AMM) protocol forked from Uniswap V2. Stablemagnet billed itself also as an AMM. They cost the investors $32M, $50M, and $27M, respectively.

Rug Pull Example #5: Avalanche Meme Coin Goes Bust

In November 2021, it was Avalanche’s turn to experience its largest rug pull. 

SDOG coin, issued by SnowdogDAO, was supposed to be the first-ever meme coin on Avalanche, and it was launched on the native DEX Trader Joe. Eight days after the initialization, SDOG’s value plunged to $1,500 after skyrocketing to $6,000. 

The SDOG case was a bit different than a typical rug pull; the developers promised the community a buyback of the coins, meaning the company would repurchase its own coins. 

This tactic reduces the number of tokens in circulation, and in theory, supports a deflationary token environment. The actual rug pull occurred while $40M worth of SDOG coins was transferred from Trader Joe to the project’s own AMM. 

The buyback failed because an account swapped $10M worth of SDOG for other cryptocurrencies in the meantime. This was only possible if the account had the “challenge keys” required by the project’s smart contract, hinting that the rug pull was an inside job. 

Rug Pull Example #6: NFT Rug Pulls

Rug pulls can happen on centralized exchanges as well, as evidenced multiple times by NFT rug pulls. 

One of 2021’s most notorious scams was an NFT project called Evolved Apes. Thousands of investors piled their money into Evolved Apes, whose developer ran away with $2.7 million.

Another NFT rug pull incident was Baller Ape Club, a collection of 5,000 NFTs supposedly inspired by the famous Bored Ape Yacht Club collection. On the drop day, developers directed the potential investors to a fake link that repeatedly showed a warning pop-up with a transaction failed message, although the transactions were successful. In the end, $2M worth of SOL was stolen from the investors.

Iconics, an NFT project also launched on the Solana blockchain, had promised its investors to deliver 8,000 unique NFT artworks. Instead, collectors received a random collection of emojis. Developers ran away with $140K.

How to Avoid Rug Pulls

If you don’t want to fall victim to a rug pull event, take notice of these red flags before investing in the brand new red-hot project.

  • A DEX loophole is that audits are not obligatory for token listings. Nevertheless, legitimate projects undergo audits to convince their investors. Be wary of projects that avoid this process.
  • Can you research the individual members of the development team? Are they all anonymous or pseudonymous? Do your due diligence, and note that fake faces and fake names are common on team bios. 
  • Add skepticism if a price soars in value exceptionally fast without a fundamental cause.
  • Excessive promotion can be another warning sign.
  • Does the project have an official website, social channels, and whitepaper? If so, can you spot amateurishness in the presentation, such as rushed whitepaper typos?
  • Does the project have an active Discord or Telegram? How is its community?

Legitimate projects tend to have tens of millions of dollars in total liquidity, as well as some longevity that supports the project’s community. Look for the common elements in the cryptocurrency industry’s established projects, and try to find the same signs in upcoming projects.

Final Thoughts: Rug Pull Safety

Cryptocurrency rug pulls can trap both novice and experienced investors. Newbies are unaware of the risks behind the decentralized projects, and veterans fall prey to FOMO while seeking high-upside and hyped opportunities. 

It’s essential to know about different tools scammers use to exploit the cryptocurrency system and spot the projects built on a lie.  

lt Although blockchain is a secure, reliable, and stable technology by itself, don’t give the same sort of credibility you would to a project like Bitcoin or Ethereum to any new upstart just because it’s using the blockchain. 

Perceptual Hashing For NFT Verification

In providing accurate NFT verification services, neither humans nor computers are sufficient. However, using a technology called perceptual hashing, mountainous digital files can be reduced to perceivable attributes such as shapes, patterns, and colors that can easily be compared by both humans and computers.

By combining perceptual hashing with human verification, NFT verification services can easily and accurately identify forgeries. 

NFTs are an exciting application of blockchain technology and smart contracts that have attracted substantial attention from creatives and markets alike. However, as with anything of value, scammers will attempt to fool unsuspecting buyers into shelling out large sums of money for a forgery. 

This is where an ingenious technology called perceptual hashing becomes valuable. However, perceptual hashing alone isn’t enough to automate the job of verifying the authenticity of NFTs. In order to provide valuable NFT verification services, we need a combination of computer and human perception.

The following guide explores how a technique known as percentual hashing is used by NFT verification services to flag potential forgeries and bring them to the attention of humans.

What Makes NFTs valuable?

First, let’s take a moment to explain what it is we’re trying to protect in simple terms. 

