You’re armed with cryptocurrency, have set up your wallet, and are ready to dive in. But the moment you decide to wade into the wild west of NFT buying and selling, you are confronted by a barrage of different collections.
Questions spring to mind. You might ask, “What the heck is a bored ape?”
“Why is this light blue cat selling for more than that light blue cat?”
“What in the world is $BANANA?”
We understand and have got your back. Jumping into the NFT world can be confusing. This guide covers the 10 best collections to buy right now based on sales volume and floor price. By the end, you’ll know the most popular collections and what they can bring to you as a collector or investor.
Ready? Let’s get started.
Disclaimer: NFTs, while they may eventually fall under the category of an investment class, are different than stocks. If you want to invest in some publicly traded companies that have released or are associated with NFT collections, look to Nike, Adidas, Time Magazine, Coca-Cola, or Pepsi.
Best Ethereum NFT Collections to Buy
Our first nine collections come from the most popular blockchain for trading NFTs — Ethereum. They are ordered by sales volume taken on December 3rd, and you may notice that one conspicuous collection is missing. We’ll get to that at the very end of the article.
Now, to the leader in the clubhouse — those very disinterested monkeys.
#1 – Bored Ape Yacht Club
- All-time sales volume: 245K ETH
- Floor price: 49.5 ETH
Started by Yuga Labs in April of 2021, the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) is one of the most successful NFT projects in history. With an all-time sales volume of 245K ETH and a floor price of 49.5 ETH, BAYC dwarfs every NFT competitor from this year and has spearheaded the movement to make NFTs mainstream.
To put the numbers in context, you could have minted a Bored Ape for 0.08 ETH (around $200) on drop day in April. Today, that Ape would be worth (assuming it’s a floor price Ape) $208,456. That’s a hefty ROI.
Why are the Bored Apes so valuable in a sea of profile-pic NFT collections? And what can they do for you as a collector or investor? The answer lies in two words: community and utility.
During a time when NFTs and the NFT market were just getting picked up in the news, the Bored Ape Yacht Club made its name as a fiercely strong community. #ApeFollowApe soon became popularized, and hundreds of Apes would follow each other in those threads, making their presence felt on Twitter.
Soon, as the money rolled in from Bored Ape Yacht Club airdrops, individuals Apes began using their intellectual property licensing privileges and started NFT projects with their Ape NFTs at the helm.
Having an Ape became a ticket into a cool club that could lead to business opportunities and connections — something that still rings true today. BAYC has also provided its members incredible utility, including in-person events that have become the talked-about parties in the NFT community for the year. The utility provided to BAYC holders has included:
- Two airdrops worth a minimum of $37,842 at floor prices
- A party on an actual yacht during NFT NYC
- A concert with a well-known DJ during the same event
And upcoming: a digital treasure hunt, a play-to-earn game, a token airdrop when BAYC is decentralized, a headquarters in Sandbox, and possible mutant breeding to add another layer to the BAYC ecosystem.
You might say, “This sounds great. But the price tag is too high. Can I still get in?”
Part of the appeal of BAYC is that there are multiple entry points, so you can spend within your budget. While dropping over $200K on an Ape might be too much, check out these collections:
- Mutant Ape Yacht Club (floor 6.5 ETH)
- Bored Ape Kennel Club (floor 2.6 ETH)
Both are a little more accessible for the average person and can get you accepted to the club.
#2 – Cool Cats
- All-time sales volume: 59K ETH
- Floor price: 7.4 ETH
Released on July 1st to the low ETH price of 0.02 ($44), Cool Cats has risen to the #2 spot in the NFT collection hierarchy. With 59K ETH traded and a floor price of 7.4 ETH, the Cool Cats collection has paid financial rewards to its holders. For instance, someone who minted a Cool Cat on release day now sees a huge ROI.
How did the Cool Cats get, well, cool? Part of it is the art. Whimsical and fun, these Cats make for an amusing and playful profile pic. The first generation Cool Cats numbers 10,000, each with a unique combination of body, outfit, hat, and face traits.
It helps, of course, that legendary boxer Mike Tyson bought one and changed it to his Twitter profile pic, along with multiple Twitter NFT influencers who sensed the need for a “meme NFT” and pushed Cool Cats as the new, up-and-coming collection.
What do you get as a collector looking to join the club? Here are some high points on the Cool Cats road map.
Merch drops. Otherwise known as merchandise drops, merch drops allow you to rep your favorite NFT collection — in this case, Cool Cats. If you like the art, this is a cool way to showcase your affiliation with the collection. Many types of clothes are available.
