Nonfungible tokens, better known as NFTs, took the internet by storm in 2021. While the notion of purchasing a digital copy of a uniquely coded image for millions of dollars may seem foreign to some, the high prices some NFTs have commanded suggest the concept has inspired art fans.

Here are the top creators whose NFTs raked in the largest amounts of money in 2021 ordered from smallest to largest, according to their rankings on


10. Micah Johnson

Former Major League Baseball player Micah Johnson started his art career in the physical world before shifting to digital platforms. Johnson made news in February 2020 when he sold $2 million worth of NFTs in 28 hours.

Johnson's most notable character is Aku, a young black child wearing an astronaut helmet. The character was inspired when Johnson heard his nephew ask whether astronauts could be black.

An Aku NFT was one of two NFTs sent to the International Space Station, and the character is currently being optioned into a movie.

9. WhisBe 

WhisBe is an anonymous contemporary street artist who made a name for himself in 2011 through the Vandal Gummy collection, a series of creatively decorated gummy bears "representing the idea of innocence lost."

"Some represent my take on health and nutrition to my concerns about incarcerated youth, pharmaceuticals and addiction in this country," WhisBe told Forbes in a 2019 interview.

In March, WhisBe adapted the series into NFT form, which went over reasonably well with the collector community. The Not Forgotten, But Gone NFT sold for $1 million. These NFTs are usually digitizations of WhisBe's original concepts with additional animations attached.

8. Jose_Delbo

An Argentinian artist who has worked on comic books such as Wonder Woman and The Transformers, Delbo is an artist who has been creating comics since the 1960s. Delbo recently turned his attention to NFTs in hopes of adapting the technology into a comic.

In October, Delbo created his own NFT comic strip, Enter the Satoshiverse, in partnership with Apollo NFT Comics. He has since released NFTs of his old art, including sketches from his old comics. He also made his own variation on the Gorilla NFT series.

7. maddogjones 

Michah Dowbak, aka Mad Dog Jones, is a self-described "multidisciplinary artist from Thunder Bay, Ontario" whose works "interweave cyberpunk elements with the beauty and freedom of nature." His work made news in April when an NFT titled REPLICATOR sold at auction for $4.1 million by the Phillips auction house.

Mad Dog has since collaborated with other artists, including DeadMau5.

6. Trevor Jones

Jones is a 51-year-old artist who initially made a name for himself after getting an art degree at age 30. Jones initially made news in 2018 when he used augmented reality to create "crypto art." Since then, he has made several NFTs, bringing a Picasso-esque style to his art.

Jones recently announced that he would collaborate with the actor Ice Cube on a painting and NFT.

5. Fewocious

Victor Langlois, aka FEWOCiOUS, is an 18-year-old transgender man that has made a name for himself through "pop surrealist" designs, graffitiesque visuals, and young artistic success. Langlois's art has already appeared in several galleries, including Christie's.

4. Hackatao 

Hackatao is a self-described "Decentralized OG Artist" who has earned fame through unique portraits. Hackatao is reportedly a pair of artists from Italy who started making art in the advertising world. The art has mostly focused on distinctive portraits that have sold for millions of dollars.

3. xcopy

Xcopy is a London-based crypto artist who claims to have "been a part of the crypto art community from the start." The anonymous artist's style, which draws from punk, has become iconic in the crypto art space.

2. Beeple

Mike Winkleman, aka Beeple, is likely one of the most well-known NFT artists. Based in Charleston, South Carolina, Winkleman made news worldwide when art company Christie's sold his art, Everydays: The First 5,000 Days, for $69.3 million in April.

Winkleman's art currently holds the record for the most expensive NFTs sold to date.

1. Pak

A pseudonymous artist, Pak has been making digital art for two decades, to the point that art gallery Sotheby's dedicated an entire gallery to his work. Pak most recently made news when he sold an NFT, titled The Merge, for more than $91 million on Dec. 7.

Pak's style is more abstract in design, but it has regularly drawn attention from digital aficionados and art appreciators alike.


With a growing interest in cryptocurrencies, blockchains, and web 3.0, many tech-savvy analysts are convinced that digital assets will be integral to the future, with NFTs acting as some of the most prominent and most criticized visuals for what the "metaverse" could look like in the future.

More than $10.6 billion was invested in NFTs in the third quarter of 2021, and the numbers have surged since, analytics platform DappRadar estimates. It remains uncertain how quickly these technologies will become widely accessible to the public.