Whether you are just jumping into the wild and wonderful world of NFTs or if you are a seasoned pro, there are always new and exciting projects to explore. Now halfway through the year, it is a great time to take a look back (and ahead) at some of the best NFT projects to keep an eye on in 2022.
To understand all there is out there on this hot and often volatile market, in an ever-changing space of chaos, let’s take a look at some of the successful names out there, and what they aim to launch in the coming months.
Additionally, for the newcomers in the space, we will review a bit about what an NFT is and what can make a project “the best” on the market.
Table of Contents
What Is an NFT?
If you are digging into the best of the year’s offerings, chances are you have a pretty good understanding of what you are getting into when perusing NFTs. However, for the newest collectors and investors, it is always great to recap a bit about what exactly constitutes an NFT and how some projects become “the best” or at least ones to watch.
Non Fungible Tokens
Before you get too ahead of yourself collecting and investing in NFT projects, it is wise to have a good grasp of what exactly you are purchasing. NFTs can represent a wide variety of items. Most typically forms of digital art, these files can actually be a little bit of everything.
Firstly, the name “NFT” simply stands for a token (T) that is non-fungible. That may sound like a strange word you aren’t too familiar with, but in a basic breakdown, it means that it is something that cannot be traded for nor has an equal. No two NFTs are alike. Each is completely unique, not only in make-up and design, but in its ownership, coding, and authentic and verifiable ownership.
Non-fungible means that there are no two things that are completely identical. But, that doesn’t mean they can’t be bought, sold, traded, and collected. Thanks to the second half of the phrase, there are options when it comes to NFT transactions.
The “token,” which is what the “T” in NFT stands for, means an item that takes the place of or stands in or represents another item. For example, you may be familiar with the arcade tokens of old.
When you went into a video game arcade to play, you had to exchange your dollars and cents for tokens. These tokens were unique to the arcade. They often were emblazoned with the logos and trademarks of the company issuing them. They were funds that were only good in the arcade they were designed for initially.
Similarly, you may be familiar with the bustling world of cryptocurrency. This is a similar concept. “Real” or fiat money (that issued by a government) is exchanged for a digital currency that only exists in a virtual world.
Likewise, and using the exact same technology as the science behind it, the NFT also can be bought, sold, and traded thanks to the use of tokens. Tokens can stand in for anything from a piece of real estate to an automobile.
However, when perusing projects online, you will find most NFTs are some form of digital art.
NFTs are most commonly representing a piece of digital art. From 5,000 photographs to a simple digitized headshot of a monkey, the art itself is as unique as the millions of collectors.
Just like art in the “real” and tangible world, digital collectibles trading and its arts are unique and varied. They can range in any form of a file, such as:
If you can digitize a file, you can likely mint it into an NFT.
Just as the “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” in more traditional forms of art, so too is the phrase as applicable in the digital elements that make up NFT art forms.
NFT projects are made possible by the same “science” behind the cryptocurrency market. Using a budding technology still in its rather infancy stages of development called the “blockchain,” a newly formed way of interacting on the world wide web has emerged. It is this tech that makes an NFT project possible at all.
The Science of the Blockchain
While diving into your first NFT project research, it is also wise to understand the science behind its existence. After all, an NFT project is a digital gathering of codes. There is no piece of art you can hold in your hand, but rather a virtual binary coding of letters and numbers. Viewing the coding alone wouldn’t likely seem like art to you, but thankfully the way in which they are assembled can create fun, beautiful, unique pieces of art.
The blockchain itself is typically described as a “distributed ledger.” It is distributed in that it is made up of data that is copied over and scattered amongst a peer-to-peer network of users. Unlike a more traditional form of data storage which would collect all necessary information into one, centralized server, the concept behind the blockchain allows the information to be decentralized and spread around amongst several storage locations and devices.
In its simplest terms, each member of the network has a full copy of this blockchain. It is visible and accessible to all, making it clear and transparent.
The “ledger” portion of the definition refers to the recordkeeping duties of the blockchain. Each blockchain contains groupings of data, known as blocks, chronologically strung together (a chain) containing the information about each and every transaction that occurs on the blockchain.
For example, if the blockchain is for a given cryptocurrency, you can view each and every coming and going of that crypto. From the coin’s first drop to each and every owner in between, to the present location it is logged into the ledger of the blockchain. The blocks of data themselves contain this information.