Gamification. With the introduction of its NFT token $MILK and the beta testing for its new game, Cool Cats may give you a way to earn income while playing video games. Nothing beats earning money while having fun, and this could be one of those opportunities.
Creatures drop. Soon, Cool Cats plans to airdrop “creatures” for the video game to its holder for free. You can either use these creatures in the game or (likely) sell them on the secondary marketplace, similar to what some Bored Ape members did with BAYC airdrops.
In-person events. The Cool Cats team is active at NFT events, including the most recent Miami NFT conference. It allows its members to vote on upcoming events as well. If you attend one, you could meet the team and make some connections.
Like with Bored Apes, the price for a single Cool Cat is high for an NFT. So how do you get into the ecosystem without purchasing one? Fortunately, there will be a limited public mint of the “creatures” used in the video game likely at a lower price than the Cool Cats floor.
#3 – CrypToadz
- All-time sales volume: 50K ETH
- Floor price: 3.4 ETH
CrypToadz, a relatively new project which had a mint price of 0.069 ETH, has legendary beginnings. Gremplin, a member of the CryptoPunks Discord, started playing around and taking well-known profile-pic-projects and turning them into toads. CryptoPunks, Cool Cats, Fidenzas, and more.
The other Punks in the Discord loved them. Soon, a collection started — a series of 6,969 Toadz that paid homage to some of the most well-known and popular collections of the time. The mint in early September was stealth launched. No marketing.
Within a week, the floor price had risen to 0.69 ETH. Today, it rests at 3.4 ETH or $14,381.
For original minters, that is a large ROI.
Why has it risen so quickly, to the #3 position out of all NFT collections? On its Discord, there is just a bare-bones roadmap. But if you look closely, there is value. And some that may be particularly interesting to a collector.
CrypToadz is a CC0 project, meaning it belongs to the public domain. In other words, after launching the project, the team waived legal rights to the project. This has numerous implications that can impact you as a collector.
- You have complete rights to reuse your toad in any way you want. This means you can use it for your own commercial gain.
- You can network with other CrypToadz holders, many of whom are OG NFT investors and hold CryptoPunks.
- You may have the option of using the framework of the project (what is under CC0) to build something special with the help of other people.
This last point is a different sort of utility. In the CrypToadz Discord, there is a “builders channel,” similar to the much-hyped “Loot” projects. There, you can connect with other engineers or programmers to build out a world and network while doing so.
It’s an unusual proposition, to say the least, but if you’re a builder, this might be the project for you.
#4 – Hashmasks
- All-time sales volume: 40K ETH
- Floor price: 0.8 ETH
Released in January 2021, Hashmarks represents one of the first art collections to take the NFT world by storm. It began as a simple idea between two anonymous artists to push the envelope on NFTs and what constituted digital art, and soon it would take the stage as one of the most popular NFT art collections even to this day.
The collection features 16,384 different pieces of art, all with some type of “figure” in the foreground. Certain traits are varied, including hairstyle, colors, and background. The founders released the project with a sliding scale: Essentially, earlier Hashmasks went for a cheaper price, while the final Hashmasks sold for 100 ETH.
Because the founders wanted to push the boundary on digital art and NFTs, there are two parts of Hashmasks that may be different from other collections: You get to name your art pieces, and the art itself has Easter eggs.
So, what do you get as a collector of the Hashmasks?
There is a saying that “art has no roadmap” and it applies here. There isn’t any utility like we’ve seen for some of the other collections. What you receive as a collector or investor is based on two factors: the art itself and historical value.
If you like the Hashmask style of art, you can hang it up in a virtual gallery or your home. That’s one way you can derive value from purchasing it. If you’re a collector, this line of thought might suit you.
If you’re looking to profit from a sale in the future, Hashmasks has historical and cultural significance. This significance could raise the price of individual Hashmasks down the road, allowing you to sell or “flip” for a profit.
#5 – CyberKongz
- All-time sales volume: 36K ETH
- Floor price: 4.7 ETH
CyberKongz debuted in March of 2021 as a collection of 1,000 unique and rare gorilla pictures. It became one of the first collections to adopt the “profile-pic” moniker, as its gorillas were easily identifiable on Discord and Twitter.
The collection is similar to other generative art collections: There are traits that vary from picture to picture, with some rarer than others.
This low supply is part of what makes genesis CyberKongz valuable. There are only so many of them, and the privileges genesis CyberKongz holders receive is worth more than the NFT itself. At first mint, the CyberKongz went for .01 ETH. Today, the floor of the entire collection (including BabyKongz) is 4.7 ETH.