NFT stands for “non-fungible token.” 

“Fungible” means, essentially, interchangeable. Take fiat currencies, for example. Every U.S. dollar is worth the same amount as every other U.S. dollar. U.S. dollars are fungible. All currencies are fungible, including cryptocurrencies. If you loan someone a $1 bill or 1 ETH, they can pay you back with any other $1 bill or 1 ETH. 

NFT’s are not interchangeable as each one is unique. 

A token is something that represents something else. For example, an arcade token represents a quarter. However, while the token has value to the holder, they can’t spend it at a convenience store. 

They first have to convert the token back into a fungible quarter. 

So an NFT is a crypto token that stands in place for a non-fungible asset.

How Do NFTs Track Asset Ownership?

Like currencies, NFTs have a value. However, as we explained, unlike currencies, NFTs are not interchangeable. Each NFT is, in essence, a contract that spells out who owns a particular digital token. The token represents the underlying asset. They can be tied to a physical object or they can represent a digital asset such as an image.

Let’s use cars as an example of how NFTs work. When a particular model of car is built, every car with the same features has the same price (in theory). However, as soon as you buy one of those cars, its value diverges from the value of all the other cars on the lot. They might be similar, but they’re not interchangeable. 

When you buy a car, you get a title. The title is obviously not the vehicle itself, it’s essentially a token denoting ownership of that specific vehicle. Each vehicle has its own unique vehicle identification number (VIN). A database of VINs matches titles to owners. You need that VIN so you can search the database of titles (tokens) for that specific car to see who owns it. 

When you sell the car, the title needs to be signed over to the new owner. The same is true with NFTs. When you sell an NFT, the change in ownership is immutably recorded on the blockchain.

NFTs can represent any type of unique asset. 

Digitally Verifying the Authenticity of NFTs

There’s a huge challenge with digital NFTs. Like cars, NFTs can cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars and more. Unlike cars, however, digital files can be copied an infinite number of times. The image itself doesn’t have an identification number on it. And if it did, that would easily be copied too. 

Without some way to verify the authenticity of a digital image, its value would be nil. 

Any serious collector of physical artworks needs a way to verify that a particular painting is not a forgery. For this, they hire a professional service that specializes in identifying forgeries. Likewise, serious NFT collectors also need a way to verify the authenticity of an NFT.

A scammer can easily create an account on an NFT marketplace using the same or similar name as the original artist, then make a copy of the image and list it as a new NFT. 

How can the potential buyer be sure that the NFT is authentic?

Comparing Original and Counterfeit NFTs

Theoretically, you could compare the NFT to a database of original NFTs. However, that would be a monumental task. For starters, you need to store a copy of every NFT for comparison. Then you would need to check every single bit and byte to make sure they match. 

But what if the nefarious seller changes the NFT ever so slightly by making it a tiny bit darker or lighter or smaller or larger or framed or cropped. In these cases, comparing the image to files in a database would be useless as they won’t match. A computer would fail miserably in identifying even a slightly changed copy. 

A person would be able to match the two images quite easily through human perception. The problem is, however, that it would take a human being eons to go through every NFT for comparison. 

Perceptual hashing for verification of NFTs

How do we solve this problem? By using a technique known as perceptual hashing.

Hashing simply refers to the process of recalculating something to reduce it to a particular set of basic properties and get rid of unnecessary data. 

A good example of this is private and public wallet keys. The private key is hundreds of characters long. The public key is a shorter version of the private key created through a complicated algorithm. (It’s near impossible to reverse the process and generate a private key from a public key. This intensive task would require the theoretical power of quantum computers, which don’t exist to the degree of sophistication needed to crack a blockchain.) 

Perceptual hashing is the process of using an algorithm to convert an image into a set of easily perceivable attributes — such as shapes, patterns, and colors — that can easily be compared. 

Human vs. Computer Perception

Perceptual hashing is a powerful tool for comparing images. In order to verify the authenticity of NFTs, however, we need the cooperation of humans and computers. The computer can easily compare highly similar images using perceptual hashing. However, if the image is sufficiently modified, the computer can only identify similarities between features in the original and the copy. It can’t make the call, so to speak.

If a computer using perceptual hashing determines that two images are identical it can flag the latter copy as a forgery without human intervention. If the computer sees no similarities between the two files, it can verify that an image is unique without human intervention. 

However, if the computer sees some similarities between two images, but can’t verify that one is a copy of the other, it can flag them as being similar. A human being can then very quickly look at the two files and verify whether they are unique or if one is a slightly revised knockoff of the other.