Blocks, too, are immutable, meaning that once the data has been locked and accepted into the chain, it can never be changed. No authority has the power to do so. These features not only lend themselves well to the concepts and motivation behind the blockchain (which we will touch on next) but also add a built-in security level to the data.
With no chance of it being altered, there is no room for error. Automation of the blockchain, courtesy of smart contracts, also reduces the need for human interaction. These processes cut out the third parties typically involved in transactions, lowering costs ultimately for all involved.
Additionally, the blockchain provides a chance for decentralization. Not only does this mean that data is distributed (in the aforementioned peer network), but it also means that no central authority has individual control over that data.
The Motivation Behind the Blockchain
Because the technology allows for decentralization, there is more behind the concept than just the basic scientific building blocks. Instead, it is also a concept backed by a desire to move away from big business or centralized authority.
In traditional forms of the Internet, users have become accustomed to a few names of giants in the industry. From Facebook and Google to Twitter or Instagram, a very small percent of business names own a rather large percent of information online today.
In what many are calling “Web 3.0,” the blockchain technology is allowing users to move away from this model and return, instead, the “power back to the people.” Without a centralized authority or power, and with peers instead governing themselves, there is no need for a third party in transactions.
Not only does this allow for trading and business to be conducted from buyer to seller, but it also means that the rules and regulations often presented by big corporations are also out. Freedoms expand as there are no central authorities to “boss” users around. From freer speech to flexibility in creation, there are countless benefits beyond the science of the blockchain.
The NFT Market
Another fun aspect of the NFT marketplace is that it is always changing and expanding. Even if you’ve been in the NFT game for years, there are always new spaces popping up, evolutions of well-known platforms, and creative applications adding to the mix; all factors that contribute to an ever-changing landscape that makes up the NFT space.
If you aim to learn about the top NFT projects of the year, it is wise to scope out the offerings on some of the world’s top platforms first. Let’s take a look at the offerings that commonly serve as home to some of the top new NFT projects in 2022.
One of the web’s most popular spots to scope out the best NFT projects is called Open Sea. Located online at opensea.io, the site dubs itself the “first and largest NFT marketplace” in the world.
This platform operates with Polygon on the Ethereum blockchain. Launched in 2017, it became a “household” name in NFTs with its launch of CryptoKitties. One of the first NFT projects to be targeted to a mainstream audience, Open Sea used venues such as Discord to grow its branding and ownership base.
Today, Open Sea remains one of the top spaces to peruse the popular NFT project names of the year. NFT creators appreciate the gas-free marketplace offerings, that allow NFTs to be sold first, then minted (i.e. no upfront cost to post and sell), making it a great home for the newest of NFT collections.
Ethereum is like a “parent company” behind products like Open Sea. It is a space that, with its open source code and a vast library of smart contracts, allows developers to create the applications and NFT collections of tomorrow.
If you seek the big names in new NFT projects, this is a great place to keep an eye out. NFT drop announcements, upcoming NFT projects, and even new NFT marketplaces are often created using the Ethereum network.
Discord for NFTs
The NFT world loves its use of Discord, a communications app that is free and available in mobile forms, too. It is another great resource to keep an eye on if you are in the market for the best new NFT projects out there.
NFT owners love to communicate, and this space offers a wide variety of “channels” where buyers, sellers, and even those just gathering information can congregate to do so. From the Ethereum blockchain to NFT drops, there is a buzzing and bustling conversation always happening among NFT collectors, creators, and NFT community members alike.
No matter what stage in your collecting you are in, you can learn a lot by diving into Discord and its unique channel offerings, which attract millions of users each day. Like-minded NFT collectors love to gather here, and it is a great way to learn about your first NFT collection or even obtain your most expensive NFT project!
A Vast NFT Industry
If we aimed to name all of the spaces you can learn more about NFT projects, we’d be here all day. Safe to say, there are plenty of resources out there in today’s market. However, be cautious to use trusted sources for your information.
You can be assured that sites like FLOLiO have been well researched, edited, and vetted for factual information based on trusted sources. Like any part of the world wide web, there are, of course, less reliable folks that do not have your best interests in mind.
