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Quick Summary

  • NFT universe has its millionaires, and they’re either investors, coders or artists. People basically created million-dollar values out of nothing using complex technologies. With the rising number of millionaires, it is a question of time when there will be the first NFT billionaire.
  • Some of the candidates for an NFT billionaire are Beeple, Trung Nguyen, founders of Larva Labs (Crypto Punks) or Yuga Labs (Bored Ape Yacht Club)

The popularity of NFTs is hands down the biggest in 2021. People get rich by owning certain NFTs  (investors) or by creating them (coders or artists). At the start, NFTs were worth nothing or a few thousand dollars, but there have been pieces created that sold even for a million, or specifically for a record amount of $69 million (Beeple’s artwork). That begs the question, who will be the first NFT billionaire when there are already millionaires?

“Maybe 90% of collections minted today are totally useless and meaningless,” Gauthier Zuppinger said (founder of a website tracking digital collectibles). How do people know what to buy then? They don’t. One of the most prevalent investing outcomes is getting stuck with something nobody else wants. So, the key here is definitely looking for volatile NFTs, which essentially means liquidity (ability to sell or buy without problems). However, there are exceptions like CryptoPunks. These NFTs costed literally nothing, and now everybody is interested. As a result, they’re worth millions. 

Who are the current billionaire candidates? 

Beeple / Metakovan

Beeple is an NFT artist with total artwork valued at more than $140 million. That doesn’t mean all the money goes in his pocket, but with the NFT market rising as it does in the past few years, he could potentially become a billionaire. One single piece of his art (The First 5000 Days) sold for $69 million, and there are works valued at several millions of dollars (e.g. Crossroad) for $6.6 million. Vignesh Sundaresan (Metakovan) is the buyer of the $69 million digital artwork. If it rises in value more than 10x, he could become an NFT billionaire.

Trung Nguyen

Trung Nguyen is a co-founder of Axie Infinity. The market capitalization of their token AXS and all the NFTs are worth billions of dollars and his company owns 21% of these tokens. With a current value of $8.3 billion, his company owns a $1.74 billion stake. He may not be a billionaire yet, but thanks to the NFT boom, he is a crypto/NFT millionaire. However, these tokens are locked and they will be gradually unlocked to ensure the commitment of the company and people to the project. 

John Watkinson and Matt Hall

John Watkinson and Matt Hall founded Larva Labs together and may be considered pioneers of non-fungible tokens. If you are not familiar with this company, they are behind the project called Crypto Punks. The company works since 2005, but its founders only became famous recently thanks to the value of these NFTs skyrocketing from zero values to several millions of dollars. Even though the value of all these NFTs was initially released for free and they didn’t bank on its current profits (total sales value exceeding $1 billion), they continue to create NFTs like Meebits. 20 000 Meebits were created and sold for 2.49 ETH per piece, finally making them at least an 8-figure sum. With other successes like Crypto Punks and Meebits, they could enter the billionaire zone. 

Yuga Labs

There is a big interest in creating NFTs as well as buying them. Yuga Labs is one of the most recent big projects called Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC). This project is like a “better looking” Crypto Punks. It has 10,000 NFTs as well and made sales worth exceeding $1 billion. BAYC is for sure one of the hottest NFT projects of 2021. However, the people behind this project are unknown. One thing is for sure though. They made a million-dollar project and could even become billionaires with other projects in the future. 

more to read

Benyamin Ahmed: a 12-year old boy selling NFTs worth millions is an early candidate too. It’s still far from a billion, but he is still just 12 years old. 


Innovations and technologies are connecting finances with the crypto and blockchain world at full speed, creating digital art, items or lands worth several billions of dollars. People jumping on this trend early on may now be millionaires. The next big question is: who will be the first billionaire?

Sentiment: positive

sources: bloomberg, moneyweb, wired, independent, cryptoart, vietnamnet, techcrunch

Rene Remsik

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.