Various NFT Verification Schemes

Stock photography services have been using perceptual hashing to identify copies and near copies of their assets for many years. Google Images, for example, uses perceptual hashing to help users find copies and variants of an image on the internet. 

Perceptual hashing is also being used by services like YouTube to detect unlicensed use of videos and music. However, NFT collectors need more assurance than a Google search.

Being such a nascent technology, NFT authentication services are still in their infancy and a wide variety of proposals are being tested. For example: 

  • Pastel is a first-of-its-kind blockchain that uses perceptual hashing as part of its proprietary technology to find near-duplicate NFTs. Pastel’s Sense Protocol utilizes deep learning models using Tensorflow with Keras Applications to turn each NFT into an “NFT fingerprint vector” of over 10,000 numbers. Then, it determines a correlation between that fingerprint and all other NFT fingerprints on Pastel, other NFT marketplaces like OpenSea, and open databases like Google. Its relative rareness score is between 0% (the NFT is identical to another already registered NFT) to 100% (the NFT is completely unique). Pastel’s algorithms can be bolted onto any NFT marketplace. 
  • Mintable NFT marketplace offers reverse image searches for its own offerings using perceptual hashing.
  • Blockchains such as Stellar use various trust-building mechanisms. 
  • Adobe allows artists to embed the creator’s wallet address and social media information into their NFTs. 
  • And Twitter helps owners of popular NFTs (such as Bored Apes) verify that they are, indeed, the rightful owner.
  • Another NFT marketplace, Rarible, hand curates all artists and NFTs before they can be listed on the site.

Although it’s still early in the game, NFT collectors are already spending hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars on NFTs. So there’s a fast-growing need for third-party NFT verification services. With such a demand, supply is sure to increase quickly.

Final Thoughts: NFT Verification as a Service

As you might imagine, NFT verification services are invaluable to serious buyers and sellers. 

However, the concept of NFT verification services is still in its infancy. As such, a variety of new schemes are being developed and implemented. 

No matter which of these developing schemes proves to be useful and becomes widely adopted, one thing is for certain: computer algorithms alone to compare NFT images is insufficient, so far. 

By combining perceptual hashing and human verification, we can provide a high level of trust for legitimate NFTs and easily weed out forgeries. 

The Top Celebrity NFT Owners

With entrepreneurs, rappers, DJs, and professional sports players leading the way, more and more celebrities are joining in the NFT craze than ever.

Some launch their own NFT collections; some collect NFTs from other creators; some directly invest in NFT ventures. Some do all.

This guide will dive into the portfolios of the top celebrity NFT owners who have collected dazzling JPEGs from the most extravagant collections.

Let’s explore: which celebrity has the largest NFT portfolio so far? What projects are most popular? 

To explain, we compiled a celebrity NFT owner list based on DappRadar’s October and November reports.

Gary Vaynerchuk

Entrepreneur Gary Vee has been an NFT ambassador from its early days. Recently, he launched his own Veefriends NFT project that provides the owners three-year access to a multi-day conference called Veecon. Around 74% of his NFT wealth comes from his own collection. He kept 1016 Veefriends NFTs which have approximately $69M in market value.

He’s been collecting NFTs from other collections as well. As of writing, Gary Vee’s NFT portfolio is allegedly worth more than $90M. 

Some attention-grabbing pieces from his portfolio are:

  • 60 CryptoPunks. Cryptopunks is the revolutionary NFT collection launched in 2017 that started the crypto art movement. Cryptopunks collection represents one of the first examples of the non-fungibility concept on Ethereum. The most valuable editions in Vee’s collection are CryptoPunk #2424 and #2140.
  • 7 Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC). BAYC is a collection of 10,000 ape NFTs. It’s one of the most exclusive NFT collections. In recent months owning a BAYC NFT has become a status symbol in the crypto world. It serves as a digital identity that provides the owner access to exclusive membership club activities, like the collaborative graffiti board bathroom.
  • Three Meebits. It is another prominent collection by Larva Labs, the studio that made the legendary Cryptopunks.

Snoop Dogg

The famous rapper Snoop Dogg is one of the most influential NFT celebrities. He was an early promoter of Dogecoin; he partnered with the Sandbox Game on new land offerings; he collaborated with Chris Torres to launch the NyanDogg collection.

Last September, he revealed that he is actually the human behind the anonymous Cozomo de’ Medici, a popular NFT collector Twitter account that had launched in August. He said he wanted to separate his NFT business from other activities.