But what makes CyberKongz special is not just the floor. They were a leader in introducing tokenomics to NFT collections. The utility you receive as a genesis Kongz holder today comes in the form of an NFT token — $BANANA.
Under the current agreement, genesis CyberKongz holders receive 10 $BANANA per day for the next 10 years. Considering that $BANANA is currently trading around $37, just owning one CyberKongz will net you $370 per day.
That $370 per day is the equivalent of $135,000 in a year.
If you own 10 genesis CyberKongz, that’s $1,370 per day or $1,350,000 per year.
You can use the $BANANA for other functions as well. Options include:
- Naming your Kong
- Writing a biography for your Kong
- Incubating a Baby CyberKongz
The team has eyes in the metaverse too. It has created a 3D Voxel collection called CyberKongz VX, which has NFTs ready for use and play in the upcoming metaverses. CyberKongz VX contains 15,000 CyberKongz, so the price point is a little lower than for the original collection. It is also a more affordable price point for new investors if you don’t want to shell out $18,000 or more on a genesis CyberKongz or BabyKongz.
#6 – VeeFriends
- All-time sales volume: 32K ETH
- Floor price: 8.3 ETH
VeeFriends launched in May of 2021, featuring 10,255 NFTs based on 268 characters that Gary Vaynerchuk (GaryVee) drew himself. The collection is different from others because it involves direct utility to one of the more well-known entrepreneurs — Gary Vaynerchuk — and access to him and his world.
Who is Gary Vaynerchuk? The founder of VaynerMedia and best-selling author, GaryVee is an entrepreneur and public speaker known for his candor about business topics.
His NFT collection is based primarily on animals, pairing them with different values that Gary deems important. There is an “Observant Oyster,” “Big Game Bandicoot,” and “Trusting Tarantula.”
A look at the current roadmap shows these access NFTs paired with dates when holders can use the utility:
- December 14th: Podcast Panther (have GaryVee join your podcast for guest appearance)
- December 16th: Hangout Hawk (join GaryVee in a live, virtual hour-long hangout)
- January 17th: Part of the Team Dream (be a part of Team GaryVee for five days in New York)
Not all tokens afford direct access to GaryVee, but they all come with perks. For instance, all Vee Friends holders receive an invitation to VeeCon, a multi-day event featuring speakers in the business world.
If you’re a budding entrepreneur or have business questions, owning a top VeeFriend can give you access to a successful entrepreneur. Some access is even one-on-one, which would allow you to ask questions relating to your situation and receive feedback.
While most NFT projects focus on in-person events, tokenomics, or airdrops, VeeFriends stands out in its direct utility. You know what you’re getting with each purchase — in some cases, an opportunity to connect with GaryVee.
If the 8.3 ETH price is too high for you, it helps to know that VeeFriends series two is coming soon.
#7 – World of Women
- All-time sales volume: 25K
- Floor price: 1.9 ETH
Launched in July of 2021 at a mint price of .07 ETH, World of Women quickly rose to prominence in the NFT world, bolstered by endorsements from top influencers like Artchick, GaryVee, and Logan Paul. The collection has 10,000 women with varying features, such as facial types, skin tones, and color backgrounds.
Because the original World of Women mint price was around $158, people who had minted and held till today would have seen a decent ROI. Not bad for a turnaround of a little more than four months.
So, what sort of value would you receive as a collector of a World of Women NFT? The truth is, quite a bit. The utility breaks down into three categories: royalties, prints, and licensing rights.
A subset of World of Women NFT holders receives royalties from sales. The creators of World of Women divided the collection into tiers with different perks, and the holders of the top tier World of Women NFTs receive royalties from sales, which can serve as a form of passive income. The ability to receive royalties makes the rare World of Women NFTs that much more valuable.
A handful of World of Women holders has received prints of their work. If you’ve ever wanted to hang up your NFT in your home, World of Women makes that easy. Many holders have already received their World of Women NFT prints to hang up wherever they’d like. You also have access to the source file for the NFT if you want to print it out yourself.
All World of Women holders receive licensing rights. You can use your World of Women NFT in any capacity you like, including commercially. If you want to start a derivative project using your World of Women NFT, you are legally allowed to do so. The licensing permissions allow for a great deal of flexibility and bolster your ability to create a narrative or project behind your purchase.
#8 – Lazy Lions
- All-time sales volume: 19K ETH
- Floor price: 0.9 ETH
Launched at a mint price of 0.05 ETH ($139), Lazy Lions rose through the ranks of NFT collections quickly due to a strong community and social outreach. The 10,080 collection features lions with varying characteristics, including eyes, mouth, hair color, and clothing type.