If you hope to learn about upcoming NFTs, new NFT series, or where to best sell NFTs, be sure that you are trusting the right resources. A new NFT project is often announced on various sources, but cross-checking your information is a wise choice.
This is an ever-changing landscape, and many use that fact to distort information and confuse users. Always enter the NFT space with a cautious eye. Fact checks your information and cross-check it against others to ensure you have the very best information at your fingertips.
We’ll discuss trusted resources more later, but let’s take a look at what exactly makes the best NFT projects in 2022 “the best.”
What Makes the Best NFT Projects?
As previously stated, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So too are words like “best” when it comes to the best upcoming NFT projects. “Best” is a vague word and can mean a lot of things to a lot of people.
To be clear on what helped us name our top picks, we wanted to outline some of the parameters that make an NFT project “the best.”
NFT art means a lot of things to a lot of people, too. What even constitutes art is up for debate and has been for years.
But one of the most common factors in determining the “best” when it comes to NFT projects is the NFT collection popularity. If an NFT project has caught the eye of millions of collectors, it is likely there is something to it that causes such an attraction.
Additionally, the “everybody’s doing it” phenomenon often comes to play. As more and more are interested in an NFT project-created buzz, there are going to be more following the trend.
Appealing to Collectors
Just like traditional art forms, some NFT projects are popular because the NFT holders find value in the pieces. An artwork doesn’t have to be worth millions to have value to its owner. At times, an NFT project may appeal to you visually. Perhaps that new NFT drop of your favorite band’s new single just can’t be missed.
The monetary value of each NFT is not the only thing that can make it “the best.” Some collectors enjoy new NFT projects just because. You, as an investor or collector, are welcome of course to simply select an NFT project based on your personal attraction or interest.
A Specialized Niche
The NFT community is also well known for its unique niches. The “best new NFT projects” to you might mean it strictly involves professional basketball. If that is your top interest, a user’s NBA Highlight collection might have far more value to you than to the man that has never seen a game in his life.
Total trading volume is not the only descriptor that makes an NFT project “the best.” Many purchase NFTs based on particular niche interest groups. NBA Moments (offered up on a platform called NBA Top Shot) may have zero appeal to you, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t the “best” to someone else.
It is this unique and vast assortment that makes the NFT marketplaces hum. It is why NFT owners are so different, NFT drops so uniquely, and the NFT craze so popular overall. There is so much ability to customize your experience that “the best” can mean something new to each individual.
Celebrities and Influencers
In today’s world, we know all too well the value that a celebrity or a social media “influencer” can have on an audience. For better or for worse, online users love to know what their favorite sports heroes, actors, or wealthy investors are doing in the marketplace.
A new NFT project can rise in popularity very quickly if a big name purchases one. From names like Jay-Z and Snoop Dogg to Madonna, Jimmy Fallon, and Justin Bieber, there are celebs across the globe boosting the value of NFTs simply by owning one.
An NFT project launched with the approval of or “endorsement” of a celebrity or influencer can go a long way to adding not only financial value, but a piqued interest in said NFT project.
Scarcity and Uniqueness
Beyond what is “popular,” some of the best NFT projects in 2022 are such because they are extremely rare and unique. Much like the basic lessons of economics, the fewer items there are in the marketplace, the more people want them.
Sometimes, no matter what the NFT is, there is a strong desire to purchase it just because the demand is high and inventory is low. Not only will this factor increase trading volume and value in an upcoming NFT, but it will often pique interest even before it is dropped.
Speculative investment happens if a well-known name in the NFT game announces that it is going to launch a very scarce and limited collection. If you know only 100 of them will ever exist in the world, there is a drive to obtain one.
Digital Art, Collections
Another reason, well beyond the laws of trading volume, that drives up an NFT collection is its collectability. Sometimes, you just have to “collect them all.” Much like the popular tactile, original card game Pokémon (which coined the phrase), some NFT projects spread like wildfire because owners love to have as many as they can in a particular grouping.
Some NFTs are actually used in video games. From horses you can breed and race against one another, to alien-like, mythical creatures with varying abilities and looks, there are countless collectible NFT sets that drive up trading volume simply because owners seek to acquire as many as they can. Whether it is to win a game or complete a “set,” there are often art blocks sold in groupings that require an owner to obtain multiple NFTs within a single NFT project.
