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It is in fact possible to make money on NFTs, sometimes quite a lot of money. While the market is still small, it is growing fast and has provided savvy investors with some amazing returns. Picking winners remains a tough prospect.

Looking at those NFTs which have done very well in the past can provide some inkling of what is likely to do well in the future. Here are the top five NFTs in terms of their total return from launch. As you can see, even the number five ranked NFT – World of Women – which was minted at $178, has been able to achieve a return on investment (ROI) of more than 5,267%. That’s not to be sniffed at!

#5. World of Women (+5,267%)

Launched by Yam Karkai and Raphael Malavielle, it is an art collection that is designed to showcase women and push the issue of diversity in the NFT market, where women remain tragically under-represented. Their NFT collection sold out overnight. The combined value of the project, which includes slightly north of 10,000 tokens, is now more than $50m. As Karkai says, “It felt like I was not reaching a broad enough audience with my 1/1 art.” Well, she’s fixed that issue. World of Women minted at $178 and an NFT was valued at $9,576 at the end of September.

#4. Gutter Cat Gang (+8,429%)

Gutter Cat Gang was a collection of 3000 unique illustrations of cats, which launched in June. It sold out in 10 minutes. The NFT was banking on enthusiasm generally for cats in the digital world, and it is notable that one of the pioneering viral NFT projects back in 20117 was CryptoKittties. Gutter Cat Gang is minting new NFTs, including Gutter Rats and Gutter Dogs. Gutter Cats currently has a floor of ETH 5.4 ($18,000) which is a lot higher than either the dogs or the cats. Last month it launched Gutter Species Pass, an NFT ticket which entitled buyers to either a dog or a piegon.

#3. Pudgy Penguins (+13,313%)

Staying on the animal theme, which seems to be where it’s at with successful NFTs this year, there is the explosive growth in price of Pudgy Penguins, again unique art running on a cartoon penguin theme. It seems like punters prefer penguins to cats – see above. Pudgy Penguins were the brainchild of Clayton Patterson, a computer science student at the University of Florida. As he told the New York Times recently, “there was huge meme potential in fat-looking penguins, so we decided to roll with that.” Pudgy Penguins minted at $60 and were valued at $8,027 each at the end of September.

#2. Cool Cats NFT (+19,301%)

Again with the cartoon animals meme for #2 on our list, which has returned over 19,000%. The Cool Cats NFT minted at $136 and was valued – per cat – at a staggering $26,475 at the end of last month. Demand for Cool Cats is not to be underestimated. Special 1/1 edition cats are going for silly money. A special Halloween edition zombie Cool Cat was recently sold for ETH 320, which is around $1.1m, kicking off a HalloweeNFT season within the Cool Cats community. It is the first Cool Cats NFT to break the million bucks mark. Hats off to them.

#1. Bored Ape Yacht Club (+58,118%)

Which brings us to the NFT which has really outstripped all others in terms of sheer return potential. The Bored Ape Yacht Club has really demonstrated what is possible in this market, minted at $189, an ape is now worth $109,816. Yes, you read that right. Sell one now and go buy a Ferrari. Bored Ape Yacht Club was launched by Yuga Labs in April, with 10,000 in its initial series. This was followed up by Mutant Apes, which sold out in less than an hour, for $90m. A further 101 Bored Apes went for $24m at auction in September. The current minimum price for an ape on the Ethereum blockchain is 39.69, yours for $140,000.

Our thanks to the research team at BrokerChooser for their help with the list.

Please note this article does not constitute investment advice. Investors are encouraged to do their own research beforehand or consult a professional advisor.

Stuart Fieldhouse

Stuart Fieldhouse

Stuart Fieldhouse has spent 25 years in journalism and marketing, including as a wealth management editor for the Financial Times group, covering capital markets and international private banking, and as an investment banking correspondent for Euromoney in Hong Kong. He was the founder editor of The Hedge Fund Journal.

Stuart has worked at CMC Markets, supporting the re-launch of its global financial spread betting and CFD trading platforms. He is also the author of two books on trading, published by Financial Times Pearson. Based in The Armchair Trader’s London office, Stuart continues to advise fund managers, private banks, family offices and other financial institutions.

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