Lazy Lions, known for their Twitter marketing tactics (including “roaring” at select influencers to get attention), saw its floor rise well above 1 ETH for a time. Although it has since dropped as ETH has risen in price, it still may be a worthwhile investment to you. Here are some ways the Lazy Lions can bring you value as an investor or collector.
- Lazy Lions is Web3 focused. The team states that one of its core purposes is to explore Web3 and everything Web3 has to offer. In the future, the Lazy Lions might try Web3 tactics like other collections, including tokenomics and decentralization.
- Metaverse hangout. Lazy Lions recently bought a 3×3 plot on Sandbox to develop their Lazy Lions hangout. This gives you a specific place to go to in the metaverse, to meet with people around the world, and network with other Lions.
- Community-focused. Lazy Lions is big on community. Its “roar competitions” are infamous, and they take pride in making sure all lions are treated equally.
- Possible game. A Lazy Lions video game could allow holders to earn passive income or add more utility to the Lazy Lion NFTs.
The Lazy Lions is one collection that rose to prominence almost entirely because of its community. Like community-centric collections before it, Lazy Lions may be a good opportunity for networking and exploring business interests if you’re looking for an NFT collection in which to do that.
#9 – Gutter Cat Gang
- All-time sales volume: 15K ETH
- Floor price: 4.1 ETH
Gang-gang. It’s the moniker of those in the Gutter Cat Gang. Released on June 4th of 2021 with a mint price of 0.07 ETH ($194), the Gutter Cat Gang (GCG) started with just a collection of 3,000 cats.
The backstory of the collection is befitting of a collection that has animals with bandanas and tattoos: An Earth that humans have completely abandoned, leaving animal species to fight for dominance. Today, the Gutter Cat Gang consists of four species — cats, rats, pigeons, and dogs — each with 3,000 NFTs.
Each species has varying floor prices, making the Gutter Cat Gang community one of the most accessible. Even if you don’t want to purchase a cat for over $16,000, you can choose another species. The other three species have floor prices below 1 ETH.
Aside from the Bored Ape Yacht Club, there is probably no collection that provides as much all-around utility as the Gutter Cat Gang. As a holder in the Gang, you get access to numerous perks:
- Airdrops from artists
- Merch drops to holders
- Community networking opportunities
The Gutter Cat Gang team is bullish on the metaverse, creating numerous hangouts for their members to eventually visit.
In the real world, GCG has put on many events, including GutterCon in Las Vegas. At these events, Gutter Cat Gang holders may have exclusive access based on their membership tier within the Gang.
Best Solana NFT Collection to Buy
Solana collections are still young and don’t have the same track record as the top ETH collections, so only one made this list of the 10 best NFT collections to buy. Hint: It’s all about the monkeys.
#10 – Solana Monkey Business
- All-time sales volume: 739K SOL
- Floor price: 135 SOL
Launched in August to a mint price of 2 SOL ($70), Solana Monkey Business established itself quickly as a hot collection on Solana with potential for mass appeal. Today, the floor price sits at 135 SOL ($28,073). Original minters, if they held, have a strong ROI per Monkey (referred to as “Monke” by holders).
The artist rendered the collection similarly to other generative art collections. There are 5,000 Monkees with varying characteristics like hair color, eye color, hats, and clothes. It’s pixel art, reminiscent of some of the earliest NFT collections on Ethereum.
Why might SMB be a good investment or collectible for you to buy? It all lies in the power of decentralization. SMB was one of the first collections on Solana to decentralize, creating a DAO so that the holders of Monkees could direct funds wherever they saw fit.
That DAO has led to the development or idea of numerous projects, including:
- MonkeDAO, which is exclusive to SMB Monke owners
- An eventual DAO treasury
- A MonkeDAO commemorative token airdrop to Monke holders
- Pets for Monkees, specifically for Monke holders
- Eventual Monke merchandise
- A virtual home and meet-up location for SMB holders
Note that everything after the formation of the DAO is “eventual.” Rather than a negative, these “eventualities” could be positives for a new collector — you can get in early and reap the benefits. In many top projects, these types of benefits have already passed.
Where are the Punks?
That’s all 10. You might be asking, “Where are CryptoPunks?” They are, after all, an OG collection and one that has the most sales volume and current highest floor.
There was a simple reason we excluded them: They are too expensive for most people. Generally, you need six figures to buy a Punk, and there are no cheaper entry points like BAYC has with its mutants and dogs.
Otherwise, they would have been at the top.
Finally, because it needs to be said: Nothing in this article constitutes financial advice