NFT journey on Ethereum began (Yr 2015) much early than the birth of Cryptopunks. It was not until late 2017 with the launch of Cryptokitties that created public awareness around NFTs and excitement on its future prospects. The entire scope of Cryptokitties gameplay revolve arounds collecting, breeding, and auctioning kitties. #Fast forward to 2021 - NFT Popularity: Sales volumes have remained high after NFTs rose in popularity early this year when crypto artists such as Beeple brought NFT into the mainstream with their art. Monthly sales volumes on OpenSea reached a record high (i.e. $750 million+) in August and counting, In August, the daily volume has remained above $55 Million on most days. In just 10 days of August, the number of NFTs sold has surpassed July record numbers. Source: DuneAnalysis. OpenSea monthly/ daily trade volume (in USD). NFT enthusiasts see them as collectibles with intrinsic value because of their personal liking or speculation on rare traits of NFTs. Compared with works of art, NFT is much easier to price - The rarer these elements are, the more they are sought after by people. The rarity of these elements nowadays can be easily checked through tools like . Rarity Snipper A look into the top popular, uprising and new NFTs: #1 - "Blockbuster": CryptoPunks CryptoPunks is a prime example of the current boom in the NFT market. CryptoPunks have become among the most sought-after NFTs on the market. Known as one of the earliest NFTs, the CryptoPunks project was launched in 2017 by Larva Labs. Originally, each CryptoPunk was offered for free, but many have sold recently for millions of dollars. Recently a Covid Alien CryptoPunk NFT was sold for over $11.7 million in the auction. #Hit: BAYC An increasing number of social media accounts nowadays have changed their avatars to cartoon apes like the following Twitch user and gamer who goes by the name 'OneBlockAway' ;) changing his profile picture to that of an Ape #9113. And many more of my Twitter friends and followers are sporting ape cartoons with glasses or shooting laser beams from their eyes. This group of ape lovers is chatting, following, and supportive of each other. The creation came from Bored Ape Yacht Club which had officially launched on April 30th, offering 10,000s of ape-themed non-fungible tokens each holding a unique trait. Within a day, all 10,000 Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs had sold out. The pricing now in the secondary market OpenSea is based on rarity or personal significance like on the picture above that has a clean or decent look of ape - "similar to how I look when on the beach :)". Last 90 days NFT trading volume in the secondary market OpenSea. Source: OpenSea #Rising: Pudgy Penguin Pudgy Penguins is a collection of 8,888 Cute Chubby Pudgy Penguins sliding around on the freezing ETH blockchain. It was sold in late July. The NFT is currently at the floor price of 2-3 ETH on OpenSea with a healthy trading volume of 10,800+ ETH since July, 22nd, 2021 and continues to grow. The popularity of Pudgy Penguins rose after CoinGecko featured Pudgy Penguins in their recent tweet. Pudgy Penguins NFT trading volume in the secondary market - OpenSea since launch. #New release and 'Rising': NFTs markets are part of a larger opportunity - the Metaverse. As conceptualized in books and movies beginning in the 1990s, the Metaverse is the virtual alternative to our physical universe and may be the next version of the internet. As said by Mark Zuckerberg that his vision of Facebook is the metaverse in which it is "an embodied internet, where instead of just viewing content - you are in it. And you feel present with other people as if you were in other places, having different experiences that you couldn't necessarily do on a 2D app or webpage". I believe one day metaverse will be a HUGE economy (A good read here from ) and therefore, the following NFT projects I believe have big potential. Citi ventures VOX - " Avatars that Defi" are versatile companions who can be animated, 3D printed, used in augmented reality, and more. Build by Gala Games, every VOX will also generate future play-to-earn rewards by interacting in various ways with the Gala Games ecosystem. VOX The first series of 8888 VOX was sold out in less than 10 minutes on 10th Aug, 2021 and is selling in the secondary market - OpenSea at an average price of more than 0.7 ETH and had a record trading volume of more than 3000 ETH in a single day. It's safe to say that VOX will definitely take up the top spot in weeks to come. Given the experience of the team in building the Gala Games and metaverse, the community is excited for the future utility for VOX NFTs. JunkYard Dogs is a generative project consisting of 8,008 unique avatar dog tokens displaying randomized traits. The goal of the project is game development and launching breeding, as well as preparing a sophisticated Metaverse ecosystem. JunkYard Dogs Eventually, JunkYard Dogs club members will be connected to the metaverse, extending senses of sight, sound, and touch, blending digital items into the physical world, or popping into fully immersive 3D environments whenever the owners want. The team set out the community launch of 1888 NFTs on 10th Aug, 2021, followed by the main launch on 11th Aug, 2021. In both schedules, the JYD NFT was sold out in less than 10 minutes. Soon after the community mint, the project enjoyed a healthy level of trading in the secondary market and now the project group is working on building partnerships. Recently, a Blockchain based Play to Earn racing game with awesome Voxelized cars - "Hash Garage" announced that JunkYard Dogs owner in future can use their NFT as utility in the game. I guess Dogs will be racing soon or as the JYD community says "Who let the dogs out"!!! #Upcoming release: Colonists ( ): Colony.Online ( ) are an NFT collection of 25,000 unique, programmatically generated space animals that are redeemable for their in-game playable character and cosmetic items in the upcoming MMO on the blockchain. They come in 5 different species, with a hard-capped supply of 5,000 per species. Each species is dropped one by one and is only available to mint once the previously dropped species has sold out. The first 5,000 are dropping in early Sept 2021. Colonists Colony Online The game takes place on an alternate-reality Moon Colony, where a society of randomly generated space animals (called Colonists) have colonized the moon and turned it into their very own social playground for chic materialism, party lifestyle, and moon mining. , is that owners if they don't like a specific trait, They can re-roll a singular trait on their Colonist for 0.0125 ETH and will be able to do this a maximum of 3 times per Colonist. What is unique to Colonists Each re-roll results in a singular trait of owners choosing to re-randomize, along with the specific metadata associated with that trait to change as well. Once you reach the maximum re-roll count, you (and any other future holders of your NFT) will no longer be able to do this. To my knowledge, Colonists are the first team to introduce this feature into a generative project- and this makes us very excited to add a fresh layer of customization for your Colonists before we begin the full-swing development of our game. #Genres — “Unique”: Ksoids — “3D AR-ready” Though it is in the early stage of popularity, I picked this one due to its unique, one-of-a-kind concept. Motion designer and creative director Danil Krivoruchko crafted the first Ksoids in 2013. At the time Ksoids was a personal project that engaged his love for procedural design and wild animals. To his surprise, the Ksoids exploded in popularity, attracting attention from around the world and becoming one of the first generative 3D characters to find life online. Now eight years later, Danil has transformed 1,000 Ksoids into NFTs. The team is building a unique set of 1000 in a 3D AR-ready form. All will have an animation loop related to the properties they have to deliver a fully rigged animated character. As far as I know, no one has ever done this before in NFT collectibles space (even Meebits provided only T-pose without any rigging work done). Ksoids Ksoids Anyone familiar with the technical side of 3d animation would agree that making a rig working with 1000 characters with different body shapes/eye shapes/ leg length etc, is a big challenge. Basically, think of going from jpeg to a game-ready asset for Unity or UE. #Closing thoughts: NFTs have opened up blockchain technology to whole new avenues. By representing physical assets in the digital world, NFTs have the potential to be a vital part of not just the blockchain ecosystem, but the wider economy.