Here are some of the most valuable NFT assets he owns under the pseudonym Cozomo de’ Medici. The entire collection is valued at around $14M.

This is only Cozomo de’ Medici’s collection. We know that Snoop Dogg has also invested in BAYCs. He shared in a tweet that he acquired them through the NFT broker firm Moonpay.

Alexis Ohanian 

Another NFT frontrunner is Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. His NFT collection includes 6 Cryptopunks, 2 BAYCs, 10 Meebits, and many others. The most valuable NFT in the portfolio is Cryptopunk #8115.

Ohanian gifted his wife Serena Williams a look-a-like punk (Cryptopunk #2950). He wore its image as a badge on his collar while visiting the 2021 MET Gala. 

All six punks in Ohanian’s portfolio are black female punks with headbands. The entire Cryptopunks collection has 3,840 female punks.

He also invested in the Cool Cats project with 7 NFTs. Cool Cats is a collection of randomly generated NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. Owners are free to do anything with them under a non-exclusive license.

In addition, Ohanian minted 13 pairs of NFT sneakers and 4 Daypacks from the 10KFT collection. The 10KFT NFT collection allows NFT owners to create customized sneaker designs featuring their NFTs. But only a few exclusive NFT collections are accepted, such as BAYC, Cool Cats, and CrypToadz.

Steve Aoki

The most precious piece of DJ Steve Aoki’ NFT collection is BAYC #118, followed by Cryptopunk #8705. He has 794 NFTs in total. Other notable items from the collections are:

  • Swaggy Sea Lion from Gary Vee’s Veefriends collection.
  • Three M1 Mutant Serum NFTs, which had been airdropped to all BAYC owners. Its market value is around 9ETH.
  • Cool Cat #3350.
  • 5 CloneX NFTs. CloneX is an NFT collection co-created by the famous Japanese contemporary artist Takashi Murakami and RTFKT. RTFKT is a leading brand that delivers next-gen gaming sneakers and collectibles. It’s been acquired by Nike very recently.

Marshmello

Another celebrity who invested in Cryptopunks, BAYC, and Veefriends collections is DJ Marshmello. His portfolio has 120 NFTs with around $1M market value, including 11 NFTs from the Cryptoadz collection by Gremplin.

The most valuable three NFTs from his collection are:

  • Cryptopunk #8274
  • BAYC #4808
  • BAYC #9231

Post Malone

Among the top NFT celebrity owners, musician Post Malone might be the only one who doesn’t have any Cryptopunks. Instead, he has two BAYCs, #9039 and #961, totally valued at more than $532K. He also invested in the Wolf Game, Swampverse, and Sisters collections.  

Jay-Z

Rapper Jay Z owns the Cryptopunk #6095 and one Portrait and one Sneaker from the RTFKT Cryptopunks project. RTFKT Cryptopunks project functions in a similar vein as the 10KFT NFT collection in that it’s only open to punk owners. 10,000 unique sneakers were created via the corresponding punk from the original Cryptopunks project.

Beeple

The artist Beeple is one of the most valuable crypto art creators today. He made the headlines in 2021 after he sold the Everydays: The First 5000 Days collection for $69M in an auction at Christie’s. 

His NFT portfolio, which consists of works other than his own, isn’t modest either. He gave back to the NFT ecosystem by investing more than $400M in various artists on the Rarible platform. Additionally, he’s some pieces from the Veefriends, Cryptocubes, and Meebits collections.

Mark Cuban

Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban also collected a large number of NFT artworks from the Rarible platform. His NFT portfolio is worth around $467M, with BAYC # 1597 and FEWO Crypto Brick being the most precious pieces. The latter is a collaboration between the RTFKT studios and the well-known NFT artist Fewocious.

Other notable celebrity NFT collectors include the NBA star Stephen Curry and the Rapper Ja Rule. The most valuable asset in Curry’s portfolio is the #7990 BAYC. Ja Rule has the #3512 from the Mutant Ape Yacht Club collection.

Final Thoughts: Celebrities Are Loving NFTs

The influx of multifaceted musicians, entrepreneurs, artists, and professional sports players into the NFT space has been welcomed by open arms by all NFT holders. 

Many NFT-holding celebrities tend to acquire pieces from iconic NFT collections such as the BAYC, Cool Cats, and Crypto Punks, but we’re also seeing many celebrities invest in individual artists’ works. In recent months, owning a BAYC or Punk evolved from being something that just crypto people collected to a status symbol for celebrities and athletes. 

We’re eager to follow the celebrity movement into NFTs and explore what’s next on the horizon.