If, for example, you have four of the five red cats in an NFT project, of course, you want to have the fifth. What good is four out of five? There is an innate need in most NFT investors to collect a full set and own a completed grouping to feel “whole.”
Top 10 NFT Projects of 2022
Now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for in this article. Now that you understand what an NFT is, how they work, and why people might think their NFT project is “the best,” it is fun to hear what we think those top NFT projects are precise.
While we are naming here the top ten in the year thus far (as of a June 2022 publication date), it is important to note that no single list will ever be a complete and comprehensive list of the best in NFTs.
No matter how many numbers you include on the list, there will always be a few that hit the cutting room floor. Staying tuned into sites like FLOLiO, you can stay abreast of this ever-changing landscape.
While the Internet offers readers and researchers up-to-the-minute information, it is nearly impossible to stay on top of all of the wild changes in the NFT space. From new launches of art blocks in the virtual world to developments in generative art forms, there is constant change in this industry.
Keeping an eye on total trading volume alone won’t fulfill your needs. Tune into FLOLiO often to stay informed. More on that later. Let’s dig into our Top Ten NFT Projects of 2022!
Without further ado, and in no particular ranking order … here we go.
At first glance, this might not be a name you recognize. Even the most seasoned of NFT collectors might not recognize the company behind some of the biggest brands in the NFT marketplace, but once we name a few, we’re sure you will.
This organization is the company behind names like NBA Top Shot, NFL All Day, and UFC Strike professional sports collections. Additionally, you may have heard the name as one of the first and most popular NFT art blocks known as CrytoKitties.
From the trusted tried and true originals to the well-known name in sports, we name Dapper Labs home to some of the top NFT collections of 2022 because of their strengths. From a known name in the NFT game to known names (and registered rights to) the biggest name in U.S. sports, these NFT collections aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
If you are familiar with stocks, purchasing such NFTs in the DL collections is equivalent to purchasing Apple or Amazon stocks. They are tried and true, trusted, and have stability based on reputation alone.
Another unique product in the NFT space is the “Axie.” Known as Axie Infinity’s native token, an Axie isn’t just an NFT you sit and look at, but instead can actually play games with, too. This unique pick is “best” in our books due to the fun and creative ways it can be put to use.
Purchasing crypto through the Axie Infinity platform, users can breed their Axies, create new and competitive items, and advance in a game designed for fun and entertainment.
With “Smooth Love Potions” (the crypto form of the game’s rewards) being convertible into hard cash, there are plenty of reasons to love this NFT project. Axie Infinity not only allows users to collect fun NFTs but also provides an opportunity for one of the few, new “Play to Earn” options.
Earning NFTs of value while gaming? Yes, that deserves a nod on our list. Axie Infinity is one of “the best” for us because of the unique uses of its products. Axie Infinity is showing the NFT industry that NFTs aren’t just for storing on a “shelf” and dusting off for trade. Instead, fun games can be enjoyed, all while earning income for yourself.
If you haven’t yet seen these adorable and creative creations by Scott Martin, you’re missing out. The Doodles NFT project is the brainchild of illustrator Scott Martin. Trading under the name “Burnt Toast,” Martin
Doodles are described as a “community-driven collectibles project featuring art by Burnt Toast.” With only 10,000 set NFTs in the collection, a purchase of one of these NFTs doesn’t just get you a cool piece of art.
Instead, each Doodle allows its owner to also vote for experiences and activations paid for by the Doodles Community Treasury. You become something of a board member or stock owner when you make a Doodles NFT project purchase.
Have adorable art, in colorful pastel pallets AND having your say in developments? What is not to love?
Another name you may be unfamiliar with (until you hear the names of its collections) is Yuga Labs. Even the most seasoned of NFT pros are likely to have heard this group by another name. If you know anything about generative art or the popularity of NFTs, what you have likely heard of is a name called “Bored Apes.”
Home of the Bored Ape Yacht Club, and newly developed “spin-off” known as Mutant Ape Yacht Club, Yuga is the home to some staples in the NFT space. Bored Ape Yacht Club is one of the top grossing collections out there.
The aforementioned interest in celebrities was most notable in the Bored Ape Yacht Club collections. These varied “headshots” of a wide variety of apes donning everything from goofy hats, to cigarettes, sunglasses, and accessories, have become a popular choice for celebrity profile pictures on various social media applications.
Given the massive popularity of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (which had a capped limit of only 10,000 pieces to its collection) spurred additional NFT projects such as the Mutant Ape Yacht Club, expanding the Yuga name with collectors everywhere.
Existing on the Ethereum blockchain, the Bored Ape Yacht Club may just be one of the most well-known names out there.
Yubo’s NFT Auction
You haven’t heard of Yubo? You might not be alone.
Welcome the Rando NFT to our list, as another choice donning such an honor due to its unique usefulness. The NFT world loves an avatar. Whether made in your own likeness or strictly from your creative mind, the Rando NFT owners aren’t just granted the fun space for creation.
Additionally, the ownership of such NFTs will also grant its users a chance to join over 60 million users who “love streaming live.”
According to its landing page website, “Yubo is ready to grant special status, privileges, and perks to Gen Z citizens of the Yuboverse.”
Randos, the organization’s first NFT collection, will unlock these utilities for 10,000 special Yubo users. This special access lands it a space on our top ten!
A fresh offering for 2022 (with a launch in January) comes from Chiru Labs. This collection of Los Angeles-based artists brings us the Azuki Project.
Why has such a new project landed a hot spot on our list? This lab has an awesome way of incorporating NFTs with the “real world.” From streetwear to live events, this organization has had great success mixing the creative design world of NFTs and real, human interaction.
Additionally, these fun, anime-style faces come holding everything from a fighting sword to a coffee cup and make for a visually pleasing group of art, too.
London Gift NFTs
From the studio named Proof of Beauty (POB), a name you might recognize from some famed collections like Jay-Z’s most recent CryptoPunk purchase, London NFT sales and concepts hit our list not just for the unique, minting space offered up for all to use, but for the algorithms that help others create, too.
With a quick visit to its site: https://london.pob.studio/, any developer can use the science behind London to mint their own works. With 8,888 “generative art mementos” available to the mint for a price of 1559 $LONDON (its unique crypto), this site offers up the outcome without the legwork.
Cool Cats NFT
It isn’t just a catchy phrase from Tiger King. And, we all know that the world wide web is filled with awesome cats.
Interested collectors can combine these fun and entertaining features in one collection with the Cool Cats NFT project. With a collection of 9,999 randomly generated PFP NFTS (profile picture NFTs), this is quickly becoming another popular choice amongst social media users.
Illustrator Colin Egan and team on Ethereum to bring this collection to buyers. Unlike many NFTs, these hot new pieces are only available if users take part in live events like NFT Claims, community giveaways, or via the Open Sea platform.
Two Virtual Reality Ecosystems
Okay, yes, we are cheating by combining two favorites into one category, but hey, it still counts. Two names top the list when it comes to VRE spaces. Decentraland and The Sandbox “tie” in our books for a favorite platform that allows its users to monetize land by developing real estate.
Become a virtual “flipper,” by purchasing your space, sprucing it up, and reselling it at a max profit in this virtual world. Some investors have already found wild success creating spaces like casinos, amusement parks, and even NFT museums on their lands.
While some buy simply to sell later at a higher price, others enjoy the metaverse experience where they can escape the real world and become fully immersed in a new land. What’s not to love?
We would be remiss in a description of “the best,” if we didn’t include one of the biggest names in the NFT industry. Larva Labs is likely a name you have heard, and if not, its product CryptoPunks most certainly is.
From its CryptoPunk collection of 10,000 NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain, to a newly created collection of 3-D characters in a no-fee trading space known as Meebits, these creators are some of the best in the business.
Another new name coming from these creative minds (simply known as Matt and John) is Autoglyphs, one of the first blockchain generative art sites on Ethereum. These NFTs can use the already-established components to make their own collections of digital art.
The Future of NFTs
As we’ve noted, one of the best things about the NFT space is that there is always more to come. In an industry still feeling out its collectors, the blockchain is still churning out different concepts each and every day.
While this list makes sense for some of the very best of 2022 thus far, there is always something new and exciting coming around the bend. Your best bet in the marketplace that changes this much is to keep tabs on developments as they occur.
The best option to stay informed of these changes is to stay tuned into FLOLiO. From informative articles to helpful resources, you can trust the comprehensive advice and sources on our site.